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Switched to AVID from FCP. And so should you!

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David Powell
Switched to AVID from FCP. And so should you!
on Nov 24, 2011 at 9:17:55 pm

No seriously. If you're thinking of switching and are afraid of the learning curve. Know that I had been cutting on FCP since 5, was a certified pro in 6, and had reached ninja level with 7. When MC5 came out, I decided I needed to learn it. Well I had two features to cut so after finishing cutting one on Final Cut, I decided just to jump in the river and cut the other on Avid (not the smartest thing to do if its big budget tight deadline.

Anyway, I watched the Lynda.com training which is all on the Avid site for free, to get a overview of the whole program. I actually just watched it through without touching anything until it was time to cut my movie. I also ordered the book "Avid Agility" by Steve Cohen, A MUST HAVE! And I read it every night before going to bed and saying my prayers. Well with Cohen's book by my side I jumped into cutting the feature, and the first thing you'll notice is how much more sophisticated Avid is than FCP 7. I was always angry at the fact that I could not properly tab through bin columns in FCP when organizing footage. This works perfectly in Avid.

Also, I did not try to make Avid work like FCP. I just learned the Avid way. Fortunately I was always a keyboard man so once I learned the keyboard and made it my own, it was no big deal. Can I just say when you learn to trim in Avid, you will never want to trim in FCP again. Its actually a Joy and pleasure. And there are so many different techniques you learn, it just blows your mind. Btw, I was only 2 weeks into using it, before I completely had the hang of what I was doing on the timeline.

Now, heres where the pain in the arses comes in. Once you've gotten the timeline down, you realize you have to do other stuff like audio mixing, adding effects and titling. This is where the frustration comes in, because it feels so different from FC and you find yourself yearning for it again like an ex-alcoholic about to go into relapse. Also (AND THIS IS A BIG ONE!) Avid lacks in its ability to undo. Basically you can only undo in the timeline, so you have to be a lot more careful when you're in the bin windows. Also the audio mixing and manipulation was waaaay better in FC until I learn otherwise.

The Undo and Audio mixing are the only real sticking points but everything else, after you have learned it, you will find far superior. I mean this program is waaaay deep, but you don't have to dive to the depths to get the work done, you just learn new techniques to do it faster along the way, like top tail editing (freakin rules!)

Now with FC I could pretty much do everything from the keyboard, and I find myself having to reach for the mouse more than I'd like to at this present time, and that annoys me, but I'm still learning all the tricks. 2 things that annoy me is that I cannot get out of the locator ("markers" in fcp and now also in MC6) window with the enter button. Thats a real pain, and I can't figure out how to move tracks vertically with the keyboard like I could in FC. Steven Cohen has a left handed approach that is mouse heavy, and I'm going to try and figure out a system where I switch from a "rough cut" profile to a "trimming profile" and switch between the two. Those are my only real complaints though. I love this program and wish I had learned it years ago. But Final Cut was good to me, made me money. I was hoping final cut X would rule, but the writing is on the wall, and I know there will not be any studios switching over to FCPX. I need to know the software that people will hire me for ( I cringe at the thought of having to learn premier. It just sounds weak sauce, even though I know its pretty decent.)

All in all, for most of us, it gets pretty slow during the holidays, and I would advise you to just watch the Lynda series videos which are on the Avid website free, while you're eating you're leftovers, dl the 30 day trial and do a an easy project over Christmas just to get the hang of it without a deadline hanging over you (like I did). With the aggressive pricing, its a no-brainer. You'd also benefit from buying Cohen's book and flipping through it just to see all that's possible in the software. Its an easy read with tons of pictures for everything. I keep it at my bedside, and on my lap during editing sessions.

I've also been trying to learn AE, right now. Talk about the steepest learning curve ever!


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Mike Silverman
Re: Switched to AVID from FCP. And so should you!
on Nov 26, 2011 at 5:22:47 am

I've just purchased Media Composer (coming from years of FCP), where on the Avid website are the free Lynda.com tutorials?


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Ed Cilley
Re: Switched to AVID from FCP. And so should you!
on Nov 26, 2011 at 6:42:30 pm

Tutorials:
http://www.avid.com/US/products/Media-Composer
- click on Support/Training tab
- Get Trained has the Lynda.com info
- Video tutorials & webinars has more info

Daivd mentioned: "Also the audio mixing and manipulation was waaaay better in FC until I learn otherwise." Have you turned on the Clip Levels and audio waveform options. This will increase your ability to manipulate audio in the timeline. I really like the way FCP handles audio in the source window - wish MC did the same.

Thanks for your review, I enjoyed reading it.


_________________________________________________
Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


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David Powell
Re: Switched to AVID from FCP. And so should you!
on Nov 26, 2011 at 9:44:21 pm

Hey Ed,

The realtime mixing and automatic pairing of stereo tracks in FCP are far superior to MC. The way you have to keep re-linking a pair of audio tracks in avid makes me want to shoot my computer screen. And the way key framing works in the timeline, I prefer in FCP. A small thing to give up for the awesomeness of media composer. And since FCPX has lost many of these functions anyway, its a moot point as FCP7 is at the end of its life. I'm thankful of the competition which forces Avid to keep up and compete.

Mike,

check out avidscreencast.com this dude has many great video tutorials that will really help you. He has a very annoying accent that you have to get past though.


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Mike Silverman
Re: Switched to AVID from FCP. And so should you!
on Nov 26, 2011 at 10:09:38 pm

That's very cool, I can usually handle annoying accents :)


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Scott Cumbo
Re: Switched to AVID from FCP. And so should you!
on Nov 27, 2011 at 1:39:00 am

It's funny as an editor who mainly worked in Avid, though i use FCP also and have been on a FCP job for about the last 6 or 8 months. I find audio in FCP annoying.

Though i was never big into key framing audio, I also would ad edits and use dissolves for level changes. Although 95% of the time my stuff is going to someone else for a final mix before it hits air.

Scott Cumbo
Editor
Broadway Video, NYC


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Daniel Garriga
Re: Switched to AVID from FCP. And so should you!
on Dec 2, 2011 at 1:43:15 pm

The link to Lynda just brought me to the Lynda website and highlights the clips that are free and the grayed out ones require a membership. Where are all the clips for free?



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David Powell
Re: Switched to AVID from FCP. And so should you!
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:34:55 pm

You know I didn't watch them there. I saw the links and perhaps assumed they were streaming from the site my apologies. The Lynda membership for $25 would be worth it to learn the software, however there is a man on the forums named douglas who did 100 tutorials! All pretty much beginner stuff, which covers just about everything. http://community.avid.com/forums/p/67003/375237.aspx These are def free, and should get you going. My most valuable resource thus far has been the Cohen book.


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