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The road to Premiere

This week I have been re-acquainting myself with Adobe Premiere.

For a long while I’ve edited video on Final Cut Pro and then more recently, Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). And whilst Premiere did appear (fleetingly) at some point in my past, it’s been a while since we clinked glasses.

The reason for the change is that over the past few months I have grown increasingly frustrated with the intermittent interface lag that seems to creep into every install of FCPX I have used.

I cut video faster in FCPX than in any other editing program I’ve used to date, and I’ve grown to love its new take on NLE. But after a few projects, a general malaise creeps into pretty much every aspect of the FCPX interface.  Everything from browsing media to opening up the investigator yields spinning beach balls. At its worst, moving clips on the timeline can result in a 1-2 second delay with every shift.

That may not sound like much, but editing relies on having the flexibility to quickly experiment with different media placements. Even small delays add up over an editing session, making trying new things a chore.

This may not happen for everyone, but my experience has been that FCPX slows down overtime, and no amount of dumping cache, removing plugins or clean installs will bring it back to its day one state. Having battled through FCPX lag on three separate computers over the past few years, I do feel that there is an underlying issue with the FCPX interface which just hasn’t been addressed by Apple yet.

I’ve used Avid and I’ve now used Premiere, and I just don’t accept that a 12-core Mac Pro is essential for cutting HD short form content.

So it’s onto Premiere for a while. As an editor it’s good to stay fresh and multi-platform anyway, so I’m seeing this as more of a polygamous NLE relationship rather than a cold turkey switch.

That’s a long way of getting to my point, which is to say the hardest part of switching software providers is that keyboard shortcuts are almost never universal. Luckily, I found this great post by editor Derek Lieu with a nice handy overview of the best editing shortcuts across FCPX, Pro, Avid and Premiere.

Below are a few of my ‘go to’ favourites.

Ripple Trim to Playhead (Previous Edit to Playhead ‘Q’, Next Edit to Playhead ‘W’)

Extend Edit (Next Edit to Playhead ‘Shift-W’, Extend Previous Edit to Playhead ‘Shift-Q’)

Swap clips  (Cmd-Opt and drag the clip)

Paste Insert (Shift-Cmd-V)

  • Glenn Wilson

    Thanks for this Mark!

    I’m currently learning Premiere Pro (after cutting my teeth on the basic Premiere Elements version) and have to say am loving it’s ease of use and flexibility. I can’t compare it to FCP (X or otherwise) as my use of those editing tools has been very brief in the past (and I must say frustrating) but as a newbie to PP I’m loving it, especially its integration to the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop and After Effects in particular).

    For the record, I’m running this on an MSI laptop Workbook model that’s optimised for video editing so have not had any experience of lag whatsoever but I haven’t been dealing with any extremely large video (or 4K video) files as yet.

    Thanks for the shortcut tips and I hope it ultimately proves as positive an experience for you as an alternative to FCPX.


    p.s. Loving your video work mate.

    • Mark

      Cheers Glen, glad your liking it. Yeah I’m editing 4K footage at the moment on Premiere and (so far) it hasn’t skipped a beat. Happy days! Hope all is well with you.