Final Cut Pro X Babbling

GeekCo. Role-O-Matic 3 – Batch Set Multichannel Audio Roles and Subroles and Name Components

Update: The release of FCP X 10.3 has made R.O.M unnecessary. It still works, but you don’t need it. If you’re using an older version of FCP X then it’s still useful, but you should update FCP X. 🙂
Update: Version 3.2 is out with a fix and revised instructions to avoid duplicating FCP X default audio Roles. In short, do not capitalize “dialogue”, “music”, or “effects” when setting your Roles. They’ll show as capitalized in FCP X when reimported. Only non-cosmetic change to the app is the default “dialog” Role in the prompts is now lowercase. (Thanks Sasu!)
Previous Update: Version 3 now renames Audio Components to match your Roles and Subroles. Components with existing custom names can be renamed, or left as they are.
If, for some reason, you do not want this renaming feature, click here to download Role-O-Matic 2. Same app minus the component renaming bit…

Ever need to set audio Roles on lots of multichannel clips? Open each one in a timeline, set the Roles, repeat ’til the end of time. Role-O-Matic ends the drudgery!

This little app allows you to batch apply common Roles and SubRoles on any number of A/V and Audio-Only clips, even if they have different channel configurations, all at once. If you have 6 reels of a DME split feature, tons of dailies or location audio, you can now set the roles on all channels in all the clips at once. It also names the audio components to match your roles and subroles, so you can see what they are in the Inspector and Timeline.

Put all the clips in an Event, Export fcpxml, run it through Role-O-Matic, and reimport. If you don’t understand why you would need this, don’t download it! If you do understand why it’s useful, I think you’ll like it.

The code that does the work was generously donated by someone smarter than I, so it’s probably not gonna change too much unless you are a coding guru and want to help me with it. It works great, and doesn’t modify any files or change your original fcpxml, so it’s pretty benign. It’s very easy to use, but please read the instructions carefully. They’re with the app or you can click here to read or download them now.

Click Here to Download Role-O-Matic 3.

Here’s a little demo/tutorial in my trademark rambling, semi-coherent style. As a bonus it was recorded with a crappy USB headset so I sound like Darth Vader, but without the cool vocal effects. I highly recommend turning on auto generated subtitles for some comedy. 🙂

Current known issues listed below. Will update here and in the app read me as needed.

In some cases certain channels in some clips may be muted/disabled in the Event created from R-O-M fcpxml. Simply unmute/re-enable them

Using spaces and other “illegal” characters may result in no Roles being set.

If you have files with interleaved stereo channels that are actually dual-mono, such as a lav on the left and a boom on the right, or interleaved surround files etc, Role-O-Matic cannot  add separate Roles to each component, only to the “master” component.

If clips have names in their metadata, and are then renamed in the inspector before you export xml, it puts the custom name in another element that ROM won’t change. For newly imported clips it should work as expected. Worse comes to worse you can always batch name ’em in the inspector though..

When reimported, stereo components/channels may be labeled “Reverse Stereo”. This isn’t caused by R-O-M, it happens even if you just re-import your original fcpxml. The stereo imaging is not changed, it’s just labeled incorrectly. I’ve sent feedback to Apple on this, you should too.

The imported Event will have the same name as the exported original with a “2” appended. The workaround is to rename the original Event before Importing the new fcpxml, or rename the new one when its imported. Or something. 🙂

It’s beta-ish, Please let me know if you have any problems not noted above.