Apple expected to release new Final Cut Studio near NAB Show

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
While Apple isn't expected to attend this year's National Association of Broadcasters event, sources familiar with the company's plans say it is preparing to release a new version of its Final Cut Studio near the event.



The current 6.0 reference release of Apple's Emmy award winning Final Cut Pro non-linear video editor was released nearly two years ago in April 2007, as part of the company's Final Cut Studio 2 package with Motion 3, Soundtrack Pro 2, DVD Studio Pro 4, Color, and Compressor 3. Apple also markets the software in a prosumer version called Final Cut Express.



Final Cut Pro will be ten years old this year; Apple's first release debuted at NAB in 1999. A year prior, Apple had rescued the project then in development at Macromedia, which had lost interest in finishing Final Cut after shifting its product focus toward web development. The Final Cut project at Macromedia got started in 1995, when video guru Randy Ubillos and his team left Adobe after delivering Premiere; Adobe had also lost interest in pursuing video editing software.



Because the new title uniquely demonstrated the power of QuickTime, Apple grew afraid that Macromedia's lack of interest might result in abandonment of the new application just as Apple was scrambling to get its QuickTime development program back on track after merging with NeXT and plotting a viable new path for itself.



Apple acquired Final Cut from Macromedia in 1998 and hired Ubillos and his development team. In addition to giving Apple a viable new application to sell to video professionals (and presenting them with a reason to buy a Macintosh), the project also served as the technology behind iMovie, kicking off Apple's software efforts to build a suite of attractive, low priced consumer apps later bundled together as iLife.



Ubillos demonstrated the new iMovie 09 on stage at this year's Macworld Expo Keynote, after being introduced as by Phil Schiller, not as Apple's chief architect for video applications or the patron saint of the company's pro software efforts, but with Schiller's line, "I've asked our engineer to show this off, Randy Ubillos."







Years of FCP at NAB



Apple rapidly introduced a regular series of updates to Final Cut Pro, pairing it with DVD Studio Pro authoring software at Macworld Expo 2001 followed by the spring release of Final Cut Pro 2 and the winter 2001 release of Final Cut Pro 3. The next year Apple added Cinema Tools.



At NAB 2003, Apple introduced Finals Cut Pro 4, DVD Studio Pro 2, LiveType video titling software, Soundtrack for cutting audio, and Compressor. At the following year's NAB 2004, Apple released Final Cut Pro HD along with new versions of its companion apps. During NAB 2005, Apple packaged its professional video editing tools together as Final Cut Studio, including the new release of Final Cut Pro 5. A year later, NAB 2007 brought the release Final Cut Studio 2, with Final Cut Pro 6, the new Color for video color grading, and other updated component apps.



Last year however, Apple pulled out of NAB all together, fueling panicked rumors that the company would sell off its Pro Apps and exit the software business. That didn't happen of course; instead, Apple followed up by also announcing plans to pull out of Macworld Expo later that same year, signaling that the only business Apple was leaving was the tradeshow business.



A report by Broadcasting and Cable notes that Apple isn't the only company opting out of NAB, noting that "many broadcast network and station engineers are expected to skip their annual pilgrimage to the National Association of Broadcasters' annual convention this April." Cisco and Quantel were also listed among large exhibitors puling out of the event.



While Apple won't be attending NAB, those familiar with the company's plans say it holds ambitions of debuting a new version of Final Cut Studio, currently late in its development stage, at or around the same time the conference kicks off during the third week of April. Further details weren't provided.



Server, Shake, Logic, and Aperture



In addition to the release of an updated Final Cut Studio package, Apple is also expected to update Final Cut Server, a new video asset management and workflow automation application Apple released a year ago, based on artbox software the company acquired from Proximity.



Apple also has a replacement for its Shake high-end compositing software under development. It acquired that software in 2002 from NothingReal and last released a major update for it in 2006, when the company announced "Apple will no longer be selling maintenance for Shake and no further software updates are planned as we begin work on the next generation of Shake compositing software." Apple was rumored to be working on a new replacement title under the code name Phenomenon, based on Motion code and expected for delivery in 2008, making its belated delivery appearing to be imminent.



Apple's other major Pro App suite, Logic Studio, is also due for an update following its last reference release in September 2007. Logic Studio pairs the Logic Pro 8 digital audio workstation and sequencer software with MainStage for recording live performances, the same Soundtrack Pro 2 and Compressor 3 included with Final Cut Studio, Apple Loops Utility, and a variety of synthesizers, effect units, samples, and loops. Elements of Logic Pro are also sold as a prosumer title in Logic Express, and the software also doubles as the basic technology behind iLife's GarageBand.



Another Pro app due for an update is Aperture, with the last 2.0 reference release delivered last February. Aperture is unique among Apple's headlining Pro Apps in that rather than being based on an acquired title and simplified for inclusion in iLife, it was developed internally at Apple as a professional version of iPhoto. The new version will introduce native 64-bit support, mitigating one of the advantages held by Adobe with its rival Photoshop Lightroom software, which gained 64-bit support late last July.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,255member
    I hope that Logic Studio is synced up with Final Cut Studio in respect to their release schedule.



    I think it makes sense that Apple links their Digital Audio Workstation to their video suite in more profound ways. While Soundtrack Pro is nice for the non audio initiated producers are still having to insert Pro Tools into their workflow.



    Apple certainly needs produce the whole widget here.



    I'm looking forward to a vastly redesigned Final Cut Pro with 64-bit support and improved Color integration.



    Final Cut Studio/Logic Studio etc. Apple's best excuse for splurging for a Mac Pro.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Phenomenon has been a long time coming - I hope 'awesome' is the word.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    I hope that Logic Studio is synced up with Final Cut Studio in respect to their release schedule.



    I think it makes sense that Apple links their Digital Audio Workstation to their video suite in more profound ways. While Soundtrack Pro is nice for the non audio initiated producers are still having to insert Pro Tools into their workflow.



    Apple certainly needs produce the whole widget here.



    I'm looking forward to a vastly redesigned Final Cut Pro with 64-bit support and improved Color integration.



    Final Cut Studio/Logic Studio etc. Apple's best excuse for splurging for a Mac Pro.



    Ha! No surprise to see you here Mr Murchison. There is indeed a great deal of potential upside for integration in this suite of products. I would also expect great things from the compositing side.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post


    Ha! No surprise to see you here Mr Murchison. There is indeed a great deal of potential upside for integration in this suite of products. I would also expect great things from the compositing side.



    Likewise vinney57.



    I'm really really really interested in seeing what Apple has for a Shake replacement. This arena is one area where few people get the scoop early.



    I don't remember anyone scooping ProRes 422 prior to its launch 2 years ago and even today I don't think people realize how vital it is for Apple's video production future.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    I think it is more likely that Final Cut Studio will be the poster child for Snow Leopard - which means a June launch. If Apple want to tease NAB, they'll announce an update to Final Cut Server at the LAFCPUG Supermeet near and during NAB on April 21st.



    Interesting fact: the next Supermeet is happening in London in June. Odd they're having another Supermeet eight weeks after NAB. It is possible they'll be repeating the NAB demos. Or...
  • Reply 6 of 50
    hopefully Logic studio will finally get elastic audio
  • Reply 7 of 50
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    I bet that Apple dropped off the trade show circuit to gain flexibility (and breathing room) for their releases. This has all been hashed out before, but again by not tying themselves to NAB, Apple can announce, or not announce, new products on their own time schedule. Committing to the show locks them into an announcement whether the software is ready or not.



    Apple realizes they get media coverage whenever they need it (trade shows or otherwise). Not many other companies have this luxury. So coinciding with NAB is certainly beneficial, but not vital to Apple's product plans. I'm sure their engineers and managers appreciate the extra breathing room.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alex4d View Post


    I think it is more likely that Final Cut Studio will be the poster child for Snow Leopard - which means a June launch. If Apple want to tease NAB, they'll announce an update to Final Cut Server at the LAFCPUG Supermeet near and during NAB on April 21st.



    Interesting fact: the next Supermeet is happening in London in June. Odd they're having another Supermeet eight weeks after NAB. It is possible they'll be repeating the NAB demos. Or...



    I've never seen Apple launch a Pro app based on a 1x.0 OS. It's a recipe for disaster. They can't take advantage of the new SL features with a near zero userbase. I expect Final Cut Studio to take advantage of matured Leopard features and next year there will be a update that brings support for 10.6.x. Right now many of the video guys just want stuff to work like it's supposed to and they can wait for Snow Leopard goodness.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sc54321 View Post


    hopefully Logic studio will finally get elastic audio



    Out of all of the rumors i've read about Logic Studios next update, elastic audio like features are the one constant. So I believe where theres smoke theres fire and that pitchshifting is going to rapidly improve in Logic.
  • Reply 9 of 50
    I hope the idea of a Logic update soon is true, it is way overdue and hasn't even had more than the bare minimum of bugfix releases (which fixed VERY few of the bugs).



    STP is even worse, I wouldn't consider it reliable enough for pro use for the most part - it totally fails even the most basic functionality on a regular basis.
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Out of all of the rumors i've read about Logic Studios next update, elastic audio like features are the one constant. So I believe where theres smoke theres fire and that pitchshifting is going to rapidly improve in Logic.



    Any links to Logic update rumors? I'd like to get an idea of what may be on the horizon, the wait has been painful for the last year or two.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    Any links to Logic update rumors? I'd like to get an idea of what may be on the horizon, the wait has been painful for the last year or two.



    I'll see if I can find some of them. One guy was lampooned on logicprohelp.com but honestly I read his "insider info" and it sounded very logical. Consider me stunned if Logic Studio's next major update doesn't have vastly improved pitch tools.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    Logicprohelp is a good source for info imo. If they don't fix the pitch tools there's something wrong. It'd be nice if Logic included something along the lines of Melodyne.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,255member
    Any of you guys using Logic mated to Final Cut Pro for production?
  • Reply 14 of 50
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alex4d View Post


    I think it is more likely that Final Cut Studio will be the poster child for Snow Leopard - which means a June launch. If Apple want to tease NAB, they'll announce an update to Final Cut Server at the LAFCPUG Supermeet near and during NAB on April 21st.



    Interesting fact: the next Supermeet is happening in London in June. Odd they're having another Supermeet eight weeks after NAB. It is possible they'll be repeating the NAB demos. Or...



    Is there a trade show in London then? All the Supermeets so far have been during a trade show at the same time in the same city, like at Macworld SF, IBC and NAB.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    I've never seen Apple launch a Pro app based on a 1x.0 OS. It's a recipe for disaster. They can't take advantage of the new SL features with a near zero userbase. I expect Final Cut Studio to take advantage of matured Leopard features and next year there will be a update that brings support for 10.6.x. Right now many of the video guys just want stuff to work like it's supposed to and they can wait for Snow Leopard goodness.



    It would be different, and maybe not likely, but sometimes Apple does change how they do things. I can see that working if they bundle Snow Leopard in the same package. There is precedence for that, they did something like that with the consumer bundle they called the "Mac Box Set". I think Apple has bundled paid plug-ins necessary for Final Cut to operate.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Is there a trade show in London then? All the Supermeets so far have been during a trade show at the same time in the same city, like at Macworld SF, IBC and NAB.



    That is what makes this interesting. There is no video trade show in June in London. In fact, as I live in London, Mr. Horton, LAFCPUG head honcho, asked if I knew any good venues where the meet could happen.



    As he didn't mention a specific date, it might mean that Final Cut Studio 3 won't be announced at the event, it'll just be the first European showing of the product, but you never know.



    I think The Brewery near the Barbican is a good venue...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    I've never seen Apple launch a Pro app based on a 1x.0 OS. It's a recipe for disaster. They can't take advantage of the new SL features with a near zero userbase.



    Unlike some, I don't think Snow Leopard will be a requirement. I think it will unlock multicore and background processing and make other features run better. It makes sense then, for PR reasons to show at WWDC how it makes sense for developers to update their apps to take advantage of SL. That message might be confusing if FCS3 comes out before SL.



    You can bet that pro users will wait for Final Cut 7.0.1 to upgrade, but stay with 10.5.X. They'll probably wait for 10.6.2 to upgrade to SL... Let the hobbyists test new versions of apps and OSes! They have less to lose.
  • Reply 16 of 50
    mrkmrk Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    Any links to Logic update rumors? I'd like to get an idea of what may be on the horizon, the wait has been painful for the last year or two.



    I'd be very interested to know about what Logic rumours there are, if any. The article did seem to suggest that an update was overdue which seems to me more like opinion than anything else.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    stonefreestonefree Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Any of you guys using Logic mated to Final Cut Pro for production?



    I'm working with a couple guys right now trying to do just that. We have FCP and Logic Studio each on their own Mac Pro. FCP is the master with a Blackmagic Decklink providing a Video Out coax sync into a MOTU Timepiece AV. The Timepiece then controls the transport of Logic. There's an M-Audio interface (don't recall the specific model) on the FCP Mac running Final Cut audio via an optical connection to an M-Audio Lightbridge. Still working out a few issues so it's not fully operational yet, but it should be good very soon.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    stonefreestonefree Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrk View Post


    I'd be very interested to know about what Logic rumours there are, if any. The article did seem to suggest that an update was overdue which seems to me more like opinion than anything else.



    Agreed. A year and a half isn't actually that look between releases for Logic. I've been disappointed how they've only managed to do two maintenance updates so far. I currently use Cubase as my primary sequencer, but I'm eying Logic as a replacement.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrk View Post


    I'd be very interested to know about what Logic rumours there are, if any. The article did seem to suggest that an update was overdue which seems to me more like opinion than anything else.



    I think there's credence to the statement.



    Apple announces Logic studio Sept 2007



    On May 20th 2008 they announce the 8.02 update



    Which contains the improvements listed in this tech note .



    So it's been almost a year since the last update and almost 20 months since Logic Studio was released. I think we could be in for a hefty update.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alex4d View Post


    I think it is more likely that Final Cut Studio will be the poster child for Snow Leopard - which means a June launch. If Apple want to tease NAB, they'll announce an update to Final Cut Server at the LAFCPUG Supermeet near and during NAB on April 21st.



    Interesting fact: the next Supermeet is happening in London in June. Odd they're having another Supermeet eight weeks after NAB. It is possible they'll be repeating the NAB demos. Or...



    Just to be clear on our London SuperMeet;



    This is the first time we will hold a SuperMeet not tied to any trade show. It's a bit of a risk for us but we chose June for London just because June seemed like a good month to hold this sort of event.



    What we want to do, assuming we can find the support for it, is to have workshops during the day and SuperMeet at night. A one day event that is affordable for everyone including sponsors.



    The biggest hurdle we have for the london event is finding the right venue at an "affordable" price. Once that happens we move on this show big time. We have lots of folks helping us now and we hope to make a decision on venue in a week or so.



    Also FWIW this FCS3 thing is a rumor folks and just that. Don't speculate on what may happen or be announced at a SuperMeet either just because we got FCP in our name. SuperMeets are more about users and education and networking for ALL digital story tellers, not product announcements. At least we try our best to be that.



    Michael Horton

    lafcpug

    http://www.lafcpug.org

    co-producer of the FCPUG SuperMeets

    http://www.lafcpug.org/nab_2009.html
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