3 NLEs in 3 Months #5: John Adobe and his Freddie Mercury Playback Engine

Sian Fever by

An FCP7 user attempts to learn All The Software in an unrealistic timeframe. For fun.

As covered in my last blog post, I’ve been getting to grips with Premiere Pro for the last few weeks. Whilst everything feels a bit alien, it’s pretty intuitive and I’ve been impressed so far.

Along the way though, I’ve collected a few questions and I’ve dutifully dug up the answers in the name of education and shared them below. You’re welcome.

And check out the video above by the Conan editors. It still tickles me. Bravo.

What is the (Freddie) Mercury Playback Engine?

A: Marketing talk. It has nothing to do with Queen, liquid metal at room temperature or trains. Sadly.

The MPE describes a set of loosely clustered features that makes the software really fast. Add a certain graphics card, and it will be even faster. “But what are these features, pray tell?” I hear you cry…

  • 64-bit Application: Premiere Pro can access all the RAM (Random Access Memory) on your computer.
  • Multithreaded Application: Premiere Pro will use all the CPU (Central Processing Unit) cores in your computer.
  • CUDA and Open CL support: Premiere Pro can delegate the processing of certain elements to the GPU (Graphics Processor Unit).

Why can you not choose a codec in the sequence setting?

Q: Sequences can be defined by several different properties, but not by a codec. Why?

A: Premiere Pro is codec-independent, meaning you just need to make sure your sequence is the same frame size, field type and frame rate as the majority of your footage, and Premiere Pro will sort out the rest.

Something to be aware of:

FCP7 uses it's render files when encoding an export. When working in FCP7, I have two main choices on how I set up my sequence settings if my source footage properties and output settings don't match:

1. I can match my sequence settings, including codec, to my footage for minimal rendering during the day, but a longer export time. read more....

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