Apple to add multichannel audio editing to Final Cut Pro X this year

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Apple is planning a significant update to Final Cut Pro X that will deliver a number of new features, including multichannel audio editing and dual viewers, when it debuts later this year.

The details of the forthcoming, previously unannounced Final Cut Pro X were given directly by Apple to producer, editor and director Larry Jordan. He detailed some of the changes that Apple said are coming later this year on his personal blog.

In addition to multichannel audio editing tools and dual viewers, Apple also said that it would add MXF plug-in support and RED camera support. The new features were listed by Apple, but none of them were demoed.

The details came from an on-the-record meeting between Jordan and officials from Apple that took place on Sunday in Las Vegas, Nev., the day before the start of the 2012 National Association of Broadcasters Show.

Jordan said the new dual viewers are analogous to "Source" and "Record" monitors. This will allow editors to easily compare two clips in Final Cut Pro X.

The new MXF support will allow users to access the native MXF wrapper that contains those files without a conversion. Previously, users were able to read MXF files, but not the native wrapper.

And the addition of support for RED cameras means that users will not need to convert footage to QuickTime in order to edit it. Instead, RED content will be editable natively in Final Cut Pro X.

It remains unknown exactly when the update will be provided to Final Cut Pro X owners. Apple declined to give a specific date, but simply said it would arrive at some point in 2012.

"It was an interesting meeting," Jordan said. "Apple clearly wants it known that FCP X should be considered a professional application, that development is on-going, and that they are listening to comments from users."

Sunday's news isn't the first time Jordan has been among the first to be informed about new details on Final Cut Pro. Last February, he was given a private demonstration of Final Cut Pro X before the software was publicly announced.

When it was released last June, Final Cut Pro X immediately faced considerable backlash from outspoken professionals who believe the new product is vastly inferior to its predecessor. Last September, Apple issued an update for Final Cut Pro X that added some of the most requested features, like Xsan and Rich XML support.