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Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X Apple Silicon Experience anyone?

  • Apple Silicon Experience anyone?

  • Mark Smith

    November 25, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    I’m curious if anyone here has taken the plunge with a Mac min with M1 chip. I’d like to replace an aging iMac with a Mac mini M! for FCP work.I won’t be doing any massive lifting in the edit, just 4K , 1080, some photo work and the like. There are a bunch of videos on you tube raving about the M1 Macs and I would like to get another opinion from seaside editors here on the forum

  • Joe Marler

    November 25, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    I don’t have an Apple Silicon Mac but there’s a key FCPX issue that no reviewer has discussed.

    To my knowledge there is currently no Apple Silicon support for 3rd-party FCPX plugins developed with Apple’s FxPlug 3 framework. That generally means all higher-end plugins like Neat Video, Digital Anarchy Flicker Free, Imagenomic Portraiture, Color Finale, and probably most of the plugins from CoreMelt and MotionVFX. It’s possible a template-style plugin based on Motion might work.

    This is because Rosetta2 cannot emulate x86 code which is loaded within the address space of an Apple Silicon app, and the above plugins are in that category. It should be relatively straightforward for plugin developers to port their code to Apple Silicon, but until that is done those will be unavailable.

    The Apple Silicon plug-in compatibility issue not limited to FCPX. In-process plugins or extensions for *any* MacOS app will not work on Apple Silicon until the 3rd-party developers port those extensions to Apple Silicon. The core x86 app will run under Rosetta2 and if they port the app itself to Apple Silicon, that will work, but the possibly diverse collection of plugins and extensions (if in process) will not be available until ported. In my case I use Neat Video almost every day so I can’t even entertain moving to Apple Silicon Macs until that plugin is ported (and fully functional) on Apple Silicon. I also have various other expensive plugins which I would have to write off, not use or wait for the port. I don’t recollect any guidance or strategy from Apple on this issue.

    The technical details were discussed in the 2020 WWDC talk “Port your Mac app to Apple silicon”, which explained why in-process x86 plugins would not work in Rosetta2: https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2020/10214/

    Some preliminary reviews indicate Apple Silicon Macs are much faster at decoding “difficult” compressed codecs, esp. 4k 10-bit 4:2:2 H264 and HEVC. For anybody forced to transcode to proxy or optimized media, avoiding that would be a major improvement. However until the plugin issue is resolved, the question is whether your workflow can function with no FCPX plugins, or at least none of the sophisticated ones developed with FxPlug 3.

  • Mark Smith

    November 26, 2020 at 1:15 am

    Currently I am not using much in the way of plug ins for fcp I do have some coremelt plug ins which are used infrequently . I also have color finale, again lightly used . In my case an M1 Mac mini might not be a bad choice . Assuming that the plug ins will come along at some point the M1 mini might not be a bad choice for me .

  • Patrick Donegan

    November 27, 2020 at 5:45 am

    Is that the same with audio plugins like AudioUnits?

  • Joe Marler

    November 27, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    AudioUnit plugins may run either out-of-process or in-process. It is conceivable the out-of-process plugins might work under Apple Silicon using Rosetta2 emulation, but I don’t know. You’d have to contact the developer or vendor to get details of how each plugin is classified.

    https://developer.apple.com/documentation/audiotoolbox/audio_unit_v3_plug-ins/incorporating_audio_effects_and_instruments

  • Joe Marler

    November 27, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Re AU plugins on Apple Silicon, supposedly most will work: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT211907

    MotionVFX already has a bunch of native Apple Silicon plugins ready. Several other big plugin developers say theirs will be ready late this year or early next year. It appears they are working on these aggressively. However no word so far about Neat Video: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT211941

  • John Hoare

    November 28, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Good point @Mark Smith. BEWARE! I’ve just downloaded 10.5 (optimised for Silicon), and none of my 3rd party plugins work with that. Before installing I renamed my old 10.4 FCPX, so I have two versions in my Apps folder and can still edit in the old style if necessary.

    BEWARE2: You also can’t use old Libraries with the new 10.5. It invites you to convert when you try and load a library into 10.5, but a converted library won’t then open in earlier versions!

    Backups!

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