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Old June 26th, 2011, 08:20 AM   #1
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FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

I have tried and used FCP since v1, but I never adapted it. I bought every update and I have used it every once in a while. But never as my main editor. To me it is to slow and clumsy and tries to do to much. All that slow rendering.

I currently have 3 seats of M100 with the Adobe CS 5 prod suite and FCP Studio3 on each machine. M100 is what I prefer to use, but I also use AE and Color as well as Logic Pro. I use FCP7 these days mostly because it will let me edit XDcam codecs from EXcams and NanoFlash w/o transcoding. M100 will not do this yet.
So I do my rough edits in FCP and then Export all the clips as ProRes422 and then finish the project in M100. Mostly because M100 is super fast and never needs to render it just plays and the interface is much simpler and cleaner than FCP7.

Well like I said every new release of FCP is interesting to me, I would love to be able to use just FCP. So like always I bought FCPX (really cheap) to try out and I got Larry Jordan's training :
Complete Training Series for FCP X (DOWNLOAD), Larry Jordan & Associates Inc.

a good investment.

My take so far is very positive with a few hopes for updates that will make FCPX a great solution for me.

FCPX is the fastest and easiest to use version so far. I like the DB approach to media, it does take getting used to, but it has great potential. The sound and CC is the best I have seen in a single program so far.

I have both AJA Kona and Matrox MX02 interfaces in my suites with Production monitors and scopes and more decks than I care to think about. I am sure in the next year we will have these working perfectly in FCPX. As well as others, I am excited about thunderbolt. I have already gone through 3 generations of video cards, the first one was $30,000.00 (M100 in the mid 90's), I replaced that after about 4 years and then again in another 5 or so, so if I have to update the cards/external boxes one more time it is not a big deal, and we are now talking about around a thousand instead of multiple thousands.

My cameras are now all solid state, a couple EXcams and the AF100. I love this work flow, and it saves tons of money not maintaining tape drives. Even though I still deliver a lot on tape, this is decreasing monthly.

So I think Apple is on the right track here. Like I said I am actually really contemplating using FCP as my main solution for the first time.

To me editing is really just telling a story and 99% of what you do is straight cuts with possible a few dissolves and FCPX does this very well and fast with a lot of new efficient ways of organizing clips. Yes it does take some getting used to, but I think basically it is very efficient. To me simple is better.

I also like the new CC, yes it is very different from Color, but I can do about everything I did in Color in FCPX. And the audio filters are easy to use and pretty good from what I have seen so far, M100 always had FCP beat here.

The titles work very well and though they are not real time like in M100 with the new BG rendering on a fast machine with fast drives they are very workable for me at least.

Yes it is different, and there is a learning curve but there is a lot there when you get used to it.

So I may actually start using FCPX instead of M100 in the near future. The only parts I really want is the hardware for external monitoring working and XML in/out. Possible EDL support as well.

Lets not be afraid of change. Embrace it and move on. Remember Betacam and Umatic, I am glad to be using the modern cameras. And I like advances in editing interfaces as well. The $300.00 price tag is so revolutionary that I could not wait to see how FCPX works, and I am impressed.

My latest 2 cents.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #2
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

Olof,

You're one of the few people on this forum - or any forum for that matter - who've really grown-up with the pro-video/film industry. And your allegiance to M100 proves it (I just wish they'd get some investors involved and really develop that thing further!). In fact, M100 is to the Mac what Edius has always been to the PC: A not-so-well-known but amazingly fast, simple and rock-solid editor that's been around forever. Almost.

A change-up wouldn't be something to be fearful of or shy away from - if it weren't so painful. As it stands today FCP X is really iMovie on steroids. Which would have been fine had Apple really been more forthcoming about it's strategy and schema regarding what FCP X's intended market usage is supposed to be - which is pro-sumer at best.

With the distinct lack of pro features (already well documented on the web many times over) requiring you to either purchase hundreds more dollars just to make *existing* workflows compatible or that things like working with an EDL just isn't even possible at all (for now), your glowing review of FCP X is - unfortunately - the "minority report".

Like many I was hoping (praying) that Apple would release something not necessarily under-the-hood totally new, but at least that they'd catch up to features the competition has had for years and then surpass them with superior speed/versatility etc. In some respects they have in fact added some cool features, but what's happened to FCP is exactly what's happened to the OS itself: This new version is really addressing the needs of the pro-sumer, not the full-time professional who's making a living off being an editor.

The greatest fear for the future in my estimation, is that FCP X represents the beginning of the end for PRO editors on a Mac platform. That is unless you end up switching to an Adobe or Avid product.

The writing's been on the wall for years about Apple catering to consumer/pro-sumer for years, now it's finally degraded it's flagship pro offering, and I must say it's damned horrifying to see.

But if you're not convinced that FCP X really is iMovie on steroids all you have to do is realize this one "feature" of FCP X which quantifies the direction - and person FCP X was made for: No support for RED! Huh? A brand-new "professional" editor that can't support RED out of the box? Really?!
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Last edited by Robert Lane; June 26th, 2011 at 09:36 AM.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

I'm getting tired of all the "I want my money back, "I'm changing to avid/adobe" "what was apple thinking" "apple has dropped its pro users" etc etc.

Olaf - great to hear you are moving forward! Please let us know how you adapt your workflow with FCPX. There is a thread over on the Nanoflash section of the boards dealing with Nanoflash / FCPX compatibility - please post any recommendations or problems you encounter over there.

Best of luck!
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Old June 26th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #4
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

I'm definitely glad somebody likes it.

Although... I kinda do as well. Its just that there are so many things I rely on that I simply can't use it until they update it. Otherwise after FCP 7 is no longer functioning (due to a os update, security update, etc) I'll have to switch to another application. But the hope is there for me, like you, that they'll update it to take advantage of a professional workflow and equipment allowing me to fully switch because I really do like the timeline (once you get used to it) and the background rendering.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

I don't share the doom and gloom that's been going around. It seems to be a repeat of the pre-Jobs returning to Apple years when AVID and Media100 both decided to focus on WindowsNT based software as everyone was predicting the demise of Apple. There are plenty of alternatives to FCP on the Mac, Media100 amazingly still being one of them. And I still miss the Media100 in some ways but there's no real reason to go back like Robert says.

The new program is... 50/50. It's fast, efficient and packed with neat features. It's missing a few things I would need for a feature length product but I don't do features every day. The interface needs user input for a few things but it's usable as much as any program. The lists of woes that past few days have brought out are real (when not just the result of understandable confusion, mistakes or outright falsifications). Perhaps Apple will take care of this in short order or a third party will. I have yet to see a price tag from anyone so the idea of "hundreds of dollars" is premature. Remember when we accepted months for a new program to be fixed or gain valuable support equipment not scream that it isn't available immediately? And we can still use the old FCP without a hitch!

And on the topic of hundreds of dollars, Apple has included a number of filters that save money, whether this can fully replace the expensive filter packages out there fully is a good question but why when editors are willing to spend thousands of dollars in additional software for FCP is the topic of money important now? Every few years we have to make the decision to upgrade something and it usually costs something. It's up to Magic Bullet and others to upgrade their filters and charge their loyal users a very modest upgrade fee. Users of external hardware should expect a free driver upgrade in the coming weeks.

X is excellent for perhaps 70% of the editing base out there. Schools, businesses, industrials, independant filmakers, hobbyists, local commercial producers, event documentors, electronic sign producers, local TV programming, etc. That's a lot of money for Apple, important money. And to imply that these valid purposes for an editing program are somehow lesser is snobbishness. And to deride somebody who expresses that they like the program is sad. Us 30% percent either have needs that Apple never expressed an interest in developing solutions for, instead allowing an opening for third party developers to come in, or has decided to not expend development money on a very narrow market, letting specialists like AVID fill the needs with their own software.

To end this I will go back to the Media100, when FCP 1 came out I was working primarily with the Media100. I purchased FCP 1 but felt that it wasn't ready for the broadcast work I was doing especially the lack of support for Betacam deck control which was my primary delivery option at the time. Everything was FireWire based in FCP. Visionary perhaps but not helpful to me at the time. Eventually by the time of FCP 2, the program progressed enough and there was third party support for RS422 that worked. However I waited a couple of seasons for a break to switch everything over to FCP. By that time FCP 3 was out. I expect the same development pattern for X, hopefully with a 10.1 update instead of a longer wait.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 10:49 AM   #6
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

Oh I don't want you to think I was riding him for not liking it. I was saying that I like it as well but hope that they will fix some of the issues that prevent me from loving it...
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Old June 26th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
... X is excellent for perhaps 70% of the editing base out there. Schools, businesses, industrials, independant filmakers, hobbyists, local commercial producers, event documentors, electronic sign producers, local TV programming, etc. That's a lot of money for Apple, important money. And to imply that these valid purposes for an editing program are somehow lesser is snobbishness. And to deride somebody who expresses that they like the program is sad. Us 30% percent either have needs that Apple never expressed an interest in developing solutions for, instead allowing an opening for third party developers to come in, or has decided to not expend development money on a very narrow market, letting specialists like AVID fill the needs with their own software.
Apple can do everything what likes, but you don't write please, that best movie editors are not right. Really a new consumer sw must be the end "pro line"? No, both these sw can exist at the time.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #8
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

Pavel, the point underlying what William is saying is that there are numerous professionals for whom FCPX will probably work very well - they are not 'consumers' - they make their living one way or another from using an NLE. But they are not the 30% of pros who need a particular set of specialist tools that at present FCPX lacks. It is this assumption that only they are 'pros' that is snobbish and patronising.

I have learned huge amounts from such people on this forum and am very grateful and in fact I think they make some very good points about the shortcomings of this software some of which will also affect me - one of William's 70%, but they do not have the monopoly on what is considered good.

An NLE is just a tool and good heavens, some of the total mindless junk that gets turned out by so called pros of Hollywood beggars belief at times, whereas something done by a what some would call an amateur may be technically far weaker but infinitely better in every other way.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #9
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

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Originally Posted by Louis Maddalena View Post
Otherwise after FCP 7 is no longer functioning (due to a os update, security update, etc) I'll have to switch to another application.
I'm taking it that you mean that FCP 7 will eventually not work, but it still does now.

What are people finding, should you partition your drive, does it work fine just having it on the same OS as FCP 7?

Are there any benefits to having 2 OS on your main drive? Seems like a hassle, & I don't have the room for that on my laptop.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #10
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

Mine as well.

But the current state of the software is pathetic and a big disappointment. I really don't think Steve Jobs is happy when one of the flagship Apple ProApps applications scores 2/5 in the App store. That's a failure in my opinion... and a big one. You can fool the big public with good marketing, but you can't fool professional editors with 20+ years of experience of which the last 10 with digital filmmaking.

And I also don't understand the people who have blind faith that Apple is going to fix everything. With this alpha software release to the professional public, they show no respect whatsoever and also proof that they don't understand their users very good. Change is painful, revolutions are slow but that doesn't mean you should release alpha software to them and stop support for the current version immediately. So should you thrust these people that they are going to fix all our issues? I'm not sure.

I really hope people are having late night meetings in Cupertino on how to fix this fiasco. Explaining to Steve Jobs why they failed and slacked the Apple brand (i.e. with Mobile Me). However, all rumors turned out to be true (about iMovie Pro, simplified interface etc.) so I guess the rumors that they fired many people at the ProApps division are most likely true as well. If I see what's missing, that doesn't bode well for quick fixes, especially with Lion and IOS 5 requiring major development effort at this moment.

Let's wait and see... but I'm not betting on one horse and keep developing my Premiere Pro skills.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #11
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

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Originally Posted by Geoffrey Cox View Post
Pavel, the point underlying what William is saying is that there are numerous professionals for whom FCPX will probably work very well...
...and there are numerous professionals for whom new FCPX will works a very badlly, this is really new point of view for funs FCP.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #12
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

The hardest thing for me is that I use to have a program that I could collaborate with PBS & others with, pick up jobs that were already started etc.

Now what is going to be that ap???????
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Old June 26th, 2011, 09:24 PM   #13
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

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Oh I don't want you to think I was riding him for not liking it. I was saying that I like it as well but hope that they will fix some of the issues that prevent me from loving it...
Absolutely not, it took me a long time to write that and you posted in the interim. I do agree with you but it is a functioning edit program right now.

And to the other responses:

Final Cut Pro 7 stills exists. It remains on your hard drive as do all the other Final Cut Studio programs. Where do people get the idea it's gone? Continue working with it as I will on several long term projects. There is no news that it will stop working. To say it won't is just starting a new rumor based on nothing. You can still collaborate with PBS and anyone else working with FCP7. If I read the NYT follow-up article correctly, Apple has stated that they are working on a solution to export FCP7 edit programs into FCPX.

And the release of this software is no different than the new golden boy on the scene, Adobe. How many terrible releases of Premier did we have to go thru before CS5? They were way worse than X in many ways. And AVID has had their share of questionable releases. This is not a bad program, the biggest problem is that Apple called it Final Cut.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 10:13 PM   #14
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

William,

Most of the time I agree with your assessments on our beloved industry and it's quirky existence with hardware/software offerings, but this time I have to distinctly disagree with you, that "70% percent of users..." can use FCP X with existing workflows.

In the pro-sumer world that's absolutely true, and in fact I've no doubt that Apple's target market was the typical iMovie or Final Cut Express power user that wanted to take the next step up - without investing thousands of dollars in a dyed-in-the-wool pro NLE.

However I've been getting emails from people in broadcast, educational institutions and other real-world long-term pro editors who are scratching their heads as to why their *current* workflows and capabilities have been stripped from FCP X.

The distinct lack of being able to use an EDL to collaborate with other editors/post houses is making people in Burbank flush with anger. Students have found out - the hard way - that their current tape-based workflows, which by the way are the current syllabus of training for school, also has no competent usage in FCP X. And one user in particular, who thought he'd impress his brand-new client that he's got "the latest and greatest..." NLE on the planet also found out that his time-tested and how-I-pay-the-bills RED workflow is also a no-go with FCP X.

Many more users emailed, asking, "...where is DVD Studio Pro in the mix?" Like it or not DVD's most certainly are not going to disappear simply because Apple has decided not to include the best-ever DVD authoring app.

Had Apple simply re-vamped FCP 7 to include the newer feature set and branded it FCP 8 then we'd be talking about just another "feature update", not a top-down failure from Cupertino.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 10:15 PM   #15
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Re: FCPX may be my main NLE in the near future

Look I think it is important for many of us to keep Apple focused. Without us how could anybody expect Apple to create a great product. As much as Apple has done in the past they are not perfect.

I think it is good for people to be highly critical of a product if it doesn't meet their needs. After all why should we just be blindly loyal to a corporation? I like Apple products and use a lot of them but I see no reason why one shouldn't be critical of a product if it doesn't fit their needs. Isn't that the whole point to a review system. We see negative comments and criticism all the time with other companies and products.

If we all rolled over and pretended this was the best product ever how quickly would Apple try to add new features? With all the negative heat perhaps FCPX will be even better at a faster pace then what was planned before. As an artist I know that sometimes while I may think a particular design is awesome it does take a client or group of clients to criticize my work so that I can make it better. I see things as no different with Apple. They made a cool product but it feel very short of professional standards. They should be called out on it so that they can fix it and make it better.

I do not doubt that if Apple wants to they will eventually make FCPX a great product. The whole point here is just how much drive they have to make it good enough for professional standards. It is already a pretty solid tool. It is just missing a few key features. Features we know are physically possible to be added. So lets keep pressuring Apple to add them. The more vocal we are the more they will listen.
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