My take on the best new features of Final Cut Pro X

So far we have been told that what was announced yesterday was only a “preview” of the new Final Cut Pro X.


Apple are indicating that there is more to come and they have only shown the most interesting features.

What is still unclear is what will happen with Motion, Color, DVD Studio Pro and Soundtrack Pro and Compressor – well reading between the lines – they are to be upgraded as well.

This is what an Apple rep told the Loop. “What we’ve seen so far is just a “sneak peek,” we’re looking forward to seeing updates and changes to the other pieces of the Final Cut Pro Studio puzzle.”

This means that the $299.00 price point for Final Cut Pro X is the tip of the iceberg – but not necessarily scary for all – there are some people who have baulked at the A$1499.00 price point when they only want Final Cut and not the rest of the Studio package. This could bring a whole new user base to Final Cut.

This new price point looks to bridge the gap between iMovie, and Final Cut Pro Studio. Will the studio version still be offered – who knows – no word from Apple yet.

This June, you’ll be able to buy Final Cut Pro X independently from the other pieces of Final Cut Pro Studio that make it so expensive: Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Color, Compressor, and DVD Studio Pro.


So what are the best features –


•   64 BIT – Need I say any more for most of us this is WHAT we have been waiting for: Final Cut Pro X will be able to take advantage of up to 32GB of RAM

•  Well in no particular order – and while we are on Price US$299.00 for FCP alone seems like a bargain.

•  The new interface – I guess this is a personal thing – but the one major change to the interface is that Apple has done its best to condense the multiple track view that can get so clogged up

•  Final Cut Pro X will constantly render clips in the background so you can continue working while all the render is going on behind the scenes and is promised to not affect your editing at all.

•  “Auditioning,” you can add effects, extra b-roll takes, and more to your timeline in a non-destructive way, right on top of your current footage.

You can click to turn them on and off instantly – lets you view shots or effects side by side, without having to go in and edit each shot into the timeline again.

It is layers in Photoshop. You can click the “eye” button to make a layer visible or invisible to see if you like it.

•  While importing, Final Cut X can now do people detection, auto colour balance, auto stabilise, shot detection, and the what appears to be an amazing audio cleanup (remove hum, audio distortion).

To expand on shot detection: during ingestion FCP will know whether each shot is a close up or medium shot, and it will also know who is acting in the shot. It will create groups of clips based on content as well as chronology.

•  Non-destructively add keywords to specific parts of clips, not just clips themselves. “Range-Based Keywording,” because you’re not selecting clips, you’re selecting a time code range within a clip to add a keyword to. Once you add a keyword to a section of a clip, the keyword will show up in your Events Library.

•  Start editing before your footage finishes importing – no more needs to be said

•  Inline precision editing to cut up clips easily – very iMovie like

•  Auto colour-correction and colour-matching between clips

•  Audio and video for primary clips stays locked. Audio waveforms autosync when aligning audio clips.

•  “Compound clips” combine clips temporarily

•  Auto image-stabilisation when you import footage

•  Drag your mouse over a clip to scrub/skim the clip, just like in iMovie. Pitch correction helps audio scrubbing sound clearer.

•  Use any kind of footage you’d like in combination with other footage. No more transcoding required

•  Magnetic Timeline makes sure your audio and video never get disrupted – previously, audio and video would get displaced or trimmed whenever you’d drop in another audio or video file. Now, clips will move out of the way into another track when you drag in more footage. A much appreciated new feature

•  Clip connection is a new way of locking audio and video together as one piece of media, instead of using the V1 and A1 A2 tracks for locking and editing.

• No more nesting – its a new term called compound clips. These are basically clips temporarily combined into one, on the timeline.


I am sure we will be hearing much more as there has been no discussion yet about current plug-ins – will they work – Will the new FCP be XML based?



As always stay tuned.



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