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If you were to build a new edit suite for 2013 and beyond...

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Matt McNally
If you were to build a new edit suite for 2013 and beyond...
on Jun 27, 2013 at 4:18:21 pm

...what would it be?

I'm part of a small production company that makes documentaries, electronic press kits and promos/commercials. Currently we are entirely mac based and edit with FCP7. Mostly we shoot on the Canon C300, Sony EX3 and Sony F3. At times, we inherit ongoing projects/edits from other firms and these also tend to be FCP7.

We have reached something of a crossroads... We are ready to invest in two new edits this year, but choosing our new hardware/software is quite a dilemma. It does not seem realistic to continue with FCP7 as our primary edit software and FCP X does not convince for broadcast spec. I have a lot of experience with AVID so that is tempting, but I am wary of discounting Adobe Premiere without giving it a fair crack of the whip. Obviously, the new Mac Pros will ship late this year, but are they - with their price tag, prescriptive ways of doing things and connectivity headaches - really what's best for us? Should we suck it up and go for the HP/Avid set-ups? At least we can trust they will not stop caring about editors and pro users overnight...

I would love to hear from anybody in a similar situation who has worked through their options. Any anecdotal advice would be really helpful. This is a decision that we will have to live with for a good few years and we'd like to make the most informed decision possible. Thanks very much, Matt


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Mark Suszko
Re: If you were to build a new edit suite for 2013 and beyond...
on Jun 27, 2013 at 4:39:37 pm

Walter seems pretty happy with his setups. We face similar decisions in our shop, but we can afford to wait a while yet and watch what you early adopters learn first.


If I had to make a switch tomorrow, I would go with suites based on the imac and a Smalltree NAS for central storage, and the editing would be on Adobe creative cloud, though a little vein on the side of my temple would throb a bit every time I said "cloud".

IMO got the lead in features for broadcast-purpose work, as well as a lot of research and development stuff in the wings, soon to be folded into the new builds of the editing software, and you can't beat the bundle, so for the sake of that I will go Premiere and hold my nose regarding the payment structure of the cloud stuff. I would keep an eye on X as it develops but I'm still not yet convinced. Avid, I've always considered too expensive.


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Steve Eisen
Re: If you were to build a new edit suite for 2013 and beyond...
on Jun 27, 2013 at 5:46:26 pm

In todays age, you need to be able to work with everything out there. Honestly, Adobe CC, Avid MC and FCPX are so affordable today that everyone should have them on their system.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Creative Pro Users Group


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Jeff Meyer
Re: If you were to build a new edit suite for 2013 and beyond...
on Jun 28, 2013 at 8:05:52 am

We've moved to Premiere. After Effects integration and cost were the reason we pushed to Adobe instead of Avid.

We also just took in our first HP Z820s. Waiting for new MacPros weren't something we had time to wait for when we had add new workstations as a part of a larger project in April/May. Our faith in Apple as a company for professionals was all but gone at the point. After rolling Final Cut Server out about a year before FCX happened we weren't too happy. Mac OS itself has been disappointing as well. It feels like a lot of little things were done that end up annoying professionals. If not for Adobe CC we wouldn't be rolling out Lion or Mountain Lion. When we made the decision before the new MacPro came out to buy some HP stations. We felt a bit uneasy buying our first PC editors, but after the R2D2 was previewed everyone felt like we made the right decision.

The HPs have been around for a few weeks, but we haven't had a chance to roll them out yet. We're doing some substantial upgrades, and the new workstations are fairly low on the priority list. I'm pretty interested in seeing how they work for us, and hearing how others are able to make the R2D2 work in their shop.


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Ryan Holmes
Re: If you were to build a new edit suite for 2013 and beyond...
on Jun 29, 2013 at 2:58:40 am

I believe all the NLE's offer a 30-day trial. I'd start there to kick the tires a bit. See what you like. See what works in your particular environment and workflow.

I'm an ex-FCP'er. We moved in 2011 after Apple shipped FCPX. It wasn't going to work in our multi-editor, XSAN environment (I think it plays better now though, but it doesn't much matter to us...because -->). I switched my team over to Premiere and we haven't missed much about FCP Legacy. We have no problem moving FCP7 projects into Premiere Pro (and I had about 8 years worth of projects that I needed to move), ingesting media is fast as Premiere Pro handles pretty much anything you throw at it, and the exporting in Premiere CC is far and away the best I've used so far in any NLE.

As far as mechanics I constantly say that Premiere CC is the Final Cut 8 we all wanted. It behaves similarly with shortcuts and track based editing, but it's a modern NLE, built on a 64 bit architecture that completely harnesses your available GPU(s) and CPU(s). I've been very happy with Adobe over the last 2 years.

Check Walter Biscardi's blog, as he wrote quite a bit about his transition and the equipment he migrated to (Adobe, some Media Composer, and iMac's mostly, I believe).

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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Michael Gissing
Re: If you were to build a new edit suite for 2013 and beyond...
on Jul 2, 2013 at 12:38:48 am

Hardware wise I went to Windows as I could build a cheaper more powerful machine with plenty of slots for GPU and switched to Adobe CS6 and da Vinci. I am largely finishing not editing but I found little difficulty moving from FCP7 to CS6. I also have Lightworks on board and it is interesting and potentially a very powerful editor so worth a look as it is free (Pro version is cheap and mostly extends codecs)

That said, I still jump back to FCP7 often as that is still the NLE of choice for most of my clients. Reading the tea leaves I expect work to come from X, 7, CS6 and AVID so as a finishing house I need to be able to handle all options but the no brainer for me was to build a WIN grunt box rather than wait for a MacPro and now that we know the new MacPro has no internal card slots, I am glad that I made that decision. If you have an older MacPro with cards like Deckling, Kona etc then they can be used in a Win box with PCIe but not without a Tbolt break out with the new MacPro.


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Matt McNally
Re: If you were to build a new edit suite for 2013 and beyond...
on Jul 2, 2013 at 3:52:40 pm

Thanks very much everyone. I've spent a lot of time with Walter Biscardi's PP post/blog today and I'm coming around to the idea of going Adobe, but I'm going to have to lose the chip on my shoulder first. It's shifting. I have always been obsessive about getting my media nicely organised before starting a job, and I don't resent spending that time, but maybe I'm being old fashioned.


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Ryan Holmes
Re: If you were to build a new edit suite for 2013 and beyond...
on Jul 2, 2013 at 5:46:01 pm

[Matt McNally] " I have always been obsessive about getting my media nicely organised before starting a job, and I don't resent spending that time, but maybe I'm being old fashioned."

No, you're not old fashioned. You're being smart. Moving to a new NLE doesn't mean you throw all that out. You aren't going to start using "sloppy" practices just because you migrated NLE's - poor naming conventions, poor folder structure, bad file management, etc.

Take those strong habits and move to any of the new systems - Avid, FCPX, Adobe, Autodesk. They all run smoother if you've taken the time to corral your media before going into your edit.

Just my $.02

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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