Migrating from Final Cut Pro to Media Composer (& Symphony)

Q. I recently bought an FCP to Media Composer 6 crossgrade and a FCP to Symphony 6 crossgrade. What do I need to know about the editing applications to get up to speed quickly?

A. This whitepaper, located at the bottom of this page is designed to assist users with understanding the basics in migrating from Final Cut Pro to Media Composer or Symphony, and how to successfully navigate the transition.

The editorial community has undergone a profound transition with the recent introduction of Apple Final Cut Pro X, causing many to re-evaluate their professional video editing tool. Final Cut Pro 7 editors looking to migrate to a solution that provides similar workflows and professional editing features will find Avid® Media Composer® 6 / Symphony 6 a familiar and powerful application.

This guide is designed to assist you with understanding the basics in migrating from Final Cut Pro to Media Composer (& Symphony), and how to successfully navigate the transition.

Choose your hardware

One of the financial challenges during a migration is to maintain your investment in both computer hardware and video interfaces. Final Cut Pro users have a number of options when choosing video interfaces, including products from AJA, Blackmagic Design, Matrox, and MOTU. Various configurations include baseband SDI inputs and outputs, HDMI connectivity, AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital audio inputs and outputs, as well as analog composite and component connections. Beginning with Media Composer 6, Avid has created a software development kit (SDK) that enables developers to create connections between their hardware and Avid software. This technology, known as Avid Open I/O, enables you to use many of the same interfaces that you may already have implemented in your Final Cut Pro system with Media Composer.

Media Composer 6 is also platform agnostic, with support for both the latest Mac OS X (Lion) and Windows (Windows 7) operating systems. Although Final Cut Pro 7 is a 32-bit application, the last available version (7.03) is compatible with Mac OS X Lion. That means if you’re currently using Mac OS X Lion and Final Cut Pro 7, no additional OS upgrade is required to migrate to Media Composer.

Media Composer also has complete parity with its PC version, meaning the application is identical in feature set and operation on both platforms. This provides you with complete platform portability when moving projects between a Mac and PC.

Managing your media

One of the strengths of Media Composer has always been its robust media management database. Its ability to keep track of all of your media and easily delete unused media and effects, as well as consolidate media, has been a major feature benefit. Baseband captures and imported files are managed by the Avid storage file structure using Avid tools. The files also contain additional metadata embedded in the file such as information about the project, source, and media format.

When working with Avid managed media, files are wrapped in MXF containers and stored at the root level of the hard drive in an Avid MediaFiles folder. This allows the system to track additional metadata along with the essence of the file. The actual media is usually encoded to a number of different native Avid formats, including DNxHD (at various data rates), uncompressed, DV25, DV50, 15:1s, 2:1, and many other format choices.

Download the full .pdf from the Avid Knowledge Base: MigratingFinalCutPro.pdf

Note: Althought the Avid Symphony 6 Crossgrade Promotion has expired, Videoguys still has a limited supply of crossgrades in stock. Order now, while supplies last!
Avid Symphony 6 Crossgrade from Apple Final Cut Pro $995.00 Avid Symphony 6 Upgrade for Avid Editors $995.00

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