Why are roles superior to tracks?

39 replies on “Why are roles superior to tracks?”

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  1. bloody hell! Well done Phil – and Apple!

    Premier/Avid users not so smug now…

    1. “Premier/Avid users not so smug now…”

      LOL… like *that* day will ever come?!? Puh-leeeeeeze. I’ve already seen them yelling “Too little, too late!!” (after a mere *three months*?? LOL! Yeah, whatever…) and the usual Apple hatin’ pundits-on-a-mission, like ol’ Hullfish, still screaming “iMovie Pro!!” at the top of his lungs to steer us poor (non-PRO of course!) lemmings away from our own blatant stupidity and certain X-doom whilst firmly pressing HIS SHIFT KEY WITH EACH MINDLESS RANT… dream on dude. That’s what makes guys like him get up in the morning. 😉

  2. This is a joke right? If I want to use part of one clip as atmos and another as dialogue how do I do that?

    Avid/Premiere users still very happy with their ability to tracklay in a professional manner. FCPx still not fit for purpose.

    Where’s the XML hooks?

    1. The answer to using parts of the same clip is in the help. http://help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/10.0.1/#verb71cbb80
      Just like FCP7 clips in a timeline are independent so can have different metadata.

      The help says:
      You can assign different roles to each instance of a clip. For example, if you add a clip from the Event Browser to the Timeline, copy clips between Events, or copy clips within the Timeline, each of these clip instances (copies) is independent of the others.

    2. Tag them differently, the same way you can tag parts of the same footage with different keywords.

      If the only way you consider exporting audio “Pro” is by the current track metaphor, then FCPX will no doubt remain unprofessional, long after dozens of movies and TV shows have been cut on it.

      If you’re going to come into this discussion thinking the current paradigm is the ONLY and best way there will ever be to do things, then give up now- cause things change. Everything may not work out for the better, but I give Apple credit for at least trying to think about editing differently.

  3. So we can expect another installment of Terrence and Philip soon?

    1. Tony, we have another show already for publication (me being the slowdown with DV Expo prep and delivery) but I’m sure FCP X 10.0.1 will be featured shortly

  4. Roles now also allow us to minimize clip height for groups of clips, which is nice. The only elements we cannot selectively minimize in height are storylines, primary and secondary ones as well. – Not good if you work with music – for example – as a secondary storyline (which you should IMHO). You may label that storyline as “music” but it cannot be minimized in the Timeline Index. I wish they’d make this behavior optional…

    But overall, a good step in the right direction.

  5. You’re a metadata prophet Phil!

  6. Something else I’ve been thinking about. Aside from compositing, what do you really need tracks for? It comes from an old paradigm whereby you had to create stereo masters, d, m and e tracks for distribution. With metadata attached to each clip, it now becomes a one click process to export “stems” that would have taken significantly longer

    1. some of us like to work vertically or to keep an original clip that has been modified under one where an effect has been added. that is the advantage of tracks. I realize the same basic thing can be done with story lines but its not the same. it almost makes sense only if you are finishing the project you started in FCPX without having to go to AE or Resolve. There is a tried and true methodology behind the use and need for tracks.

      1. There’s no ‘tried and true’ method with tracks. Tracks evolved for compositing – totally possible in FCP X without Secondary Storylines – and became metadata “by accident” (or lack of altenative). They are not the only way to get to the same end.

        1. Auditions are a great solution to your modification practice.

    2. Steve,

      unfortunately the thing with “exporting stems” isn’t really practical for audio mixing for example, since FCP X mixes down all audio roles. When you want to do a full blown mix on a sound stage, you still need access to every individual clip…

      1. Agreed. It will work OK for limited applications but it’s not a full on OMF export with discrete element.

        An opportunity for a third party developer no doubt, to give all stems and an OMF with it. Pity we know nothing about OMF or AAF.

  7. I still haven’t been able to download the update. AppStore isn’t giving me an UPDATE option. Anyone else having this issue? Motion upgraded fine.

    1. I had the same issue. Delete FCP X first. Then go to the App Store and look up FCPX (not under updates but under general apps). It should now give you the familiar “install” option underneath the FCP X icon.

      I deleted FCP X with this excellent and free app http://www.digitalrebellion.com/fcsremover/
      Dragging it into the trash might do the same thing. But I don’t know that.

      1. Thanks Markus (and Ben below). I used the FCSremover and reinstalled. Working like a charm.


      2. Hello.
        Could you guys clarify one thing please?
        I used the FCSRemover app and on the app store I now have access to the new updated version with an install button. I assume that the install button means that the app store recognizes my last purchase and is not charging me again. But what I find strange is that on the purchased apps list FCP X is listed as having todays purchase date and not the original date. Is the same happening to you and was anyone charged twice?
        Thank you.

        João Nuno Martins

        1. Yes, but you should not have removed it with FCSRemover as that only works with FCP 7 and earlier.

          1. It worked ok for me, Philip. With no ill effects after the new install.


          2. Not true Philip. FCSRemover has been updated to include FCP X and the latest versions of Compressor and Motion.

  8. Marcus, I spoke to Apple Support today, the Final Cut team, and they admitted there is a known update bug. Move FCP X from your Applications folder to the Trash. “Install” FCP X fresh, you’ll have the new version. It’s a known bug.

  9. Don’t know why my first comment was scrubbed –I’m actually a fan and very much look forward to the Terence and Philip installments. Was hoping that this might prompt a new one.

    1. tony, your comment wasn’t scrubbed but first time posters are on moderation and I posted, then left immediately for DV Expo where I’ve been without Internet all day (and without time being a presenter). As soon as I saw there were comments lines up I asked Greg to approve them on my behalf. Once approved once your future posts will come through directly (like the one I’m replying to).

  10. I’d like to wager on mere rumor. The interconnect of logic pro x that may be on the horizon.

    1. If Logic can directly read those roles we will be propelled into nirvana.

    2. Don’t you think that integration is a GIVEN? Even Apple isn’t stupid and near-sighted enough to not jump at the chance. I’d say we can in fact expect an entirely new and feature studded level of integration even along with the new X XML.

      Then again, I just exported and imported a project and of all things AUDIO levels and keyframes are GONE. Well great…

      But screw Logic… I WANT MY MOTION ROUND-TRIPPING BACK THE WAY IT WAS!! Then you can fiddle with Logic all you want.

  11. I believe that within one year Apple will offer Logic Pro X, Aperture X, Motion X and Final Cut Pro X integration = all these applications will be able to talk with each other and use each other’s resources freely without rendering a la Dynamic Link but improved because of the better DAM of Apple’s products.

    Wishful thinking but this is going to happen sooner or later.

  12. Markus, I didn’t know FCSRemover had been updated, but it seems it removed the receipt as well.

    1. Philip, if you click on the triangle next to FCP X in FCSRemover you have the option of removing the receipts or not.

  13. Cool. I should have expected that from Jon. I think the problem that João ran into was the one many people reported and completely unrelated to the use of FCSremover. Thanks for the clarity Markus

  14. Thanks for this
    Multi language works fine by making a role for each language but there’s no option to make new title roles if i want to select different titles for each language.
    What works is assigning video roles to titles but is this the correct way to do this?
    By assigning a video role to a title the title clip becomes as tall as a video clip.

    1. You can create new parent and child roles so I don’t quite understand what is missing?

  15. To answer my own questions:
    I just found out that making subroles does the trick.
    Also the clip height can be minimized in the Roles Tab of the Timeline Index.

    But how to I delete role?

    1. Delete a role by making sure that it’s not assigned to any clip and then you can delete it.

  16. Your article doesn’t explain at all why Roles are superior to Tracks. Never mind exporting, I use tracks to visually organize my project and it makes selecting similar elements very easy.

    I don’t want to enter metadata for every clip. It’s a waste of time, which could be better spent shotlisting or transcribing.

    This idea that one shot would be an “interview” and another would be “B-Roll” is such a mediocre way to think about editing… but if you did want that, you could colour-code shots in the old FCP style. That, too, would make visually orienting yourself very easy.

    And the exporting via stems seems almost irrelevant to anything. I mean, I’m going to export only the “interview” stem? Why? Or export three stems, one is music, one is interview, and one is b-roll – then a sound person will mix them and hand me the mixed file… AFTER they’ve gone through and chopped it back up into the clips so they can tweak each one appropriately. Why not just let me export the OMF then??!

    Stems make more work for me… and more room for errors. Plus it’s mixed down… what if B-roll overlaps, how does that come out in a stem, mixed together?

    In my FCP 7 timeline, I have a track for each interview, because each needs a specific colour correction and audio tweak. I go back and forth amongst these interviews, so if I want to tweak them, or find all the clips of one person, I can visually find them very easily.

    Some are subtitled in english (all on a certain track) and others are chinese subtitles (on another track). I can quickly find things by eye on the timeline, and select them all with a single click.

    If I had to go through and add metadata for each of these clips – dozens and dozens of subtitles! It would have been a nightmare.

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