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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:16 PM   #1
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Hi Everyone,

I am currently about to purchase a new computer. I am having trouble deciding on a PC or a Mac. I have been using Vegas for the past 4 years but also decided to try a new software, Avid or FCP. My biggest reason for changing is that more and more listings of jobs I am finding are asking for Avid experience or FCP experience. So, I was just wondering what all of you were using and which you would recommend. I'm sure there will be some bias here.......Also, I was wondering which has an easier learning curve. Thanks in advance.

Ben
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Old March 8th, 2007, 04:59 PM   #2
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"Hi- I'm looking for a new religion, anyone have any reccomendations???"

Sorry. You've touched the 'middle rail' of forum discussion -NLE/Platform preference.

I cut on AVID, and love it. I'm looking at buying a new Laptop, and I'm seriously considering going with a MacBook Pro - for two reasons. I can cut on Avid AND Final Cut Pro with it.

You're right in stating that there are more job listings for Avid and Final Cut than, say Vegas. But to be sure, the listings for AVID will be typically for higher end work,(requiring more experience) than for Final Cut. So, you're chance of GETTING work is greater if you cut on Final Cut, which is used by more 'mid-level' and 'boutique' shops, even as Feature and Broadcast work is still done mostly on AVIDs. Make sense?

So, my reccomendation would be this. Decide on the platform... PC or MAC? (Could be lots of reasons for one over the other, but YOU decide.) IF you are going to stay with a PC, then you rule out Final Cut. IF you are going with a MAC you have the option of owning and using both AVID and FINAL CUT. (AVID actually GIVES you a PC and MAC copy when you buy the software.) OF course, Premiere has just announced plans to go back to supporting MAC... so there's always that option, but you're back to a lower level of job listings again.

Now... let the platform/NLE rants begin.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 05:15 PM   #3
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don't think there's any right or wrong recs, everyone likes what they like. Some NLEs are more intuitive than others. I have always used Adobe products, and they work for me. I use Adobe Pro, After Effects, Encore, Photoshop.
Macs are really nice...I used to have one, but they are not cheap. I can get more for my money with PCs. I'm sure I'd like most of the popular NLEs out there if I had opportunities to use them.

Peter Jefferson is good for advice here.....he has had his hands on just about all the popular products out there, he can atleast give you some comparison instead of a one way opinion.

I used to cut shows for AZN Television and Adobe Pro was fine for them.....they only cared about the final product which I delivered. The above poster has some good advice. My rec on Adobe is for event stuff and I am not trying to get work as an editor for TV. If that were the case....I would definately purchase whatever is the most common/popular and in demand NLE in that market. I know Final Cut and Avid are very popular......
What ever happend to Media 100?

Good luck. Joe
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Old March 8th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #4
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Richard is on the money. No rants here. Its exactly what my impression is though I am a Premiere user. If I was job hunting, it would be FC and Avid I'd try to become competent in.... The issue is competence in an industry program, not which one we consider best. But for my personal use, I get along fine with Premeire and Vegas. (I am told Premiere is close to FCP, but haven't ever used it.)
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Old March 8th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #5
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I was in the same boat about a year or so ago.

I had never spent 10 seconds on a Mac... but sucked it up and bought one anyway.

I love this thing!

I knew *SQUAT* about FCP. And although I'm no pro or expert with it, I've cut plenty of weddings and dance recital videos on it that look pretty good (in my ever so humble opinion, of course).

FCP? Yeah, you know me...
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Old March 8th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #6
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And if you want to mix HDV with DV 16.9/4.3 etc, go and get EDIUS 4.
Full res preview window.
All in real time as well with vary slow mow, colour corrector and more.
HDV or DV timeline it does not matter, just edit the lot and render it out to whatever. So easy......
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Old March 8th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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FCP is cheaper, hence its quite larg private sector market penetration. Also many people are against windows and with Vista now, i dont blame them..
Thing with FCP, is that its QT shell although efficnet for Mac's, can be cumbersome for other platforms. Also to get the most performance form it, you must conform your files. As an example, FCP strems soimethign like 5 DVCPRoHD100 streams IF and only IF those streams are confromed to QT.. this is nto native editing and it DOES take time.. this in effect defeats teh purpose of direct P2 editing off the card..

still XP is rock solid and stable, so for me, its Avid and Vegas7, as no other app can do what vegas does with XDCamHD and even though avid is VERY expensive, it is in fact THE industry standard.. I use pretty much all of tehm for different purposes and for training, but despite the fact i hate Avid, i use it to appease certain clients egos.
Edius is brilliant, getting much more commercial penetration due to the Pro level formats it can handle in realtime (DVCPRohd, DV50, XDCam).
Many find the interface daunting though..
Avid Liquid has issues with databasing so if you want to use media in other apps, good luck hunting for the clip.. background rendering forces the applicaiton to database the media in a way which pretty much makes the media exclusive to the application.

Premieres biggest strengths are in the bolt on architecture, without Canopus and Matrox doing what they did for Prem6.5 up to prem pro, premiere would be dead in the water by now. It is very similar to FCP, however the platform (ie windows) is far more versatile for many business' needs. Tonnes of studios are still using it with Digisuite and RTx systems as Digisuite runs on crappy 6 yr old PC's and still pumps out 10 friggin DV50 streams without skipping a beat.. Now with RT2, and PremPro2 using GPU its a little more powerful, but what happenes when AVCHD comes out... ?

Vegas is still relatively new, and considering its taken adobe THIS long to get close to where vegas is, then id expect within the next 3 years, vegas would have exceeded the levels of premiere. thats if Sony start listening ad do somethign about the throughpout and rendering issues

Avid, well, i can go on abot avid and the way they do things. FCP release an update, Avid unlocks a locked feature.. See Avid has a variety of differnt "levels" and as FCP release something Avid unlocks its existing one. Also Avid own ProTools, so integration is incredible, BUT even ProTools cant do half the stuff Vegas can.. which is pretty funny considering price..

I gues above all, you shoudl consider what kind of material you'll be editing, from there, work out which NLE and OS wil lbe able to handle these formats.

With your question, all i can say is that you should detemine what platform you want. Also whether or not that platform can indeed load up all the other applications you will be using on a day by day basis. I use windows because i also use Combustion, Fusion, AE, Premiere, Vegas, PI3, and a myriad of other apps, such as CCE encoder, mainconcept, cineform, soundforge, CS2 etc etc Oh and i love my FPS's lol

What youre asking is like asking should i use gas or electricity when i cook, and with that, which pot should i use..

Its up to you and what works for you... theres no right or wrong
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Old March 8th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colby Knight View Post
I was in the same boat about a year or so ago.

I had never spent 10 seconds on a Mac... but sucked it up and bought one anyway.

I love this thing!

I knew *SQUAT* about FCP. And although I'm no pro or expert with it, I've cut plenty of weddings and dance recital videos on it that look pretty good (in my ever so humble opinion, of course).

FCP? Yeah, you know me...
I concur, pretty much the same story with me. Never touched a mac and bought one to see what the hype was all about.

Well, now I know and have not looked back since. I have used most of the nle's including vegas, avid xpress, and ppro2.0. My fav was originally ppro but it just got kind of "chunky" after a while. Could have been my pc but I was running into lots of stability issues with ppro. However, I have a lot of friends who use ppro and love it. They make ppro work with all the upgrades that are available such as matrox and cineform. Premiere could be a very powerful nle once you start pimping it out.

Of course, fcp has it's moments as well. Especially if you own an hd100. I still get a few crashes here and there but not even close to as often as I did with pc.

Overall, I really like the look and feel of fcp. I find myself, less having to play with things and more getting absorbed in editing. It is just really nice. I also enjoy all the neat options and formats that fcp is able to handle. I just think it's a little more commercial oriented than ppro and could start hitting avid territory when fcp 6 comes out.

Kind of off the topic, but it also seems that mac's have excellent memory management which can come in handy if you work in digital effects or graphics as your editing. I can actually edit in fcp, render effects in after effects, and create 3d graphics in maya without ever having to individually quit the programs. My mac pro is actually surprising smooth in these instances.

Vista might change this aspect but you will have to wait for nle's to start supporting it.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #9
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"I can actually edit in fcp, render effects in after effects, and create 3d graphics in maya without ever having to individually quit the programs. My mac pro is actually surprising smooth in these instances."

to give you an idea, one of my base systems is an XP SP1 HT Intel 3.0 with 1gb ram, Nvidia 6800GT 512mb/256bit gfx card..
I have 8 seperate IDE drives in a non raid setup.

I regualrly run 2 instances of Vegas, Soundforge, PI3, AE, CS2 and Avid (plus explorer and my email progrmas.. oh and my Torrents.. lol.... on this box and it doesnt skip a beat.. multitasking has never been an issue. As an example, i do all my cutting everywhere else and finish off in Avid.. hence the need to have Avid open
No lag, no strain
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Old March 8th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson View Post
"I can actually edit in fcp, render effects in after effects, and create 3d graphics in maya without ever having to individually quit the programs. My mac pro is actually surprising smooth in these instances."

to give you an idea, one of my base systems is an XP SP1 HT Intel 3.0 with 1gb ram, Nvidia 6800GT 512mb/256bit gfx card..
I have 8 seperate IDE drives in a non raid setup.

I regualrly run 2 instances of Vegas, Soundforge, PI3, AE, CS2 and Avid (plus explorer and my email progrmas.. oh and my Torrents.. lol.... on this box and it doesnt skip a beat.. multitasking has never been an issue. As an example, i do all my cutting everywhere else and finish off in Avid.. hence the need to have Avid open
No lag, no strain
I can run ppro2.0 and render magic bullet plugins in after effects and the pc only gets laggy. Everything starts crapping out when I start working on a maya project.

I usually never work like this on my pc but I just tried it to see what would happen. I always use the pc to render magic bullet plugins because they don't work on the intel macs and so the pc is still in my workflow.

I am running a xp sp2 dual core amd x2 2.8ghz and 2 gigs of ram. The hardrive is a non striped sata.

It's also a fresh install, I am getting ready to install my apache stuff and get it back in server mode.

I don't know, I guess every pc is different. It could possibly be a bottle neck somewhere but I really don't have the time to figure it out. It seems like every pc I use has some sort of memory problem. I hear vista handles much better but then you have to deal with the "premium content" police officer that enjoys eating up your processor speed.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 11:58 PM   #11
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"can run ppro2.0 and render magic bullet plugins in after effects and the pc only gets laggy. Everything starts crapping out when I start working on a maya project."

((That sucks.. I run combusiton alongside AE and chop and change keyframe positions/motions on the fly between the 2.. Also if you have MB, you should be getting faster than relatime performance.. im runnign a "lowly" AGP nvidia 6800GT and it zips through rendering.. so no need to jump to a different app for using any particualr effect. then agian this is MB2.. not MB1.. Misfire still runs like a bag of crap though.. ))


I usually never work like this on my pc but I just tried it to see what would happen. I always use the pc to render magic bullet plugins because they don't work on the intel macs and so the pc is still in my workflow.
((Consider analysing the plugins and creating your own filter chains.. when MB1 came out, depsite teh fact i liked the looks of certain presets, its didnt cut it (pardon the pun) for fast rendering, so i went through and created a myriad of filter chains to emulate particualr looks whch i would use day by day.. one day fiddling saves hours of rendering..
Now with MB2, this isnt an issue thogh.. ))

I am running a xp sp2 dual core amd x2 2.8ghz and 2 gigs of ram. The hardrive is a non striped sata.

((well then you should be gettin better results than i am with that spec.. yours is pretty much twice the machine mine is))

I don't know, I guess every pc is different. It could possibly be a bottle neck somewhere but I really don't have the time to figure it out.
((aaahhh but you see.. if u put a lil time into it to work out the kinks, then that time will make itself up tenfold.. that and the fact tht you will learn something new about your machines behaviour.. ))
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Old March 9th, 2007, 03:12 PM   #12
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Here's my take on it. When I started out I was doing only weddings using something like Premeire 3.1 with a Pinnacle card. I worked my way through to P6.5 and then had an opportunity to bid on a corporate job. I didn't get it. The reason....I didn't use Avid....that was the only reason. The guy in charge said Premeire was a kids toy....couldn't do what Avid could(even thought he admitted he had never used Prem) I thought that was a little stupid....but what the heck....I went out and bought Avid and managed to get a few jobs from him later. Then in the middle of a job I suddenly had major problems with Avid. It was most likely a machine problem...but I didn't have the time (or money) to get a new machine.....so I did it in Prem Pro and After Affects(which I had on another machine that wouldn't run Avid). I didn't say anything to him(at first)....and he liked it. Later I mentioned it to him and he was surprised. He thought he would be able to see a difference.
I have always been a little annoyed that there are a lot of things I couldn't do with Avid that I could with PPro....at least not without buying Adrenaline or higher. The biggest thing I liked about Avid was no rendering(well almost) and the color correction. Then I had a chance to try Edius in Jacksonville. It had a lot of features that I liked about avid and it does a lot of the things that PPro does that Avid doesn't. Having just finished using the trial version of Edius I am selling Avid and moving to Edius.
My feeling is I want to use the product that will allow me to meet my clients needs while making my life easier.

Last edited by Mark Slade; March 9th, 2007 at 03:29 PM. Reason: hit post before I was finished
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