Tip #102: Change the “Shape” of an Audio Fade

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #102: Change the “Shape” of an Audio Fade

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Audio fades are optimized for cross-dissolves.

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Hidden inside the audio fade dot is the ability to change the “shape” of a fade. The shape controls how the audio fades and there’s a reason for each shape. To see the choices, Control-click the dot itself.

Here are the choices:

  • Linear. This is a straight-line fade from full-volume to dead quiet, or dead quiet to full-volume depending upon whether you are at the end or beginning of a clip. This is the best choice when fading to or from black because it sounds the smoothest.
  • S-Curve. This fades quickly, then lingers. I don’t use this often, truthfully.
  • +3 dB. This is the default fade and is best used when cross-fading from one “steady-state” audio clip to another; for example, from one piece of music to another. (See Tip #104 for the reason why.)
  • -3 dB. This is best used when you want something to fade really quickly, then linger longer than an S-curve. I use this most often at the beginning of a clip when I want to minimize a breath, but be at full-volume for the start of a sound-bite.

Each of these sounds different and has a different use in an audio mix. I vary these from one clip to the next, depending upon the sound I need. The one you should use is the one that sounds the best to you.

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