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FCP X "tracks" idea...

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Charlie Austin
FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 4:21:21 am

So I just DL'd and have been playing around with REAPER, which is a very cool little DAW. And it has a very interesting feature. Well, a lot of interesting features, but one in particular. That feature is the ability to have multiple overlapping clips in separate "lanes" within a single track. Yes, they're called lanes. REAPER has been around longer than FCP X... Anyway... you can move clips freely in their lanes, but they're all still part of one track. Apple should check it out, if they haven't already. ;-)

Just thought it interesting. Still playing with REAPER, it's a little odd, but seems really powerful. Here's a link to screen grab of a track with many lanes from a user of the SW. :-o

http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php?p=431699&postcount=11

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Marcus Moore
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 5:23:14 am

"Lanes" is exactly the term I've been using to refer to how Roles could be used to organize audio in the Project timeline.



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Charlie Austin
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 5:32:52 am

[Marcus Moore] ""Lanes" is exactly the term I've been using to refer to how Roles could be used to organize audio in the Project timeline."

"Lanes" is also Apples term for how FCP X defines where a clip exists in the timeline. It's in the XML for every clip in a project. :-)

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Michael Gissing
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 2:22:15 pm

Since going to computer based DAWs last century, I have had tracks with layers (call them lanes if you like) but basically non destructive layering on a track with the ability to cross fade between layers. When X first came out and discussions about magnetic were being had I mused that the problem of track overwriting had long been solved without throwing away the power of track based management by companies like dSP and Fairlight.

Nice to see others slowly coming around to this simple and powerful concept.


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Charlie Austin
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 3:05:02 pm

[Michael Gissing] "discussions about magnetic were being had I mused that the problem of track overwriting had long been solved without throwing away the power of track based management"

And I'm not convinced that something like this is not where apple is going. Combining that DAW layer concept with magnetism would be very nice I think. There's also a function in REAPER where a track becomes a "folder" where "Anything that you do to the folder will be done to the entire submix. For example, if you adjust the volume up or down, the volume of the submix will be adjusted up or down. If you add an effect such as a compressor to the folder then that effect will be applied to the submix." (from the manual).i t's a bus, but still a track. Also, tracks can be master sends/returns as well. It's pretty interesting. These concepts would, it seem to me, work very well with a magnetic timeline. I guess if one believes that Apple has no clue what they're doing, then a trackless magnetic timeline is just a big, arrogant mess. But... what if they do know what they're doing? ;-)

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David Lawrence
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 6:10:46 pm

[Charlie Austin] "And I'm not convinced that something like this is not where apple is going. Combining that DAW layer concept with magnetism would be very nice I think."

It would be nice but I'm not holding my breath. As Michael has been saying for more than a year, Reaper and other DAWs like the Fairlight show how it's possible to avoid the clip collisions without losing the benefits of a track-based UI. If that was really Apple's intent, I think they would have built something like that to begin with.

Maybe roles will evolve to provide this but as I see it, the problem with the magnetic timeline isn't that it's trackless, it's that it's hierarchical. How many DAWs have a single primary track that all other tracks must connect to? Why do you think that is?

[Charlie Austin] "These concepts would, it seem to me, work very well with a magnetic timeline. I guess if one believes that Apple has no clue what they're doing, then a trackless magnetic timeline is just a big, arrogant mess. But... what if they do know what they're doing? ;-)"

I'll believe it when I see it ;)

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Charlie Austin
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 6:28:28 pm

[David Lawrence] "Maybe roles will evolve to provide this but as I see it, the problem with the magnetic timeline isn't that it's trackless, it's that it's hierarchical. How many DAWs have a single primary track that all other tracks must connect to? Why do you think that is?"

Because they're Digital AUDIO Workstations. They are designed to be slaved to either time, or picture that is locked in... time. As I've said, I wouldn't want to cut a spot in a DAW. Would you? ;-)

And, AFAIK, clip collisions aren't avoided, at least in REAPER. Clips dissolve into each other when they collide. You can prevent that by moving the clip to another lane, X just does that for you. If you don't like hierarchical magnetism and want your clips in X to be connected to time rather than "parent" clips, just fill the primary with gap, and cut with secondary storylines and connected clips. That's how I used it when I started using X. It works just fine.

[David Lawrence] I'll believe it when I see it ;)

Me too. Though I don't think Apple is just making this up as they go along. :-)

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 7:39:30 pm

[Charlie Austin] "Me too. Though I don't think Apple is just making this up as they go along. :-)
"


It strikes me that there has been a certain amount of improvisation along the line, though they've done it with a bit more finesse and agility than stylemaster Michael Scott. Or, maybe not.

http://www.frequency.com/video/michael-scott-improv/60278742



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David Lawrence
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 8:54:31 pm

[Charlie Austin] "Because they're Digital AUDIO Workstations. They are designed to be slaved to either time, or picture that is locked in... time."

Lol, not necessarily at all. I hear the "audio is different" reply whenever I bring up DAWs but I think it misses the point I've been arguing since FCPX's release.

Audio and video are both time-based media.

Audio and video are both represented as clips in a 2D GUI in the same way.

Audio and video are both manipulated as clips in a 2D GUI in the same way.

Audio and video can both be cut.

Audio and video can both be sequenced.

Audio and video can both be layered (mixed or composited).

There are many situations where slaving to time is just as important for picture as it is for sound.

When you start breaking it down, I don't think digital audio and video are as radically different as many people seem to think.

Sure, sound and picture are typically treated differently in many production workflows, but there's no reason to necessarily make one media type more important than the other. I think forcing this distinction shows a lack of imagination on the part of UI designers.

[Charlie Austin] "If you don't like hierarchical magnetism and want your clips in X to be connected to time rather than "parent" clips, just fill the primary with gap, and cut with secondary storylines and connected clips. That's how I used it when I started using X. It works just fine."

Jim Giberti's gone even further simulating tracks with gaps. It's super creative and yes it works, but at the end of the day, it's still a hack to make up for the magnetic timeline's fixed hierarchy.

Why couldn't a track-based NLE be just as powerful for sound as it is for picture? Why couldn't the best ideas of track-based NLE's and DAWs be brought together? I see no reason why working with both digital picture and sound shouldn't be a completely fluid experience. That's what I want in my ideal world ;)

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Charlie Austin
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 10:53:57 pm

[David Lawrence] " Why couldn't the best ideas of track-based NLE's and DAWs be brought together? I see no reason why working with both digital picture and sound shouldn't be a completely fluid experience. That's what I want in my ideal world ;)"


I'd change the above to read "...trackless NLE's, and track based DAW's"... But I agree. :-)

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Herb Sevush
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 27, 2013 at 4:29:10 am

[David Lawrence] "Why couldn't a track-based NLE be just as powerful for sound as it is for picture? Why couldn't the best ideas of track-based NLE's and DAWs be brought together?"

I believe Sony Vegas started out as a DAW and then became an NLE, keeping much of the original DAW design, which is one of the reasons it is such an outlier in the NLE world.

Herb Sevush
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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 27, 2013 at 4:46:47 am

[Herb Sevush] " believe Sony Vegas started out as a DAW and then became an NLE, keeping much of the original DAW design, which is one of the reasons it is such an outlier in the NLE world.
"


It did indeed. It was Sonic Foundry's multitrack followup to Sound Forge.


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Michael Gissing
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 9:35:55 pm

If Reaper doesn't avoid deleting during collision and the folder behaviour is as you describe, then what they are doing is just allowing you to edit a bus with it's inherent tracks. This is the same as allowing an editor to use roles as a grouped edit object. How they could represent that at that UI level may be like Reaper.

As to Apple's intent, I think the fact that Roles were a hasty bolt on seems to indicate that a coherent master plan for managing sophisticated audio management and mixing function didn't exist. If it did there would have been Roles from day one and a mix panel by now and a bunch of control surfaces with real faders as third party options. Roles look like how a database engineer would add bussing.

The templates for sophisticated track based non collision editing like Fairlight were known to Apple. By choosing the magnetic timeline behaviour they knowingly chose and alternative without thinking through the consequences. After 18 months it doesn't look like there was such a master plan which is unsurprising. If Logic turns up with magnetism then I might concede that there is a plan or the alternate view that database engineers still have no clue about audio.


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David Lawrence
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 9:57:43 pm

[Michael Gissing] "As to Apple's intent, I think the fact that Roles were a hasty bolt on seems to indicate that a coherent master plan for managing sophisticated audio management and mixing function didn't exist. If it did there would have been Roles from day one and a mix panel by now and a bunch of control surfaces with real faders as third party options. Roles look like how a database engineer would add bussing.

The templates for sophisticated track based non collision editing like Fairlight were known to Apple. By choosing the magnetic timeline behaviour they knowingly chose and alternative without thinking through the consequences. After 18 months it doesn't look like there was such a master plan which is unsurprising. If Logic turns up with magnetism then I might concede that there is a plan or the alternate view that database engineers still have no clue about audio."


Well said.

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Charlie Austin
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 11:06:24 pm

[Michael Gissing] "I think the fact that Roles were a hasty bolt on seems to indicate that a coherent master plan for managing sophisticated audio management and mixing function didn't exist."

I really don't think they were a hasty bolt on. In fact, there are lot's of interesting, unimplemented things in the code...

http://alex4d.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/secret-fcpx-xml-multi-user-editing/

http://alex4d.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/secret-fcpx-4/

I just don't think they were ready. We'll see I guess. :-)

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Michael Gissing
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 11:52:06 pm

I see nothing that indicates layers of clips on tracks. Nor do I see a display of a a mixer layout hinted at. Without a UI display to manage layers or lanes or bussing other than by Roles tagging I see Roles as a patching and grouping behaviour not as elegant as bussing or temporary grouping.

If Roles can move to something more sophisticated that would be good. The lack of indication of how to display and manipulate those functions still indicates it is work in progress rather than a cunning master plan.


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Charlie Austin
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 25, 2013 at 11:56:53 pm

[Michael Gissing] "Without a UI display to manage layers or lanes or bussing other than by Roles tagging I see Roles as a patching and grouping behaviour not as elegant as bussing or temporary grouping.

If Roles can move to something more sophisticated that would be good. The lack of indication of how to display and manipulate those functions still indicates it is work in progress rather than a cunning master plan."


Fair enough. I agree it's a work in progress, I guess I just believe that there is a plan, cunning or not. ;-) Again... we'll see.

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David Lawrence
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 26, 2013 at 12:06:30 am

[Michael Gissing] "If Roles can move to something more sophisticated that would be good. The lack of indication of how to display and manipulate those functions still indicates it is work in progress rather than a cunning master plan."

Yep, not to mention the fact that all those posts are from July 2011, back when FCPX still had the Sequence.icns resource showing tracks. That image is now gone and perhaps those other secret hidden clues are as well. For all we know, all that stuff might have just been left over from an earlier, tracked version of FCPX.

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Charlie Austin
Re: FCP X "tracks" idea...
on Feb 26, 2013 at 1:08:13 am

[David Lawrence] "Yep, not to mention the fact that all those posts are from July 2011, back when FCPX still had the Sequence.icns resource showing tracks. That image is now gone and perhaps those other secret hidden clues are as well. "

Well, other than the .icns It's all still there, as well as some other stuff. You'd think they'd have taken it out by now if it was all useless. Unless of course apple has no idea what they're doing... ;-)

"FFValidateAndRepair" = "Validate and Repair Sequence";

/* The pop-up menu label for enabling Deep Sky project sharing */
"FFOrganizerProjectSharingStart" = "Start Sharing";

/* The pop-up menu label for disabling Deep Sky project sharing */
"FFOrganizerProjectSharingStop" = "Stop Sharing";

/* Guards */
"FFGuardDisplayNameFormat" = "guard from user %@ created on %@";
"FFGuardAddName" = "Add Guard";
"FFGuardRemoveFormat" = "Remove %@";
"FFGuardConflictDescription" = "One or more of changes are protected by a guard owned by a different user. ";
"FFGuardConflictTitleRollBack" = "Cancel";
"FFGuardConflictTitleAccept" = "Override";
"FFSetGuardOnSequence" = "Change Guard on sequence";
"FFSetGuardOnStorySegment" = "Change Guard on story segment";
"FFSetGuardOnTrack" = "Change Guard on track";
"FFGuardChangeOptions" = "Change Guard on story segment";
"FFGuardAddUser" = "Add Myself to Guard";
"FFGuardRemoveUser" = "Remove Myself from Guard";


/* Default name for an audio action layer */
"FFuntitled layer" = "untitled layer";


/* Create container with audio alert dialog */
"FFCreateContainerMessageText" = "You are combining audio and video clips outside the primary storyline.";
"FFCreateContainerButtonText" = "Continue";
"FFCreateContainerAlternateButtonText" = "Cancel";
"FFCreateContainerInformativeText" = "The audio duration will be modified to conform to video frame boundaries.";

/* Add to audio only container alert dialog */
"FFAddToAudioOnlyContainerMessageText" = "You are combining audio and video clips outside the primary storyline.";
"FFAddToAudioOnlyContainerButtonText" = "OK";
"FFAddToAudioOnlyStorylineInformativeText" = "You cannot add video clips to existing audio-only storylines.";
"FFAddToAudioOnlyCompoundClipInformativeText" = "You cannot add video clips to existing audio-only compound clips.";



EDIT: found a couple more, the last one may become my new signature. :-) OK... back to work!

/* No comment provided by engineer. */
"NumberedAudioChannel" = "NumberedAudioChannel";

/* No comment provided by engineer. */
"PeakIndicatorToolTip" = "PeakIndicatorToolTip";

/* Not yet implemented Alert dialog text */
"PE NOT YET IMPLEMENTED ALERT TITLE TEXT" = "Not yet implemented";
"PE NOT YET IMPLEMENTED ALERT INFORMATIVE TEXT" = "The function you just attempted is not yet implemented";

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