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Old March 12th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #1
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Can anyone compare Avid to FCP & PP

Years ago in the BetaCam/SD only era, I used to edit on Avid Elite Expess Pro (I think that is what is was called). I got out of the business for a couple of years. When I came back, it was at a more consumer level than pro level. I tried editing with older (cheaper) versions of Premier, Liquid and Vegas. My first version of Premier was a closeout and cost me something like $39. Over the years, I wound up sticking with Premier since I found it easier for me to work with. I have gradually upgraded all of my equipment and have progressed to CS3. But I never felt like I developed the ability to be as creative an editor in PP CS3 as I was on the old Avid. I think subconciously, that I have avoided taking on large projects since I was never fully confident that I would produce something I would be really proud of in Premier Pro. I never felt that way when I was editing on the Avid. For some reason, it just seemed like the Avid knew what I wanted and it seemed easier to get the look I wanted. And I was confident that I could produce a terrific product. I am not that confident now.

Since Pinnacle Systems is killing off Liquid and I had an old version of Liquid, they are offering a deal to buy Avid Media Composer for cheap. So I am intrigued, but I also feel like I am at a crossroads. Do I want to try to take my editing to the next level and start seriously looking for commercial accounts again or just stay where I am now? Most of editors in this area use FCP and it seems to be the system of choice for many. One negative is that another guy who used to work with me on the old Avid went out on his own years ago. Since he was already familiar with Avid, he bought Media Composer with Mojo. But he never seemed to be happy with his system and Media Composer even though he did achieve pretty good success with it. He just recently migrated to FCP and he seems to be happy with the change. So are my good memories of editing on an Avid accurate? Is the Avid really magic? Or should I spend big bucks and go the popular route towards FCP? Or should I just stick with CS3 and spend my money upgrading to CS4 and learn how to get more out of it? If I did get Media Composer, would I be disappointed in the Avid without adding Nitris DX or Mojo DX? Are they really essential for editing HDV and XDCam EX footage? Or footage from anything else I might need to rent?

My current edit computer is a Core 2 quad PC with plenty of memory and storage. So it should be up to the task.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 09:51 PM   #2
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Since Pinnacle Systems is killing off Liquid and I had an old version of Liquid, they are offering a deal to buy Avid Media Composer for cheap.
Great deal. I just saw it.

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Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
So I am intrigued, but I also feel like I am at a crossroads. Do I want to try to take my editing to the next level and start seriously looking for commercial accounts again or just stay where I am now?
Only you can answer this.

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Most of editors in this area use FCP and it seems to be the system of choice for many.
It is. It's cheaper, very full featured, and is the choice of a great many independents. Doesn't necessarily mean it's better, though it certainly is at some things.

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So are my good memories of editing on an Avid accurate? Is the Avid really magic?
Magic? No. Fast? YES! Stable? YES! Avid is still the editor of choice in Hollywood. Especially for big films. And there is good reason for that.


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Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
Or should I spend big bucks and go the popular route towards FCP? Or should I just stick with CS3 and spend my money upgrading to CS4 and learn how to get more out of it?
I'll address this more in a second...


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If I did get Media Composer, would I be disappointed in the Avid without adding Nitris DX or Mojo DX? Are they really essential for editing HDV and XDCam EX footage? Or footage from anything else I might need to rent?
Mojo DX is just a box for input/output. Unless you're connecting to tape drives for capture, I wouldn't bother. Nitris adds some horsepower. For HDV and XDCam, I wouldn't bother. No idea what you'd be renting. But if you're renting anything less than $50k, I wouldn't bother.

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My current edit computer is a Core 2 quad PC with plenty of memory and storage. So it should be up to the task.
You're computer is about 3 generations behind current at this point. Adobe is preparing CS5 and your computer won't come close to being ready for it. It's underpowered for the current version of Media Composer as well. And it would be pretty slow for Vegas too.

So to move forward, you are looking at a purchase of a high powered machine (PC or Mac) as well as new editing software. You'll get more mileage for you money with a PC, but that will lock you out of FCP. You could get a Mac, AND use the deal to get the Avid upgrade. And if you totally hated it, you could switch to FCP down the road. Or switch to Premiere.

Honestly, though I prefer PCs, in your position, the Mac offers you the most flexibility in terms of trying to decide your path. Avid MC is a joy to me. I've NEVER cut so fast. Not in Premiere, not in Vegas. It is an industry standard, and support is phenomenal. It is not perfect. Nothing is. If I was standing in your place, I'd take the risk on Avid and the Mac. And maybe give FCP a try later. For $495 for Avid, you can hardly go wrong. That's the deal of the decade right there. Essentially, the Academic bundle price.

Best of luck with your choice. Oh, and Avid offers a 30-day fully functional trial. That's how I got hooked on it. Give it a shot. There are no dongles any more, so you just download, install, and go.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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I am in the exact same position as you. You probably never got to a point where you really gave Liquid a chance because once you figure it out, it was an awesome product. Hasn't had an upgrade in a couple of years and still way ahead than most NLE on the market. I've been using it (still am) for the past few years and I hate to see it go.

I have heard good things about MC and FCP systems but I hate Mac. I have been told by some that FCP would be more familiar to what I'm accustomed to. On the other hand, I have heard that once you figure out MC, it's great. I mean they cut movies on it, how bad can it be. If you're planning on working with people that use FCP then maybe you should consider that but right now a Mac Pro G5 is a pretty expensive option plus you have to buy FCS. MC has many tutorials out there to help you along. With the whole Liquid fiasco, I think they're going to bend over backwards to get people on board with the system. NAB is right around the corner. See what Avid does with MC 5. You have until June to make the purchase. You already have the system to handle MC and you're getting a hell of a lot for $500 bucks. I would suggest downloading the MC trial version. It's the full version and you have a 30 day trial. You have nothing to lose but time and you possibly have a lot to gain. Go to the Avid forum and talk to some people. All the Liquid people that went to MC are very helpful. I'm going to try it before I decide. My only problem right now is I don't have too much time. Let me know what you do. I may see you on the Avid forum.

As I finished, I see Perrone posted a similar suggestion. I do think your system is capable of running MC though. At least until you decide whether you want it.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 10:30 PM   #4
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As I finished, I see Perrone posted a similar suggestion. I do think your system is capable of running MC though. At least until you decide whether you want it.
I'm not saying he can't run it, but he'll be short on CPU, won't have a nitris box, and probably doesn't have a quadro card to help out either. For the cost of a hot quadro he's halfway to a solid PC. For the cost of a Nitris, he's paid the same for a hot PC WITH a Quadro.

After seeing what Media Composer did with my Avid spec machine with a Quadro FX 4800, I wouldn't want to cut with anything else.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 10:49 PM   #5
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I hear you. I'm hoping I like the trial. It's a great deal and I don't want to go to a Mac.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #6
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I am going to download the trial version and see how it feels. I hope it brings back those old good feelings I had with the other Avid, where I felt I was more of an artist and less of a mechanic.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 02:25 AM   #7
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I'm in the exact same boat
Love Liquid but have to think to the future.
Media Composer seems like a completely different beast. So it should be.
Liquid was developed by Fast and then Pinnacle. It was Avid that killed it off. They can take no credit for a brilliant NLE.
I'd rather be an artist too. I hope I can find an NLE that's nearly as good as Liquid.
There was supposed to be a 'NextGen' successor to Liquid. Presumably that has now been binned.
I had not idea about this deal. I will check it out. Hopefully it's good for us Europeans too.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 06:41 AM   #8
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And I was confident that I could produce a terrific product. I am not that confident now.
AMC won't enable you to deliver a terrific product in a better way then FCP or Premiere can, it's mostly up to the editor behind the software. With adobe products the sky could be the limit in regard to being creative if you use their combined strength with premiere, photoshop, encore and aftereffects. (But premiere is not that stable with HD, especially with larger projects)
I don't know AMC but I guess that eventhough it's a solid editing tool you still need to invest into separate software to deliver more ceative stuff.
I have been able to do a multi-cam edit on a Canopus edius pro system two weeks ago and I thought I died and went to heaven, that must have been the easiest mulitcam edit I ever did, running several hdv streams on top of eachother converted with the canopus hq codec and with several color-corrections all in real-time on an older q6600 machine. Only their audio capabilities are not that good but it was rock solid during the edit.
I think Canopus edius pro is also a NLE that you could consider, a straightforward and very stable editor you could edit as fast as you think, once you get to know the most important keyboard shortcuts.
Maybe one more to consider but hard to sell as they don't offer a demo, that's Newtek's speededit, I would love to get my hands on a trial version to see if it delivers as they promise, especially because the software has a storyboard that's a big bonus. But Newtek is not that smart refusing to provide a trial, who would pay almost 1000 dollar if you can't play with it first?
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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #9
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Here is a link if anyone is interested in Avid. Liquid Update - A response from Kirk at Avid - Avid Video Community

Noa, Premiere is not even in the same category as MC & FCP. I have the Adobe Master collection and do not even use Premiere. It's not that good. I've heard good things about Edius but it's not as good as my current editor (Liquid) and they haven't had updates in a few years. Of course it is now declared EOL. I edit HDV without a problem, multi-cam is a snap, background rendering...I don't know what Avid was thinking. No matter what your using to edit you need plug-ins and different programs to make things better and be more artistic. For $500 you're getting MC, Boris Continuum, Sorenson Squeeze, etc. I don't know if that's the way I'm going but it is an awesome deal, especially if you're already PC based. Also, I heard Grass Valley was looking to sell. I don't want to plant my roots in another product that might go away.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:29 AM   #10
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Richard, at this point Nextgen will not be a Liquid replacement. I now feel it will be a Studio replacement. We've been spoiled with Liquid. While MC is a completely different animal, as a Liquid user, you have a great advantage. First, the $500 deal. Second, someone that had used Liquid, and moved to MC, has made tutorials that help with the transition over. Avid also has some tutorials. Go to the Liquid and Avid forum and people will be more than happy to help get you going. There are going to be a lot of newbies.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #11
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Noa, Premiere is not even in the same category as MC & FCP.
I was only referring to it's strength in regard to other product integration like encore, photoshop and after effects, That it's not the same category as MC as an NLE I agree but compared to FCP, especially if you take the integration possibilities of adobe products into account, I don't see FCP being in another category.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #12
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Agreed. Great integration with both products.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #13
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Richard, at this point Nextgen will not be a Liquid replacement. I now feel it will be a Studio replacement. We've been spoiled with Liquid. While MC is a completely different animal, as a Liquid user, you have a great advantage. First, the $500 deal. Second, someone that had used Liquid, and moved to MC, has made tutorials that help with the transition over. Avid also has some tutorials. Go to the Liquid and Avid forum and people will be more than happy to help get you going. There are going to be a lot of newbies.
OMG. This has got me really worried. It's the first I have heard about. I haven't had any notification from Avid and I see that the deadline for registration has passed.
I do have the paid-for, full version of Liquid 7.2 with a validation number so the fact that I've heard nothing from Avid makes me wonder if I have fallen off their radar.
It's my problem. I'll try to sort it out.
But it makes me feel a bit sick that I've stuck with Liquid awaiting news of 'nextgen' and I only find out by chancing across this posting on DV Info that 'nextgen' is not going to happen and that Liquid is being completely dumped.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #14
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Richard, I think they're dealing with the U.S. registrations first. I would keep checking the Avid site.

As far as Nextgen goes, that's a sore subject with a lot of us. I'm highly pissed off but I have to move on. Good luck. I'll let you know if I see anything you may need to do. Go to the Liquid site frequently.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 04:44 AM   #15
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Thanks Rob. I've logged on, checked the box to 'receive email from Avid' and have sent an email to Marianna, who seems to be co-ordinating this project. Fingers crossed.
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