Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor



Monday morning after talking to my friend John I decided to take the plunge and install Apple’s latest OSX, Mavericks. I started with my office iMac, that would at least give me an idea if Photoshop was going to be affected, sadly due to SSD drive space I had removed FCPX from this machine.

Everything seemed tickety-boo, Photoshop worked as did most of my Apps so step two was the main editing iMac, after all John was running FCPX flawlessly in Mavericks !

About an hour later, Mavericks installed I was told by John that Black Magic had released their new drivers for Studio Express so after installing the BM Maverick driver I also trashed my FCPX preferences, just in case. Finally I clicked on FCPX and spinning beach balls galore, not only that I also lost the sound as the timeline flew past a cutaway…it was a fu@*in mess.

My heart sank to my boots so I texted John “Eh I am getting spinning beach balls and bad stuttering…any ideas” reply “Try trashing your preferences”…this went on for a while to no avail…my FCPX was trashed thanks to Mavericks.


I moved my Mac HD folders onto a second drive, inserted my MacPro install disk into the portable USB drive…(Remember you don’t get an install disk with newer versions of iMacs)

1: Turn off your iMac

2: Turn on your iMac. Immediately press and hold the option key.

3: Select “Disk Utility”

4: select “Macintosh HD” in the side bar

5: open the “Erase” tab

6: make sure the target format is “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”

7: make sure the new name is “Macintosh HD”

8: press erase

9: exit Disk Utility

10: reinstall MAC OS X using the on-screen instructions

PS. If you don’t insert an install disk you will be prompted to re install Mavericks.

Up came the prompt to install Mountain Lion and the rest is history…two things came out of this firstly FCPX even after a fresh install brought back all my events and projects which was a joy to see, I deliberately left off a few duff plugins and a good few Apps which did my iMac no harm nor FCPX, though it does tell you you have missing files if the plugin is no longer available.

Secondly I was in a dilemma what do I do about Photoshop and Encore, although I had boxed versions they were unfortunately upgrades so I used my Creative Cloud account to download Photoshop CC and also re installed Premiere Pro CS6 as it comes with Encore. Re opening Encore I asked it to send my menu to Photoshop which it did and I edited my menu in “CC” and sent it back to Encore, my understanding via the Adobe site was that this was no longer available as a feature…thank God it works thats all I can say !



The experience is not recommended especially if you have a working machine on Mountain Lion but the plus side is a fresh non cluttered dock and a lot less troublesome plugins like Unveil which brought FCPX to its knees if used in a major project. Unveil is very processor hungry but works a treat if used sparingly I hope to re introduce this excellent plugin when I get a new MacPro.

FCPX feels and acts a lot more responsive since its re install and as long as you use the same iCloud account you can re install FCPX, Motion and Compressor via your App account purchase page.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

One thought on “Mavericks and FCPX…”My experience”

  1. Far safer to always clone your system drive before updating the OS. SuperDuper will make a clone which you can then put back if things don’t work out with the update.

    fwiw.. Mavericks is working amazingly well on my test machine running FCPX. Not going to update my main edit machine until my current projects are complete though.


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