… for Apple Final Cut Pro X
Tip #1500: Detached vs. Expanded Audio in FCP
The big difference between these two is sync.
What’s the difference between “expanded” vs. “detached” audio, and does it make a difference? To answer the second question first: Yes, it makes a big difference.
Double-click the audio for a synced clip (or, select the clip and choose Clip > Expand Audio). This slightly separates the audio from the video without unlinking it; but leaves both clips in the Primary Storyline.
- When you select either the video or the audio, the entire clip is selected.
- When you move one side of the clip, the other side moves with it. You can’t get an expanded clip out of sync.
- What you CAN do, however, is trim each side of the clip differently, which is the essence of a split edit.
NOTE: When you expand an audio clip, there is no connecting line between the audio and video clips.
Select a synced clip and choose Clip > Detach audio. The audio separates into a discreet clip, connected via a link to the video clip (see screen shot). This separates the two clips and moves the audio out of the Primary Storyline and turns it into a Connected clip.
A detached audio clip can be selected, moved, deleted, or trimmed without affecting the video clip.
HOWEVER, if a detached audio clip is moved, such that it is out of sync with the video clip, there is no indicator these two clips are out of sync and there is no way – short of Undo – to get the two clips back into sync.
If you need a standalone audio clip, detach it.
If you need a clip to remain in sync with the video, expand it.