I freelanced on a recent job in San Francisco where it would have been more efficient / faster if I could have captured live via thunderbolt (I was using two BMD ATEM mini records) - used to capture live on large corporate jobs all the time in FCP7. Does anyone else wish we could still do that? Is there any way to request this aside from submitting feedback via the FCPX app (which is one-way >poof< into the ether kinda way to communicate).
Literally, some of the other top techs were asking me, "why are you using FCPX?" I ended up having to Blackmagic Design Media Express in order to first capture the HD-SDI feeds, and then import to FCPX and that workflow adds not only extra step but critical time to the process.
Unless I am missing something in your post, I think you are not aware of the fact that you are perfectly capable of capturing live video via Thunderbolt into FCP X.
If your video output is HD-SDI and you want to capture over Thunderbolt, you just need a box that converts the HD-SDI signal to Thunderbolt. This has nothing to do with the software you use, you would need the same box to capture the video into Premiere, Avid or whatever.
And this is not restricted to single-channel recording. You can also record multiple streams of live HD-SDI video over Thunderbolt directly into FCP X and start editing in multicam while the video is being streamed (growing files):
Here you see 3 remote cameras + live computer video recorded directly into FCP X at the FCP X Tour IBC 2016:
And these are some pictures I took at the Le Mans World series, with multiple live camera feeds from the OB vans being ingested directly into FCP X and edited by 5 FCP X editors over a JellyFish Mobile, while the video is being captured:
I'm also among the users who rely heavily on the couple BM Ultrastudio Mini Recorder / Media Express to ingest a live clean feed.
But in the import window, this"source" does not appear in the left pane.
How do you proceed to get a live feed, once it is fed to the Mac via TB, to show upin FCP X ?
Yes, legacy FCP had and still has the capacity to ingest a live feed, but I never found a direct link from the outside world into FCP X.
Would be great if you could share your workflow step by step.
And yes, I know how Softron works on the Tour de France and for Le Mans. But for the creation of growing files, Softron needs their own software Recorder as a bridge before import/ingest into FCP X.
There is simply no direct FCP X based "passerelle" that I know of that would take care of the incoming SDI > TB signal.
What am I ( are we ) missing ?
Aha, that's what I have misunderstood in the original post. Nope, you cannot import from Thunderbolt hardware just using the FCP X Import window.
If you are using BM or AJA hardware to capture a live feed that you will edit later, you need to capture the feed using their own software and then import the captured file with Leave Files in Place into FCP X. Importing with Leave Files in Place takes 2 seconds, so there is no time lost at all in the process.
If you are using Softron hardware to record growing files you just need to drag the growing clip into the FCP X window while the file is being recorded. That takes 1 second, and you can start editing the clip in FCP X while it grows. This also works for multicam.
As there is no gain being able to import directly from the hardware into the FCP X Import window, I don't think this is a feature that will be on the priority list.
In my opinion, the only benefit of capturing directly from the NLE (instead of using BMD or AJA standalone app) is that you would be able to add markers on the fly during ingest, which none of these apps allow at present. I believe it would be a nice addition to either Blackmagic Media Express or AJA Control Room, as well as FCPXML support (in order to send the logging information to FCP X with the captured clips).
About SOFTRON, I think their M software/hardware bundles are great for complex live productions like the ones you mentioned. But it's also a great solution for smaller productions or events, since their software is compatible with BMD and AJA cards too. So Alex, if you already have a couple BMD Ultrastudio Mini Recorders, you'd only need to buy 2 licenses of
(995€ each) to be able to capture two streams simultaneously, and edit them on the same computer as growing files inside FCP X in multicam mode. Perhaps it's a bit pricey for a single gig, but if you do this quite often I think it's totally worth the investment.