Editing Set-Up: Hardware and Software for Macs and Final Cut Suite

For creative computing, I prefer to use Macs. I was originally taught to edit video on a Mac and use them for photo editing, web development and so on. However, I was also taught Avid and my previous job was all PCs, where we used Avid Media Composer to create broadcast television. I found there were some things I preferred on Avid, that Final Cut Pro just did differently. The way they handled files, the way you would control it and other things that I forget after a Christmas break.

But I am running this show and prefer Final Cut Studio for the whole package of software, as well as using it for my own projects so am comfortable with updating it and adapting it to suit my needs. I am sure I would achieve the same results whether I had chosen FCS, Avid, Vegas, Premiere etc.

Now that I have chosen Final Cut Studio, getting a Mac is the way to go.

I know I haven’t discussed camera equipment yet and there is a reason for this: the editing suite is going to be okay-ed and installed first. You’d maybe think the post-production hardware would follow the production hardware, but really neither is of much use without the other. I could start shooting and just keeping all the footage on a hard drive, but I want to test everything out and create a workflow that I am happy with, from start to finish. The main reason, though, is that getting a computer around here is much easier than all the production equipment I want, from lots of different sources.

I know I am likely to be shooting a lot of hefty HD footage, which will probably need transcoded and edited without bogging down the system. Deadlines are going to come pretty rapid around here and I don’t want to be held back with a machine that has difficulty doing what I need it to on a day-to-day basis.

So, the economics of the situation have led me to the following basic set up:

  • Mac Pro (mid-2010 model), dual quad cores with 6GB memory.
  • Dual 22” monitors.
  • Final Cut Studio
  • Abode CS Production Professional

Now, as I am unfortunately not in control of what precisely gets bought, I will have to wait until I am sitting using the Mac before I can be more specific about anything. That’s just the way things go. If I run into any obstacles with this, I will document as I go – but I think this set-up should suit my purposes.

A New Video Production Contract

As I am starting the New Year in a 12 month video production role, I thought I would document the ins-and-outs of different areas of position. I will be looking at obstacles and work-arounds, theory and tech stuff.

I have no equipment for production or editing currently. Part of the job was to price-up a kit that could handle the type of projects we would be doing and an editing suite that could handle the footage.

The types of projects vary and I won’t be getting into specifics quite yet; and even later I might only discuss projects vaguely, to focus on the creative and technical elements. Here is a rough summary of what will be required:

  • Company promotional videos (/ads)
  • Events
  • Learning/Training videos

I should probably stress that over the course of this blog I would encourage commenting – especially to offer alternatives to the way I am working or for solutions to any problems I discuss and so on. Anything constructive that might help others in a similar situation. The technology involved is developing so fast and this is quite an exciting time to be working in this field.

I will also blog related media which I find along my way which is interesting, inspiring or that I just want to talk about.

Sometimes I will create templates for jobs or tasks and make them available for download and would encourage others to submit similar documents or anything else that might be suitable for this blog – proper credit will be given.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I will soon be posting some of the equipment research and kit I will be using.