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Get more of your FCPX editing experience with these investment-worthy plugins.

Certain investments – a better monitor, a bigger external hard drive, a faster machine – can immediately make positive changes to your editing workflow. Investing in the right plugins can have the same effect by expanding your editing capabilities in ways that customers will seriously love.

If your love for Final Cut Pro X is like me for your NLE, additional plugins are pretty important. Unfortunately, FCPX doesn't integrate with motion graphics and VFX software as smoothly, and certainly not as well as Premiere Pro with After Effects.

Fortunately, if you are willing to spend a few dollars on plugins, you can overcome this reality. Here are five FCPX plugins that I was happy to invest in.

1. ERA 4 Bundle Standard

This is a fantastic collection of audio cleaning plugins from Accusonus. The website promises "great results with minimal effort". I can attest that this is true. It was a game-changing investment.

For just $ 149, you can get a Noise Remover (my personal favorite), Reverb Remover, Voice Leveler, De-Esser, Plosive Remover, and De-Clipper. That way, even if you are new to editing, these plugins are accessible. Buy, install, just download FCPX, drag the plugin of your choice onto your audio, and listen to the magic.

I recently found the Noise Remover to be a lifesaver while editing interviews that were taped on a busy London street. With just the slightest fine-tuning, the results were transformative.

2. Decent video

As much as I love the ERA 4 bundle, if you only want to invest in one FCPX plugin, make it a decent video. It's the ultimate digital noise destroyer. I really can't add anything here. If you have loud footage, Neat Video will make that noise go away every time.

One thing to be aware of: it will likely slow your computer down drastically after using it. To get around this, I recommend adding it just before exporting. You can also add the effect to an adjustment layer above each clip and then turn the lot off while you continue working. You can reactivate these layers shortly before exporting. Once you hit the "Export" button, make yourself a drink while you wait as this will slow your export times immensely!

However, the end result is more than worth it. Here are some examples of Neat Video in action. These recordings are from a festival for which I edited a promo.

Our customers were amazed at the fantastic footage we shot because it was so dark. Neat Video did a lot for us there. Try pausing on different frames to see what difference this makes.

3. smoother skin 2

If you've ever wondered why actors' faces tend to look so good in movies, you might be shocked to see how much of that "smoothness" is added in the color grading suite. Skin Smoother 2 will help you take your color grading skills to the next level without leaving FCPX.

Usually, such effects are associated with grading-specific software such as DaVinci Resolve or Baselight. However, this fantastic plugin gives you the opportunity to fix bugs without leaving your trustworthy FPCX. Of course, as with so many of these effects, you need to be subtle in your application. Otherwise, the faces will look like they've been animated!

4. EasyTracker from CrumplePop

While you can't use the After Effects Motion Tracker as directly as you can in Adobe Premiere, using the EasyTracker plug-in for FCPX will definitely help you do something similar.

You can use it to create titles, animations, and graphics that move with an object in your recording. Not having to leave FCPX to get these types of effects is a huge time saver, which is why the EasyTracker is a must have.

5. Data Pop

Sometimes plugins are not about investing money. Sometimes it comes down to investing time. And since new editors often have more time than money, free plugins are a great resource.

Data Pop is a fantastic free plugin that allows you to create visually engaging diagram animations without leaving FCPX. Upon installation, you will have access to four different chart types: circle, ring, horizontal bar, and vertical bar. Watch the video above for more information.

Hopefully you will be tempted to invest in one (or more) of the plugins featured today. I know from experience that they can massively increase the value you bring to the table as an editor. Not only do you work faster and smarter – your work gets better. Your customers will be completely confused and then come back for more.

Do you like plugins? Then you will like these blog posts. Dive in and discover your new favorite plug-in for FCPX, After Effects and more:

Cover photo via fcpeffects.com.

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