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Old February 27th, 2006, 11:28 PM   #1
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Question About Final Cut (FCE vs. FCP)

We are looking to purchase a new camera (not sure which one yet), a Powerbook and Final Cut Express or Pro 5. Right now I would like to know the advantages and disadvantages of getting FCE vs. FCP for someone just getting started with Final Cut software.

As a music supervisor I've been focused on the business side of music clearnace and licensing and now wanting to expand into laying in songs and score to picture and doing more in post. I want to have the knowledge to advise in the final mix of music into production along with dialog, sound effects, ADR, foley, etc.

I know that FCE has Soundtrack also. For the price difference $299 vs. $1,299, is it worth purchasing or should we go with FCP. We will be shooting and editing our own films as well along the way but not as frequent as the music work.

Any information would help get me on my way. I'll be posting camera and Mac question soon.

Thanks!
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Old February 27th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #2
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Fcp

Based on your music background, I would go with Final Cut Pro. You can do remarkable things with SoundTrack, and the issue of licensing is elmininated. Once you create a music trak, you own it, which is a huge advantage. And with the many loops you have available, there are many, many choices. It is a great program and well worth the investment.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 12:02 AM   #3
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Thanks Jack. For the money would starting off with FCE be worth it? When we finally make the purchase, I'm not sure how tight the budget will be. If we have the spare cash, I will definitely go with FCP. If not, I'd like to start with FCE and then get FCP. Is there an upgrade from FCE to FCP or do you have to purchase the full version?

As for my music supervision work, I clear the rights to songs and obtain licenses for other filmmakers who chose to use pre-existing music in their films. This is where the licensing come in. When in post I want to be able to edit these songs into the film and be more useful in post. I know the editor will do a lot of this work but I want to be on top of the music editing. I also create cue sheets. Soundtrack (Pro) will allow me to get the SMPTE location of each song along with the exact timing of the song being used.

Thanks!
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Old February 28th, 2006, 03:53 AM   #4
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Dominique,

The MAIN differences between FCE and FCP are: Media management, FCE is a capture once, edit and output to tape editor. You can't do all the footage consolidation and media management, deck timecode control doe batch capturing etc, and codec support: FCE ONLY does DV25 and HDV via AIC. FCP will support anything that quicktime supports.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 03:24 AM   #5
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Pardon the slow response..

I would definitely go with the FCP. The extra money is worth, especially for your needs.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:54 AM   #6
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Dominique- I'll reverse the accepted advice. Go with express. See if you like the interface. Apples' got an upgrade path from express to pro. Soundtracks' great but Garageband for the money is amazing. The most important thing already mentioned is what type of media is captured . If it's straight dv or hdv then you can get by with express. If you're setting up an HD nle with all the accepted hd cards and raid drives , then you need fcstudio, and the fastest g5. Kurth
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Old March 5th, 2006, 11:56 AM   #7
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It's good to hear both sides of this issue. It gives me more to think about and more to research. I'm not familiar with Garageband but have heard of it. I'll do some research on it also. It's good to know there's an upgrade path from FCE to FCP. Does anyone know what the cost difference is between getting the full version of FCP vs. the upgrade?

As far as hardware goes, what is the recommended hardware for running both FCE and FCP? I've been a PC based user since the beginning of time. I've never used any Apple products.

Thanks!
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Old March 5th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #8
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There is no upgrade path between Express and Pro, and Express is absolutely unusable with HDV. Only AIC works and there's no logging, only Capture Now.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #9
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There is an upgrade for FCE called Final Cut Express HD ($99.00). It doesn't look like an upgrade to FCP. It looks like (from what I've read) that it just gives FCE more features.

Anyone care to expand on this upgrade?

Thanks!
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Old March 5th, 2006, 02:03 PM   #10
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You get Livetype and Soundtrack (not Soundtrack Pro) plus the ability to edit HDV (badly, like I said before). I don't think you will be able to purchase Final Cut Express any more. Final Cut Express HD is simply the latest version.

IMHO, Final Cut Express makes sense if, and only if, you want to use it for editing DV material. Don't use it for HDV, get Final Cut Studio instead, especially since you can get it for $500 now: http://www.apple.com/universal/crossgrade/

(Buy a copy of Soundtrack Pro somewhere and upgrade it to the whole Studio for $199).
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