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Old May 18th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #1
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2009 Version of Which Editing Suite

Hey, so I found tons and tons of older arguments for this, but nothing really up to date. So I think it's time to ask the question again, which editing program should you use?

I've recently taken a lot of training in Adobe products and find them pretty simple to use now that I've learned most of them and know how they interact and all. However, I have already been using Vegas since forever.

So, there shouldn't be a be all end all approach, but what is better for what?

I think what I may be doing is short clips and such on Vegas because it is quick and easy, but if it needs to be short with great preset titles, I found Premiere's presets to be much better (they had lines and glows and such where as Vegas is just text FROM WHAT I KNOW).

Long films and such, I'm thinking editing each scene in a separate sequence in Premiere and linking the sequences in the end may be easier, but I don't know since I haven't done a long project.

One of the major things is getting to and from audio programs. Sony's AAF hasn't been able to get me into Cubase and it's EDL is pointless. I'm going to test Premiere's AAF and if it can take Sony's in and convert it to OMF, then using Premiere as the center piece looks even better because it can take in projects from Final Cut and Vegas! Now that's a plus! And OMF out into any audio program! (Anyone test it yet?)

I haven't had much experimenting with Final Cut Pro, only within the last week or so. To me, it seems a lot slower and doesn't have as much effects built in as something like Vegas, and lacking the easy connectivity to After Effects. Why is it seen as big as it is? I may catch on later, but maybe it's because I'm a PC guy.

So, join in on the conversation. Final Cut Pro 6, Vegas Pro 9, and Premiere Pro CS4 seem like the top candidates, but add you can. Avid we all know is the industry standard, but I don't think many of us will have access to that system!
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Old May 18th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #2
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IT -- DOES -- NOT -- MATTER -- WHICH -- EDITING -- SYSTEM -- YOU -- USE.

Repeat that 1000 times.

If you can't cut on any one of them, you can't cut on any OTHER one of them.

If you CAN cut on one of them - you can adapt and cut on any OTHER one of them.

Editing software is like a piano.

If you can PLAY a piano - you can play ANY piano. You can also play a synthesizer. And an organ. Yeah, you'll have to learn what the new buttons and switches do on the fancy organ or synth, but sooner or later you'll have to MAKE THE MUSIC. Which isn't very much about where the switches are located. It's about understanding music and haveing taught yourself to BE PIANO PLAYER.

Stop obsessing about the machine, and the layout of the switches and buttons. It's barely relevant to making videos.

Learn to play. Learn to EDIT. That's it.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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Well said, Bill!

I will certainly not be the first to throw the proverbial stone, as I've also been there, and without any harmful intention I think it's safe to state, at one point or another all of us asked this same question. We look over the fence (friend's computer, fancy web tutorial) and say 'gosh, I've got to have that toy'! It's better than my toy! I confess, I've been obsessed for a while by Avid... it's the 'industry standard', the big movies are cut on it, etc, etc... we all whistled that tune, right?

Then it so happened, that I had to cut something quick on Final Cut. Big deal! From turn on to render I was done in a couple of hours. Keep in mind, I have never touched a Mac before, let alone FC. Tried Avid too, conforming everything to QT is not for me.

A couple of weeks ago the bug bit again... I have a PC I have to reformat soon (it's full of junk), so why not try the beloved/hated Vegas? Got the trial off the web, cut a short family movie right away... missed the integration with DVDA... so I thought, Adobe is much better...

I still have CS3 on my editing machine, I rarely touch it. Why? because Edius does everything I need, and does it fast and without fuss, no bugs, no lockups, no errors whatsoever. Sure, I miss the fancey interface of the Adobe products, and "I could get a good job if I learned FC" (often heard on the web)... who cares? My tool does what I need, and if it doesn't, I jump over the fence and get around it some other way, maybe using another software.

As Bill said, learn to edit - it does not matter on what you edit as long as you can do what you need to do.

Video editing is an art, and a real artist can create with a large variety of tools. Everything else is simply a personal preference that does not affect the outcome. Some painters spend a fortune on brushes... I've seen one using a 50-cent kitchen knife and creating a masterpiece.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:34 PM   #4
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I'm not talking about simple edits, I can do that on all three of those with ease. I'm talking about advanced functions like titling and transitions, how much they can do, integration into plugins to help, what are the presets like, that kind of stuff.

Also, how much integration into other programs is there? I know that for Vegas it's really hard to get an AAF export to work into just about anything, but I haven't tried into Premiere yet. That is important if you want to send the music over to Cubase and such.

If you are basically at the point where you have the basics down for those three, but have to use a PC, which would you choose (that puts FCP out)? What can you end up learning more with? That's really my question.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 08:19 AM   #5
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Adobe all the way

If integration is your thing, then the answer is clear.

No other suit has the level of integration found in the Adobe Creative Suite. Forget AAF and EDL, it was supposed to make all of the editing programs work together, but who do you think really wants that? Besides, even if it does work, that's a two or three step process, whereas with Adobe, you right-click on the audio right there in Premiere and open it up in Audition; work on it, save it, and boom, it's updated in Premiere. Same with AE, same with Encore.

There is a reason it's called a "suite", right? And if learning is what you want, you can get lost in AE for years and still not get to the bottom of it, it's such a wonderfully complex software, the industry standard, some would say. Creativity, and your own imagination is ultimately the limiting factor, not the software anymore.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 08:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
... I've seen one using a 50-cent kitchen knife and creating a masterpiece.
Ervin, I absolutely agree with you. I am using Corel VideoStudio X2 that costs much less than the other major editing software and I am sure that soon I will create a masterpiece...give me time...

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Old May 19th, 2009, 09:39 AM   #7
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As an audio editor I started on 1/4" with a razor blade and some sticky tape, I used AudioFile for most of my digital career and I now have pro tools.

For video and audio tracklaying I have now had AVID and Final Cut Studio 2 for the past two years and now prefer FCP, but I still do all my audio dubbing on pro tools.

I find my workflow is perfect at the moment and shoot tapeless HDV on compact flash with a sony S270 camera (tape for back-up), import to disk via clipwrap software, edit picture and track-lay audio in final cut studio 2, export omf for audio dubbing in pro tools ver 8 and then bounce to disk a final mix and stems if needed (music, Fx and dialogue) as AIFF for re-import into the final edit in FCP. I then produce a final pro res 422 1920x1080i 25p master with whatever sound mix I need.

It will be interesting to see what changes later this year when I go to P2 with the 301 camera.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rackauckas View Post
I'm talking about advanced functions like titling and transitions
With all due respect, titling and transitions should hardly be considered advanced functions. In this day and age, simple titles and transitions (and most filters) are so integrated into the workflow that they should be considered part of "meat and potatoes" editing.

The right tool is the one that works the way you think. Most editing software allows you to do the same things, albeit in different ways. Buy the software that works the way you do OR invest the time to learn what the software expects from you.

The only other major differences (besides computer platform:PC or Mac) are: integration of hardware and compliant video formats (as mentioned previously).

I cut on FCP at my home office but I can edit on AVID or Premiere if needs be at a client's office. Media100 has always stymied me and I've never tried Vegas.

Edit software, as Bill mentions, is merely a tool. Some mechanics like SnapOn, some are pro Mac, others suggest that Mastercraft or Craftsman is plenty good enough. How much are you willing to spend, what hardware (if any) do you need, and how do YOU want to work? Those are the only questions I'd be asking.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #9
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Any advanced titling/transitions will generally be done 'manually' in a motion graphics package, like after effects. On that note, I love CS4's integration between Premiere and AE.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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Chris,

I agree pretty much with what has been said. If this system is just for you and doing your own work, then just find software that "thinks" like you do. Some video systems seem more intuitive to me than others, so check them out until you find the one that suits you best. All of them have strengths and weaknesses.

Now, if you plan on integrating with other post houses, or if you want to have skills that are marketable if you go looking for a job with other companies, then Final Cut Pro is the way to go. I don't think it's the best thing out there, but it has become the de facto standard.

Whatever you do, remember it's still you who is doing the editing, not the bundle of processors and software.

Have fun!

Rob
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Old May 19th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #11
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Looks like I'm giving the bid to Premiere for any computer that can handle it because of the integration with AE, Photoshop, Encore, Illustrator, and all of those other programs that are necessities. Sounds like the more powerful option, though I will keep an old version of Vegas on my laptop just to edit quick and easy to put out to AAF for Premiere.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 06:05 AM   #12
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The if you can cut on one you can cut on all argument is a little extreme, IMHO. All 1/3" chip HD cameras take essentially the same picture, but that hasn't kept thousands of threads poping up comparing and constrasting what are essentially all the same product; much more so than the various NLE's are.

There are very significant differences between editing platforms, yet they do essentially perform the same way.

This is my breakdown, FWIW.

Vegas, good all around package w/ excellent audio and very nice DVD Architect program. Many plugins and built-in effects of decent quality. Will run on any PC. Does not take advantage of videocard's GPU. Great value for the price.

Premiere, best integration w/ AfterEffects and Red One footage. Will somewhat take advantage of videocard's GPU.

FCP, very powerful and user friendly. Needs to render a lot. Studio version w/ Color allows you the best professional color correction capabilites of the bunch. Mac only.

Avid, most powerful and very fast. Will take best advantage of videocard and doesn't need to render nearly as much as FCP does. Also pretty easy integration w/ AfterEffects via QuickTime Reference. BUT, is a finicky program that needs a major overhaul. Audio okay for basic work, but that's it. Media management top notch, so working on a large project with multiple editors, Avid holds a distinct advantage. Comes with Boris Continuum Complete and Red pulgins that are worth about $2K all by themselves. Mac and PC compatible. Company has really lost out on the prosumer NLE market and has been losing money.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #13
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I say buy the cheapest NLE that does everything you need it to do, and then spend difference between that and Avid Media Composer on beer.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
The if you can cut on one you can cut on all argument is a little extreme, IMHO. All 1/3" chip HD cameras take essentially the same picture, but that hasn't kept thousands of threads poping up comparing and constrasting what are essentially all the same product; much more so than the various NLE's are.

There are very significant differences between editing platforms, yet they do essentially perform the same way.

This is my breakdown, FWIW.

(SNIP)

Mac and PC compatible. Company has really lost out on the prosumer NLE market and has been losing money.

Here's a simple reality check.

Everything you said in your post will CHANGE over time. As soon as one app updates, it might offer something really spiffy that the others don't do as well. Then the next in line will do the same. Then the next, ad nauseum.

Everything I said in my original post WILL NEVER CHANGE.

Perhaps it's not simple, so much as wonderfully PROFOUND.

Because with just a single editing concept, the CUT - which ALL editing systems down to the free one's for Windows, Mac and Linux, do quite competently, by the way - you can recreate 99% of the content viewed in the world with precisely the same communications results that are achieved with all the fiery cloud of particle transitions of which you can conceive.

And here's the cold truth as I see it.

Even the aesthetic stuff that can arguably make use of bells and whistles built into today's NLE's - if you're spending your time at the MACRO view reading about what an NLE may do - you're NOT spending your time in the MICRO view which is sitting in front of one of the software packages actually exploring the effect on the viewer of all those transitions.

Reading about editing systems is like reading about sex. It's fine if reading about it is all you've got access to. But given the choice of reading about it or doing it, most people will decide that a 90/10 split of the latter over the former is pretty comfortable.

Thus it should be with editing.

If you're doing it and you're dissatisfied with your results, then look around. If you're not doing it, great - talk your head off about it. If you're doing it and would be happy except for the vague uneasy feeling that someone else is doing it BETTER than you - then your problem isn't editing - it's self-confidence. And no editing system switch will solve that.

I really ought to put this in my sig...

"It's not the piano - it's the piano player."

FWIW
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Old May 20th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
Because with just a single editing concept, the CUT - which ALL editing systems down to the free one's for Windows, Mac and Linux, do quite competently, by the way - you can recreate 99% of the content viewed in the world with precisely the same communications results that are achieved with all the fiery cloud of particle transitions of which you can conceive.
I don't think anybody can say it better than this...

I will always prefer an editor that will give me the fastest way to CUT scenes together and even if it will not have all the great effects I'll still end up using it for 99% of times because that is what I need to do during 99% of editing.

In case I need to do something that this editor does not support, I can always use another editor to create that effect and bring it back in this editor for further editing...
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