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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old May 9th, 2004, 07:45 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 339
Another "babe" in the editing woods!!!

My situation in a nutshell is this:

I have no video editing experience.Yes,to date,I have imported footage,saved clips,done minor manipulation,made stills,explored and played around a little bit,but that's about all.I need a PC application that does not come with an inch thick manual,that is logically laid out,designed to be "user friendly",is somewhat intuitive and doesn't look to be intimidating or have the appearance of being overwhelmingly difficult.It would contain modest,mid level features,bells and whistles at a reasonable price.

All I want to do is this:

Import 2 tapes worth from the same shoot.
Lay them down side by side on a timeline so that they are synchronized from start to finish.
Have seperate audio and video tracks from each tape for a total of 4 tracks.
Be able to simply place markers on the portions to be spliced together or by some other method select,then switch from track to track in real time and create a new,mixed master track.

Not looking for anything fancy for effects or transitions.For now,basic choices are just fine.

It would be a bonus if I could look at both video tracks and have them up on the screen at the same time.Possible?

An important requirement would be to be able to see edits in real time without rendering first.Timesaver.

What are the "must have" features that are absolutely vital and indispensable?

Since there are so many programs out there to choose from,how do I find the exact solution that is "perfect" for my particular situation?

My set-up is a P4/2.66 Mhz/80 gig hd/256 megs or DR2700 ram running windows xp home edition.

Opinions and suggestions are welcome.

Apologize in advance for my ignorance,but hey we all start there!

Bruce Pelley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2004, 06:40 AM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 636
Look at Vegas 5, or its smaller, cheaper equivelant -- Screenblast Movie Studio. Both produced by Sony -- the first is in the ballpark of $500, the second, $75.

I'm not sure how many audio or video tracks are allowed in Screenblast -- check that out before buying.

There's free trials of both at Sony's site:

The great thing about Screenblast is that it gives you insight into the Vegas workflow, which is a very shallow learning curve (though quite powerful once you're willing to put the time in to learn more later). Additionally, the Sonic Foundry, now Sony line of apps has always been rock-solid with a minimal amount of headache management -- install them, drag-n-drop some clips -- start editing. They just work.

When you've outgrown Screenblast, upgrade to Vegas.

edit: so as i turns out, you're allowed 3 video and 3 audio tracks in Screenblast.

- jim
Realism, anyway, is never exactly the same as reality, and in the cinema it is of necessity faked. -- J-L G
Jim Lafferty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2004, 06:48 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
Well, hang on a second. I don't know any program that will let you switch between two captured video tracks in real time and output the result as video. You can certainly select between video tracks and set transitions between them, but the final project must be rendered (though there are NLE packages that include hardware which will handle transitions realtime, meaning that you can play the final project back from the timeline and output video directly). If this is what you want to do, most any editing package will handle it. If you want something inexpensive, the Studio packages from Pinnacle are quite powerful. Though a lot of people favor Vegas on this website, Premiere remains an editing mainstay (though it is priced comparably). You also might investigate Microsoft's free offering ("Movie Maker"?) -- I don't know how many tracks it handles, but the price is certainly right.

Synchronizing two video tracks is easy with any program -- you can do it by eye or by ear, but it's much easier if your source material includes a synchronization point, e.g. a slapper slate, a camera flash, or even someone clapping their hands together. Record the slapper slate or handclap with both cameras, as well as whatever audio recording device you're using (if it's a wild audio track) -- it'll be easy to match them up in the software.
Paul Tauger is offline   Reply

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