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TOPIC: Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X?

Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 22 Sep 2017 21:45 #90731

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I use X2Pro but I spent some time today exporting Final Cut audio via XML to Logic and was fairly impressed.

I did the test due to features mentioned in last month's Logic Pro X 10.3.2 Release:

"When importing Final Cut Pro XML projects containing multichannel audio files, Logic Pro now reliably maintains channel assignments.
Large Final Cut Pro XML files now load more quickly.
Final Cut Pro X XML files now reliably import with the correct Sub-Role Names.
Logic Pro now creates a Summing Stack for each Parent Role when importing FCPX XML files."

I particularly liked the fact that Logic imports the Parent Roles as three Summing Stacks (Dialogue, Effects and Music), each stack containing the Parent Role's sub-roles. Each sub-role appeared on its own track, at the right place in time and for the right duration. If one is rigorous about sub-roles, the import appears to work rather well. The creation of a Stack is quite elegant, and it is easy to remove the Stack if desired simply by right clicking and selecting "Flatten Stack". Flatten Stack removes the Stack container, but not the audio files. Some people might prefer a Folder Stack, which can be created immediately after the Summing Stack is "flattened". On an organizational and presentation level, I think that the Logic release is actually better than what X2Pro does.

The only glitch was with a couple of two channel Final Cut Sound Effect files where I changed the file from stereo to dual mono in the Inspector and disabled one of the channels. I wanted to see what would happen. For these files, Logic imported both channels anyway, requiring one track to be deleted. Not a big deal, although it would be nice to know if there is a way to exclude disabled channels from the import.

Has the new Logic release dramatically improved this functionality, was I just lucky or did my test fail to uncover significant remaining issues?

P.S. If you aren't familiar with Summing and Folding Stacks, when Logic imports your audio you will see only folders for each Parent Role and what appears to be all your audio for that Role on the adjacent track. This is just a container, and what appears to be your audio is just a graphical representation of how many tracks are in the Stack container and where they are in the timeline. Click on the triangle on the left side of the track header and your actual audio tracks will emerge :)
Last Edit: 22 Sep 2017 22:19 by Rorick.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 22 Sep 2017 22:38 #90732

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I should have mentioned what it means for Logic to create a Summing Stack on import. If you open the Logic Mixer, you will find that you now have Dialogue, Effects and Music stems already set up for you.

If you don’t want this, just trade the Summing Stack for a Folder Stack, which provides the organisational features of a Summing Stack, but without the additional mixing features.

I’m sufficiently impressed that I’ll be using direct Final Cut to Logic audio transfers, and retiring X2Pro, until and if I run into a practical problem.

To me, the organisation, presentation and mixer set-up benefits outweigh the need to delete the occasional disabled track, assuming that on the latter I haven’t missed something that would prevent their import in the first place.

Would love to hear from others who have tried direct Final Cut to Logic transfers since the Logic 10.3.2 release.
Last Edit: 22 Sep 2017 23:20 by Rorick.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 22 Sep 2017 23:23 #90734

Yeah there were some recent changes in either Final Cut or Logic, i forget which. I believe it now imports roles or other certain elements as "Summing Stacks" too, helping to keep things better organised.

I just haven't had the time to experiment with it yet, so I've been keeping an eye out for others who have.

There's other improved importing features too. I just fail too remember what they are now, but they would be listed in the release notes on the Apple website.

I have, however, had Logic crash while looping over a selected region with a video. I think it only happens when its playing back in Cycle and the autosave kicks in. Possibly. I've reported the issue to Apple and they have gotten back in contact with me. I just need to get around to sending them my project.
Last Edit: 22 Sep 2017 23:24 by simon.a.billington.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 22 Sep 2017 23:33 #90735

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simon.a.billington wrote:
Yeah there were some recent changes in either Final Cut or Logic, i forget which. I believe it now imports roles or other certain elements as "Summing Stacks" too, helping to keep things better organized.

The changes are in Logic. In addition to the August changes that I refer to above, if I recall correctly there was a related change in about January.

On the basis of my test today (definitely not exhaustive) I am very impressed.

The problem is that people who don’t know Logic well are likely to conclude that the import doesn’t even recognize sub-roles. They won’t know that that track that says Dialogue contains all the Dialogue sub-roles, and that one has to click on the little triangle in the track header to reveal them.

The automatic creation of Dialogue, Effects and Music stems in the mixer is very slick.

Presentationally and organizationally, this is all a pleasure compared to what one gets out of X2Pro.
Last Edit: 22 Sep 2017 23:55 by Rorick.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 22 Sep 2017 23:47 #90736

I suspected it was Logic.

Although I think I read the previous release notes for FCPX way back, with its updated implementation of the XML Export feature. I'm pretty sure it put some ground work in place and was hoping the Logic dev team would get around to exploiting those.

I actually think that's what ended up happening here for the most part. I remember thinking it all did sound promising indeed. i just haven't had the time to explore it. I'm a composer, mix engineer and sound designer first and only moonlight in video production. Although I am hoping that will change at some point in the near future.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 23 Sep 2017 00:28 #90740

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Simon,
Given your background, it would be great if you could do a couple of test transfers and comment on your results.
Last Edit: 23 Sep 2017 00:28 by Rorick.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 23 Sep 2017 00:57 #90742

Actually, that's not a bad idea. I must try to find some time to do it.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 23 Sep 2017 01:19 #90743

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Simon,

Great.

If it works for a composer, mix engineer, sound designer on audio that is more complicated than what I tested, I would choose a direct Final Cut to Logic transfer every time.

It has clear benefits over transferring via X2Pro. The question is whether there are weird things happening to the audio in the transfer that don’t happen in X2Pro.

I didn’t see any, apart from the import of disabled channels, which is for me a really minor issue.

Would be very interesting to know whether there are other issues, and what they are.

This Logic release may make X2Pro not just unnecessary, but an inferior solution. It is certainly a big step in that direction.
Last Edit: 23 Sep 2017 01:59 by Rorick.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 23 Sep 2017 14:20 #90745

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Funny timing! I was just thinking about this yesterday. I started dabbling with exporting an Fcxml to logic (took me a while to realize I had to use the 1.5 xml instead of 1.6, whoops), and I do like it a lot. Just curious though, with the fcxml export, is there any specific metadata you select before creating the file?
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 23 Sep 2017 15:19 #90746

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This morning, I did a Final Cut to Logic XML transfer of a 1kHz tone with a duration of one frame. Using X2Pro, I have encountered what I assume is bit slip. The clip comes into Logic at the right start time, but is one or two bits short at the end. In other words, the duration is one or two bits short of a full frame.

In this morning's transfer, the tone came into Logic at a perfect one frame. As a practical matter, the loss of one or two bits is insignificant, but it's nice to know, assuming that this turns out to be consistent behaviour, that a direct Final Cut to Logic transfer is that precise.
Last Edit: 23 Sep 2017 17:19 by Rorick.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 24 Sep 2017 15:37 #90760

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simon.a.billington wrote:
I suspected it was Logic.

Although I think I read the previous release notes for FCPX way back, with its updated implementation of the XML Export feature. I'm pretty sure it put some ground work in place and was hoping the Logic dev team would get around to exploiting those.

You're right. The Final Cut team set the groundwork in place last fall with the release of XML 1.6 for FCPX 10.3 and later: developer.apple.com/library/content/docu...on/Introduction.html

Under Audio Components, the release note says: "Added support for audio components identified in terms of their roles."

Looks like the Logic team used this to implement the new Summing Stack system for Final Cut Roles. I really like it, including the fact that it avoids the repetitive verbiage of X2Pro imports. Just Parent Roles for the Stacks, Sub-roles precisely as you name them in Final Cut, and identification as Mono or Stereo. All neatly laid out in the Mixer as Dialogue, Effects and Music Stems with the Tracks inside. Very clean, unless there are hitches that I didn't see in my initial test.

It does require religious use of Roles (as does X2Pro) and an understanding of how Logic Folder and Summing Stacks work and how they can be used. For those who aren't familiar with Logic Stacks, this is a good explanation (see especially from 2:23):

Last Edit: 24 Sep 2017 16:49 by Rorick.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 25 Sep 2017 02:06 #90769

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deweyt44 wrote:
Funny timing! I was just thinking about this yesterday. I started dabbling with exporting an Fcxml to logic (took me a while to realize I had to use the 1.5 xml instead of 1.6, whoops), and I do like it a lot. Just curious though, with the fcxml export, is there any specific metadata you select before creating the file?

Hi Deweyt,

My understanding from last fall's Final Cut XML release (see my post directly above) is that the features that I'm talking about will only work with FCPX 10.3 and above and XML 1.6. However, Logic's August release, implementing these improvements, says nothing about these limitations. I am using FCPX 10.3.4 and I selected XML 1.6 in the XML export box, so I don't know from personal experience what will happen with earlier versions.

In the XML export box, for the Metadata View I used Audio. As far as I know, this is standard practice for a FCPX to Logic transfer via XML. It is also the way that one does a transfer of audio from FCPX to X2Pro to Logic.
Last Edit: 25 Sep 2017 02:41 by Rorick.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 01 Oct 2017 00:50 #90901

Rorick wrote:
This morning, I did a Final Cut to Logic XML transfer of a 1kHz tone with a duration of one frame. Using X2Pro, I have encountered what I assume is bit slip. The clip comes into Logic at the right start time, but is one or two bits short at the end. In other words, the duration is one or two bits short of a full frame.

In this morning's transfer, the tone came into Logic at a perfect one frame. As a practical matter, the loss of one or two bits is insignificant, but it's nice to know, assuming that this turns out to be consistent behaviour, that a direct Final Cut to Logic transfer is that precise.

This is really odd. I wonder why this is the case??
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 01 Oct 2017 00:55 #90902

Rorick wrote:
simon.a.billington wrote:
I suspected it was Logic.

Although I think I read the previous release notes for FCPX way back, with its updated implementation of the XML Export feature. I'm pretty sure it put some ground work in place and was hoping the Logic dev team would get around to exploiting those.

You're right. The Final Cut team set the groundwork in place last fall with the release of XML 1.6 for FCPX 10.3 and later: developer.apple.com/library/content/docu...on/Introduction.html

Under Audio Components, the release note says: "Added support for audio components identified in terms of their roles."

Looks like the Logic team used this to implement the new Summing Stack system for Final Cut Roles. I really like it, including the fact that it avoids the repetitive verbiage of X2Pro imports. Just Parent Roles for the Stacks, Sub-roles precisely as you name them in Final Cut, and identification as Mono or Stereo. All neatly laid out in the Mixer as Dialogue, Effects and Music Stems with the Tracks inside. Very clean, unless there are hitches that I didn't see in my initial test.

It does require religious use of Roles (as does X2Pro) and an understanding of how Logic Folder and Summing Stacks work and how they can be used. For those who aren't familiar with Logic Stacks, this is a good explanation (see especially from 2:23):


Yeah this is pretty much what I read and I imagined this is roughly how I imagine the Logic devs would implement it, well hope really. I kind of saw the sub-roles as being tracks inside the major role summing stack. I'm not sure if this is the axactly how it works, that's just how I imagined it.

Hopefully, I will get time this week to go through it and offer some feedback. I'll keep you posted.
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Improved Reliability of Final Cut Pro X XML Exports to Logic Pro X? 26 Oct 2017 08:15 #91280

Okay back. Sorry it's taken me a while to get around to checking out the latest XML Export into Logic features. But you know how it goes...

- The exporting as Roles helps keeps the tracks organised and neat, easy to navigate, quick to get to work. It's a good step forward

- The clips "appear" to be in the right place, trimmed to the right length, but still connected to the original source, which is great if any further editing is required. This should be expected, but isn't necessarily a given.

- There seems to be some basic Volume Automation, I just can't find where it's pulling it from exactly.

However, that's where the goodness really ends. I don't know whether it's a Logic thing, a Final Cut thing, or both. There is some basic functionality I still feel is missing and way behind where Apple should be with it in this day and age of production software and group related efforts.

What it still seems to be missing...
- Plugin Support
- General Automation (Audio Animation)
- The Full Associated video clip
- Support for Retimed Audio

Even Apple's own plugins aren't supported. So if you are planning on working on the audio within Logic, and possibly another editor, I'd hold off on any processing. Even Noise treatment, especially if you have better tools elsewhere. Which is not hard these days. Logic just wont import effects and FCPX doesn't appear to be rendering them either, which makes working with them in FCPX a futile thing really.

No Support of plugins means no support of it's automation either. Not that you tend to get yourself wrapped up in too much of this during an edit. However, it is often a favourable idea to drop in some "proxy" processing to get rough indication of what the effect should sound like for narrative purposes. Then when it goes in for a proper edit, the sound engineer could "hear" what needs to be done and where. They could then either work to improve the effect or replace it entirely. It is just really an essential tool to have these days

When my clip was getting imported it would grab the very first cut from my project, but thats it. I don't get the entire sequence and I did try messing around a few different ways to get the desired result, it just didn't happen. So exporting the entire clip still needs to happen. In the meantime you can use a separate exported video and drop it in place of the original, the start time should line up and you should be okay. I didn't test this though.

Another surprise is that there is no support for retimed audio. Which, admittedly isn't that common for projects to use, but again it can act as a useful "proxy" for the real effect. Its a bit surprising in the sense that Logic has a very good retiming engine, with much more control. It should support it quite easily, as with all these other basic things. Hell, even Davinci Resolve supports retimed footage!! Feeling a bit left behind here.

I'm not sure what X2Pro is like nowadays, I'm just avoiding spending the cash on principle. Despite what Apple thinks about the FCPX infrastructure of 3rd party support. I do believe they are responsible for a few key things that they have not delivered yet. One of them is the round-trip capability with its own software. Man it's 2017!!

I find it amazing that a company that is so progressive and forward thinking can behind the times in many other ways. Especially since it's been so long since Steve died!!

How I would be opting to work right now...

I'd still take advantage of the XML now, and export the video independently to bring it into the project separately. I'd feel comfortable with some basic editing and volume automation, but I'd stop there, unless I were planning to do the whole thing in FCPX.

I wouldn't bother with effects and I would use my reference movie compare how i should recreate ant retiming in Logic . If there is any vital processing it would be rendered on that reference clip too, so i could just lift it from there, slice and dice the parts i want and integrate it into the rest of the project.

Here's hoping they continue to improve this... and they give us that damn Role Mixer we've been asking for since forever!!
Last Edit: 26 Oct 2017 08:16 by simon.a.billington.
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