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Show Audio Waveform and add Waveform Animation in Final Cut Pro | Tutorial

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Sep 02, 22, updated Jul 18, 24

The amplitude and duration of an audio waveform vary with the duration and volume of the underlying sound. Finding specific edit locations when editing footage or keyframing effects is made simpler by these characteristics. Audio waveforms in Final Cut Pro alter based on the volume of a clip or any applied effects. When the volume is high, the waveform is larger; when the volume is low, it is smaller. But when using FCP to edit video, people frequently experience issues with audio waveform disappearing. Or you do want to add some dynamic effects for audio waves? Continue reading!

In this article
  1. Part 1. How to show Audio Waveform on clips in FCP?
  2. Part 2. How to add audio waveform animation in FCP? (2 ways)
    1. 1. Use Pixel Film Studios Audio Visualizer
    2. 2. Use audio waveform animation templates
  3. Part 3. The best alternative to add audio waveform animation to video?

Part 1. How to show Audio Waveform on clips in FCP?

When working with audio waveforms on the timeline, you can zoom in or out, or change the appearance of the clip to make the waveform taller or shorter.

There are numerous methods to examine and interact with the audio and video contained within clips in Final Cut Pro. You can:

  • Expand a clip to see and modify audio elements at the channel level
  • Expand a clip to view separate audio and video
  • Separate audio from video clip to work with audio and video as separate, independent clips
  • Change the appearance of the clipped background to display reference waveforms that make it easier to view audio waveforms when the volume is reduced

The reference curve shows the maximum visual resolution possible for the current sound curve. By accounting for changes in volume, the reference waveforms allow you to see the details of the sound more clearly.

  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > Preferences, then click Edit.
  2. Check the "Show reference waveforms" box.

When the actual curve changes shape (for example, when it shrinks because the clip's volume level is low), its full reference curve is still visible for easy reference when editing.

audio waveform

Tips: You can click the shortcut “Control+Option+1” to adjust the clip appearance setting to display clips on the timeline with large audio waveforms only.

Part 2. How to add audio waveform animation in FCP? (2 ways)

1. Use Pixel Film Studios Audio Visualizer

With FCPX Audio Visualizer Volume 2 from Pixel Film Studios, users now have the ability to see up to 48 audio frequencies with full control over their left and right audio output, all within Final Cut Pro. Users have full control over smoothness, base scale, radius, angular offset, camera position, and animation, all with a single click of the mouse, all in Final Cut Pro X.

FCPX Audio Visualizer Volume 2 has been professionally designed to work seamlessly inside Final Cut Pro X. As a title effect, FCPX Audio Visualizer Volume 2 can be dragged onto media and previewed in real-time. With the published parameters found in the FCPX inspector, users have the ability to make further adjustments with just a few clicks of the mouse.

With the FCPX Audio Visualizer Volume 2 preset pack, users have the ability to compose multiple presets and create their own visualizer every time. Users can choose from template layouts ranging from circles, lines, rectangles, and individual shapes to even an animatable drag zone. Then, within Final Cut Pro, users have total control over spread, color, location, rotation, angle, angle offset, and much more.

2. Use audio waveform animation templates

It could be more convenient to select a few relevant templates directly than using other plugins. You get a full set of 21 templates, including titles, fonts, media streaming logos, sound effects, and colors, with this set of Waveform Audio Visualization by Motion Array themes. You only need to pick the style you prefer, add your music, and post it with ease on your social media sites. This template is best suited for audiobooks, podcasts, and music videos. Of course, you must subscribe to the platform to download it.

Part 3. The best alternative to add audio waveform animation to video?

Create Audio WaveformVideo in Filmora Audio Visualizer

To add audio waveform animation to video, there is a wide variety of applications. However, Filmora video editor is one of the greatest programs we suggest because you can alter any sound effects on this platform with only one touch. With audio keyframing and an integrated equalization, Filmora can produce unusual sound effects that enhance the audio recording.

Under “Effects” tab, you can find 25 types of audio animation in Audio Visualizer.

audio visualizer

Or you can directly open “Elements > Recommended”, and type “audio visualizer” or “music pack” to choose preset waveform animation elements.

Click the Play button in the Preview window and when you feel good about the results, click Export to download the video and your library and successfully share it on various social media platforms.

play button


Social media content creators, musicians, and VJs can produce stunning videos with any of the music visualizers we've listed in this article. As a professional video editing software, although Final Cut Pro can provide powerful editing features, the operation is more cumbersome and not easy to get started. So, I will recommend using Wondershare Filmora for the best experience.

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown Jul 18, 24
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