Beeping Sound in the Timeline

A common question that comes up for new users of Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express is, “I hear a beeping sound when I play back in the Timeline.”

This happens when either there are more tracks or audio effects than Final Cut can support in real-time, or more commonly when there is a mismatch between the sequence settings and the media that's in the sequence. This can happen when an audio track is imported from a CD or been downloaded and is some other format or sampling rate than used in Final Cut, like an MP3 file. 

The applications work best with AIFF files. They do not work well with compressed files like MP3. Also the sampling rate of the audio has to match the sequence. Audio CDs and MP3s can be converted to the correct sampling rates in a number of different ways.

If you have Compressor you can create a Droplet from one of the audio presets. If you have the QuickTime Pro player you can use that to convert the files to the correct type. 

1. Open the file in the QT Player.

2. Go to File>Export.

3. Change the Format type to Sound to AIFF.

4. Click Options and change the settings to:

Use 32K if that's the sampling rate your sequence is using.

In Final Cut Pro you can also use the Batch Export function to convert a number of audio CD files. Simply drag the tracks into the Batch Export dialog window and change the settings. This does not work well for MP3s and other files that are not already AIFFs or WAVs.

Another commonly used method is to use iTunes.

1. Import the tracks into iTunes.

2. Set the iTunes Preferences for Importing to custom AIFF using the settings above.

3. If the file is already in iTunes then from the Advanced menu use Convert to AIFF.

4. Once the file is converted Control-click on it and select Show Music File to have the Finder take you to folder in which iTunes has buried it.

The downside of working with iTunes is that if you're using it as your jukebox and/or iPod controller you want to have your Importing preferences set to MP3 or AAC. This means to use iTunes for file conversion you have to do a lot of preference changing to get it done.

Copyright © 2006 South Coast Productions