This is the editing gear I currently use (not necessarily the newest stuff on the market). I have included links to each of the products mentioned – just click on the product name.



Macbook Pro 15″ (2018) – I recommend getting the new 16″ instead. Better performance and battery life.

First Champion Type-C USB Hub – I like it because it doesn’t overheat, and it doesn’t disconnect itself easily

WD My Passport 4tb Type-C Portable HDD – I’ve been editing from portable drives for about 10 years now. 4TB is the best combination of capacity and performance. 5TB drives are less reliable in my experience. Type-C connection allows me to use the drive without a hub. USB bus supplies power to the drive. I recommend portable HDD for XAVC (small file size) footage. I recommend SSD or desktop HDD for ProRes, RAW, or other large file formats.

Helix Dura 2TB USB-C NVMe Portable SSD – This is a tiny, durable, ultra-fast SSD drive. It’s twice as fast as Samsung T5 drives, for the same price. It has a rubber shell for a bit of shock protection. I’ve noticed that my startup times are much faster on SSD than HDD for editing large projects. Also, the drive never sleeps, so I never have to wait for it to get up to speed. It improves playback performance of large video files (such as ProRes). But SSD doesn’t improve rendering time, or any other CPU-intensive tasks.  Mostly, SSD just gives me peace of mind – I know my data won’t get corrupted because of a damaged spinning disk. And I know I won’t break it with a little bump or a small drop.



Final Cut Pro X
– Allows me to work very quickly without transcoding
– 30% faster performance on Mac than Premiere (data from 2018)
– Built in multicam
– Built-in auto-sync audio + video
– Built-in color space transform (HLG to rec709, etc)
– Easy compounding of clips (nesting) for complex FX
– Autosaves every change you make, plus auto-backups
– Auto-import of OS X metatags, allowing you search for tags in Finder or in FCP X
– Magnetic timeline adjusts to my edits automatically

– Very difficult to share complex projects with other users. No easy way to transfer projects to Premiere, Resolve
– Interface is non-intuitive for new users
– Frequent pausing/freezing/crashing with complex projects
– Color correction tools are incomplete (I use plug-ins to compensate)
– No “master bus” for audio – cannot apply a master limiter etc. I create a compound clip instead and apply FX to it
– Motion graphics tools are limited, no direct integration with Apple Motion
– Scale and rotation keyframes cannot be eased

Tentacle Sync Studio – Auto-sync audio + video. For use with Tentacle Sync timecode generator.

Affinity Photo – Inexpensive Photoshop alternative. I use it for generating thumbnails or editing still frames.



Adjustment Layer – Invisible layer, fx affect all layers below it
Alex4D Wide Angle Fix – Fix barrel distortion (GoPro, wide angle lenses)
Cineflare Horizon Fixer – Fix tilted horizon
Coremelt Lock & Load (Stabilization) – Stabilize video. Sometimes works better than native stabilization effect
Digital Anarchy Flicker Free – Remove flicker from fluorescent, neon, and other lights
Neat Video Noise Reduction – Reduce video noise. CPU intensive! Try FCP X noise reduction first.
Reelsmart Motion Blur – Realistic motion blur
TKY Clone Effect – Clone effect for erasing objects, Photoshop-style


Cinema Grade: I just started using this one.  It’s advertised as a full-freatured color grading suite, but it’s not. It is a limited color grading suite with some very good tools. It has three main functions: Basic Correction, Final Grade, and Match Color. So you can do all the steps of color grading in one plugin. The main thing I like is the ability to group all shots with the Cinema Grade effect into a single screen and see how they match. Then, I can quickly separate them into groups and do side-by-side comparisons to tweak and match.  The actual tools for correction and grading are smooth to use, but limited. It’s pretty much the sam tools as the built-in FCP X color effects. You can’t do masking, keyframing, curves, or true shadows/highlights.
Coremelt Chromatic Grade – Full-featured color grading suite. I mainly use RGB Curves, Hue vs Saturation, Hue vs Luma. Can do LUTs with limited ability to customize (can’t apply by luminance as LUTx allows).
Coremelt LUTx – I use for browsing and applying LUTs. You can import your own LUTs or buy their packs.
Epicolor – A.I. assisted color grading, instant color fix
TKY Shadows and Highlights – shadow/highlight adjustment, Photoshop-style

Cineflare Hand Held – Create handheld shake
Cineflare LensWhack – Lens flares, blurs, and ghosting effects
Crumplepop Easy Tracker – Planar and point tracking for screen replacement and other 2D tasks
MotionVFX MFlare 2 – Lens flares with Mocha tracking for realistic movement
mVolumetric – Volumetric light (haze/fog)
Pixel Film Studios FCP X Stabilizer 2.0 – stabilize part of the frame. “Beats earbuds” commercial effect
Pixel Film Studios Prolumetric – Volumetric light (haze/fog)

Cineflare Smooth – Smooth transitions, in/out controllable
Cineflare Hand Held – Whip pan transitions
mTransition Luma – Free basic Luma Fade (Sam Kolder style)
mTransition Shade – Transitions through black
mTransition Zoom – Zoom-through transitions. I use Cineflare Smooth more often.
Nagle Transitions – Low-price transitions copying Sam Kolder, Dan Mace, JR Alli, etc. Limited ability to customize.

Leno Bullet Points – create lists with bullet points
mCallouts – titles that point at some object in the shot. Trackable.
mInfographics 2 – charts, graphs, etc
mTuber – titles for Youtube videos

DMG Audio Limitless – The best multiband limiter, period. You can increase overall volume a LOT. Recommend Punchy, Smooth, and Transparent presets. CPU intensive – apply as a final effect. Create a compound clip of your whole timeline then apply Limitless.

Scroll to Top