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Old September 25th, 2005, 08:18 PM   #1
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Is Vegas 6 overkill?

I have a lot of experience in production, but not much behind a camera. I have been in lots of edit suites, but mostly to drink coffee and kibitz and be impressed.
Now, I am anticipating buying an FX-1 and a computer to edit HD on. Insofar as software, I am very impressed with Vegas 6 +DVD. But since I anticipate using almost no special effects... twirls and spins and turning pages and star masks and the like... is Vegas 6 the best choice? (I really like the audio tools, so I am strongly leaning that way, but money is an issue.)
In addition, I am confused by the many claims made by computer and parts retailers, reviewers, etc. I will stay with PC, since I have so many programs for the platform, but what are the reasonable standards I should look for in a NLE computer? (Part numbers would be appreciated.) The computer would be used for nothing more than editing.
I've been through much of the FAQ... everything that looked relevant... but I couldn't find an answer.
Thanks.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 09:02 PM   #2
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The Platinum Edition of Vegas Movie Studio + DVD can handle HDV, and also has an upgrade path, when you decide to go to Vegas 6.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 09:08 PM   #3
 
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Additionally, Vegas Movie Studio Platinum projects will open in Vegas 6 should you decide to upgrade, so you don't need to worry about anything you've started not being "finish-able."
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Old September 25th, 2005, 09:56 PM   #4
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Roy... dude.

Stick with PC. I'm sure many folks would love to tell you to buy this or that hardware to get this or that performance level.
I hope you don't need someone to tell you that "the faster your computer, the closer to real-time your editing will be"...

So, if you don't mind taking a little longer, or looking out for NLE's that can utilize proxies to speed the editing process up, or learning a bit more about your hardware and software to get the most out of it - any PC with a processor faster than 2.4Ghz will handle HDV.

If you want faster editing, smoother preview and overall system stability under higher CPU load, then get as fast a CPU as you can afford. RAM isn't as critical as CPU for HDV, but it's worth having 1Gig at least. Hard drives that are fast and BIG are also desirable... you know, 7200rpm 120Gig type drives, set-up in RAID-0 arrays (SATA is good!!). And because you're working with 16:9 High Definition video, a BIG high resolution monitor is almost a must!! If you can afford a WS monitor it should be capable of 1280x720 minimum resolution at 75Hz refresh rate 32Bit colour depth. If you know anything about computers, you'll know that means your video card has to support that resoultion, at that refresh rate and at that colour depth. Most recent graphics cards do, but just be certain...

There's a lot of erroneous codswhallop being promolgated on the net about which computer system handles HD/HDV the best. People have to make a living - even if it's at someone else's expense. According to some of them, I wouldn't be able to use my P-IV 2.1Ghz for viewing, recording and editing the HD from my VisionPlus DVB-t PCI card due to lack of processing power. Well... shoosh, don't let 'em know that I can!!

I do have a P-IV 3.2Ghz hyper thread for editing FX-1e and HD-10u HDV stuff, because I didn't want to take the extra time on the slower machine and because I could afford to as well. Mind you; I wouldn't have spent the money just because some joker reckoned I'd be unable to edit HDV with what I had, so think through what you need very carefully: then do some more checking - then check your finances, then check it all again - and be certain before you lay your cash on the counter...
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Old September 25th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Sallows
Insofar as software, I am very impressed with Vegas 6 +DVD. But since I anticipate using almost no special effects... twirls and spins and turning pages and star masks and the like... is Vegas 6 the best choice? (I really like the audio tools, so I am strongly leaning that way, but money is an issue.)
Prosumer (for lack of a better term) editing applications like Vegas offer much more than just flashy special effects. I use Premiere Pro, and I didn't get it for the twirls, spins, page turns and star masks, for which I have no use. No, it is the much more practical features these editors offer which make them useful. These editors are setup to allow one maximum flexibility to do whatever you might need when editing your footage. Consumer editing programs, on the other hand, are generally set up in such a way as to simplify and hold your hand through the editing process. Prosumer editors have advanced color correction, audio editing and other capabilities beyond that of the lower end consumer programs.

That said, it is hard for us to tell you what to get. You are in the best position to know how far you might want to go in editing. Michael mentioned that the Platinum Edition of Vegas Movie Studio + DVD had an upgrade to Vegas 6, so that would be one option for you. A good thing would be to download the demo versions of Vegas 6 and Vegas Movie Studio and give them both a whirl. Then you would be a better position to judge which one would be right for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Sallows
what are the reasonable standards I should look for in a NLE computer?
Take a look at the recommended system specs for Vegas 6. That should be a good minimum standard.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 11:09 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
There's a lot of erroneous codswhallop being promolgated on the net about which computer system handles HD/HDV the best. People have to make a living - even if it's at someone else's expense. ...
I gotta remember that line. Haven't heard the word "codswhallop" in a long time.

Look Roy, you can edit HDV on virtually anything. Use a DV widescreen proxy with a color matrix applied on a slow system, use CineForm's 4:2:2 2-GOP on a faster machine like a 3.2GHz, use 4:2:2 uncompressed on a fast machine with an 8 drive RAID array....

You can output whatever you want on most any computer, and it only boils down to render time. With Vegas 6 and a dual dual-core AMD machine (275 procs) I can get almost real-time playback with an m2t file, and the CineForm files are super sweet. Then again, I get near realtime from 4:2:2 uncompressed over SDI, too. This machine has a 10 drive SATA RAID using a Decklink card.
My laptop, which is only a 3.2GHz system, 1 gig RAM, plays CineForm files back at 29.97 IF I've applied no C/C or other filtering to the file. It slows to about 22 fps if I apply processes. DV proxies scream on that system, up to 3 streams in real time. I then replace the proxies using GearShift with the HDV files, when it comes time to render.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 11:10 PM   #7
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I too have been looking for a reasonably priced HDV solution until I can get enough HDV work to afford Cineforms' Aspect. However, it seems that the Movie Studio Platinum Edition relies on Mainconcepts' MPEG Pro codec engine to work with HDV and it is disabled in the demo download of Movie Studio Platinum. I tried a demo from Mainconcept of their MPEGPro for Premiere Pro plug-in demo and capture was fine but timeline playback was stuttery. (Using 3.2 ghz P4 w/HT, 1gig ram, 7200 rpm hdd, etc.) So far, one of the Vegas demos have been able to work with HDV properly, and yes, I have the Sony DVHS driver in the Video, Sound, Game Controllers section of my device manager.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 11:20 PM   #8
 
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Vegas Movie Studio is indeed optimized for their own brand of MainConcept, and as mentioned before, the demo doesn't unlock this, due to licensing issues.
The CineForm files open fine in Movie Studio Platinum...you just need the codec. You *might* try the demo of the CineForm tool along with the Demo of Vegas Movie Studio, I don't know for certain if they'll open in demo mode or not. I'm getting 29.97 playback of 1080 files in VMSP using CineForm files.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 10:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
I gotta remember that line. Haven't heard the word "codswhallop" in a long time.
Thanks Douglas... Nothin' like a trip down ole literary memory lane!!

I must admit to being most disappointed to have been unable to catch your presentation whilst you were in Sydney. I hope my countrymen showed you a great time while you were here - at least worthy enough of convincing you to pay us another visit in the not too distant future!
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Old September 26th, 2005, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
I gotta remember that line. Haven't heard the word "codswhallop" in a long time.

Look Roy, you can edit HDV on virtually anything. Use a DV widescreen proxy with a color matrix applied on a slow system, use CineForm's 4:2:2 2-GOP on a faster machine like a 3.2GHz, use 4:2:2 uncompressed on a fast machine with an 8 drive RAID array....

You can output whatever you want on most any computer, and it only boils down to render time. With Vegas 6 and a dual dual-core AMD machine (275 procs) I can get almost real-time playback with an m2t file, and the CineForm files are super sweet. Then again, I get near realtime from 4:2:2 uncompressed over SDI, too. This machine has a 10 drive SATA RAID using a Decklink card.
My laptop, which is only a 3.2GHz system, 1 gig RAM, plays CineForm files back at 29.97 IF I've applied no C/C or other filtering to the file. It slows to about 22 fps if I apply processes. DV proxies scream on that system, up to 3 streams in real time. I then replace the proxies using GearShift with the HDV files, when it comes time to render.

Which motherboard allows dual/ dual core AMD?
Thanks,
Wojtek
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Old September 27th, 2005, 09:35 AM   #11
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I've got an...

AMD Athalon 2800 (2.08ghz)
running Windows XP sp2
1GB of RAM
Vegas 6.0 NLE
300+ GB hard drive space
running SATA RAID 0
With an NVIDEA Geforce FX 5600XT

Playback on a media player is perfect
Playback with m2t file with vegas is BAD
Playback with Cineform avi in vegas is good.

Rendering a DV avi is decent.
Rendering an m2t is takes more than an hour per minute or footage.
Rendering a cineform codec with some adjustments takes just as long.

I think I dont have enough CPU power. When I checked the "system processes" tab in task manager I could see the CPU was spiking to 100% about every 1-2 seconds. It would drop down to 20% or lower in between.

Is there anything I can do to better utilize my systems resources for Vegas?
If not should I upgrade to multi processors? Is it difficult to add a processor to a system? Or would I have to buy a whole new computer?
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Old September 30th, 2005, 08:53 AM   #12
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Thank you all

I now have a much better idea of how to proceed. In the past five days, I have spent a lot of time reading and checking out the components mentioned by you all, and I am much more confident that my decisions will be sound. Delightful board, great advice and experience here.
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Old October 6th, 2005, 09:45 AM   #13
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I beg you not to flame me for saying this but it's "codswallop" or "codswollop" - no "h". I think it comes from the latin term for cow sh*t. Makes sense.

Great word, huh? My wife uses it frequenly in our conversations, normally after I've told her I only had two beers after work. She uses other words too. Sigh.
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Old October 6th, 2005, 05:33 PM   #14
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I get workable performance on my 3.06 P4 with a 533 bus (not at all considered fast these days). I use the Cineform ConnectHD to capture video and preview the HDV video at preview/good resolution. HDV preview/good sounds bad, but with HDV it really isn't. I'd say it's about like watching editing VHS, maybe a little better. Like Spot says, it all boils down to rendering time. That's another reason I like the Cineform codec so much. It smart renders HDV. Full project renders go surprisingly quick because of this.
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Old October 7th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #15
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I think it would be a good idea (and partly what he was originally asking) to mention which mobo's are best suited for NLE work... maybe this belongs in its own thread. Example would be in the audio world I believe it's an Intel 865bg chipset that is the better more stable system... A lot of what gives PC's a bad name compared to macs is that the volume of hardware manf. that put out crap is quite high.. you get some junk parts and your whole system is junk.

That being said I will state that I hear and have had great experience with Crucial ram (doesn't have to be the "extreme" stuff just as long as it's crucial you are ok) I don't think I will ever buy any other brand ram ever again.
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