Posts Tagged ‘final cut pro’

Comments Off on Get The Big Boy Final Cut Studio Before It’s Gone

Final Cut Pro X not cutting it for you? Need to open up legacy projects? Want to edit like a fucking professional again? Why, get your dialin’ fingers read: Apple has a limited quantity of Final Cut Studio (the previous version. The one that rocks) available via its phone sales department.  It’s like $999 or thereabouts. Part number MB642Z/A.

Apple telesales phone number: 800-MY-APPLE

Or switch to Avid or Premiere Pro. They’ll be around a while. Your call.

Comments Off on Light Peak Thunderbolt on Macbook Pro – Why?

I’ve been excited about Intel’s Light Peak (now named Thunderbolt) development since reading about it some time ago. This transfer technology provides up to 10Gbps of transfer speed (dual channel!) which, needless to say beats the pants off even USB 3.0.

You can connect several Light Peak enabled devices at the same time (daisy chaining), and it hooks up to monitors with DisplayPort. Yeah it’s a bit weird to visualize this, so for a better demo check out Engadget’s great write-ups on this technology.

In one stunning example, Engadget demonstrates playing 4 simultaneous streams of 1080p footage pulled from an attached RAID enclosure, while streaming everything back real time to the DisplayPort based monitor in real time. Very cool stuff.

However I find Thunderbolt’s debut device to be a rather odd choice: the newly released Apple Macbook Pro. This transfer technology is so powerful, most consumers won’t have a need for this for now, but folks such as professional editors are going to benefit from it. If you have a bunch of RED files you have to work with, Light Peak  Thunderbolt is going to be a godsend (provided you have the RAID setups necessary as well, otherwise there’s no point in using Thunderbolt since just a regular ol’ hard drive or two can’t saturate these speeds anyhow.)

But how many professional editors – the kind that actually works with footage that requires these kinds of transfer speeds – do their regular work on a Macbook Pro? Sure, the occasional rough cut (maybe even while still on set) I can see. But as a regular start-to-finish HD workflow? I mean, it’s cool you can hook up those RAID enclosures (hopefully more devices soon) as well as your DisplayPort-based monitor, but that still leaves the fact that the MBP’s processors might just not be powerful enough to comfortably edit (and by that I include color correction, and other processor heavy manipulation) the kind of footage that would justify using Thunderbolt technology. From my own experience and from what I gather from Final Cut Pro/MBP users online, editing those big league HD files just isn’t fun on a Macbook Pro. So really, who is Thunderbolt for then? Bragging rights?

It would have been beyond awesome if Adobe CS5’s Mercury Playback Engine (MPE) could be used on those new Macbook Pros – but ya can’t. Apple ditched NVIDIA and uses ATI (okay, now AMD) graphic cards now..which don’t work with MPE at all. Of course MPE didn’t work with the previous Macbook Pro models either because of the type of mobile GPUs used, but at least one could’ve hoped Adobe (or a clever hacker) would find a way to make those mobile GPUs work with MPE.  Now that’s just not going to happen with AMD. So Final Cut Pro it is.

I would have loved to see Intel work with Apple and other partners to put Light Peak into proper workstations first. Or heck, even just offer motherboards with this technology. I hope this is coming soon.

So let’s hear it – you full time Final Cut Pro users, how many of you are doing all your work on a Macbook Pro? Do you think Thunderbolt is going change your life (provided you run out and buy them new MBPs, and those RAID enclosures), or are you going to wait until this technology gets into real workstations?

Comments Off on Thoughts on Final Cut Pro, Media Composer, Premiere Pro

I get the occasional email or tweet about which NLE (non-linear editing program) I think is the best, Apple’s Final Cut Pro, AVID’s Media Composer, or Adobe’s Premiere Pro.

That’s like asking which car is the best and the answer is the same: there is no “best” NLE, each one has its pros and cons but, most importantly, they all do pretty much the same in pretty much the same way.

Read more about some of the pros and cons to consider for each program, and why ultimately any of the three major programs will do what you want provided you put the time in to really learn about properly using your NLE of choice.

Answer to emails about jumping on Mac

Comments Off on Answer to emails about jumping on Mac

Got some emails and tweets asking me if I’m jumping over to the Mac as my main platform since a lot of my recent posts were  Apple/Mac related.

The answer is NO. All my main editing and production equipment is Windows (Windows 7 mostly) based.  I do have a Macbook Pro and have made that my mobile admin and communication device, and I use it to troubleshoot some of my client’s Mac systems, and for cross platform compatibility testing.

While I do have Final Cut Pro and Compressor on the Mac I’m not using it other than to help FCP using clients out, or to convert the occasional Apple proprietary footage.

Thanks to everyone who asked!

Need to upgrade your current creative workflow and get your last minute tax writeoffs in at the same time?

NOW is the time to splurge a little on new software and hardware – December 31st is coming soon so here are my recommendations. Just the best of the best, no filler shit that you don’t need. THESE recommendations will make a difference for you. If not, it’s not the software or the hardware, it’s YOU….

1) Adobe Production Premium CS 4

Adobe Production Premium CS 4More of less drastic improvements to Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Flash Professional, and After Effects. If you’re editing AVCHD video footage this is a must buy: Premiere Pro CS 4 now natively supports AVCHD codecs. Most other professional video editing programs do not. And you’re past the consumer software stuff, right?

As with Adobe CS’ previous versions, the integration between programs is very tight. If you have not jumped onto the Adobe wagon I strongly suggest you do that now – your workflow will drastically improve.

Adobe Production Premium CS 4WINDOWS

Adobe Production Premium CS 4MAC (with Intel chips only!)


2) Intel Core i7 965  3.2 Ghz Processor; DDR3 Memory; Motherboard

Intel Core i7 965 3.2 Ghz Processor

One of the most dramatic speed improvements you can treat yourself with doesn’t come cheap. But Intel’s new Core i7 processor platform frankly kicks the shit out of everything I have ever encountered when it comes to processor speeds.

You could go a step lower (and cheaper) with the 940 and you’ll experience greatly improved speeds and efficiency in your workflow. But hell, why not go all the way and really squeeze out some power to shave off those extra seconds of rendering and encoding time, right?

Buy the boxed Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Processor here.

Important Note: the Core i7 processors do require a different motherboard and memory. You can NOT use your Socket 775 motherboard with this. You’ll need to upgrade to the Socket LGA 1366 platform. A good mobo is the Intel Extreme Series X58.

(Writing all this I really wish Intel would drop that silly “Extreme” moniker on their products. What is this, 1990’s New Jersey?)

Finally, you’ll need DDR3 memory to run this beast. The Corsair TR 3x6G set of memory sticks are decent, it’s a total of 6 Gigs and the price is acceptable too, particularly considering the performance. However, if you are running a 64 bit version of Windows Vista or XP then do take advantage of the fact that you can use more than the 4 Gig (yeah, yeah 3 plus) older 32 bit versions can.

You can probably get DDR3 memory cheaper if you shop around but be sure to skip the “value” memory junk you might encounter. is one of my favorite shopping sources.

Regardless, you’ll be spending a good chunk of cash for all this but the increased efficiency (and enthusiasm I might add) when it comes to your video and photo editing, animations, or Flash stuff, should make up for this. Did for me.


No Final Cut Pro recommendations. Sorry, Adobe finally took the crown and is now the top choice for this current generation of serious video and photo pros. I tried ’em all. All of them. Final Cut Pro, Avid, Sony Vegas, and Adobe’s Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro wins for me, hands down.

A detailed step-by-step workaround to take Final Cut Pro Quicktime MOVs containing Apple Intermediate Codec based footage and make it work on your Windows based NLE.

Please read very carefully and understand that this workaround may or may not work for you depending on your editing program, installed codecs, and other factors. Also, read the Comments for more info.

Popular Posts