FCP X: New Features in FCP X v10.0.4

Posted on by Larry

Just before the 2012 NAB Show started, Apple updated Final Cut Pro X to version 10.0.4. With all the chaos in the industry that NAB represents, I haven’t had time to do more than write a blog about the new features.

In this article, I want to illustrate some of  the new features in this version of FCP.


For me, one of the biggest is a changed default. When creating a new project, the default audio setting is now Stereo, rather than Surround. Its a small thing, but it means that I don’t need to adjust the settings when creating a new project – the defaults are now fine. You can see that highlighted in the screen shot above.

Apple added support for 1080p video as part of the Share menu for Apple Devices.

You can’t see it in a menu, but Apple improved the stability of monitoring video on external devices, such that Apple no longer considers video monitoring a “beta” feature. As well, the performance of viewing multicam output on external monitors is improved.

At NAB, AJA, Blackmagic Design, and Matrox all showed Thunderbolt-connected devices that take the output from FCP X and convert it for display on a standard HD video monitor.

Apple also improved the reliability of syncing multicam clips. I experienced this in creating several multicam clips where I tried to sync clips based on audio alone. I never found it reliable.

Now, the process seems to work faster and better. For now, I tend to let FCP X try to sync first, then, if that fails, I fall back on using Markers.

There’s also a new preference setting, which allows you to specify whether you want the Inspector to display pixels or percentages, in those settings where that is a relevant choice.


A wide variety of performance and stability improvements were made to Motion, including repairing a bug that affected a lot of third-party developers. The good news here is that anything that’s done in Motion ultimately benefits Final Cut Pro, because they share the same effects engine.

At NAB, I talked with a number of developers who are now able to move forward on creating plug-ins for FCP X, now that some of the initial problems with XML export and Motion parameter controls are fixed.


The good news with this update is that Apple improved using a Mac Mini as a compression node so that you can off-load compression to a separate computer.

You can read all Apple’s release notes in my blog: Apple Updates Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Compressor

Let me know if you find any other new features.

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10 Responses to FCP X: New Features in FCP X v10.0.4

  1. Jim Nihart says:

    Hi Larry,
    Thanks for the informative updates on FCPX. I’m still not sure I am happy with it for larger projects, but I am getting used to it and the updates from Apple and you are helping a ton.
    I have a problem that just cropped up and I don’t know if it is related to FCP or not. I recently installed a new ATI Radeon 5770 in my Mac Pro dual quad-core 2.8GHz v3.1 and now all of my QuickTime and other video files are appearing on screen really dark and high contrast. I don’t seem to see a setting or preference that affects this problem, so I’m coming to you to see if you have heard of this and if you have an answer. It seems to have happened right as I installed the most recent update to FCPX. HELP!

    Thanks a Ton,

    • Larry Jordan says:


      Looks like a major difference in gamma (mid-tone gray) settings. If you are seeing this in QuickTime, outside of FCP, then it is not an FCP problem.

      Try to fix this by doing a monitor calibration in System Settings > Display. If that doesn’t work, contact ATI directly.


  2. Braden S says:

    I found one! Previous to the 10.0.4 release you could not copy and paste effects from clip to clip while inside the angle editor like you can in the timeline. When you would go to the Edit menu to paste the effects from one clip to another the option would be greyed out. I specifically requested this to be fixed, and it was! We now have that option available in the menu! This really speeds up color work as we don’t have to recreate the effect.

    Now we just need selective copy and pasting effects.

  3. jac colon says:

    How do you get 10.4?
    All I can find available at the Apple Support site for FCPX is 10.3
    Thank you

    • Larry Jordan says:

      The current version is 10.0.4 (not 10.4) and all updates are handled in the Mac App Store. Open the Store and click the Updates tab at the top.


      • jac colon says:

        got it! Not used to the apple store yet.
        I was just relying on the update feature that used to be built into the program.
        really appreciate your stuff and will be subscribing soon.
        Thanks so much

  4. Sjoerd de Vries says:

    I don’t remember if this was also in 10.0.3, but the stabilization and rolling shutter setting the preference are gone. The are now in de video tab of the inspector (for all the clips) This means that you can not do this any more on import.

  5. Bill says:

    I just finished reading your FCPX Making the Transition. Thank you so much for writing the book! I’ve got a feature length documentary that I’m having trouble exporting. I eventually was able to get to DVD for festivals but need a quicktime file for some screenings and I’ve never succeeded in doing that. The film is all in one big project. Was that a mistake? I have an iMac with a 3.1 core and 12 GB.

    • Larry Jordan says:


      Thanks for the kind words about the book – I enjoyed writing it.

      Putting your movie into a single project is not necessarily a mistake. Send me an email separately – go to the contact page on my website – explaining what version of FCP you are running and the problem you are having.


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