System performance is an important factor in audio & video editing. Although modern hardware and software are capable of running hundreds of applications at the same time, it doesn’t mean that there are no limits!
When you’re reaching those limits, the performance of your system may be slower, creating audio glitches and a laggy behavior in general. All this may also end with an application crash, which is the scenario that we want to avoid.
Below, we gathered some tips that may help you when you’re reaching those performance limits while using third-party plug-ins in Final Cut Pro.
#1 Manage the amount of active plug-ins
Depending on the system capabilities, there might be a limit on how many active plug-ins a Final Cut Pro project can host.
It’s crucial to manage the number of plug-ins, especially when you’re about to use the same plug-in, e.g. X number of Noise Removal plug-ins, Y number of De-Esser plug-ins, etc.
Here’s an example:
You edit a 30 min video, which requires 3 different plug-ins.
You load the 3 plug-ins on the clip and continue editing, by trimming or cutting the clip into smaller regions. Each of these regions will also have a copy of the 3 plug-ins that were loaded in the main clip.
A normal video project may end with more than 50 edited regions. Now multiply this number with the 3 plug-ins. We’re talking about 150 plug-ins at least. Even a very powerful system may not be able to provide the required power.
Edit audio after the basic editing (trimming, cutting, etc) and make sure to join regions that require the same type of processing.
#2 Compound Clip
As we mentioned before, managing the number of instances is a very important factor. If the previous solution doesn’t fit in your workflow (joining clip regions doesn’t work every time), then you might want to use the Compound Clip feature of Final Cut Pro.
You can create a Compound Clip that includes the clip regions that require similar type of audio editing. Then apply the effects on the compound clip. To do this:
- Select the clips that you wish to apply the plug-in effects on
- Right-Click on the selection and choose New Compound Clip.
- Then load the plug-in effects on the Compound Clip
#3 Export to Import
If none of the previous options fits your workflow, here’s one more thing you might want to know. If you still prefer to do the audio editing while also working the clip editing, it’s fine! Indeed, there might be parts of the clip that require a more subtle setting for example.
In this case, keep editing until you notice the first performance hiccup. This is probably the right time to export your work and bring it back with the audio processing applied!
To do this:
Open the Region Selection tool (Press R)
Select the area of the edited clips
Share/Export (FCPX automatically renders the selected region)
Import back and replace the clips
Now, you can continue from the last point with the audio effects applied!