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Tangier Clarke
Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 5, 2015 at 3:23:11 pm

Hey folks. I don't have ProTools, but I have Logic Pro X

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I thought I'd post a couple of questions/concerns here for those who have been in or are in my similar situation.

I am a longtime video editor who uses FCP X day in, day out. Although I know how to do mild audio work I a am not well versed in editing audio and all of the toolsets the likes of what one would do in ProTools and I've had the luxury of handing off that work to someone who does that.

I've been learning the hard way in FCP X applying filters and such (iZotope RX3 for example) with a video mindset only to cause my shiny new Mac Pro to run out of memory and treacherously slow managing audio filters and moving through the timeline, dealing with multichannel audio, etc.

I want to take that next step (and am in some ways am forced to) and go deeper with my post audio and audio workflow and wanted to know:

When do you decide to leave FCP X for audio - meaning, at what point is FCP X and it's audio capabilities not good enough?

Are the audio filters in FCP X substandard compared to the ones in Logic Pro X (and ProTools for that matter) in quality and processing or is it more about parameter control; like the difference between using FCP X or Motion for certain work?

Is Logic Pro X really up to the task? I already have read countless threads from ProTools users, but I haven't heard a lot (comparatively) about using Logic Pro X this way. I guess it's a matter of what is meant by "capable". I am looking forward to more XML integration down the road.

What's the order of your audio workflow? I've discovered I really need to better get a hold of when to apply certain sound processing in order to manage system memory better. Im not used to working with video and motion graphics in layered passes the way I am noticing I have to with audio; except for maybe color correction perhaps.


Any other insight would help.

Tangier


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Noah Kadner
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 5, 2015 at 8:04:39 pm

I personally think most projects audio can be easily completed to a pro level in FCPX alone. The tradeoff when you go elsewhere is you lose the ability to continue making edits without a complex round trip and reconnect which is time-consuming. I *only* leave FCPX when I want to hand off a mix to a professional facility doing a high end mix in ProTools. If you stay in X you have good mixing, most of the Logic plugins and performance is solid.

If you go to Logic/ProTools you gain additional very high end plugins and also more traditional automated multitrack mixing capabilities. For most folks who are video production focused these are overkill and don't outweigh the convenience of avoiding a round trip.

If you do want to try though, here's a series with best practices for FCPX<>Logic X:

http://www.fcpworks.com/the-logic-of-sound-part-iii/

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
Call Box Training


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Oliver Peters
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 5, 2015 at 10:44:59 pm

I've done a number of projects where I've gone from FCP X to Logic Pro X and liked the process. As Noah said, it makes subsequent changes harder, but then I'm a firm believer in locked cuts anyway. You can get good audio results with either application, so it's really more of an issue of personal preference.

I personally don't like mixing audio in X, so for me, Logic is the better tool. As a DAW, Logic will give you just as good results as with ProTools, though PT is preferred by most audio post mixers. I've also used Adobe Audition in a similar way and it, too, is a solid tool.

To get from FCP X to LPX, you can use FCPXML or roles. Unfortunately, there is no "send to" function like there used to be between FCP 7 and Soundtracks Pro. The trouble with FCPXML is that it doesn't give you a flattened picture track. The video you get inside LPX is complete nonsense. So you need to separately export a picture file if you are building your audio against picture.

If you organize as roles inside FCP X, then you will need to make sure you add any handles manually that you might want. Also you'll possibly need to checkerboard your roles to keep them separatel, like Dialogue A and B, SFX A and B, and Music A and B.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 6, 2015 at 1:58:29 am

I prefer a real locked picture as well. At what point do you decide to go to Logic instead of using FCPX? I am trying to discern is there a point where you ask yourself:

Are these too many tracks (roles) for FCP X to handle efficiently?

Are the tools in Logic (the same ones FCP X has access too any better in the quality of the processing. If not, then one could just stay in FCP X. If it's a matter of more parameter control, then I'd understand going to Logic.

I had to do a mix over the weekend and FCP X really got bogged down. I assigned my roles, applied filters, expanded audio on all the clips so I could work with them, etc. I couldn't help but wonder if this experience cause people to want to leave FCP X for audio work; being that Logic (and ProTools and the like) is just better suited for really handling all of the media. I am not totally sure about this, but I definitely felt like, I can't get work done if everything is operating this slow.


I know ProTools is defacto, but I have heard so many great things about Logic's built in tools and I wonder if, aside from the toolset(s) in ProTools is there any quality difference in how Logic Pro X handles the same operations - compressors, limiters, expanders, noise gates, plugins etc. If not, then it's really just a matter of PT having more features tailored to post audio.

Additionally I have to make sense of a workflow - when to apply certain types of filters; on a clip basis or near final full-track basis.

I know this seems a bit much perhaps, but I am trying to make sense of the value using Logic could add to my post workflow and if, when, and how it's worth it if FCP X can handle most of what I need done.

Thanks for everyone's insight. No matter what it's fun learning a new tool.

I just worked on a mix for a 3 cam shoot with 7 channels of audio (2 recorded mixes, 1 boom, 4 lavs) only needing to use the lavs, and it really just seemed slow with FCP X with the waveforms on, all four subject;s audio viewable in expanded view in the storyline on a relatively new mac pro.

Couldn't help but think, "there's gotta be a better way".

Tangier


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Oliver Peters
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 6, 2015 at 1:40:34 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "At what point do you decide to go to Logic instead of using FCPX?"

Hard to say as this is probably a personal preference. If more processing or mixing is involved, I jump over to LPX pretty early. Only a few tracks in most cases. For me, I prefer riding the faders in real-time when I mix. I also like the ability to create crossfades between clips on the same track. If I'm just doing a basic spot - VO, music, a few SFX - then I'll usually stick with FCP X.

[Tangier Clarke] "Are the tools in Logic (the same ones FCP X has access too any better in the quality of the processing. If not, then one could just stay in FCP X"

I think the tools and controls are pretty close, but you just have more in LPX. But applying tools like compression across all tracks is easier in LPX because it doesn't require compounding.

[Tangier Clarke] "I had to do a mix over the weekend and FCP X really got bogged down."

That's something I constantly fight in X. It simply gets bogged down in areas that other NLEs don't. Waveform redraw is especially poor compared with PProCC and Avid MC these days. It doesn't appear to correctly cache these waveforms, because it constantly needs to redraw them as you move up and down the timeline.

[Tangier Clarke] "I know ProTools is defacto, but I have heard so many great things about Logic's built in tools and I wonder if, aside from the toolset(s) in ProTools is there any quality difference in how Logic Pro X handles the same operations"

It gets down to what you are used to. In my neck of the woods, many music guys (the ones doing their own compositions) are using Logic. The more traditional mixers and recording engineers use ProTools. I only encounter a small few post mixers that work with Logic. But it's not for reasons of quality, but rather because of the investment they've already made in the PT ecosystem.

[Tangier Clarke] "Additionally I have to make sense of a workflow - when to apply certain types of filters; on a clip basis or near final full-track basis."

Often it works both ways. That's one of the reasons that if you use roles, then you might want to break it up based on several roles. For example, a role for each talent. This way you can have all of their lines on a single track in LPX and apply one filter to that track. In X, this would mean applying the same filter over and over again, every time this person spoke.

[Tangier Clarke] "I just worked on a mix for a 3 cam shoot with 7 channels of audio (2 recorded mixes, 1 boom, 4 lavs) only needing to use the lavs, and it really just seemed slow with FCP X with the waveforms on, all four subject;s audio viewable in expanded view in the storyline on a relatively new mac pro. "

I'm sorry to say it, but that doesn't surprise me.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 4:17:42 pm

Oliver, I don't know why I didn't get this reply in my inbox, but thanks. Your answers are helpful. I did exactly what you explained - isolating roles. I exported those roles as tracks and brought them back in to FCP X and added them to my multicam clip that way I'd still get the edits in my storyline resolved on my newly imported audio clips.

Downside to this method is if I need to use filters that don't allow key framing of their effect then the filter is only good as a blanket affect unless I make further edits on the audio.

An example of this most recent mix included:

Levels adjustments
Compressor
Adaptive noise gate
iZotope RX3 vocal Denoiser
iZotope RX3 vocal Decrackler

I even had to resurrect Soundtrack Pro to remove ambient noise (from an AC system( being that I don't know if Logic has something like that - the set noise print feature.


By the way Oliver - I use this audio only plugin for crossfades on the same "track"
http://blog.alex4d.com/2011/07/11/fcpx-transition-sound-only/

Tangier


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Oliver Peters
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 10:50:25 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "Downside to this method is if I need to use filters that don't allow key framing of their effect then the filter is only good as a blanket affect unless I make further edits on the audio......
......I even had to resurrect Soundtrack Pro to remove ambient noise (from an AC system( being that I don't know if Logic has something like that - the set noise print feature."


Unfortunately, these are reasons why the audio-related situation is better in the Avid and Adobe universe. However, you could use a hybrid method. That would be to apply clip-based filters in FCP X and "bake" them in, before applying final track-based effects in LPX.

[Tangier Clarke] "By the way Oliver - I use this audio only plugin for crossfades on the same "track""

Thanks. Yes, I'm aware of it, but I tend to look at these solutions as a workaround for something that Apple should fix.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 11:11:28 pm

That's exactly what I did - do some minimal work in FCP X, exported the roles, brought them back in and used iZotope on those. This seemed to work a little better. Figured this out having learned the hard way, but such is the way of learning new things I suppose.

Agreed on the workaround. It should be something Apple has already done and it's amazing that simple feature isn't there.

I haven't tried using the standalone of RX3.

Tangier


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Oliver Peters
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 11:24:22 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "I haven't tried using the standalone of RX3."

When you use the RX3 or RX4 plug-ins within a host application, they are real-time filters. When you use the standalone RX3 or RX4 application, it processes (renders) the applied filter in an offline fashion. Therefore it "bakes" the result in. This is like processing an individual file in Soundtrack Pro or in Audition.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 10:58:52 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "I even had to resurrect Soundtrack Pro to remove ambient noise (from an AC system( being that I don't know if Logic has something like that - the set noise print feature."

Additional thought - Have you tried doing some of this work in the standalone version of RX3 rather than just use the plug-in form?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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John Davidson
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 6, 2015 at 3:35:18 pm

We've been mixing exclusively with Logic with our projects for over a year. It works fine. I think we still XtoPro to generate our AAF though, which gives a better project conversion than using regular FCPXML.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 4:52:21 am

Glad to know. We've been using X2Pro to deliver AAFs to ProTools as well. It's too bad that the interoperability between FCP X and Logic Pro X isn't tighter via FCPXXML, but I am still interested in giving it a shot. As mentioned above, FCP X seems able to deliver good audio, but I was able to bog it down pretty easily so am trying to figure out at what point do people decide to not finish audio in FCP X and then from that point what their audio workflow is.

Tangier


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 1:52:04 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "but I was able to bog it down pretty easily "

Doing what?


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 4:06:27 pm

Having four channels (of a seven channel audio file) active and visible in expanded view on the storyline for a 28 min. edit. Selecting multiple clips of one channel to apply compressor or other sound processing filters. This is just to start. Toggling channels off and on per whatever I selected was slowly responsive as well.

Granted there could be many factors causing this. I went so far as to extract the individual channels and make them their own audio file in the finder then bring them back in to see if there'd be any performance difference.

I am on a 6-Core and Dual GPU Mac Pro with 32 GB Ram connected to an 8TB RAID 10 via thunderbolt.

FCP X just got so slow, beach balling a lot. Applying the filters caused a lot of waiting. I made sure to only be in waveform view - meaning their were no frame images showing on my storyline.

Using iZotope RX3 eventually bogged FCP X down so much it would take 7 minutes to open the library and at one point it just would open; sometimes the OS giving me an error that I ran out of application memory. Luckily I had an XML backed up to get be back go basics before I applied sound filter application which allowed me to open the project.

Tangier


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 7:26:30 pm

[Tangier Clarke] "Having four channels (of a seven channel audio file) active and visible in expanded view on the storyline for a 28 min. edit. "

Are the other three channels silent?


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 7, 2015 at 9:14:05 pm

I had them silent - deactivated in the inspector. However they do have dialogue content in the channels so they're not silent in that regard.

Tangier


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James Ewart
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 8, 2015 at 9:29:28 am

Great thread I have book marked it


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 10, 2015 at 4:04:45 pm

You know folks, the more I play around in Logic Pro X and get familiar with the tools and built-in features I find myself appreciating even more the tools that are available directly in FCP X. I am not saying one is better than the other necessarily and I do recognize how it's faster to tackle audio in LPX with a wider variety of options. However I am able to see more clearly just how capable FCP X is at delivering quality audio with it's built in tools; within reason of course.

I wouldn't go tackling large amounts of audio tracks in FCP X, but for simple D,M,&E with a few subjects it seems pretty good. Granted I am speaking from the perspective of someone who doesn't do audio as their primary bread and butter skill set so allow me that leeway for the time being.

Either way, I am enjoying learning LPX. I particularly look for ProTools users' perspectives as well when I search different forums. I am also doing some objective comparison of features and output quality between FCP X, ProTools 11, and LPX since I have access to all of them. http://sound-editing.softwareinsider.com has provided some cursory feature comparisons (some of which I found incorrect), but hearing from you all, experimenting, reading LPX and ProTools users' experiences with LPX leads me to believe it's more than capable for post sound (not necessarily ideal, but capable - all subjective), but also not always necessary when all you need is some decent EQ, compressor(s), room noise removal, DeEssers and DeCracklers, and levels adjustments.

Tangier


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Helge Tjelta
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Jul 10, 2015 at 7:51:21 pm

I do use Nuendo, and X2Pro for the AAF. It works, nice to do.

Also, Nuendo 7 now has re-conform, so changes in the video is no problem. (Only drawback is the re-conform only do EDL's, but having Resolve as a EDL creator is a breeze.)


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Aug 26, 2015 at 6:43:48 pm

I keep running into issues with the FCPXXML and Logic Pro X. LPX ends up crashing or not playing sound for certain tracks (roles). I haven't had that issue with X2Pro yet. I also haven't tried the latest update to LPX yesterday (10.2), but I don't think XML fixes were a part of that.

Tangier


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Oliver Peters
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Aug 27, 2015 at 12:56:11 am

[Tangier Clarke] "I keep running into issues with the FCPXXML and Logic Pro X"

I've had varying degrees of success. Generally an AAF via X2Pro works better. Right now I'm wrestling with a set of videos edited in Premiere Pro. AAF and XML straight out of PPro seem to work best, but a lot of info is lost. I tried looping through FCPX to try to retain that. Even though it was perfect in X, the exported FCPXML was useless in LPX. And this is with the newest version. Where I've had success, the bulk of the audio was from embedded camera media. This current project uses double-system sound in multicam clips and that might be the root of the problem.

More often than not, I resort to just pre-mixing several pieces of audio in X and assign different roles. Then export a multichannel QT with levels and transitions baked in.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Roland Stuvard
Re: Logic Pro X instead of FCP X for post audio - need advice.
on Aug 31, 2015 at 10:37:18 pm

I've also had problems getting FCPXML into Logic for a short recorded with double system sound. I spent a fruitless few days with Apple support on the issue before going the X2Pro route which works perfectly.


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