Final Cut Pro X Unveiled at NAB SuperMeet Event

At the recent SuperMeet event in Las Vegas, hosted during the NAB show, Apple’s Peter Steinauer unveiled the much-anticipated update to Final Cut, now called Final Cut Pro X. This latest iteration, which last saw a major update in July 2009, now supports full 64-bit processing and has been completely rewritten. Slated for a June release, Final Cut Pro X can be purchased through the Mac App Store for an impressive US$299, although it remains unclear if this price includes additional features like Motion and Color.

The upgrade boasts enhanced media handling and superior image quality, built on what Apple describes as “modern foundations.” This includes comprehensive color management and a fresh interface. Final Cut Pro X now supports resolution-independent playback across a range from SD to 2K and 4K video formats. It also utilizes Grand Central Dispatch, optimizing performance across all available Mac cores and the GPU.

Notably, the update eliminates the infamous render bar, much to the delight of the audience.

Additional features highlighted include content analysis capabilities that can identify shot types and the presence of people, akin to those found in the latest iPhoto. The software allows for editing during the ingest of AVCHD and other media types, seamlessly transitioning to local media. With Smart Collections, users can quickly organize media based on the content analysis, tagging clips with keywords for rapid filtering and sorting.

The introduction of a film strip view simplifies the preview and selection process within groups of clips. Clips can be dragged onto a keyword for immediate tagging. The update ensures that primary audio and video remain in sync, with secondary audio tracks lockable to video.

The Magnetic Timeline is another significant enhancement, cleverly moving audio tracks vertically to avoid trim collisions, thereby streamlining the editing process.

During a demonstration, the ability to watch an audio clip automatically move to a new track to accommodate an edit was particularly impressive. Final Cut Pro X also intelligently analyzes audio tracks, distinguishing between camera and dedicated microphone audio sources.

Editing maneuvers showcased included seamless transition additions and real-time background rendering. Audio editing is more intuitive with features like auto-syncing waveforms, pitch-corrected audio skimming, and visible audio peaking in the timeline.

The event also demonstrated the ease of performing a J cut, the audience’s reaction was overwhelmingly positive. The software now allows editors to switch from detailed editing to a broader scene overview with a single keystroke, enhancing overall project visibility.

One-click color correction was teased, promising significant workflow improvements. With native rendering now operating in the background, interruptions are minimized.

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Daniel is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing years of experience and a deep love for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Daniel covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the newest features in macOS and watchOS. His insightful articles and reviews help readers stay informed and make the most of their Apple products. When he’s not writing, Daniel enjoys exploring new apps and tinkering with his MacBook Pro.