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Final Cut Pro X Tutorial: L-Cuts and J-Cuts

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Jun 23, 2021• Proven solutions

If you wish to edit or create videos like a pro, you do not need to be a professional. Instead, be creative, learn new things, and think out of the box. You could draw inspiration from videos and films for their great clips and animations. If you are already familiar with video making, you would know basic editing tasks like trim, crop, transitions, filters, and so on. Ever knew the term J-Cuts, and L-Cuts?

It could be surprising, but yes, your well-known Final Cut Pro X has this powerful feature still overlooked by many people. So, today, we take it on hand and shall share what L-Cuts and J-Cuts mean. You will be able to create it on your own by the end of this article.

Part 1: The Use of L-Cuts and J-Cuts in Video Editing

Ordinary images, text, subtitles, and GIF doesn’t work anymore to get followers or likes on a video on YouTube channel or Instagram. Thus, video creators are tired of trying the same filters, transitions on the video editor tool. To create amazing videos like the ones played on your television and favorite movies, all you need is the split edit type techniques, a powerful editing tool used by professional editors. Although called professional, it isn’t difficult for a beginner if you know J-Cuts and L-Cuts.

They are nothing but the transition between the video and audio at different times and are entirely separate from wipes and fades. Such video editing technique helps in maintaining visual continuity. These super basic cuts are a combination of dialogue and imagery, thus keeping the video flow without a monotonous feeling.

When you look at the above interface, you will see the basic phenomenon behind the two split cuts. In L-Cuts, although the first video ends, the audio continues to clip two as well.

Then, what is a J cut in Final Cut Pro? It is ultimately reverse or opposite of L-Cuts. Yes, the second clip's audio starts a while before the scene of the first video ends.

Part 2: Step-by-step Guide on Using L-Cuts and J-Cuts in Final Cut Pro X

As Final Cut Pro X comes overloaded with advanced, powerful tools, you can find it a little tricky. Hence, we are here to help you perform the Final Cut Pro L-Cuts in this session. And, yes, the Final Cut Pro J-Cuts as well.

Step 1: Import media files

Once you launch Final Cut Pro X on your Mac device, create a new project by tapping project under the new section of the “File” menu.

You can now import the video file to the workspace by executing “File > Export > Media” or by tapping the “Import Media” option on the welcome screen.

Step 2: Expand audio in video

Now, drag the videos to the timeline in the respective order, and expand or detach the video's audio on the timeline for easy or precise working.

Step 3: Drag the second video to the left

To create the Final Cut Pro L-Cuts, make sure that the first clip's edit point or audio fades out at the end.

Finally, drag the second clip's edit point to the left so that the video gets the audio of the first video.

L-Cuts are now in Final Cut Pro X.

Note: Here, the L-Cuts added video clip has no audio and has related well enough to the first video clip. If the second video has audio, it must be detached first, and then you should drag the edit point.

Step 4: Final Cut Pro J-Cuts

In the case of Final Cut Pro J-Cuts, the process is reverse, where you need to detach the audio of the preceding or following video clip and drag the first video to the right.

When you look at the transition closely, you can see that it resembles the letter J.

Part 3: Final Cut Pro X Keyboard Shortcuts for L-Cuts and J-Cuts

Final Cut Pro X offers specific keyword shorts to perform Final Cut Pro L-Cuts and Final Cut Pro J-Cuts.

1. As the first step, trim the clips shorter to get the media handles. To detach audio from the video clip, you need to press “Ctrl + S” which will expand the audio.

2. Now, move or place the playhead at the endpoint of both the video clips where here are the keyboard shortcuts:

    • To shift the playhead to the earlier edit point: press “Semicolon (;) or up arrow key”.
    • To move the playhead to the next edit point: press “Apostrophe (‘) or down arrow key”.

3. To choose the audio or the video edit point, you can do one of the following:

  • Press “Shift-Backslash (\)” to select both sides of the audio endpoint.
  • Press “Backslash (\)” to pick both sides of the video endpoint.

4. Here is the actual process or the keyboard shortcut that helps accomplish final cut pro-L-cuts or final cut pro-J-cuts by nudging the edit points.

  • To nudge or push the edit point to the left or right: press “Comma (,) or period (.)”.
  • To move the edit point to the left or right with ten frames: press “Shift-Comma (,) or Sift-Period (.)”.
  • Using timecode to add or subtract the present edit: press the “Plus (+)” or “Minus (-)” key with the timecode duration.

Conclusion

Are you wondering and puzzled that you are a popular Final Cut Pro X user but weren't aware of this powerful split edit tool till now? It isn't too late for you to start yet. Finally, as assured at the beginning of the article, we gave you detailed information on what are J-Cuts in Final Cut Pro along with L-Cuts. With practical implementation on creating Final Cut Pro L-Cuts and J-Cuts, all the best for your first video project!

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Benjamin Arango
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.