Final Cut Studio

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Final Cut Studio
Final Cut Studio.jpg
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Operating system Mac OS X
Type Non-linear editing system
License Proprietary
Website Final Cut Studio

Final Cut Studio is a discontinued professional video and audio production suite for Mac OS X from Apple Inc., and a direct competitor to Avid Media Composer in the high-end movie production industry. It was developed from 2005 to 2011. Three of its primary applications - Final Cut Pro X, Motion, and Compressor - continue to be developed and are published as separate applications on the Mac App Store. The legacy boxed version of Final Cut Studio was last made available only through Apple's phone sales, and therefore not online or in Apple Stores.


Final Cut Studio

Final Cut Studio version 3, the final release upon discontinuation of the suite, contains six main applications and several smaller applications used in content creation.

The applications are designed to integrate as a suite, to form a workflow. In particular:

  • Final Cut Pro sequences can be exported to Soundtrack Pro for audio tweaking or music scoring
  • Final Cut Pro sequences can be sent to Compressor, for encoding in an external format
  • Final Cut Pro sequences can be exported to Motion, for motion graphics overlays, or LiveType, specifically for title overlays
  • LiveType projects can be opened in Final Cut Pro without needing to be exported first
  • Motion projects can be incorporated into DVD Studio Pro menus without needing to be exported first
  • LiveFonts from LiveType can be used in Motion.

Final Cut Pro and Motion also integrate directly with Apple's discontinued Shake, a digital compositing package.


Production Suite is a software compilation by Apple used for digital video editing. Production Suite contains Final Cut Pro HD, DVD Studio Pro 3, and Apple Motion. The compilation's component applications were announced at the National Association of Broadcasters in April 2004, and the compilation was released in August 2004.

Final Cut Studio was introduced at the National Association of Broadcasters in April 2005, as the successor to Production Suite. It added new versions of all the Production Suite applications: Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Motion. It also introduces a new application, Soundtrack Pro, which is a new version of Soundtrack, formerly included with Final Cut Pro. In January 2006, Final Cut Studio became the only way to purchase any of the individual major applications. In March 2006, Apple released the Universal Binary version as Final Cut Studio 1.1.

Release history[edit]

Date Releases
NAB 1999 Final Cut Pro
MWSF 2001 DVD Studio Pro
March 2001 Final Cut Pro 2 [1]
December 2001 Final Cut Pro 3 [2]
April 2002 Cinema Tools [3]
NAB 2002 DVD Studio Pro 1.5 [4]
NAB 2003 Final Cut Pro 4,[5] DVD Studio Pro 2,[6] LiveType, Soundtrack, Compressor
NAB 2004 Final Cut Pro HD,[7] DVD Studio Pro 3,[8] Motion,[9] LiveType 1.2, Soundtrack 1.2, Compressor 1.2
August 2004 Production Suite [10]
NAB 2005 Final Cut Studio:[11] Final Cut Pro 5, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 2, LiveType 2, Soundtrack Pro,[12] Compressor 2
March 2006 Final Cut Studio released as a Universal application.[13]
NAB 2007 Final Cut Studio 2:[14] Final Cut Pro 6, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 3, LiveType 2, Soundtrack Pro 2, Color, Compressor 3
July 2009 Final Cut Studio (2009):[15] Final Cut Pro 7, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, Color 1.5, Compressor 3.5
July 2011 Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4


Final Cut Studio has been positioned as an all-in-one production workflow system because of its integration of film, motion graphics and audio post-production tools in one suite. It is analogous to the iLife suite, which is aimed at consumers, insomuch as iMovie is the consumer counterpart of Final Cut Pro; GarageBand 3 is a consumer version of Logic Pro; and iDVD is the cut-down version of DVD Studio Pro. Like Motion, iMovie includes Core Image effects that can be applied in real time.

High Definition[edit]

In the Macworld Conference and Expo 2005, Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, declared 2005 to be the "Year of HD". To this end, the HD features of Final Cut Studio were emphasized, such that a little HD logo was placed on the box for each individual Studio application, as well as the Final Cut Studio box.

Final Cut Pro supports nearly all High Definition formats (HDV, DVCPRO HD, AVCHD, and uncompressed HD) and Soundtrack Pro and Motion can import these formats too, where they can be played back on an external monitor. DVD Studio Pro supports the HDDVD 1.0 specification. See DVD Studio Pro.


The design for the packaging and websites for each application are consistent to a demonstration video shown at the product's introduction at NAB 2005. This video also includes reference to Shake 4 – a high-end digital compositing application that integrates with Final Cut Pro but is not included in Final Cut Studio.

Case studies[edit]

To market the Studio components, Apple compiled a set of case studies of real-world users of the applications. For Final Cut Pro, they used Bunim-Murray Productions' uses of the program in their The Real World reality television show. For Soundtrack Pro, Walter Murch became their advocate – a film editor and sound designer who worked on Cold Mountain and The Godfather. For Motion, Apple used the example of Mekanism and their creation of a TV spot designed to persuade young people to vote. And for DVD Studio Pro, the example of Relevant was used, who used the application in a unique, interactive movie called Backwoods to Brooklyn.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]