Once you are happy with the settings in the four main tabs (see previous basic configuration page), then you are ready to perform the conversion.

Export your XML from Final Cut Pro

Within Final Cut Pro, select a project and choose ‘Export XML…’ from the ‘File’ menu in the menu bar. This will generate an FCP XML file that can be used by X2Pro5. If the project contains any auditions, then these must be finalized within Final Cut Pro before the project is exported.

Performing the conversion

Once the Final Cut Pro XML file has been chosen and you are happy with the destination and settings, press the ‘Start’ button to begin the conversion. X2Pro5 will check to see that it has permission to access all of the clips. If any are inaccessible, you will be invited to add folders to the Media Locations list (see referencing audio article for more information on media locations). When the conversion starts, the status of the conversion will be displayed at the base of the application. Depending upon the length of the project and the length of the audio clips referenced by the project, this can take some time. The conversion can be cancelled at any time using the ‘Cancel’ button in the bottom right of the application.

Creating a video track in Pro Tools

X2Pro5 is an audio conversion utility and as such it ignores any video references in the Final Cut Pro XML file. However, by following some simple steps, it is easy to transfer a fully rendered video track into Pro Tools.

Within Final Cut Pro / X2Pro5 – Export the Final Cut Pro XML for the project as normal and process through X2Pro5. In Final Cut Pro, export a video-only QuickTime file for the same project, using the Export Media option on the Share menu (or Cmd+E). Using a video codec of H.264 works well.

Within Pro Tools – Open the AAF file as a session as normal then import the QuickTime movie into Pro Tools using the File  -> Import  -> Video menu item.

Laying out the tracks

Final Cut Pro uses the magnetic timeline to layout a project, while within AAF, a composition is constructed from a number of fixed tracks. In AAF, each track is a single (mono) channel of audio. The first thing that X2Pro5 does is to group and sort everything by its role within the Final Cut Pro project. This results in tracks in the AAF file also being grouped by role, typically dialogue first, then effects and music. There are options for the user to be able to create their own role order, ignore some roles entirely, and to ignore subroles when laying out the tracks so that all the subroles of one role will be packed onto as few tracks as possible.

Within each role, X2Pro5 analyses the Final Cut Pro project and places the clips on tracks in a logical fashion, usually creating several tracks in the AAF file from each role. Final Cut Pro project components will be rearranged during the conversion process:

  • Multi-channel clips will be split into separate mono components, each placed on a separate track;
  • Clips that overlap (for example J/L Cuts) will be put on between different tracks;
  • Composite clips will be separated into their component clips;
  • Multicam clips will be reduced to the selected angle;

In these cases, where necessary, extra tracks are created in the AAF file, so the AAF file will often contain many more tracks than the Final Cut Pro project appeared to have. Each track will contain clips from just one role and will be named accordingly, for example ‘A24 (effects)’.

Volume Adjustments

X2Pro5 supports volume adjustments (including key-framed volume adjustments), transitions and fade handles. These are converted as follows in Pro Tools:

  • Whole clip volume adjustments will be converted to Clip Gain within Pro Tools;
  • Key-framed volume adjustments will be converted to key-frames on the Volume Adjustment Lane within Pro Tools;
  • All transitions are converted to linear cross-fades;
  • All fade handles are converted to key-framed volume adjustments as a linear fade.


Markers and To Do notes are translated into Markers in Avid Pro Tools. Markers, To Do, and completed To Do, are colour coded differently, this enables the Pro Tools user to select which are imported. Markers in FCP are attached to clips, whereas in Pro Tools they are attached to tracks. This can mean that markers are lost in translation if they are attached to a video clip for which there is no audio at that point in time (such as in ‘L’ and ‘J’ cuts). If there is another piece of audio at this point in time, the marker may be attached to that clip, but would then end up on a different track in Pro Tools.

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