Larry Jordan Blog



Is Final Cut Pro X Ready For Professional Use?

Posted by on January 27, 2013

Of all the questions I am asked each day, this is the most popular: “When will Final Cut Pro X be ready for professional use?”

Sigh… Right now! Final Cut Pro X is ready for professional use today. Editors have been making money with FCP X since the first week it shipped. But this is asking the wrong question.

A much better question is: “Why should I consider using Final Cut Pro X?” This blog is designed to help you answer that question, from my perspective as a trainer, editor, and businessman.

THE DAMAGE BEGAN AT THE LAUNCH

The Final Cut Pro X launch was not one of Apple’s best. In the launch, Apple introduced Final Cut Pro X, and killed the entire Final Cut Studio suite and Final Cut Server.

Normally, when new versions come out, old versions die. But, in this case, there were three missing elements:

  • FCP X could not read FCP 7 files, so there was no upgrade path for current FCP 7 projects
  • There was not feature parity between FCP X and FCP 7
  • Not all the software in Final Cut Studio was replaced, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, and Color were gone.

The reaction was swift, bitter, and emotional; and instantly colored everyone’s perception of Final Cut Pro X.

So, in thinking about Final Cut Pro X today, you need to separate in your mind your reactions to the launch from your perception of the product.

Personally, I think the launch was terrible, but that FCP X is quite good.

IMPROVEMENTS BEGAN IMMEDIATELY

One of the promises Apple made at the launch of Final Cut Pro X was that they would be updating it rapidly. In fact, the software foundation of FCP X made these updates easier and faster to implement.

NOTE: One of the reasons Apple moved FCP X to the Mac App Store, at least initially, was that they wanted to take advantage of the upgrade mechanism built into the store.

In the year and a half since the launch, Apple released seven updates for Final Cut; a remarkable record for any company. All updates brought bug fixes, along with a variety of new features. (The following list of highlights comes from Wikipedia.)

  • 10.0.1 added XML and SAN support (Sept. 20, 2011)
  • 10.0.2 added changing time on Compound Clips (Nov. 16, 2011)
  • 10.0.3 added major new features like multicam, video monitoring, improved keying, improved PSD import, media relinking and much more (Jan. 31, 2012)
  • 10.0.4 improved multicam syncing and many bug fixes (April 10, 2012)
  • 10.0.5 added support for retina displays (June 11, 2012)
  • 10.0.6 added major new features like dual monitors, native REDCODE RAW support, audio channel editing, persistent ranges, and MANY more (Oct. 23, 2012)
  • 10.0.7 improved stability and cleaned up bugs (Dec. 6, 2012)

By my very approximate count, Apple has added more than three dozen significant new features to Final Cut since it’s release. Final Cut Pro X is not the same product it was when it was released.

CAN I CONVERT MY FCP 7 PROJECTS?

Yes. However it takes a utility from Intelligent Assistance to do so.

  • 7toX converts Final Cut Pro 7 XML into a form that can be imported into Final Cut Pro X.
  • Xto7 converts the XML export of a Final Cut Pro X Project (but not an Event) into a form that can be imported into Final Cut Pro 7.

The process is similar to moving an FCP 7 project into Adobe Premiere Pro CS6:

  • Export an XML file from FCP 7
  • Convert the XML file into something FCP X can read
  • Import the converted file into FCP X

Just as with moving files between FCP 7, Premiere, or Avid (using the tools from Automatic Duck), some things won’t transfer to FCP X. Edits and media transfer almost perfectly. Some effects and retiming do not; check the Intelligent Assistance website for all the details.

NOTE: It could be argued that this conversion utility should have been available at launch. I would agree. However, these conversion utilities needed XML to work, which wasn’t available until later. The important thing is that conversion utilities are available now.

ISN’T FINAL CUT PRO X SIMPLY IMOVIE PRO?

Well, you can believe that if you want, in the same way that a Ferrari is simply a super-charged VW Beetle. They both have four wheels and an engine, but the results are totally different.

Just as you can not say that since a Ferrari and a Bug are both cars, therefore they must do the same thing, you can not say that because iMovie and Final Cut look similar, they must BE similar.

NOTE: By the way, have you compared the performance differences between iMovie and FCP X? My golly, iMovie is SLOW!!!

Yes, Final Cut Pro X imports iMovie events and projects. (On the other hand, with 50 million iMovie users out there, this was not a bad decision, as FCP 7 couldn’t import iMovie files at all.)

Yes, FCP X and iMovie have a similar look to the interface. (On the other hand, so do all the applications in the Adobe Creative Suite, or the applications in Final Cut Studio 3.)

Don’t judge the book by its cover. The question is not how it looks, but whether it allows you to get your work done.

ARE MY FAVORITE PLUG-INS AVAILABLE FOR FCP X?

Yes. In fact the development of FCP 7 plug-ins has essentially stopped.

This is for three main reasons:

  • FCP 7 is no longer sold by Apple, which means the installed base is not growing.
  • FCP 7 is a 32-bit application, which limits the amount of RAM and processing power a new plug-in could use
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and Final Cut Pro X are seen as the new sales opportunities for developers

Here are just some of the companies that have released new plug-ins for Final Cut Pro X:

  • Boris FX
  • New Blue FX
  • CrumplePop
  • Ripple Training
  • GenArts
  • Red Giant
  • Digital Heaven
  • FX Factory
  • Stupid Raisins
  • PixelFilm Studios
  • Toolfarm
  • idustrial Revolution

And that is only a partial list. New plug-ins are announced every day.

One of the things I’m struck by is the number of new companies that are migrating to the platform and creating plug-ins for FCP X.

ISN’T IT BETTER TO BUY ADOBE PREMIERE PRO CS6?

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 is a great application. It is fast, cross-platform, 64-bit, supports many GPUs and multiple processors and easily imports XML files from Final Cut Pro 7.

Adobe has done an amazing job bringing this application into the modern day. I enjoy editing on it and creating training for it. However, while there are some things that Premiere does better than FCP X, there are also some things that Final Cut Pro X does better than Premiere.

This gets to the crux of my argument: Buy the tool that best meets the needs of your project. (I’ll have more on that in a few paragraphs.)

SHOULD I BUY FINAL CUT PRO X WHEN I AM STILL ANGRY AT APPLE?

Well, that depends. This question moves the issue from picking the right software into areas of personal expression and politics. Only you know how to answer this question for yourself.

Final Cut Pro X is not essential to Apple’s revenues, that’s not why Apple developed it. They created it to set their direction for video editing in the future.

If you want to make a political statement, feel free. But don’t hide behind condemning the software when there are other reasons underlying your decision.

SO WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER FINAL CUT PRO X?

There’s only one reason to buy any software: because it can enable you to do things faster, better, or more simply than other software for the same, or similar, price.

WHAT IS FINAL CUT PRO X GOOD FOR?

Let’s back into this a bit, by looking at other software first.

If you are happy with your current FCP 7 system, you don’t need to upgrade. Keep on using FCP 7. However, that also means that you can’t upgrade your OS either, and can’t take advantage of future software or hardware improvements.

I would recommend editing all current Final Cut Pro 7 projects on Final Cut Pro 7. Stay with the system you know for an existing project, unless, for other reasons, you are forced to move.

Avid Media Composer with Isis is probably the best choice if you are doing feature films, reality shows with thousands of hours of media, or workgroup editing,

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 also has many benefits:

  • The interface is very, very familiar to FCP 7 editors
  • Full 64-bit, GPU, and multiprocessor support
  • It’s really fast with the right GPU
  • Full support of capture from tape
  • The ability to easily import an FCP 7 XML file
  • Tight integration with After Effects and Photoshop
  • Tight integration with Encore to create DVDs

However, Final Cut Pro X also excels in many areas:

  • Simplicity of the interface
  • Full 64-bit, GPU, and multiprocessor support
  • It’s really, really fast on all Macs
  • Ingesting, reviewing and archiving tapeless media
  • Precision trimming; everything we could do in FCP 7 we can do in FCP X, plus the Precision Editor makes trimming even easier.
  • Multicam editing, though Adobe Premiere CS6 is a solid second choice
  • Chroma-key
  • Color-correction and video scopes within the NLE; DaVinci Resolve is a better choice when using a stand-alone color grading application

The biggest weakness in FCP X, for me, is audio mixing.  Here, FCP X is almost as bad as FCP 7, though with better audio filters. Currently, it is cumbersome to move projects out of FCP X into either Adobe Audition or ProTools for mixing.

THE INTERFACE IS A PLUS?

Yes, absolutely. However, not for the reasons you think. If you are a died-in-the-wool FCP 7 editor and just don’t want to learn something new, then move to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.

Premiere has speed, power, and mimics the keyboard shortcuts and interface of Final Cut Pro 7. Adobe makes a very good product that is fast and fun to use.

However, with each passing day, FCP 7 editors are not increasing in number. New kids are tackling video for the first time.

Here, I think, FCP X has an advantage. I did a test this semester at the class I teach at USC in Los Angeles. I decided to teach FCP X to non-film students who just wanted to learn how to do video editing. I discovered that I could make them productive in about one-quarter the time it would have taken me in either FCP 7 or Premiere Pro CS6.

From a standing start and no prior knowledge, they were knowledgeably editing video and outputting in 90 minutes. It would take me far longer to achieve the same results with FCP 7 or Premiere.

In terms of interface, Final Cut Pro X is the wave of the future, because it appeals to people who are new to editing.

BE CAREFUL HOW YOU DEFINE YOURSELF

One of the byproducts of the “NLE Religious Wars,” earlier in this decade, was that we defined ourselves by the tools we used. We would say we were a “Final Cut editor,” or an “Avid editor.” Fist-fights would then ensue. (I plead guilty to supporting this dichotomy for many years, as I enjoyed poking fun at Avid editors.)

But, as the recession hit, I realized how misguided this was, because it costs us clients and money. We are not technologists, we are story-tellers who use technology.

Each of us is an editor who loves to tell stories using moving pictures. We hire a carpenter not because they own a particular brand of hammer, but because they can build us a house that looks beautiful.

We need to define ourselves by the results we create for our clients, not the tools we use to create them.

SUMMARY

This is no longer a choice of “either/or.” We are awash in excellent editing tools from Apple, Adobe, Avid, and others. This is truly a time when there are no bad choices.

This is my point: we have choices. I choose to use Final Cut Pro X as one of my major editing tools.

When it comes to my business, I am very cautious. I will learn and train on anything, but when it comes to the systems my business needs to make money and pay the rent, I change slowly and carefully.

I need to see a clear benefit before adopting a new tool. With Final Cut Pro X I can improve my workflow, do more work in less time, and meet my standards for quality.

Final Cut Pro X allows me to make money, and keep clients happy, which is the essence of professional use.

As always, I am interested in what you think.

Larry


LARRY’S HANDS-ON TRAINING

In February and March, I’ve partnered with Video Symphony in Burbank, CA to teach a two-day class in Final Cut Pro X for professional editors. If you want to learn how to use this software to improve your business, check out this website.


Larry Jordan is a producer, director, editor, author, and Apple Certified Trainer with more than 35 year’s experience. Based in Los Angeles, he’s a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America. Visit his website at www.larryjordan.biz.


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  1. Joe Urbz Jan 27, 2013 18:54

    Greetings Larry,

    Your description is on par with my experience with the FCPX journey; not just for myself, but how I approach editing and production with my students. Understanding and getting experience with the tools is so much more important that being defined by the tools. It is all about storytelling and fundamentals within the art of editing.

    Joe Urbz

  2. Rainer Jan 27, 2013 19:22

    Great read, very useful for me, I only use imovie right now, but if I ever upgrade you have convinced me that Final Cut X is something to look at.

  3. Jeff Orig Jan 28, 2013 03:00

    I love FCPX and was a former hater. But 10.0.7 is extremely buggy. Written many times. Canon DSLR footage and multicam clips do not play nice in 10.0.7 anymore. Before it was a dream. Now it is a nightmare with missing cameras and import failures. I hope this gets fixed ASAP.

    Very frustrating.

  4. dmoney Jan 28, 2013 08:35

    I am an editor and producer of a 35+ year old wildlife/outdoor show and have used everything from linear editing and non linear editing (premiere, avid, fcp7, etc) to put together a show; we have been happily using FCPX as a professional decision maker for the past year. We still use FCP7 to output a show every once in a while because of closed captions, but other than that FCPX outshines all other choices. The only thing I see lacking so far is Closed Caption support. I want it included within the application much like FCP7 had it…please Apple, Please!

  5. Don Jan 28, 2013 09:40

    Larry,

    As always, enjoyed your article. One quibble — if you can’t call FCPX ‘iMovie Pro,’ then you certainly can’t call it Final Cut Pro. It has far less in common with FCP7 than it does with iMovie. So by your logic, and for lack of a better name, it’s iMovie Pro — and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a pro-quality app. But it’s not Final Cut.

    On using, yes, pick the tools that are best for the job and your needs. However, investing time and money in Apple software is risky. Their record shows they’re as likely to drop a product as they are to update it. Having been burned, I’m now committed to Adobe products and absolutely delighted with them. Best of all, they’re a software company, not a cell phone company, and therefore a much better bet to continue developing their products — long after Mac desktops go EOL.

  6. John Arnold Jan 28, 2013 10:02

    I think your assessment of the situation is right on. I reacted emotionally when FCPX was launched. But I gave it a try and despite the pain of not having multicam I still found FCPX preferable to use over FCP7. Despite the missing features, once FCPX was launched I never actually went back to FCP7. Now, of course, it’s much improved and it does everything I need with aplomb.

    However, for other reasons I’ve been considering a move back to PCs for my video production, and therefore a switch to Premiere CS6. One of those reasons is the lack of professional hardware and support from Apple. Because I can’t get pro hardware I’ve been editing on an iMac but when it breaks I just can’t live with the genius bar’s response of, “We’ll fix it and get it back to you in a few days”. That’s not acceptable for a professional business. I need my machine working again in 24 hours or less. With PCs I can just replace the broken components myself and get back to work. It’ll be a shame to lose FCPX but my business will be more secure and I’ll save money on hardware.

    Or perhaps there is a new MacPro in the near future..

  7. Paul Jan 28, 2013 10:09

    Nicely thought out and balanced article! I switched to FCP-X in June of last year and have not looked back. It does have a learning curve, what is important is to learn to edit the way it is set up to edit, not try and make it work like the old FCP7! If you work with it, not against it, (“we used to be able to do it THIS way in the old FC”) then you should find it much faster to edit with.

    I love it, and am making a living using it daily. To me, those are the two most important reasons!

  8. Dave K Jan 28, 2013 10:42

    A few misleading statements;

    With FCP 7, you claim a definitive “you can’t upgrade your OS”
    I am running FCP 7 on 10.8.2 with no issues. Does this mean you have evidence that FCP 7 will no longer run if I update to 10.8.3?

    You imply that transferring a project from FCP 7 to Premiere requires 3rd party software, this is not true. Premiere can import a XML produced directly from FCP 7 without a 3rd party app.

  9. Mike T. Jan 28, 2013 10:47

    Hi Larry,

    Thank you for this incredibly insightful, well thought out article. I share every single one of your sentiments and am glad that someone with your influence finally put into words the totality of the FCPX experience. This is an excellent read, hitting almost every argument and question I’ve heard. My own experience with FCPX, cutting international network television shows, and live concert DVD’s with 64 angles has been excellent. No other NLE could come close to the speed and ability of FCPX multi cam, and with the most recent 10.0.6 update adding copy/paste attributes and audio channel mixing ability, I think FCPX is finally ready to tackle just about any project. It’s organizational features alone have changed the way we can process and find media, and it’s amazing. Thanks!

  10. Marcus Moore Jan 28, 2013 10:54

    @ Jeff. I’d be very surprised if we don’t see another very large bug-fix update in February. There are lots of small issues to address before the dev team should be concerned about new functionality.

  11. James Jan 28, 2013 11:10

    I cut corporate, music and event projects. I made the move Ruben FCP X came out. Larry was right it was missing a lot but I also saw the wisdom of Apple in the This is the future of editing. I’m also tired of the complaint that FCP X is not for “Pro editors”. Well I get paid for the editing I do and I believe getting paid makes me a pro! Yes, there are some things still missing but I’m sure Apple will add them. They have done a great job so,far. Larry’s blog on this one was right on! BTW, I used all Larry’s training along with Ripple Training to get up to speed when FCP X came out and have Continued using both Larry’s and Ripple as upgrades from Apple come out.

    As a side note, o wish Larry had a subscription service just for Apple software (FCP X, Motion, etc.). At this point I’ll never use Avid and sure wont make the switch to Adobe).

  12. Dan Jan 28, 2013 11:38

    This is a refreshing informative article and its just so nice to read the facts. This is the kind of article I wish was everywhere on the web. Just help me make a informed decision on what the best pro tool is.
    Thats this article..
    I thank you
    Dan

  13. Marcus Moore Jan 28, 2013 12:04

    @ Don. The name Final Cut Pro doesn’t have anything to do with relative crossover of ideas or core concepts, rather everything to do with who the intended market is.

    Final Cut Pro X is intended for the same audience as legacy was, even if it hasn’t reintegrated all the features to make it ready for all the same workflows. With every update it scoops up more and more of that functionality- with the ultimate goal being feature parity.

    “iMovie Pro” is a complete contradiction in terms. iMovie is for the consumer side of video editing, where Final Cut Pro is geared for working professionals.

  14. Bill Jan 28, 2013 12:15

    Larry,

    You have way more experience with FCPX than I do. If you say it’s ready for primetime, I won’t argue the point. However, to me, Apple is no longer a company that can be trusted. What’s to stop them from releasing FCPXI and saying FCPX is dead? Or saying FCP in ANY version will no longer be produced? Apple has already demonstrated they are very willing to do this.

    Bill

  15. Larry Jan 28, 2013 12:25

    Bill:

    An excellent question and one that only Apple itself can answer.

    Larry

  16. Craig Jan 28, 2013 12:33

    @Don, You say “Apple software is risky.” I have to wonder if you’ve been in Post Production that long. Over 30 years for me.

    AutoDesk has dropped: Media Cleaner, Cinestream (EditDV), Edit*, Combustion. With your reasoning people should avoid Smoke and Flame.

    Avid very nearly dropped Mac support around 2000. They backpedalled due to the uproar.

    Adobe Premiere was a long time Mac “home” NLE staple. When they rebuilt it from the ground up into Premiere Pro, they dropped Mac support for years.

    As to a company’s primary income generation, Avid makes very little money from Media Composer. They are primarily a hardware company. While the Creative Suite is important to Adobe, they also generate a lot of their revenue from other products such as Flash Servers.

    Apple’s software is no more riskier than any other company’s. Apple sells computers and FCPX is integral to that. Apple’s business model is often using software and service to sell hardware just as iTunes and the App Store are integral to the iPhone and iPad. BTW you might notice a significant number of professional video apps for iOS.

  17. Marcus Moore Jan 28, 2013 12:39

    @ Bill. You only have to look back at the last 10 years to see times when each of the primary NLEs have in one way or another done something to cheese off part of their user base. One of the main reasons FCP was able to gain a real foothold in the industry was because some people were tired of AVIDs crap on pricing and hardware lock-in. And Premier pretty much walked away from the Apple platform for several years.

    You wont’ find a harsher critic than me of HOW Apple released FCPX, but what they did was necessary (and in the end I think will be beneficial) for the platform going forward. Apple isn’t going to need to recode the entire app from scratch anytime soon, so your concerns about FCP XI are a bit unfounded.

    But trust can only be gained again by steady work after it’s been lost. Continued FCPX improvements and a new MacPro will go a long way towards that end.

  18. Eric Jan 28, 2013 12:45

    I was initially one of those who felt very betrayed when FCPX was released. I was just finishing my undergrad education and after pouring in countless hours to learning FCP 7, I was told I had to learn a new program and I was none to happy.

    When I was hired for my first full-time job in October, they asked what the most affordable NLE option was. FCPX was the answer. I have been working in it for 3+ months now and I love it. I was doing a project at home this weekend on Premiere CS5.5 and it was like going back in time. FCPX is definitely the way of the future. It’s far from perfect and there are plenty of little bugs that need attention or could be done better, but it’s a fantastic way to edit (at least short-form) video.

  19. jon p Jan 28, 2013 13:15

    I have lost my trust in apple to support pro software, just like I would not trust a playskool camera for 4k pictures. I would have lost about 5K just in plug-ins alone had I migrated to x. All of my plugs worked better in after-effects anyway so it was natural to transfer my software needs to a professional software company. I trust adobe. I don’t trust phone companies. I do like apple hardware but must say no to the software.
    2 cents

  20. Erik Keller Jan 28, 2013 14:02

    I completely agree, FCP X is ready for prime-time. Just don’t forget: It is just a tool! (Which happens to be my favorite NLE, period.) For the time being, the “traditional” NLEs just “feel wrong” which doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t use MC if the need arises. My main purpose is two-fold, get everything done in a pleasant way, and tell a story, it’s that simple.
    Granted, FCP X has some features one has to get used to, but compound clips allow me to concentrate on telling a story instead of making sure I didn’t mess up anything without noticing until it’s too late. ;-)

  21. Don Jan 28, 2013 14:03

    @Marcus: yes I agree, whatever you call a product, it is what it is. I was just following Larry’s logic — if you can’t call it iMoviePro, based on degree of similarity, you can’t call it Final Cut Pro either. Love it or hate it, FCPX is not FCP. And there’s nothing wrong with calling it the ‘pro’ version of iMovie. Of course, that would be a marketing boondoggle. But it’s a more accurate name in my opinion (:

    @Craig: excellent points. I’m only in video since FCP made it possible for ‘the rest of us,’ and it’s been a money maker for me since 2005. In the larger scope, yes, software comes and goes all the time, and any time we invest in technology we’re betting it will pay off in the long run. But that payoff is never guaranteed, so point well taken. To clarify my point, I’m more comfortable purchasing software from a company that produces software, and makes the bulk of its money from software, rather than a company that makes the bulk of its money from cell phones and has a track record for summarily dropping products. But I’m sure you’ve seen worse in your career, so I defer to your experience. However, my bet today is that Adobe is the best choice for my needs, and that’s how it’s working out.

  22. Chris Harlan Jan 28, 2013 14:13

    Larry: Right on, as always!

  23. Drew Jan 28, 2013 14:49

    By leaving Apple’s editing software I’m not making a political statement, but a business statement. I run a post house with half a dozen systems, and have worked for an Apple reseller for years. The persistent strategy of non-communication and not caring about clients simply seems like the wrong way to run our business. I can’t recommend relying on such a vendor.

    That said, post houses are a dying breed anyway so B2B practices will matter less and less in editing, and people will be increasingly flexible about their editing tools.

  24. Roger Abrego Jan 28, 2013 16:39

    Larry,

    I’ve been delivering my jobs done as I am a video maker mainly filming institutional and small docs videos of 5 to 10 minutes long and online educational vids that I also filmed. I’ve even done some audio post production without problems with someone else. But I had bad experiences trying to work with a group. Even sharing projects with other FCP X user’s is a hell. We quite still don’t know what goes wrong with duplicate projects.
    When I have any other work group to do I will get back to FCP 7 but it’s very frustrating have to step back.

  25. Ryan Velin Jan 28, 2013 16:42

    As always a great article, Larry!
    Right now I am working for a Danish production company and we have been using FCPX since version 0.3. We have been editing a series of documentaries for national Tv2 since April 2012 and now we have just begun editing our first multicam show for national DR 1.
    To us FCPX has been ready for professional use for quite a while.
    People need to stop hating and just focus on the things FCPX does like no other NLE. We rarely encounter problems of any kind and FCPX just chews it’s way through video material, effects etc.
    I am also working in AVID and I still don’t get why AVID doesn’t update their program to include background rendering, ability to work with waveforms on without having to render all the time or many of the other good things FCPX has to offer.
    My only complaint about FCPX: I really miss a scrolling timeline :-) but hey, you can’t have it all :-)

  26. Pat Jan 28, 2013 16:54

    I was one of those people who wrote to you many months ago asking whether I should invest in FCP X or migrate to Adobe. Although I was impressed that you responded at all, given the amount of email you get in a day, I didn’t feel like I got the answer I needed. With this article, you’ve answered all my questions in detail. Thank you so much!

    I ended up buying FCP X, in part because I’m just entering the profession and FCP X is the least-expensive option, and in part because I’d already invested in FCP X training and was comfortable enough to move forward. At this point, since I’m not earning a living as an editor but making videos to support my own business, I’m one of those people who would be considered “home users,” and so perhaps I fit the profile of the “consumer market.” But I also went to film school, learned from professionals working in the field, and did an internship at a well-respected production company, so in that regard, I’m not the typical home user.

    I absolutely HATE the bugs in FCP X (lastest is fluctuations in audio that have almost busted my ear drums a couple of times), and I hate the way I was treated by Apple customer service (sic) when I had trouble downloading the app. It took 3 DAYS to get it to download! I was on deadline to finish a project, and spent hours on the phone with them trying to figure out what the problem was. And for all that, all they offered me as compensation was a credit on an iPhone! So I’m afraid I have to agree with the comments about Apple not being trustworthy and caring more about phones than software. And yet…

    FCP X is fun and makes me look way more experienced than I am. In film school, we learned on FCP 7. I can do way cooler stuff in X that would have taken me months to master in 7. I was the first in my film program to migrate, and the senior class was stonished by what I was doing.

    The icing on the cake is Motion 5. I never learned Motion with 7, so I don’t know how it compares, but FCP X and Motion 5 are a blast! There are bugs in that program, too, to be sure, but it’s a $50 program with an incredible library of effects, some of which can be used as is or need only minor tweaking. Customization is easy in some cases, totally frustrating in others, but there are always choices. You also can use it to easily customize the effects built into FCP X.

    BTW, in the FCP X classes I took, we used your book, which was extremely useful in learning the program from the bottom up.

    In all, I’m happy with the choice I made and am glad to see that it wasn’t a bad judgment call.

    Thanks again, Larry, for the great article.

  27. Shari Dyer Jan 28, 2013 17:39

    Hi Larry,
    I Agee with your whole blog on the professionalism of FCPX. In spite of my initial hard reaction against the NLE, I now find myself depending on it for all my editing. It’s very fast. But, as you mentioned, audio needs a lot of work. Other than that, it’s become a pleasure to use. Shari

  28. Tim Kolb Jan 28, 2013 17:44

    I think the key is the different approach to business as opposed to the tool itself.

    As someone who admittedly dropped away from the Mac when OSX was first released (Cheetah) and we had to dual boot to run FCP and Premiere 6.5 ran from day one…which I thought strange…I think that you can’t overlook the fact that the reseller community was the source of a great deal of the technical support and configuration wizardry that made FCP such a solid platform for post production. FCPX is now an inexpensive download, and just plain accounting says that tech support costs money.

    About ten years ago, I was on a beta team for an application that was competing with FCP, and one day my receptionist told me I had a phone call of a person rather high up in the software company…(they’ve since moved to another software company that is key to this conversation in a similar role).

    This person got me on the phone and asked me various questions about what I thought of the software, and then asked me “So what does FCP have that we don’t have?” My answer without hesitation was “A $1,000.00 price tag.”

    The software in question was, at the time, being bundled with every FireWire interface card and video I/O card on the planet. It was cheap, it was easy to get, and there it was, in the bottom of the box your Pyro card came in with the packing peanuts and the product catalog…it was worth what you paid for it in your mind and you may have paid nearly zero… You didn’t get FCP bundled with your Radius card for an extra 100 bucks, and it made perfect sense to me.

    Supporting a product costs money and as our applications get cheaper, this will continue to be a stress point. The biggest challenge of FCPX filling some of the shoes that FCP7 has vacated will be supporting a professional community of users with specific and diverse needs with no reseller network and a 300.00 USD retail price.

    As far as learning the interface, I suspect that Larry has hit upon the issue with so much of the tools of our trade, we tend to work well with the paradigms we are accustomed to… Introduce someone to video editing on FCPX (or Vegas…or Lightworks for that matter), and that’s how they build their perception of the task…any alternative metaphor seems illogical and therefore difficult for us old guys (and gals) to learn.

    As to Larry’s article…just a few observations though as usual, it is overall, extremely well thought-out…

    You put reading camera data media in the “pro” list for FCPX, but keep in mind that Premiere Pro was reading (and editing) camera data files direct from the native file structure years before FCPX arrived. In fact while PPro was accepting the (mostly deserved) slings and arrows for their constant struggle with dependable VTR support vs FCP…loading camera data was what they COULD do. In many ways, PPro didn’t catch up in this respect, the industry came back toward PPro…

    On the car reference…wouldn’t the Porsche 911 be the better analog for FCPX vs the VW Bug of iMovie in this case?

    …just sayin’

    :-)

  29. Dev Jan 28, 2013 18:18

    I do not like FCP X. I see one should train on it to stay on track in a way. On track – I find the trackless timeline is incredibly stupid and the whole magnetic thing causes trouble without end. (I am one one that wool-something FCP 7 editors) The Colour Correction – what on earth happened to replace that marvellous FCP 7 Color Correctio with that stupid square thing where you can jump back and forth without end. 64-Bits thing sound good, but in fact I have the “ball of death” quite often on my monitors. THe whole programm seems to be also quite hostile to working with the mouse. Of course 50 million iMovie played a role – and so it is wrong to say, Apple is not interested in Final Cut Pro but just sacrifices it’s important time for 3 1/2 FCP Editors. The truth is, they created a semiprofessional, ugly fashion-application mainly for Youtube-Users but masked as a professionally usable programm. Still there aren’t a lot of professional Users here who dare to use that programm, even though one tries to understand that misscarriage of sorts. Menawhile after a bunch some things work better than before. Maybe sooner or later the programm will prove me wrong. It just – as for me – has no class.

  30. Reeshard Jan 28, 2013 21:43

    Larry,
    First I’d like to say I’m a fan of your great work. Here’s My question, is audio mixing better in Logic Pro? Just curious.

  31. Larry Jan 28, 2013 21:46

    Reeshard:

    A good question. Since Logic is designed to create audio, I would suspect that audio mixing using Logic (and Soundtrack Pro, if it is still bundled with it) would be superior. However, Logic is designed more for music creation, like MIDI, synthesizers, keyboards, and the like. I am not a composer and I don’t create music. I record what is performed by others. For that reason, I don’t use Logic.

    Larry

  32. Don helms Jan 28, 2013 21:46

    I tried X and my biggest complaint is audio wave form. The X waveform pales in comparison to 7. Until that is fixed I will stay with 7

  33. Larry Jan 28, 2013 21:47

    Tim:

    It is amazing what one discovers in hind-sight. Porsche makes a perfect analogy with the VW Beetle — wish I would have thought of it while I was writing the article.

    Larry

  34. Larry Jan 28, 2013 21:52

    Don:

    I’m curious why you say this? In FCP X, waveforms change size as you adjust volume levels, they display yellow and red tops as you get close to 0, they display a ghosted image of normalized volume settings (which can be turned off with a preference) and they can be displayed with greater vertical and horizontal resolution (size) than FCP 7.

    What do you like better about FCP 7?

    Larry

  35. William Hohauser Jan 28, 2013 22:48

    FCPX is professional. PP6 is professional. Avid is professional. I can’t tell you how many times I have people come into my office over the past year incredulous that I am successfully using FCPX. Yet they watch me work and leave sometimes impressed, sometimes confused, sometimes angry that their happy fantasy of Apple screwing up isn’t entirely true.

    Personally I don’t like PP6’s interface or Avid’s either. Yes, the audio is frustrating if I need to send it to somebody for sweetening. But I can do more with the audio then ever before within the program and that’s a big improvement. In month or so I will be editing a six episode mini-season of a multi-camera sitcom on FCPX. After that perhaps I might change my mind but I’m pretty sure I won’t.

  36. Pat Jan 28, 2013 23:03

    Don (and Larry):

    I think one of the problems with switching from 7 to X is that many of the powerful features of X are “hidden” in places you wouldn’t necessarily think to look for them. This is definitely true for audio.

    A project I’m working on was shot on a DSLR with audio recorded separately. By doing as Larry suggests, I was able to use the sound waves from the DSLR audio and synch it to the recorded audio to the exact fraction of a frame — and very fast! Then you can easily detach and delete the DSLR audio. The waveforms are expandable in both width and height. I’ve been able to identify barely audible pops and use keyframes to eliminate them smoothly, without a trace. Again, I’m a rank beginner, so to be able to perform these fairly sophisticated functions is a testament to the ease of use of FCP X.

    One of the things that is pretty well hidden but that may be of interest to editors new to FCP X is the built-in EQ panel. It allows you to manipulate up to 31 bands of frequency in a clip — a very sophisticated audio function that is clearly for professionals and not for the YouTube crowd.

    I don’t know if that helps, but I just wanted to add that there are a lot of things in FCP X that you have to look for. Classes and training can really pay off.

  37. Christopher Wright Jan 29, 2013 01:45

    The problem with the FCP X fiasco is the real problem Apple has now period. Starting with the FCP X roll-out, Apple basically said to professional editors “screw you, we know what is best for you.” This was a fine attitude to adopt for all the iJunk users, who worship at the altar of Apple and would even sell a kidney to get an iPad. For professional users is was just another betrayal. Like when the Amiga Video Toaster rebellion died to lack of forward thinking executives at Commodore, like Discreet Logic edit* died due to lack of forward thinking executives at Autodesk…

    When you start pandering to the lowest common denominator, you set yourself up for being a company just chasing the latest fad for the quick and easy haul. Pretty soon you realize that others can do that cheaper and better (Samsung), and you start losing market share, and then your company. Larry was right when he said this move really pissed off professionals, who actually make their living with professional tools. These are not hobbyists, wedding photographers, or Larry’s “non film students” who just want to edit their dog’s or You Tube highlight reels, shot on their iPhones. The real problem with FCP X is that it was SUCH a step backward from the professional tools present in FCP 7, and for professionals, even with the upgrades, it is still not up to snuff. I mean, not even being able to read FCP7 projects?? The first version especially was most definitely a dumbed-down iMovie 10. The audio workflow is still atrocious and still keeps FCPX from being able to call itself a pro non-linear editing app.

    Apple lost the trust and respect of those professionals who needed those pro features, and they will never be back. It is also the reason why serious pros who need really fast reliability and processing power are having to go to true desktop machines on the Windows side from companies like Boxx and Safe Harbor. The decision to kill the advancement of the powerful workstation by Apple execs also signaled their abandonment of the high end pros and the embracing of the Lowest Common Denominator quick buck again.

    Larry of course has a dog in this fight. He makes his living doing training videos, and he does them well. Because FCP X was such a departure from the NLE norm, I’m pretty sure his FCP X videos are probably his main training “income maker,” and you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Is PrPRO 6 perfect? no, Avid? no, Sony Vegas, actually close!!.. but at least all of them are trying (and succeeding) in adding more features to already truly professional and interactive tools, not going back to a beginning editors paradigm, and then promising to add “a few of the pro features back” in the near future.

    Apple used to be the vanguard of the video and graphic revolution for creatives, it has since become the company of “give me 99 cents every time you turn on your iDevice to be able to use an app you have to rent on your machine…” When you no longer cater to the specialists, you get thrown into the lions den with the LCD consumerists…

  38. Doug Jan 29, 2013 05:52

    I’m just a home video editor, so these comments may not be as relevant.

    After purchasing FCPX, I tried to use it for a few months, but struggled with the different ways of doing things (e.g., media management). They weren’t wrong, just different.

    As a result, I shifted across to Adobe and am very happy with it. As Larry noted, the interface and keystrokes are familiar and the functionality is excellent.

    The initial teething problems FCPX had were unfortunate and gave Adobe an opportunity to pick up a few unhappy Apple customers. I’m very pleased with the Adobe products and plan to stay with them.

  39. Mary Love Jan 29, 2013 10:17

    Larry,

    You made the comment that FCP X’s biggest weakness was its audio editing capabilities. What one or two features would you most like to see that are currently missing? From all you can gather through the “grapevine,” is Apple aware of such audio deficiencies—and, more importantly, do you assume they will eventually address these?

    Mary and Charles

  40. Larry Jan 29, 2013 11:35

    Mary & Charles:

    Sorry, I was imprecise. I think FCP X’s audio EDITING capabilities are quite good. What I think needs improvement is audio MIXING. And, here, Apple has two choices: add additional mixing abilities – such as the ability to group audio tracks, an audio mixer – or, which might be better overall, simplify the process of moving audio elements into dedicated audio software such as ProTools or Audition.

    Larry

  41. Russtafa Jan 30, 2013 06:23

    Oh dear come back to see the “video tribal wars” are still raging.

    1..Is the tool you are using allowing a rhythm and a flow. In general if you can keep moving forwards with work then you are “making money”

    2..Yet to see a product during my extensive career which is anywhere near perfect. No “size fits all” so workarounds often become a daily necessity to achieve the end result.

    3..Most importantly and one Larry often emphasises does the tool facilitate you making money..actually most important point to put food on the table and pay the mortgage.

    4..I have been impressed with Apple and their fairly constant update policy demonstrating commitment and an engineering team hard at work. So the question which is interesting.. where might FCPX be this time next year?

    5..Find the comments about Youtube etc quite funny. For my own tastes I prefer high quality BBC drama/good documentaries/great films. To underestimate the massively expanding mobile market. Amount of global viewers Youtube/Vimeo etc get would be like cutting your right (editing) hand off. Where the overall business model lies is debatable, but for these markets to mature and develop one will appear sooner or later allowing contributors/content creators to make real money.

    Plus the additional features for video of gps/location based data/metadata/image recognition and a host of other stuff appearing then actually software like FCPX looks like a “tool of the future”

    Greater levels of interactivity/sales focus/knowledge focus will develop from the current “video business model”

    To view video editing in a purely “linear fashion” anymore would be a huge mistake.. reminds me of a famous Bob Dylan song…..

    “The times they are a-changin”

  42. Larry Jan 30, 2013 11:33

    Russ:

    Good to hear your voice again!

    Larry

  43. Bruce Ingram Jan 30, 2013 11:38

    A mostly balanced look at FCPX and a good read. So far, in my experience, if I was mostly an offline editor, “one-man-band” editor or in a facility with a closed pipeline FCPX would certainly be an option I would look at (if Mac hardware could also meet my needs).

    But, as a Colorist and online editor that must interface with various productions using various software and platforms, and after much debate and research, FCPX (as well as other NLEs) simply did not have the flexibility that I required. Premiere CS6 did and, for my needs, has turned out to be indispensable.

    This isn’t me saying FCPX is a bad product, by any means. It’s more an agreement with your statement of choosing the right tool for what you do or need and to also agree with not defining yourself by your tools but by your results. If, during this year, FCPX, Avid, or even Lightworks (or some other hidden gem out there) becomes a better tool for what I do and how I need to work with my clients, I have no qualms about switching. Adobe has me as a customer now until they either mess up or someone out does them.

    I also wanted to give a slightly different perspective from a different aspect of the post production arena.

  44. Matt Feb 03, 2013 10:43

    To me, there is no question that FCPX is ready for professional use. We’ve seen several examples of it being used in broadcast and tv. My own personal tests put the image quality far above fcp7 (especially when mixing media types) with less conversion and hassle.

    The tool is what you make of it. A pro editor is what brings the professionalism to the table. For me, FCPX let’s me focus on the story and how I’m constructing it. The multicam tools are second to none. The price is fantastic even with 3rd party additions.

    I just can’t get over how people rag on it. Especially having not really tried it. And by try, I mean you have to really learn the software. It’s a lot different than premiere. Larry and ripple help a TON with this and if you haven’t done any training, then you don’t know what you are talking about and I don’t consider any professional editor to be a pro if they don’t know the software. Furthermore, who cares what you use? If I use FCPX and my clients are happy, how does that affect any one else? I’ve delivered sound to pro tools, XML to davinci, and burned Blu ray and web streaming. I’ve cut a 90 min doc with 400 hours of footage. To say this software is iMovie pro is ignorant and shameful since that tool can do neither. I loved FCP7, but the moment I switched, I realized it was time for it to die. 64bit, no rendering, working with red and h264 media natively. It’s a dream. For me, Apple got it right and I’m so glad they stuck with it instead of deferring to every one who wanted it read and FCP7 brought back. Goes to show, the mob is rarely right.

  45. Cindy Eagles Feb 03, 2013 17:35

    Thank you for being the answer to the Googled equivalent of “What the h— do I do now?!?!?”

  46. Larry Feb 03, 2013 23:34

    (smile…)

    Thanks, Cindy.

    Larry

  47. Christopher Wright Feb 04, 2013 17:03

    Just for the record, did try it, did learn it, edited a few simple projects on it, even watched some of Larry’s tutes and also Lynda.com. I’ve been a pro editor for 25 years and have learned and beta tested many more NLEs than Larry. Sorry, but FCPX is not a professional tool, not ready for prime time. Unless you are a one man band! Premiere has and will gain the pro users… X the hobbyists.

  48. Rich Feb 04, 2013 18:04

    This was very informative for a guy considering a jump to Ten. It answered most of my questions. I just have two. How do you handle outputting to DVD if there is no interaction between Ten and DVD studio. Toast?
    I’m running on 2008 2.8 gig quad core. If I’m going to an entire new FCP should I use this time to upgrade to a newer or faster computer and keep this one around for archive of older 7 projects? I read your article about the New I Mac’s…how is that working out for you? I’d rather not buy new monitors…And I hear rumors of a new tower. Thanks for keeping us all “up to date”.

    Rich

  49. Larry Feb 04, 2013 18:10

    Rich:

    Thanks for the kind words. Currently, the best authoring application is Adobe Encore. However, if you have DVD Studio Pro, you can use that as well; however, it won’t create Blu-ray Discs, while Encore can.

    Never buy, or not buy, on rumors. Buy based on your needs and what’s shipping. The new iMac is working fine for me for the editing that I do, however, I’m principally creating short training videos, not features.

    Larry

  50. Gabriel Spaulding Feb 04, 2013 23:48

    Christopher–

    First, editing “a few simple projects” hardly counts more than getting one’s feet wet with the software. Second, testing more NLEs than another does not by itself produce better judgment. Third, FCPX has already successfully been used for prime time television, despite your assessment of the software. And finally, not all FCPX users are hobbyists, just as not all professionals prefer your software of choice. I have used both FCPX and Premiere CS6 for professional work, and they are both wonderful programs, albeit with different strengths and weaknesses. The section above, titled “Be Careful How You Define Yourself” has a few things to say about this, in case you missed that part of Larry’s article.

  51. Larry Feb 04, 2013 23:57

    Gabriel, Christopher, and everyone else:

    I am happy to encourage discussion, but do NOT encourage personal accusations. We haven’t reached that point, yet – I’m just issuing a caution. Explain your points of view as forcefully as you want – but be cautious where you point. I know we all don’t agree, which is why I’m always interested in learning why you hold the positions you do.

    Larry

  52. J-P Balas Feb 05, 2013 19:25

    Frankly I dont get it.
    I heard the negative hype surrounding FCPX. I heard everyones complaints.
    Yet I was still intrigued.
    As an editor I was growing tired of FCP7 dull grey interface. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I think it was starting to affect my creativity!
    FCPX came along for me at just the right time. I bought it, and after wrapping my head around the new workflow methods, I fell in love!
    I havent looked back since, and groan when I have to go back to FCP7!
    I freelance for major networks, so theres no question that this had to be a professional product. and it is. one hundred percent.
    Now I hear complaints about audio not being good enough, or that its too difficult to export for pro tools. Again I dont get it-
    I often have to send my audio to a pro tools editor- X2Pro is awesome. It creates an AAF with whatever handles you want. You can also export your audio as “roles” which is an awesome backup.
    I’m always urging my fellow editors to try FCPX. Most shake their heads, and the rest dismiss me- thats cool…One day they’ll understand!

  53. Christopher Wright Feb 07, 2013 03:28

    Point taken Larry, and thank you for letting us expound on our reasons for liking or not liking FCP X. To answer Gabriel, yes I can tell from editing a few “simple projects” whether or not a software is better than another for editing. My “simple projects” always include multiple audio layers, video layers, titles, green screen, compositing, 3rd party plug-ins (of which I have also been a beta tester for Autodesk, Adobe, Boris FX) and I can tell how they perform (or don’t) by doing such projects.

    FCP X is really not that complex or hard to learn. It is just a different interface, with different shortcuts. It reminds me of the consumer editing program Pinnacle 16 Ultimate. The basic editing blocks, or vocabulary, of any editing program are still the same. As has been stated, many pros will still use FCP X for simpler projects, and projects where they don’t have to collaborate with other professionals. And anyone who makes some money doing a video production can call themselves “a pro.” But that is beside the point I am making.

    I know people who make money with Avid Studio, Pinnacle 16 Ultimate, Newtek Speed Edit, Vegas Studio, Nero Movie Maker, Toast 11, Windows Movie Maker, all “consumer” apps, aimed at consumer markets. Some even full length documentary programs. Many of these apps have 3rd party plug-ins that come standard with the software and certain features that surpass FCP X. They are also adding “pro features” all the time. In the broadcast world many people cut on Edius software, which again has its own merits and quirks, just like any other. I still would not recommend Edius software for most editors. Then we come to the high end Smoke, which is used by many post houses. Another workflow and feature set that you can learn if you want to go the node-based editing route. I would not recommend that complex program for most editors. If you use any editing software long enough, you can grow to rely on that workflow for your comfort zone and level.

    If you had read my first post you will have noticed that I have had to switch gears and learn new features and interfaces all the time, due to necessity and EOLing of products. The best editing program I have ever used was Discreet Logic’s edit*. It was truly designed by and for editors, not just written by software engineers who rarely cared about or understood an editors workflow. I hated to have to go to the clunky FCP on Apple when Autodesk killed edit*, but at the time Apple had the least expensive route to HD production with the Targa hardware card. As another person noted, Apple has steadily been buying and killing off some very professional products for a long time. Larry’s (AND my) beloved program Live Type, Color, Soundtrack, DVD Studio Pro…

    I have been around the block long enough to see the pattern and warning signs of when a company is consistently EOLing pro tools and apps. My main point is that Apple has lost its way and is mainly a phone company now. Read the financials. Most investors feel if they don’t hit a home run with the new iPhone, they are basically finished. Samsung and Android will eat their lunch. They really could care less about the pro market. The numbers they need to survive are miniscule there. And that is a sad fact. For that reason, and the fact that almost every post house uses After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator anyway, the smart choice is on Adobe at this time….

    If I didn’t “embrace change” and “change with the times” then I would still be editing film on a Steenbeck, or cutting 2″ videotape with a microscope and a razor blade. I just think you need to read the tea leaves, and Adobe is the better investment in time, energy, and resources.

  54. David Gaudio Feb 09, 2013 14:44

    I agree with Christopher on a very specific point – I also edited with the Discreet Edit over ten years ago, and it was the best NLE I’ve ever used as well. A huge loss when it was EOL’ed. I’m still using 7 but switch to PPro CS6 for certain projects and am liking it save for a few issues that I suspect are more related to the Blackmagic device I’m using with it rather than the app itself (have no such issues when using 7). I won’t be going near X until they get the audio mixer issue resolved, as everything I do has to be sent to an audio sweetening house before finishing. But I’m certainly keeping an eye on it anyway. These days, you have to have all these NLE’s in your arsenal (Avid as well, of course), because what Apple did to us nearly two years ago has destroyed the universality of the business. It was wonderful for a few years to know just FCP legacy and only need to know that app to be accepted pretty much anywhere. Not true anymore. That’s why Larry offers training in both X and PPro – it’s no longer enough to concentrate on just one editing app.

  55. Jamie Sydney Feb 10, 2013 21:45

    Hi Larry,

    Can X even do OMF yet? This is such a critical feature for final mix, and what my networks in the UK require. How can X be a pro app with out it?

  56. Tony Badea Feb 14, 2013 20:01

    I absolutely love FCPX :)

    Use it every day, from day one!

  57. David Tindale Feb 25, 2013 07:42

    Hi Larry, I really appreciate the time you take to review and create training for the products on your website. I’m not sure this is the right place to ask this but…here I go,

    I have a question regarding the professional uptake of Final Cut X.

    I teach indigenous Australian students in video production techniques. We are little behind the rest of the world here in the Outback. we are however, using Mac’s and FCP 7 and 6, nothing truly dies in the provinces. Which brings me to my question.

    What is Industry using? or perhaps the question is, where is the industry going? In Australia it seems to me from anecdotal evidence that people are moving back to Avid or to Premier Pro. I have been looking for an industry survey but I can’t seem to find anything that makes sense.

    Given that I’m working with a group of future film makers who will on occasion work with everything from overseas film crews to Television production crews, I’m at a loss as what to say. Also I have pressure from above to update our software to meet future needs….

    I have been working in the video production industry for over 17 years, I cut my teeth on analogue edit suites and have adapted to digital tape and now to file based systems. I am not averse to change but I am finding it difficult to discern what the right choice for my students might be.

    I appreciate that you get a lot of emails each day and that your time is precious, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time

  58. Larry Feb 25, 2013 08:59

    David:

    What I’m seeing is that there is no trend – the industry feels in disarray to me. Avid, Adobe, and Apple are all solid choices, depending upon what you need to do. There is no current “market leader.” In fact, the very definition of “market” is rapidly changing.

    Avid has solidified its position in feature films and high-end episodic television. Adobe Premiere is expanding into areas once owned by FCP 7. And FCP X is defining new markets and new editors, in a way that the other two packages are not.

    My sense is that the industry will remain in upheaval for another year or so, then slowly settle into the “new normal.”

    Larry

  59. Neil Mar 08, 2013 17:52

    Larry,

    What’s your recommended workflow for importing Blackmagic Cinema Camera .dng files into FCP X?

    Thanks,
    Neil

  60. Larry Mar 08, 2013 18:01

    Neil:

    Both FCP X and Premiere have problems playing DNG files natively. What I would do is convert them to ProRes using either Resolve or other software and use the ProRes files as “low-res” editing files. Then, convert back to DNG during the final color grade using Resolve.

    Here’s a presentation I did at BVE specifically about the BMD Cinema Camera and it’s workflow:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjQozyVhD5E&list=UUSvCR76uY0R8mjVETskWRvg&index=5

    Larry

  61. Neil Mar 08, 2013 18:54

    Thanks Larry … that’s kinda what of thought too … have you tried the importing ‘images as stills and then making a compound clip’ method? … do you need to set the duration of each clip to 1/24th of a second before you import? … it’s a bit of a kluge I know.

    Glad you made it back safely from rainy London … heard your BVE session were very well received.

    Cheers,
    Neil

  62. Larry Mar 08, 2013 23:11

    Neil:

    I would NEVER do this – it would be a complete shambles!

    Instead, use QuickTime 7 to convert the image sequence into a movie, then transcode to ProRes.

    Larry

  63. Jonas Goldmann May 04, 2013 13:06

    Thanks for a good article.
    But is it correct that FCPX can’t export OMFs?
    In that case I’m afraid it can’t be ready for professional use.

    Best regards
    Jonas

  64. Larry May 04, 2013 13:42

    Jonas:

    Well, I think you are being hasty. OMFs have a 2GB limit on file size, which means that for longer projects, you need to export multiple versions of your audio. Also, OMFs don’t recognize Ins or Outs in a project, which also adds complexity to the export to get all your tracks exported from beginning to end, while still staying within the 2 GB limit. Also, OMFs don’t support embedded movie files, so you need to export a separate video file of your project if you want to mix to pix. Finally, the OMF spec hasn’t changed since the mid-1990’s, which means it won’t expand to support new video formats, such as surround.

    * X2Pro takes XML exports from FCP X, and instantly converts it into a ProTools file, without the file size limitation, and MUCH !! faster.
    * X27 takes XML exports from FCP X, and instantly converts them into an Adobe Audition session. Again, MUCH faster.

    Given the speed and file size, XML is FAR superior to OMFs, and our projects can be mixed by all the leading audio DAWs.

    Larry

  65. Jonas Goldmann May 04, 2013 15:29

    Hi Larry

    Ok maybe I’m trapped in old workflows!
    But still – you depend on 3rd party applications – same if you need to export an EDL.
    Hopefully Apple will build these features into FCPX, in the future.

    All the best

    Jonas

  66. Sterling Ledet Jul 30, 2013 17:40

    Thanks Larry. That was well written and useful.

  67. Mikael Kyster Aug 25, 2013 01:12

    I’ve been editing with FCPX every day since May last year. I use it to cut a very popular documentary series ‘Razzia’ for danish television. This piece of software is incredible and even though the article is a year old I recommend it for further reading if you wanna know more about our workflow: http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/news/867-metronome-celebrate-a-documentary-series-cut-on-fcpx-with-a-birthday-cake

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