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Using Easy Setups

An Easy Setup is a single preset configuration of multiple Final Cut Pro settings: a Device Control preset, a Capture preset, a Sequence preset, and Video and Audio Playback settings. FCP offers several standard Easy Setups, but you also have the option of customizing an Easy Setup.

You selected an Easy Setup as part of the initial setup process. Once you have an Easy Setup that works for your Final Cut Pro system, you shouldn't need to change it unless you change your video hardware or video format. If your FCP system includes a variety of external hardware, Easy Setups make it simple to switch FCP's configuration quickly and accurately.

Easy Setups are portable; you can create a custom Easy Setup and install it on another FCP system or email it to a colleague. In this section, you'll learn how to choose the right Easy Setup, how to switch to a different Easy Setup, how to find the folder where Easy Setups are stored so you can add and remove Easy Setups, and how to customize an Easy Setup.

How to choose an Easy Setup

The Easy Setups window displays the currently selected presets for each setting—Sequence, Capture, and Device Control, plus Audio and Video Playback—that make up your current Easy Setup, plus a brief description of when you should use the currently selected setup.

FCP's default DV-NTSC (or DV-PAL) setup will be fine for most FCP users working with DV hardware, but if you check Show All, and then click the Easy Setups pop-up menu, you'll see a long list of other setups to choose from ( Figure 3.5 ).


Figure 3.5 The Easy Setup window. Check Show All, and you'll find a long list of Easy Setups to choose from. Choose the one that matches the format of the video you want to capture.

When should you switch to another Easy Setup? The basis for selecting a preset is always matching:

  • You want your Capture preset to match the recorded format of the DV tape you're capturing. If the tape was recorded with 16-bit, 48 kHz audio, then the default DV-NTSC setup is fine. If you're capturing DV with 12-bit, 32 kHz audio, you'll need to switch to an Easy Setup with the same settings. If you're capturing DV that was shot in anamorphic (wide-screen) format, switch to a setup that includes anamorphic settings.
  • Your Sequence preset must match the format of your Capture preset. All Easy setups in FCP take care of this for you.
  • Your Device Control setting must match the requirements of the video hardware you're controlling. Final Cut Pro is pretty good at automatically selecting the correct device control setting, but if you're having trouble controlling your video device from inside FCP, check the Final Cut Pro Qualified Devices page at Your equipment may require a different device protocol or an additional helper script.
  • Your Video Playback settings must match the video format (DV or PAL) of the device you're outputting video to.

To switch to a different Easy Setup

  1. Choose Final Cut Pro HD > Easy Setup.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Check Show All to see the complete list of available Easy Setups.
    • Leave Show All unchecked to see a restricted list of Easy Setups.
  3. From the Setup For pop-up menu, select an Easy Setup ( Figure 3.6 ).

    Figure 3.6 From the Setup For pop-up menu, select an Easy Setup.

    A summary of your selected Easy Setup appears below the pop-up menu ( Figure 3.7 ).

    Figure 3.7 A summary of the Easy Setup you chose appears below the pop-up menu.

  4. Click Setup. The new Easy Setup affects only new projects and sequences and doesn't change settings for existing projects and sequences.

To create a custom Easy Setup

  1. Choose Final Cut Pro HD > Audio/Video Settings.
  2. On the Summary tab, select from the preset pop-up menus to compose your custom Easy Setup ( Figure 3.8 ), or make more specific preset modifications on the settings tabs. Information on specifying presets appears later in this chapter.

    Figure 3.8 Select from the preset pop-up menus on the Summary tab of the Audio/Video Settings window to compose your custom Easy Setup.

  3. Specify Video and Audio Playback settings.
  4. Click Create Easy Setup.
  5. In the Easy Setup dialog box, enter a name and a description. Check Enable Verification of Device Control in First Start Dialog if you want FCP to check the device control status each time you launch the program; then click Create ( Figure 3.9 ).

    Figure 3.9 Type a name and a description in the Easy Setup dialog box. Specify whether you want FCP to check the device control status each time you launch the program, then click Create.

  6. The Save dialog box appears, with the Custom Settings folder (the default storage location for Easy Setups) selected. Enter a filename and navigate to your desired folder location if you don't want to use the default.
  7. Click Save. Your new Easy Setup becomes the selected Easy Setup and appears in the Setup For pop-up menu of the Easy Setup window ( Figure 3.10 ).

    Figure 3.10 Your new Easy Setup appears as the selected Easy Setup in the Easy Setup window.

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