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Old October 18th, 2004, 01:52 AM   #1
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Vegas or Premiere Pro ?

Hi,

I am trying to decide between Vegas 5 + DVD, or an Adobe combo of Premiere Pro 1.5/Encore1.5/Audition 1.5

What I do primarily is video local musicians and want to produce DVD's from these recordings. So, audio is very important. I currently use a Panasonic DVC30 camera and have a pretty decent P4 3.0 PC with 200 G SATA HD's and 1 G Ram.

I have some experience with Nero 6, and have made menued DVDs with it, so I understand the basic steps. I want to step up in software, and I have no experience with the interface of Vegas or Premiere Pro, so I have no initial bias.

I know this topic has been discussed numerous time, and I have read many of the threads here and appreciate all the info/opinions, but I still have a few questions. I also have noticed that this subject can be sensitive - I do not want to start a flame war - I just want some facts/opinions please:

1. I know that both of these have steep learning curves, but for someone who has no experience, which is easier to learn (ie, if I just want to capture/mp2 encode/make a few chapters, menus, and a title - and then burn a DVD - which is the easiest to start)?

2. Audio is important to me. Is it true that the AC3 codec is provided by Vegas, but you have to pay extra in Premiere Pro?

3. I have had some issues with white balance and have some very orange recordings. Which package does the best color correction?

4. Which package has the best mp2 encoder? I think both can do 2 pass VBR encoding, I don't mind how long it takes to encode, I would just like the sharpest mp2 video output.

5. Adobe After Effects is not included in the package. Is this something I will have to buy in the future, or can you get away with PP and Encore?

6. Is there any advantage to capture to .avi using Vegas/Premiere Pro or is it OK just to use Window XP Move maker?

7. Is it easy to separate the audio from from the .avi files with each package?

8. Audio is recorded at 48 kHz by the camera. What is the best you can do on a DVD high frequency wise after all the encoding?

9. Any other tips or pointers from any of you making concert DVD's would be appreciated.

I know, alot of questions, but I would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks for your time,
Isaac
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Old October 18th, 2004, 08:46 AM   #2
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1. If you have absolutely no experience then I would say Vegas

2. No. If audio is very important to you then Vegas is the way to go--it has about 70% of the audio abilities of Sound Forge.

3. I would vote Premiere Pro for color correction---more flexibility---although Vegas has powerful tools too.

4. Both are fine.
5. AE is only required for heavy fx, compositing etc. Vegas allows you to do quite a bit but nothing is a replacement for AE.
6. Avi is just a tag--doesn't matter what you capture with---

7. Yes in both packages
8. 44,100hz

9. Both would work fine so why not download the demo versions, play with them for awhile and make your decision. I use both but find myself using Vegas more and more because I am doing loads of two camera shoots and Vegas has some wonderful scripts for that purpose.
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Old October 18th, 2004, 09:04 AM   #3
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1. I agree with David

2. Vegas only has an AC3 encoder out of the box if you buy it with DVD Architect (Vegas+DVDA) for DVD authoring

3. david: in what way is Premiere more flexible in this way?

4. they both have the exact same encoder

5. don't worry about that now, AE and other packages like it are very powerfull but also difficult to learn and expensive

6. I would recommend to capture with program that comes with the NLE so you can do things like auto split on capture (at least in vegas)

7. yes

8. david is incorrect, DVD is 48 or 96 (PCM) kHz, see also my DVD-FAQ link below. 48 kHz is what everybody is using.

9. make sure you get an authoring application :)

From the DVD-FAQ:
Quote:
...Linear PCM: It can be sampled at 48 or 96 kHz with 16, 20, or 24 bits/sample...

Dolby Digital: sample rate of 48 kHz at up to 24 bits. The bitrate is 64 kbps to 448 kbps, with 384 or 448 being the normal rate for 5.1 channels and 192 being the typical rate for stereo (with or without surround encoding)

MPEG audio: sample rate of 48 kHz at 16 or 20 bits. Both MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 formats are supported. The variable bit rate is 32 kbps to 912 kbps, with 384 being the normal average rate. MPEG-1 is limited to 384 kbps

DTS: at 48 kHz at up to 24 bits. The data rate is from 64 kbps to 1536 kbps, with typical rates of 754.5 and 1509.25 for 5.1 channels and 377 or 754 for 2 channels
DVD FAQ 3.6.2
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Old October 18th, 2004, 09:41 AM   #4
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1. I know that both of these have steep learning curves, but for someone who has no experience, which is easier to learn (ie, if I just want to capture/mp2 encode/make a few chapters, menus, and a title - and then burn a DVD - which is the easiest to start)?

a- Vegas is easier to learn, and faster to master. Its also cheaper. however as were talking dvd encode and authoring, multicam edits, etc etc they will both do a good job. The difference between the 2 is barely noticable on a good cut as theyre both use the Main Concept encoder, however Prem Pro offers a lil more grunt in teh encoding and previewing due to its ability to integrate with the Matrox RTx100 and Storm2 Hardware encoder cards. This can be critical for some people.


2. Audio is important to me. Is it true that the AC3 codec is provided by Vegas, but you have to pay extra in Premiere Pro?

a- Depends on which package you get. Pro1.5 has 5.1 surround integratedm the original release didnt. Vegas has THE best audio configurations with an editor i have seen so far (i would go so far as to say it surpasses Avid with Pro Tools, but im sure i'll get afew arguments here)
Pinnacle liquid 6 is using teh steinberg audio engine now, however keyframing IS NOT VISUAL. ie, if ur using a visual reference for a sound placement in 5.1 space, its not gonna be easy to master, as the surround panner is on a totally seperate screen. However Liquid 6 DOES have the potential now to be a Vegas killer due to the integration of Steinbergs engine. I dont think it will.. not until they perfect the niggles in it, but it comes very close.

3. I have had some issues with white balance and have some very orange recordings. Which package does the best color correction?

a- Prem Pro has some nice correction filters as well as colour matching filters which Vegas DOESNT have. Ie u can use a previus clip as a reference for colour balancing and Prem will automatically adjsut the clip to suit. Vegas is good too, but since 1.5 i find prem pro is a lil more powerful, if not only for the Matching filter

4. Which package has the best mp2 encoder? I think both can do 2 pass VBR encoding, I don't mind how long it takes to encode, I would just like the sharpest mp2 video output.

Both use main concept if your refering to software only, if you use Prem Pro with the matrox rtx100, you can use the matrox encoder which is realtime (saves ALOT of time on effect-heavy work) The canopus will run a canopus codec, but both (for prem pro) can also use ProCoder2 as well. Ive seen alot of hit and miss results from ProCoder, i find it doesnt handle background movement that well, but thats me in Pal land working in progresive formats. Vegas can also run a frameserver bolt on which allows pro coder to be used within Vegas
Personally, im happy with the results the main concept encoder gives me.

5. Adobe After Effects is not included in the package. Is this something I will have to buy in the future, or can you get away with PP and Encore?

a- Yes you can however some of teh heavier effects like radial bllurs and glows can only be done on after effects or within vegas. Both are very different beasts though. After effects is jsut that, HEAVY effects which work better when produced away from the main editor. AE also has a tracker/stabiliser as well as afew other filters which are quite powerful.
Vegas has the most powerful effect engine i have seen. As a purely integrated filter system its great however Prem Pro's bolt on plugin architecture give it the ability to surpase anything in its league, but Vegas allows for faster and more powerful keyframing.

6. Is there any advantage to capture to .avi using Vegas/Premiere Pro or is it OK just to use Window XP Move maker?

a- so long as its AVI2 compliant DV AVI (ie average 3.5mb/s @ 15gb per hour) you wont have an issue with its compliancy or editing and recoding quality

7. Is it easy to separate the audio from from the .avi files with each package?

a- Vegas has many more tools for this, as well as the ability to run keyframed or "rubber banded" controls on the audio. Prem Pro doesnt allow u to do this. the effect is either on or off.. you cant slowly turn a filter cut off as a sound passes in surround space. Vegas also integrates seemelessly with SoundForge whereby u can edit ANY particular clip or area of a clip and automaticaly create a "second take" of that sound
On a side note, Vegas natively works faster in the editing process due to its minimal menu system. It doesnt have the numerous sub windows.
for example, if i wanted to throw on a crossfade in Vegas, i literally move the secodn clip over my first clip. Voila instant crossfade. need to lengthen it, move it further into the first clip.
To do this in prem pro, u must first move the clip to the first one, then you must have you scrub tool at the point of where you want your transition. Now u select yoru transition (first menu)Then you must set the transition time, which is in another menu. They both work well but vegas IS faster when it comes to cutting.

8. Audio is recorded at 48 kHz by the camera. What is the best you can do on a DVD high frequency wise after all the encoding?

a - The best?? would be raw PCM uncompressed with is a mandatory format for DVD compliancy. Another compliant format is Dolby Digital AC3, which is similar to mp3 in size, but not compromising in quality as the encoder is runnign specific algorythms to process compressions and room characteristics, its a long story and ive written enough for one night.. but for waht you need, dvd audio with video SHOULD be 48kh. CD's are 44.1
DTS is a good one, and i THINK Liquid will be bringing this out soon (Steinberg.. now Pinnacle have a program called Nuendo which handles DTS quite well)
You could always have a your audio embeded in your mpg2, but this will literally be an mp3 quaity encode, and if you were my producer for my music dvd and used this format, i'd sack you ;)
In other words for a music focused product stick to high quality encodes like Dolby Digital or RAW.

9. Any other tips or pointers from any of you making concert DVD's would be appreciated.

a- Get afew cameras, maybe a couple of Minidisk recorders (forget DAT) which can be synced. Or better yet, take in a laptop with a soundcard which has the ability to record multiple inputs at once with seperate audio streams.
Once u have those audio files, u can multitrack them in post and create a true 5.1 Presentation.

For teh record, i use Vegas5 as my main tool, DVD Architect2 for my dvd authoring, Prem Pro for colour correction and certain filter as well as for projects im working on for other people (all prem users, as im a blashemer), Encore is stupoid in its management as it forces certain actions which should be treated as native, such as the command to STOP at the end of a first play dvd. theyr eboth powerful in authoring, but DVDA2 is just easier and doesnt try to be more than it is.
I use Liquid for Hollywood FX and slow mos, and maybe some colour correcting effects (ie changing the colours of certain objects in certain shots) I use BluffTitler for titles (used to use Graffiti, but this is faster and easier to use and dirt cheap)
Xara for my static titles, Steadyhand for certain stabilisng processes...
Theyre the main things is use for video.. I like the canopus cards as they allow for multiple captures at once.. ie i can set up 3 decks and have them all capturing video at once.. basically cutting my capturing time down by 2 thirds.. 9 hours worth of footage takes 3 hours to capture..

apart from that, as sugested, get the demos and see what works for you
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Old October 18th, 2004, 06:10 PM   #5
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i'm going thru sort of the same thing myself right now... except that i have no current intention of using either of the included dvd authoring packages at this point.

you didn't ask about the vegas titler... you can do beautiful titles with it very quickly, but the capability is also very limited, so plan on paying for an additional titler package if titles are a big part of what you do... photoshop will help immensely for making vegas titles, but you still won't have pro titler features like tab stop capability... vegas titles are also not exportable, afaik, and every graphic component that you create for your title will have to take up it's own layer(i think?)... vegas appears to be quite render-intensive... take a look at the boris family of products for both titlers and an xlnt after effects substitute known as red 3gl.

another big drawback to vegas is the proprietary plugin interface, which means that there are very few plugins available for vegas, as compared to premiere... for instance, you can apparently encode the vegas timeline directly to procoder, but it's done only with a freeware hack that has no official factory support... the mastering mode of procoder is the most cost-effective software encoder on the market, and it is definitely superior to the mainconcept encoder... but don't spend any money on it until you find the limitations of the mainconcept encoder; it is a good encoder in it's own right.

if you don't have any audio or video editing software already, i'd be looking seriously at vegas over premiere pro, plus it could be a better option for multi-cam shoots... but do your homework first! check out the official adobe premiere forum, look for the premiere bugs, also look here:

http://www.creativecow.net

http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.co...ssageID=280264
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Old October 19th, 2004, 12:15 AM   #6
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Thank you very much

David, Rob, Peter, and Dan

Thank you so much for time answering my questions. There seems to be a bit of a bias towards Vegas here, but I've noticed that there seems to be more support out there for Premiere, ie. when I went to the bookstore, I could find 5 books about Premiere Pro (including a Premiere Pro for Dummies) and only 1 on Vegas. I am currently downloading the trial versions - like you guys said, the only way to find out is trial by fire.

I still am alittle concerned about the AC3 codec in Premiere Pro. I have read in a few places that it is free for the first three tries, and then you have to pay extra for it after that. Can anyone confirm this?

Also, I was really interested to find out that DVD's can used native raw uncompressed PCM audio at 48 kHz and 16 bit - so there would be no loss from the original recording. I know that this would take up more room on the DVD - but what the heck for better sound. Can all DVD players playback the raw PCM audio?
I understand that AC3 is a lossy compression, but is it any better quality-wise to mp3? (I know that it depends on the bitrate)

Thanks again,
Isaac
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Old October 19th, 2004, 01:51 PM   #7
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Premiere's been around a lot longer, that's why you'll find more books on it. I worked at a computer animation house during college back in the late 90's, and we had Premiere 4.0 around to do all our work on - but there was no such beast as Vegas.

I'm just getting back into this kind of work after a long hiatus, so I haven't used the latest version of Premiere. I opted to go with Vegas instead because it was cheaper and I'm under tight budget constraints - and so far, I'm completely happy with that decision. The software does seem to be generally simpler to use than Premiere (at least the versions I'm familiar with). The only drawback I've had is that I'm not quite used to the Vegas way of doing things yet, which is a little different from Premiere. But I've only had the software for two weeks, so I'm sure that won't be a problem for long. And the flip side of that is, I've only had the software for two weeks but I'm starting to become fairly capable with it, and would be more so except that for most of that time I didn't have any footage to actually edit yet.

There does seem to be a lot of bias toward Vegas here on this board, but that's actually what helped convince me to go for it over Premiere. I figured if it was able to get this much of a following then it couldn't suck, so I knew I wouldn't be shooting myself in the foot.

I would tend to agree with the general consensus here, though, which is that either package will probably do far more than you actually need right now, so you won't go wrong either way.

Other than that, I strongly second Peter's suggestion: download the free demos and try them out. The price difference isn't very extreme, so go with the one that you like better. I may find Vegas a little easier to use, but I'm not doing this project, you are. So choose the one that fits with your style better.
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Old October 19th, 2004, 04:33 PM   #8
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mp3 is not supported in the dvd-video spec, so you shouldn't put it on your dvd, but i'd guess that ac3 is superior to mp3.

i started out editing with a fast video machine in the mid '90's... fast multimedia later developed some killer high-end editing stuff that pinnacle purchased and turned into the current liquid product line... i went full-time to premiere around version 5.5(?), so attempting to move to vegas has been a real pia.

in particular, this bastard vegas concept of only one editing window is something i've not been able to adjust to, especially when it comes to cutting out a bunch of short clips from a long clip of source footage... so i'm really not partial to vegas at all.

i wouldn't worry about the lack of books on vegas, all you need is one really good book, because vegas is well supported on multiple internet forums... i think that you are right about no ac3 codec included with premiere, but don't take my word for it.
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Old October 20th, 2004, 12:00 AM   #9
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hi gang,

regarding ac-3 and 48kHz. i have NEVER been able to burn a DVD from DVD-Architect 1 or 2 that will accept 24-bit ac-3 audio files. DVDArch1 or 2 seems to think taht 16-bit is spec. as far as i know DVDarch1 or 2 will ONLY burn Dolby Digital 2.0 192k, 16-bit OR Dolby Digital 5.1 448k, 16-bit. i've NEVER been successful burning in any other settings even though vegas allows the ac-3 encoder to do many wild things. if you try to use any other 'spec' settings DVDarch1or2 recompresses the audio to DD2.0, 192, 16-bit. and yesh i know the reality is that i ain't capturing audio @24-bit, bla bla bla but you should be ABLE to do it if you wanted to cause it's a part of the DVD spec. so unless i'm missing something...
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Old October 20th, 2004, 12:37 AM   #10
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Ask your questions here:

http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.co...=288943&Page=0

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Old October 20th, 2004, 06:17 AM   #11
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Yi: when the DVD spec "allows" for it does not mean the authoring
applications will as well! I'm not even sure which authoring packages
support PCM raw audio for example. I know a lot do not support
angles or multiple audio tracks for example (or a limited amount
of subtitles).

An authoring application (unfortunately) does not have to support
everything in the spec. So we don't get a lot of the neat stuff that
might be supported in the DVD spec.

To answer another question above. Yes, all DVD players *should*
support the playback of raw PCM audio.
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