How to capture 4 channel camera audio in Final Cut Pro

Go to Audio/Video settings in the Final Cut Pro Menu. Click the capture presets tab, highlight the one you usually use, duplicate it then click on “edit”. In the capture preset editor window rename the preset and make sure you have something like “32K” audio instead of “48K” so you can keep track of it. In the Quicktime Audio settings you can choose “first 2 channels” and “second 2 channels”. Leave it as first 2 channels for now. Change the format to 32 Khz 16bit 2 channels. Click OK to close the Capture Preset Editor window and click on the A/V Devices tab. Click the Options tab to the right of the Audio drop down menu. Change the settings from 48Khz to 32 Khz, 16 bit to 12 bit and 2 channels to 4 channels.

Make your first video/audio capture to get the first 2 channels. Rewind the tape and open up the Capture Preset Editor window again. Change the audio to second 2 channels and do another pass, this time disabling the video capture in the log and capture window so you only capture the audio this time.

NOTE: if you’re monitoring your audio with firewire only you’ll still hear just the first 2 channels in your speakers even though you’re capturing the second 2 channels. Rest assured that when you’re done the 2nd pass you’ll have your audio from channels 3 and 4.


Written by:

Don Greening is the owner and both senior editor and videographer for Reeltime Videoworks. His arts background as a classical musician and composer gives him an uncompromising eye and ear for detail that is very important in video production. Don also hones his technical skills by updating them through courses at Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design.