Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Editing › Why do people like Avid Media Composer?
August 13, 2009 at 3:31 AM #46941
August 13, 2009 at 5:02 PM #193341
Avid is very stable. The way it manages media surpasses all other NLEs, according to what I’ve read. Avid Unity is probably the best solution when working with many editors on the same project as well.
August 13, 2009 at 5:34 PM #193342
It sounds like you are headed for the industry. I pretty much work alone, although I dream of (and pray for) the day when I will have help.
I guess my main concern is speed of workflow. I can get Avid at an educator’s discount (like, $250 bucks), so while I got started on Vegas, I keep bumping into limitations which drive me crazy. I understand Avid got taken over, but that the new team is supposed to be doing really good. So I am keeping an eye on it for a possible upgrade when I get my next machine. I just want to know if that is the alleged hypothetical ‘best choice’ on the PC platform (or even if there really is such a thing).
August 13, 2009 at 6:44 PM #193343
We’ve discussed at length the technical aspects of NLE’s in other posts including Avid products so I won’t go into detail. However, Rob is quite right. Avid is the ‘Grandmaster’ and all other NLE’s stand in it’s shadow. It does have a fairly steep learning curve initially, but once you learn it all other NLE’s are a snap. The biggest advantage it has is its compatability with the high and low-end Avid versions and its crossplatform capabilities. No matter if you’re using DV Express Pro on a single offline computer or a full Symphony/Unity array with 50+ linked machines you can transfer the basic portions of the project around to other editors whether they’re on a PC or a Mac. That’s pretty hardcore. That and all of the hardware support gear available and most graphic/mographic/animation software has Avid support built-in. That’s a tall order to follow.
It’s main strength is at the high-end its capabilities for project finishing is top of the line. Everytime there’s a new visual medium it usually someone using Avid products who figures out the best way to manipulate it at the highest potential. It’s main weakness has always been how expensive it is. The cheapest it ever got was with the non-pro DV Express for PC which was in the $450 range. The ‘pro’ version always hovered in the $1,000+ range and Media Composer until very recently was Mac only and hovered in the $5,000 plus range for a stripped down software only package for an Avid hardware rigged Apple. Symphony when it was PC only you couldn’t look at the box for less than $20k. Though it was a weakness as far as a mass market went, it wasn’t much of one because there were tons of schools and large production companies more than happy to fork over the loot to get their systems. Also Avid makes most of their money from tech support.
August 13, 2009 at 7:12 PM #193344
>>Also Avid makes most of their money from tech support.
That is a scary thought. I don’t mind taking training; but if Avid is so stable, why do they make most of their money from tech support?
August 14, 2009 at 1:36 PM #193345
“… if Avid is so stable, why do they make most of their money from tech support?”
As the Bard would have said, ‘Stuff happens’. Advanced software and hardware no matter how ‘stable’ the system still goes off the rails on occasion. The more complex the system, the more opportunities for system conflicts. That’s where most of the big name outfits make their ‘rent money’ in tech support. It’s the ‘drug dealer’ scenario. You pay for something and by virtue of you purchasing it, you’ll have to come back to either get more or get help dealing with it. All of which you have to pay for. No company makes software or hardware that is perfect and maintence free. Even if they could, they wouldn’t because they’d lose a metric ton of money from the tech support. You yourself paid for a high-end support package from the company you purchased your system from. It came in handy from what I understand. Imagine if you bought a full-on Media Composer Array with Nitris and a couple of racks with 30-40 TB’s worth of realtime storage capacity. You’d be retarded if you didn’t purchase a solid support package to back you up. Remember, these guys are in business to make money. In their minds, good product + good tech support = $$$$ and they expect you to pay for it.
August 14, 2009 at 4:19 PM #193346
>>Remember, these guys are in business to make money. In their minds, good product + good tech support = $$$$ and they expect you to pay for it.
Important point. Thanks.
August 14, 2009 at 4:36 PM #193347
>You yourself paid for a high-end support package from the company you purchased your system from. It came in handy from what I understand.
But if I am just one editor, working basically alone, and probably not pushing the hardware technology too hard, I imagine I should not have too many problems?
September 4, 2009 at 5:12 PM #193348LeanMeanGreenScreenParticipant
I just have a quick question regarding Media Composer v3.5. I purchased a Dell XPS M1530 Laptop recently, and was wondering if it would be able to run MC. It is a Vista Home Premium system, with a 32 bit operating system. It has an Intel Core2 Duo CPU T9300 both running at 2.50GHZ. I also got the academic version of it, and it loaded up without any difficulty. I just wanted to make sure my computer could actually handle it before I start importing video.
September 4, 2009 at 5:59 PM #193349
you can probably run it, but Avid won’t officially give you any tech support unless you meet one of their very finite list of officially supported systems, on their website.
But lots of guys do run Avid on different machines.
I hope that helps.
September 5, 2009 at 3:53 PM #193350
Long as that Dell of yours has at least 2-3GB of RAM (at 32-bit you’re not getting 4GB), you should be fine. Your laptop is a late model and the XPS series is designed for multimedia anyway. When you can, you should seriously consider upgrading to 64-bit so you can take advantage of more RAM.
Far as support goes, you should have basic tech support available with MC already once you’ve registered your software. You should also sign-up for the Avid Forums as that’s where you’ll get the bulk of your support questions answered. Also, don’t lose your dongle! It’s a major pain, but you need it to use the software.
September 6, 2009 at 12:32 AM #193351
I had to go with always used it. Been on it since the early 90s with MC version 3 (the first MC version 3 😉 and when I purcahsed my last Avid, clients still cared. Today, I really can’t think of a reason to write another check to Avid. When this one croaks, I’ll upgrade happily to a nice FCP suite.
September 6, 2009 at 3:14 PM #193352
Traitor. Just kidding. Seriously though, I dig Avid but I’m like you about ‘writing checks to them’. I’m not too keen on writing any checks to ol’ ‘Stevie’ either. Truthfully, all of the big NLE makers are a pain in some aspect or another but lately we’ve been doing just fine with the Adobe Suites for editing and graphics. Jeez, for what I would have paid for just a stripped down copy of MC I got the whole Adobe Master Collection! If apple would unpinch their sphincters and make FCP a cross-platform product, I’d have a copy on hand for my clients who whine about using it. However, premiere helps us bridge that gap without much difficulty. The only thing to deal with is the ‘Avid/FCP snobbery’ (oh you don’t use blah, blah, blah? you can’t possibly be serious.)
So did you buy a complete MC system? Whooboy! I remember those things in the 90’s cost 50-60 grand for a system I could get now for 5k! We keep a copy of Express Pro for offline edits to hand off for finishing, but I never forked over that kind of cash for a full system.
September 7, 2009 at 7:52 PM #193353LeanMeanGreenScreenParticipant
Thank you all for taking the time to answer my question. You guys are great.
September 7, 2009 at 9:40 PM #193354
composite1, I purcahsed a used symphony about 8 years ago for 70k and drove it into the ground then traded it in for an Adenaline suite that I financed over three years at 45k. Woo boy is right, considering a more capable FCP suite doesn’t have to cost more than 10k by itself today. Add to that the fact that my competition can buy MC software for a couple of grand and add again their “creative” marketing that will be their demise, and man there is just no reason to limit one’s self with that today. If you look in the FS section of this forum, I have my Adrenaline suite FS for almost half of what I paid for it. Adobe’s upgrades are upgrades. Apples are as well. Heck, even Quantel upgrades to this day. Avid’s updates are mearly bug fixes for what was purchased long ago and each one introduces new bugs. I can’t afford to beta test for em with my clients in the room paying by the hour. While the A word was an arguable requirement at one time, it simply is not anymore.
September 8, 2009 at 5:57 AM #193355
That sounds about right for the Symphony rig. I worked with a huge house that had 12 of them networked to a Unity rig back in ’03. I had to admit just with the basic software you could do some amazing stuff! But at 40k a pop, you better had been!
I thoroughly agree with you about how Avid isn’t a ‘must have’ software anymore. I’ve worked with it or around it since ’97 and it’s still top of the line stuff, but not worth the cash for frontline filmmakers. Not when you’ve got so many other great NLE choices on different platforms that won’t send your outfit to the poorhouse or your techs to the nuthouse trying to maintain.
FCP is an excellent NLE, but I do weary of the snobbery that goes with it. Particularly now that Adobe’s Suites are becoming more than a match for it everyday. I hope apple recognizes that shadow behind them is Adobe with a loaded shotgun!
MC is worth having if you can tolerate Avid’s so-called tech support and that retarded dongle.
September 8, 2009 at 10:57 PM #193356
Well the dongle only bothers me when I break it and have to buy a new one (only happened once during a move) and I have no use for their tech support. It’s usually some kid with a response like “hmm, well that otta work.”
yes I know. Hence the call. lol
I’ve not noted any snobbery with FCP. I’d have to laugh at it if I did. It’s a grand. Most high school kids have it in their basement. 😉
Premiere has indeed come a long way and I tell ya, Vegas offers quite a bit of bang for the buck. Today, I’d sooner purchase any of the above before a copy Media Composer software.
Want an Adrenaline suite for 25k??? I’ll come hook it up and train ya on it!
September 9, 2009 at 3:44 PM #193357
From my end of the input, you’re quite welcome.
As for ‘snobbery’ I run into it often when we go for contract gigs and when we look to hire contractors sometimes. Once I had a camerawoman look at me like I was from Mars and say, “I thought only Mac’s were used to create art….” Needless to say we didn’t hire her and I suggested she ‘stop thinking because she wasn’t very good at it.’ I also see that mac/pc usage is regional. Where I operate, you could barely barricade a door with the number of macs in use. But, you could cause an avalanche with the amount of pc’s. The bigger universities are typical in that for all of their graphic stuff they use macs and pc’s for everything else.
I did check out your advert for the suite. Appreciate the offer, but we build our own and we’re literally ‘dueling’ to decide whether we’ll roll with ACS or Sony’s suite. Personally, I’m sold on both as either can do things the other can’t and in my experience compliments my work flow. Our latest rig we built was intended to run MC, but all the stuff you mentioned and now Avid is under new management I figure it’s not worth it.
September 10, 2009 at 12:55 AM #193358
They are under new management about every 18 months or so now. I expect it to happen again soon. Each time, many users get excited thinking big and great things are on the horizon. I figure if they really wanted to compete they’d have at least one editor on staff as a consultant… and perhaps someone in product development. Their product managers are now sales managers. I think that says it all.
September 10, 2009 at 5:10 PM #193359
I read you loud and clear on Avid’s revolving management door. I strongly suspect the same thing is ahead for Apple’s NLE division when ol’ Stevie is no longer driving things. The bean counters are already lining up for all of the ‘iCrap’ their hawking and they’ve made it plain that’s where their emphasis is going.
This stuff was discussed in one of the ‘Alpha Dogs’ panels about both Avid and Apple’s ‘corporate makeovers’. It all strikes me as contradictive particularly with apple pushing ‘snow leopard’ and all it’s higher end capabilities. All of which far exceed anything apple’s target customer computer skill level would ever really need or use.
But then Avid or Apple wouldn’t be the first companies to have something that worked well and pulled the plug on it ‘just because’. It will be interesting to see. Avid yanked Express Pro which allowed many a budding indy filmmaker a chance to work with the software at an earth-bound price. MC is a great program, but it’s still pricey and if you want hardware acceleration, you gotta’ buy Avid’s gear which ain’t close to being cheap. But I guess that goes back to your comment about their product managers being sales managers. Shame that.
September 10, 2009 at 7:54 PM #193360
While Avid is not famous for making sound business decisions, Apple is. FCP alone has sold way too many macs for them to start playing Avid games. They won’t. We’ll see it only get better whie Avid… well while Avid keeps doing what it’s doing. Adobe contintinues to move forward as well. This will only prompt Apple to do the same. Keep an eye on Vegas too. Mucho bang for the buck there and only more with every new update.
On the high end, Quantel is making some very cool progress from IQ on up. Their motion trackers are second to none. It’s obvious to me they do not intend on being discarded like Avid does. Also worth noting, Blackmagic recently purchased Divinci. Duuude, this is big. This means FCP land will most liekly son be blessed with the bast dang NLE color correction we have seen. That’s my bet anyway, for what it’s worth.
I don’t see Avid hanging around much longer. I see no efforts to do so, anyway. They have poised themselves to sell. I imagine that will be to apple or adobe.
September 11, 2009 at 4:05 PM #193361
I’m not as optimistic about Apple’s future without ‘Steve’ as you are. It will be interesting to see what goes down when the bean counters get full control.
Yeah, I read that BM got DiVinci. That is hardcore. Top-end color correction in the hands of a PC/Mac friendly company. Maybe they’ll bless the indie’s with some affordable options.
Ugh! The very prospect of Avid selling out to apple or adobe makes my stomach churn. Though it wouldn’t happen, I’d much rather see Avid go the way of the passenger pigeon. It’s sad that the bean counters are just going through the motions. However, Avid is still pitching so who knows. Too bad someone with cash and real innovation in mind can’t get a hold of it.
April 28, 2010 at 10:21 PM #193362AnonymousInactive
Avid Liquid 7 is no longer being supported or offered, those users are being offered an upgrade to Avid Media composer for $500. The package comes with Boris continuum, Sorenson Squeeze and Avid FX along with smaller software.
Should I invest in the Avid upgrade or start with Adobe?
I intend to buy a new workstation computer for the requirements of Media Composer.
I worked with FC in college and find the work flow is harder on FC, the Mac desktop seems to comes through and you can not get rid of the task bar only thing you can do is make it smaller. I feel Liquid had a better faster workflow, especially in dropping in dissolves and stretching them.
However do I have to succumb to FC or should I look at Adobe?
April 28, 2010 at 10:35 PM #193363
“Should I invest in the Avid upgrade or start with Adobe?”
I’d invest in Avid 5.0. They killed it at NAB this past year. Even I intend to invest after I buy a few other pieces of hardware for my computer…and I used to be a hater.
April 28, 2010 at 11:43 PM #193364AnonymousInactive
“They killed it at NAB this past year”
In what way did they kill it? Public opinion? Critics? Competition?
What will be the best NLE in the future 10 years from now?
MC, FC or Adobe?
April 29, 2010 at 12:02 AM #193365
“In what way did they kill it? Public opinion? Critics? Competition?”
There are a number of things.
1. The way Avid handles a project that contains footage of many different resolutions and frame rates is much better than Final Cut. And it handles it in real-time. (this is sort of old new by now though).
2. They are now opening up to 3rd party hardware! Who woulda thunk? Currently it only supports the Matrox MXO2 mini, and it can only be used for monitoring, not ingest. But they said there is more to come
3. They are playing nice with quicktime files now. No need to convert to Avid’s .omf file, which took forever last time I checked.
4. They now have an open timeline that is similar to FCP. Just move clips around in the timeline at will.
5. It handles ProRes footage. So this is great if you shoot with the AJA Ki Pro, which records ProRes, or if you’re a real big shot and shoot with the new Arri Alexa, which is a camera that records ProRes.
The support of ProRes is big because you can capture with FCP, use Automatic Duck to go to Avid, Edit, Send back to FCP, and then color grade with Apple’s Color (right now the Di Vinci is the only thing that can compete with Color).
“What will be the best NLE in the future 10 years from now?”
In an age where technology is “out dated” in 6 months, that is just a plain ridiculous question. The need to upgrade in the future is inevitable, but I personally feel you will be safe with Avid and FCP.
April 29, 2010 at 1:29 AM #193366AnonymousInactive
So when you say “they killed it at NAB” you mean Avid made a good impression, made a killing at the show?
Thanks for all the help, I thoughtAvidhad the best color correction.
April 29, 2010 at 1:32 AM #193367AnonymousInactive
What I meant by ten years from now is that Avid has been at the front of full feature film making, most Hollywood films are made with Avid programs. So my question was about whether they would be used by serious film makers ten years from now.
April 29, 2010 at 11:31 AM #193368
“I thoughtAvidhad the best color correction.”
No. The industry standard has been the Di Vinci, but for the past couple years people have migrated to Apple’s Color because of it’s affordability. Color’s interface also resembles the interface of Di Vinci, which made it easy for seasoned pro to make the change.
However, at this past NAB, BlackMagic Design just announce they are bring the Di Vinci Resolve to the Mac, and only for $1000. So Color has some serious competition now.
April 29, 2010 at 5:14 PM #193369
It’s just impossible to listen to Avid today. I assume everything they state now is a lie because for the last decade, it has been. Boy who cried wolf.
You all know I’m an Avid house. That’s due to client demand, not my choice. Now, clients simply don’t care what tools ya use because they know it doens’t matter anymore. I’ve said it before… if anyone wants a $40k Adrenaline Media Composer system, I’ll give it to ya for $15k so I can upgrade to FCP or Smoke… probably both on the same mac.
April 29, 2010 at 5:44 PM #193370
“It’s just impossible to listen to Avid today. I assume everything they state now is a lie because for the last decade, it has been. Boy who cried wolf.”
<span style=”font-style: normal;”>I haven’t been doing this long enough to know what they’ve said over the past decade. Care to fill me in?</span>
<span style=”font-style: normal;”>Also, are you not even a little excited about the new Avid announcements? It seems to be for real and has me excited anyway</span>
April 29, 2010 at 6:15 PM #193371
I’m excited to see where things land as far as their selling or merging the company. I don’t see any avoiding that at this point. Whent hat happens, I do expect great things.
20 years ago, Avid was indeed the industry standard and by far the top dog of the new NLEs. All the linear houses were adding Avid offline suites. Media COmposer version 5 was released in 1995 and introduced the 3D DVE. Aliased as it was, we were all giddy and no other NLE came close when you looked at quality and features. 15 years ago, producers would call with an opening question “do you have an Avid?” If we said no to that, we lost, plain and simple. Thats when an Avid was an Avid though. They killed the meridien line almost ten years ago and started pushing their software to try to compete with FCP, which was gaining market share quickly. The software was nowhere near ready and as old clientele realized they were now paying to beta test for Avid, things changed. Avid’s upgrades became bug fixes (that introduced new bugs) while every other NLE’s upgrades intriduced more capabilities. When Avid released Adrenaline they were making up for losss of market share and began what I call their creative marketing. It’s been nothing but lies since releasing Adrenaline as HD native and even calling it Adrenaline HD. It could not do HD. I’m not kidding when I say when I do an HD project today, I have to bypass the $44,000 break out box. This does indeed mean I can’t monitor it or spit it out any other way than exporting a file. Yes, now they sell an adapter for 500 bucks. lol I’m sure you can understand how this leaves a bad taste in a brother’s mouth. Their support is non existant. Should you call (at 500 bucks a call unless you pay a grand a year for assurence) you get some kid who responds to your dilema with “hmmm, well that otta work.”
yes. yes it should. Hence the call, Beaver Cleaver.
Now they are irinically up to v5… where they were 16 years ago. Same aliased DVE. Same primative title tool with Marquee still waaaay too slow to mess with. Avid editors’ DVE is still After Effects to this very day. When they claim this and that now… man I have to touch it and do it to buy it. Till then, it’s just doodoo butter. It’s bad business to lay down on a burning bes then claim to have gotten burned. Again, Smoke is sound and has been around. FCP is growing by leaps and bounds and has become the industry standard. Hows that for egg on the big purple A’s face? Search staff editor gigs and see how many Avid jobs are out there vs FCP jobs. Avid did this. Nobody sells more copies of FCP than Avid today.
April 30, 2010 at 2:27 AM #193372
hmm….that’s really interesting. I was always under the assumption that Avid was pretty dialed in all areas.
January 5, 2017 at 3:46 PM #215042logic28Participant
Well ! .. I am seriously and truly puzzled . I have been testing out Media Composer for almost a month now and found nothing else than problems let alone how slow it is compared to other platforms.
I have been editing since 2007, started off with Premiere 5.0 and Matrox and in 2 days I was burning ground as fast as, found my way around quickly and adapted to its deficiencies with patience. When I changed it was only because I had to work with a broadcasting unit and I chose Newtek VT4 /5 and discovered their NLE system.
I was amazed to know that that software had been able to accept any kind of footage and frame-rates on the same timeline and all in real time for almost a decade when every other software was struggling to do so even in 2006. The speed of editing in simply incomparable as the all philosophy behind the interface is radically different, it’s simply the CORRECT ONE ! !
The timeline is endless and covers the all page, there are 5 different pages that can be accessed (mainly for broadcasting purposes but nothing stops the editor from opening 5 different projects and work on all of them at the same time.
All nodes and keyframes can be viewed directly under the timeline itself with a clear reference to the footage.
Too many attributes to list here as it goes on forever.
Just don’t understand why the company decided not to continue with it and completely devoted its new business to broadcast only with the new Tricaster.
I don’t know of anybody who has worked on ether VT5 or indeed the stand alone Speed edit (not quite as good) and hasn’t felt devastated having been forced to revert to other traditional systems because of the new technologies and formats.
I also have been suffering the same pain since 2012 when I started using my new RED digital camera and of course had to revert back to the 5 time slower scenarios of the too conservative and old fashion NLEs.
Seems to me that who designed AVID is constantly relating to the old moviola system, almost as if one wanted to create a modern vehicle but still powered by steam.
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