I had a great time demoing FCP X for Moviola the other day. If you weren’t able to catch my editing/performance-art mashup ;), you can now purchase or rent it on their site, here.
So as not to ignore the title of this post, I’d like to take a second to reflect on the changing tide in sentiment toward FCP X. When asked by Michael Horton what I thought about FCP X since it’s inception, I had to be honest. When it came out, it was not very good. Let’s face it, the launch was a complete debacle.
But around 10.0.6, things started to get… better. The software became stable. New Macs were out to support it. More and more footage started coming in to my shop that FCP X fully supported (mainly any DSLR or file-based camera). It could support raw files INSIDE the NLE. And on, and on, and on.
But for me, the culmination came today, where I can officially say that my sentiment sides with FCPX over other NLEs. Reason for this? Quite simple. I can make a better product quicker and with less issues with FCP X than I can with other NLEs.
I’ll give two examples from today’s edit session:
1. I needed to remove some particularly bad 60Hz hum from 2 hrs of footage. FCP X fixed it in one click. I was even able to do a decent amount of noise removal. When I brought the same audio into Audition CC and also Premiere CC, the hum removal filter actually made the hum sound worse. What was worse than that, no matter how much I tweaked the settings, I couldn’t get rid of the hum. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to remove hum with those apps, but you can’t beat one click. And I’m not a sound editor – so I prefer to not spend any time fussing with sound if I don’t have to.
2. I needed to make a DVD for a client today. Yes, DVDs are still requested. They are not obsolete (yet!). I can still make a DVD with FCP X. No, it’s not a fully customizable authored DVD like I could make with DVD Studio Pro or Encore. But, it got the job done. And guess what? I made the DVD with a couple clicks. And the quality of the video looked great. And all my chapter markers moved over.
What I’m now seeing – which is something I hadn’t seen earlier in FCP X’s life – are the nuances. I’m seeing how agile it is and how it can make a typically complicated edit session much simpler. Premiere, for all it’s FCP 7 love (which I completely endorse!), is still mired in lack of vision and software code that goes back to the dark ages of NLEs (the late 90s and 2000s).
Ok, it’s never all fancy pants and daffodils with me. Yeah, there’s tons of stuff I really want Apple to fix in FCP X. Adding back clip-based timecode burn-in would be at the top of my list! Amongst about 500 other things.
I’m happy to now say that I’m ready to let the mishigas from 2011 go. FCP X, you’ve got my vote.