Skip to content Skip to navigation

FCP Sequence Settings for Editing a Flip's MP4 Video Without Losing Sync

Posted by: 
It turns out that importing an MP4 file shot by a Flip camera to FCP is not as intuitive as I thought it might be.

For a while everything was running smoothly but, as editing advanced to about the 2-minute point, the audio went out of sync by approximately 3-4 frames. That was the clue that I had a discrepancy between 30 and 29.97 fps. But, I had set my sequence to 30fps to match the raw footage I had imported. So what was going on? What I was doing wrong?

Kenneth Chan at Meyer Library was instrumental to figure it out. Thanks, Kenneth.

The video that the Flip generates is MP4, 1280x720 at 30fps as the QuickTime 7 Inspector shows:

Flip's MP4 File's Properties in QuickTime7

When I imported the raw footage to FCP, I set the sequence accordingly. But it turns out that the frame rate can be set to either 30fps or 29.97fps. As you can see, my final choice was 29.97.

FCP Sequence Settings Prepared for the MP4 Video

The critical step comes when you place the clip in the timeline. At this point, FCP displays the following warning that includes two alternatives.

FCP Warning When Clip is Placed Into Empty Sequence

My choice was to click Yes. The result was losing audio sync. It turns out that the correct choice is to select No.

This is it.

You still have to render the sequence, both video and audio. Once this is done, you are ready to edit.