Final Cut Pro X tip: Making edit points ‘non-crossfadable’

When you apply video transitions in Final Cut Pro X, it also applies an audio crossfade that lasts the same time. There is no option to turn this feature off. This can be a problem for tight interview edits.

There is a way of modifying an edit point so that when a video transition is applied, there is no audio crossfade.

The method is to move the audio part of the edit so it doesn’t exactly line up with the video.

You shouldn’t worry about this being noticeable because FCP can move audio edits in sub-frame units – which are 1/80th of a frame; in the case of 25p timelines, that is 1/2000th of a second.

1. Make sure clips around the edit have their audio and video tracks expanded by double-clicking each of their audio waveforms or by selecting them and choosing ‘Clip > Expand Audio / Video’ (Control-S). Alternatively you can set the timeline to ‘View > Expand All Audio/Video Clips > For All’ mode. This is so you can select the left and right edges of the audio tracks only.

Screenshots of the timeline before and after audio and video clips have been expanded

2. Select only the left and right audio edges of the edit – Press Shift-\

Screenshot of only the audio edges selected

3. Move the audio edit one subframe to the left – Press Option-,

Screenshot of only the audio edges moved back one subframe

4. Select the video edges by selecting the second next edit point – Press ‘ twice (because the first ‘ press selects the right-hand side of the audio edit point)

Screenshot of offset audio edit

5. Apply your transition – no crossfade can apply to the audio edit as it doesn’t line up with the video edit.

Screenshot of offset audio edit with transition applied

You can see that the audio waveforms join up with each other without any crossfade.

Once your transition is applied, you can still ripple and roll the clips – even though the audio edit doesn’t line up with the video edit, from a clip manipulation point of view, they are still a single edit.

Check out my free effects and articles on my Final Cut Pro X home page.

9 comments
  1. Thanks for all of your expertise on FCP X. But it’s issues like this that makes it impossible for me to consider “upgrading” from FCP 7. I need a tool that allows me to make my choices about video and audio transitions independently without having to employ workarounds like this. I get the feeling that whatever benefits FCP X might have, I still would spend half my time banging my head against the wall as it insists on doing things its own way.

  2. Thanks for this, very helpful, but why a workaround to do basic audio editing? I do a lot of layered audio editing in my documentary work and the thing I’ve found most infuriating about the FXP X way is that it has an idea of what I “should be doing” that is out of touch with what “I need to do” with my audio layers.

  3. You can detach the audio from the clip. It retains a sync connection but pops the audio below and is no longer auto faded.

    control-shift-S or it’s halfway down the context menu

    • Alex said:

      You’re right about that method making the edit non-crossfadable, but I found a problem with it if I need to later change the timing for the edit point – if the audio is detatched it ends up either overlapping the adjacent clip or there’s a gap in the audio.

      • atiliomf said:

        You just have to EXPAND audio/video, apply the transition to the video, then COLLAPSE the audio/video. As simple as that, no workaround whatsoever is needed. Stating that there is no way to “turn the feature off” is just plain false. And this is in the manual too: “When a video clip has attached audio, the audio automatically has a crossfade transition applied when a video transition is applied. If the audio is detached or expanded from the video, the audio is not affected by the video transition.”

      • Alex said:

        You are right about the audio crossfade not being applied when the audio is expanded or detached, but if you collapse the audio at a later point, the crossfade is applied. This tip is to make an edit point non-crossfadable even when collapsed.

  4. DD said:

    Thank you for the work-around.
    It’s crazy that I’m wasting my freaking time searching the web looking for a work-around for such a thing! Aaaaaaagggghhhh! 😉

  5. atiliomf said:

    Oh I see what you mean! I hadn’t seen that if you collapse the audio ***and THEN change the edit point***, final cut applies an audio transition even though you didn’t “put” it there initially. I didn’t realize this happens since I normally wouldn’t change an edit point with collapsed audio and video when working with tight interview edits. I would work with the audio and video being expanded. Thanks for the tip and for the other stuff in your website!

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong but now in 10.0.5 as long as you expand audio for both adjoining clips, a cross fade will only apply to video without need to shift audio edit. Additionally I’ve discovered that when one of the adjoining clips is not expanded the fade is only applied to the audio of that clip.

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