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BlogNLE audio: Tracks vs. the magnetic timeline and rolesWednesday, August 5 2015

If you’d like to see how the combination of the magnetic timeline and roles compares with traditional track organisation, check out the first part of a three part blog post from finalBUG, the FCPX Berlin User Group’s blog:

I thought that I would look at constructing a very simple edit in Da Vinci Resolve versus Final Cut Pro X and whilst I was at it I thought that I would throw Legacy Final Cut Pro into the mix.

[…]The holy grail at least in the world of broadcast being patching multiple audio tracks for multiple clips to a common destination.​ I hope that you find this comparison useful.​

In Part 2:

In this sixth video I swap out some clips and groups of clips. A lot of human error is eliminated straight out of the gate. There is a reason why Video and Audio are in the same clip so to speak. And with Roles set up correctly I can move stuff and do not have to worry about track collisions and other unpleasant surprises.​

Part 3:

…here is the disclaimer. I was never a fan of tracks, I found it strange that I had to be constantly thinking about technical stuff such as, what goes where. Surely​ it make sense to be able to concentrate on the edit and simply setting those in and out points to build a story. Trackless does not automatically mean clueless!​!!

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BlogNew Intel CPU: Candidate for next iMac?Wednesday, August 5 2015

For the last few years Apple have been waiting Intel to deliver better CPUs for use in iMacs, Macbooks and Mac Pros. Today saw the launch of their Skylake series of chips.

Today’s launch of the Skylake archirecture doesn’t point to a big update for the Mac Pro, but it might be good news for iMac fans.

Ars Technica:

Many people are still using a PC [e.g. 27″ 2011 iMac] with a Sandy Bridge chip such as the Core i7-2600K, which will still hold its own in just about any desktop software or gaming[…]

For them, Skylake might be tempting. Four years of modest yearly CPU performance improvements add up to a fairly big overall gain. The new additions in the chipset are definitely welcome, with super-fast M.2 solid-state storage, improved DDR4 memory, native USB 3.0, and the option of USB 3.1 ports on many retail motherboards. Throw in a decent cooling solution, an M.2 SSD, and do a little overclocking, and you’re getting a PC with next-generation technology and very strong performance.

That would suggest that the next iMacs will have USB C, and that SSD read/write rates will be measured in low GB/s instead of high MB/s.

Although editors would rather have dedicated GPUs in their Macs, the integrated graphics part of Skylake CPUs have some post-relevant improvements such as hardware support for UHD/4K decoding and encoding. According to Anandtech:

Skylake gets a full, low power fixed function HEVC decoder. For desktop users this shouldn’t impact things by too much – maybe improve compatibility a tad – but for mobile platforms this should significantly cut down on the amount of power consumed by HEVC decoding and increase the size and bitrate that the CPU can decode.

[…] Intel is also hedging their bets on HEVC by also implementing a degree of VP9 support on Skylake. VP9 is Google’s HEVC alternative codec, with the company pushing it as a royalty-free option.

Ars Technica:

There’s no doubt that in terms of single and multithreaded and performance, Intel’s Core i7-6700K is the best quad-core chip on the market. In a high-end consumer PC, particularly for gaming, there’s nothing better. If you’re shopping for a new desktop PC, get one with a Skylake chip.

As regards what most editors need in a future Macs, instead of faster CPUs perhaps we should be looking for faster CPUs that are able to connect to more devices using higher bandwidths.

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BlogLunch with Philip and Greg: Alex GollnerTuesday, August 4 2015

As part of my recent trip to California in June, I took part in a new video podcast: Lunch with Philip and Greg.

When I started I wasn’t sure of how the show worked, so monopolised the ‘conversation’ and talked pretty quickly. I talked about my first Final Cut plugin, my most complex Final Cut Classic plugin.

I pontificated on 4K, HDR, 360º video, this blog, Pat Inhofer’s Tao of Color blog and newsletter, why Final Cut Pro X plugins shouldn’t be as complex as Motion.

If you want to skip the autobiography section, start 10 minutes in!

After a while Philip and Greg get a few words in edgeways. Watch us talk for an hour about the state of play for post production plugins and much more…

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BlogiOS 10 Audio transcription service: For OS X please!Monday, August 3 2015

Business Insider reports that Apple are testing a voicemail transcription service that might debut in iOS 10:

iCloud Voicemail can relay information about where you are and why you can’t pick up the phone to certain people. But the coolest feature of the service is that Siri will transcribe any incoming voicemails, just like it does with anything else you say to it.

[…]

Multiple Apple employees are currently testing iCloud Voicemail. Business Insider understands that if the service works reliably enough then it is currently scheduled to be launched in 2016, presumably with the iOS 10 mobile operating system.

Cloud-based transcription would also be very useful for video editing.

Once Siri for OS X can transcribe audio, I’ll point it to a few TB of video clips to add some useful metadata for editing!

If clips already have fully transcribed text included as metadata before being imported into Final Cut,  features that search, change or display that metadata won’t require patent licences associated with working with scripts in editing software.

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BlogThe BBC and Final Cut Pro X: Any progress?Monday, August 3 2015

As the UK’s publically funded broadcaster, the BBC is not allowed to endorse any specific product or service, either on air or in third-party publicity. That means that companies that make the tools that the BBC uses cannot get quotes from BBC members of staff that speak for the whole of the organisation.

Avid cannot get a quote from BBC Studios saying “Over 90% of BBC Drama is editing using Media Composer.” They can refer to specific customers who do work for the BBC.

This is true of Apple and the BBC’s use of Final Cut Pro X. In a big story from last year concerning the use of Final Cut in news acquisition first reported on fcp.co, there were no official quotes that represented the BBC.

This was true of the BBC when Final Cut Pro 5, 6 and 7 were being increasingly used.

Although that there are rumours that Final Cut Pro X is being taught to everyone in the BBC but experienced editors, all we have on record are a few news stories and mentions of Final Cut by staff and freelancers in social media. Interestingly for those interested in the progress of Final Cut in the BBC, Twitter is a public social media platform where people who work there have bios that state that their opinions aren’t official policy of the BBC.

I’ve started a collection of public tweets on the subject of the BBC and Final Cut Pro X – mostly by people who work for the BBC.

It seems that X is being widely used in News, but there is little evidence of it spreading to BBC Drama. This might change once new production companies not brought up in the Avid tradition are commissioned to make shows and films for the BBC. This might be how X started being being used in BBC Sport.

Given the limitations of BBC endorsements, I hope others create similar collections for other NLEs.

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BlogLondon high-end post already working with Final Cut Pro XFriday, July 31 2015

The big effects-heavy launch trailer for Angry Birds 2 came out yesterday. Like some high-end TV commercials and music videos made in London, much of the post production was done using Final Cut Pro X. This is true of big commercials for Perrier and Sony as well as this high profile campaign for Sport England.

As elsewhere in the world of post, in London using Final Cut Pro X is seen as not being “the professional’s choice.” The irony is that some of the established big post companies who have been working on X jobs for many months may not have realised they are already working with it.

In many cases during big productions, Final Cut Pro X is used during the shoot, the edit, for temporary effects and audio mix. The quality is been good enough to pass to production companies, advertising agencies and the to client for approval.

Once the offline is signed off, various companies work on VFX, the grade, the audio mix and the final online. As long as each company gets the correct materials turned over to them, it makes no difference if the offline was done in Avid, Premiere, Final Cut Pro X or iMovie.

This might be one of the reasons why people say “I don’t know anyone who works with Final Cut Pro X.”

Once the speed and quality of offlines done using Final Cut Pro X becomes better known, there’s a chance that some specialist companies will suddenly announce that they work well with content prepared using Final Cut: “We’ve worked on Final Cut Pro X jobs since 2014, come and work with us.”

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