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Mac OSX/ Editing Software - Poll

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I'm thinking of upgrading both system and editing software and I'm a little curious what Mac users here are currently using and WHY?
In the past there has been combinations of OSX and Premiere Pro that have been buggy and this is what I'm trying to avoid in my next move forward. Moreover, gsenroc has just made a comment that doing a 'clean install' can be a way around the buggy-ness-ness of upgrades. Interesting.
I myself have been sitting at OSX 10.8.5 - Premiere Pro 8.2.0 for quite some time.

Thoughts? Opinions?

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I love Avid Media Composer. I work professionally as a freelance editor (behind the scenes, trailers, etc) and can cut on whatever NLE they put in front of me, but given the choice: Avid. v8.5.2 has been very stable for me. I'm often round-tripping between it and DaVinci Resolve Studio 12 (now 12.5 beta).

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I second Media Composer. It's my favourite out of the main three (FCPX, Avid, Premiere Pro).

FCPX also can be quite powerful, but it can also be incredibly frustrating. I was using FCPX for a while, as it was the only software I had that could handle XAVC (couldn't get MC to do it at the time, despite installing the correct AMA plugin).

The architecture it's built around, and the background import and exports are really great, but the essential lack of a timeline (instead multiple storylines) is a double edged sword, and whilst it makes things like dragging a single clip over another clip pretty easy, it also makes fine adjustments of other things very difficult. It's also almost impossible to get an OMF out of, its XMLs are quirky, no EDL etc....

Avid MC would be my first choice.

I haven't used Premiere enough to really comment on it. Maybe trial all three and see what works for you - of course budget will always play a factor

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Resolve is interesting, but from what I've read, we're a release or two away from it being your main editor. 

I'm in the same boat - STILL cutting in FCP7 and using AE for much of the stuff a modern NLE does natively. I finally have some time to upgrade hardware & software, I'l probably start with FCPX and see what I think. 

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I'm a nomad at this point. FCP7 is my home, but it's crumbling. I've done a few projects in Premiere and a few light touches in Media Composer, but none of them feels quite right. I spent a couple months in FCPX last summer. Hated it. Premiere is probably closest to what I'm used to (MC requires so many intermediate steps to do things that you can do in one or two keypresses with FCP7 or Premiere, it's frustrating). Running OS X Yosemite, and at the moment I have active projects in both FCP7 and Premiere, final answer.

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that's funny, i feel so slow when I'm asked to cut in FCP7 or Premiere. in MC i'm so much faster. I think because I know the keyboard inside and out in MC. in the others, i'm more mouse/trackball dependent.

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6 hours ago, Zak Forsman said:

that's funny, i feel so slow when I'm asked to cut in FCP7 or Premiere. in MC i'm so much faster. I think because I know the keyboard inside and out in MC. in the others, i'm more mouse/trackball dependent.

Yes definitely this. MC is developed around the keyboard, whilst the others are significantly more mouse dependant. Even things that there are keyboard shortcuts for, are often easier/more precise with the mouse.

7 hours ago, Raafi Rivero said:

(MC requires so many intermediate steps to do things that you can do in one or two keypresses with FCP7 or Premiere, it's frustrating).

I'm curious as to what sort of things these are?

I may benefit from the fact that I'd used Avid Xpress Pro before I made the switch to Apple and FCP, so I knew the basics of Avid. It is definitely a learning curve, but I find that MC forces you to think differently about how you edit - which I like. For me, it was about thinking more creatively, and methodically - or with more of a plan.

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I use premiere since we get it fairly cheaply from work. I'm finding it a buggy mess since the most immediate update and I get weird errors. That being said, CC can't be beaten, because inevitably you will need to use AE or Il or Ps or something, and they are all just thrown in for the fee. I also like that its cross platform, which helps when clients need the edit files but have a pc not a mac or the other way round etc.

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4 hours ago, jax_rox said:

For me, it was about thinking more creatively, and methodically - or with more of a plan.

I actually learned Avid MC first, and cut in it for years so these notes about the keyboard etc don't really apply so much. I used to have edit-off's with a buddy after work to see who was faster: me (keyboard shortcuts) or him (mouse guy). Once I switched over to FCP, however, I found that because there were multiple ways of entering various functions and modes I could edit much more intuitively. Yes, I still use keyboard shortcuts as much as possible, but cropping a shot in the timeline, for instance, is way easier using the mouse than typing in numbers.

For me, the "methodical" nature of how Avid MC forces you to think and edit is antithetical to creativity. I prefer to iterate through as many ideas as possible on the timeline, as quickly as possible. That way I'm not just basing edits on what I "think" will work, then jumping through so many hoops if my "plan" doesn't work, but instead each edit is determined to work based on the evidence in the timeline itself, and the many the previous iterations of said idea. That is my working style. Media Composer, for instance is very particular about how you enter segment mode, or trim mode, and back. Assigning tracks is a pain and the interface isn't very flexible. In FCP (and to a lesser extent Premiere) you are able to manipulate things directly in the timeline, use 3-point editing techniques, assign tracks, etc. without regard to the order in which you do them. There are always multiple ways to skin the cat. That is my preference in an NLE.

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FCP X on El Capitan. I must apologize in advance, because my postings often sound too enthusiastic when it comes to my NLE. I feel like I have to defend it when others complain that it's frustrating because of the magnetic timeline paradigm. I have been editing (mainly weddings) since 2002, and I know FCP up to FCS2 and Premiere up to CS5.5.

Why FCP X?

The simple answer: because I'm on a Mac. Imo it makes no sense to install Premiere on a Mac because it doesn't take full advantage of the OS and (with modern Macs) hardware. You could edit 4k video with a tiny MB with 1,1 GHz, 8 GB RAM and no dedicated graphic card using FCP X. Premiere now starts with proxy workflows as well (as I described here), and I think that's a good idea.

When in FCP classic you had to always log (& capture/ & transfer), which meant you knew your footage in greater detail before you actually could start editing in the timeline. Whereas with FCP X you could start editing after import, it's not a wise thing to do. And many of those who are used to other NLEs and 'give FCP X a go' aren't wise, because they tend to skip this part.

For instance, when I review freshly imported clips in the browser, I already synchronize external audio, uncheck the camera audio and mark all usable portions of clips with "f"(avorite). I then set up a smart collection with the following rules: Show synchronized clips, favorites and unused clips. Then I work from this smart collection. I don't see anything I don't want or need, and as I proceed my browser gets emptied because all used clips simply disappear. This of course is just the tip of the iceberg, not using custom tags and roles. Organizing many clips (like typically from a wedding) is a time-consuming nightmare in Premiere, and I can understand why people do that in the timeline instead of renaming, tagging or sorting things into folders.

However, if I was to abandon Apple, I would go Adobe on Windows. Simply because I know it. I never touched Avid, so I can't tell. I assume it's good.

14 hours ago, Zak Forsman said:

 in MC i'm so much faster. I think because I know the keyboard inside and out in MC. in the others, i'm more mouse/trackball dependent.

We have that in common. I have always preferred JKL (even over the funky 'skimmer'), and I always learn and customize all shortcuts. Why? Because it's way faster than shoving the mouse. I type blind and just watch the image. 

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1 hour ago, Axel said:

Imo it makes no sense to install Premiere on a Mac because it doesn't take full advantage of the OS and (with modern Macs) hardware. You could edit 4k video with a tiny MB with 1,1 GHz, 8 GB RAM and no dedicated graphic card using FCP X. Premiere now starts with proxy workflows as well (as I described here), and I think that's a good idea.

Personally, I don't think it really makes much difference these days. Not sure I'd want to try and run Avid on an underpowered Macbook, but Premiere or FCPX will be fine with it. Granted, Premiere plays nicer with Nvidia/CUDA cards, and Apple only allow OpenCL AMD cards in their new Mac Pro (which FCPX is tuned for), but there's no reason why you couldn't/shouldn't run Premiere, or any NLE on a Mac.

There are plenty of things that FCPX still can't do - like export an OMF, for example. There are things it is good at, but there are certain projects where I would avoid FCPX if I could. If it's the only thing you have - you've gotta work with it. The 'magnetic' or 'lack-of' timeline is both great and awful, depending on what you're doing and how you like to edit. Things that are quick in other NLEs can end up being much more difficult in FCPX. And vice versa. Simple things like fine adjustments to cross fades, or lengthening a clip that has a crossfade on it become more tedious and annoying.

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Well said.

31 minutes ago, jax_rox said:

The 'magnetic' or 'lack-of' timeline is both great and awful, depending on what you're doing and how you like to edit.

True.

It boils down to how you like to edit. These things can get rather philosophical, like Walter Murchs essays on editing (i.e. In The Blink Of An Eye). And I think it's worth thinking about. I started reading Lawrences excellent article contra the magnetic timeline on Creative Cow. In the comments, a vivid discussion began and grew, I almost read all day. One contributor drew a handy conclusion: to write an NLE, the programmer is forced to introduce a paradigm, That's how you edit. As a user, you have to either accept that or change the NLE (like many FCP7-editors demanded: give us back tracks!)

One argument Lawrence and others often give, that a magnetic timeline was contra-intuitive and arbitrary, is imo not valid. People who never touched an NLE before understand FCP X with no problems. On the contrary, if they are confronted with independant tracks afterwards, they don't see any logic in that.

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I'm far to be a professional on editing and/or grading, I'm a music composer, but I've done some works on FCP7 and now on FCPX, I love the latter a lot after a period of perplexity. Now I'm learning Resolve and with the last update, the 12.5 I think it begins really to be a contender for us not so confident on this field. The possibility to jump from edit to grading, the great compatibility with other softwares, the powerful color page is a must. What I find still immature is the multicam synchronization, way better on FCPX.

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I started on FCP5, then 6/7. I've used Premiere (yuck!) & AVID (yummy!).

I'm now on FCPX & basically it does everything in a more logical way - compared to Premiere/FCP7. Yes it takes a bit of time to adjust (not that much of a learning curve), but most of the people who claim they tried it & don't like it, probably are talking about when it was first released. It is soo much better now & I can edit at least 3/4 times faster than I could on FCP7/Premiere - what most people see as problems with FCPX, I see as logical improvements for editors.

If you're on a Mac, it's pretty much a no brainer (& Motion is much improved to or should that be completely different now).

Try the trial version (but for more than 5mins).

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8 hours ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

Try the trial version (but for more than 5mins).

Best watch a step-by-step tutorial for the basic editing workflow in advance. Those often have the effect on editors experienced in other NLEs that they feel like a bloody amateur in a iMovie-like software. Entry level, capable of little, exit.

Good demonstration of how complex the seemingly low-profile NLE FCP X can get is this old timelapse video:

One year after putting the first trial of FCP X into the trash in 2011 (wasn't stable - to put it mildly a hundredfold, it permanently crashed), I met a guy with a MBP on a set. He sat on the floor and edited something like the above in a very relaxed posture. I didn't recognize the software and asked how many tracks he used. He said, just one, look, here it is (if you follow the Nepal clip, you can see though, that the primary storyline = "the" track, - often changes to secondary storylines). I was impressed, bought 10.0.6 and never rued it.

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I use FCPX a lot - I use it for a lot of my XAVC editing, as I don't own Premiere and find the ingest much easier than transcoding for Avid - my XAVC stuff is usually shirt turn around.

So, it's more than just a few day trial. I've used it for a number of full projects over the past couple years. My points still stand. FCPX has potential, and it really depends on what you're doing and how you edit as to whether you'll love it or hate it. I personally find I can use it okay, but it's not my first option when I can help it.

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