View audio waveforms at the audio sample level

For even more precise editing, you can zoom in to audio clips at the audio sample level. Audio samples show the audio waveform at a fraction of a second (for example, 1/48,000 for audio recorded at a sample rate of 48 kHz). Sample-accurate editing resolution is available only for connected audio clips (that is, audio clips not in the primary storyline) or compound clips that contain only audio.

Tip: For reference when working with video, you can view subframes (1/80 the duration of a video frame) in the timecode display of the Dashboard. In the General pane of Final Cut Pro preferences, choose the subframe option in the Time Display pop-up menu.

Zoom to audio samples

  1. If the Zoom to Samples feature isn’t enabled, choose View > Zoom to Samples (or press Control-Z), so that a checkmark appears next to the menu item.

    Note: The Zoom to Samples feature is enabled by default.

  2. Select the clip in the Timeline.

  3. Zoom in until the clip shows the waveform within the borders of a video frame.

    Clip in Timeline zoomed in to show audio waveform within borders of video frame

    You can continue to zoom in for closer detail of the waveform.

    Audio waveform shown zoomed in to sample level
  4. Make edits to the clip, or make adjustments to audio effects using keyframes.

To turn off zooming to audio samples, choose View > Zoom to Samples (or press Control-Z).

Navigate by subframe

  1. In the Timeline or the Browser, move your pointer over a clip and click.

  2. Do any of the following:

    • To move backward in one-subframe increments: Press Command-Left Arrow.

    • To move forward in one-subframe increments: Press Command-Right Arrow.