FORUMS: list search recent posts

Mac Newbie looking for advice on purchasing - primary use will be Final Cut Pro

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Kathleen Barringer
Mac Newbie looking for advice on purchasing - primary use will be Final Cut Pro
on Mar 16, 2010 at 5:03:36 pm

Hi,

For the past several years, I have had a PC, on which I did some fairly low level video editing at my job. I was using Pinnacle Liquid (formerly Avid Liquid) as my editor, and logged video from the following sources:

- mini DV tape deck - connected directly to PC via firewire
- Combination VHS/DVD box - connected to PC by way of the Avid/Pinnacle break out box
- Digital files in various formats - imported into Liquid

All logging was done within the Liquid application.

Though Liquid had compression/encoding capabilities, the better method was to export the final timelines as AVI, and compress to whatever format (most often flv using the On2VP6 codec) using Sorenson Squeeze.

I have been laboring along with this system for quite some time, and a couple of weeks ago, it competely died. The HELPDESK staff at my company worked on it for several days, trying various utilites, but it's a goner.....so....
I am in the process of becoming a "switcher" - at least that's what they called me at the Apple Store ;-). Liquid is a dead product and I need to move to something new. I have heard so much about Macs and Final Cut Pro that I am sold. I am new to everything about Macs, though, so I know there will be a learning curve. My first concern is getting the right hardware and software. I have a fairly generous budget, so money is not too much of a concern - how often are you lucky enough to say that??

I am seeking advise from the pros on this forum - any advice you can offer would be great. The only thing that is a must is that I go with a laptop, and I am able to use my exisiting components (VHS, DVD, mini DV decks) with the hardware/software that I end up purchasing. . Other than that - any ideas, thoughts, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My first order of business is to get the correct hardware and software. I will be using this machined primarily for editing video using Final Cut Pro. I have spent some time researching what is out there and have worked with the staff at our local Apple Store. Here is what I have in mind:

- 17" Mac Book Pro with 3.06 GHz processor and 8 GB RAM

- 500 GB Serail ATA Drive @7200 rpm

- I will use the display on the macbook pro, as well as connect to a 17" monitor (Liquid could be used on either one or 2 screens - I am assuming the same is true of FCP??)

- LaCie 1 TB d2 Quadra Hard Disk (my understanding is that this is connected via firewire, and cable is provided - speed is sufficient to render on this external drive per Apple Store staff)

- I do want to be able to run Windows apps, since I have so many of them and would prefer not to have to repurchase all of them for the Mac. What is the best way to do this? I have seen the "Parallels Desktop 5.0 for the Mac" - is this the product I want. Then, do I also have to purchase the Windows OS - - - - sorry, but this part is very confusing to me.

- I need to be able to connect my mini DV deck and log footage from these tapes. WIll I be able to do that from within FCP, connecting the computer and tape deck with a simple firewire cable? That is how I did it with Liquid.

- I need to be able to connect my combo VHS/DVD deck and log footage from those types of media. I have been using the Avid break out box. What type of equipment will I need on the mac, and once that is in place, will I be able to capture the footage from within FCP?

- I am looking at the "Apple Wireless Keyboard" and "Apple Magic Mouse " - any feedback on these?

- I plan on getting the AppleCare protection plan

- I plan on signing up for the One to One program - and attending some of the free seminars they have at the Apple Store as well. Does anyone have any experience with these programs?


Please feel free to comment on anything you think would be helpful. As I said, I am a complete newbie to Macs, so any advise would be so appreciated.

thanks so much,
Kathleen


Return to posts index

David Roth Weiss
Re: Mac Newbie looking for advice on purchasing - primary use will be Final Cut Pro
on Mar 16, 2010 at 5:39:01 pm

[Kathleen Barringer] "The only thing that is a must is that I go with a laptop, and I am able to use my exisiting components (VHS, DVD, mini DV decks) with the hardware/software that I end up purchasing."

Kathleen,

First, welcome to The Cow. You've come to the right place for help. We will save you from going down the expensive road that flying by the seat of one's pants often leads to.

Meanwhile, your line up above is the most important place to start, because you could easily wind up sorely hurting by purchasing a Mac laptop if you're not well informed about the realities of making that choice.

Be very much aware that the only MacBook Pro that really cuts it as a professional, standalone editing platform, is the 17-inch model. That is because it is the only model that has an express card slot, which you will absolutely need, because the only other connector on the latest MacBook Pro laptops is firewire 800, and the firewire bus will thus be occupied by either your DV deck or an I/O device, and unavailable to you for connecting your media drive(s).

DV is firewire, so no I/O device is necessary. However, VHS must be captured via an I/O device (Kona, Blackmagic, or Matrox boxes) or at the very least routed through a DV camera or deck. In either case, your firewire bus will be in use and will not be available to you for your hard drive(s).

Do you understand this? Do you understand why this is critical? Do you understand from this why most pros only use a MacBook Pro as their second editing platform in addition to a tower, which can accommodate many more hardware options?



David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


Return to posts index

Kathleen Barringer
Re: Mac Newbie looking for advice on purchasing - primary use will be Final Cut Pro
on Mar 23, 2010 at 3:51:29 pm

Hi David - Thanks so much for your reply.

I think I understand what you are saying. I had been wondering about the single firewire port, but did not anticipate that it would be a problem since that's all I have on my current machine. I am planning on getting a 17" Mac Book Pro - but I'm not really sure what the express card slot that you reference is - Is it the card reader that is on the back of the machine? Are you suggesting that I would first copy my source video to a card that would be inserted into this slot, or am I completely misunderstanding?

Is there any type of a splitter that could be used for the Firewire port?

I would be getting a 500 GB hard drive - which is much larger than what I currently have. Video editing is not a daily task in my job, so currently, when I finish a project, I pretty much just delete everything from that project and defrag the hard drive - (since not doing so has caused many problems.....but that's another story). I am not opposed to continuing to do this, and would suspect that the 500 GB would be enough if I could not incorporate the external HD due to only having a single firewire port. I am also not opposed to plugging and unplugging devices from the firewire port as needed. I understand that the problem will be if I need 2 devices connected via firewire at the same time - but if I were to eliminate the hard drive from the mix, based on your experiences, what other scenarios might find me needing 2 firewire ports at the same time?

I was also wondering if you have a suggestion for a specific I/O device to which I would connect the DVD/VHS combo?

I don't really have the option to go with a tower, so need to figure out some way for the laptop to work.

Thanks so much for your help. I am so happy to be switching to a software that has so many resources available. I am really looking forward to learning FCP and becoming a Mac fan!!

kathleen








Return to posts index


David Roth Weiss
Re: Mac Newbie looking for advice on purchasing - primary use will be Final Cut Pro
on Mar 23, 2010 at 5:02:48 pm

[Kathleen Barringer] "Is there any type of a splitter that could be used for the Firewire port? "

No, there is just one firewire bus, so adding a splitter only adds connections, and additional devices on those connections drag down the performance of the entire bus causing dropped frames.

[Kathleen Barringer] "I'm not really sure what the express card slot that you reference is - Is it the card reader that is on the back of the machine?"

No, as you suggest in your post below to Jim, it's another connector that can be used for hard drive controller cards and other devices, such as a SATA controller or firewire controller that's completely separate from the firewire bus built-in to the laptop. As I mentioned in my earlier post, this is because your firewire bus will be occupied my your VCR during capture using firewire, and a firewire or SATA express card is the only way on a laptop to create additional hard drive connections. As I mentioned, the other laptops no longer have the express card slot, making the 17" model the only one truly suited for professional video editing.

[Kathleen Barringer] "I was also wondering if you have a suggestion for a specific I/O device to which I would connect the DVD/VHS combo? "

The best deal for you is probably one of the devices from the Matrox MXO2 product line. You should go to a reseller in your area and let them run you through the attributes of all four of these products.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


Return to posts index

Jim Glickert
Re: Mac Newbie looking for advice on purchasing - primary use will be Final Cut Pro
on Mar 17, 2010 at 2:48:05 am

Hi Kathleen. You've asked lots of questions. Let me address just a few. (BTW, listen to what David says. He's a very bright guy and knows what he's talking about. I've learned lots from his posts.)

I've been using a MacBook Pro for several years. Mine has an ExpressCard slot, which I believe is critical, since I use it to connect a high-speed RAID drive. (I have a CalDigit unit, and I love it. I'm not sure the LaCie you have in mind is up to the task of video editing; maybe others can address that.) I use my FireWire port to transfer high-definition video footage from my camera, but that's about it.

You can indeed partition your system drive to run Mac software on one side, and Windows software on the other. I used Apple's Bootcamp instead of Parallels simply because Bootcamp was pre-installed on my MacBook Pro. I believe you WILL have to purchase a copy of Windows unless there's some way of transferring the license from your now-dead PC to your new MacBook Pro.

You might check out some of the available FCP training videos from http://www.rippletraining.com and others to bring you up to speed quickly. You'll also learn a TON from reading posts on this and the other FCP forum. Sometimes, I think I've learned more from these forums than from the thick stack of manuals that came with my copy of Final Cut Studio.

Hope this helps.

Jim


Return to posts index

Kathleen Barringer
Re: Mac Newbie looking for advice on purchasing - primary use will be Final Cut Pro
on Mar 23, 2010 at 4:09:57 pm

Hi Jim - thanks for the information. I definitely need to learn more about the express card slot, and what it can accommodate. David also mentioned this. I was thinking it was just a card reader, but it sounds like it is more than that, and a way to connect peripherals?? I have a fairly generous budget alloted for this purchase, so maybe the RAID drive is the way to go. I will have to look into that.

I will also have to learn about the various options for running windows based apps. Just curious - how large is your hard drive and how much do you have alloted to the windows partition?

thanks for the link to rippletraining. I will definitely check that out and see what they have to offer.

kathleen



Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]