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Lesson 13. Mixing Audio Tracks > Using the Voice Over Tool

Using the Voice Over Tool

Depending on your project, you may find it necessary to record a voice-over to your sequence, perhaps to try out a narration or simply to provide a track you can use for timing purposes as you cut video for a documentary or news story. To record a voice-over in Final Cut Pro, you can use a digital camera or other audio recording device, such as a USB microphone, PCI card, or internal mic on a laptop computer. Recording an audio track this way creates a new clip directly in the Timeline. To create the voice-over clip, you will use the Voice Over tool.

If you are using an external microphone or camera mic, connect the device to your computer.

Duplicate the New Year's Eve sequence, name it New Year's Eve Voice Over, and open it in the Timeline. Add an additional audio track to the Timeline to record your voice-over.

You will record a voice-over on A5 announcing the start of New Year's Eve in Times Square and another one toward the end of the sequence when the ball drops.


This footage was shot on 35mm film and transferred to tape.

Move the playhead to the head of the cops move barricade clip, where you will begin recording the voice-over. Press I to create an In point.

Move the playhead to the end of pan crowd times sq and mark an Out point.


If there are no In and Out points, the voice-over clip begins recording at the playhead location and continues until the last clip in the sequence.

Make sure A5 is the targeted track and turn off the green Audible lights for all four audio tracks so you don't record the music playing in the background as you record your voice-over track.

Choose Tool > Voice Over to open the Voice Over tool window.

If Final Cut Pro does not detect a recording device, a warning window appears.

If Final Cut Pro detects a microphone source, the Voice Over tool window appears. This window in divided into four areas: Status, Audio File, Input, and Headphones.

In the Audio File area, type v.o. New Year's Eve as the name for this voice-over track.


Look at the Target information above the Name area and make sure it reflects the A5 track in the voice-over sequence. The Voice Over function records only one channel of audio, or mono audio. It does not record in stereo.

In the Input area, select the correct source from the Source pop-up menu. If it's DV, choose 48000 Hz from the Rate pop-up menu and 3 Frames from the Offset pop-up menu.


Final Cut Pro will display a default Input configuration based on the audio recording device it detects. A recording offset amount is included as part of the default settings.

Start talking to set the Headphone level as well as the Gain level in the Input area.

Select the Sound Cues check box.

Selecting the Sound Cues check box will cause beeps to sound during the five-second countdown before recording, and again as a signal prior to the Out point.


If you're not using headphones, and you have Sound Cues selected, the beeps will be picked up and recorded as part of your clip. Deselect the Sound Cues option and instead watch the Starting countdown in the Record area to see when recording begins and ends.

When you are sure you are ready to record, look for the Ready to Record signal in the Status area. Here's what will happen. You will press the Record button. The playhead will immediately jump backwards five seconds for the pre-roll while the Ready to Record window will turn yellow and count down from five. It will then turn red and begin recording

Press the Record button and record the following line with your best network announcer voice: “Ladies and gentlemen, it's New Years Eve.”

The recording ends automatically at the Out point, and the new voice-over clip appears in the Timeline.

Play the clip back by clicking the Review button or by playing the sequence in the Timeline.

You can stop recording and start again by clicking the Stop button and then clicking the Record button. Each time you record a new version, or take, a new clip is placed in another track in the Timeline and is labeled with the next-highest number.



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