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    Can anyone explain the advantages of Media Composer to me?
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    Member Ru Cook's Avatar
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    Hi all, I've been using FCPX since it came out & getting on fine with it, first cutting music videos & now longer (30 mins) corporate events using 4 to 6 cameras as a multi-cam rig.

    As a DAW user of 20yrs, & a Pro Tools user of 10years+, I downloaded the 28day demo of Media composer & gave it a try, thinking it would be a 'bit like Pro Tools'.

    I must say, i didn't really get on with it. i..m.h.o the interface felt like something from the late 90's, & playback seemed to stop during something as simple as zooming in. I had hoped the built in mixer would make up for this is some respect, but even that felt kind of 'tacked on', & nothing like as sophisticated at the PT interface.

    One big feature that FCPX has, it really good 'automatic-multicam-syncing' using just scratch audio recorded from the camera. As an example, I can take 4 cameras recording an event, using a basic rode-video-mic strapped onto each one, & FCPX will painlessly sync all four clips to audio recorded on an external Tascam unit with a single click. Its actually so good & quick, I couldn't believe it had done it the first time i tried, but apparently MC needs the 3rd party 'plural eyes' to achieve the same result, unless all cameras are locked to timecode (impossible with my currant camera selection).

    But apparently, AVID rigs are still the only game in town for bigger productions. What am i missing from FCPX that media composer will give me if I was to stick at it?

    This is a genuine attempt to understand btw, not a 'troll post'. I'm used to explaining why I stick with Pro Tools on a Mac, against the radically cheaper Apple-made Logic.

    I've got good reasons that only a professional would care about for my DAW platform of choice.

    For the kind of work i'm getting at the moment, what advantages would MC give as my NLE?

    Cheers
    Last edited by Ru Cook; 11-07-2016 at 06:40 AM.


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    Senior Member FrameFarmMedia's Avatar
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    Why you see Avid on large projects is because it is the best NLE for multi-user projects that need to be shared between multiple editors.
    Frame Farm Media
    www.framefarmmedia.com


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    Member Ru Cook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrameFarmMedia View Post
    Why you see Avid on large projects is because it is the best NLE for multi-user projects that need to be shared between multiple editors.
    Gotcha, thats very handy to know.... any advantages for the solo director/editor, beyond the obvious compatibility with other facilities using it?


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    Totally Usable Mod Stephen Mick's Avatar
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    I'd say one of Avid's historical advantages has always been stability. It always crashed way, way less for me than any other NLE. Avid's media management was also always rock solid for me. Of course that's mainly because Avid has very particular ways of ingesting and managing media. So I'd say those might be two big advantages.
    Stephen Mick
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    Senior Member El Director's Avatar
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    I'm just an independent filmmaker, all my shoots are single camera narratives. I learned editing on Premiere 6.0 back in the day, then went to Vegas for 9 years, back to Premiere at CS6 and was with them until a year and half ago when I switched to Avid. The biggest thing I noticed when I switched was stability. I have had exactly zero crashes in the year and a half I've been on Avid. That's huge. Knowing that it's used on almost every movie you see helps too- if there's an issue, or something you're trying to do, there is almost always a workflow or feature that addresses it. You're never the first one to stumble on that problem/need. It's trimming functionality is unmatched, media management is awesome, and the software just looks cool ;)

    The two most challenging things about switching to me were workflow and thinking like a "celluloid" editor. The workflow part just took trial and error to figure out what works best for me and my camera. The "thinking" part took a while, as "filler" was a foreign concept to me, but once I wrapped my head around it and it's purpose, things got much easier. When I switched, I also invested in a ShuttlePro v2 and a Media Composer keyboard. Both of these helped make my transition a breeze.


    Independent Filmmaker
    BMD URSA Mini 4K/Avid Media Composer/NukeX/Blender/Mixcraft/ProTools/Resolve Studio

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    Wulf - 2008 | Leap - 2010 | Leap: Rise of the Beast - 2011 | Surviving The Wild - 2020


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ru Cook View Post

    But apparently, AVID rigs are still the only game in town for bigger productions. What am i missing from FCPX that media composer will give me if I was to stick at it?
    Media Composer was always touted for its media management and it was the best in the old skool but FCPX has completely rewritten the rules for media management and organisation with metadata and taken it to the next level.

    MC does have an advantage with multiuser editing but it is well known that FCPX has features such as timeline guards already in the code but not yet live so multi user editing is being worked on.

    MC will give you a blast of nostalgia and allow you to edit at the speed of 2001, if you smoke you'll get lung cancer quicker by virtue of all the fag breaks you'll take while you're waiting for transcoding, rendering or exporting.

    There's absolutely nothing to recommend MC for unless you're in the very tiny percentage that edits in a team and once Apple brings these features to FCPX you'll see reality TV pile in on FCPX because if its superior media management, stability and performance.

    Before anyone jumps on me I used to edit on Avid Xpress and Symphony for many years before jumping to FCS then onto FCPX.


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    In my circles, another advantage of Media Composer is the solid bid database. Especially useful on 50min+ documentary films. If you're working with dozens and dozens of hours of material, and you will be spending weeks with that material trying to find and shape the story, that database comes in handy. Also, Avid's trim mode is quite nice. OTOH, the color tools aren't as up to date as on some other tools.

    IMO, on shorter stuff, most corporate work, and most multicam, there's not necessarily an advantage to working with an Avid NLE aren't really there. Like for fiction narrative: You know from the beginning that takes for Scene 1 are most likely going to appear before takes for Scene 6.

    I just came off a week working on a series of corporate stuff (5 2-6min pieces) that we cut on FCPX. Shot on two RED cameras, double-system sound, lots of travel, interviews + b-roll + graphics. I didn't cut, but we were able to get out roughs of the first two pieces to the client for review while we were on the road. I've had similar experiences with Premiere Pro.

    So if you're not feeling a hurt in your current NLE, I'd say there's no need to invest the time and money in Avid.
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    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    Member Ru Cook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Feeley View Post
    So if you're not feeling a hurt in your current NLE, I'd say there's no need to invest the time and money in Avid.
    Thank you everyone who chipped in with a reply. I think Jim summed it up with the statement above really. I don't yet need group collaboration, FCPX seems very stable at the mo (current project is close to 1TB without any crashes), & its happy to ingest media from multiple cameras/codecs on a single project & does all its transcoding (if footage was non-prores) in the background making the process invisible. I'll check back with MC on the next big update to see if they do anything radical. cheers all.


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    Senior Member JPNola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Mick View Post
    I'd say one of Avid's historical advantages has always been stability. It always crashed way, way less for me than any other NLE. Avid's media management was also always rock solid for me. Of course that's mainly because Avid has very particular ways of ingesting and managing media. So I'd say those might be two big advantages.
    Just a thought here...

    Is there any reason to continue saying "NLE"? I mean, aren't all editing systems nonlinear nowadays? Is it time to switch to simply saying "editor" or "editing software"?

    "non-linear editing system" is a bit like referring to today's automobiles as "horseless carriages" or "non-steam powered vehicles".
    Big sources matter.


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    Totally Usable Mod Stephen Mick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPNola View Post
    Just a thought here...

    Is there any reason to continue saying "NLE"? I mean, aren't all editing systems nonlinear nowadays? Is it time to switch to simply saying "editor" or "editing software"?

    "non-linear editing system" is a bit like referring to today's automobiles as "horseless carriages" or "non-steam powered vehicles".
    I like using "NLE" because it takes less keystrokes and less effort than the alternatives.
    Stephen Mick
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