FCP X or AVID??
I have always used FCP and am currently running 7 on an intel Macbook Pro as well as AE etc.
Having read an awful lot about FCP X I am really torn. What with so much having changed with the interface from 7 to X and the widely negative feedback for the new software I am considering switching to Avid. I would be a complete Avid novice and have to learn again from scratch.
Is it worth sticking with FCP X or do you think now is the time to jump ship and finally teach myself Avid. Also with the massive reductions on Avid at the moment Im thinking that Id sooner strike whilst the iron is hot? Also if Avid is the better option, which of the platforms would be most suitable. I want a package that would be comparable to FCP studio?
[Rob Pitman] "with the massive reductions on Avid at the moment"
If money is a concern, better check usual upgrade pricing before making a decision
Why do you feel compelled to switch? The only reason I would give up on X is if I felt Apple was not going to finish building it. I think they're in this for the long haul myself and I find the workarounds worth the aggravation. The picture quality improvements alone convinced me.
One of the first things I did when I got X was to export my current fcp7 project in pro res, load it on an X timeline and put it on YouTube. The difference in the quality was clear. No more gamma garbage. The images looked exactly like what I edited. The version I put up from 7 was darker, had a lot more blockiness.
Depending on the work you do I would say learning Avid can only be a positive as it opens up more opportunities. As a freelancer I would lose out if I only knew one or the other. Certainly in the UK, where I work Avid is still the dominant system with many post houses and broadcasters although FCP has made big inroads in the last 5 or 6 years. FCPX has pretty much made itself irrelevant to those particular environments in its current form. That of course may well change as it develops.
For the Macbook Pro Media Composer is what you will need. If you want external monitoring and deck control etc then you have the choice of Matrox MX02 or the Kona IO Express. I have used both and prefer the Kona but there is lots of info around about those options for you to choose what bests suits your workflow.
You get both Mac and PC software with Avid and you can load it on both platforms, dongle control means you can only use one at a time though.
I have it on both a Macbook Pro and a Mac Pro and just switch the dongle over depending on where I need to work.
There is nothing quite as sophisticated as Color in the Avid package but in terms of the rest you will not find it lacking.
One word of advice if I may, I have taught "crossover" lessons for editors going both Avid-FCP & FCP-Avid. Its pretty tempting to try and make one work like the other but either direction thats only going to get you frustrated. Accept the differences and you will have a much easier time.
For me Avid wins over FCPX without question but that is the environment I work in - for others it may not be the same, you will be able to stick with FCP7 too for a good while if FCPX doesn't suit. If you can afford it and it can be part of the bigger picture for you then now is a good time, enjoy it.
Media Composer is very versatile from creating web content to studio A level features. The first thing to do is download the 30 day free trial:
Also, this page has some high level bullet points on MC advantages, and information on the crossover promotion:
A lot of people here keep saying "wait, don't switch" ... but, well YES, that's kind of what professionals do when they are faced with the future that's been laid in front of us. We're brand and software agnostic and will switch to whatever suits our needs.
I hadn't used Media Composer for about 5 years but I took advantage of the crossgrade promotion. It's a different piece of software, but it's better. Simply put. That doesn't mean I dislike Premiere Pro or FCPX -- in fact, I would use them too if they happened to be the better tool for certain projects -- but they aren't in most cases.
Learn them all. You obviously don't know how to use AVID yet but you should, regardless if you need it right now.
Certainly worth a try of the 30 day free version. Some people pick up Avid very quickly and find the keyboard workflow better than FCP and PPro's tactile workflow.
I started editing on Avid when the first ones came into the UK, I used it for a number of years but since switching to FCP, Avid feels like editing in handcuffs, but that's just a personal opinion :)
However I think it's only going to consolidate it's position as the standard in the higher ends of the industry, despite Adobe pushing hard.
Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.
What type of work do you do? For certain types of work, FCP X will be more than suitable. Before making a recommendation, it would be useful to know what you need from your editing application. Do you need deck control? Do you need to track film numbers? Do you need to export your audio for additional sweetening and mixing, or do you do your own mixing in app? Are you solely involved in file-based material with delivery restricted to the internet? No job is any more "professional" than another, but they have different needs.
Most of my work will be for online or DVD but as a freelancer I work in the UK TV industry. I am concerned that post houses are now going to move back to Avid or just hold off their planned FCP switch and so I will be burned there?
I work in tapeless, some DSLR, some XDCAM so I think that I will maybe stick out with FCP 7 for online use and try and learn Avid for my broadcast commitments?
What are your thoughts?
Well I'm definitely prejudiced, because Avid is my preferred tool. However, I own and use FCP 7 when I absolutely have to. My sense is that broadcasters will drift back to Avid, because Avid means "Pro" in the broadcast sense of the word, and they aren't going to change that. No surprises with Avid, which will appeal to the people making long-term decisions.
I'd recommend sticking with FCP for your immediate projects, and for as long as it continues to work, but definitely learn Avid. It's a different beast, and you'll be frustrated with it at first. But if you don't try to make it act like FCP, and learn to use it instead as it was designed, I think you'll find it incredibly powerful, smooth, and efficient.
In FCPX's current state... it does not have the level of editing capability as compared to AVID or PPro.
The only real way to know if AVID is what you want is to download a trial copy and try it out... same is true for Adobe PPro.
What you have is a migration decision. And... if FCPx is as easy to learn (verdict still out) as Apple claims... then, you should have no problem going back to FCPx in the future is AVID or PPro turns out to not work for you. However, I seriously doubt that will be an issue with either PPro or AVID. Either will most likely work since all three (AVID, ADOBE and FCP)are cousin-like in the overall workflow process of editing.
Learning AVID will give you certain advantages when it comes to using it on a "Hollywood" or "TV" level of editing. While Adobe's PPro Production package is definately a work horse of the CG/compositing industry.
AVID is good... and adaptable... but, it is also the most different in it's UI when compared to FCP...so, the learning curve may be a bit higher than if you were to move to Adobe. If you are looking for an editing application that is comparible to FCP - either Adobe's PPro or AVID's MC5 will work.
AVID's key advantages are powerful abililies, stability and flexibility. It's key disadvantage (sorta') is that it's user interface has the least common ground with FCP. While Adobe's key advantages is it's flexibility in working well with CG, graphics, compositing and text creation. Adobe PPro has the most common user interface similarity with FCP resulting in a lower learning curve.
Perhaps instead of think about migrating to a new editing application as "jumping ship"... you should probably consider it an opportunity (specially when you look at the unbeleiveable low prices being offered) to broaden your skills and making yourself more marketable or prepared for new business.
In a nutshell... perhaps it is good to look at it as if... you didn't leave FCP... FCP and Apple left you. And the change will not be a negative but a positive in the long run.
We do need to know more about what you do. I switched to PP because of the integration of apps and 64 bit. (Though Avid will be 64 bit on the next version)
What kind of footage are you working with (DSLR, tape, P2) and what are you doing with it (web, tape, DVD, Blu-ray)?
I can't advise Final Cut Pro X because it simply does not have the features we need and even simple things like OMF export (to work with a Pro Tools sound designer) is a $500 plug in.
Avid and Premiere Pro include that and a lot, lot more.
As a FCP user I think the switch to Premiere Pro would be easier for you. Most FCP users find Avid very frustrating. It's very different.
It all comes down to "costs" of one kind or another.
Can you keep using FCP7 for a year or so while FCPX grows (as I think it will)?
Is the cost of moving to Avid burdensome in either money or time to learn?
Is the cost of moving to Premiere which is similar to FCP (and may cost little if you already have Production bundle)?
I think back to the days when the cost of getting an NLE meant $60K or more. The cost of moving is much smaller now although our business overheads are lower and ROI must be shorter.
There's the cost of switching back to FCPX if it becomes killer. Those costs may not be too steep either. Somehow I think that factored into Apple's decision.
I'd totally start learning Avid. I am. I started learning on an Avid in the beginning but went to FCP because I could have it at home. There weren't many jobs for FCP editors back then though and I had a tough time finding work at first. Now 12 years later I feel I have to backstep a bit. Ultimately this will be good for us even though it's painful. Apple may actually upgrade FCP X to be used in a professional environment but facilities may choose to go with Avid instead of FCP because they don't trust Apple. So you may find that new jobs are going to be asking for Avid editors more and more. Then maybe in a few years FCP X will be able to be used professionally.
I'm a long time Avid editor in Hollywood. I edit mostly scripted multi-camera network TV shows, and Media Composer has been a wonderful, reliable, stable tool that's made it possible for my work to be honored with two Emmy awards and five nominations. I don't say this to brag, my intent is to inform you that without Media Composer, I would not be able to do the quality of work that I do. Without proper tools, my work would be awful.
Because I work almost exclusively on scripted projects, Avid's exclusive script-based editing feature offers something no other editing software can match. Imagine 7 or 8 takes of a scene…in a flash, you can click on a line of dialog in the Avid script and quickly compare coverage and the subtleties of actor's performances. I was one of the first editors in Hollywood to embrace Avid's script-based editing, and now it's become almost mandatory to use it on scripted projects here. It helps me make superior "editor's cuts" and the directors and producers who ask me to show them alternate takes love the feature. FCP X has an "auditions" feature that comes close, but it's nowhere near as fast and easy to use. When you're referencing the script supervisor's printed script to the Avid script, it's just FAST and allows the editor to maximize their creative skills.
I routinely export AAF files (formerly OMF) for ProTools, and send an Avid bin with my finished offline sequence to a post house for final conforming of the HD master from XDCAM sources. We use Avid's DNxHD36 codec for very high quality offline with small file sizes. The small files allow us to have an entire season of 4 camera multicam episodes on 3-2TB FireWire 800 drives. Of course it's possible to use higher quality codecs and finish the project in MC, but my current TV series works best using an offline-online workflow. For me, Avid's multicam seems superior to FCP 7 and earlier, and Avid trims better and more intuitively than FCP 7 and earlier.
I like FCP 7 too. I bought the first version of FCP on the day version 1 was released, and have upgraded with each release including X. I love shooting and editing vacation videos and use FCP 7 for that purpose. Also, I took a year off from editing in Hollywood and taught FCP at a film school in Asia. I rather like FCP 7, but for my professional work, I'm glad I'm an Avid ace. For high-end work in Hollywood, you had better know Avid because it's still the gold standard here.
Don't be intimidated by Media Composer. Some editors think MC is elitist or overly complex. FCP started out as the "guerilla filmmaker's" choice and eventually became full-featured and reliable enough for pro acceptance. It won't take long before using MC becomes second nature to you, just like FCP 7 may be for you now. Check this out, you might find it helpful..Avid for Final Cut Pro editors... http://learn.avid.com/content/FCP/index.html
I'm determined to know and maybe eventually love FCP X. I think it has possibilities. But it's a long way for being ready for prime time, maybe years. I suggest you enjoy the ride and learn as many editing platforms as possible. Even an old salt like me loves playing with new toys. I still can't believe these people pay me to come to work everyday. Editing has a been a great career for me and I hope you all feel the same.
Consider the very attractive switcher prices from Avid and Adobe. You may not see prices like these again for a long time if ever. If Apple gets their act together in the future with FCP X, it's fairly cheap to jump back in.
The only thing I might add to this post is...
Here is a link that has more specific infromation for a FCP to AVID migration.
I was an Avid editor from it's beginning and for about 12 years. Like many, FCP was something I could buy and use at home.
I think there's going to be an interesting battle between Avid and Adobe, not just on the marketing front but on feature upgrades as well.
Just read a former avid employee's take on X. Gives props to Apple.
Really interesting. Especially in pointing out that what Apple have done with reinventing FCP is something that AVID should have done (and were apparently planning to do from this article) with Media Composer for a long time, but lacked the courage or the corporate will (or maybe the financial underpinning) to do.
Thanks for responding. I can wait for a year or so, holding on to 7 if you really think that X will sort itself out.
My worry is that in the UK, freelance work for TV (one of the areas in which I work) will move more and more back to Avid or now not migrate to FCP as they had planned.
I can manage on FCP 7 for online and corporate stuff for a while.
What do you think?
Certainly you need to learn the tools you need for freelance work and that would be Avid and Premiere. I can't see many facilities hanging on to FCP7 beyond the end of the year as they move. I suspect it will take at least that long or longer for FCPX to work in a facility environment so I don't expect much movement to it.
As for personal use, my main concern would be if you have clients that do revisions a year or more later (I do) you'd either have to keep a legacy FCP7 system (although Apple says it's Lion compatible now if/when it breaks I suspect they won't fix) or have some way to open it in another NLE. Apple has said repeatedly there will be no FCP project import on the roadmap for FCPX. There may be XML import though which would require a third party purchase and I'd expect that would lose everything but the sequence itself (no motion tab, transitions, fx, nests).
If you ever wanna make more than 10/hour learn avid
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