Larry Jordan Blog

I’ve Seen The New Version of Final Cut Pro…

Posted by on February 23, 2011

… and it’s a jaw-dropper.

Last week, Apple invited a few folks, including me, to a short meeting in Cupertino where they previewed the up-coming version of Final Cut Pro.

While I am under NDA and can’t talk about what I saw, I CAN tell you the meeting happened and that it showcased the new Final Cut Pro.

While the invited crowd was small, it was a Who’s Who of leaders in the post-production community. I felt like I was standing on the red carpet at an awards show, watching all the stars walk past.

There will be LOTS to talk about as this project gets closer. For now, I recommend you subscribe to my monthly Final Cut Studio newsletter – because I’ll share all the news that I’m allowed to share in there first.

Tell your friends … its gonna be a great year.


P.S. If you feel the urge to email me for more information, keep in mind that Apple’s lawyers are bigger than your lawyers. So, until Apple lifts the NDA, I’m telling you all I can … for now.


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Leave a response

  1. Ratu Ratu Feb 23, 2011 02:48

    Hi Larry, this is great news. Can’t wait till the new release.

  2. nicolas Feb 23, 2011 05:43

    I do hope the new version will have different “rooms” like in Apple Color (you know, primary room to edit, secondary room to apply effects, etc). These different “rooms” make things so easy !

  3. Shorty Feb 23, 2011 08:23

    I just want to know how you get onto that list!!! ;-)

  4. Rodney Mitchell Feb 23, 2011 09:51

    Right on the heels of the LightPeak announcement on Thursday…
    New optical bus integration and a new Final Cut! Awesome…

    Rod –

  5. Szymon Masiak Feb 23, 2011 09:52

    Thanks for sharing that, Larry ! That’s awesome news!!!

    Szymon Masiak

  6. Phillip Gibb Feb 23, 2011 10:14

    That is seriously cool. The new FCP and the fact that you got to see it in action. I’m really excited about this one. If you say it is a jaw dropper then I believe you :)

  7. Brian Langeman Feb 23, 2011 11:31

    “I do hope the new version will have different “rooms” like in Apple Color (you know, primary room to edit, secondary room to apply effects, etc). These different “rooms” make things so easy !”

    Noooo! Rooms are baaaaad. Nodes are goooood!


  8. Jean Robert Thibault Feb 23, 2011 11:33

    Hi Larry

    Are we facing a new way of editing? Is the interface similar to what we are used to. Apple is proactively changing scenarios of its software and some time, the step is abrupt !

  9. Andrew O'Leary Feb 23, 2011 11:51

    Any idea when?

  10. Larry Feb 23, 2011 11:51

    These are all good questions — I’m looking forward to the time when I can share the answers with you.


  11. Larry Feb 23, 2011 11:52



  12. Larry Feb 23, 2011 12:01

    That one is easy – when is whenever Apple decides to announce it.


  13. Esben Hardt Feb 23, 2011 12:02

    Yeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaa……best news I have heard in a long time…..thanks for sharing…Can’t wait!

  14. eyad Feb 23, 2011 12:08

    sniffle… i could cry!!!!

  15. George E. Kennedy Jr. Feb 23, 2011 12:12

    I’m now breathing easy that I won’t have to jump ship to CS5 to get speed. This will be a great year for Creatives.

  16. Straight Up Steve Feb 23, 2011 12:19

    Larry blogs that he can’t blog about the new Final Cut Pro. Bad content.

  17. Larry Feb 23, 2011 12:52

    No. I blogged that it exists and I’ve seen it. What I can’t blog about, yet, is what it looks like. There’s a difference.


  18. Maynard Feb 23, 2011 12:55

    64 bit integration would be nice, reduced rendering is required, updates to all of the media content, improved round tripping, gui alignment across the different app (fcp, motion, dvdsp, color, etc) integrate airplay or some kind of apple tv capability! All these things would be nice. SSD drives and flash and cf cards have me not caring so much about lpk. Real time up converting in fop similar to that in motion and better audio editing capablity in fcp would nice.

  19. Brian Satchfield Feb 23, 2011 13:13

    Thanks for this update, Larry. We appreciate you keeping us posted.

    Maybe now the “FCP is dead” nay-sayers will keep quiet for a moment.

  20. Kevin Monahan Feb 23, 2011 13:29

    You don’t need to “jump ship” to use CS5 in your workflow. I mean, how many editors worth their salt do not have Photoshop and After Effects? Not many, for sure!

    Also, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 cuts DSLR and RED footage like butter right now. No need to wait. If you have projects like that, you’d be better served with CS5. Transcoding’s a drag, use Adobe Premiere Pro instead and you’ll get done way faster.

    Above all, best of luck, no matter what you cut with!

  21. Kevin Spahr Feb 23, 2011 13:49

    Larry, was Philip Hodgetts there and was he smiling too when he left?

  22. Adrian Beard Feb 23, 2011 14:06

    This is great news – my wishlist is long, but I’d settle for ‘only’ 64 bit processing! Time to buy more RAM methinks! Thanks for the info.

  23. Larry Feb 23, 2011 14:14

    Sorry, the NDA says I can’t say who was there.


  24. Gregory Clarke Feb 23, 2011 15:14

    Philip Hodgetts has confirmed that he was not at the event:

  25. Bob Johnson Feb 23, 2011 17:24

    Excellent. This means that the next version of Avid Media Composer will be even better than it is now!

  26. Bjørn Feb 23, 2011 17:41

    ANY program that calls it self profesional and CANT handle AVCHD or Blu Ray is STILL the same old S**** as it used to be.

  27. Michael Williams Feb 23, 2011 17:51

    Thanks, Larry. I am still on FCP 6 and am looking forward to upgrading when the new version comes out.

  28. Lisa Blackstone Feb 23, 2011 18:05

    Fantastic news!!! Thanks for this nugget of goodness that makes my week!

  29. Larry Feb 23, 2011 18:22

    Seeing as we don’t know features yet, it is a bit early to start judging the quality of the program.


  30. [...] that Apple is set to release a new version of Final Cut Pro this year. One of the sources is Larry Jordan, an FCP guru and industry icon who claims he was shown the new version of FCP at Cupertino. There [...]

  31. Steve Feb 23, 2011 19:30

    Sounds like there were a bunch of Apple / FCP fanboys at this meeting. The proof will be when they start talking about it and if they are at all critical. My bet is they won’t be or they wouldn’t have seen it in the first place. We’ll know the truth when a non-fanboy gets eyes on it but that will probably be upon its release.

  32. Piri Feb 23, 2011 19:34

    Larry IS one of those red carpet guys…
    Thanks for sharing….as always.

    Can’t wait to hear and see more!

  33. Larry Feb 23, 2011 19:38

    The proof of ANY software is what is released. No where have I seen mentioned who was at the meeting.


  34. Eric Harnden Feb 23, 2011 19:53

    Steve Jobs said it would be “awesome” didn’t he?!

    BTW, for Apple’s sake I hope it is. They’ve lost a lot of ground not having an update, up to par, in so long.

    Meanwhile, I didn’t go with FCP 7 yet and HAVE gotten CS5 and Avid 5.5 is on it’s way to my office.

    I’m under NDA for what Adobe may (or may not, hehehe) have to show soon but I know they’re not worried and are gaining ground.

  35. adam forgione Feb 23, 2011 23:14

    larry …..
    knock once for YES, two for NO

    no more rendering?
    no more transcoding 5d footage?

  36. Matthew Thomas Feb 24, 2011 01:34

    Here is the a thread I started a few months ago with my theories and ideas on where Final Cut might go in future versions:

    Sorry my earlier link was apparently bad.

  37. Sammy Goemaere Feb 24, 2011 02:54

    I think I just wet myself…

  38. loyk Feb 24, 2011 06:34

    And what about FC Express ?

  39. A.A. Feb 24, 2011 08:57

    Larry, I assume Apple would also update its consumer level version of Final Cut Pro-Final Cut Express at the same time.

    I am a avid user of Final Cut Express and hope Apple may have informed people about the status of a new release of Final Cut Express perhapss also covered by a NDA.

  40. Anthony Feb 24, 2011 14:47

    An improved 3 way color corrector would be great, and no, I’m not talking Color. I constantly use the 3 way Color corrector cuz it’s fast, period. The round tripping to Color is not as convenient as Apple says.

  41. Ian Feb 24, 2011 18:50

    Hoping that many more features from Shake have been rolled into Motion 5 (Motion Pro maybe?!). I’d like to see some awesome compositing tools.

  42. Steve Brame Feb 24, 2011 19:26

    64 bit was a given, since Adobe has already done that with CS5. Hardly a mention of Apple playing ‘catch-up’, as you so often hear when it’s the other way ’round.

    “Seeing as we don’t know features yet, it is a bit early to start judging the quality of the program.’

    But….it’s “jaw-dropping”??? What were you basing this quality assessment on…the 64 bit possibility?

    I shot at a trade show for a large electronics manufacturer, and was paid with one of their spiffy new cameras so that I didn’t have to shoot the booth with a competitor’s camera. After the show, I posted a very honest review of the camera on a forum, and it wasn’t a very ‘glowing’ review. Within 20 minutes I was hammered with emails and calls from my client at the company, lambasting me and vowing to never hire me again.
    Perhaps I should have just kept the review of the camera to ‘jaw-dropping’?

  43. [...] wrote about the experience on his blog, but declined to provide any details, citing a non-disclosure agreement [...]

  44. Isazaly Feb 25, 2011 01:34

    That is a good sign of more good things to come!

  45. Hugo CARUANA Feb 25, 2011 06:46

    waiting for the NAB in Vegas :-)

  46. Roland Feb 25, 2011 07:42

    Can it write scripts? Does it have a “compelling story-line” checker?

  47. Charly Feb 25, 2011 11:01

    Hi Larry !
    You talk about Final Cut Pro, but not about Final Cut Studio !!
    Did you see also a preview of a new version of Motion ?

  48. Les Feb 25, 2011 16:12

    I come across this tidbit that may be of interest:

    “Two versions are already running at beta level, one for Snow Leopard, and one for Lion,” said one report. “Some new features will only be available on Lion’s version, due to the changes made on QuickTime layer.”

  49. Eric Feb 25, 2011 16:50

    I bet one of the minimum requirements is a 12-core computer with 64GB of RAM.


    maybe it will utilize the cores more efficiently for speedier processing.

  50. André Castilho Feb 25, 2011 17:27

    Before coming to the Mac world with Final Cut Studio, I edited a lot in Avid Liquid Edition, which used the resources of background rendering, which facilitated much of the work always have available, instead of every moment have to use the “option + R “, and significantly reducing the time for final rendering, which was six years ago to 60% less than the time of final rendering in Final Cut Studio.
    Does Apple will finally use the full power of the processor, including background, with the new features of HT?

  51. Trai Guzie Feb 25, 2011 18:02


    I can’t wait. After seeing what CS5 can do with hardware acceleration, with you saying that it is “jaw dropping” says to me that it not only meets those speed enhancements, but exceeds them as well! I can’t wait to see your first webinar detailing the new FCP!

  52. Bob Feb 25, 2011 20:16

    Hi Larry,

    We have to use Avid here and we seem to have an issue with exporting HD (reformated as SD) . Would the new FCP do this better?



  53. Gary Jordan Feb 26, 2011 04:26

    Having received the email from Apple about MacBook Pros; I am guessing that the new Thunderbolt two way, daisy chain-able connection will be a hardware talking point for FCP. I am sure that improving rate of data flow would increase the advantage of the upgraded software. Or am I just whistling in the dark before dawn?

  54. Larry Feb 26, 2011 11:34

    Thunderbolt is very, VERY cool – and totally geared to the professional, high-end of the market.

    That being said, it is essentially hardware, which means that all Mac applications will be able to take advantage of it. Think of it… saving Excel spreadsheets at 10Gbps! Wow.


  55. Marcus R. Moore Feb 26, 2011 12:01

    I think people are underestimating just how big Thunderbolt is. Up to now, Firewire 800 was still the best mid-range option. eSATA is a boost in performance, but you needed extra hardware and it was easy to still hit the data-rate ceiling running multiple HD streams. Thunderbolt is hardwired in, multi-purpose, and has LOADS of headroom on the data-rate side.

    I wouldn’t be seriously considering upgrading my system this year if there wasn’t for Thunderbolt [and a new FCP].

  56. John Richards Feb 26, 2011 13:38


    Thanks for the info on Final cut. I can’t wait to learn more and thanks to Apple for not giving up on a great product.


  57. Lachlan Feb 26, 2011 19:49

    Forget shoehorning Shake features into Motion – though sure it would be nice – but what about shoehorning Livetype features into Motion?!

    It’s a drag when a discontinued product has more functionality for 2d Graphics than the program that took its place – I’m talking about the ability to apply effects and keyframe individual elements within groups – or apply multiple styles/effects to separate elements within one group of elements … Why is Motion so behind in this regard? Using Motion for 2d work is worse than using a jackhammer to crack open a nut …

    Good to hear that a new FCS is on the way – my 5D workflow could use a lot of help currently.


  58. kitty Feb 26, 2011 21:02

    I’d be surprised if Apple didn’t take advantage of their lead on thunderbolt to do something more integrated with fcs. It is suddenly looking like being a pretty good year for apple pro’s again.

  59. Russ Feb 28, 2011 08:10

    After the initial euphoria it is good to look outside of the “FC bubble”
    Post production is fast turning in to an environment run by accountants.
    So efficiency is the key to making money, and will the new FCS give us this? Creativity is one thing but we all need to make money.
    The arguments rage for FCS vs. Adobe Premiere vs. AVID
    No software package can be “all things to ALL users” BUT looking around saw AVID MC V.5.5 has a new feature (audio recognition) called ‘Phrase find”. So on a Sunday night after a weekend shoot you have several hundred clips to go through and AVID reckons you get an 80 to 90% hit rate on keywords. So who gets the job done faster? At this time I believe Apple and Final Cut Pro have a major “catch up” on their hands..Lets hope they have done a better job, than recent stuff like Aperture 3 which is really not all that good.

  60. Mark McKee Feb 28, 2011 16:36

    No one does a dog & pony show like Apple. You get so high, walking on air, you go home and anticipate. Then you get it, and it’s caveats, excuses, more money, more caveats, more money, more excuses, and it never seems to work in the real world, like it did in that rigged version that you saw in the demo. But you can’t argue that they know how to get you high. I keep falling for it myself after 25 years…

  61. george manzanilla Feb 28, 2011 20:50

    I’m excited. Look forward to faster editing and an inspiring facelift to the application (user since V1.2). The low-level architecture changes I hope imply basic added functionality like setting capture scratch and render folders at a project level rather than program-wide. Would love to see better, more accurate and less glitchy KEYFRAMING.

  62. Peter Cave Feb 28, 2011 21:30

    I’m hopeful that many existing shortcomings will be addressed. I would like a 3D canvas so I can do things that I could do 25 years ago on linear systems. Reliable keyframing interface, scaleable text in the GUI, metadata support and some asset management features. Also a proper media management interface and background processing would be nice.
    I don’t want more bells & whistles, I want more speed, reliability & interface improvements.

  63. Dennis Petoff Mar 01, 2011 14:01

    I guess its good news. your travels has anyone asked this of FC
    “How is it possible..that they advertise motion pictures “Edied with FC pro”
    And we here at our studio..can work more than 20 min or an hr before FC quits or locks up..the whole spectrum of Apple Tech can’t figure it out..
    Maybe with your knowledge and the red carpet you were invited to can find the answer.
    Believe me..myself and alot of other disgruntled FC users
    Thank you

  64. Larry Mar 01, 2011 14:10


    I am sorry you are having problems. I know that I, and many, many, many of my clients edit on Final Cut all day, every day with only very minimal problems.

    This is not to diminish your frustration, but simply to let you know you are not in the majority. I’m happy to give you a hand, if I can. Just contact me directly.


  65. OrinHD Mar 01, 2011 17:51

    Hi Larry, I read this morning that the new FCP Studio MAY be introduced as soon as tomorrow with the iPad 2 announcement. My most sincere hope is that there is ANY basic 3D functionality. Even a simple anaglyph would be GREAT!! Three-D AND a non autodesk / Quantel based UI for Color would be awesome! I just can’t wrap my head around splines and rooms no matter how hard I try! I’m functional on Color but it’s always like taking your first steps almost every time!!

    I too am sorry to hear of Dennis’ predicament as I suffered much of the same problem for a while in one of my bays.

    The solution was pulling all the memory out and testing pairs in slots one and two. If ALL combinations of the chips worked (keep a list!), I ruled out not only the chips being bad but the memory slots too. Once I ruled out the chips and first two slots, I started adding chips to 1,2,3 and 4. Then, 1,2,3,4,5 and 6, etc. I eventually found a bad memory slot in position 6. Because I only rarely used the amount of memory that leads into slot 6, I only rarely got “out of memory” errors which can be indicative of a bad chip or slot. If the RAM in a bad slot isn’t accessed, you won’t get an error BUT the bad slot WILL cause crashes and freezes without an obvious or reported reason. (Good luck Dennis!)

    Great newsletter! Looking forward to reading more from you!

  66. Rob Mar 01, 2011 18:31

    Looking forward to the new fcp package.

  67. Marcus R. Moore Mar 01, 2011 20:49

    @ OrinHD

    It would be wonderful, but I can’t see any circumstance under which Apple would announce Studio 4 what is by any measure a consumer device oriented event. iPad- Yes. iOS5 preview- Yes. MoblileMe enhancements- sure. FCP- that’s a stretch and a half.

    Unless they just happen to use the opportunity of the Apple Store being down to throw it up on the website, I think we’ll be waiting a bit longer…

  68. Peter Mar 02, 2011 08:49

    Sounds like a good time for an OS upgrade with entirely new system required, no? My MacPro will undoubtably hit the refuse pile shortly thereafter. Apple likes to package forced technology “improvements” with their releases. My iPhone 3g still reels from all the “newer” versions, and barely functions at all.

  69. sbvideo Mar 02, 2011 14:59

    If they update the whole studio. Blu ray authoring would be real nice. Since DVSP was never updated last time around. Compressor could use better single batch handling and previews. And hopefully FCP will better utilize the hardware Apple sells. Its a shame when a editor buys a new Mac only to find out later not all the cores can be used by FCP.


  70. alexmolly Mar 03, 2011 12:08

    Larry, I have a 2 x 2.93 Quad-core intel Xeon mac pro

    12 GB 1066 MHz DDR3

    ATI Radeon HD 4870

    Will the new fcp…take advantage of what I got now…..or do I have to go to the new 12 core….

  71. Larry Mar 03, 2011 12:12

    I don’t know – Apple hasn’t released the product. Until they do, everything is just guesswork. However, Apple has always supported current hardware when they release new versions of their software.


  72. Ratu Ratu Mar 03, 2011 15:54

    Larry I watched the keynote on the ipad 2 yesterday. They had imovie running on it. It looked awesome.

    Would be pretty cool if the next FC could run on the ipad with a pro rezz flavour to match. Ultra portable. Cut on the go and online when u got back to the office.
    Maybe this is a question u can answer. When do u come of the NDA?

  73. Marcus R. Moore Mar 03, 2011 16:38

    Nice try. But I think that would hint too much at a release date.

    I think anyway you cut it [pre-NAB, during NAB, post NAB], we’ll probably be talking in a lot less abstract term about the new version of FCS in 4-6 weeks time.

  74. Steve Mar 03, 2011 20:49

    After seeing that iOS iMovie demo—do I see a foreshadowing?

  75. Ratu Ratu Mar 04, 2011 00:08

    I had to try.
    I do agree with u though, we should see something around NAB.
    imovie looked cool on the ipad hmmm.

  76. Marcus R. Moore Mar 04, 2011 01:07

    The most exciting thing about the iMovie demo for me was the possibilities it hints at… a new interface paradigm. I want to be using a keyboard to edit when I need to type something. Beyond that, I’d like to see us get away from control keys and shortcuts. A multi-touch interface where the buttons are there that you need, in a clear and uncluttered way. Unique to each task. Mixing: you get sliders. Colouring: you get a colourist style control surface. Editing: you get the timeline at your fingertips.

  77. Lawrence Ingram Mar 04, 2011 15:28

    I just signed up for NAB (exhibits only). Will Apple have an exhibit this year at NAB? I’ve never been before, so I don’t know much, but I’m hoping that if it is released sometime around NAB, we might get a look there! But I don’t actually remember Apple releasing software at something like NAB. Does anyone think this is a possibility ?

  78. [...] “I’ve Seen The New Version of Final Cut Pro…“ Posted by Larry on February 23, 2011 [...]

  79. Kurtis Sensenig Mar 07, 2011 13:02

    Hey Larry;

    What new features does it have? Can you describe it in metaphor?



  80. Larry Mar 08, 2011 00:46

    Could I? Yes.

    Will I? No.


  81. [...] Larry Jordan claims to have been one of the editors invited, a claim which I completely believe considering his [...]

  82. Alaska Mar 10, 2011 16:21


    I’m a teacher in Alaska who wants to create a Video Production class, brining together a lot of small Alaska villages and creating weekly news. Our big goal is to do a lot of Native preservation video, and even investigative stories. I won a grant, and have money to purchase Final Cut Studio….and because of all the news about the new version I am waiting to purchase. Am I smart in waiting (and even using Final Cut Studio)? We’re bored with i-Movie and want to go to the next level. Just looking for advice here. Thanks.

  83. Larry Mar 10, 2011 17:44

    Unfortunately, until Apple announces something, providing advice about a product that isn’t shipping is impossible.


  84. Jack Mar 11, 2011 02:24

    I really hope the allow FCE to work with 720p 60fps video. That would make my year right there !

  85. Marcus R. Moore Mar 11, 2011 11:18

    It does bring up the interesting question of where the divide will lay between iMove, FCE, and FCS. Some have speculated that FCE may go away as a product- and certainly I think there might be a case to be made for that. As iMovie’s functionality grows, accepting formats and framerates that used to be considered “Pro”, but which are now used by many consumers using 1080 24p DSLRs; the middle ground continues to shrink.

    With Apple recently rolling out betas of Lion over the appStore, one has to wonder if FCS may be available that way, broken up and sold separately as it’s individual components. So instead of buying Final Cut Express, you just buy Final Cut, and those who get use out of the other components in the Suite can buy them individually or at a bulk discount. Of course, this would be a sure way for Apple to determine what parts of the FCS people are actually using. I’m not sure we’re ready for this yet- a full install of FCS takes up just shy of 50GB- that’s a lot to download remotely…

  86. nickeditor Mar 11, 2011 12:04

    “I’ll share all the news that I’m allowed to share in there first.”
    ¿Do you have any news Larry? ;)

    ¿What do you thing about Avid Media Composer 5.5?

  87. Alan Day Mar 14, 2011 15:51

    Not feeling inspired. I have Snow Leopard but can’t run it in 64 bit mode as I have the very first 8 core that Apple produced – if FCS4 is 64 bit only – THAT means a new computer – AND if FCP4 does not support BluRay that may seriously mean Sony Vegas on a PC for me! Goodbye Apple? I’ll miss Logic but defiantly not Soundtrack “Pro” (sic)

  88. Charlie Mar 29, 2011 12:43

    I was just about to buy an Imac – I-7 2.93 w/ FCP 7.
    Guess I should wait.

  89. Tom Apr 04, 2011 19:23

    Great news, Glad I passed on FCS3, Hope the wait is not months away but weeks would be nice, Apple computing power is up there now so software should be also up to the task.

  90. Marcus R. Moore Apr 05, 2011 20:34
  91. Larry Apr 05, 2011 20:40

    Yup. As soon as whatever Apple is doing becomes publicly available, I can talk about it.


  92. Magued Apr 12, 2011 16:20

    just a quick question i want to buy a mac book pro 2011 the 17 inch with standard configuration .. what do you suggest should i buy or wait ?? and do i need to upgrade any specs to fit the new FCP ?? waiting for you reply thx for your time larry :)