Documentaries rely heavily on audio transcription to transform interviews and conversation into a malleable form. Many new automated transcription tools have recently arrived on the scene, many with tight integrations to Final Cut and other editing software. Here’s a list of a few I’ve found most promising.
A focused tool for getting transcripts & favorites in and out of FCPX quickly and easily.
- Text editor
- Select and export favorites back to FCPX
- Round trip with FCPX maintains keywords
- Most expensive
Evolving transcription & logging tool with big ambitions. Similar to SpeedScriber but more affordable.
$12/hr (points-based system)
- Text editor
- Multicam, role selection and most other FCPX workflows
- Excellent assembly editor for collecting “selects”
- Text editor is very basic, e.g. no speaker names
- Doesn’t allow exporting favorites back to FCPX
Simple, clean transcription from directly within FCPX and Premiere.
$15/hour and down
- Clean transcriptions
- FCPX workflow extension
- Doesn’t support multicam clips with multiple video files on the same angle, which is my preferred way of organizing interviews
Edit audio like it’s a word processor. This is the one to watch.
- Amazing tool
- Automated audio crossfades, effects etc
- Can use it for most of the editing process
- Focused on being the only tool you use rather than clean integration with FCPX and other tools
- No multicam support yet
- FCPX workflow last time I tried was problematic for synced audio
An excellent, affordable transcription & translation engine.
- Excellent transcription engine
- Very cheap
- Many languages and dialects
- No integration with FCPX or other tools
$25/mo for base system
$21/hr (35c / min) for transcripts
An extensive logging & rough-cut builder for FCPX and Premiere.
- Comprehensive system
- Live logging during a shoot
- Builder app for using transcripts to create assembly / rough cut
- UI and website are a bit clunky
There you have it! I hope the list is helpful. If you have any notes or recommendations please add a comment and I’ll update the post.