Hi there. This is a little blog about FCP X. “The internet is full of blogs about FCP X” you say. “Why bother?” Well, I just thought I’d add my opinions and experiences to the 800 billion others out there. Also, I am selfish. I Like FCP X 😛
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’re familiar with the very cool LumaTouch iOS NLE from LumaFusion. It’s a full featured NLE for your iPad, or iPhone for that matter. Multitrack editing, compositing/keying, titles… pretty much anything you need, and really nice to use.
And now, you can export your cut right into FCP X. Not some convoluted process, just make a few decisions about media and location, export fcpxml, and open in Final Cut.
It works pretty much flawlessly. Your FCP timeline will look just like your original, titles and all. It’s a $20 in-app purchase, but totally worth it. Until Apple puts a full version of FCP on iOS (not holding my breath), LumaTouch is the way to go. Cut a spot on your phone at the beach, open it in X, tweak and deliver. 😉
I’ve been messing around with it. As a test, I Downloaded an old Alien Covenant trailer from youtube and cut a :30 spot. Trailer pix source, and some random MX/FX I have. I did it really quickly but what I found was – if I had had actually spent time on it – I easily could have cut something that could be delivered to a client. It’s that good, everything you need is right in the app.
The point of this post though, is how easily and how well it imported to FCP X. Here’s a video of the 2 timelines (no audio, not gonna license the music for this demo lol) where you can see, it’s the same… No fiddling needed, opened just as you see it. Check it out…
Broadcast Mixing In FCP X
Thought I’d pop in with a little post about what’s been up. Doing a couple interesting things Using X in concert with other NLE’s lately. First one is broadcast Mixing in X. 🙂 Cut some spots in Premiere and we decided to mix in house. I could of course use Logic, but these are pretty basic spots and everything I need is in X, so in it goes!
Export final 422HQ pix from Pr. All done and colored already, so why re-invent the wheel? Then use SendToX to get the audio in. A few minutes to set roles correctly, and off we go.
Get everything to a nice even level, comp the VO and add the handy Voice Over Enhancement effect to the VO comp. I really like this, because it’s just 3 bundled effects in one, which you can open and adjust (or not) to taste.
Do the mix, then comp it all, use Klangfreund Multimeter to get the mix CALM compliant, toss a Broadcast Safe filter on the pix… Done.
Honestly, for uncomplicated mixes, X is way faster than using a DAW. Using Compound Clips as ‘buses’ for signal processing works essentially the same way really. And the plugins are exactly the same as those found in Logic or other DAW’s. Could the functionality be better? Sure. But for short form stuff like this it works great as is. It’s fast, and uncomplicated.
Compositing FCP X
Cutting some other spots in Premiere as there are multiple folks working on them so… 🤷♂️ A lot of other GFX are being done in AE, but these spots have a ton of shots requiring tracked iPhone screen replacements with video playing onscreen. Some of these have fullscreen video zooming in/out of the phones. To lighten the load, I’m building the Screens with video in X…
Importing to Resolve and doing the screen replacements with Fusion and doing some light CC on the comps…
Importing the comps to FCPX and using Coremelt SliceX to track some moving fingers covering the screen and osmFCPX Add Motion to do the zooms in/out of the phone to fullscreen. — Side Note: osm.iPhone is pretty great too, used that in some other stuff for this campaign.
Export, stick into the spots in Pr… done. 🙂
Sadly, these projects need to remain ‘undisclosed’, but they look/sound great. They’re out in the world on National TV and/or the big 3 Social Networks. FWIW, Fusion does really great tracking. IMO it’s better than, um… the other one most people use. And FCP X, along with all its amazing built in and 3rd party plugins makes the ‘complicated’ stuff easy. As usual. 😉
Ah well, back to work….
EDIT: Got a good question about the mix in comments.. “would (it) have saved time if you simply used buses and the track editor in Premiere and avoided round tripping altogether?”. You can see my reply below, but just for laughs prepped the timeline in Premiere, and they did the equivalent prep in X.
Pr: Split clips out. Assign tracks to submixes.
X: Assign Roles to clips
Here’s the result…
Update: Someone on Twitter asked to see how I mix levels. Here it is. Just how I do it, not a definitive guide 🙂 I’d love to be able to play it but unless I can find the spot on Youtube and link to it, no can do. 😦
Seasons Greetings! Once again, in lieu of actual content, I invite you to download this gift! Again. It’s the fabulous pile of GeekCo Generators!
Bars! Checkers! Trailer Tags! Other Random Junk! Click either pic below to go to the ancient post from which you can download it all!
And have a Happy Politically Correct Non-Denominational Generic Holiday! 🎄✡️🕌👺
As you all know by now, FCP X 10.4.7 is out. It’s a huge, mostly under the hood update resulting in a big performance boost on Mojave, and an insane performance boost on Catalina. Really great update, you can read all about it in the usual places 😉
I did, however, run into a little issue that I wanted to share. Ya know, in case I’m not the only one… NOTE: this is a Mojave OS issue/conflict with some apps, including FCP 10.4.7 and VLC, Not an FCP X bug!
Anyhoo, if you install 10.4.7, and your OS menus completely freak out system wide when you launch FCP, here’s the fix… (from this VLAN Thread)
Open System Preferences -> Accessibility. Select displays, and make sure “Reduce transparency” is NOT selected. (note that selecting “increase contrast” will also select the transparancy box, so ya can’t have that on either.
I imagine not many people had this selected as I did, but if FCP X freaks out, this is the fix. Enjoy the update, it screams! 🙂
Maybe I’m the last person to discover this but… if you quit FCP X using OPTION-COMMAND-Q, the next time you open it, you’ll be right where you left off. Am I late to the party? In any case, happy I found this one. 😀
EDIT: Turns out FCP X may not restore windows by default based on your OS “General” settings. Specifically this setting... HT Marc Bach FWIW, in most apps I like the setting to *not* restore windows, so glad to discover a way to override it when needed. This shortcut also works in all apps that respect the system settings. (Pixelmator and others)
You may have heard about Off The Tracks, a documentary about FCP X that came out a year or so ago. It’s a a great story about the launch -and subsequent blowback against- what should be everyone’s favorite NLE. 😉
A free, abridged version was just released, and you really should check it out. It’s well balanced, and though the POV is that FCP X is a very good NLE choice. it’s not a “fanboy” take at all. Worth the 45 min or so to watch it, and the full length version can be found via Google.
Let’s talk about dissolves… Yeah, I know, boring right? Well, today I was working in Premiere – doing some fancy multiple dissolving shot sequences – and I realized how much better the Dissolves in FCP X are. In Premiere, it’s a pain to get a decent ‘look’. Changing blend modes on the shots and stacking them, or keyframing opacity… basically fiddling around endlessly to try to get a nice, smooth, soft effect. It’s do-able of course, but annoying AF.
You also have the option of “starting” your dissolve on the cut, or “ending” on the cut, or trimming one side or the other of the effect to get an “asymmetrical” dissolve. But all that actually does is move the midpoint of the dissolve without you needing to move the cut point. With one exception (see below) there is no such thing as an assymetrical dissolve in any NLE. Don’t believe me? Wade through this discussion for the explanation.
In FCP X, you just put the dissolve on the cut, pick the “Look” (blend mode) tweak the amount (mix) and adjust away. Much easier to get a nice, smooth look. Here’s the infographic!
If you want “real” assymetrical dissolves, the only way to do it is to get Super Dissolve for FCP X. 🙂
Hey, a post! 🙂 Just wanted to let folks know that a really great loudness measuring/adjusting/mixing plugin, Klangfreund Multimeter, is out. Those of you who’ve used LUFS Meter (which has also been updated to V.2) will recognize the interface, with a lot of additional features.
I’ve used LUFS Meter for ages, and the new Multimeter is a great addition to the toolset. The website has all the details, but the cliff notes are:
All the Loudness Measuring functionality of LUFS Meter Plus:
Additional Automatic adjustment functions (true peak, S-Max, M-Max)
Standalone app and plugin for… everything. Major NLE’s and DAW’s and Multiple OS’s
A/V File measurement.
Surround support (up to 64 channels)
A nifty “experimental” DAW Automation feature. 🙂
Lists, Test reports, and much much more. Again, check out The Website for the full feature list.
It also has a preset for pretty much any standard you can imagine.
Multimeter is $59, LUFS Meter is $39, and the discounted (no commercial use and a few less feature) LUFS Meter is still available for $19
There are a number of Loudness plugins out there, But the stuff from Klangfruend is, in my experience, the best priced and easiest to use. Also it works amazingly well. I have no skin in the game here, I just really like great tools like this. I use it exclusively to legalize my mixes from FCP X, but I haven’t even scratched the surface of what the plugins can do. Check ’em out. 🙂
If you wondered which NLE’s gracefully handle source files on disk being renamed, the answer is all of ’em. Well… all except for one.
FCP X vs. PR CC v.s Avid vs. Resolve vs. Lightworks. Apparently I had too much time on my hands today… Here ya go.
EDIT: Actually, I tested again and Resolve wasn’t very happy either, so I’ll update the video…
For some reason (boredom) I was looking at my oldest App Store purchases. For what it’s worth, “Let’s Golf!2” is the first. 😉 And then, of course, there’s this:
As of right now, it’s cost me $42.86 a year. Pretty good deal huh? I’d say probably the best deal of any NLE.**
To be fair, let’s add in Logic Pro X, Compressor and Motion 5. That get’s me to $7 a month, and decreasing every day.