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Review: Ripple Training's FCPX Essentials Bundle

December, 2015

Ripple Training's FCPX Essentials Bundle
Core Training/Color Correction/Sound Editing/ Media Management
Final Cut Pro X Core Training (Updated for FCPX 10.2)
Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X (Updated for FCPX 10.2)
Sound Editing in Final Cut Pro X
Media Management in Final Cut Pro X


by David A. Saraceno

Final Cut Pro X was introduced at NAB2010 to a profoundly skeptical video editing community. Since then, the application has matured considerably as Apple reintroduced missing features, added new capabilities and refined existing features. Now boasting an installed base of over one million seats, FCP X has matured into a robust, feature-rich editing application. However, it still takes some getting used to.

Ripple Training’s FCP X Essentials Bundle is a must-have aid to unraveling its capabilities and extensive feature set. The bundle can be streamed or downloaded from the company’s website, or delivered in a slick USB thumb drive.

Either method supplies the video tutorials and accompanying sample projects. Long-time FCP X instructors Steve Martin and Mark Spencer provided the narratives for the series.

The Tutorial Series. What separates this tutorial series from many others is its detailed, comprehensive, and exhaustive approach to explaining FCPX. The Essentials Training Bundle is divided into four categories — FCPX Core Training, Color Correction, Sound Editing, and Media Management. More than one hundred separate videos are provided in the series, and they reference over 3.5 gigabytes of tutorial media provided in H.264, 1920x1080 video format.

This series was recently updated to include new features introduced in version 10.2.x. Core Training has forty-two (42) lessons. Basic and advanced Color Correction features are covered in fifty-two (52) episodes. Media Management has ten (10) video tutorials, and Sound Editing has seventeen (17). Tutorial projects with supplied media are provided for each section except Media Management, and an actual FCP library is accessed in the Color Correction segment.

Each bundle targets beginners through advanced FCP X users, and there is something for everyone in each set. The student can jump from chapter to chapter, pause, fast forward or rewind to review the presentations as needed.

Both Martin’s and Spencer’s narratives are detailed, and carefully crafted to introduce a feature, provide the keyboard shortcut to use it, provide a detailed explanation of its use, and then show how to use it in the provided tutorial media. The real hallmark of this instruction series is the comprehensive treatment of the subject matter. For example, keyboard shortcuts are not merely mentioned once when introduced. They are repeated every time that particular feature is used in the series. This approach greatly enhances the learning process.

The Color Correction section is particular noteworthy. Fifty-two instructional videos range in length from one minute to four minutes and reference over a gigabyte of tutorial media. Topics range from workflow to manually white balancing without a chart and matching saturation between clips. There are sections on animating shape masks, correcting multi cam clips, improving dynamic range and color, and dozens more.

FCPX’s significantly revised Media Management features are also addressed in detail. Among the subjects discussed are the revised library model, moving, copying and deleting media, working on the road, and excellent sections on workgroup editing and collaborative editing from different locations.

While Martin and Spencer have their own unique style of presenting the information, both provide a comprehensive approach in the presentation. The company has been supplying instruction on Final Cut Pro and associated applications since 2002 from its Arizona headquarters. Ripple Training is a good citizen in the arena of video instruction, offering a weekly series of free FCPX instruction on its YouTube channe as well as a variety of commercial products through its web site. Its MacBreak Studio offers a weekly webcast focused on video post production and distribution on the Mac. Other free YouTube videos address FCPX’s Motion, DaVinci Resolve, Premiere Pro CC, Compressor, Sound Editing, Media Management and other topics.

The quality of instruction provided in this reviewed bundle is exceptional. Both instructors painstakingly address both the features of FCP X as well as how they are implemented using a sample media project. The attention to detail, standardized approach to explaining the features and their use provide an excellent, and successful teaching approach for basic, intermediate and advanced users of FCP X.

FCPX continues to mature as it expands its feature set, and refines its tools. With over twelve hours of hands on instruction, the FCPX Essentials Bundle from Ripple Training is an imperative purchase for those moving to FCPX, or for current users at all ability levels looking to expand their capabilities.

copyright © David Saraceno 2015

David Saraceno is a video editor based in Spokane, Washington and contributes articles to various on line videography centric sites such as and, where he moderates. He has written for DV Magazine, AV Video, MacHome Journal, and many local, state and national legal technology publications.

copyright © Michael Horton 2000-2015 All rights reserved