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Final Cut Pro Keyboard Shortcut Tips Return to Bruce Hornsby:
Students Produce Concert DVD
and DIRECTV Programs
by Mark DeVito, Autumn Productions

How do you become a Final Cut Pro expert? Time, time, and more time are my first responses, but there are some quick shortcuts to make your editing session not only go faster for you, but also in some circumstances, go faster for that client that's sitting behind you.

Here are some internal pre-built short cuts to get you going. For all of you older Mac users, the key formerly known as "Apple" will now be known as "Command."

First, default transitioning. One of the most time consuming and annoying tasks with non-linear editing is the addition of multiple transitions between your video and audio clips.

Command+T: When highlighting a region between two video clips, don't go for that Effects Menu Video Transitions if you are going for that simple dissolve. Command+T will do it for you. You can go through, highlight a bunch of clips and (repeatedly, unfortunately) go through and hit this cool shortcut. The best part about it is that it doesn't need to be a dissolve. Within the same Effects menu, you can set a specific transition as your "default" and clear it to add a new one.

Command+Option+T: If you thought the video hot key was cool, this one does the same thing, but for your audio track. It adds a one-second audio dissolve.

The Little Hand: Once you've added that "default dissolve," double click on it to open up its properties within the source monitor. Then with the duration on the left, set a new one. Also, if you want that duration for a bunch of other transitions, drag the little hand on the right side of the window down into the timeline between your clips. Easy as pie.

Option+X: Clear'em out! When those ins and outs that you set moments ago need to go, clear 'em out with this quick-and-dirty hot combo. Whether you're in your source monitor, record monitor or in the timeline, this one does it all.

Control+V: This handy-dandy combo makes it easy to cut clips in your timeline. Simply drag your placement bar in the timeline to the point at which you want that clip cut. Then make sure that your yellow "active" markers are set properly on the left side of the timeline. Hit Control+V and see your clips split.

And finally,

Option+L: Stereo pairing is essential for the video artist. To get your audio tracks locked together, simply highlight the two tracks (on different audio tracks in the timeline) and use Option/L. You will see four small triangles appear on the tracks to indicate a "stereo pair." This is especially useful for stereo music tracks and discreet audio mixes that are to be balanced.

There are many more quick shortcuts to get you through looking like a pro. You simply need to cut down on the menu functionality and rely more on your memory, and your keyboard. Editing will then become more automatic and less like a chore.

Return to Bruce Hornsby:
Students Produce Concert DVD and DIRECTV Programs

Mark DeVito and student editor

Mark DeVito is a video producer, editor, designer, writer as well as a professional musician. Along with work from his own company, Autumn Productions, Mark has worked as producer at TechTV and NBC. He also produced "Nickel City Scene" for CBS affiliate, WGRZ-TV (a 30 minute music magazine) from 1994-1995 and has extensive experience creating music video/documentaries. This includes the documentary on Geoffrey Guiliano's best selling book "The Beatles: A Celebration". Mark is also involved in the SFSU Multimedia Studies Program as an instructor and a mentor.

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