How to use Final Cut Pro: Features, pricing, and more

Final Cut Pro is a top-notch video editing program. But is it free, what effects can you get, and is it Mac-exclusive? Let’s find out.

Using Final Cut Pro

You’ve probably heard some cool cats talking about Final Cut Pro. But what is it, is it free, and who actually uses it? Let’s run through all that today in this quickfire Final Cut Pro guide.

What is Final Cut Pro?

Final Cut Pro is a video editing software that gives you the freedom to import, edit and export video files. It’s non-linear, which means you can jump around your project and edit whatever clip you fancy, rather than doing it from start to finish. Along with Adobe Premiere Pro, it’s often cited as one of the best video editors around.

Is Final Cut Pro free?

You can snag a 90-day free trial of Final Cut Pro here. Unfortunately, the program isn’t free once that trial period is over. We’ll dig into why we think it’s worth the money during this article, but there’s no way around the cost. 

Using Final Cut Pro

How much does Final Cut Pro cost?

Sit down. Take a deep breath. Final Cut Pro costs $299.99. Yep, we know. It’s a big ask. However, it’s a one-time payment, and once you’ve gotten stuck into the 90-day free trial, you should have a handle on whether or not Final Cut Pro is for you.

Is Final Cut Pro only available for Apple?

Sadly, Windows and Linux users won’t be able to use Final Cut Pro. Apple has owned the software since the late nineties, resulting in Final Cut Pro being Mac-exclusive. It’s not available for iPads or iPhones, either – only Macs!

If you’re not on a Mac and want to edit video, though, fear not! We’ve compiled a handy list of video editing apps and software for you to check out.

Do professionals still use Final Cut Pro?

Is water wet? Actually, don’t answer that – we’re sure there’s some fancy, scientific explanation that proves water is dry. Anyhow, the answer is yes!

Industry professionals have used Final Cut Pro for decades, and it’s helped splice together some of Hollywood’s most celebrated films of the 21st century. ‘The Social Network’? ‘Parasite’? These are movies that won Oscars for their editing, which was done with Final Cut Pro! If it’s good enough for the Academy Awards, it’s all right by us.

Using Final Cut Pro

Is Final Cut Pro good for beginners?

Like all Apple products nowadays, Final Cut Pro’s interface is smooth and user-friendly. It just looks nice. Let’s have a quick look at what makes Final Cut Pro accessible for newbies.

The interface

We already mentioned this, but it bears repeating: Final Cut Pro’s layout is fresh. Your video clips live in a comfy little pool above your project timeline, operating on the age-old, if-it-ain’t broke-don’t-fix-it premise of drag-and-drop. Arranging and mixing up your footage is easier than dragging something from your desktop the the trash folder.


Trimming your video is one of the most time-consuming parts of the post-production process. Thankfully, Final Cut Pro makes it easy. All you need to do is click on the start or end of a clip on your timeline, and a handy yellow bracket will appear. Trimming’s as simple as dragging that bracket!

Adding visual effects and music

Visual effects will show up under the ‘Effects’ and ‘Installed Effects’ browsers, which will pop up on the right-hand side of your screen. If you want to whack a specific visual effect on top of a clip, just drag it!

The same goes for audio, which you can drag from your pool of files directly onto the project timeline. Then, just like video, you can trim as required.

Using Final Cut Pro

Is Final Cut Pro better than iMovie?

iMovie is another of Apple’s popular video-editing apps. But how does it stack up against Final Cut Pro, and is there a clear-cut winner when we pit them against each other? iMovie vs Final Cut Pro. Let’s go! 

Things iMovie does better than Final Cut Pro

  • It’s free!
  • It can be used on iPhones and iPads, rather than just Macs
  • It’s super user-friendly, with a gentle learning curve

Things Final Cut Pro does better than iMovie

  • It’s packing tons of professional tools, compared to iMovie’s limited selection
  • Those tools are way more advanced than iMovie’s, letting you dabble with things like 360 video
  • The number of Final Cut Pro effects leaves iMovie in the dust 
  • There’s a wider range of customizability and nitty-gritty details

At the end of the day, it’s like comparing candy with tomatoes. Both programs are neat, efficient, and clear to understand – it just depends on where your skill level’s at and what you want to achieve. iMovie is perfect for beginners creating more basic videos with minimal editing and attention to detail. Final Cut Pro, however, is a different beast.

Before we move on, have you stopped to think about the soundtrack for your video content? If not, check out our catalog of 40,000 royalty-free tracks and 90,000 sound effects below. From K-pop to classical, Bossa Nova to heavy metal – even modern hymns and fart noises. We’ve got it all.

Now that we’ve learned what Final Cut Pro is, how much it costs, and if it suits beginners, it’s time to cover effects and plug-ins!

What Are Final Cut Pro effects?

Final Cut Pro comes with a bunch of ready-made effects to add directly on top of your footage. This can be anything from a smooth transition to a classy Ken Burns Effect. You can even customize effects in Motion, an Apple-exclusive app designed to get the most out of your Final Cut Pro experience. 

What are Final Cut Pro plug-ins?

Plug-ins are third-party software that add extra features or functionality to an existing program. So, Final Cut Pro plug-ins are essentially extra effects you can seek out beyond the tools Final Cut Pro provides you.

And best of all? You don’t even have to look far to get them. In fact, Apple openly lists a treasure trove of Final Cut Pro plug-ins online – you can score plug-ins for effects, color correction, transitions, templates, animated content and more! Browse the list here.

Using Final Cut Pro

Curious about how to match music to your top-notch content in Final Cut Pro? Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered. Find the perfect soundtrack every time with our massive catalog of 40,000 royalty-free tracks.

Royalty-free music is music that you can use in content without having to pay royalties to artists or rights holders every time it’s played. But royalty-free music companies aren’t always alone in owning the rights to the music in their catalogs, meaning you might still get copyright claims from other rights holders when you publish it on digital platforms. Confusing, right?

Let us take care of it. We exclusively own the rights to all music in our catalog. This lets us offer you a subscription with a license including all necessary rights to use the music and sound effects from our catalog in your content, meaning you can publish it without having to worry about copyright claims. Additional fees or royalties? Forget about it.

It’s more than royalty-free. More like worry-free. Check out the 30-day free trial and start soundtracking the world today.

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