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Issue: April 1, 2012

Post Script: NLE Battles

By: Marc Loftus
I recently moderated a panel at the SXSW show in Austin, TX. The topic focused on pros who made the switch from Apple’s Final Cut Pro to Adobe’s Premiere Pro, and in each case were using Dell workstations (T5500 or T7500) configured with Nvidia (Quadro and/or Tesla) graphics cards.

Dell and Nvidia teamed up to create a “switch” program in which those considering making a move could be assured that the configurations the companies came up with have been optimized for maximum performance and certified by Adobe. The panelists included Andrew Baldwin of RD&F Advertising, Erik Horn of Arts & Labor, Tom Baurain of The Red Owl and James Fox of Dawnrunner Productions. All work on different types of projects, ranging from agency jobs, to music videos, to live events, and each had relied on FCP as their editing solution. That was up until last year, when FCP X came out.

Talking with the panelists, each had a different reason for wanting to make the switch. In Tom Baurain’s case, his Mac had reached the end of its lifecycle and he was in the market for a new NLE. In James Fox’s case, his studio was already looking at new NLEs and couldn’t wait for another version of FCP X to come along to add features his studio was already accustomed to using.

For the most part, the panelists all agreed they couldn’t wait — they had to move on. In the case of Premiere, each was impressed with the native Red support — no plug-ins needed — no transcoding necessary. This alone, they agreed, was worth the switch.

So score some points for Premiere in this case. But that doesn’t mean Apple — or Avid for that matter — have been sitting idle. In this issue, we have Reviews of both NLEs, which have been adding to their pro feature sets. FCP 10.0.3, for example, has a new sync audio feature that can help editors easily deal with cameras that don’t record timecode. Give them a read and let us know where you stand on the NLE battlefront?