Final Cut Studio X: Everything Just Changed In Post (Whether You Like It Or Not)

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Apple has just released an update to its flagship video editing application, Final Cut Pro. The new version, now known as Final Cut Pro X, has some of the audio editing features of Soundtrack Pro and a simplified the user experience, but will potentially alienate pro film makers and audio engineers.

On the Mac App Store page for Final Cut Pro X, Apple has coined the phrase, “Everything just changed in post.” Unfortunately, it seems not for the better.

Apple also released new versions of Compressor and Motion. Absent from the update list are Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Color. Many of the features of these applications have been built into Final Cut Pro X.

Audio editing in Final Cut Pro has never been great. There was a Apple certification course for sound editing in Final Cut Pro (I have a taught a number of these courses). The course focused on the use of Soundtrack Pro in conjunction with Final Cut Pro for basic audio post production, often referred to as sweetening.

If Soundtrack Pro was not beefy enough for your needs, you could always export as an OMF file (An OMF file is a generic project format that allows you to transport projects between digital audio workstations) and take your audio project into a separate digital audio workstation, such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro and Nuendo.

Well that has all changed. It seems that the ability to export audio from Final Cut Pro X has been removed. No longer can you export audio as an OMF. The audio is “stuck” inside the project.

Steve Martin wrote an in-depth first look and review of Final Cut Pro X and mentions this shortcoming. Final Cut Pro X adds many of the features of Soundtrack Pro in the latest version, but it by no means possesses the same editing prowess as Soundtrack Pro or external digital audio workstations. This could potentially push many professional editors away from Final Cut Pro X.

A quick look at the ratings and reviews on the Mac App Store show some pretty unhappy customers.

Maybe the X is for all of the features Apple is cutting?