FCP to Premiere Pro CS5 – basic editing differences

Im general I’m really enjoying Premiere Pro at the moment, working with DSLR footage is a breeze and I really like the workflow, but there’s a few fundamental differences when making basic edits that catch you out as a FCP user and I thought I’d throw together a quick video highlighting that difference.

Transitioning from FCP to Premiere Pro - keyboard edit controls
Transitioning from FCP to Premiere Pro - keyboard edit controls

Sorry about the lack of light at the start, and the high ‘Um’ count :) If you can help out and tell me how to do the edits I’m struggling with via keyboard commands then please leave a comment.

UPDATE: Thanks to David K for suggesting I check out the Trim Window which does indeed solve most of these issues. Click here to watch it in action.

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10 Responses

  1. MikeFlirt says:

    I have try to switch to premiere pro also since I shoot with a Canon 7D but I always go back to premiere, there is something not as fluid. I am really waiting for a software that would focus on basic editing and selecting clip. I am so tired of marker Editor need something between iMovie and Final Cut Pro.

    Thank again for your blog you are more better reference the Mr Bloom for a Lot of Us

  2. Kevin Monahan says:

    Hey Lucas,
    I suggest you create all your own shortcuts. If you have to move to another bay, you can bring your shortcuts with you. The trick is to know where the file is located so that you can move it.

  3. Lucas H says:

    Hi Paul,I am really excited for more of these videos of FCP to PP! I have started to use PP over the last 2 weeks because my new job requires me to use PP. I have found lack of default keyboard short cuts to be a hindrance. “Customizing” my own short cuts is not an option because I edit in any of several edit bays, and edit with other editors/producers on their computers.
    I will check back here regulatory to learn from you, and hopefully I can add some tips as well. Thanks for doing this.

  4. David K. says:

    Hi Paul, have you tried using Premiere’s Trim Monitor yet? Park the playhead on or very near an edit point and hit the “T” key to open the Trim monitor. When it opens, it’s set up by default to perform a rolling edit trim, which you can adjust using the UI controls, or just the left/right arrow key shortcuts. You can shift focus to one side or the other of the edit using Alt + 2 and 3, to perform ripple trims, and Alt + 1 gets you back to rolling edit mode. Check it out and let us know if this is helpful.

    • Paul Joy says:

      Thanks David, that’s a very useful tip and answers a lot of my needs. It’s a shame the functionality requires the additional monitor, if it worked directly on the sequence it would make editing a lot more familiar for a FCP user.

  5. Ciaran says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your fast response to my email the other day!

    Great tip, I was missing the use of square brackets. I’m still very much torn between the two. I’m forced to continue using fcp for the moment just because I can finish edits so much faster with it, even with transcoding. At the moment I love the idea of Premiere much more than I do actually using it. For all the advances its made it still doesn’t quite feel like a pro app sometimes.

    Maybe thats just me being set in my ways with fcp though. Only been editing for two year and I’m already terrified of change!

    Gonna keep trialing it out in my free time though.



  6. joel Conder says:

    Hi Paul, I am also in the process of switching to premiere pro for the same reasons. It is a bit tricky when you have been using FCP for so long but i think in the end it is worth it. I just wish apple would pull their finger out so we didn’t have to got through this change. But I heard “change is good”. I will watch this space for any other tips or problems with switching. Thanks :)

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Joel.

      You may have already seen this but if you’re switching I highly recommend visiting Chris Fenwick’s blog. Chris has posted a lot of videos about switching and is a great resource to get you started.

  7. Gavin Carroll says:

    Hi Paul, I have been following you from afar down here in Australia and really like your work, I don’t have an answer to your problem other than remapping the keyboard to fcp which you seem to have already tried.

    One thing I would like to know is your thoughts on moving to premier from fcp. Is this to have another edit program under your belt or more of a final move to premier?

    Gavin Carroll

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi there Gavin

      My initial interest in Premiere Pro was the draw of a workflow that doesn’t require any transcoding or re-wrapping of my footage. This is very apparent with DSLR footage but the same is also true with footage from my EX1. Adobe are pushing forward a lot faster than Apple seem to be at present. With advancements like the Mercury Playback Engine which utilises GPU processing and the apps ability to harness the full potential of my mac I just can’t ignore the differences any more.

      As you can see in this video there are a few things that don’t seem as intuitive coming from FCP, but Premiere does so many things better than FCP that I’m quickly becoming absorbed into the adobe way of doing things.

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