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-   -   Ar you considering a migration from Liquid to MC? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/avid-editing-family/121657-ar-you-considering-migration-liquid-mc.html)

Douglas R. Bruce May 14th, 2008 10:12 PM

Ar you considering a migration from Liquid to MC?
It seems that there could be an upgrade offer from Avid to owners of Liquid who want to migrate to MC.

I migrated just over 3 months ago and coming from Liquid I had a lot of concepts of editing in an NLE that had to be changed when I opened MC.

Being a kind Scot, I have started a series of Tutorials explaining some of the bigger differences between the 2 NLEs

The tutorials are at


Hope it can help some of you.

Peter Moretti May 15th, 2008 02:31 AM

BTW, do you care to compare the two a little? I'm interested in how Liquid and MC match up. Thanks.

Richard Gooderick May 15th, 2008 02:42 AM

I'd really appreciate that too.

I'm still using Liquid because it does the job for me and I love the interface.

But if Liquid's successor doesn't deliver the goods I'll have to look elsewhere.

I've got the impression that Avid's tools aren't so user-friendly. Is that fair?

These questions may be addressed in your video (for which, thank you) but it wouldn't open up for me for me.

Jim Boda May 15th, 2008 08:05 AM


Originally Posted by Douglas R. Bruce (Post 877468)
It seems that there could be an upgrade offer from Avid to owners of Liquid who want to migrate to MC. ...

I would be very interested. Yet, I haven't heard anything but the sound of crickets. What type of upgrade offer are you hearing about?

Richard Gooderick May 15th, 2008 08:37 AM

Thank you Douglas
The videos are working for me now. I have to get some work done so have only had time to look at the first one.
Love your dry sense of humour.
Hate the look and feel of the interface. Like Microsoft on steroids. But as you imply beauty may be more than skin deep so I will persevere and try not to be too hasty with my judgements.
However, inwardly I am hoping that Avid/Pinnacle will surprise us all with the follow-up to Liquid.
Can I just ask you one thing. Is there anything that you can do in Media Composer that you couldn't do in Liquid?

Douglas R. Bruce May 15th, 2008 08:40 AM

Thank you gentlemen, for your questions.

Firstly, I have my site on a server/provider(?) in the USA, although I am living in Japan. Seems that they were down for about 4 or 5 hours earlier today.
Now they are up and running again.

I think the Pinnacle Liquid forum is the best place to find the answers to the other questions about comparisons.
There is no official word about an upgrade path having been finalised, but from reading the Pinnacle forums it seems that something could be announced very soon.

I am not giving you all the brush-off.
It's just that I don't have the time to get involved other than my adding more facts to my Tutorial

Possibly, if I find the time, I will add some FAQ to the pages.

PS. The biggest problem in migrating could be the hardware in your machines.
MC like Liquid are choosy about the video cards.

Richard Gooderick May 18th, 2008 04:29 AM

If you don't have time a yes or no answer would do.
Personally I can't see the point of moving from Liquid to Media Composer.

John Mitchell May 18th, 2008 09:14 AM

It is very hard to compare these products - they are world's apart. I understand Douglas's hesitation in getting involved in a comparitive discussion - he's only been using Media Composer for 3 months and there are levels of complexity in this product.

Personally I'd say if you've answered the question by saying Liquid does everything you need it to do reliably then there is no valid reason to migrate. If however you get frustrated with the way Liquid works, or you ever wanted to do something that doesn't seem to be there then the chances are it is in the MC product.

My knowledge of Liquid begins and ends with a couple of trade shows, a couple of online demos and years ago tackling the old FAST product. Liquid and it's straight to DVD technology etc seems clearly aimed at the wedding end of the market, but probably stacks up quite well against competing products like Premiere Pro and Vegas. I nearly bought a copy because Avid were so slow to support the JVC ProHD format in 25P but in the end I thought FCP would be a better bet if I had to regularly edit it.

My top 10 for Media Composer (that may well be true for Liquid as well; I don't know) are:

1: monitoring of Digital cut (laying back to tape) - Media Composer polls your deck to make sure everything is in sync, no dropped frames etc
2: matchframe and reverse matchframe (ability to quickly match back to your source and vica versa from the timeline)
3: DnxHD - apart from ProRes I don't think there's a comparable product although Cineform is good without the hardware support.
4: Seamless multicam - it's a little clunky to set up if your cameras aren't locked together but it works extremely well
5: Database - this is really what sets MC apart from the rest. It's the database that has allowed projects to remain compatible for as long as I've used it, between Macs and PCs. The media tool is excellent for managing project media and manipulating it.
6: Sorenson Squeeze _ I used to love ProCoder but it has got so clunky with Quicktime, whereas SS just seems to work and is included with the physical upgrade.
7: Unity (networked storage) - the ability to run multiple systems of one centralised storage solution, have the same project opened at the same time, automatic bin locking etc etc. No one does this quite as well as Avid.
8: A bunch of useful effects including Timewarp, Pan and Scan, broadcast levels filter; Spectramatte Chroma key (similar and as good as Ultimatte), Color Corrector (not as good as Apple's Color but built in to the app)
9: JKL trim mode - the ability to trim while the edit is being previewed
10: Batch digitise and batch import funtions that work (thanks database) - oh and the interface which looks more like an editor and less like a playground.

There's a bunch of other things that I rarely use including film matchback, ScriptSync (very powerful for scripted work), and some excellent supporting tools for larger workgroups and workflows. Obviously there's als AvidDS and Nitris for those needing higher end stuff as well as complete interoperability with ProTools.

And there's bound to be a bunch of other things that other editors prefer over mine - it's a well thought out, very customisable editing tool. It is not a great compositor (although you can do quite well within the interface), it's a reasonable audio tool (with all the most common AudioSuite effects from ProTools built in, as well as Audio punch in for VO) but you wouldn't mix a feature film on it.

Here are some things we know Media Composer won't do. It won't accept any old file format you put into it - it will import most Quicktime formats and transcode them to an Avid MXF or OMF format - sometimes these are fast because it is just a matter of re-wrapping the QT to MXF/OMF, other times transcoding is needed and it cna be time consuming. It will also accept some AVI formats. It supports a vast array of decks with templates that take into account the hardware being used but some decks are only supported via a generic template and aren't guaranteed to work. It won't support foreign codec natively - it will have to transcode things like Cineform, ProRes, BMD etc. And you won't lose all your media attached to your project (unless your media drive goes down) - I've seen this happen on other NLE's like Premiere and FCP too many times to mention.

For all that there is still no reason to upgrade unless you think Liquid doesn't do some of things you need it to do. And as yet there is no upgrade announcement. If you want to know more Avid has an excellent website with workflow examples and whitepapers. HTH

Richard Gooderick May 18th, 2008 01:07 PM

Thanks for the post. That was very helpful.

I'm planning to stick with Liquid until I see whether or not its successor is too dumbed down or not. At which point Media Composer may be an option. For the time being Liquid is doing the job fine. I'm making stuff for the web primarily. DVD and broadcast secondarily.

DnxHD is a new one on me. I've just Googled it and now know what it is.

Much appreciated.

Douglas R. Bruce May 18th, 2008 03:28 PM

Thank you too, John!
You got me out of a tight spot there!
As you said I was/am hesitant to compare the two.

You also hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that if a person is happy with Liquid and it does all they need - then there is really no reason to make the change.

In my case, the canny Scot who avoids comparing the two, was taken over by the other Scottish characteristic of wanting to get out there and discover new things. Liquid could do what I needed...... but I felt I needed a new challenge in my life so . . . . . . . . .

I feel that Liquid 7.2 is a very stable product, but after moving to MC, I have seen and felt a more stable form of stability!!! How's that for a new concept?

But anyone making the switch should realise 1 very important thing.

Your Liquid editing techniques can probably be used in MC, but you will move very slowly using them - YOU MUST abandon the ways that you used in LLiquid and learn to edit in the correct manner in MC - then you will soon be up to speed and likely work more efficiently than you ever did in Liquid.

There is a vast difference between "Drag and Drop" and "Keyboard" editing.


Douglas R. Bruce May 18th, 2008 05:39 PM

Just to say I added another tutorial to the collection:



Robert Martens May 18th, 2008 06:57 PM

I hadn't heard this news before your post, Douglas, thanks for the heads up! Bad news for my bank account, that's for sure. I took the time to watch all of your videos (even the new one, apparently uploaded while I was finishing up number ten), but I was sold on Media Composer in the first demonstration, when I saw you use the keypad to jump through that clip. +2 to advance two seconds? I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. MC also makes media management look almost ... fun, if I may be so bold.

To address John Mitchell's post (not to be confrontational, just to state for the record): regarding the interface, those not happy with the new, more colorful look of Liquid 7 can go back to the neutral gray setup. This "classic" UI, as they call it, is accessible via a shortcut in the Avid Liquid program group on the start menu, and while not laid out the same way as MC (the buttons are larger, and may look a little goofy to some, I suppose), I don't think it's terribly unprofessional.

As for the effects, Liquid 7 rolled up the old Commotion effects into the software, and features keying, color correction, matte management and noise control effects--among others--from that program in addition to the Liquid set. I never got a chance to use Commotion Pro when it was current, but I understand the effects were considered respectable. My cursory experiments with the set of keyers bears this out; they may not compete with Ultimatte products (though to be fair I wouldn't know) but I get great results. With DV, no less, however they manage that. I still prefer combustion for compositing tasks, but you could do worse than what's in Liquid.

It's worth noting, however, that outside of the Commotion color effects you still have the standard issue color correction editor, which was significantly upgraded at some point (I can't remember when it happened. Version 5 or 5.5, I believe). You have your typical basic adjustment of red, green, and blue in the highlights, midtones, and shadows, but then you have "six vector" and "selective" corrections, along with 601 legalization if you want it, and a 75% color option. All adjustments can be monitored by the histogram, vector scope and waveform monitor available within the color correction editor.

Finally, both linear and dynamic timewarps can be achieved with their respective editors in Liquid, though take that with a grain of salt as I don't have much use for them, and lack experience with the results.

Back to Douglas, I'd like to touch on a couple of things, first that it is entirely possible, and quite easy, to operate Liquid using the keyboard, which itself can be completely customized. Remap whatever you like in the Keyboard Properties window in the Control Panel if you need to, and off you go, JKL trimming 'til the cows come home. I'm sure it's fair to say that MC and other products in that line are more focused on keyboard operation than Liquid, and have many more commands that can be mapped to keys, but the ability is in Liquid to quite an extent, and some of us have already gotten used to it. Activating the trim tool with T, trimming back and forth with the M, comma, period and backslash keys? I can't remember the last time I dragged the clip handles on the timeline.

To close, I'll quickly touch on a pair of things I noticed in your videos: first, you can customize your Liquid toolbar to display the Film Style and Overwrite Insert buttons above the timeline simultaneously (right click the toolbar immediately above the timeline, click Customize, and you'll find them in the Edit tab to drag wherever you like). This is if you prefer to click; you can always just tap the tick/tilde key to switch between the insert modes and then B to insert the current clip. Second, right clicking the name of a track in the timeline and selecting View->Detect Recurrent Use will allow you to see reused material, indicated with a bright red dashed line added to the top of said clips. Liquid isn't exactly designed to work with film footage for later conform, but if one wants to avoid dupes, there you have it.

Those minor points aside, thank you for doing this! Someone who made the jump actually talking us through the switch is an invaluable resource, especially to see you demonstrating solutions to problems you've encountered. May I ask, though, do you know how strictly Media Composer adheres to the "dedicated machine" requirement? I know you're supposed to do it when you can, and I appreciate the reasons for following that advice, but even Liquid, infamously temperamental diva that she is, behaves very well if you treat her correctly. If you install it as the first application on a clean Windows system, you can then go on to add whatever you like. Upon hearing that for the first time, I was skeptical. I decided to try it anyway, expecting no end of problems, but here I am over a year later, solid as a rock. I've added compositing applications, 3D modeling programs, sound and music editing software, computer games, all sorts of garbage, the thing keeps right on chugging. Could one expect MC to work the same way, or is it less forgiving?

Not like I could afford any of this, of course. Just nice to see the upgrade option is being offered, and it's fun to read up on it, even if I'll never get the chance to follow through. I've bookmarked your page, Douglas, and I eagerly await the next installment!

Douglas R. Bruce May 18th, 2008 10:16 PM

Hello Rober,
I'm glad to hear I could help you and thanks for adding the information about your Liquid experiences.
I realise that there were many things in Liquid that I either never learned or even needed to learn to do the style of editing I do.
So, sometimes when I am writing as if a function in MC was not available in Liquid - it is because I am bumping into it for the first time when I am getting into MC.
I am pretty sure that the drag and drop way of working, that the majority of Liquid users probably use can be duplicated in MC...... but a person would be a little silly if they tried to do that for any length of time.
MC has capabilities that can only be tapped if you abandon drag and drop in favour of the keyboard.

Just before I started writing this I added another installment to my tutorial page!


Robert Martens May 18th, 2008 10:31 PM

Believe me, I know what you mean; I still browse the PDF Liquid Reference Manual from time to time, and usually find something new that I've never had occasion to use before. I just thought I should mention those few things I was aware of, for the benefit of anyone not familiar with them.

Another great tutorial, keep up the good work!

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