AVID vs Final Cut Pro with Shane Ross

Shane Ross is one of the bloggers I look up to and, to some extent, model my blog after. Here’s Shane’s input in the eternally continuing Avid vs FCP saga.

He’s very balanced and I think the flame-off invocation of the muse is very encouraging.

Tool-agnostic is a digression I myself make in every Avid vs FCP discussion I have. Unless it’s with an old person who sucks.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

6 Responses to “AVID vs Final Cut Pro with Shane Ross”

  1. 1 Thomas
    August 9, 2008 at 8:07 am

    This is not about AVID vs FCP it is about why to use FCP. I feel any editor should take themselves serious ans learn both systems. If your going to compare the two compare them, all this told me was why to use FCP.
    I am turned off by the FCP editor because of their arrogance. That is to say I have been taking the steps to learn FCP for me the jury is still out.

  2. 2 psalvia
    August 9, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Hi Thomas, thanks for stopping by.

    Flame off means not casting aspersions, i.e. FCP editors are arrogant. All editors are arrogant, if they’re any good, so lets not muddy the waters.

    Good luck with learning FCP. I would recommend visiting an Apple Authorized Training Center to receive training from a certified instructor. At the end of the course you have the option to take an exam which, if passed, awards you Apple Certified End User status.

    You can find your closest AATC here:


    proactively • peter

  3. 3 Angela Heins
    December 10, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    I think Shawn did a great job summing up the differences. I have both products in my toolbox. I ask my clients questions ahead of time and decide which editor to use for each project.

    If its for the web or contains odd movie files I use Final Cut. I use Avid for longer format shows and projects with large amounts of media to manage. I prefer working in the Avid environment for some things and Final Cut for others. I can’t imagine not having a choice.

  4. 4 Angela Heins
    December 10, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Sorry, Shane. I meant Shane not Shawn. My fingers malfunctioned while typing. 😉

  5. 5 James H
    January 1, 2009 at 7:24 am

    “FCP editors are arrogant.” Hehe, and so are Avid editors.

    If you have to be non-bias and say which is better (assuming both can import the file you want to work on etc), in my opinion there is little difference between the two.

    There are only two areas where Avid is superior I think, and that is multi-camera support and media management. I recently had to edit a concert with a whopping 15 cameras (and one or two were NTSC the rest PAL, and one was film, and none seemed to keep sync – shocking mix lol, but it was easy(ish) to do on Avid, but would have been much harder on FCP, BUT still possible. Secondly if you are editing many hours/days of multi camera footage I find it easier to keep track of things on Avid…

    The other big difference (not related to the software) is its much easier to quickly get an experienced Avid mixer with say 5 years of experience than it is to get a comparable FCP mixer. In a way I do think that many FCP users give FCP a bad name. I will explain, I there there are too many FCP mixers out there who started on their mac at home (probably with a dodgy copy of FCP), and think that just because they have mixed a video at college or uni they are a pro mixer, and sell themselves as one. Many people say Avid is faster etc, but if you get comparably experienced mixers, neither is really faster or slower, but FCP has get a reputation for being slower I think because people have seen less experienced mixers taking longer and assumed thats the way it is……

    The other difference is FCP mixers always seem to feel the need to big up the Apple they are working on and say why its better than a PC, why, seriously its such a boor, we don’t care, our passion lies in mixing, not the computer we do it on! Talk about the last project you worked on – far more interesting!!!!!!!!!!! Just listen when an Avid and FCP mixer get together, the Avid mixer will probably talk about the latest effects they are having fun using, or how they didn’t like the producer on the last project they worked on, or the room they were working in was too cold/warm, or a cool way they saw a video mixed, but the FCP mixer will be more interested in saying why mixing on an Apple is superior, or how FCP has changed the world……. Now I know this is a sweeping generalization but listen to conversations between people and read on forums, and you will see quite a bit of truth in it.

    • 6 psalvia
      January 1, 2009 at 7:52 pm

      Hey James, thanks for stopping by and sharing your prespective. Avid definitely has a more experienced user base, due to longevity in the market place if nothing else. But as time goes by that will definitely not be the case. I think Avid has a nice media management approach but I definitely prefer the freedom of FCP’s media management, especially the ability to identify media in your capture scratch folder by name as opposed to Avid’s OMFI Mediafile folder with a string of coded media that can’t isn’t readily identifiable.
      FCP is unique that it is available only on Apple OS X. Personally, I learned to cut with Avid on OS 9 and have always cut on a Mac with either Avid or FCP. I prefer the stability of Apple’s operating system to Windows XP (never tried Vista so don’t know). I prefer to maintain an edit suite with an intentional combination of OS version and NLE point release rather than dealing with forced automatic updates that can render a suite inoperable. Plus, I’d rather use my thumb on the command (apple) key than reach my pinky over to the control key. I simply find it more ergonomic.
      The real sell for me was the first time I imported a 50 layer Photoshop file into FCP and saw it automatically create a 50 layer sequence. That was just amazing. Do you know how long that takes on Avid? And being able to use Illustrator vector files? Awesome! Not to mention the ease of exporting finished shows / cuts / segments (what have you) for the web. Avid was locked into tape based exports for far too long IMHO and anyone who needed to post a video to a client’s website was behooved to use FCP for the work flow opportunity below. But I can totally understand the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it mentalities of broadcast facilities on tight deadlines. I wouldn’t have changed either.

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