Re: VM Apps

VM Apps (February 07, 2018 08:16AM) benvideo
Hi Group,

You have rarely seen me on the forum lately as I’m not doing a lot of editing these days. I surely do miss the camaraderie of this board.

I figure you are the people who can tell me what I need to know.

I just got a new (Apple refurb) iMac that’s running OS 10.13.2. My old laptop is running 10.6.8.

On the old laptop drive I have FCP 5.1.4. For what I am doing that version is okay. I don’t want to spend money on FCP X, not to mention dealing with the learning curve.

On the iMac I partitioned the 1 Tb boot drive (2-500 Gb volumes) and cloned my laptop drive (containing FCP 5.1.4 which won’t run on OS 10.13.2) to the second partition.

Here’s the problem: I can’t boot the iMac from the cloned 10.6.8 drive.

I posted this on an Apple forum and got this suggestion: I use Parallels to create VM machines of earlier versions of OS X. Parallels also has a utility that will clone your computer into a VM. You can then create a VM of your notebook that you can run within Parallels on your iMac. Your not limited to using Parallels, there are a number of other VM apps out there to choose from, like VMware.

Anyone know anything about these VM apps? Will they work for my need?


Ben Bryant NYC
Re: VM Apps (February 08, 2018 02:47AM) VidGreg
Hi Ben, Welcome back!
Apple does not allow you to boot a Mac with an older macOS version than what the model originally shipped with. You do not list the model of iMac you bought, so I can't tell you what is the oldest version that you could use as the boot OS. You could find it out via MacTracker a free app in the App Store. If your iMac shipped with say El Capitan, then I would consider installing that as boot or on your partition and keep this as simple as possible.
Older macOS's don't have the necessary drivers to support newer hardware and the boot EFI prevents a Mac from booting.

You can run older OS's via a VM app like VMWare, Parallels or VirtualBox(a free VM, but not great) see this article from Parallels… []

I have used Parallels in the past, and think it is good, but I no longer have any need for it. 30 free trial.
So a short answer is yes, long answer gets more complicated.

Legacy FCP Suite (FCPS1,2,3{FCP7}) will run sorta up till Sierra but not all programs. Motion, STP, Colors, pretty much all fall down. FCP works for the most part. Personally, I would not recommend any OS later than El Capitan, and High Sierra no longer runs Legacy FCP at all. Using later version of macOS allow you to still take advantage of features and security updates, so I would use the latest version that caused the least issues even on the VM. EC is the oldest version of macOS still getting security updates.

Now you are facing the issue of getting the proper version of OS and getting your FCP version to load and run. If you have not been getting various versions of the OS through the years, then they will not be available in your purchases tab in the App Store. You will need to find someone with an installer on a USB stick or external drive, with the version you want or join the Apple developers, which I think you can get all the OS using a free account, but not sure?? Otherwise it is $99.00 to sign up as developer.

Getting your old version of FCP loaded will be fun> OK maybe not. The easiest way is via a disk image of the install disks and it can be a pain. Doable but it is not like simply inserting disk after disk. Do a search and you'll see what I mean and how to do it.

Last couple of things… If using VM app, get as much ram as you can afford as you are now supporting 2 macOS versions, a virtual app and FCP and video files. Expect some slowness and possible crashes/performance issues. Keep your desktop clean and quit any apps you don't need.

I know you say you don't want to upgrade to FCPX, but really it is the way to go, IMHO. I no longer even have legacy FCP on my internal drive, but I have the ability to boot from older version if absolutely need to. I do not miss Legacy FCP.

Best of Luck, Greg
Re: VM Apps (February 08, 2018 03:41AM) benvideo
Thanks, Greg. It's gonna take me a while to absorb this and all its details.

BTW: How hard will it be for me, who started with FCP 1.0, to learn X? And if I go that route, will I be able to import old FCP 5 projects?

Thanks again,

Ben Bryant NYC
Re: VM Apps (February 08, 2018 05:35AM) VidGreg
Hi Ben
Let me start with transferring FCP5 to X. There is a app called "Send to X" by Intelligent Assistant… []
…that handles transfers via xml. This is how I have updated old FCP7 projects to X. Works very well but I have one caveat in that FCP5 uses a different older version of XML so I would shoot Greg at IA a email and ask if Send to X handles FCP5 projects. There are some things, certain Motion transitions etc… that will not translate so you would need to redo in X. Fortunately, Send to X gives you a list of what needs work. There is a link on the above website explaining this.

As to how hard to learn? Me, old geezer but I still enjoy learning. FCPX is a different animal and it does take some time to come to understand how it works. IMHO two of the hardest things is to embrace the "Magnetic Timeline" and understanding how to take advantage of the metadata driven workflow.

The Magnetic Timeline means you do not need, nor want "tracks". No v1/v2/a1/a2… just drop a clip in, grab it, move it around and let FCPX do its thing. If you insist on trying to make it behave like FCP legacy, you will be frustrated. However, you will no longer have issues like video/audio sync issues, black orphan frames and lots of other problems. The Muti-cam abilities are nothing short of amazing, and now both audio and color correction are really improved in latest versions. So many great features. Green Screen compositing super easy.

The whole thing around workflows using Metadata is very powerful, but takes some real thinking about how to utilize according to the type of videos you do. (???) Some say to think of FCPX as a database that has video files linked to it. What this means is that if you take the time to set up incoming video files with keywords, tags, descriptions, and ratings, then actual editing is VERY fast. Spend more time upfront, edit real quick and have time to refine. This is very different from FCP5. This isn't to say that you can't simply import clips, drop on TimeLine and edit without doing the data organizing, but makes finding all related clips very easy.

The easiest way to learn is to watch some videos, download the free 30 day trial and play around. YouTube has some great free stuff and a massive amount of really bad junk so I would recommend you start with some of the free tuts from Ripple Training…

Watch their series on FCP10.4 and then the 5 minute vids. They have some other older series on setting up libraries, workflows, speed editing, all good stuff. Several good links to other folks on their site.
They post new videos also on their main site/blog… []
Also offer good paid training.
Much older videos but still good can be found at MacBreak Studio…

There is another website to check out with good info… []. Hope Ken is not offended or he can remove this reference. Creative Cow has a section for FCPX too.

There is a very active community around FCPX including lots of free and paid plug-ins. All the included transitions and effects in FCPX can be opened in Motion5 and edited to create new versions, this in itself is another reason to switch. I really do not like having to edit in legacy anymore. Editing is more fun than ever!

You also would not have to deal with VM. Run Send to X(if it works on FCP5) on your laptop and move the libraries/media using external drive and attach to your iMac and you should be good to go. USB3 drives should be plenty fast for your media or use a FireWire dongle for old FW drives, no USB2 please. Don't forget to back up everything!!! USB2 ok for back-up drives.

Guess I could go on for a long time about why I think FCPX is the way to go, but let me end by saying that for the Price; $299 and maybe $50 for Motion 5, it is the best investment anyone can make. Been ~ 20 free updates since the intro 10.0 version. If you are a student or educator, Apple has an amazing ProApp package that includes FCPX, Motion, Compressor, LogicProX, and MainStage all for $199.00 USD. Wish it had been available before I bought the apps separate.

Happy Editing and best regards, Greg
Re: VM Apps (February 10, 2018 11:04AM) benvideo
Hi Guys,
I really appreciate all this input and it's gonna take a while for me to digest it all. I'll be back.

Ben Bryant NYC
Re: VM Apps (March 01, 2018 09:16AM) benvideo
Hi Troops, I'm back with some other questions.

Not being able to afford X right now I'm curious about these free apps I read about in "Videomaker'.

Avid Media Composer First offers all of the power of the full version of Media Composer for free

Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 is another robust video editor with professional tools for free.

Lightworks, which is also available as both free and paid versions.

Which of these, if any, would be easiest for an old legacy FCP pro to learn?

Ben Bryant NYC
Re: VM Apps (March 01, 2018 11:19AM) VidGreg
Hi Ben
If you really are going to leave FCP, then I would suggest Resolve 14. The free version provides some very good features and is becoming a very decent NLE and is IMHO the closest to legacy FCP of the free NLEs. There is a fairly big learning curve.
The pro version is now the same price as FCPX and given the choice, I would definitely go FCPX. Not only is it much easier, more stable, it also has a much larger and better support community.
The other NLE to consider is Premiere Pro which can be had on a monthly subscription but just a little over a year and you could buy FCPX outright. All updates of FCPX for over 5 years have been free.
I don't have any experience with the other 2 apps. Have used both PP and Resolve and today, I would choose Resolve over PP not only for the cost, but think BM is really putting some real effort into the app. I used to use it for color correcting for FCPX projects and have used it for a couple of shorts just to play with it.
Now with the new color correction in FCPX 10.4, I doubt if I will re-install Resolve on current system. Still you can't argue with the price. Well you can, because you may need the pro version.

Just my 2 cents

Hope this Helps, Greg
Re: VM Apps (March 02, 2018 09:09AM) benvideo
Thanks, Greg

Ben Bryant NYC
Re: VM Apps (February 08, 2018 05:44AM) philsfilm

You should be able to export an XML file from your legacy FCP. Purchase "Send to X" from App Store for $9.99. It will convert
your basic FCP 5 timeline to one that can be read in FCP X. But it may leave out any complicate effects or titles.
I started with FCP 2 and went to 7 before I converted to FCP X. It took me awhile. It's like learning a new language. But once you "get it", it's very intuitive and now I can fly on it. There are a number of courses online. But I highly recommend Larry Jordan. He teaches slowly and methodically and really helped me to catch on. His course is well worth it and he regularly updates it at a discount. He also responds to your emails if you have questions. He has a weekly free seminar on Weds. so you should subscribe to his website at

Here's the link to his latest FCP X training:


Good luck,
Re: VM Apps (March 01, 2018 11:32AM) VidGreg
Hi Phil
Are you sure that Send to X will convert FCP5 to FCPX? I know that it will work for FCP6&7 but FCP5 uses an older version of XML and I think it does not translate. Not sure about this, so if you know for sure it does would appreciate a confirmation. Haven't asked Greg at IA myself, but vaguely remember some discussion where IA said it doesn't and they said to convert to FCP6 or 7 to use Send to X. Think the earlier version of XML had some real limitations and various parts of projects wouldn't come over. There were some holes in converting 5-7 inside FCP even.
Maybe just me not remembering???

Happy Editing, Greg
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