How do I speed up FCP 7?
Currently I have been working on my video footage and addressing any issues as they have come along. I have experienced lots of render problems and often disc space issues.
If this is a repeated thread as im sure it might be, please redirect me to one. I am happy to read till I go blind, but as there as some experts on here I would now like to try and address the WAY I WORK so I dont run into the same issues, whilst I am getting paid work with deadlines.
So ultimately I would like to know what makes FCP run effeciently barring the hardware each MAC contains.
I can tell you that My media is usually on my desktop, which I have recently discovered isnt the way to go. I have also found a render folder on my mac, which is full of old un-needed footage. This gives you an insight into my knowledge of the program.
[Robert Floutier] "I can tell you that My media is usually on my desktop, which I have recently discovered isnt the way to go."
I would say that drive speed is one of the more common reasons for FCP to run slowly. You should never save media to your internal OS drive as you have worked out.
You need a fast external drive, ideally 7200 rpm and as a minimum Firewire 800 connected. I say as a minimum because although Firewire 800 will handle a stream or 2 of HD that is really the limit. After that you should really be looking at a raid of some kind esata for example.
Obviously if your Mac supports Thunderbolt that will be quick enough. But always fast external storage for your media. (Or an internal additional drive or drives if your machine allows.)
Make sure you edit your footage in a suitable format, for FCP ProRes is the preferred codec. So if you shoot DSLR for instance always transcode to ProRes before you start editing. Trying to edit H264 is just going to cause you headaches.
Always make sure your sequence settings match your footage, then you should not have to render so much.
FCP7 cant use more than 4 Gigs RAM as it is a 32 bit application. it may help to have more RAM in terms of running other software but FCP itself tops out around 4 Gigs so as long as you have that as a minimum you should be fine.
Those are the basic rules, others may have more info.
Thank you very much neil, your post has promtped me to invest in a very decent fast external harddrive for my media.
Ive heard the word 'raid' banded about, is there entry level articles on the brand/company/hardware? Ive tried to wikipedia it but have to admit, finding it quite hard to swallow.
Now looking at render issues, am I right in believing that the render files are stored on a harddrive and that FCP only allows a certain amount before it gets full and slows down rendering to the point when it will not allow rendering (dreaded orange bar)?
A raid is simply a way of formatting a group ( 2 or more) of physical hard drives together so that they appear as a single logical drive. The result increases the read and or write speed and in some cases gives redundancy in the event of drive failure.
However there are several ways of creating the raid which offer different levels of speed and redundancy.
Some types of raid can be set up simply using software, ie the drive utility can create them. Others need a hardware raid card to manage the data and is probably the better option rather than a simple software controlled raid.
I am UK based and have used these guys http://www.rentaraid.co.uk the site gives you loads of options and info. I am sure you can find the same products wherever you are.
Raid 0 is the cheapest and simplest option, requires no raid card and gives read/write speed increases however beware as it offers no redundancy so if one drive fails you lose everything across them all.
Probably want to look at a Raid 1 or Raid 5 setup
Obviously if your Mac supports Thunderbolt then that is fast enough as it stands.
[Robert Floutier] "Now looking at render issues, am I right in believing that the render files are stored on a harddrive and that FCP only allows a certain amount before it gets full and slows down rendering to the point when it will not allow rendering"
Your render files are saved on the drive you assign as the scratch disk which is in the system settings. You would set your external drive or raid to be the scratch disk. Obviously you can only store media/renders to the capacity of this drive/raid. Its never a good idea to fill it totally. Try to leave at least 10% free or your system will slow down regardless of the speed of your drives/raid.