FCP X & Compressor 4: Yea or Nea? at DVinfo.net

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Final Cut Pro X
The latest version of FCP from Apple.

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Old February 2nd, 2013, 05:26 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 845
FCP X & Compressor 4: Yea or Nea?

There seems to be a lot of video editors using Compressor, but I haven't. The big question is: Should I use it too?

I've spent most of the day trying to find out what it does and the pros and cons of whether I should use it or not. From what I've found out, it appears I should use it if I want to get quality output. The cost, $50, isn't a problem if it helps to generate a better product.

My workflow: The starting video camera (JVC HD7) files are 1440 CBR in a *.tod format, but the camera does have Full HD capability. After importing them into the computer I run them through CllipWrap and convert them to *.mov.

What I've found is this:
Compressor is better if....
- You have a multi-processor MacPro and set up a cluster.
- You need to make more than just a DVD of the project (web files, etc.) at the same time.
- You want to change the default DVD compression settings that Apple uses. Multi-pass, different compression settings, filters, etc.
DVDSP used the same compression engine as Compressor but your options are limited and it's not as easy to change the settings from the automatic defaults of the program.
In the end it may not be much of a difference which you use. Depends on the project and your final needs.
(written by the prolific Mr. William H.)

I'd also like to quote Daniel Epstein, Trustee:
My recent experience is Compressor makes a much cleaner DVD video file from HD than DVD Studio Pro making a downconvert of the same file. Other people have told me the same thing. Definitely visible difference. I am not a fan of Compressor but have been impressed by its results.

Both quotes are from Compressor

My "end result" will definitely be at least a DVD but maybe a Blu-ray BD disc.I've come across some pretty negative comments about home made BD discs so it'll be at least DVDs for the time being.

Question: Do you think I should I get Compressor 4?

P.S. The computer is a Mac Pro 3,1 dual quad 3.20 GHz (what's a cluster?)
Probably won't be making more than one Project at a time. Maybe once in a while.
I don't know if I want to change the default compression settings.

Last edited by John Nantz; February 2nd, 2013 at 05:30 PM. Reason: added a PS
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 06:10 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,501
Re: FCP X & Compressor 4: Yea or Nea?

Prolific? Certainly.

You have a dual-quad MacPro? Get Compressor. Set up a "Quick Cluster" with 4 instances selected in the Services window and watch the computer scream thru DVD encodes. It's a little tough to get it started the first time but once you have it set up, it's a breeze. If you are not planning to do many DVDs or BluRays perhaps $50 is a waste of money but I don't think so.
William Hohauser - New York City
Edit/Camera/DCP production/Animation
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