Fade audio in or out

There are several ways to create fade-ins or fade-outs on the audio portion of a clip or an audio component in Final Cut Pro:

  • Automatic crossfades during transitions: When you add a transition to a video clip with attached audio, Final Cut Pro automatically applies a crossfade transition to the audio. If the audio is detached or expanded from the video, the audio is not affected by the video transition. See Add transitions to your project.

  • Crossfades: When trimming the audio waveform in clips, you can apply a crossfade to the edit point. See Trimming overview.

  • Fade handles: You can quickly create fade-ins and fade-outs on the audio portion of a clip or an audio component in the Timeline by using fade handles, which appear in the top-left or top-right corner of the audio waveform when you place the pointer over the clip.

    Fade handles in clip in Timeline

    You can also change the fade’s shape by choosing one of several predefined options. Changing the fade shape changes the sound of the fade.

    Note: Fades created using fade handles override crossfades created by a transition.

Create a fade using fade handles

  • Drag the fade handle to the point in the clip where you want the fade to begin or end.

    Fade handles from the beginning of a clip create a fade-in, while fade handles at the end of a clip create a fade-out.

    Fade-in and fade-out created in clip in Timeline

Fades complement any volume adjustments you’ve already made to a clip. For example, if you previously adjusted the volume lower at the beginning of a clip, the fade-in increases the volume from silence (–∞ dB) to the level you’ve already specified.

Create a crossfade manually using fade handles

  1. Select two adjacent clips in the Timeline, and choose Clip > Expand Audio/Video (or press Control-S).

    The clips appear expanded.

    Two adjacent clips in Timeline shown with expanded audio
  2. Drag the end point of the first clip to the right and the start point of the second clip to the left so that the audio portions of the clips overlap.

    Note: Make sure to adjust the audio overlap to the length you want.

    Expanded audio portions of clips shown overlapping in Timeline
  3. Drag the fade handles of each clip to the points where you want the fade to begin and end.

    Overlapping audio portions of clips shown with fades applied to create crossfade

    To change the fade shape for each clip, follow the instructions immediately below.

Change the fade shape when using fade handles

  • Control-click a fade handle, and choose a fade option from the shortcut menu:

    Fade options in shortcut menu in clip in Timeline
    • Linear: Maintains a constant rate of change over the length of the fade.

    • S-curve: Eases in and out of the fade with the midpoint at 0 dB.

    • +3dB: Starts quickly and then slowly tapers off toward the end. This is the most useful setting for quick fades.

    • –3dB: Starts slowly and then moves quickly toward the end. This is the default setting and is best for maintaining a natural volume when crossfading between two adjacent clips.

Change the fade shape of a transition crossfade

  1. Select a transition in the Timeline, and do one of the following:

    • Choose Window > Show Inspector (or press Command-4).

    • Click the Inspector button in the toolbar.

      Inspector button in toolbar
  2. In the Audio Crossfade section of the Transition inspector, choose a fade option from the Fade In Type and Fade Out Type pop-up menus:

    • Linear: Maintains a constant rate of change over the length of the fade.

    • S-curve: Eases in and out of the fade with the midpoint at 0 dB.

    • +3dB: Starts quickly and then slowly tapers off toward the end. This is the most useful setting for quick fades.

    • –3dB: Starts slowly and then moves quickly toward the end. This is the default setting and is best for maintaining a natural volume when crossfading between two adjacent clips.