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Buses/submixes in FCP7?

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Roger Matthews
Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 8:34:15 pm

Hi, I'm an Assistant Editor who's familiar with most basic tasks in FCP, but do most of my creative (more advanced) work at home on Vegas 8.

However, for compatibility I bought a Macbook Pro recently, and am trying to translate all of my Vegas knowledge into FCP7. (I have the full FCS3 suite)

Now so far so good, and it's been a pretty painless transition, but I'm now working on an experimental five minute short, and one thing that is bothering me is how FCP handles audio.

I realize Soundtrack Pro is intended for all of FCP's more serious audio needs - of course. Makes sense. But the problem is it seems FCP does not even have any support for buses or submixes AT ALL? I've been trying to read up on this, and the closest mentioning of "Buses" I could get in FCP's manual was mentioning how FCP's buses don't function like regular audio buses, and only are used to map audio hardware to FCP.

I just want to do some very basic audio in FCP - run a Reverb bus I can send off a lot of audio clips to. It's an experimental film where the sound design is crucial, so it's just inefficient to send off the sequence to Soundtrack Pro, as I'd constantly be going back and forth as I experiment with ideas. (It's a stream of consciousness style piece)

Now I hope I just missed something obvious, and there is a way for me to have an entire channel linked to a plugin? Maybe FCP uses a different name than bus?

Any help is greatly appreciated. The FCP experience has been pleasant otherwise, and I'd hate for such a basic thing to get in the way of how I'm used to working.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 8:38:16 pm

[Roger Matthews] "Now I hope I just missed something obvious, and there is a way for me to have an entire channel linked to a plugin?"

Nope. You have to use Soundtrack Pro for this. You can copy/paste filters to different clips, but you will quickly see how annoying that is when you need to change something. You can nest audio tracks and apply a filter to this nest, but the same thing applies.

Soundtrack Pro does have a conform feature that tracks changes.

Jeremy


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 8:41:50 pm

LOL... great minds. That conform feature really does work well...

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Roger Matthews
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 8:49:01 pm

Oh! Thanks Jeremy, I didn't know about Conform. I'm guessing I can't bounce back my work in Soundtrack Pro to FCP (which would be perfect, really), but at least I can instantly see my work in Soundtrack Pro without bouncing files around? That at least is more efficient.

I won't be able to play around with it until later, but do I have the workflow about right? Thanks for the quick response, too!


Nope. You have to use Soundtrack Pro for this. You can copy/paste filters to different clips, but you will quickly see how annoying that is when you need to change something. You can nest audio tracks and apply a filter to this nest, but the same thing applies.[

Indeed - I was searching on the forums here, and the nesting was the closest I got. Just did not seem like a useful solution.



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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 8:40:57 pm

You read right. FCP doesn't support what you are trying to get it to do. SoundTrack Pro does all this... Vegas is actually famous for it's audio workflow, it's the one thing it does better than FCP I think. But Soundtrack does as much or more actually. You're wanting to change the video after you've worked in SoundTrack? You are aware you can conform a soundtrack project to changes in FCP? It's in the file menu in STP near the bottom.


Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Roger Matthews
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 8:53:53 pm

Thanks as well for the quick reply, Jerry! I will play with Conform tonight after work.

It is nice to hear someone say nice things about Vegas - when I talk to people about it they scrunch their face and go "What's that?", haha.

But yes, my goal is to change the video after working in Soundtrack, so this Conform sounds promising. STP just handles plugins a lot better than FCP anyway, so I'm relieved that there may be hope for me after all!



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Mark Petereit
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:40:10 pm

I'm still working in FCS2 (hopefully things have improved in 3), but I have one mantra when working in Soundtrack Pro: "SAVE OFTEN" because it seems to crash frequently any time you try to throw anything complicated at it.


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Roger Matthews
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:51:47 pm

Augh, it was crashing the first time I was playing with it two nights ago! I thought it was just my setup, but I will keep a watchful eye on it.

(Like I learned how 'Send to Compressor' is a no no for complicated projects)



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Michael Gissing
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:54:52 pm


Not only is their no sub bussing in FCP, their isn't track based plugins, only clip based.

FCP is only designed as an edit tool that fortunately can finish picture for broadcast, although round tripping to Color is recommended. Audio finishing definitely requires an external program. Personally I use Fairlight Xynergi for this work and do it after the edit is locked off.

Historically, Vegas was developed by the people who made Sound Forge so it is no surprise that Vegas has good audio facility.


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 14, 2010 at 10:56:23 pm

If STP is unstable, post this in the STP forum here on the COW for sure.

But if you didn't do a "clean install" of FCS, you need to do things that way first. fur shur.

Unless it was a brand new Mac...

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Roger Matthews
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 15, 2010 at 1:05:15 pm

Huh, well last night I played with Conform in STP, and now STP isn't crashing anymore. Must have been a bad night for the system ;).

Thanks everyone for your input - Conform (under very basic testing) seems to work wonderfully! I have to say I'm pretty impressed - it's not 100% as efficient as my Vegas workflow, but it is perhaps 90%, and certainly makes my project very doable now! I'm definitely liking using STP so far, and I feel more at home with the FCP suite now. It handles plugins so much better, for one thing.







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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 15, 2010 at 3:34:40 pm

[Roger Matthews] "and certainly makes my project very doable now! "

Glad to hear it.

Jeremy


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John Pale
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 15, 2010 at 5:15:13 pm

[Roger Matthews] " have to say I'm pretty impressed - it's not 100% as efficient as my Vegas workflow, but it is perhaps 90%, and certainly makes my project very doable now! I'm definitely liking using STP so far, and I feel more at home with the FCP suite now. It handles plugins so much better, for one thing. "

I think your story is very similar to many people. Its hard for people to view Final Cut as Final Cut Studio....everyone wants to do everything within FCP and get a little frustrated by its limitations, when the better tool is already included. Hopefully the level of integration between the apps will continue to improve...I like the studio approach, and don't want a bloated editing app that tries to do everything.

For years I have used STP for repair and restoration, but I've recently gotten into doing full-blown mixes in STP and am really enjoying it. The conform feature has handled everything I have thrown at it so far....but I am sure I will hit a bump in the road eventually.



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Roger Matthews
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 15, 2010 at 5:30:55 pm

"Hopefully the level of integration between the apps will continue to improve...I like the studio approach, and don't want a bloated editing app that tries to do everything. "

Agreed - the integration is impressive, and if it gets even better, that would be fantastic. To be clear, Color seems amazing, and I expected to use STP for my final mix. (I try to have a dedicated computer/setup for mixing alone when possible)

I'm just used to, even in quick dirty mixes, to throw in a bus with a Compressor, Limiter, or Reverb plugin, etc. Then throw in the fancy EQ'ing, sound restoration, etc etc for the final mix. Maybe this is something that integration will make even easier in the future.

But I can't stop myself from chiming in with a little Vegas fanboysim on the 'not wanting a bloated app' comment. On one level - absolutely. On the other, Vegas proves you can do advanced audio functionality and still be one lean piece of software. (I can run, in realtime, dozens of tracks of audio in Vegas with multiple submixes on my old Pentium 4 2ghz with 512MB of RAM! Vegas is, in my experience, one of the most lean and stable apps I've ever used)



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Buses/submixes in FCP7?
on Jul 15, 2010 at 7:11:19 pm

[Roger Matthews] "On one level - absolutely. On the other, Vegas proves you can do advanced audio functionality and still be one lean piece of software. "

I have to agree here, not about Vegas as I have never used it, but about the one app. I always go back and forth. AUdio editing in FCP is really a joke. Back in the M100 days, they had really nice audio integration right in to the NLE, submixes and all. If we are really going for a fine audio sweeting, we go OMF to ProTools anyway.

I also think Motion (or at least parts of it) can go right in to FCP. Titling, mask tools, motion blur, high quality renders just to name a few.

While I certainly don't want bloatware, a few more finely controlled tools in FCP would be a huge help as round tripping can sometime be perilous. Although Color and STP seem to have got it down pretty well. Color was built from the beginning, though, as supporting an XML workflow.

Jeremy


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