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Exploring Premiere Pro CS6

Premiere Pro CS6

On May 7th, Adobe launched Creative Suite 6 to the world! Unlike CS5.5 this was a major update to the applications. This is also the first time Adobe made a significant update to the video programs since Apple released Final Cut Pro X. Many are calling Premiere Pro CS6 the “Final Cut Pro 8″ they were looking for. But is it really that? I decided to download the trial version before making my purchase to see if Premiere is for me. Here is my experience with Premiere CS6.

SEE ALSO: Work Faster In Premiere Pro CS6

Before I begin, I have used Premiere Pro before. In fact, Premiere was the first non-linear editor I learned before jumping to a Mac and using Final Cut Pro. So, I am not going in not knowing anything about Premiere. But, a lot has changed since I have used it. I will be highlighting comparisons I see between Premiere CS6 and Final Cut Pro (7 and X) and a little bit of Media Composer. If any of this information is wrong or if there is a way to do something that I don’t know how to do, please inform me in the comment section. Thanks!

Premiere Pro CS6 start screenThe first thing I noticed when opening Premiere Pro is unlike Final Cut Pro 7, you are required to name and save your project before doing anything. I actually prefer this since it prevents any untitled projects. Next is scratch disks. Final Cut Pro 7 has one place where all of your raw footage, render files, waveform caches, etc. goes. Premiere is also different here. Instead, it allows you to change your scratch disks for each project and remembers it (no having to change it in the preferences)!

If you’re moving from Final Cut Pro 7 or Media Composer, you can change your keyboard shortcuts to either of those. It makes it easier to switch and adjust to Premiere.

Premiere Pro CS6 in its raw formOne of the first things I noticed when I began cutting is the ability to zoom in and out of the playhead selection area in both the Source and Program monitor. This feature was not included in Final Cut Pro 7.

I did find the tool tips annoying. It kept popping up very fast (as oppose to waiting a few seconds). And sadly there is no way to turn them off, yet.

The audio levels to the right of the Timeline are nice and big; and scalable too! They remind me of Final Cut Pro X’s audio levels.

I do like the thumbnail view inside the Project pane. You’re able to skim the thumbnails for a preview of the clip. You can even single-click on a clip to set in and out points. Double-clicking will bring the clip into the Source monitor.

I love that you can label clips certain colors but I don’t like the way they work. Currently, you set your label colors and names in the preferences. It would be nice to at least change the label names so I can have blue be b-roll for one project and behind the scenes for another. Then, an added benefit would be to be able to send the project off to another editor and let them see what each color represents. Somewhere in the project file.

In Final Cut Pro 7, I liked that you could set the scale, position, and rotation inside the Canvas by setting it to include wireframe. However, in Premiere it’s a little different. To adjust all of that, you need to double-click the clip in the Timeline to get it inside the Source monitor. Then you have to go to the Effects Controls and press the square and cursor icon to the left of “Motion”. Now you’re able to adjust the scale, position, and rotation in the Program monitor. I swear you didn’t have to do that in previous versions of Premiere (is there a way to fix that?).

When Premiere auto saves in the background, it seems to bring Premiere to the front of the screen. This is very annoying when I am doing something else in another program. Bug?

Note: This post is on-going and I will continue to add features, bugs, etc. as I find them.

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About The Author: Connor Crosby

Award-winning filmmaker, photographer, and website developer. Experience using numerous NLEs including Final Cut Pro 7/X, Premiere Pro, and Avid Media Composer.


  1. avatar
    Eric Addison

    “To adjust all of that, you need to double-click the clip in the Timeline to get it inside the Source monitor. Then you have to go to the Effects Controls and press the square and cursor icon to the left of “Motion”.”

    To adjust the scale, position, etc, you don’t have to double click and send it to the Source monitor – just click once on the clip in your timeline to highlight it, then go to the Effects Control Window. You now can adjust all of those things.

    • avatar
      Connor Crosby

      I know, but sometimes it’s easier doing inside the monitor than using parameters.

      • avatar
        Omar Cruz

        I know this is old but in case anyone stumbles on to it:

        Actually, double clicking the program monitor will bring up the transform box over the clip. You can then drag it around and rescale to your hearts content.

        • avatar
          Connor Crosby

          Ah, okay thanks! I plan on re-visiting Premiere at some point in the future.

        • avatar

          Thanks for this tip… searched and searched for a shortcut for this, and you finally provided it!! Years of FCP have me frustrated because I’m so used to just grabbing the program monitor’s handles and moving…

  2. avatar
    Chip Dizárd

    I am a Final Cut Pro 7 and X guy through and through, but I tested Adobe Premiere and I am starting to realize this is what editing should be. I will continue to teach FCPX, but Premiere is the future. Apple is going to have a hard time to compete with Premiere and entire suite of software.

    Keep adding new content and I will be adding content as well on my site.

  3. avatar

    1st off I have to say that I’m somewhat new to Premier But it’s by FAR so much better than Final Cut Pro which I have been using faithfully for 12 years! BUT, Two Things in Premier I’d love to see fixed or maybe explained to me.

    First, in reply to Omar’s advise on the issue about being able to scale a video track by double clicking on it. True if you only want to scale the Top layer of video. Even when I have selected just the video track in the timeline that I want to scale and then Double click it in the Program monitor so I can adjust the scale it will always grab the video track that is on Top. Not the one selected. So then I’m forced to select the clip in the timeline, open up in the effects control panel (select the TINY squared icon) THEN I can grab and scale it in the program monitor manually. There’s No shortcut like (Control T) that will select it either. Maybe there is a setting I’m missing to make this work?

    Then Secondly, Another source of Frustration I’m surprised more people aren’t complaining about? Zooming in and out of the Program window is a PAIN! Limited to FIT, 25%, 50%, etc. I want 33% or FREEDOM TO ZOOM like I do in After Effects or Photoshop!! In AE it is a Simple right click and drag up or down. In Photoshop its just as easy to zoom around, BUT not in Premier??! I’m hoping someone will tell me where the Magic button is that I’ve been over looking.. Thanks for any help!!

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