Final Cut Pro X: Apple’s bet against track-based editing

Many editors don’t understand why Apple have abandoned the track-based editing metaphor.

Tracks have been in Mac applications since Macromind VideoWorks in 1985:

videoworks

 Image source: Jamie Fenton

VideoWorks (which evolved into Macromedia Director in the 90s) was an animation application that imported graphic images (into a ‘cast’ window), these images are then placed on a stage in layers. The ‘Score’ showed these numbered layers listed vertically, with animation frames shown horizontally. In the example above, there is nothing shown in layer 3 until frame 8. The current frame is 13, with the graphic in layer 2 selected.

When Avid and Adobe Premiere came along, they had timelines that represented video clips overlaying each other in layers, and this metaphor survives to this day. Here’s an example of how tracks are used in editing today:

The modern rule is that the lowest numbered track is in the background, and video clips in higher numbered layers obscure the layers below. In the example if all the clips were full screen, the final edit would start with the wide shot, followed by Actor A, then B, A, the wide, B, A and back to the wide.

Tracks can implement every editing method

The flexibility of tracks means that editors can get the same result with a different layout of clips on the timeline. In the following case, instead of using track 1 for the wide, 2 for Actor A and 3 for Actor B, track 1 if used for third takes, 2 for second takes and 3 for first takes:

Very few editors would use layers in this way, but track-based editing has been flexible enough to allow for hundreds of different methodologies to be used over the last 25 years. The ability to make tracks and individual clips visible and invisible helps editors use their timelines as places to keep alternate ideas and options for later in the editing process.

In this case the timeline shows an interview that includes B-roll footage that illustrates the points being made in answers to questions. Some of the clips have been disabled, but left on the timeline in case they might be used in future edits. B-roll 2 and 2b are disabled, but remain as possible replacements for B-roll 2a. Answer 14 is similar to answer 12, but is disabled for now.

Judging by their actions, Apple believes that the downside of removing track-based editing from Final Cut Pro X is worth the upside of the benefits of the new way of doing things.

So what feature of Final Cut’s new timeline forced Apple to get rid of tracks?

The Final Cut Pro X ‘magnetic timeline’ is a relationships-based timeline

One of the many jobs editors have in scenes is to associate one clip with another. In the example above, B-roll clips 6 and 7 are associated with the interviewee’s answer to to question 2. After a few seconds showing the interviewee, B-roll clip 6 appears, followed by clip 7. In the earlier example, while Actor A talks, the editor cuts to Actor B’s reaction. Actor B then speaks, after a few seconds we see Actor A’s reaction.

The innovation Final Cut Pro X introduced was a way for an editor to quickly link clips – when moments need to happen at the same time, and when a series of clips need to be grouped together.

Clips are quickly synced with each other using connections. In the case of interview answer 12 above, what if a moment 3 seconds into B-roll 12 needs to line up with a specific moment in the answer? In Final Cut Pro X you can create this connection (using Q to connect the clip to the primary storyline and command-option clicking the connected clip to move the connection location).

As well as defining when one clip syncs with another, you can define a series of clips as a storyline and define when the storyline syncs with a clip. In the example above, answer 11 can be associated with two B-roll clips: 11 & 12. Clip 11 works to set up clip 12. This makes sure that B-roll clip 11 & 12 always move together, and stay in sync with the interview clip.

The primary benefit of the new Final Cut Pro X timeline is that it makes the relationships between clips clear. Editors can return to timelines quickly recognising clip relationships, and timelines can be passed on to collaborators with these points encoded clearly.

Editors have always decided how clips should relate to each other.

Synchronisation points can be defined in other editing software using matching markers and by moving sets of clips at the same time. Problems arise when connected clips clash with clips connected to clips at the destination.

If answer 11 needed to be moved after answer 5…

…then the B-roll clip 11 would clash with B-roll clip 2a. It would either replace it (so that Interview Answer 5 would no longer have B-Roll 2a illustrating a specific point) or…

…the move would introduce a gap between answer 5 and the newly inserted answer 11.

Here’s how the same edit works in Final Cut Pro X. Firstly, the timeline is simplified by combining the hidden optional clips inside auditions. An audition holds B-roll 2, 2a and 2b, and is set to show 2a. An audition also holds interview answer 12 and 14, and is set to show answer 12. The B-roll clips associated with each interview answer are combined in their own storylines. Answer 5 is linked to a storyline made up of B-roll 1 and the audition that is displaying B-roll 2a. Interview 2 is linked to a storyline that is made of B-roll 6 and 7:

If you move answer 11 after answer 5…

…the answers continue without a gap, and the editor needs to choose what B-roll to show between answer 5 and 11.

The important thing here is primary storyline is instantly changed, so the editor can go on to choose what to show, but the relationships between the clips remain. If the B-roll clips were locked to specific tracks, there would be no way of maintaining the relationships between the clips.

It seems to me an application that can encode the relationships between clips is more powerful than apps that leave the relationships to be recognised by whichever editor is looking at a timeline. In Final Cut Pro X, a modern technological implementation doesn’t get in the way of the craft of working with clip relationships.

Apple believes that maintaining the relationships between clips is more important than keeping clips on specific tracks.

In the coming months and years, the market will determine whether the majority of editors agree with Apple.

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85 comments
  1. Manuel said:

    I’m not agree with Apple, in fact I just started to hate them. Really. F🍏

  2. Jay Cee said:

    I’ve been teaching FCPX for a year. I consider it an abject failure.

    • Ergo: you actually (claim to) teach something you can’t even begin grasp. Wow. Bravo.

      I’ve been teaching FCP since version FOUR and have never had such a high level of enthusiasm, interest and satisfaction with what was learned from the most experienced to inexperienced of editors than I have with X. And the knowledge gained is in fact retained *lightyears* easier and better than any previous version, due it’s intrinsic logic and non-cryptic ease of use.

      You obviously should be looking for another line of work. Fast.

    • Eric Santiago said:

      Then you have failed.
      Ive been teaching FCPX for a year and Legacy since 2002.
      I can tell you that my students by mid course are more honed in to telling the story as oppose to figuring out the technical side of things.

  3. Ethan said:

    I think the relative number of words taken to describe how clips “relate” to each other using tracks or trackless speaks for itself.

  4. efolger said:

    In real editing the relationships between clips is always dynamic, determined by content, visual composition and pace of action – the foremost requirement is flexibility. I have to be able to juggle lots of pictures and sounds in the air at the same time. FCPX does not cut it.

    • plysat said:

      In “real” editing? lol One of my current projects has 16 ‘tracks’ of audio, which is relatively light for me, and one video section with 16 layered clips, all resized, time retimed, and animated into a grid generator. It’s pretty real. ;-)

  5. doug d said:

    Alex:

    Nicely done. FYI the “tracks” metaphor goes back to actual film editing. When working on a bench, you would stack film and audio reels onto a set of “cranks” they wind them left to right through a geared “synchronizer block” on your editing bench (table). The sync block had multiple geared wheels, each one using the sprocket holes to “lock” the separate pieces of film and audio track “in sync.” You hand cranked the whole mess of picture and track, and it rolled past perfectly locked together, frame-accurate.

    You could buy sync blocks that “ganged” several tracks together, and even gang blocks together for more tracks. You could run multiple film pieces, e.g. a title roll alongside a picture roll. These pieces could subsequently be run through a viewer to screen the film. You could sync multiple audio tracks, with the magnetic heads that read the tracks attached directly to the sync block, multiple heads reading different tracks, all feeding into a mixer and “squawk box.” If you wanted to move picture against track, “out-of-sync,” you would simply detach that track from it’s geared wheel, roll all other geared wheels-with-tracks ahead, or back, and then lock you maverick track down again at a different spot. Exactly like sliding clips back and forth on NLE tracks!

    On an upright Moviola, the same principle applied. Multiple sound heads could read sync dialogue, music and efx tracks separately, all side by side and in sync with the picture head of the Moviola, which is where you cut picture. If you wanted to throw one of your audio tracks out of sync with the picture head, you moved a sliding collar on the shaft connecting all the heads, which exposed a free-wheeling “knuckle” joint, and you could freewheel your audio ahead or back, then re-couple the joint and everything runs together again.

    On flatbed editing tables, you still had the same physical layout. Your picture track in front, running past a spinning prism to deliver picture on a viewer. Your audio running on multiple platters that could be disengaged and moved out of sync, relative to the picture and each other.

    When Avid came out, then, they offered filmmakers a truly MIXED metaphor interface. The timeline window looked just like track-editing in film. But the “Source & Record” windows came from tape editing, where you would dub shots from your source deck onto a recording deck, by defining “in & out” points via timecode. And then the Bins window was actually just a variation on the Mac Finder, with files inside of nested folders.

    So they were mixing metaphors drawn from Film, Tape and Computer interfaces to arrive at the so-called track-based NLE.

    That alone, in my view, was cause enough to re-imagine the entire NLE interface from the ground up! So FCPX has risen to the challenge, finally.

    • Art said:

      good thinking and line of argument

    • This thread is fascinating because it cuts to the crux of the issue about FCP X. I made films for years using exactly the equipment you describe and thinking how I structured a film through this technology. So did all the great filmmakers of the first hundred years of cinema. The relationship structure makes no sense to me–it’s not how I think film. Maybe it’s how some makers think TV, commercial spots, and certain kinds of formulaic documentary shoots and edits. Maybe one day there will be geniuses who conceive astounding films from shoot to finish through the relationship process. I don’t want/need to reconceive my working/thinking process to make the films I want to make. So I’ve switched to an NLE that works with tracks. :-)

      • Stu Brannon said:

        You’re right. X isn’t the people stuck in 100 year old techniques, is for the ones that need a MODERN technique that fits the production workflow of TODAY and are actually flexible, not stuck in old, worn paradigms and are willing (and able) to learn. Good luck with your tracks (which X also has btw, only in the form of metadata, so it’s clear you have no real clue what you’re even talking about when it comes to X).

      • doug d said:

        I am using both now, and find X is more fun for my documentary work, where I am shuffling pieces around and trying to make the intuitive leap as to where my story is. I can’t really do that by rigidly organizing tracks, nor can I do it with keywords and metadata alone. It’s more about using the X timeline as a “workbench” and pulling out clips into “connected” clips (opt-cmd up-arrow), then gathering those and making into a secondary storyline container (cmd-g) and dragging that container off to the side or at the end of timeline as “Outtakes.” I may dip back into those outs and trims later as needed, so I don’t want to go back into Events and re-locate them via keyword, etc.

        Meantime, moving things around in magnetic is great, never think about sync (I don’t detach audio until later if I need to for voiceover use and layering), never worry about overwriting anything. Just shuffle as I think “aloud” about what the flow of the story is.

        I now think of Legacy (or Premiere or other traditional NLE with tracks) as the place for more technical work. If I REALLY need to stack up a 24-track “mix” and so on. Or send those elements to a collaborator for his/her use in ProTools or AfterEffects.

        But my creative editing is happily done mostly in X now!

  6. Wayne said:

    The market has already spoken. X is a bigger misstep for Apple than all the Newtons in the world.
    Adobe and Avid ate loving all their new customers!

    • LOL… what complete and utter nonsensical DRIVEL.

      If you had an INCH of a clue, you’d know that Avid is in fact DYING by their own sword (I give them 18 months MAX), Adobe still has no marketshare in the pro world worth mentioning and FCP X in fact (yes, FACT) has a mere THREE percent less marketshare than FCP 7 as it stands. Unless of course you have some real numbers or proof otherwise… which you of course don’t. You’re just pulling unsubstantiated claims out your ass. The SCRI will in fact set you straight on matters, if you actually took the time to LOOK instead of trolling threads with your paltry BS.

      • Phil Harmonic said:

        you live in a bubble dude. stick to teaching and trolling.

      • Chris WIlby said:

        fool :-)

      • “you live in a bubble dude. stick to teaching and trolling.”

        ROTF
        How could one possibly refute such a *rock-solid* rebuttal as that?? Elegance and such profound argumentation.

        Yeah, that being the extent of any real argument you have. Thanks for teaching us what a *true* troll is and are a text-book example for the IQ and mindset of the haters. Bravo.

        Yeah, reality and facts can really hurt once they strike, eh? :-D

      • Actually, within the professional organizations, market share for Final Cut Pro has dropped from 50% in 2010 to less than 15% and shrinking since the release of Final Cut Pro X. The platform is being abandoned en masse by the industry, but at the same time it’s becoming popularized by consumers and entry-level editors who have ambitions to move up from iMovie (or similar programs). This leaves Avid and Adobe to compete for the pro users, and they’ve been stepping up in a big way with their latest offerings. Personally, I’m now using both (Media Composer 6.5 and Premiere CS6) in full-time TV production environments, and can say that they are both up to the task, and in no real danger of going away anytime soon.

      • dudemeister said:

        Nice one Sheldon. As if you could substantiate ANY of your blather, right? Pull facts at random out of your ass yourself much? Get off the crack sometime, maybe long enough to catch the fact that, as already stated, the SCRI and others can easily refute every word of your delusional nonsense. But hey, going with a company like AVID, that haven’t turned a profit SINCE 2005(!!) fits perfectly to your MO. Bravo. Our hero.

        But you are right with one thing: FCP’s user base has in fact expanded *substantially* since FCP X. And that is somehow a BAD thing? LOL… catch a clue.

      • ryryryryryryryry said:

        Um I just bought avid. I love avid, and I edit on a custom PC b/c everything made by apple sux.

      • Stuart Short said:

        Such pathetic, ad hominem blather puts your credibility at sub-zero.
        Actually PAYING for an Avid today makes it twice worse. Enjoy your NLE from a virtually DEAD company. Real smart move! LOL!

    • Eric Santiago said:

      Nice, I will now follow your mantra…LOL!

  7. Walter Soyka said:

    I think it’s hard to discuss the differences between traditional NLE timelines and FCPX projects because it’s so easy to conflate so many separate aspects of the implementations: hard-tracked (manually organized) versus trackless (self-collapsing), non-magnetic (traditional) versus magnetic (connected clips), and absolute time (timeline) versus relative time (storyline).

    I agree that FCPX encoding the relationships between clips is a powerful and compelling feature. FCPX builds clip relationships into its data model. The unique toolset FCPX offers for managing and manipulating clip relationships is truly innovative, and offers editors a new way to think about their edit — by managing their clips’ object models instead of managing temporary selections for timeline manipulation.

    However, I think clip connections versus tracks is a false dichotomy.

    Managing the relationship between clips does not require a self-collapsing system of lanes; that’s just one solution to the problem of clip collision during magnetic movements. DAW-style layered tracks or track groups would be compatible with traditional tracks.

    Managing the relationship between clips does not require counting time relatively; that’s just a design decision. The parent/child data model, which gives magnetism/clip relationship management “for free” due to its design, could be based on an independent absolute time container instead of anchoring on whatever the first clip in the primary storyline happens to be — consider David Lawrence’s and Jim Giberti’s suggestion of multiple peer storylines.

    FCPX’s magnetic timeline is a set of related but ultimately independent design decisions including tracklessness, clip connections, and temporal relativity. You could have clip connections without giving up tracks.

  8. Until now I had no clear view of what exactly was happening with FCPX. I see now and am very interested to see how I work with FCP creating these bonds. Unfortunately thousands of editors have learned on track-based systems, Apple changed directions and the money and the work and the skills will move back to AVID. It will be worth a shot to try out though.

  9. Chris WIlby said:

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across as many ‘blinkered’ people in my life. Apple had the balls and the brains to do something new and people give them stick for it! Adobe and Avid can bring it on with regards FCPX, because, they haven’t got a clue what they are doing or where they are going. Good luck fools…

    PS. Great article Alex :-)

    • I’d say that pretty much sums it up, yes. :-D

      Even a blind man can see that Avid is DEAD. The level denial of that fact is just plain STAGGERING.

      • Brad Smithee said:

        wow, well then you’d better talk to all the production companies in documentary anyway moving back to Avid. I tried FCPX and maybe it will still work someday, but at this point I’m seriously looking at moving away from FCP after years of working on it, and joining the hordes that are moving to Avid. Canada and the US.

      • Bravo Brad. Thanks for making MY point. Like I said: just plain STAGGERING.

      • Chris Wilby said:

        “wow, well then you’d better talk to all the production companies in documentary anyway moving back to Avid.”

        Any ‘facts’ to back this assertion up?

        ‘I tried FCPX’

        Which version and for how long?

        ‘joining the hordes that are moving to Avid’

        Is that the lemming like hordes per chance?

      • Do you know of any TV networks or studios that support your assertion that Avid is dead? I know a lot more people delivering broadcast / theatrical content on Avid systems than any other, and certainly haven’t seen Final Cut Pro X in use at any of these facilities. Except maybe this one:

        If Avid is truly dead, then Adobe is our only hope I’m afraid. Not that Avid is dead though.

      • dudemeister said:

        Wow… having to reference an age old bad joke to make a point shosw how little you have. Sad. Especially since the same guys are just about the WORST (pathetic and embarrassing) reference you could make in the context of AVID, since they just recently were paid to do a lame Premiere promo for Adobe. Oh yeah, and what THEY do is the epitome of “pro” work, huh?? :-)))) Yeah, real tough job hacking together a live talk show. Wow.

        And sorry to break it to you, Mr. Pro (lol), but I work for a large studio in L.A. where we recently switched from Symphony to FCP X for producing TV pilots for HBO, Starz and more… but you go ahead on dreaming. Whilst you go down with your ship, fist raised high, we’ll be over here actually working. You really seem to need the justification. Gee… wonder why?! LOL

      • Which large studio are you working with? I’m just going on what I’ve seen over the past year, but wouldn’t mind taking another look.

  10. Andreas Kiel said:

    Very good article Alex.

    It explains why some people love the trackless approach and others don’t like it.

    In my my opinion it really depends on the job one has to do. Sometimes I love the trackless and combined clips, other times I hate them cause always everything is connected to something.
    As an example from my old days working with an animation stand you where able to either lock foils together or keep them independent – and everything was a kind of track-based.
    Nowadays with FCPX this is lost with Apples approach, though I like somehow to keep for example subtitles fixed to a clip — makes life easier sometimes, other times worse. With the dead FCP it was possible to keep this kind of metadata with the clip. But for whatever reason Apple did not implement it to be be visible for the standard user. Now changing from QT to AV Foundation you can’t implement or add this amount of metadata into a file. It’s like one thing died and the other just started learning to walk somehow.
    Audio is another issue with trackless, that’s why some people don’t like it and other people do. For me the most important issue is again metadata. Using QT you had scene/take/note always available in any project or bin or whatever. The new approach of FCPX just ignores these data, as same as the track distribution.
    So for some jobs this might be important for others not.
    It will be a long way for FCPX to make all the users happy, like with any other software.

  11. Flexibility is always a big part of the game, and we -as editors- MUST be flexible to use different tools for different jobs.

    I do this job for 7 years or so, using multiple NLE’s and platforms.

    I installed FCPX on version 10.0.3 and it took me less than 2 days to figure it out. I think that spending this time to “learn” the NLE was well worth it, considering the MASSIVE amounts of time I gained from high-speed rendering, or real-time h264 editing with effects.

    In parallel I was cutting both in FCP7 and MC5, but as a personal choice in 3 or 4 ongoing projects in my editing suite (corporate videos, music videos, documentaries), I preferred X.

    Projects delivered FAST, money came in FAST too.

    Yes there were crashes, green screens, etc. and I hope that 10.0.6 and higher will solve those issues and grow that NLE a lot more.

    I will definitely keep on X. Going back on 7 or MC seems like 5 years back.

    Many thanks, Alex great, great article!

  12. Jeremy said:

    Just because something is different doesn’t make it better.

    Just because something is established doesn’t make it better.

    FCPx, Avid, PremierePro, Lightworks etc… they are just tools.

    Decide which tools is best for the job and use it.

    • lin2logger said:

      “Just because something is different doesn’t make it better.”

      Gee… REALLY? When and where exactly did anyone say that (here)?

      And the “they are just tools” meme is reeeeeally getting long in the tooth. Yeah, and the neanderthals invented “just a wheel”, so why would idiots like Goodyear and Treadstone mess with it, right?
      :eyesroll:

      • Jeremy said:

        “Goodyear and Treadstone” haven’t messed with the wheel, it’s still round!

      • Yeah… that’s EXACTLY what was meant. The shape. Bravo. How amazingly clever. Keep it up.

      • Jeremy said:

        Exactly, somethings cannot be improved.

      • “Simply be thick and stupid when you have no real arguments.” Superb tactic.

  13. dvguy said:

    I am using FCP for almost 10 years and now I am teaching FCP X. I liked the concept of magnetic timeline very much. It’s convenient and it is for new generation of editors. I know that there is always resistance for new interface but editors will start liking FCP X in future.

  14. Adam said:

    I will never use FCPX. Ever. FCP7 for me, or perhaps someday switching to Premiere Pro.

  15. Adam said:

    This person Andie Moepse seems like a real dickwad. Congrats, now I like FCPX even less.

    • Yeah, as opposed to YOU of course, right?? LOL… I’d rather be a “dickwad” than some pathetically self-righteous sheep that has ZERO clue about wtf he’s even blathering about. Absolutely none. His only achievement being that he makes it obvious what a constipated old has-been he is and just can’t deal with all that “fancy-shmancy new stuff them whipper-snappers are usin’!”, admitting to deciding on a product based on MESSAGE BOARDS… how utterly PATHETIC can you get??! LOL! Fuck acting like a grown-up and making an EDUCATED decision. No, just hide in the back on one of the cheap seats yelling “Yeah… what HE said!” trolling blogs with your mindless drivel. My hero!

      “I will never use FCPX”… oh my god, NO!!! Not YOU!! Holy shit, that changes….. oh yeah, absolutely NOTHING. Because absolutely no one takes you the least bit serious or even gives so much as a steaming turd what some self-centered, meaningless, noobie wedding videographer on his bondi blue iMac thinks. You think someone, ANYONE even gives a flying rats ass whether clueless YOU decides on anything? Wake the fuck up, you moron.

      We feel nothing but pity and most of all EMBARRASSMENT for you.

  16. Chris WIlby said:

    Adam, why do you even bother?

  17. Chris Wilby said:

    Andie, I was implying that Adam is a jerk

      • Chris Wilby said:

        By the way, what is a ‘dickwad’? Is it anything like a ‘Gaylord’? :-)

        All joking apart, FCPX is a fine and quickly maturing piece of software and I look forward to Apple pushing it further ahead of the competition. Now if Apple could only bring the rumoured iMacPro to market a bit quicker, that would cheer more than a few people up…

  18. Great article, but in response to the comments here, I’m not sure where people are getting this idea that Final Cut Pro X is going to take off in the workplace, when absolutely everyone I know and everything I’ve seen in our industry seems to indicate otherwise. The announcement of this redesigned Final Cut was literally a disaster for the livelihoods of many professional facilities, and even with the latest revisions it simply does not perform the tasks required on a daily basis for full scale productions. I could see version X maybe replacing iMovie at some point, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that in the last year I’ve seen almost all of the full time editors and major post houses either switch back to Avid, commit to using Final Cut Pro 7 until their system wears out, or replace their Final Cut Studio software with Adobe CS6. My advice for all the student, emerging, or career-minded editors out there would be to invest time in learning the platforms that TV & film will be using and demanding in the future, which are undoubtedly going to be Avid, and in some cases Adobe or other alternatives, but definitely not Final Cut Pro X with it’s current interface.

    • Alex said:

      The partial transition away from Avid to Final Cut Pro years ago was centred around the same arguments: not professional, no workflow solutions, not the same keyboard shortcuts.

      The businesses least likely to survive the next few years are the professional post facilities. They are still depreciating their film- and tape-based hardware. They have a vested interest in the margins provided by Avid and Final Cut Pro 7 workflows. I certainly don’t trust their predictions of the future of post production. I’m not saying that Final Cut Pro X solutions are ready to replace all Avid and Final Cut Pro Classic workflows yet.

      If people had the confidence to believe that what they bring their clients is an understanding of story, character and structure alongside the politics, economics and psychology of film making. The ability to work quickly in an app they’ve spent years getting to know comes much further down the list in client requirements.

      The mainstream survives on co-opting the underground. For example 10 years ago those who couldn’t afford expensive HD cameras who worked out that if they shot with a PAL version Panasonic DVX100 and slowed down from 25fps. Guess which was the right app for them to use? Not Avid. Which app will no-budget film-makers be using in coming months… Few people point out how expensive Premiere is for low-budget film makers.

      Tracks were a technological convenience for application developers that editors thought were necessary to make computer-based non-linear editing possible. In the 20s and 30s, telephone companies introduced telephone numbers so that routing calls could be instigated by subscribers instead of operators. Now that our technology can associate a person with a number, the need for numbers will go away. The same is true of tracks… Learn to let go, because at least one powerful editing app will never have them again.

      On the other hand, I’m not saying that the successful post workflows using 20th-century UI metaphors and workflows in place today should all be thrown out. Why break up teams and technological solutions that work? I’m suggesting that people who operate in these systems should monitor developments in software built around file-based workflows. One day these solutions will be better and much cheaper than the establishment. Apple is betting that their metaphor is more suited to the future of post, as it is much better suited to collaboration.

      In future, collaboration will be much more than sharing media on NAS. If I had to choose between Avid and Adobe on collaboration, I bet Adobe will be first to introduce a timeline than can be modified by more than one person at a time. I don’t think Media Composer’s codebase or UI could handle collaborative timelines.

      My advice for those that want to be professional post-production people is to learn Avid, Premiere, Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X. They should be proficient in all major applications.

      • dudemeister said:

        Bravo, Alex. Very well put. But I’d say that learning Avid at this point in time is completely worthless and a waste of time. Once the existing installed base (of 50+ year olds) die out, you won’t see another Avid anywhere. I haven’t heard ANYONE, young or old, consider Avid for the future, be it for mere economic reasons or because it’s just a huge pain to USE. I’d go so far to say that 95% of all up-and-coming editors have at best heard the name, but most certainly never sat at one nor do they care to. The few that I know that have an Avid haven’t even updated it in YEARS.

        We have a Symphony and two MC’s. But with some larger reinvestments around the corner and after seeing how much faster (incredibly fast!) FCP X (especially and even more so with 10.0.6) is for our workflow (literally DAYS faster on our last project where we used both in unison just to find out), we will be phasing out everything Avid over the next year, since for just the price of a single Avid UPDATE we can get several seats of FCP X and use everything else we have as before. It’s sad but true, Avid’s days are numbered. Premiere still has a ways to go to actually represent the modern workflow anywhere close to how X does, but at least they are in a “salvageable” position, unlike Avid.

      • dudemeister said:

        Oh that’s cute… I’ll have to sue that dude for my (completely random) nick.

        I speak for myself, not the studio or any of my employers, which is why the name is irrelevant. Even though it’s clear how you form your opinions (or rather prefer to have them formed FOR YOU), so I’m sure that’s unacceptable for you. Call it a cop-out or whatever you like. But I’ve also freelanced for every name studio in L.A. over the last 20+ years, so naming just this one has no value in and of itself anyway. I’m sure you’re just as unwilling to expose the people that actually employ someone with your mindset by name also. I know I would be pissed as your employer if you did.

        If you don’t have enough to argue on FACTS but rather resort to comparing **** sizes by engaging in irrelevant, hubristic name-dropping and merely referencing other people’s experiences and opinions (of factually NON-EXISTENT software at the time… ouch!), I’m neither surprised nor interested anyway. Judging by the random blather you’ve made up so far as you went along and the embarrassingly extraneous references you’ve come up with to support yourself, I’ve already lost interest either way. Especially when dealing with some cocky industry noob just a year out of some Art Institute with just a few campy time-lapse, nature, and student flicks under his belt who ISN’T EVEN AN EDITOR. Cheers.

      • carter said:

        what a bullsh!tter this guy is… any real editor in their right mind who’s been working for “20+ years” would know that final cut x is just not going to get the job done. wake up dude. apple seriously botched this one and in the meantime, we’re all going to be running cs6 while the apple loyalists get their jollies opening imovie projects in fcp!

      • dudemeister said:

        What a completely delusional troll-tard (and probably Sheldon) YOU are. Clueless to the max, parroting the same BS that you picked up in some chat-room, thinking you’re somehow showing how “sophisticated” you are, whilst proving the exact OPPOSITE. Thanks, now go play somewhere else.

      • Sheldon Pearson said:

        Nope, sorry guys but I gave up on this thread when I noticed it wasn’t going anywhere positive or productive. Best of luck

      • dudemeister said:

        Yeah… the usual whimpering troll response when called on your BS. All of a sudden everything was completely different but still TRUE of course and everyone else is a dick, right? Ouch. If anything is responsible for not going “anywhere positive or productive” then it’s been your contrived drivel, thank you. Try looking in the mirror some time. And before you’ve done more than just a few cheesy time lapse videos with your DV cam and have been out of your obscure Vancouver “media school” longer than 6 months (but still have the sensational hubris to act as if you’re some seasoned “media pro” who knows what’s going on in the production world… LOL!!), do us a favor and don’t bother coming back. Thanks.

      • doug d said:

        “Marketplace” and “professional” are now relative terms. If you are one of a few (several thousand) pro editors working in high-end network and cable TV series, you are probably using Avid. Same for the few hundred Hollywood feature editors.

        If you are working in indie film, web series and so on … there is no “standard” and you are choosing according to what your producer and/or collaborators like to work with. In the case of Legacy FCP, the best replacement is probably Premiere Pro CC (which is another leap beyond their version included in CS6 – now EOL’d).

        For plenty of web and short-form filmmakers, as well as some local news, low-budget cable reality and various web shows, the writer-producer-editor (and sometimes Shooter) are expected to be the same person … X is ideal. So are those people not “pro?” If they are getting paid, they are pro users. That includes wedding and event filmmakers as well.

        I have worked with every level of film technician from features (Karate Kid movies as story editor for Director John Avildsen), IMAX movies, 35mm corporate… to current short one-man docu shoots for PeaceJam and other non-profits. I’ve seen every possible post workflow from Super 8 to 16mm to 35mm to 70mm, tape and digital, video walls, etc.

        And guess what? Some of the high-end editors are incredibly specialized, or have several assistants doing very finely detailed technical layout and work … they need an Avid Unity sharing files to whole other departments. I would call that kind of post “highly technical” — it is not that the editor NEEDS Avid because he can’t tell a story with Premiere or FCPX. It’s about the collaborating with a whole post team.

        But increasingly, lower-budget and corporate filmmaker/writers who are NOT highly technical or specialized –but still need to be in control of the overall look, feel & rhythm of their storytelling … and cannot afford to hire a specialized “picture editor” and “sound editor” and “effects editor” … so they are making due with the Adobe CC suite and to some degree with FCPX.

        FCPX seems as a good niche for a lot of those people.

      • Stu Brannon said:

        Wow. What superb logic. First you say yourself that Avid has maybe a FOUR digit following in some very small areas of production, go on to say that FCP X is IDEAL for web and short-form filmmakers, local news, cable reality and various shows including wedding and event filmmakers… and you call that A NICHE??! LOL!

        And I happen to have a studio in L.A. with three editors, ALL on FCP X and don’t know of ANYONE that I do business with using PREMIERE of all things for professional work. And I’ve been in the business for 20+ years and know a LOT of people here. You obviously have bought into Adobe own propaganda.

        Fact of the matter is, that X got off to a bumpy start for some branches of the business, but took others (the ones you would appear to consider “lowly” or somehow unsubstantial) by STORM. Apple will tell you that X has sold more licenses that 7 EVER did, which tranlates to it still having the largest marketshare by a landslide. Whether that includes the arrogant 1.3% of so called “pros” that you speak of is completely irrelevant, since no 1.4% (I’m being nice with that number, too) of ANY market has much say in anything. And the supposed “massive switch” from FCP 7 to Premiere or elsewhere is complete BS. Every single FCP 6/7 editor I know either has stayed with what they had (why not?) or are either transitioning to X or already have.

        Go nurture your tired memes somewhere else. “To some degree with FCPX” my ass… :-)))))

      • doug d said:

        Crotchety old man, and you’re probably 20 years younger than me! I should have expected it; this blog seems to attract name-calling and insults. Retraction #1: Hastily written and ill-reasoned yes, sorry to be anything less than incisive. But … I AM on your side, Stu! From the moment I read Alex’ article, I have supported X here against the old-school track apologists … noting that the entire Avid, PP and FCP7 NLE design is a tired mash-up of non-related visual and workflow “metaphors” — most of which X has mercifully abandoned: the “editing bench” tracks-in-parallel-sync Timeline, the “tape deck” Source & Record windows, the “Mac Finder” Bins & Browsers. That’s why X is a welcome step sideways and forwards. And I liked Alex’ article with its clear explanation of “relationships” (like Auditions) that make the app & interface more “intentional” and less of a randomly cluttered workplace, indecipherable to anyone but the editor who concocted a particular project. Retraction #2: Niche is a poorly-chosen-without-thinking word. Maybe “space.” A good space for a lot of US to be in. Clearly in context, I am referencing — and I have included myself in this group from the start — the “rest of us,” a vast number of pros outside of that specialized, hi-end group that tend to define “professional” in the eyes of the general public. (How else can you explain the sudden mania for 4K, except that a few high-end Hollywood pros let it slip that it is better to capture in 4K and subsample to 2K for release than to shoot in 2K. Now I hear my neighbor asking when he should buy a 4K TV!) In short, just because you use Avid like the editors on Game of Thrones, you are not a more “serious” or professional storyteller. Without being too insulting, I am trying to convey my observation after many years in the business: the top-end post-production teams are so specialized that they don’t really NEED to try something new. They can be conservative, work in the same way they learned. Why do you think Michael Kahn was able to cut film for Spielberg well into the digital era? Because he is a pure story-cutter, working at a creative pace dictated by the nature of the project, not by studio demand that it be done yesterday. I worked for Susan Morse at Woody Allens studio, well into the digital era, helping database their operation because Woody insisted on cutting on the Steenbeck well into the 1990s. Those people are not like us, and we should NEVER compare our workflows and tools to those operations. Another Example: The two editors that cut Zero Dark Thirty, working on Avids. Is the movie a miracle of storytelling that owes its polish to an Avid workflow, and is it twice as good because it had TWO Avid editors? No, it’s just a miracle of accelerated production requiring a double-team approach. Reading Oliver Peters interview with the editors, they admit they have used Avid for years. It’s all inertia! Then you read a description of them grouping clips for their multicam shoot — and it sounds like someone trying to make Avid behave like FCPX!

        It’s more about inertia than anything else. Once Apple EOL’s Legacy, NYU Tisch School dropped it and is now teaching Avid instead. So we’ll have ANOTHER generation of Hollywood specialists working in Avid. Not because its new or better, but because it will get them jobs in “the old school” more quickly.

        But I bet those same students, compelled to be fleet of foot & mind, adapting to an ever-cheaper media production model, will all know X the way they know the web, and will use it creatively. Maybe they will become the Trojan Horse than brings X into the rarified high-end film & broadcast business.

        Retraction #3: Premiere. I hear a lot from East Coast corporate types talking up PP and the rest of the suite. You are probably right; no one I ever met in features, IMAX, or TV ever used PP. You are “on the ground” in LA and I accept your notion that LA is a PP-free zone. That makes sense. I got the impression that a number of FCP7 users were moving to PP from big pharma media and corp users in New England because it most closely approximates looks & feel and price of Legacy. Maybe corps love the “suite” model and accounts for the buzz around PP. Ironically, even though most corps have jettisoned their departments in favor of the freelance, no-benefits model, the producers themselves seem to continue with the apps and gear. So again, sorry, I retract my supposition, unsupported by facts or numbers.

        All I really want to stick to my guns on here is: top “pros” are not like us; they have the luxury of assistants and teams, and a producer and a director steering them as to where the story is. The rest of us must “do it all” in order to keep enough of the available budgets. And whether we grew up being a shooter, a sound recordist, a writer, a director or an editor … now we must ALL edit, finish and distribute. And there is nothing more fun and creatively productive than X for that purpose.

        Perhaps the best proof of this comes from teaching a video class once a week, in a high school. FCP6/7 was often the largest focus of my class, more than photography. The students all have ideas on what to film, and they capture it with little problem. They stumble only in front of the NLE, wondering how to find their way around the interface and actually do anything creative. But once I started teaching X, I found that my technical instruction dropped off by a huge percentage. I have kids who just sat down and “got it” and were off and running before I even got to their station!

        Does that mean X is a “toy” as many haters have called it? No. It means that mid-level pros who want to be SEEN as Hollywood Avid Editors revel in their “professional” use of the old NLEs, and so they must trash the easy-to-see, easy-to-use X interface as a mere amateur app. I think I have made it abundantly clear that I consider X a pro app, period, the end.

      • Stu Brannon said:

        Well well well… that was quite the thoughtful rebuttal and a completely counter position to (how I read) your first post. I suppose a partial apology is in order for coming off so harsh (partial, since it clearly was easy to misinterpret your notions, as I did). Sorry if I haphazardly put you in the “noobie-hater” category too quickly.

        I guess I need to get used to the fact that enough time and even more superb updates have gone by for X that the scale is clearly tipping VERY far in its favor now, even from most previous, clueless haters usually made up of “pros” that see their livelihood threatened by a piece of software that pretty much any and everyone can understand and use right off the bat. No matter their level of “pro”. Their previous “unique selling point”, namely that they were the only ones able to understand even so much as HALF of what was going on in the world of NLEs has been retired… and that’s apparently very scary. To the point of uncontrollably making ignorant and unsubstantiated claims about thier own trade and this software that they clearly know NOTHING about other than what they read on some random blogs over two years ago.

        I’ll work on the cynicism.

        As far as your subsequent points are concerned, I would go the opposite to my previous stance and in fact sign off on pretty much every one, yes. Very well put. Especially the point about the students, since I, too, teach on occasion as an ACT and have observed the exact same. An almost polar opposite learning curve between 6/7 and X, yes. Never before had I been asked about other (yet untaught) editing options etc. long before getting to them with 6/7, since the students were always preoccupied far longer with grasping what I had just shown them to have enough time to think ahead at ALL. Now they already have it figured out before I’m finished explaining something. I’m having to relearn teaching.

        So let’s just shake hands and go our “professional” ways. ;) Cheers.

      • doug d said:

        One more anecdote of a senior citizen in love with X: my wife worked for years with the Maysles brothers (“Gimme Shelter,” “Grey Gardens” etc). Albert & David were the provocateurs capturing reality with their “undirected” Direct Cinema techniques. But of course somebody had to give it shape, and you will see that their films often credit “A Film by Albert and David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, Muffie Meyer, Susan Froemke” and so on. The films were made in the editing room. And my wife, a writer and journalist by training, became a valued editorial consultant. She rarely laid hands on a Steenbeck, but had the mind of a magnetic timeline, shuffling and snapping the right pieces together in her head, and relaying her storytelling opinions verbally to her collaborators.

        When we started producing our own low-budget docs, she’d patiently sit at the FCP7 station and work on material, primarily interviews. But it was torture; pretzel-twisted techniques of sub-clipping and re-naming, binning to try and organize material that ALL LOOKS THE SAME in the timeline. X arrived like The Second Coming. Metadata and key-wording seemed personally designed for HER sensibilities. And the thumbnails in the timeline actually look different at the head and tail; you can tell what part of the interview you’re using! You know the app; it only gets better from there. This is a textbook case of a world class “professional” filmmaker who never needed to be the hands on person, but now WANTS to get her hands dirty because of the gratifying simplicity and elegance of the app.

        And if you want to argue tracks or not, claiming “X is silly, with video & audio in one “container” and needing selects and key-commands to detach and manipulate the audio” … well FCP was no better and sometimes worse in that regard. It was no particular advantage to have to drag around separate video & audio clips during initial selections. And if you shot on a P2 camera and didn’t take extra steps during import and track-mapping, you’d end up with a clumsy stack of FOUR audio tracks per clip. And you STILL had to use a flurry of key commands and mouse clicks to detach the audio (cmd-L), link as stereo pair (opt-L), re-select and re-link to the video etc.

        In documentary we often shoot with multiple mics, and even in the simplest situations mix down to “dual mono” at the camera — one track a cardioid mic for overall room ambience and the other a directional, a lav or a mix of the two. So in FCP you often jettison the “ambient” track as an unneeded “safety” and then “double” the track of choice, by a complex maneuver of Copy, Shift Track Down, Place Cursor at Head of Clip, Paste, Re-Link as Stereo Pair. Whewww! Is it Art yet?

        FCPX handles all this beautifully, and it less “destructive” of your clips, meaning fewer trips “back to the bins.” You can simply “expand” audio/video if you merely want to make J & L cuts. Or you can detach, break apart and do all manner of tricks with separate tracks. Including the afore-mentioned doubling of certain tracks. Or you can simply highlight the unified A/V clip, go to the Inspector and toggle from Stereo to Dual Mono and decide if you like the mix, or one or the other of the individual tracks. In my case, I turn off Track 2 (the ambient mic) and I automatically hear a doubled (e.g. stereo) output based on Track 1 (the directional mic). But I can always go back and reverse this procedure, split out the second track and use it as an ambient bed if I need to get some room-reverb into the scene. All without needing to go back to the “bins/events” and re-load “audio only” back into the timeline.

        All of this is a revelation to my writer/producer wife; it feels as though “the tech-macho club has been hiding behind their Avids all these years. Finally I can edit my OWN stuff the way I want it!”

        Okay, enuff said; I’m just avoiding a delivery date now. ;-)

      • Stu Brannon said:

        Oh, and by the way… your description of SYNCHED AUDIO WORK in legacy FCP speaks from my soul. In comparison to X… what a NONSENSICAL MESS, right??! The CMD-L’s, Option-L’s etc. etc. etc… you nailed it! And tell me that you and/or others that you know working with legacy fcp DIDN’T often (if not constantly) get the dreaded RED SYNCH FLAGS after having been zoomed into the beginning of the timeline to to some tweaking, forgot to double-check on the state of that &$§&% “Linked Selection” button first, to then zoom out afterwards to see everything at the END with those DAMN FLAGS!

        After seeing how and what X does as far as the “package deal” is concerned, it plain boggles my mind to hear ANY editor, new or old, actually consider that NOT to be the superior way by the order of LIGHTYEARS! Wow.

      • doug d said:

        Right, so we agree to keep teaching X and “infecting” this generation with that aesthetic. Our mission!

        Many years hence, in the retirement home, our ears will perk up when we hear the Oscar acceptance speech for Best Editor: “I want to thank the folks at Apple who have constantly improved FCPX … and especially my teacher Mr. Stu, who taught me that you don’t need an Avid to Make Art!” :)

      • Stu Brannon said:

        Hmmmm… I like the sound of that. :)

      • doug d said:

        I know what it was! The much-re-tweeted announcement that the Coen Bros switched from Legacy to Premiere! That has got to be because of a “look & feel” argument, right? I mean, they must work with other departments who begged them to go Avid. But again, they can just cut story on their own, and off load all the rest of the technical breakdown, polishing, sweetening, EFX and so on to a facility.

        I actually saw Ethan walking down the street in Lower Manhattan some time ago. If I see him again, I stop him and sing, “All We Are Saying, Is Give X A Chance!” :)

      • Stu Brannon said:

        Actually, I’m not even bothered by the seasoned editors gong off to wherever. I’ve actually come to expect it to a degree, because of their generally famous arrogance (“I’ve been doing this for 20 or 30 years and I’m not having APPLE tell ME what is a more efficient and modern workflow!”) and inability or even unwillingness to (re)learn. I’m pretty sure most of them are just glad as **** that they even made it as far as they have with all that “techno mumbo-jumbo” they’re forced to use and that they really don’t even know all that much about (which is where the aforementioned assistants etc. come in to cover their ass) and are being called on their technical ignorance once and for all, because of the editing landscape being what it is (as you described well), for better or for worse. Dey ain’t going out without kickin’ and screamin’ about how totally PRO they are and everyone else isn’t, especially that X!

        What I worry about are the up and coming and that they might be listening (but then again not really, because what kid listens to his “elders”?? :D) and missing out on a far superior tool IMHO that those old guys decided was just not complicated and expensive enough… which, as we know, are the ultimate two hallmarks of truly PRO software… right??!! ;)

        But then, my experience has been that 90% of the students and first-timers ARE using X either way to SOME degree, if not exclusively for exactly THOSE reasons. They actually don’t have to pirate it because it’s so cheap AND because the learning curve is by far the flattest they’ve come across and the work speed and results amazing. So even if the big guys of TODAY may be rejecting it on various delusions and nonsensical imputation, the talent of TOMORROW is all over it from where I stand. And that’s what counts in the long run and what is, I believe, going to make FCP the quasi-standard again in one, maybe two years. Or rather after all us geezers kick the bucket (retire) and stop rambling. ;)

    • dudemeister said:

      *yaaaaawn*
      Here some clues for the clueless: http://bit.ly/SeqpHu … and that was even written BEFORE the last update, which in itself lead to a sudden 40%(!!) sales increase on already well running FCP trainings sales that a (well known) friend offers.

      Reality and facts call really hurt sometimes, no? But feel free to provide anything beyond your dopey joke videos as any sort of “proof” of any of your claims. Oops… you can’t? Go figure.

  19. Avid hating aside, I’m glad that you’re finding the new software to be useful at your facility and I definitely have nothing against that. My personal preference these days is Adobe anyway, but I use whichever tool the clients demand. If that’s FCPX in the future, then I will be using FCPX, no question.

    As for the “proof” of this transition, it’s really in what I’ve seen firsthand at post production companies of all sizes, and TV networks (Canadian networks to be specific, so maybe the U.S. is more accepting of FCPX. I wouldn’t know.). But, since it’s the internet and not an in person conversation, I might as well put up a few links for those interested:

    Q and A with Bunim/Murray’s Mark Raudonis about their recent Avid switch:

    http://bit.ly/U2gIdC

    Music Video Editor for the Red Hot Chili Peppers switches to Adobe Premiere Pro:

    http://bit.ly/TguxnV

    Why Final Cut Pro X is Sending Editors Back to Avid:

    http://bit.ly/SiPQ9e

    Popular Switches to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 for the latest Burton Snowboards Film – “13”

    http://bit.ly/R5MrxE

    There are countless other stories out there as well, but all pretty consistent with the above. If there are large scale productions adopting FCPX that is actually great news: if someone is using and developing the tools, then that would only benefit the rest of us and the industry as a whole. I’d like to hear more about it for sure.

    • dudemeister said:

      Little tip there for ya: try to have your “proof” at minimum adhere to TWO things
      a) at least been written within the same YEAR you’re using it and
      b) not being an “opinion” for which the person was handsomely PAID for by the company they are holding so high. :facepalm:

      And for someone to name PREMIERE’S MULTI CAM as a reason to switch… OMFG… that person needs to get off sniffin’ glue, since it is THE most pathetic implementation of MC on the market, ASIDE from the fact that FCP X mops the floor AND dries it afterwards with Premiere with it’s multi cam… just plain OUCH… credibility = SUB ZERO

      It the same pathetic game every time… *sigh*

      And whether some “big name” (in *REALITY TV*… LOL now there’s true “pro” measure for ya!) actually sees value in investing ungodly amounts in a company anyone in the business that is also blessed with a minimum of economic sense, will tell you is on it’s last legs, hooray for them. If you don’t already see THAT pie in the face crossing the room, I pity you.

      But using your immediate and then even CANADIAN surroundings as the basis for hubristically announcing some “factual” market numbers just plain takes the cake. Nice try, but that’s a full fail if I’ve ever seen one. You clearly need to get out more and sniff some REALITY and not consider yourself DA SHIZ just because you’re the only one within miles that can execute a perfect double-click.

  20. Andy Robinson said:

    The classic “I’m too narrow-minded and full of myself to actually form an EDUCATED opinion of something (oh, say, by maybe USING said software and not just looking at screenshots??), so I just blindly parrot whatever some internet page and 3rd hand accounts TELL be to believe, since I’m just sadly reduced to gratuitous populism, seeing that I lack any real experience or knowledge!”-types… wow. Just annoying.

    • Who said I didn’t use it? Our team gave the latest trial (version 10.0.6) a full 30 days before moving on. The color board alone was enough to drive everyone crazy (at least those who had used a standard three-way color corrector before).

      • dudemeister said:

        Yeah Sheldon, suuuuuure… too bad 10.0.6 hasn’t even been OUT a full 30 days!! LOL!! But feel free to continue making **** up as you go along.

      • Sheldon Pearson said:

        It was earlier this year so you’re right about the version number, I suppose it must have been 10.0.3, or 4 or 5. Have they reintroduced the three-way color corrector?

  21. Andy Robinson said:

    Jesus… that “Why Final Cut Pro X Is Sending Me Back to Avid” click-bait BS is from BEFORE FCP X was even ever RELEASED!! LOL… are you really THAT hard up for and REAL arguments??

  22. Marlene K said:

    Great article! This really explains Apple’s logic behind the redesign and where they are going with this new philosophy. Followed!!

  23. As a creative tool to construct a narrative or conceptual edit Final Cut X is great! I do have to use third party apps to export XML or Omf or the like for post though.

    I started with tape and super 8, then 16mm, and do on. The old timeline format started by Avid echoed the true film linear process of assembly. That’s not the best way to create something.

    Most people are very scared of change and learning something new. Unfortunately that makes a lot of prople conservative at the expense of progress.

  24. Jabberwocky said:

    Absurd. OTT graphics for something you can do in Avid and FCP7 in a couple of clicks anyway, should you choose to. This article just happened to choose a cack handed way of doing it.

    As soon as you want to do something “out of the ordinary” it seems Apple actually is just making it more complicated. Yeah, they still desperately want to think different… just don’t move on to the Apple wheel, people

    • Chris Wilby said:

      Jabberwocky by name… jabberwocky by nature!

    • Stuart Short said:

      Clearly coming from yet another driveling pundit who’s never once even SEEN let alone USED FCP X, but is merely trying to justify using his moss-grown paradigm and having spent thousands of $$ on it to boot. A paltry, pathetic way of trying to compensate for feeling completely stoopid … and deservedly so.

      Go troll your mindless, unqualified hate elsewhere, won’t you, Sparky?

  25. Joe E said:

    Professional editor and audio mixer writing here. Nice informative article…but, it focuses only solely on the video editing process. I use AVID at work. But, for non-work work (if that makes any sense), I use FCPX. I believe FCPX is the future as far as the sheer speed and ease of use is concerned. It is not as clunky as AVID and not as complex as Premiere.

    However, as an audio mixer…FCPX, as it stands…is a nightmare. Well, invalid, really. It does give you all the tools to “mix” within FCPX. But, you do need track based editing if you want to send the project off to be mixed. So far, FCPX only exports audio in “roles”. A mixed down audio in the given project. You cannot extend handles, slide sounds if need be, so on and so forth. This is a huge issue in the audio post… Until Apple rectify this, FCPX seriously won’t be used by wider “professional” communities.

    • Stu Brannon said:

      Check your facts, get informed, and check out X2PRO while you’re at it. A tool that has been around for a loooong time and offers you any and everything you could possibly need for sending your audio for mixing to your local DAW if desired. And yes, based entirely ON ROLES and brilliantly so.

      That of course being entirely beside the fact that you can just as well “send” your entire FCPX project to Logic X (and back) for mixing if you wanted, in several different ways.

  26. doug d said:

    That’s kind of what I meant in my posts about “technical teams” versus one stop shop operations. The decades-long, well-defined work flows in the post-house world, like Avid-to-OMF-to-ProTools and back … is familiar, and feels “right” to many editors. But when you get down to the details, there are workarounds there as well, like the whole tradition of the picture editor “rubber-banding” all the audio for rough edits, then the audio team stripping off ALL level controls and EQ etc, starting from scratch in ProTools. The whole process is part of what I call the highly-specific team approach, each specialists tweaking and the main editor hoping to supervise it all.

    The FCPX model works BECAUSE of things like Roles, the X2Pro app, going out to Logic and so on. One person can reasonably get the necessary results, without an more expensive and involved team. On projects I do, there is not enough money to spend on extra software OR personnel. If I don’t keep every penny, it’s not worth doing the work.

    FCPX is proving to be a good solution for my kind of operation.

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