SET UP FOR FINAL CUT PRO 4
by Stacey Jenkins
You've skimmed the Final Cut Pro manual, seen more than one Final Cut Pro 4 tutorial at your local Apple shop and have had some training with non-linear editing. You feel you're ready to enter the exciting world of Final Cut Pro 4 but just don't know if your office is? Let's take a look at some of the training, computer and equipment requirements you'll need to get set up with Final Cut Pro 4.
If you're new to the world of Final Cut Pro, the first thing to consider is your experience level with non-linear editing. If you've had training on other non-linear editing software programs and know your way around a Macintosh computer, you probably won't experience the high learning curve that those without any experience or training will encounter. That said, it's always beneficial to have aids, such as a Final Cut Pro class or two that are offered in your area, a Final Cut Pro 4 training or instructional video and alternative Final Cut Pro manual.
If you already have Final Cut Pro 3 and are ready to upgrade to Final Cut Pro 4, you'll feel right at home with the program and love the additional software that comes bundled with the package. Final Cut Pro tutorial material comes with both versions and taking advantage of the tutorial material will greatly improve your Final Cut Pro training. The minimum system requirements your Mac needs to install Final Cut Pro 4 as an upgrade or on its own are as follows:
Final Cut Pro 4 needs a large amount if disk space to install its software, not to mention the amount of space simply needed to edit and store video. It's always a good idea to purchase additional disk space and keep your hard drives separate; one for your computer's hard drive application programs and the other exclusively for capturing and storing media files. Separate drives provide a lower chance of fragmentation and usually perform faster than your computer's internal disk drive. In most cases you can add both internal and external disk drives to your computer. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Internal drives are usually less expensive and noisy because they're inside your computer, but they may also cause heat buildup and have limited expansion capabilities. External drives are more convenient and let you move your projects from one computer to another in a different location, but they are also more expensive.
Your main source of video editing equipment besides your computer will be your video camcorder. Your camcorder needs a DV input device to connect to the Firewire port on your computer. This will allow Final Cut Pro 4 to use your camera to upload video onto its program. A 4 to 6 pin Firewire cable is also needed to make the connection. You may also want to consider additional video equipment, depending on your budget and workflow. Final Cut Pro in general, and especially Final Cut Pro 4, is designed to be seen on two computer monitors simultaneously. It gives you a larger workspace and allows a better view of the work windows that make up the program. An NTSC broadcast video monitor that connects to your video camcorder lets you to see your video in broadcast format. External speakers and headphones provide better audio monitoring, and a Sign Video Proc Amp lets you adjust and set perfect video black level before inputting them into Final Cut Pro 4.
Once your office and computer are ready and set up, it's time to unleash the power of Final Cut Pro 4. Happy Video Editing!