Tip #925: Create a “Master Clip” for Efficiency

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #925: Create a “Master Clip” for Efficiency

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Opening a Browser clip in the timeline emulates a Master Clip.

This file was opened in the timeline(left) and then effects were applied (right). (Image courtesy of Anne Gibson.)

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Final Cut Pro X doesn’t actually support Master clips. But, here’s a little-known technique you can use to “create” one – along with significant efficiencies when you use these.

A Master clip is one where, when you change it, all the clips edited from it into the timeline change as well. FCP X does not support those type of clips. However, you CAN change a Browser clip BEFORE you edit portions of it into the timeline and have all those changes – like color correction, scaling or audio channels – travel with the edited portion into the Timeline. This means you can change a clip once, then have all those changes transfer during the edit. But, with the 10.4 update, Apple made creating these clips a whole lot less obvious.

NOTE: Final Cut Pro X used to call this “Open in Timeline.” That language has gone away.

Normally, when you edit clips into the Timeline, you can change that timeline clip’s settings or add effects, without affecting any other iteration of that clip in the timeline.

However, if, instead, you select a Browser clip, then choose Clip > Open, that Browser clip is opened in the Timeline, but NOT edited into it.

This means you can apply settings, effects, color correction or reorganize audio channels specifically to the Browser clip. Then, when you edit a portion of that clip into the timeline, all those modifications travel with it.

To remove the clip from the timeline, open a different project into the timeline, which takes it’s place.


If you edit clips from the Browser into the timeline, then, open the clip into the timeline and make changes, any existing edited clips are not affected.

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