Heard in Passing

I continue to hear good reports about Media Composer 3.0. Yesterday, I talked to somebody at a rental house who is supporting a show running five new Macintosh-based MC systems using the new hardware and cutting DNX36. So far, very solid. And I’ve heard from several friends who are running MC-software that they like what they are seeing. Some will say that reports like this are long overdue, and I wouldn’t disagree. But it seems that Avid’s long effort to kill bugs and improve reliability and efficiency is paying off.

Meanwhile, I’ve talked to members of the editing faculty at two Los Angeles film schools who all indicated that students tend to come in much more comfortable with Final Cut, but after being exposed to both MC and FCP at school, they almost always end up preferring MC as an editing tool.

Both comments are little more than rumors. Take them for what they’re worth. But in my experience there’s a trend here. Media Composer is improving, and people are noticing.

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6 Comments on “Heard in Passing”

  1. Matt Says:

    I’m currently a senior film student at Emerson College in Boston and your assessment of students responses to MC vs FCP is definitely correct. I work in our post-production computer labs and would say that while most students prefer working with FCP when they start out almost every student who has taken an editing course where they are exposed to Avid prefers MC in the end.

  2. Steve Says:

    Interesting. I had wondered whether this would be more true in Hollywood. Apparently not.

  3. Michael Says:

    I graduated 3 years ago, and had access to both Avid and FCP in college. I very much preferred FCP. now, after 3 years of cutting promos and spots on Avid, I would never look back. I can be much less precise with the mouse, configure keyboard shortcuts for just about anything, and accomplish many things with one keystroke that would take 3 or 4 in FCP. It’s Avid for me. Now only if MC had secondary color correction….

  4. Steve Says:

    Mouse precision is certainly an issue. In implementing “segment mode all the time,” FCP makes you drag in a narrow band to move the playhead. Avid forces you to go into segment mode, but the tradeoff is that you can click anywhere and go there. It seems like a small thing but after hours and hours of work I can certainly feel the difference in my wrist.

  5. Norman Says:

    I’ve just upgraded to both Leopard and MC 3.0 and, after the usual OS hassles, have been really enjoying my experience with the new Media Composer. I’ve already had occasion to use the SubCap Illusion effect and it works as advertised, though there are a few things that I’ll need to learn about its use.

    Even on my MacBook Pro the response time seems excellent — though I’ve never had to deal with the Adrenaline 1394 issues, obviously. It took all of my settings (both project and personal) and let me start working immediately.

    So far, so good.

  6. AndrewK Says:

    When I was in college we had Avid MC Express machines and FCP was barely a blip on the radar (nothing like reaching the age where I have my own, ‘back in my day…’ stories) and most of my professional career has been centered around Avid (though like many people I also had a home setup running FCP). For the past two years though I’ve been working primarily on FCP and if someone asked me which one I preferred I’d say FCP. If someone asked me which one was better I’d say it depends. Some gigs Avid is a better fit and some gigs FCP is a better fit.

    One thing I’ve said about FCP is that the program is flexible enough that it will gladly give you enough rope to hang yourself where as Avid tends to be a bit more structured and a bit less flexible in how it operates which helps keep users out of trouble. These things are neither good nor bad, but just different approaches to the same task. I’ve also noticed that FCP editors, in my experience, are less likely to customize their systems (keyboard short cuts, button bars, mapped mouse buttons, etc.,) than Avid editors.

    In Avid land custom KB layouts are almost expected where as FCP has deep customization ability that seemingly few people take advantage of. I mean, you can literally have hundreds of different commands mapped to the keyboard at the same time if you used all 10 of the available key modifiers (shift, control, command+option, etc.,) but almost every FCP station I sit down at just has the default KB layout.

    Maybe part of it is that due to pricing Avid still has a bit more of a master/apprentice on-the-job learning approach while FCP has more isolated individuals teaching themselves.


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