Final Cut Pro X: How to copy and paste audio keyframes

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Suppose you are editing your video in Final Cut Pro X and you are pretty ahead in your workflow. You have already placed the background (bed) music along the video and have properly key-framed it around the dialogs.

Then, while reviewing the almost finished version, you realize that a piece of music does not really fit with the context. It definitely needs to be replaced, but doing so you will be losing all your key-framing work on that part. What a waste of time! But wait. Here is a trick that can help you.

It is actually possible to copy audio key-frames from one audio clip to another and here is how to do it.

Position the new audio background on the timeline, so it lays parallel to the one you intend to replace and they start at exactly the same time (you can use the snap functionality of the timeline to align them perfectly). At this point the new audio clip will be not key-framed. Select the already key-framed audio clip and do Edit –> Copy (or Cmd-C on the Mac).

Click on the new audio clip and do Edit –> Paste Effects (or Opt-Cmd-V on the Mac).

Voila! The audio key-frames have been copied to the new audio clip. You can now remove the old one or simply disable it to see the effect.

Hope you enjoyed this trick!

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you!!! I originally went to the apple support page, and it lists 8 million different steps to copying keyframes from an audio track — and they are completely wrong, or wrong-headed! Does NOT work. Then I found your page after a second search, and I was able to copy the keyframes in SECONDS. Thank you so much! This is very helpful when you have used temporary music — with watermark “pings”–and are then inserting the final song. Saves so much work and tweaking!

    1. Hi Kamala, you are welcome! I discovered this option after having fully key-framed an audio track for a movie and then needing to switch in another one. I thought there must be a way not to redo the whole job a there is indeed. Cheers, Marco.

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