64 bit Avid Media Composer 6
Avid announced their latest version of Media Composer at the start of November 2011.
64 bit program
As expected the biggest change is that Media Composer is now a 64 bit application, like Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas. This means it can access as much RAM as you can install in your computer and use multi-core processors better. It also means the program will only run on a 64 bit operating system, such as Windows 7 64, and you will not be able to use any non-64 bit plug-ins in the program – so any plug-ins you do you have will need to be updated. We had exactly the same issues with Adobe Premiere Pro and the 64 bit version of Vegas. What it should give you is better performance.
What has been added what has been taken away?
When Apple rewrote Final Cut Pro 7 to become a 64 bit application, and produced Final Cut Pro X, they changed the program completely, leaving out half of the features and changing the way it work so it was basically a totally different program. When any program changes to 64 bit it has to be re-written completely so many things could change or be left out. With Avid, the 64 bit version appears to have basically everything that you were used to in previous version with added extras. If you were hoping for a change in the way MC worked then you will be disappointed but actually most people wanted the same program, just a bit better and this is what Avid has delivered.
The only thing missing from the new Media Composer is one of the plug-ins that came as part of the production pack. Boris Continuum Complete is no longer going to be bundled with Media Composer and you will need to buy it separately. Boris will be offering an upgrade for owners of Media Composer to the new BCC8 which should be available around the middle of the month. This upgrade will be at a reduced cost and possibly for a limited period, so if you are interested in getting BCC working with MC6 contact us for more details. Your old BCC will not work because the version supplied with Avid MC5 is 32bit and will not work in a 64 bit program. A new 64 bit version of Avid FX is included with MC6, and this does have all the old BCC filters available inside it as before, so you may not feel you need BCC. Sorenson Squeeze and Avid DVD are also included. Sorenson Squeeze 7 will be shipping with MC6, but Avid say that when Squeeze 8 comes out you will be able to download it and install it using the Squeeze 7 serial number you will get.
Apart from its 64 bitness what is new? In no particular order the major new features are:
Avid have added a whole host of features for editing STEREOSCOPIC footage including controls of adjusting convergence and different ways of viewing 3D footage on the computer screen. Along with Vegas Avid now has 3D editing built in. This handles most types of 3D footage where you have two clips, one for the left eye and one for the right eye, which you then combine into a STEREO clip. It currently does not handle MVC encoded files like those used by the Sony HDR-T10. Currently only SONY Vegas supports these kind of STEREO files.
SURROUND SOUND EDITING
You can now have 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound tracks and can pan clips around using the surround sound panners. You can output the results to a 6 channel WAV file or a MOV file with 6 channels of audio, although to make a Dolby Digital file for Blu-ray or DVD you will need an extra encoding package. This is the same with a program like Adobe Premiere Pro, with Sony Vegas being the only program that can mix and output a Dolby surround sound track out of the box. Grass Valley EDIUS does the opposite – you can output 5.1 to DVD or Blu-ray, you just can't mix it! The best way to monitor the surround sound is using a device like a Matrox MX02 Mini connected to an HDMI mixer, or using the MX02 (not the Mini or LE version) which has 6 phonos for surround sound monitoring.
AMA support for AVCHD
Avid normally stores its footage in a central media directory in certain specified formats, but with recent versions they added AMA (AVID MEDIA ACCESS) where you can just link to a file instead of having to import and convert it. Users of Premiere or EDIUS will be used to working like this all the time but it was a big step forward for Avid.
With MC6 now you can link to native AVCHD files as well as many other QuickTime and MP4 files. Performance with native files is not nearly as good as Premiere Pro CS5.5 or EDIUS 6 so we would still recommend transcoding the clips you are using but it is a welcome addition.
SLIGHTLY REDESIGNED INTERFACE
The interface of MC6 is pretty similar to MC5 but Avid have streamlined it and added the ability to tab bins, so rather than have lots of bins floating around, or use the rather irritating SUPER BIN, you can now open lots of bins and tab the ones you need together. Bins still have the same views and you can change background colours etc and there are some small changes, such as the button to switch between frame and text and script views being moved to a slightly more obvious place, but in our opinion all the small changes are an enhancement.
SUPPORT FOR MORE HARDWARE
This is quite a huge leap; we still remember the days where you had to spend £5,000 to buy a MOJO that would let you watch and edit HD in full quality, and would only capture through SDI. Now Avid Media Composer works with i/o cards from a whole host of manufacturers including Matrox and AJA, with whom they were already working, but also Black Magic. You can use a £130 Intensity Pro or the INTENSITY SHUTTLE with Avid Media Composer and you can both playback and capture footage. Black Magic’s MC6 drivers are actually live on their website already.
The same is true for all the other hardware. For owners of Matrox MX02 Minis this suddenly means their Matrox box will now capture footage into a whole host of AVID codecs (including uncompressed and Avid DNxHD) rather than be limited to just playing back footage as it was with MC5. Avid will also work with ALL Matrox MX02s, not just the MX02 Mini so now you have cheaper ways of getting SDI signals in and out of Media Composer using the MX02 LE or MX02 RACK. All you need are new drivers from Matrox which are out now and free to owners of Matrox devices.
We have been testing the Matrox drivers and they are working very well.
Output from Matrox and Black Magic also includes outputting STEREOSCOPIC video (usually in SIDE-BY-SIDE or TOP/BOTTOM) from the Avid timeline. We have not tested the output from AJA cards but we assume they do the same.
Avid MC6 is be available to download from the Avid website now and we expect to have boxed products soon.
AVID MC6 is £1,699+VAT from the DVC: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Avid_Media_Composer.html
There are also upgrades available from previous versions and a new crossgrade offer from Apple Final Cut Pro 7. The FCP crossgrade is £1,029 +VAT.
Adobe switcher program finished but we still have some left!
Adobe's half price offer on Adobe Premiere Pro and the Production Premium ended on Monday 31st of October, however we do have one copy of Premiere and a few copies of the Production Premium (Windows ONLY versions) left in stock which we can still sell at this price.
The offer is for owners of various editing programs and gets you a full copy of either of the above for either Mac or PC. The deal has proved extremely popular with Adobe reporting a sales increase of 40% and no wonder - for £754+VAT you can get Adobe Premiere Pro, Encore, Flash Pro, Audition, After Effects, Illustrator and Photoshop extended and all you really need to do is tell us from which program you are upgrading! Even if you edit in a different program like EDIUS, you may want the suite for all the other excellent programs. Or why not just buy a Premiere Pro switcher @ £338+VAT and get Adobe Encore and the Adobe Media encoder.
For more information or to order visit the DVC webshop:http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Adobe_SWITCHER_SPECIAL_OFFER.html
EDIUS crossgrade in stock
Grass Valley's EDIUS crossgrade is now in stock whereby you can get what is basically a full copy of EDIUS with all the trimming for approximately half price, just by crossgrading from any of these programs:
You don't have to go through hoops to prove which program you have, we just need to let Grass Valley know the details of anyone who buys the crossgrade and from which program they are upgrading.
Save an additional £20 when you buy the EDIUS crossgrade and our 3 disc EDIUS tutorial set.
We have produced a comprehensive set of training discs for EDIUS with approximately 15 hours of training included. The complete set is normally £99, but if you buy it with the EDIUS crossgrade then you get an extra discount of £20. Full information on the tutorial discs can be seen here: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/EDIUS_6_training_dvd.html
You can read more about EDIUS and order the EDIUS crossgrade on our website: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Canopus_Edius_Pro.html
STEREOSCOPIC EDITING WITH EDIUS 6
Just announced today, Grass Valley are going to release a preview version of EDIUS which can edit STEREOSCOPIC footage. We will do a more in depth look at this and some other STEREOSCOPIC editing programs in our next newsletter but we have to say that the EDIUS engineers have done a brilliant job or adding 3D editing to EDIUS. It even takes the files created by our Sony HDR-TD10 camera - the only other program to take these files is Sony Vegas Pro 11.
This version has all the abilities of the normal version of EDIUS as well as 3D, an you can get output from the STORM Mobile, SPARK and STORM 3G onto a STEREO screen as well as using the nVidia 3D built into modern graphic cards. We also like the fact that Grass Valley have added in different ways to export the STEREO footage - including making STEREO Blu-ray discs in various formats.
We have been using the STEREO editing of Vegas, MC6 and Adobe Premiere Pro using Cineform and have to say Grass Valley have done a great job of intergrating it into EDIUS and sort out all the various options needed.
The is being released as a "preview" version and will be free to owners of EDIUS 6. It will be available to download in December 2011.
You can read the full Grass Valley press release here: http://www.grassvalley.com/news/press/releases/view/1506-grass-valley-adds-3d-support-across-its-edius-editing-software-and-storm-3g-editing-platforms