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Making the most of my setup for FCP editing

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Jon Harris
Making the most of my setup for FCP editing
on Aug 19, 2011 at 2:46:49 am

Hi there,

I'm relatively new to the world of editing with FCP - been working as a multimedia officer for the past 12 months and doing editing as well as website and image work. So I am fairly green!

Shortly I may be given the opportunity to work at home doing some editing, so I'd like to ask some advice on how to get the most from my equipment, whether I really need to purchase anything else essential, and also any tips on easy transferring of projects between two machines.

Can I just state from the outset that the projects I am working on are fairly basic and probably not 'ideal' compared to what you cutting edge pros are used to - I only occasionally am supplied with HD raw footage, and generally the final products are short and at most DVD quality, but mainly web clips for uploading to Youtube and Vimeo. Nonetheless, I want to make the most of my setup.

I did some reading a while back before I setup the work Mac Pro, and believe I have correctly setup the RAID array and scratch disks, along with using the multi-core setup as a cluster for compressor.

So, here is my setup at home:
2011 17" MBP with:
- i7 2.3GHz quad core
- 8GB ram
- 256GB SSD

I have Final Cut Studio 3 installed.

I have a couple of options for external drives which may or may not be sufficient:
- 250GB external drive with FW400 (connected via FW800 adapter)
- 1TB external drive with FW800
- A Netgear ReadyNas duo with 2 x 2TB 7200RPM HDD's - this is currently setup as a LAN based NAS, but I'm fairly certain it can be connected directly to the MBP via ethernet as a RAID array. How Woud the ethernet link to a fast RAID setup perform compared to FW800?

So, my main questions:
1. Can I gain a suitable setup using my existing equipment, or is an external RAID array needed? (prefer not to outlay the cash if I can get away with it...). If I need a new array, I'd probably wait until Thunderbolt gear comes down in price and is more readily available... or potentially find a Thunderbolt to eSata or USB3.0 adapter to get more choice in RAID arrays.
2. Depending on the answer to #1, how best to setup my scratch disks, locations for project files, raw and exported footage?
3. Are there any suggestions for ferrying the projects and all related files to and from the work Mac? Is it simply a matter of finding all the right files, manually copying them into their respective directories, then relinking everything up? Shouldn't be too much of a drama with my small projects, but sounds fiddley - are there any tools available to manage this properly?

My apologies for the fairly massive post with lots of info!!!!

Thanks for any advice you can provide.


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Fred Miller
Re: Making the most of my setup for FCP editing
on Aug 19, 2011 at 8:36:14 pm

1. For simplicity, use the FW 800 TB drive as your scratch disc at home. Use the the 250GB drive too sneaker your projects back a forth.

2. When editing at home, all media should be on your scratch disc. Put the FCP project file in a folder (FCP Projects) on your MBP internal drive.

3. Use the Media Manager Tool and copy all media and project to a folder on your sneaker drive.

good luck

FCP Studio 2
Dual 3Gg Quad Core
OS 10.5.8

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Jon Harris
Re: Making the most of my setup for FCP editing
on Aug 22, 2011 at 10:06:31 am

Hey Fred,

Awesome, thanks heaps for your nice and simple answers!!!

I think I am ready to go now :)


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