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What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


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Old March 9th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #1
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Ideal hardware set-up

Having spent the past couple weeks evaluating different editing programs on a 17" macbook pro laptop, I'm now ready to commit to the winner...Vegas Pro.
My project is long-form, working with some 30 hrs. of footage and turning it into a 3 hr. documentary.
Is there an "ideal" set-up as far as computer and monitor(s) you could suggest? I sure don't want to be doing this on my laptop! I do have a 1TB G-Raid for starters.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #2
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What is that footage? DV, HDV, AVCHD, XDCAM EX, etc.?
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
Having spent the past couple weeks evaluating different editing programs on a 17" macbook pro laptop, I'm now ready to commit to the winner...Vegas Pro.
My project is long-form, working with some 30 hrs. of footage and turning it into a 3 hr. documentary.
Is there an "ideal" set-up as far as computer and monitor(s) you could suggest? I sure don't want to be doing this on my laptop! I do have a 1TB G-Raid for starters.
Umm.. You think you've experienced pain before, you haven't experienced pain until you try to work with long form projects in Vegas Pro.

After advocating Vegas since V7, I put it into retirement due to constant issues with poor memory management, constant workarounds, etc having to get even simple projects completed. I have a quad core with 8GB RAM, WIn 7 Pro 64 bit, m2t's transcoded to Cineform Neo Scene AVI's - it was a nightmare.


I switched to Edius and haven't looked back. Official update to Edius Pro 5.5 will include native editing of 3 or more AVCHD tracks - without issues, as long as you have an i5/i7 chipset configuration - and is a free update to existing Edius Pro 5.x users. Rumor mill has it that at NAB, the announcement of Edius 6 will have 10 bit color support and will be native 64 bit - but that's rumors for the time being (although my reliable source has eluded with a wink and a smile)

If you think Vegas Pro is a winner, read my thoughts after having switched in the middle of a editing a project on my solovj blog - "My move to Edius for editing video"

And note - there are former Vegas editors who have switched to Edius for the reasons I mention - and several are on the Edius discussion forums on the Grass Valley Website.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #4
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Oh my, this is something I hadn't heard. Well, I'm working with HDV footage, with a little DV at one point. I'll read your post. My project is going to be 98% straight cuts. Will that cut me some slack?
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
Oh my, this is something I hadn't heard. Well, I'm working with HDV footage, with a little DV at one point. I'll read your post. My project is going to be 98% straight cuts. Will that cut me some slack?
Lynne - That's what I was using with my project, except I was transcoding my footage to CIneform Neo Scene AVI's to try and reduce any issues - and the finished product was only 6 minutes long. Quad core with 8GB RAM and I still had issues - Unless SONY can regroup with 9.0d, I'm done with Vegas Pro

I'f you haven't purchased Vegas Pro - you may save yourself some serious grief. Edius Neo 2 has been rock solid with everything I have thrown at it - literally and the 30 day fully functioning trial will prove my point. There are some things missing that Edius Pro offers - and for the amount of $ Edius Pro costs - it's almost the same as Vegas Pro (Edius is slightly more, but well worth it in reliability)

Personally - you take your time and energy into your own hands if you decide to start the project in Vegas - there's no way to export out the project to another NLE if things go sideways for you.



I learned that the hard way
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:25 PM   #6
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there's no way to export out the project to another NLE if things go sideways for you.

I started with Vegas 6. Working with DV had no issues. I've never owned an HDV camera, but putting long-GOP codecs on the timeline causes Vegas memory handling issues. I avoid it at all costs.

With that said, I was rendering a project this afternoon for delivery this afternoon. DV video shot on my DVX100. I needed both Mpeg2 for DVD and WMV for FTP delivery.

Using Vegas32 it crashed 2/3 of the way through the render. Like Vegas shut down crash. This is on Windows 7, 8GB of RAM, 8-core Avid certified machine. Project was a total of 19:24 long. I was dumbfounded.

There is absolutely no way, no how, I would start a project in Vegas 9 of any length on a deadline. Zero chance. And Cliff is right. Getting the project OUT and into something else is a beast. It CAN be done, but not for free and not easily. The software to get multi-track audio out to OMF to be read in Avid, Premiere, or FCP is $600. And to get the video out.. I don't know since Vegas doesn't do real EDL export that other NLEs read. It's a one way NLE. It accepts quite a lot, but can't export much for use in other NLEs.

I have a 2hr documentary that I started in Vegas 7 years ago. I am waiting until my Avid system comes in to do it. I scrapped the Vegas project. And that was shot on my DVX100. It had 70 tracks. I'll wait.

I tell you this not to dissuade you if Vegas is your path, but to let you know all will likely NOT be smooth and easy. You're going to want to pull your hair out some days.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:14 PM   #7
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Wow, this is good to know. So far I've only laid out $70 for a couple instructional books and a dvd on how to use Vegas, and they haven't even arrived in the mail yet.

Is this why so many people use Final Cut Express or Pro? Somehow it manages to avoid these nightmarish issues?

One of the ways I make a decision on which program to use, besides its intuitiveness of course, is how many books are available to refer to. At least there was the single VASST source for Vegas. But for Edius, there are no books at all (apparently there are 2 on-line sources).
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #8
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I know from their posts that Cliff and Perrone are intelligent and sincere in their opinions and experience.

OTOH, there are many, many editors who've not had any sort of problem with Vegas. I had severe problems with HDV in V5, a little better in V6, V8 brought sweetness to HDV editing in the native long-GOP codec.

I've done some lengthy (1hr+) projects on a Core2 Duo with 2GB of RAM on XP Pro with no problems with V8.

V9 is still pretty young. I recently built an i7-920 with 12GB ram running W7 Pro, and I'm still finding my way to the best workflows with native Canon 5D files.

I'd certainly agree that when Vegas has had problems with new camera codecs, which have gotten increasingly complex, the issues have tended to be related to memory overflow. There are some tricks to running 32-bit Vegas on a 64-bit system and allowing it access to more than 2GB of RAM that have been helpful to me in this. I'm running V8-32, V9-32, and V9-64 currently.

With all due respect to Perrone and Cliff, I'd not write off Vegas quite so quickly. But, you don't have to! You'll need a robust PC to run any of these programs (except FCP), build it/get it, and work with the demos of the NLEs to see which works best for you in your situation.

FCP is a different beast. I don't find it that quick to use, but of course power-users can find what they need more quickly than me. There's extensive 3rd party hardware and software support. It's an indie / corporate / non-broadcast standard, so, pretty easy to find resources in any medium or larger market.

Historically, FCP has lagged well behind Vegas in supporting new camera codecs, but, is pretty mature in its capture of HDV directly to the ProResHD422 codec.

It's been a little while since we had NLE talk-offs here, but, there are lots of older threads about the pros and cons of each, search will turn them up.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
Wow, this is good to know. So far I've only laid out $70 for a couple instructional books and a dvd on how to use Vegas, and they haven't even arrived in the mail yet.

Is this why so many people use Final Cut Express or Pro? Somehow it manages to avoid these nightmarish issues?

One of the ways I make a decision on which program to use, besides its intuitiveness of course, is how many books are available to refer to. At least there was the single VASST source for Vegas. But for Edius, there are no books at all (apparently there are 2 on-line sources).
Lynne, I've just emailed you privately with something you NEED to read. But to address your points here, filmmaking is a collaborative process. Vegas was designed from the outset to appeal to people who do it all themselves. If you look at programs like Premiere, Avid, FCP, they are suites. They have programs that do audio. They have programs that do color, they have programs that just edit, etc. Because of this arrangement, they are inherently designed to be able to pass information from one application to another. Final Cut Express does not fall into this.

I would venture to say that more than 98% of the films you see come out of Hollywood or even from large indies are done mostly in Avid, or Final Cut Pro. Indies are probably 80% FCP, and big Hollywood features are probably 80% Avid. In a 2009 survey of the American Cinema Editors uniion 21% responded that they were cutting on FCP, and 79% responded they were cutting on Avid. NO OTHER NLE WAS USED. Period. Zero.

All NLEs have their issues and quirks. But believe me, there is a reason why $50M movies (and up) are cut on Avid, and why big indie movies are cut on FCP. No one trusts anything else, and nothing else offers a suite of products that work as well together as these programs.

If you own a Mac or plan to buy one, learn FCP or Avid. If you own a PC and want to do this, buy Avid and don't look back. If you simply cannot afford that route, then buy Edius, and cut on that. It's solid and it works. The Premiere Suite on PC is $1699. Avid is available for $2299 I believe. The difference in cost is worth it.

I know this post will raise some ire with some folks. So be it. It's the truth, it's verifiable, and the numbers from the pros back it up.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #10
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I'll say this. Seth made a very nice post. And I know he's a serious Vegas user. He's had more success than some others.

Unfortunately, I am at the mercy of what comes in the door. I cannot dictate what codec I get. Whether it's HDV today or RED tomorrow, or ARRIRaw next week.

HDV is long GOP 1440x1080 at 25Mbps and is one of the lightest codecs out there. XDCamEX which I have from the EX1 is a bit more robust but similar. DVCProHD is i-frame so avoids a lot of memory issues but it's 1280x1080. Even less per frame than HDV.

There are workarounds to Vegas 9 issues. At least for most things. But if you're starting from scratch, why fool with it? And if you'll have to collaborate with folks down the road, why paint yourself into a corner? The people who tend to be big Vegas advocates are people who are self contained. They shoot, edit, color, and finish their videos all on their own. Anyone who has to push video out to after effects, audio out to pro-tools, get 3d titles from who knows where, etc., isn't a Vegas fan. It's not built for it.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #11
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Here's a comment from the Edius forums that can put some context around Avid, Edius et al:

"We switched over from Avid MC and rarely use it anymore. Edius is the choice. I like the Edius interface much better than Avid. IMHO Edius is just more user friendly and faster than Avid for most projects. You need to decide what fits your production and editing needs best. I love the fact that Edius will use anything you throw at it. I have a project right now that has multiple frame rates and NTSC and PAL mixed on the timeline with great results. In the Edius media bin you can also convert just about any media type over to the Canopus HQ codec, which is very high quality. Putting a project together with all different file types is a breeze. I am very happy I made the switch."

Lynne - if you have a serious project that is a finished product of 3 hours from 30 hours of footage, you have to ask some very important questions: Are you going to be collaborating? How important is your time -vs- ease of use? Don't get me wrong - I love the concept of Vegas - if it were rock solid, this discussion wouldn't be taking place. Vegas tries to be everything to everyone, and in my experience, that's not possible at the present time.

Seth presents a compelling case for Vegas - but the problem is that for every one compelling case for Vegas, there are more cases that prove otherwise - mine included. And I did alot of research before making the switch.

You could very well have no issues with Vegas if you choose to go that route, but if time is money, why take the chance???

Seth is only a couple hours north of me, and I'm hoping we get a chance to meet and discuss the merits more in depth.

To give you a sense of why I have made my choice: I'm currently editing a 2 DVD documentary project someone else shot and I can tell you I have extensively tested in Vegas Pro, Premiere Pro and Edius to determine which route to go - Edius still has the top spot for performance and stability - my NewBlueFX plugins work in all three NLE's so I can test back and forth accordingly and my feature limited Edius Neo 2 beats both Premiere Pro and Vegas Pro in all areas. If Edius can produce a sub $200 NLE that can beat the top level offerings from both Adobe and SONY, that speaks volumes as far as I'm concerned. AVID is out of my price range so it's not a consideration for me.

In addition I can tell you that anyone you collaborate with who has either Edius Neo Booster 2.5 or Edius Pro 5.x this is the official response I received from Edius tech support:

"You can open Edius 5.12 projects in Edius Neo 2.5 Booster and Neo 2.5 Booster projects will open in Edius 5.12 as long as you keep everything simple. All cuts, dissolves, video filters, transitions will remain too. Unfortunately we cannot gaurantee functionality or compatibility with earlier versions of Edius 5 and Neo 2.x or complicated projects done in Edius 5 to open and work correctly under Neo 2.5.

Best regards,
GV Support Team."

That was more or less the final decision making process for me to go Edius.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:18 PM   #12
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I'm sitting here still rubbing my eyes in shock...but this is stuff I needed to know.

No, I'm not planning to collaborate with anyone. Plus I'm planning to keep the project as simple as possible. Other than the sheer volume of HDV material I'm working with, it's mostly straight cuts and two or three audio tracks. And authoring dvds and BR in the end.

I'll check out Edius for sure.

This has been an eye-opener. And to think that 6 hrs. ago I was ready to plunk down $600.
Thanks to everyone for their input and hard-won wisdom!
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:43 PM   #13
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The media management required to cut 30 hours of video alone would limit my choices. Vegas is set up BY DEFAULT to cut on the timeline, and not with a trimmer. Can you imagine dragging 30 hours of footage to the live timeline for rough assembly? Of couse, this is par for the course with FCP and Avid.

Vegas has a media management tool. But its so problematic, they make you opt into it to use it. You have to enable it, then restart Vegas, then populate it.

It sounds like Edius could be the ticket for you. Just do your homework first. There are a number of things I REALLY like about Vegas. The RED worflow is the best on the PC platform. I just wish it was more stable.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #14
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I agree with Perrone - there are things I love about Vegas - in principle. As someone who shoots as a one man army so to speak, Vegas Pro - in theory - is the ideal tool for editing video in what I shoot/produce.

My experience has not shown theory and reality do not align - hence why I suggest Edius.

Trust me, if Vegas were stable for ME outright, Edius wouldn't be a factor at all.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #15
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ok, Im taking my life in my hands by asking this among guys that have way more experience than myself, but ill ask it anyway for myself and anyone else who wants to know.

I dont get it! Ive done a few large projects in Vegas ( hour and half finished from about 15 hrs of raw footage ) and Ive had a couple of AVCHD tracks mixed with HDV mixed with MXF and a heap of Lagorith in there too, alot of the footage has up to 10 cuts a second in places. Ive delivered it to DVD and Bluray and broken it up for web delivery too.

I just havent had that many problems, yes it crashes sometimes, but before Ram preview or rapid multicam cutting I always save, in fact I save every couple of minutes anyway out of habit ( maybe thats your point afterall, lol )
Am I going to hit the wall soon? Is there something thats looming in the distance that hasnt hit me yet, because if my beloved Vegas is going to let me down in the future, I want to know NOW.

I always proxy edit for anything of any complexity or length, Is this saving me? Are you guys saying you can speed cut, Pan and crop and FX 1080p multi cam footage in EDIUS or FCP without them crashing????
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