Finally yesterday Apple released another update – the features of which are detailed in full here http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4589
I’ve used the software to edit my main PhD film production ‘Not For Human Consumption’, an extremely ambitious move for a number of reasons. Firstly, the software represents a new editing paradigm with many key differences to their previous flagship professional NLE FCP 7. I’ve been working professionally with Apple’s Final Cut Studio for seven years and I was extremely excited by some of the new features of FCPX, most notably the powerful meta-data engine, multicamera editing, and subframe audio editing. However, in practice the application seemed on first glance to lack many of the ‘professional’ features of FCP studio. This has been written and complained about on many a blog in the blogosphere so this post is really not to go into detail about the complaints I have about the software, rather to highlight that yesterday’s update might in fact allow me to complete the cut and grade of my PhD film inside FCPX.
Last week I purchased FCP X to 7 http://assistedediting.intelligentassistance.com/Xto7/ with a view to sending my entire 23 scenes and 43 mins of edited content back to FCP 7 to enable me to grade with my MacPro and Blackmagic design monitoring and mix the audio via XML in Logic Pro. I was a little dismayed to find that the XML transform (although it functioned pretty well) was not going to work for me. The reasoning behind this lies in a mistake I made earlier on in the edit, when I began I believed I would be able to send from FCPX to Soundtrack Pro and/or Logic Pro in order to mix the final edit. I was wrong. Apple built in no integration with their existing legacy software. Cheers! I thought to myself. The main problem though is not that Apple didn’t do this but that I failed to recognise an important point until I actually tried to save out and transform the FCPX XML back to the old FCP7 XML protocol. My film was shot mainly on a pair of 7D cameras and alas the master clips don’t contain consistent timecode across multiple clips so the XML comes across all over the place – audio is also not quite right. Back to square one. OR so I thought.
Today I’ve gone back to mixing in FCP X. Although I am still loathed to mix without an audio mixer, I am going to persevere and do a first pass mix right inside FCP X. Why? Because the 10.0.6 update finally allows us to expand multi-channel audio files right inside the main timeline. This means I can apply EQ, fix pops, clicks, hum, and many of the common ailments without sending the clips anywhere else. Great. I’m also very pleased that we finally have the addition of a viewer! Now colour matching will be possible without using the automated matching in X which I simply don’t like because I want to control the look and not have the software estimate it for me. The final two noteworthy developments that have really pleased me in my first afternoon with the update is the ability to export a range of the timeline, and the fact that compound clips now appear in the Event browser when created. This means they will behave much more like nested items did in FCP 7 and offer the ability to save out the compound clips as a composite for re-importing much better – all can be done through the new file import menu. I am still anxious about getting this project finished to the required level in FCP X but thankfully Apple have released an update with some significant improvements that might actually make it achievable.