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Edit Like a 'Pro' Again with Dual Viewer Windows and Other Additions to Final Cut Pro X

10.29.12 @ 7:35PM Tags : , , , , , ,

Apple’s Final Cut Pro X has slowly been getting up to speed after a somewhat underwhelming release last year. Each update has brought features users were expecting in the first version, but it’s still a good sign that they’re coming. With the recent 10.0.6 update, Apple has made a few key additions and changes that may just make you reconsider the editing application for future projects, including native RED support. Two of the major additions, dual viewer windows (Event and Timeline), and override connections, will certainly be helpful to those who like working in a more traditional manner. Click through for videos showing off both of these features.

ProVideo Coalition described some of the issues with this new capability:

The problem with the Event Viewer comes when you’ve got your Event Library set to a filmstrip view. Since there’s no dedicated “mini timeline” under the Event Viewer you can lose track of both which clip you’re viewing in the Event Viewer as well as where in that clip your playhead is parked. While you can see the clip name at the top of the Event Viewer the cryptic camera name often means nothing. The Event Viewer will probably be most useful with clips in list view. What would have been really cool is if you could place the list view timeline/thumbnail under the Event Viewer. That would have freed up some screen for the list view and made the reference point for the current clip be right in the Event Viewer, not in both the Event Viewer and the Event Library. It would have left focus on one part of the interface instead of two when dealing with a single clip.

It seems like the Event Viewer does not quite replicate the functionality that existed in Final Cut Pro 7, because clips from your timeline cannot be loaded into the Event Viewer, which is beneficial if you’re doing something like color grading. Apple has also added a way to keep connected clips in the same spot even as you move other clips around them. Here is the video showing off that functionality:

This looks like it will satisfy many people who don’t like the way the magnetic timeline works, but the biggest feature I’m actually happy about is multichannel audio editing. The workarounds for this previously were a little annoying, but now this should work basically how it worked in previous versions of Final Cut. Another big feature is the ability to export only a portion of a clip from the timeline. The absence of these abilities may not have been huge for some editors, but for others, they are essential, and it actually meant that working within FCPX made them slower overall.

Now I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but one of the things that has bothered many professionals is that they have had no choice until the last few updates about how they could edit. It was either Apple’s way, or the highway. Final Cut Pro X, with these recent updates, is finally gaining essential features that will help convince editors that Apple is serious about supporting this program, and not just creating an iMovie Pro. We don’t know what’s happening with their professional hardware solutions, but it seems the editing platform is on the right track.

To read more about the major changes in this release, head on over to ProVideo Coalition for the rundown. You can also head on over and download the new release using the link below.

What do you guys think about the additions? If you aren’t a Final Cut Pro X user, might these changes make you consider trying it again — or for the first time if you’ve never had the opportunity? If you’ve been using Final Cut 7, does this finally make you think about switching?


[via Notes On Video]


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 48 COMMENTS

  • If I were still on FCP7 and looking to upgrade, I might choose FCPX over Premiere now. But I’ve gotten so accustomed to Premiere, they’ve got me now. A little late from Apple for me.

    • totally agree. and i don’t care how many bells and whistles they put on FC-IMOVIE-PX, they dropped the ball big time. after 10+ years in FCP the knife in the back still stings.

  • timeoutofmind on 10.29.12 @ 7:56PM

    how many customers did the lose ? were we supposed to sit on our hands for a year while it evolved from a dysfunctional toy to whatever it is now ? i’m long gone … and as i said in a previous note, not only did i spend my NLE dollars on an adobe program, but i also spent money on a non-mac computer to get pp and ae running at 64 bit speed … i never would have done it without being shoved by apple. thanks again, guys.

    but seriously …. good luck to anyone who wants to continue to play with imovie pro. ps … it took about three days to get right up to speed on pp.

    • Austin Mace on 10.29.12 @ 11:44PM

      Hi. I use “iMovie Pro” for serious multicam edits- can you show me a software solution I can donthisvbettr better in?

      • I agree with Austin it still beats Premier hands down with work flow. I own both at my studio but never use Premier as it takes longer to get anything done. FCPX FTW!

  • Popolone Jimson The ultraeditot on 10.29.12 @ 8:02PM

    Premiere rules. It is better. Fullstop.

  • Popolone Jimson The Ultraeditor on 10.29.12 @ 8:03PM

    Moreover PC workstation are better than Macs.
    Premiere is by far th best editor. Better than Avid, too!

    • Clearly You’ve never used Avid for anything other than your own work, Avid is and has and will be the professional choice for films. Trim mode is by far the greatest thing, and AMA is a beast.

      • I’m currently learning Avid and so far Avid feels like Premiere dropped on it’s head. Too many open windows and additional steps for no reason.

  • I don’t really subscribe to the notion that one NLE is ‘better’ than the other, and to outright cheer for one piece of software over another strikes me as a little strange. If you’re a professional, you use the tool that’s right for the job, nothing more or less, all this ‘apple rules!’/’adobe rules!’/’avid rules!’ is just so much noise. FCPX seems perfectly usable now.

    That aside, while I sort of understand where Apple was coming from with FCPX, (trying to reinvent the timeline was a bold move for sure and who knows, maybe I’ll come back to their software one day), clients aren’t going to wait years for you to upgrade your software. Does it work? Can it do the job? The answer, upon FCPX’s first release, was no, and that’s what cost Apple the professional market. Small things like being unable to open FCP7 project files made all the difference in the world, never mind any kind of radical ‘iMoviesque’ UI change. I, like many others, needed to upgrade to a reliable, backwards compatible 64bit NLE, so I went with Adobe. To paraphrase a certain company; ‘it just worked’.

    • Agreed. The visceral reactions are strange. And fascinating.

      We’ve been using FCPx for 6 months and are probably 25 projects into the software. It’s professional and usable. And I’m glad CS6 is competitive now. Everyone wins.

    • When people argue about editing software I like to point out that Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and all the other great film makers used razorblades and tape. The software is just a tool, it’s what you know about editing that really makes the difference. I was fortunate enough to be going to school and just starting out my path in editing when Apple released FCPX, I also worked for Apple retail at the time so I got it for free along with FxFactory Pro plugins for free.

      I’ve never used anything else to edit other than iMovie and FCPX is not iMovie, iMovie is very limited in what it does. I’m glad they released FCPX before it was ready, because if they waited another year I would have gone with FCP7 and then I would have been a grumpy old editor bitching about FCPX when it was released.

      I understand there are workflow issues and other things, but for how most people edit today and in the future, FCPX is perfect. If I ever edit a feature film I will obviously use AVID (if it’s around by the time I get an opportunity like that), but until then FCPX is very very fast and is perfect for projects that will end up on the Internet.

      Use whatever works for you, but be open minded about all your options, that’s the whole essence of being an editor. Look at all the options you have available for a scene and pick what works best, don’t complain about it not being exactly what the storyboard looked like.

      If you are editing on any program today on a new computer you are really working on a state of the art piece of technology, look how far computers have come in the past few years. Think of where FCPX will be in 10 years, Apple has $123 Billion, they clearly have enough money to make FCPX the best user experience out of anyone. It’s just that there are more people like me (students and small project editors) and I love how easy it was for me to learn FCPX, without reading any instructions I was able to edit projects from the first time I opened it.

      • if you’d had any kind of working experience in FCP what so ever you would understand, that what they did was basically rip the skeleton from an athlete’s body and throw a sack of skin back in the ring.

        and that – makes a difference.

  • Before we get all the “FCPX is iMovie Pro” nonsense, I’ll just leave this here:

    I have used FCP X since 10.0.3 for many thousands of dollars of professional, paid work. It is a professional piece of software that gets better with each release. Ultimately, the software is not what makes the editor. You should simply use what makes you most comfortable and efficient.

    That being said, having used FCP X and grown accustomed to it, I could simply never imagine going to using Premiere/FCP 7 at this point. It honestly feels like stepping a different era in non-linear editing. And unless you have used FCP X, you simply cannot understand this.

    There is a growing but often silent group of editors who are moving to FCP X and love it. They aren’t the ones who spend time bitching on blogs about how Apple abandoned them. They just prefer to use the product that best suits their needs.

  • I honestly don’t know if it’s enough to lure me back.

    I switched to Premiere Pro and built myself a dual CUDA powered Hackintosh to run PPro, Davinci and After Effects (especially now with Element 3D) and I’ve never looked back. Adobe Dynamic Link is a huge timesaver. Don’t know if I could quite make the full jump back to a PC though. For one thing, I’m still receiving legacy FCP7 projects and far too many people in the industry still use macs, so switching to Windows can be a little problematic (i.e. mac formatted drives, etc).

  • I have switched to Premiere as well but I am open to trying FCPX. Premiere Pro CS6 is unbelievably buggy, so much so that I still jump back to FCP7 every now and then.

    I’ll start with the PROS:
    I work as an editor/motion graphics designer for a full service production company. We have a Scarlet and an Epic in house plus a couple 5D’s. One of the main features of Premiere Pro CS6 that I was drawn to was the support for native editing of all the file formats these cameras produce. I can just drop the .R3D files into my timeline and I’m already cutting. I don’t have to transcode any of my 5D footage to ProRes before i start my cut. I can cut the two together in the same sequence no problem. I can move between Premiere and After Effects with the dynamic link function which eliminates needless rendering. A lot of excellent features that improve efficiency and speed for my workflow.

    Now the CONS:
    Premiere Pro CS6 has killed my professional workflow. It’s functionality while trying to use our AJA KONA 3 card is worthless. For example, Premiere has issues playing the audio through the card, eliminating my Sonodyne studio monitors. They still work, however while using them the audio will get choppy and can cause Premiere to crash or “encounter a serious error”. Premiere kills me be having a delay most of the time when you start playing your sequence. The music will play and then the videohead will start moving 1-2 seconds later making it very difficult to sync cuts to music.
    Premiere doesn’t work with a RED ROCKET card when processing EPIC footage shot in 5KHD. 5K is fine but the 5KHD format cannot be processed by the card while in Premiere for whatever reason. The video just wont play.

    I like the idea of Premiere but I am open to any software at the moment.
    Not sure if any of you have experienced any of these same issues.

  • So, it’s been over a year since FCPX’s release, and we just now have all of the features that should have been included in the first place? At this point, I want to use something else just out of principle. Seriously, Adobe, Avid, and Lightworks don’t pull shit like this because it drives people away, myself included.

    • Avid is about to do this very thing with Pro Tools. Adobe is not your friend as you will no doubt discover in a handful of years in their thrall.

      Apple did what it did for very good reasons that they have not explained. But suffice it to say their competitors take FCPX VERY seriously. In fact the competitors have no means of responding to FCPX. Apple can retake this business if they want it. I think they have been kind to their competitors, avoiding a monopoly by making so many people think they (Apple) are incompetent. They most certainly aren’t.

  • I’m still on fcp7. I don’t HATE fcpx but it doesn’t make me want to use it. cs6 on the other hand does make me feel like I want to use it even though it’s way overpriced in my opinion. I’m still planning on moving to cs6. (but I don’t hate fcpx)

    • I feel like $30/month is downright reasonable as a professional expense, especially considering that Adobe comes out with a new half-version every year. But the boxed version is definitely a tad overpriced.

    • Try FCP X out for awhile. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you get over the initial apprehension that has been unfairly hyped mostly by people who have spent 5 minutes or less with the software.

      • I actually used fcpx around the time it first came out and It does some very very cool things but cs6 with its after affects, photoshop, & speed grade, story, integration is just more appealing to me. I LOVE Apple motion but after effects has things in it that I’m very enthusiastic about using. I’ll give fcpx another 8 months and see how I feel.

        • If you used it around the time it first came out, it is worth a second try. It is an entirely different piece of software since 10.0.3, and with 10.0.6, it’s truly ready for primetime.

  • I am of the unpopular (it seems) opinion that Final Cut Pro X is a very usable, effective tool for editing. I have cut one doc on it. I liked (not loved) the keywording system, and liked the all-in-one functionality, although it inevitably felt much more limited than using dedicated software for motion graphics and color work (I used Motion to make a template, but the Motion workflow for Final Cut Pro X is absolutely absurd… you can’t import motion files as footage, you have to set them as templates. Ridiculous.)

    I think it is very capable, and I have been so impressed by the updates, even though much of this should have been there in version 10.0.0, not a year later. However, I still do much of my editing on Final Cut 7 (what clients want, clients get) or Premiere Pro for it’s power, features and astounding integration with After Effects. I have used Avid MC 6 for a TV pilot, and while I was impressed by its unmatched stability, it is a much more dedicated editing machine, and while I appreciate that, I missed the versatility of other options.

    At the end of the day, I have really enjoyed this forced move from Final Cut 7, because it has forced me to become competent in Avid, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X. This has given me such a wide option of different tools for different jobs, and I am wondering if that is really the era we are entering – where we rely on the best tool for the job, not one tool for every job.

    It seems Apple, despite my early thoughts on FCP X, is committed to creating a truly professional tool for editing work. I am really surprised by this – the “new” addition of the additional viewer window is downright shocking.

  • Now I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but one of the things that has bothered many professionals is that they have had no choice until the last few updates about how they could edit. It was either Apple’s way, or the highway.

    Many went the highway.

  • Rick Moreau on 10.30.12 @ 12:47AM

    I think it’s been two years since I’ve used a preview monitor and I don’t miss it one bit. Maybe if I could move the preview monitor to my second display next to where I have the Event Library I’d use it…but on the main screen it just gets in the way.

  • Paul13walnut5 on 10.30.12 @ 4:45AM

    As Apple are quite prepared to drop successful widely adopted products like fcp7 then I would be very reluctant to invest in fcpx. The nuts and bolts debates have been done to death, but as a philosophy, it’s my opinion that Apple doesn’t care anymore.

    • I see what you mean. The updates that have rolled out for FCP X have been encouraging, but what happened with it’s debut (the EOL of FCP 7 while demanding that users completely change the way they edit) cannot be ignored. This, plus the lack of any significant updates to the Mac Pro are disconcerning if someone is dependant on Final Cut and the Apple system for their livelyhood.

      It’s been argued before, but I think it’s worth mentioning: Adobe and Avid are dependant on pro users to survive – Apple is not. Apple is dependant on consumers – 51% of their revenue last quarter was iPhones, 21%, iPads. Only 15% was their entire computer line, combined (via This means that Apple is inherintly less concerned with the pro market than these other companies. Which would you trust your livelyhood to? The truth is, we are all, to some degree, depentant on these tools (which is why we editors need to diversify our knowledge as much as possible, by the way). With this in mind, I have chosen to depend on more, er, dependable options out there.

      In my case, I am going with Adobe, while maintaining a knowledge of Avid and Final Cut Pro X. I have switched to Windows, where I can choose whatever hardware works best, and fix whatever breaks myself.

      • I like FCPX. It saves me transcoding. And round tripping. I like the colour panel, which saves space and works great for colour balancing. And the timeline is very fast, intuitive and easy to use. I’ll use Resolve for colour when my BMC arrives, but for now, I do everything in FCPX – most of which seems impossible in FCP7. I tried FCP7 recently and couldn’t remember how to do anything :-)

        I am often impressed with how many layers of colour corrections I can stack, along with layers and layers of audio compression, EQ, limiters, and so on and FCPX keep chugging along on this old iMac I’m desperate to replace. It didn’t even hiccup playing CinemaDNG files. I also find I use more diverse editing techniques with fewer tools, which makes it easier to learn.

        I don’t buy the consensual story about FCPX. It was good enough when it was released. It was like upgrading from OS 9 to OS X. The NLE desperately needed a redesign that wasn’t based on a Moviola, especially considering you need to be about 60 years old to have seen one. FCPX got better with updates, the last of which seems designed to appease complainers, but otherwise was not terribly exciting. I like that the scopes now remember their settings – that was annoying. I still wish there was a way to make a custom overlay for the display so I can see clips in the event browser as they were shot: letterboxed. The workaround is OK but seems unnecessary.

        FCPX will always be iMovie Pro for many people. I notice Premiere seems to get iMovie pro features and no one bats an eye. Considering the mood, FCPX must be about 4 times better than anyone thinks it is :-)

        Override connected clips looks like a great improvement. Something new to try to force myself to use.

        Dan Allen: the “problem” you are experiencing is not “why you used to always have a source monitor and a record monitor.” The reason for two monitors was each monitor was hooked up to one tape machine – otherwise, you couldn’t see what was on the tape. It’s a limitation of tape machines.

        Why is it not a problem for some of us? We do our rough cut via the Event Viewer and then use the trim tools and precision editor on the timeline to actually do the fine cutting. These tools give you two monitors – but only when you need to compare images. FWIW, I edit on a 24″ display with the viewer on a second 24″ inch display. Switching the 2nd display to Events instead is very good for logging.

    • To go along with this, listen/watch good ol’ Walter Murch’s comments in this interview:

    • I’m not sure I buy this whole “Apple doesn’t care about professionals” argument. They made a SNAFU with the original release of X, no doubt, but since then they’ve responded by regularly releasing updates that address every single one of the issues that editors have clamored over since the launch, not to mention adding other unexpected new features.

      Adobe and Avid are simply comfortable releasing the same product over and over with minor tweaks (calling MC 6 a major update, really?), but only Apple appears to be taking any sort of risks with innovating the NLE process. The result is a product that actually feels more advanced in many ways than its predecessors.

      As for the Mac Pro, as others have pointed out, Intel has been reluctant in releasing a significant update to the workstation-level architecture. Apple isn’t just saying 2013 for the sake of it; they’re waiting for the processor technology to be available to make the new MP a very worthwhile product update.

      • I’m not saying that Apple doesn’t care (beyond speculation, how could any of us?), but I am saying that, if you look at the numbers, Apple’s income from pro users is a small piece of the pie to them. They aren’t dependant on satisfying pro users to survive – Avid and Adobe are.

        • Sure, I agree it’s a small piece of their pie. To be fair, though, that pie is ENORMOUS. Whether they are dependent on it or not, it doesn’t mean that the resources they’ve devoted to the professional lineup is any less significant by comparison to Adobe or AVID.

          • I think the issue so many editors feel with FCPX is that we had a workflow that we liked, and Apple forced a change on us. Apple says “The old way is archaic, you must edit this way from now on!’ (I’m clearly exaggerating but you get the point) With Adobe and Avid their evolutions are more based on what the user community has asked for CS5.5 to CS6 is very much proof of that. Are they incorporating some features used in FCPX? Yeah, but they are doing it in ways that their users are asking for not the other way around and that is a big difference.

            I do think Apple has started listening to its user base, the updates and new features are very much proof of that, and it is a viable software for any tapeless workflow. However the Way FCPX was designed to operate, I.E. how it handles media on and off the timeline, is a way alot of it’s FCP6&7 users never asked for! And that is still an issue.

  • What do fcpx and cs6 editors use for audio mastering? I love my fcp7 to sound track pro workflow…

    • For sound mastering Adobe: Audition or Pro Tools. You could also try FL Studio but I have heard alot of complaints.

  • Austin Mace on 10.31.12 @ 1:23PM

    Also love that the title infers that those of us primarily on FCPX were not editing like “pros” before this release…

  • Wesley Dumont on 11.2.12 @ 10:09AM

    I think many of us may have jumped the gun. I’m not saying where fcpx will be in five years, but I wouldn’t too quickly count out the biggest and one of the most creative companies of all time. Not only muscle but looking at those who they brought in to design it should give us some encouragement. I was on the poo-poo train from the launch but after giving some thought to the notion that most nle systems are pretty well aged at this point, it’s probably good that someone and especially someone with money and market took it upon themselves to reconsider editing in the new era of image capture.

  • I am amazed at the patience of the admins of sites like NFS and Philip Bloom and their ability to put up with all the venom of many commenters. Please, people, stay on topic and leave the hate behind. Pros don’t behave like this, they listen and learn from each other. These sites are super helpful and not a venue for irrelevant posturing. Play nice.

  • FCPX is making great strides to where it should have been years ago, but there are still two features it is lacking before I will even begin to consider it a viable option.

    1: The ability to have alternate edits within the same project.

    2: The ability to move projects from one computer to another easily. Duplicating drives and copying disk images is not a solution. Is having a relink media option that bad????

    These are deal breakers for me. FCPX is still optimized for one computer one user workflows. There are work arounds for sure and all software has its quirks but its needs to be more team friendly to really get my business back.

  • This software was not even close to being ready for primetime before this update. You can now export clips with and in and out points (seriously, it took them this long to add this basic function). I like the speed, I like the meta data organization, i like that you can now share media via san, I like that you can export a clip in the background and still continue editing. Here’s my wish list for this program though.

    -Cross fade built in. I use this daily at my work and yes I have the custom one someone built for it and it works fine however I can’t assign a hot key to it so Apple needs to remedy this as I’m not working nearly as fast as I should be.

    -Native AVCHD and by native I mean how Premiere and Vegas can work with these files by directly importing the m2t files. You don’t know how many clients send me the folders from their camera and something doesn’t import right.

    I’m starting to like it with this update but they have a ways to go. Also, include the event manager x software functionality so people don’t have to pay 5 bucks to make fcp x work smoothly. You shouldn’t open everything every time you open just one project. Clearly this software is designed by cocoa programmers and not editors. Fortunately the programmers are very fast at accommodating professional editor’s requests so who knows in two years this could be the best and cheapest NLE on the market.

  • I’ve used FCP since 2003 and was disappointed just like everyone else when I first got my hands on FCPX. But the fact that it was 64-bit was enough for me to give it a chance. So while everyone else was bashing it, I continued using it. As I got used to it I noticed more and more things that I absolutely loved about it. I remember trying to go back and use FCP7 for something and it was just torture. After I got used to it, it became clear that there was a tremendous difference in speed. I’ve edited around 400 live music videos in the last year and a half, all with 3-4 cameras and separate audio. In FCP7 I could do maybe 2-3 a day, but with FCPX I have no problem doing 6-10 in a day, that’s a pretty huge difference.

    Each update has made it feel more and more like I had hoped it would be. For basic, repetitive stuff, I can’t imagine being able to do it faster with another NLE. I always said that if I ran into a more complex project that I would just use Premiere CS6, but that has yet to happen. Honestly, I think people were pissed off about FCPX originally simply because it looked so easy to use. FCP 7 and before was a very intimidating program to some people and they were scared of it, and I think that made people that knew how to use it feel good. But along comes FCPX and all of a sudden every jerk that ever used iMovie can use your professional app, and I think that bruised a lot of egos.

    Either way, it all boils down to personal preference, all the bashing is really unnecessary. I think Premiere is a great program, not a big fan of Avid but I know alot of people are. But I have to say that FCPX is nothing like it was when it debuted, there have been loads of improvements and you should probably give it a chance if you didn’t like it before.

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  • I waited 4 minutes when all I needed to hear was “Command + Control + 3″…..