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Mixer? How would it work anyway?

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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Jamal WattsMixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 1, 2012 at 6:18:27 pm

So, with the latest FCP X update we got a lot of features back. However, we still haven't gotten a mixer back. That got me thinking...how would a mixer work without tracks anyway? I'm not seeing how we can get a conventional mixer back again. Hmm, perhaps "conventional" is the keyword. Maybe we will get something to replace a conventional mixer. That would maybe need its own hardware though. Either way it goes FCP X needs a mixer. Or...maybe this will be left to Logic Pro? Thoughts?


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Charlie AustinRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 1, 2012 at 6:32:23 pm

[Jamal Watts] "how would a mixer work without tracks anyway?"

Assign roles to fader(s)/Channel(s). Maybe you might have to make mix groups with compound clips first. Or just some sort of round trip to Logic?

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~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~


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Andy FieldRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 1, 2012 at 8:07:26 pm

It makes your head hurt on the convoluted work arounds for audio with no tracks...this update is better but it needs automation mixer

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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Marcus MooreRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 1, 2012 at 8:40:06 pm

It's not convoluted at all. Roles (or sub-Roles as needed) could be assigned to sub-mixes, then to master mixes. With the editor being able to apply adjustments or effects at either the clip, role, sub-mix, or master-mix level.

The elimination of hard tracks is necessary for the magnetic timeline and connected clip conceit to work. But a "Role" is really just a virtual "track" that potentially allows for multiple layers of information at once.

The biggest problem with it's implementation in FCPX at the moment is that the Roles metadata isn't used to automatically organize material in the project timeline. Roles should not be sea of green waveforms that they are now, but color-coded and stacked in an order defined by the editor.



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Chris HarlanRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 1, 2012 at 9:23:40 pm

[Marcus Moore] "The biggest problem with it's implementation in FCPX at the moment is that the Roles metadata isn't used to automatically organize material in the project timeline. Roles should not be sea of green waveforms that they are now, but color-coded and stacked in an order defined by the editor.
"


I agree. Roles are already acting like busses; it shouldn't be a problem to attach a mixer. Color-coding IS very much needed. It also makes me wonder, though; couldn't we bus to a some sort of audio track view. It would be really nice if you could call up an editable view of Roles lined up like audio tracks. Might make all the difference.


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Michael GissingRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 1, 2012 at 11:44:46 pm

Roles may not be acting like busses but as routed outputs. I have no way to check so please if someone can enlighten me. Bussing implies that it is possible to have master level, EQ and other control over a mix. Do roles really act that way?

If there is no way to have a master control of levels, EQ and other processing like dynamics compression & limiters over a role, then it isn't acting like a bus. Therefore there is nothing a mixer can do with a role. I suspect there is no mixer because there is only clip based control like FCP Legend. So all a mixer could do is dynamic levels on a clip basis. Still useful to have but not really proper audio control.


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Marcus MooreRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 12:03:25 am

You're right there's no way to do that currently. But I'm not sure how you could ascertain if it "could" be done.

Visual organization of roles I would like to see sooner rather than later, but as for the more involved mixing tools; that's a function I would imagine we might see in a 10.1 release next year (NAB?).



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Michael GissingRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 12:35:25 am

FCP has never had track/bus based processing. FCPX from my reading of the design philosophy inherent in versions to date gives me no reason to assume they will ever introduce processing at a level other than the clip. If roles were to function like a bus then non clip based plugins & processing will be needed. Otherwise it is just a glorified router with summing.


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Marcus MooreRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 12:58:27 am

I'm aware of that. I'm just not sure we can rule out that kind of behaviour at this stage. Every version of FCPX is adding new windows (multicam viewing, event viewer), HUDs, etc. It seems to me the the platform is much more flexible than FCP Legacy ever was.

Let's not forget that FCPX already runs some Logic based plug-ins. Who's to say that they can't pull some of the non-clip based processors over as well.

You may be right, FCP Legacy survived for 10 years with it's audio toolset. If people needed more, export OMF/AAF to ProTools.

I'm just saying IF there's going to have a mixer, that's what will need to happen.



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Marcus MooreRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 12:31:43 am

I wonder if the solution might be that you can expand and contract a role, much like how the multichannel audio expands now in 10.0.6. Clip connections would be maintained, but the role would be only 1 "track" high. For example, all sound effect would be visible as a since block with all the clip connections still visible and active. But if you need to add, delete, move an element, expand the role for access to the individual clips.



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Michael GissingRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 12:38:04 am

Your description sounds like nesting.


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Marcus MooreRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 12:45:22 am

It can't be nesting. You can currently take a bunch of audio clips and put them in a compound clip (basically nesting), but once you do that any individual clip connections you have to the primary storyline are broken and replace by a single connection to the compound clip.

What I'm talking about is only a visual collapse to keep the project timeline clean. 1 "track" per Role until you need to do detailed work on it's elements. But while you're editing in the primary storyline, any connected clip will continue to keep it's position.



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olof ekberghRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 1:41:51 am

It would be cool if roles were color coded and could be displayed/expanded/collapsed/sorted in the the project timeline.

Now the next step may be to also be able to assign roles and individual clips as well to a bus (also color coded). And then have buses at the bottom of the timeline with option to display or not. M100 does something like this and then there is a virtual mixer with individual tracks and buses that can be manipulated in real time or with keyframes.

I hope something like this or something with the same control, and possible better GUI will be implemented soon.

Olof Ekbergh


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Marcus MooreRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 1:53:03 am

All good ideas.

"Soon" is a relative term, though. Since we've just had a big feature update, I'd suspect 10.0.7 will be a maintenance and bugs release (maybe January?). That puts 10.0.8 well into March/April territory.



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Michael GissingRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 4:55:21 am

I doubt that FCPX can be structured that way easily or that Apple ever intend to have bus like behaviours and a proper mixing console. They never managed to have track or bus based processing in over a decade of NLE development so why do you even think it might happen in X and if so why soon?

You might be lucky to get some sort of rudimentary mixer interface to control clip based levels. All the rest seems highly unlikely.


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Andy FieldRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 2, 2012 at 11:05:52 am

You can already change a track volume on the fly while the timeline plays.

why not just add an "automation keyframe mode" to that that records the keyframes as you change it?

It would be one track at a time (just like FCP 7..unless you are using an outboard control surface mixer) but that would save hours of rubber banding

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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Michael GissingRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 3, 2012 at 12:07:10 am

"You can already change a track volume on the fly while the timeline plays."


Track level Andy? How is that so. Surely it is changing clip level not track or roles level.


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Andy FieldRe: Mixer? How would it work anyway?
by on Nov 3, 2012 at 2:05:06 am

Meant clip not track

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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