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Where to go from here with my mac for editing

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Jes Webb
Where to go from here with my mac for editing
on Dec 27, 2012 at 11:56:37 pm

I am throwing my hands up and asking for help from strangers....

I don't mean to open old wounds....however I am trying to decide where my next step is for editing. Rather than ask in a forum dedicated to one product or another I thought perhaps I would start with logic, facts, and see what sprouts. I am not afraid to jump ship.

I own a server/tower type Mac....2x3Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 8gb of 667 MHz DDR2 Ram. The machine is a little older...but it is fast enough in most cases. It has a raid for media and Black Magic Intensity Card. I paid waaaaay to much for it but love it. I use FCP6 (I wish I had 7.) When I tried FCPX after it first came out the demo was buggy. The Motion 5.0 I bought wouldn't play due to my video card so I installed a ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB in. I am running 10.7.5 Lion. Motion 5.0 now runs but in my opinion is way to slow. Real time playback is not happening.

I have never reinstalled the OS or started from scratch. I came into the Mac during Leopard and just upgraded. Maybe I should start from scratch? I dunno.

I want to upgrade my editing software mostly for small reasons. Optical time flow within the timeline would be wonderful. Stills are a bear to work with in FCP6 and sometimes require work arounds to look good on output. Better audio editing software would be great. I don't do anything with AE because I don't own it. I wish I could but Motion suffices in most cases and I have a guy I hire for most AE needs. Some compression formats on the timeline are an issue. FC6.0 has become prone to crashing with larger projects.

I shoot mostly with a Canon Rebel and Sony EX3 (1080i and 720p). My customers are mostly industrial clients with an occasional consumer slide show or event thrown in. I do local commercials that play on the networks but most of my work is HD-Blu Ray and for the web. Occasionally I am asked to do digital signage for trade shows and so forth. I never work with the Red or Film related projects (I would like to someday for fun mostly). I rarely work with other people and platforms. Most everything is in house. Time code is used infrequently (although it is used). I never work with EDLs from other providers. My sense of FCPX was that many features weren't there....many I wouldn't use anyway. I do sense that more Youtube, Flash, and web pages might be in my future. Multi-Cam work and Legal industry work is rising as well.

When I tried the FCPX demo after it first came out it was buggy and crashed. I haven't tried it since.

I am interested in getting into 64bit as much as I can if only to see if some of my problems go away (the machine seems to lock up once in a while after installing Lion). I want better slow motion, and I want things to move in real time (hence my Motion issue). I cannot easily use 720p for slow motion anymore either after I went to Lion.

Where do I go from here....FCPX? CS6? If I do the Adobe suite I would do the monthly program. I used Premiere on the PC up until version 6 (almost a decade ago). When I went to the Mac they were just introducing it. I couldn't get it to behave so I learned FCP and bought that instead.

I just want to work and I want my Mac to give me a smooth workflow. If I have to learn a new product so be it. Have Lynda.com will travel. But can somebody tell me what direction I might be happiest in going? It's a lot of money in a small market. Thanks.

Jes



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John Davidson
Re: Where to go from here with my mac for editing
on Dec 28, 2012 at 12:35:12 am

FCPX is much better than when it first launched. You could try the free trial for a month and google for lots of little tutorials. Sad to say but your mac is a bit long in the tooth now. It might be worth considering selling it and getting an iMac, regardless of what new NLE you choose. I think you can also get a pretty sweet deal on Creative Cloud $29/mo if you choose premiere.

I don't think that an upgrade to Mountain Lion will get you the performance that you're looking for.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Jes Webb
Re: Where to go from here with my mac for editing
on Dec 28, 2012 at 1:58:51 am

Thanks....The 64bit goal was more about trying to get everything to behave and not cause problems; Not really to improve speed. I am reasonably happy with my speed for a Mac of this age...just not with Motion 5.



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David Eaks
Re: Where to go from here with my mac for editing
on Dec 28, 2012 at 4:52:28 am

In my opinion your first course of action should be to do a clean install. Buy a 128GB SSD, like a Crucial M4, for about $100 (plus a 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter for $30ish I think). Keep your current system drive on the shelf so you can switch back to it at any time. Install your OS and the trials of FCPX an Adobe and try them out. As John said, FCPX has been drastically improved since release, it's happily running on my 2008 8-core Mac Pro with Radeon 5770 and 16 GB RAM and recently has become my only NLE currently installed. After really getting familiar with FCPX, I think it's great.

Being your first clean install since new, (was that 2007?) it's inevitable that you'll need stuff from that drive (I keep a folder backed up with the installers/files for all my OS/Apps/Plug-ins/Layouts/Settings so clean installs are not too much hassle, I'm an overly obsessive clean-installer). With this new drive you can play around and figure out where you really want to go when you eventually purchase a new computer, without the worry of messing with your current working system drive. I know 128GB seems really small but with just OS and Apps, you can probably get away with a lot less drive space than you think. You just might find that the FCPX "suite" is all you need, it works for me but YMMV.


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Jes Webb
Re: Where to go from here with my mac for editing
on Dec 28, 2012 at 8:05:42 pm

Hi David....I am going to look into this. Thank You! I will look into a fresh install. I'd like to get another year or two out of my machine (unless I see the time to sell is now before there is little or not value left).

Time to look into the tutorials. May I ask here.....I have the old Leopard Install Disc....Lion was purchased at the Itunes store and needed the old disc as I recall but was installed over Leopard. I assume I will not be installing from the original disc if it's a fresh install correct?

Jes



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