Improving FCP X

A short while ago I started a thread at Creative COW entitled, “What would it take?” My premise is that Final Cut Pro X has enough tantalizing advantages that many “pro users” (whatever that means) would adopt it, if only it had a few extra features. I’m not talking about turning it into FCP 8. I think that’s pretty unrealistic and I believe Apple is going in a different direction. The point is that there are a number of elements that could be added and stay within the FCP X paradigm, which would quell some of the complaints. The thread sparked some interesting suggestions, but here are a few of mine in no particular order of priority.

1. Make audio trimming and transitions as easy as and comparable to video trimming. Currently audio seems to take a back seat to video editing when it comes to trims and transitions.

2. Add “open in Motion” or “send to Motion” functions for clips. Motion 5 is quite powerful and it fills in many gaps that exist in FCP X. For example, drawing mattes. A “send to” roundtrip function would help.

3. Either add track-based mixing or add a “send to Logic” function. I feel audio without tracks is a pretty tough way to mix. Assuming the next version of Logic isn’t as drastic of a change as FCP 7 to FCP X, then it would be nice to offer the option of sending your FCP X project audio to Logic for mixing.

4. Add modifiers to give you some user-defined control over the magnetic timeline. More than just the position tool. Time to tame the magnetic timeline.

5. Add user-defined controls for more track-like behavior. Such as expanded use/behavior of additional storylines. I’m not sure what form this would take, but the desire is to get the best of both worlds.

6. Add a “save as” function.

7. Add event/project management to open/hide projects and media. This exists in Assisted Editing’s Event Manager X, but it should be a direct function within FCP X.

8. Add a choice to not see the event thumbnail/filmstrip when you click on it. Even in list view, when you click on an event clip it is refreshed in the single visible filmstrip at the top. This slows down the response of the system. I’d like to see a true list-only view for faster response when I’m entering data.

9. Remember clip in/out points.

10. Add some user control over window layouts. FCP 7’s workspace customization was great and it’s a shame we lost it.

11. Add some way to see a second window as a source/record (2-up) view.

12. Bring back copy/paste/remove attributes.

13. Bring back the equivalent to the Track Tool.

14. Import legacy FCP sequences. I realize some third-party developer will likely create an XML to FCP XML translator, but it sure would make sense if Apple solved this issue. Even if it means only a simple sequence without effects, speed ramps or audio levels.

©2011 Oliver Peters