Compound clips overview

With Final Cut Pro, you can create compound clips, which allow you to group any combination of clips in the Timeline or the Browser and nest clips within other clips.

Compound clips can contain video and audio clip components, clips, and other compound clips. Effectively, each compound clip can be considered a mini project, with its own distinct project properties. Compound clips function just like other clips: you can add them to your project, trim them, retime them, and add effects and transitions. Icons appear on compound clips in the Browser and the Timeline.

Compound clip icon shown on clip in Browser and clip in Timeline

Compound clips have many uses. You can:

  • Simplify a complicated project by creating a separate compound clip for each major section.

  • Synchronize a video clip with one or more audio clips and then combine the clips into a compound clip, to avoid inadvertently moving them out of sync.

  • Open any clip, edit its contents in the Timeline, and then close it.

  • Quickly create a compound clip containing the clips in an event, based on the Browser sort order.

  • Use a compound clip to create a section of a project with settings different from those of the main project.

The following diagram shows how a project in the Timeline could be simplified using compound clips:

Project in Timeline before and after being simplified with compound clip

Compound clips have the following characteristics:

  • You create compound clips in the Browser or in the Timeline.

  • Every compound clip in the Timeline has a “parent” compound clip in the Browser.

    Relationship between parent compound clip in Browser and child compound clips in Timeline
  • When you edit the contents of any compound clip, you are in fact editing the parent compound clip from the Browser. Any changes you make to the compound clip are inherited by all of its child clips. For example, if you delete a title clip from the contents of a parent compound clip, the title clip is deleted from all child clips.

    You can create an independent compound clip from an existing compound clip. For example, you might have a compound clip of a standard title sequence for your TV or podcast series. You can create unique (independent) instances of the compound clip for each episode without affecting other instances of the title sequence.

    You can also create a snapshot of the entire project. Project snapshots are self-contained backup versions that include compound or multicam parent clips. Duplicating a project as a snapshot makes copies of the compound or multicam parent clips and embeds them in the project so that any changes to other instances of the clips do not affect the snapshot. For more information, see Duplicate projects and clips.

Note: Compound clips in Final Cut Pro X provide all the functionality of the nested sequence feature in Final Cut Pro 7, with more flexibility and ease of use.