Top 4 FCP X Training YouTube Channels


With the release of Final Cut Pro X, the industry was shaken up and also put people in a compromising position: either embrace the new editing paradigm, or go to the other A-list NLEs. Three years later, a large group of professionals have embraced the editing software and have gone out of their way to help others understand it as well as they do. From the many discussions I have had with editors seeking training, many have said that YouTube should be the last place to look for professional training when you want to learn a new software. There is a lot of bad information out there, and if people don’t research properly, they may end up learning a technique or two that actually does more harm than help. However, there are certified and working professionals who offer high quality training on YouTube… if you look hard enough. In my search, I’ve come across a handful of individuals on YouTube who offer Final Cut Pro X training that have allowed me to look at it in a brand new light. I will provide you with a list of four channels that provide excellent FCP X training.

MacBreak Studio

This channel hosts weekly videos exploring how to get the best of Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5. Hosted by Ripple Training founders, Mark Spencer and Steve Martin, you will receive a wealth of knowledge that you can use right away on your projects. In my personal opinion, this show is what Videocopilot is to the After Effects community, but aimed at the FCP/Motion community. Many of their videos show you how to work faster and efficiently in FCP X by taking advantage of what is under the hood. They also feature intricate Motion tutorials to showcase how capable the program is when compared to other motion graphics applications. Below is an example of how FCP X users can master the Range selection tool.

I highly recommend you subscribe to this channel if you want to get more out of Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro X. You won’t regret it.


Run by Master trainer John Lynn, GeniusDV provides training for not only Final Cut Pro X, but Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro. What I like about this channel is that Jon runs through the basics of using Final Cut Pro X in a quick fashion that leaves me with more information than I originally had. The pacing and tonality in his voice allows you to learn how to use a function of Final Cut Pro X in minutes. In this video example, he shows you how to take two video clips and create an interesting face off composite.

Overall, I believe his channel is great if you need fast and efficient training on learning the basics of FCP X.

Dan Allen Films

Hosted by award winning UK filmmaker, Dan Allen, this channel provides tutorials on Final Cut Pro X from an independent filmmaking perspective. Many of his tutorials explain the ins and outs of Final Cut and Motion, but he also provides methods for getting your edits out of Final Cut Pro to send to other applications such as After Effects. Aside from workflow tutorials, Dan has done reviews on third party applications and plugins for FCP X such as those from Noise Industries and more. In this tutorial below, Dan explains how to replace clips you would send out for VFX back into FCP X.

Although Dan is young, he is a very wise and experienced filmmaker who shouldn’t be overlooked. He has a strong following with over 25,000 subscribers. Hitting the subscribe button on his page will pay off in the long run.

Web Video Chefs

Hosted by industry veterans Amani Chanel and Chip Dazard, Web Video Chefs is a strong source for editors to turn to, not only for Final Cut Pro X, but for mobile video and other video related items. On this channel, you can learn how to import various types of media into FCP X, edit mobile phone video with FCP X, and much more. I’ve picked up valuable FCP X shortcuts and tips by watching Chip and Amani’s tutorials, and I didn’t hesitate to hit the subscribe button once I saw more. The best part about Web Video Chefs is that Chip is a certified FCP X trainer, and Amani is a multi-year veteran in photojournalism and producing, so you know you will get the best tips available. In this video tutorial below, Chip shows us how to import Sony XDCam media into FCP X.

Those are four of the strongest YouTube channels to learn FCP X. Of course, there are more out there, but these channels demonstrate that you can find quality, professional training on YouTube if you know who to look for. All these channels are just a subscription away. I’m the NLE Ninja with AudioMicro asking you to stay creative.

Android to Outpace iPhone?

A recent Piper Jaffray report is sure to add fuel to the Google/Apple rivalry fire: the major investment banking firm predicts that Google’s relatively new Android platform will begin to dominate the market and leave the iPhone “in the dust,” according to ComputerWorld. What is the reasoning behind Piper Jaffray’s speculation?

Apple is famously proprietary, and their control over the iPhone is typical of their approach to business.  Apple’s sole carrier for the iPhone is AT&T.  While Verizon will be issuing an iPhone early in 2011, AT&T has been the consumers’ only choice since the inception of the smartphone.  Google, on the other hand, works with a variety of carriers to offer phone users the Android platform.  This flexibility is largely responsible for the growth that Piper Jaffray predicts.  From the report:

“We estimate Google will control 14.9 percent of the smartphone market through Android in 2010, growing to 23.2 percent in 2012. For Apple, we expect the iPhone [to control] 15.9 percent of the smartphone market in 2010, growing to 17.6 percent in 2012…Ultimately, we believe Android is likely to control over half of the smartphone market in the next five years. Apple’s essentially two phone focus (low price 3GS and higher price 4) will likely limit how much of the market Apple can control and we believe ultimately Apple’s smartphone market share tops out between 20-30%.”

How does Android gain 50 percent of the market share?  Piper Jaffray analysts expect that RIM and Nokia to stop trying to sell proprietary software and instead use the Android platform.

iPhone customers remain the best targets for Apple: 77 percent of the people who bought the iPhone 4 were already iPhone users.  Even if Android does take over half of the market, analysts say there is still “significant room for growth” for Apple.

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Back to School Apps

It’s time to head back to school.  In the old days, that would have meant buying some notebooks, a few pencils, and maybe some highlighters if you were lucky.  Today, it means apps.  There are apps for students learning to add 2+2 or to graph complex equations.  Are any of these useful?  Let’s take a look.

If you are headed to college, don’t forget about books.  This will cost you, easily, a few hundred dollars per semester, and more if you have a major that requires fancy, up-to-date textbooks.  An app from allows you to comparison shop for textbooks, DVDs, games, and other school supplies.  If you find something you need, you can buy it right from your iPhone.  Don’t pay full price for your school books.  Best of all, this app is free and available from the Apple store.

iApps for Students is having a sale for back-to-school.  It’s great for students and teachers, and anyone who finds themselves in need of a good Japanese-English dictionary or a Mac web design tool.  There are a variety of great apps for iPhone,  iPad, and Mac.  Some of these apps, like the $300 myArtist app for iPhones, are quite pricy, so the sale is a great time to buy if you’ve been needing apps for work or school.

Other good ones include Cliffs Notes on the Go, Spanish Tutor, QuickReader, Cute Math, Grockit SAT Flash Cards, and applications for graphic calculators, dictionaries, and much more.  Check out the app store before you go back to school – you may find that you can skip the actual store (like your college bookstore or to buy a pricy graphing calculator) if you try an app.

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iPhone vs. Android: Who Gets More Action?

Google and Apple are both giants in the technology field, both enormously successful, and both committed to outdoing the other.  Google jumped into the smartphone fray, and there is speculation that Apple may delve ever so gently into the search domain.  Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks that Apple will build a mobile search app.  Search expert John Battelle agrees, saying, “Apple will do search.  It won’t be search as we understand it on the Web, but it’ll be search for AppWorld, and if done right, it will be extremely profitable.”  But a new study puts Apple ahead of the competition in one key aspect.

A very serious, scientific, and unimpeachable study found that when it came to sex, iPhone users have more sexual partners than those with BlackBerries or Androids.  Really, the “study” was conducted by dating site OKCupid’s blog OKTrends and was, according to CBS News, “decidedly unscientific.”  Even so, that didn’t stop them, or a number of other sources, from having fun with the results.

According to the survey, male iPhone users had an average of 10 sexual partners.  Those with BlackBerries had 8.1, and those loser Android users had an average of 6.  Female iPhone users do even better with an average of 12.3 partners.  Blackberry owners averaged 8.8, and Android users 6.1.

How did OKTrends come to these conclusions?  First, they analyzed the impact of profile pictures in their post, “Don’t Be Ugly By Accident!”  Certain cameras made profile pictures more attractive – if you’re wondering, the PanasonicMicro 4/3s was tops. If you have the Sony Ericsson Phone, though, you may as well give up.  Different uses of flash, time of day, and other factors make a difference in how other people perceive the attractiveness of the subject.  With this information, they “crossed all kinds of user behaviors with the camera models and found we had data on the number of sexual partners for 9,785 people with smart phones. We dropped what we found into Excel, and voila.”

So, clearly the lesson here is that you don’t have to accidentally be ugly and ruin your chances at finding multiple partners?  You too can be as good as an iPhone user?  The post garnered scores of comments, including this one:

“I know this ‘study’ is trying to be entertaining and controversial, and indeed it is interesting. This may be too much to expect from a blog, but I hope your next ‘study’ will attempt to be more logical in distinguishing correlation from causation! It really is alarming that some people seem to have believed your claims.”

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Government’s OK with Jailbreaking

Apple is famous – or infamous – for being incredibly proprietary, and the practice of jealously guarding not only trade secrets but disallowing customers from switching carriers spills over onto other smartphone manufacturers as well.  Recently, the Copyright Office announced their decision that jailbreaking is now legal.  While Apple vehemently disagrees, it is now legal to unlock your iPhone or other smartphone in order to run unsupported apps and/or switch networks.

According to some estimates, more than 1 million iPhone users have jailbroken their phones – a practice which will void your Apple warranty even while unlocking the phone is technically legal now.  Apple argued that allowing their phones to be unlocked infringed on their copyright.  The Copyright Office disagreed.  As part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, reviewed emergent technologies – like smartphones – to determine if the law might allow access to copyright material.  The consensus of the government was that jailbreaking is “innocuous at worst and beneficial at best.”

Apple responded, saying, “Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience…the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.”  They claim that jailbroken phones are vulnerable to malicious attacks that Apple’s strict rules generally protect the phones against, and again, Apple doesn’t have to like the ruling.  They can still void your warranty if your phone is jailbroken.

In a related ruling, the FCC found that educators, students, and documentary filmmakers are allowed to break copy protection measures on DVDs when they are used in the classroom or for other “noncommercial” uses.

iPhone Fix and Apple Earnings

Apple’s revolutionary, groundbreaking iPhone 4G has been making headlines since well before its official launch.  Many of the current headlines have to do with the new, slimmed down design which features an external antenna.  When users put their hands over the antenna, reception worsens and dropped calls ensue.  Apple has issued a quick fix in the form of their bumpers, which will be issued to 4G users.  Fortunately, though, a pair of developers is turning this problem to their advantage.

While you’re waiting for your Apple bumper, you could purchase – for a mere $5 – a set of Antennaids.  These bandage-inspired stickers simply stick over the offending antenna spot, providing, as one headline proclaimed, a “Band-Aid for Apple’s boo-boo.”  You can get a six pack in a variety of colors on the developer’s Etsy site.

Apple, too, is managing to rake in the money, even with all of the adverse publicity.  The Cupertino company released their third quarter earnings and figures indicate that the year’s total revenue equaled some $15.7 billion, of which $3.25 is profit.  This is up from a profit of $1.83 billion last year.  Steve Jobs said, “It was a phenomenal quarter that exceeded our expectations all around, including the most successful product launch in Apple’s history with iPhone 4.”

And successful it was: in less than a month, Apple has sold over 3 million 4Gs, and order processing times run about 3 weeks.  Despite the signal problems, people are still lining up around the block – even if it’s the figurative block – to buy the 4G.

Did Jobs Ignore Engineer’s Concerns over iPhone 4G?

In the rush to unveil the next greatest smartphone ever, did Apple neglect to ensure that the phone was ready for public consumption?  Or was Steve Jobs depending on Apple users legendary brand loyalty and the enormous appeal of a new iPhone to gloss over any problems that may arise?  Business publication Bloomberg is reporting that an engineer’s concerns about the new antenna design went unheeded.

Perhaps the most pervasive problem about the iPhone’s older versions is that calls were dropped frequently in urban centers like New York City and San Francisco.  Apple reinvented their antenna to attack the problem and made it external to the phone unit itself.  But this cutting edge design showed its flaws soon after the product release.  When users held their hands over the antenna – which is placed exactly where you’d naturally put your hand – it cut out the signal.  Ruben Caballero, Apple’s senior antenna expert, told Jobs last year that the new antenna design would likely lead to more dropped calls.

Some familiar with the situation – who doesn’t want to be named because he doesn’t want to incur the wrath of Steve Jobs and the Cupertino Beast – said that Caballero made his concerns known in early planning meetings when Jobs and other executives showed a preference to the bezel antenna design, which helped produce a lighter, sleek phone body.  Tests with one of Apple’s phone carriers also pointed to problems with the design.  The well-regarded Consumer Reports isn’t recommending the iPhone 4G, saying instead buyers should opt for the previous 3 generations.

Consumer Reports also tested other phones, saying, “None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4.  The tests also indicate that AT&T’s network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4’s much reported signal woes.”

The problem isn’t so much the dropped calls – though those are often pointed to by Apple competitors like Google – it is the fact that Apple seems to have known about them and decided to issue the phone anyway.

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A Look at the 4G

The love affair with Apple continues: luckily, the mammoth tech company was able to impress with the new 4G even after the incredibly pervasive hype and unprecedented leaks.  To those who thought that the 3G would remain the superior smartphone, PC World says that “The Apple iPhone 4 is everything that a new piece of technology should be: It’s innovative, attractive, and ahead of its competition. In comparison, previous iPhone upgrades seem inconsequential–that’s how much iPhone 4 brings to the table.”  So what does it bring?

Among the most discussed changes are the sleek, slimmer design, crisp display, much improved camera, computer-like functioning, and the option for iBooks.  The phone is said to be a great upgrade even for those with the 3GS.  Let’s look at some of the features:

  • The aesthetic appeal of the new iPhone is undeniable.  It is shiny and chic, with a more slim, incredibly sleek design.  The contours are more rounded, and little touches, like the finger-print and scratch-resistant glass face and back plates, and the individual volume buttons, up the luxury quotient.  Cosmetic upgrades may seem minor but there tends to be a social cache attached to Apple products, and looks do mean a lot to users.
  • The display is crisp 960 x 640 pixel IPS and 326 pixels per inch, for incredibly clear images.  This is the best resolution on a phone to date.
  • With the great display, iBooks is even more of a great feature.  You can transfer your books between different devices, and create notes, bookmarks, and highlights.  iBooks also supports PDF files, so you can import them from Safari or email.  You can also synch these PDFs with other Apple devices.
  • The iPads A4 CPU also powers the new iPhone and allows for features like multitasking.  It is a faster and more seamless experience for users.

While the reaction has been typically positive, DVICE, did have this to say about the new iPhone:


That giant yawn you hear is geek reaction to the new fourth-generation Apple iPhone. Why the nerd nonchalance? Because for the first time since the iPhone blew our brains out in June 2007, there’s already is a more advanced (and cheaper) phone available — the $200 HTC Sprint EVO 4G.


Is the iPhone too late?  It is supposedly coming next month, so we’ll see.

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Do You Need to Go to Wal-Mart?

Whether you love Wal-Mart or you view it as the worst of American capitalism, there is no denying that sometimes the deals are unbelievable.  The biggest of big box stores announced yesterday that they are cutting the price of the iPhone 3GS to $97.  That is 16 gigs of Apple ingenuity for under $100.  Wal-Mart says the $100 price reduction is part of an “aggressive” effort to discount prices for consumers, but many also see it as an inventory clearing before the 4G is launched.  Either way, is this a good time for Apple lovers to go to Wal-Mart?

You may want to hold off.  The 4G is expected to be released by June 7, and while it lost its air of mystery, many are still eagerly awaiting the new iteration.  For those Apple fans who want the newest and best, the 3GS won’t be it – or at least it won’t be the newest.  There are some who believe it will still be the best, but the 3GS will become the entry-level iPhone.  Another reason you may want to skip the trip to Wal-Mart – the phone costs just $97.  Plus tax in many states.  Plus a two-year AT&T contract.  Plus apps (they’re not mandatory, but hey, why not?).  According to Daily Tech:

“[T]he $100 price cut really means little in the grand scheme of things considering that the phone is going to cost you at least $1,680 over the course of a two-year contract in service fees alone.”


Who is this a good deal for?  If you’ve been eyeing an iPhone but haven’t wanted to pay $200+, it could be that you’re right for the “entry level” phone.  If you planned on buying a 4G, you may want to consider spending less and getting what many experts call the best smartphone ever.

Steve Jobs is set to give a speech at Apple’s annual world wide developers conference (WWDC), where it is widely believed he’ll finally announce the launch of the 4G.  It is also believed that Steve Jobs will tackle Google, Apple’s new arch enemy.  When asked if he would address “jabs taken by Google” at their own developer’s conference, Jobs said, “You won’t be disappointed.”  Hopefully consumers won’t be disappointed either.

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iPhone Cool as Ever Even as Other Smartphones Gain Ground

The iPhone is undoubtedly the smartphone against which all others are measured.  Despite the aura of mystery around the new 4G iPhone (which is what caused such a debacle last month), the new edition is making the news again.  Digi Times is reporting that Apple has ordered 24 million 4G iPhones from its Chinese manufacturer for market this year alone.  These numbers have been called “aggressive, but not unreasonable.” How is the iPhone doing against the new crop of exciting – and feature-packed – smartphones?

According to the LA Times, the iPhone’s “cool factor proves stronger than the lure of rival phones’ features.”  In short, the iPhone is not the best, but it’s the best.  People are enamored of the iPhone’s allure, its looks, its prestige.  Despite the fact that the iPhone lacks coverage in major cities like San Francisco and New York and its camera could be sharper, devotees prefer their Apples.  The company enjoys enormous customer loyalty, and it is this that is driving terrific sales even as phones like the Incredible are coming out with, in many cases, superior features.

That being said, Android is also gaining ground, despite having a fraction of the apps (38,000 compared to 200,000).  The platform is becoming more popular with developers and with consumers.  Chris Moore, partner with venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures, says, “I am quite impressed by the traction the Android ecosystem is getting…I want to say that on the current trajectory, they (Android) will pass the iPhone platform, or at least reach parity by the end of this year or middle of next year.”

While Apple’s iPhone sales are stronger worldwide by some 3 million units, Android phones have surpassed iPhone sales in the US.  Sales of smartphones overall have increased by almost fifty percent since 2006, and hordes of companies are scrambling to be the top choice.

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