It has been shown at a few user groups this year, but this weekend TouchEdit for the iPad was finally released to the world. Will Dan Lebental's skeuomorphic heavy cutter make editing easier and more importantly, more fun?

Dan Lebental has been a working editor on feature films for more than 20 years. To give you an idea of the productions he has edited, you might have seen his name on the credits of Iron Man and Iron Man 2.

His latest creation is an iPad app called TouchEdit which you can find on the iTunes store for $49. It has already been shown at various user groups and meetings this year.

TouchEdit takes on the familiar look of a source and record monitor, but wrapped up into a GUI that echoes an old moviola machine complete with a well worn patina. The two filmstrips under the monitors are swiped left and right to advance the footage back and forward. Each frame on the filmstrip represents 8 actual frames, the top strip is the source and the bottom is the record.

Other simulations such as grease pencil marks for in and out points, bins for projects and the rather neat audio desk when used in portrait mode all add up to a good looking application for your iPad.

Will it be any good for cutting?

Let us take the stumbling block of getting your video into the app first. TouchEdit uses the media already on the iPad or video that has been transferred via iTunes sharing or Dropbox in either H.264 up to 1080p, MPEG-4 up to 640 by 480 or M-JPEG up to 1280 by 720 formats. Which means that should you be using this in conjunction with FCPX, you will have to convert your media if it doesn't exactly match those specifications.

The amount of footage you can hold in the program will be limited by the size of memory in your iPad. The app runs on iPad2 or later and iOS 6 is required.

Getting your finished cut out is less complicated. QuickTime videos can either be shared via iTunes or you can export FCPXML to match everything back up in Final Cut Pro X. So a slightly awkward start even before you commence editing. Maybe somebody will write a script/automator function/share destination or similar that would do the job of an assistant editor and get all the footage converted with a few clicks.

Operationally, we will have to let our readers post their comments on the pluses and minuses of TouchEdit in action at the coal face. As more apps are being driven by touch commands, will this fill the need for editors who miss the tactile feedback lacking in nearly every NLE ever built?

We always welcome new products to the market and we are sure this app will find its place. We had a healthy debate with Dan over the pricing as we belive $49.99 takes it out of the impulse buy category. Maybe a cheaper edition with paid for add-ons (such as FCPXML) might have made more commercial sense. The world of iPad apps is a tough one!

Dan has made some great tutorial videos that show TouchEdit in action. If you would like to see Dan give a live demo of the app, then he will be at the Boston Creative Pro User Group on Thursday February 21st.


Understanding the landscape Edit Page


Basic Editing on the Landscape Page


Grease Pencil Mode


Working in Portrait Mode


For the other five video tutorials, head on over to the TouchEdit YouTube page.


• Edits with H.264 up to 1080p, MPEG-4 up to 640 by 480, M-JPEG up to 1280 by 720
• Can edit with multiple resolutions and frame rates
• Supports sample rates of 44.1KHz, 48KHz 
• Multiple Projects
• Accommodates Multiple Sequences in each Projects
• Eight tracks of Mono or Stereo Sound
• Scrollable Visual Timeline
• Smart selection for Video and Audio Tracks
• Displays Timecode of Clips
• Imports Media from iPad Photos, iTunes Sharing or direct from Dropbox
• Imports Audio from iPad Music
• Includes 60 sample sound fx from Wildfire Post-Production Studios
• Exports QuickTime Videos to iTunes Sharing
• Exports FCPXML (compatible with Final Cut X)
• Uses Touch-Driven Filmstrips to control Source and Record monitors and to perform 
   editing Gestures such as Insert Edits and Overwrite
• Import and Manage Media in Collections (Bins)
• Preview and Inspect Media
• Add Edit Button
• Play/Pause Button and Gesture
• Fullscreen Playback
• Left and Right Scissors buttons to trim head and tail of edits
• Next Edit and Previous Edit Buttons
• Parent Gesture for Match-back
• Open Clip's Collection gesture
• Paperclip Mode notations for source and sequence text notes
• Grease Pencil Mode to Mark In and Out Points
• Multi-Channel Sizable Timeline Display in Portrait
• Eight Channel Audio Mixer
• Audio Patch-bay and Channel Selector
• Advanced Trim Functions: Roll and Ripple
• Lift and Load to Source Monitor
• Help Screens for all Pages



Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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