Yes, this is a site about Final Cut Pro, but we love new things, especially when they are inspired by Final Cut Pro X itself. So let's fire up the new Adobe Rush and give it go.
About a year and a half back I predicted that if Adobe wasn't developing their own 'new look' NLE, then they would be in trouble. Things move fast (take a look at DaVinci Resolve for example) and it seems that the old Volkswagen Beetle of the NLE world, Premiere, wasn't going to be the ideal chassis for building a new app on.
People scoffed at the idea.
Well, that's exactly what they were doing and possibly one of the last things product manager Al Mooney initiated before moving to Facebook.
But that is all in the past and I welcome new technology from all developers as it helps us creative people and it keeps NLE developers sharp by trying to stay ahead.
So I eagerly opened up Adobe Rush when it appeared in my updates. I've got a CC subscription so I get access to this for no extra cash. I believe it is available on its own for $10 a month which seems a lot compared to the free version of Resolve and of course, iMovie.
Just like Premiere, Rush doesn't rush when it runs the first time, although it gets better on successive opens. Still not great though. Just as a benchmark, FCPX can open a Library with 5,000 media assets in under 10 seconds.
First up, you will get a little tour of the interface. There's not much too it, but that's good as Premiere's cluttered GUI isn't the greatest and wastes so much real estate with buttons, panels, and blank space. And that's after you've customised your workspace!
You will be prompted to add some clips from the panel on the left to the timeline by dragging or hitting the add button in the bottom left hand corner. There's probably a whole set of shortcuts, but not one that pops up as a tooltip.
One feature I do like is the ability to select a bunch of clips first before creating a Project. Oh and for the record, a Project is an actual project and a Sequence is a timeline.
Whilst we are on settings, you will notice that there are not many options in the Preferences. This is again good as the Premiere preference pane has options that can give a Toffler choice shock to anybody.
You've probably spotted that I'm running Rush on an iMac Pro. Should be beefy enough to cope, especially with the supplied demo footage.
Not in the first five minutes. Anybody who works Premiere on a regular basis will be very familiar with the dialogue box below.
That's the only crash so far thankfully, hopefully it hasn't inherited its elder brother's flakiness.
Now on to the good stuff.
The GUI is smart, modern looking with one 'viewer' to do the editing on. A 'two up' display toggles when trimming. It feels like FCPX with quite a bit of responsiveness. The filmstrips on the timeline and the lower edge waveforms look very, very familiar.
It does have a magnetic timeline, so when trimming clips by grabbing an edge, everything shuffles up. Rearranging clips happens exactly how you would expect, gaps get closed automatically and clips can be inserted between others without having to move anything else or hold down a modifier key.
You can stack up to three extra clips or titles on another clip and these will act exactly like connected clips, it even has the little connecting strips which become visible when you click. Move the main clip around and the rest will follow. Very FCPX.
But when I say a magnetic timeline, it also has tracks.
Confused? You might be.
Take a look at this image where I have a graphic on 'track 2'
Moving the clip of the guy taking a selfie causes the boat clip to eat into the title. I couldn't find a modifier key that would help.
Rush will also not flatten items down, if you leave a clip or title in one of the three 'lanes' it will stay there.
There are three levels of viewing quality that you can set, a bit like setting FCPX for better playback. Even on the highest setting I did notice that the titles were not as crisp as when playing. Maybe I should delve into the 'Prepare for playback' menu item a bit more.
With audio you can expand the audio components like FCPX and do split edits by dragging the audio boundaries.
You can also choose which channel/s you require in the, erhem, audio inspector/panel.
I'll quickly mention there's a selection of video look effects that you can add from a panel on the right and a good starting selection of graphic titles that are targeted at social media users.
On to export and you get presented with a new clean export page with a choice of options down the left hand side. You can select more than one which acts like an FCPX export bundle. No surprise that YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are options!
The export process seemed pretty quick, even if it was just three clips which is really good news. Premiere has really been let down in the past by render and export times, yes, even using previews.
Now on to the interesting stuff. I had a quick peep inside the app bundle, Gollner style.
Adobe has built this for the future, not today. How can I tell? Looking inside the app you will see a selection of icons in the resources.
There's a multicam one, a RED one and even an ARRI one.
Could these be leftover from development, or have to be included for Premiere compatibility? I don't know. I'd like to think that they are a hint of what is to come.
And that neatly gets me on to my conclusions.
It's new. It's not fully featured by any measure. Can you cut on it? Of course, but the functionality is pretty basic, it feels like a 'proof of concept' experiment. Please feel free to add a correction in the comments if I have got anything wrong or missed anything obvious.
What it is though is the future of video editing for Adobe and that's something I'm excited about. Having to return to Premiere after using FCPX seems like driving that Beetle after you've been clocking the miles up in an S Class Mercedes. It will get you there, but it will be slower and expect to feel all the bumps in the road. Plus the odd crash.
With Rush, Adobe have had the chance to start again and they are clever by developing both NLE apps at the same time. They have learnt from Apple's disastrous launch of FCPX that they have to let clients move over to a different way of editing when they are ready.
It feels very, very familiar, it has similarities that would make patent lawyers rub their hands, it is quick, streamlined and easy to use. However, it is very early days.
Premiere X. There, I said it.
In other Adobe news, the first updates showed that Premiere now supported ProRes RAW. That information has since been removed from the web page. A mistake or a hint of what is to come? You decide.
October 15, 2018
Peter Wiggins is a broadcast freelance editor based in the UK although his work takes him around the world. An early adopter of FCP setting up pioneering broadcasts workflows, his weapon of choice is now Final Cut Pro X.
You can follow him on Twitter as @peterwiggins or as he runs the majority of this site, you can contact him here.