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tony west
Avid?
on Dec 8, 2013 at 6:16:12 pm

Handed in some over cranked XDCAM NHL footage the other day and the editor said she had problems with it (I guess importing it)

They are on 6.5.


Have not been working with Avid for sometime now, so does anybody know if that is typical?

Overcranked XDCAM stuff?

If it was a problem in that version has it been fixed in 7?

Seems weird. XDCAM is a pretty popular format.


I took it right into X with no problem so I'm pretty sure the footage is fine.


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Morten Ranmar
Re: Avid?
on Dec 8, 2013 at 6:30:57 pm

We have problems with some flavours of AVCHD that Avid will not import - so we had to transcode.

- No Parking Production -

2 x Finalcut Studio3, 2 x Prod. bundle CS6, 2 x MacPro, 2 x ioHD, Ethernet File Server w. X-Raid.... and FCPX on trial


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Avid?
on Dec 8, 2013 at 7:13:03 pm

I wonder if they have the most recent versions of the XDCAM plugin? I had some problems importing footage (can't remember the codec) this summer and it turned out that all the machines in the office (except the one used by the AE's) had out-of-date plugins.




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Craig Seeman
Re: Avid?
on Dec 8, 2013 at 7:38:25 pm

Perhaps they need the correct XDCAM AMA plugin for Avid 6.5
http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-xdcam/resource.downloads.bbsccms-assets-...



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tony west
Re: Avid?
on Dec 8, 2013 at 10:57:18 pm

Thanks you guys,

I got a text from them saying they re-installed a plug-in and now they are good to go.


Whew : )


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 1:11:40 am

I guess it's time to start the "Is Avid Professional or Not: The Debate Saga of the Millennium" forum.

N'est-ce pas?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 2:39:54 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I guess it's time to start the "Is Avid Professional or Not: The Debate Saga of the Millennium" forum."

Yea! After all, isn't depending on third party plugins to handle professional acquisition codecs a sign that it's not really for professionals. ;-)



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John Pale
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 12:40:20 pm

The AMA plugins are not third party. That would mean a company like Boris or Intelligent assistance were making a product necessary to fill a hole in Media Composers capabilities.

The camera manufacturers provide their own plugins. Avid provides the architecture. This frees avid from having to update the whole app every time a new camera comes out or a camera gets new firmware that breaks something. Now if RED or Sony want to release a new camera or update, all they have to do is update their plugins. No need to wait for an Avid upgrade cycle.

Avid needs to cleanup their website a little to make things more clear and organized, or maybe offer subscriptions to AMA plugins, so people can stay current more easily, but the idea behind it is sound.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 7:19:56 pm

[John Pale] "That would mean a company like Boris or Intelligent assistance were making a product necessary to fill a hole in Media Composers capabilities."

So if Apple has Motion and Adobe has After Effects but Avid needing Avid FX (Boris Red) also doesn't make it less professional?

If it's not obvious I'm being deliberate incendiary because, in the past, some have claimed FCPX is somehow "not professional" because it uses various third party plugins.

Please note the humorous intent in Jeremy's post.



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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 8:54:22 pm

AMA is a licensed architecture from Avid that can be used by third parties to better integrate various workflows. While initially adopted by camera manufactures to be in control of their own codec support in Media Composer, it has evolved to also be used as an export mechanism. Companies like GlueTools creates AMA plug-ins for purchase, much like Panasonic charges for theirs. It is up to the developer to decide. The RED plug-in is actually developed by Avid, not RED which is why it is a bit behind in functionality compared to Premiere Pro for example getting access to all the parameters for control.

I agree that it can be better accessed by users and any plug-in that was tested as part of any release should be part of the installer and the user prompted which one they need. If there is an update, then tell me, but at least give me something that works as soon as the install is complete.


Michael


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Keith Koby
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 12:41:37 pm

For me, I thank god every morning that Avid hasn't resorted to deceptive marketing practices like touting 4k. They crossed the line once with that stereoscopic non-sense that nobody uses. It is an obvious sign of shenanigans that can't be tolerated in this forum.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 7:24:26 pm

[Keith Koby] "For me, I thank god every morning that Avid hasn't resorted to deceptive marketing practices like touting 4k."

This line is doubly funny (or sad, depending on your point of view), given Avid's current lack of 4K finishing solution.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 8:07:16 pm

[Walter Soyka] "This line is doubly funny (or sad, depending on your point of view), given Avid's current lack of 4K finishing solution."

I just finished talking to a friend of mine who produces shows for a lot of the cable outlets - discovery, animal planet, etc. etc.. While we were both complaining about the state of the world, as per usual, he mentioned that there are not enough Avid editors to go around, that if you could handle an Avid and were basically breathing you could get a job in NY. My friend is not technical, he neither knows nor cares about the debates on our little forum. In his world, for employer's of good paying (around $3500/week for a 50 hr week) jobs for editors, it is Avid or nothing. The inroads FCP legacy were making have vanished. There are no jobs in reality or documentary cable shows for editors who use PPro, FCPX, Edius or anything else. It is all Avid, all the time, and more so than it has ever been.

The conversations we have here about the decline and death of Avid have no bearing on the media production markets of NY and LA. Since I have never been an Avid editor it would be a major pain for me to go that way, plus for the moment my clients don't care what I use. But as I plan my future, the most logical choice to enhance my marketability would be to switch to Avid - my resistance is mostly a sign of my irrationality, not a comment on Avid's future.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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tony west
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 8:50:37 pm

[Herb Sevush] "the media production markets of NY and LA."

Avid is very visible in STL also.

People have invested too much money to just toss it out. Even if individual editors liked something different. It's too much of a lift for a network with all their little regionals that would have to move also.

Right now we (freelancers) can cut at home or in the truck and hand it in. Staff folk on Avid in-house.

I don't ever want to work on staff there so it doesn't matter to me but if I did, I would have to be on Avid.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 10:13:31 pm

[tony west] "People have invested too much money to just toss it out. Even if individual editors liked something different. It's too much of a lift for a network with all their little regionals that would have to move also.

I agree though many did ditch Avid for FCP Legacy during a time when an Avid-centric ecosystem cost significantly more than it does today. The bigger the ship though the longer it takes to maneuver.

At least in LA it didn't seem like FCP Legacy really gained acceptance until FCP 6 (so 2007-ish) and if X follows a similar trajectory then it has another 5 years or so of trust to build.


Right now we (freelancers) can cut at home or in the truck and hand it in. Staff folk on Avid in-house.

I don't ever want to work on staff there so it doesn't matter to me but if I did, I would have to be on Avid."


The types of projects you do impact this a lot as well. For example, I'm freelance too but I almost always end up at someone else's place, editing on their gear in a multi-editor environment.




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James Culbertson
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 4:20:10 am

[Herb Sevush] "it is Avid or nothing. The inroads FCP legacy were making have vanished. There are no jobs in reality or documentary cable shows for editors who use PPro, FCPX, Edius or anything else. It is all Avid, all the time, and more so than it has ever been."

http://www.pbs.org/pov/filmmakers/2013-documentary-equipment-survey.php#.Uq...

Scroll down to the Editing and Workflow section. As I understand it this was compiled in September of 2013.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 9:17:42 am

Ima start getting back in these threads earlier so I'm not replying to 5 posts at once....

The usual disclaimer: speaking only for myself in this post....

[James Culbertson] "Scroll down to the Editing and Workflow section"

Very cool link, thanks!

Some things to note, though.

First, it's 147 self-selected respondents. Without careful modeling, that's just not a meaningful sample.

(For reference, there are 250,000 members at Creative COW, with around 2 million visitors every month.)

Most important, the survey doesn't address Herb's point at all -- the top 10% of the industry, maybe even less. Maybe 5%.

Let's say that the survey is entirely representative, and that only 12% of the entire universe of editing is using Media Composer.

If you make a Venn diagram of the slice of the industry that Herb and others are talking about, you might find 90% of THOSE jobs are on Media Composer. These guys are saying that in some markets, for some of the best kinds of jobs, the number is, in practice, 100% Avid.

That's what he means when he says, [Herb Sevush] "for employers of good paying jobs.... it is Avid or nothing."

(I'm trusting Herb to step in if I'm misrepresenting him.)

Now then....

[Herb Sevush] " the most logical choice to enhance my marketability would be to switch to Avid"

Look, as much as I believed when I worked at Avid, and still do, that failing to have Media Composer in your bag of tricks is betting against yourself in the long run....I'd never suggest that it be the only trick in your bag.


Going back into ancient history, my last gig when I worked at Avid was the roll-out of the software-only version of Media Composer.

In even ancient-er history when I worked at Boris FX, I was presenting at FCP user groups every other week or so. I maintained a high-enough profile in those circles that, when Avid was inundated with requests for demos to FCP groups on the heels of software-only Media Composer, it was logical that I be the guy to go.

Here's the thing. I was adamant that nobody should SWITCH. Just ADD Media Composer. The way to run the table is to play ALL the cards.

Here was my pitch, almost verbatim:


Buying Media Composer may seem like more money than you feel like paying, but you can earn it back in a single job if you're working for the right clients.

The fact is that you're probably working for the WRONG clients. You've been trying to teach your market, 'My NLE isn't Avid -- but it's better, and you can PAY ME LESS.' No WONDER your clients are cheap.

So, knowing how little you charge, why are there potential clients who still want Avid? Doesn't matter why. That's not your problem. Your only problem is, "How do I get EVERYBODY to give me ALL THE MONEY?"

The answer isn't for you to give up FCP. And the answer isn't trying to get your potential clients to give up wanting Avid. When a client wants you to use Media Composer --JUST USE IT. TAKE ALL THEIR MONEY.

Of COURSE these clients who only want Avid are idiots. Your clients NOW are idiots too. ALL clients are idiots. The trick is to find the RICH idiots -- and the guys carrying big bags of money are almost always looking for Avid editors. Stop arguing with them. Just TAKE ALL THE MONEY."


If you'd ever seen one of my presentations, you know that this is exactly what I sound like in person, that I'm laughing pretty much the whole time...and using lots and lots of the profanity that I use in real life but not in the COW. LOL

And yeah yeah yeah, that pitch is pretty offensive, no matter what your perspective. Whatever. LOL

In context, I was of course also showing features that only existed in Media Composer (mostly still the case), and reasons why it made sense to include Media Composer alongside After Effects, Photoshop, and Microsoft Word or whatever -- tools that cover specific needs in the company. Even if the company isn't built around those tools individually, the company is built around using all the tools you NEED.

This demo speech was obviously geared for freelancers using FCP. My demos to film houses, high-end post, and in-house network production mostly didn't need to address the WHY of Media Composer. They were by and large already using it.

EXCEPTIONS ABOUND. PLEASE DON'T LIST THEM ALL. LOL I'm just agreeing.

Also please recall that I'm a big FCPX fan, far more than I ever was of FCP. I'm even on record in this forum as a fan of Apple's rollout of it and the EOL of FCP Legend. I'm not trolling. Go FCPX! I love you, FCPX!

(For the record, I'm also fond of Premiere. There were years when people were banging their heads against FCP that I kept saying, "I'm tellin' ya man, those problems will go away if you'd just use Premiere.")


[Walter Soyka] " given Avid's current lack of 4K finishing solution."

A problem, yes and no. Media Composer was offline-only for most of its first decade, and even at the end of my time there in 2006, the assumption was that, not always, but more often than not, there'd still be a high-end finish from somebody like Autodesk, DaVinci, etc. The extent of the successful implementation is your call, but that's why workflow management across solutions was so important.

It's one reason why Avid has never been in the business of supporting the largest-frame formats first. Look at how late they were to HD. And just about the time they got to HD, they were shy of a TWO K solution that wasn't file-based, so not shocking that they're not there with 4K just yet.

They obviously lost some customers in those pre-HD days, but they were still working fine as an offline solution, and they were still nowhere close to peaking as a company. Their biggest money and biggest profits were yet to come. Lack of highest-end format support was thus a BUMP they went over, not a CLIFF they went over.

They have other cliffs to worry about now, but 4K isn't one of them.


[Chris Kenny] "Honestly, Media Composer has a lot of issues/limitations that you just know would be constantly used to support an "it's not professional" narrative if FCP X had them. "

True in spades, my friend.

And trust me, in my days in full-contact marketing (a phrase AFAIK I invented -- thank you, and you're welcome!), that message got flung around every day. Heck, there were a couple of years that Avid was getting dinged for not caring about professionals when Avid Symphony couldn't support FireWire!



Again, please recall that I'm speaking for myself in this post. I don't need to remind you that I'm also an idiot. Apologies again too for a post ridiculously long, even by my standards.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 4:58:53 pm

[Tim Wilson] "They have other cliffs to worry about now, but 4K isn't one of them."

4K specifically? Agreed, not a problem today.

But I think the lack of 4K is symptomatic of more serious problems. Maybe it's me -- I'm admittedly not Avid's target market anymore -- but I can look at the products they offer and have an idea of where Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Blackmagic, The Foundry and others are headed. I have absolutely no idea what Avid's view of the future is in post. If it's offline editorial, that looks a lot like their view of the future in 1989.

When is the last time you'd say Avid lead the industry on technology? Can Avid survive in permanent catch-up mode on tech? (That's a serious question. I think it could be argued either way.)

Like you said, Avid wasn't ready for HD -- but they apparently didn't learn from that somewhat pants-down moment when upstart FCP 4.5 put HD in the name of the app, because rather than developing some basic resolution independence at any point in the last decade, they scheduled another embarrassing pants-down moment for 2013 so upstart FCPX could emblazon 4K everywhere and while upstart Premiere Pro can do 8K and beyond.

Avid had even bought some great technology which could have saved them from this (DS, which in 1998 was ten years ahead of its time) -- but then they neglected it for 15 years (you can do the math), and then they killed it earlier this year because wasn't selling for some reason.

Sadly, it's not just technology. There's out-of-touch marketing, too. I got an email last week that said, "Go Pro with Media Composer for $999." No, they are not selling a bundle that includes a camera.

Then there's the Avid Customer Association (because no one's talking about anything else called the ACA at the moment), where you get to PAY Avid $100 annually (or $300-500 if you want to go to their NAB party) in order to give them feedback.

Herb makes some great baseball analogies, but the Yankees aren't playing right now. Avid looks like the Giants: a team with great heritage and some good current potential that just makes too many unforced errors to win.

This got ranty. I didn't mean for that to happen. I remember my time cutting on Avid very fondly. Their ideas on media management from over 20 years ago have been validated. Bin-level sharing was and is still a good idea and a wonderful solution for collaboration. MC is still undoubtedly a great choice for many workflows -- but Avid faces very serious competition. This is all focused on post, and maybe I'm just plain missing the bigger picture with sound and broadcast automation.

I just hate seeing Avid on this trajectory. I'd love to see Avid return to good corporate health and continue to challenge the competition with new innovations, but for now, for the love of Marianna, they have got to commit fewer unforced errors like no 4K.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 5:15:51 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Herb makes some great baseball analogies, but the Yankees aren't playing right now. Avid looks like the Giants: a team with great heritage and some good current potential that just makes too many unforced errors to win."

My point is that at the moment it really doesn't seem to matter.

Looking at my options for the future Avid is clearly the most befuddled company with the most backward looking software - I really, really don't want to go there. But the marketplace doesn't seem to care - it's safe and reliable, with proven workflows and a huge skilled labor pool available to handle it's shortcomings.

Many of those shortcomings are moot because of the workflow - which for most broadcast producers still means external audio mix and color grading.

It is somewhat ironical that Apple's flight to where the puck will be has left the playing field to the company that lives by knowing where the puck has always been. By the time content providers figure out what to do with 4K, Avid will be there, but it won't be the first and it won't be the best, but it will be the safest.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Tim Wilson
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 6:57:25 pm

[Walter Soyka] "There's out-of-touch marketing, too. I got an email last week that said, "Go Pro with Media Composer for $999.""

That's not out of touch. Well, maybe the "go pro" language, but that's a response to the "FCPX not professional" meme, which a couple of years down the road, still hasn't entirely gone away.

(With me, again, in the camp saying it may not be professional in the way you need it to be...but it IS professional.)

Keep in mind that Avid's other campaign is "OWN it for $999" -- in response to a subscription-only Adobe.

So we can debate the slogan, but not the price. The PRICE is laser focused. The price IS the marketing message. That's why it's in every ad. If $999 is too much for you to profit on in a job or three, then you're not Avid's target.

Chasing customers who aren't Avid's target, that Avid is unable to service, for the sole sake of more customers -- that's how to kill a business in no time.

The trick isn't to have all the customers. Apple knows that better than anyone.

The trick is to make more than you spend. Apple's doing that. Avid's not...which Avid knows of course, and their current path as a business is to fix THAT, not to chase customers they can't service, at prices that won't allow them to survive.



[Walter Soyka] "they have got to commit fewer unforced errors like no 4K."

I'm going to keep contending that by the time they HAVE to have 4K for the MAJORITY of their customers, they will. It's not like they're not working on it, just that their customers don't feel the same urgency that YOU do.

My other point wasn't that MC is offline-only anymore. It's plenty online for the overwhelming majority of what's being produced today and in the near future -- but even so, Media Composer is built to be the hub of products that include Resolve, Pro Tools, After Effects, Flame, SCRATCH, and a bunch of other products that aren't geared to video editing. It's a specialist's tool.

The notion that FCP or HD was "the problem" for Avid is an FCP-centric idea that doesn't reflect Avid's reality. To Herb's point, the tale of FCP's presence in Avid's most important markets was ALWAYS overstated, and now eroding even further...sure, with some high-profile exceptions...but the target Avid customer has always been primarily about cutting, primarily in mainstream delivery formats, and primarily passing off projects to other people for finesse.

HERE was the unforced error: Avid tried to provide end-to-end solutions that were outside their domain expertise, to service customers and technologies that they didn't understand well enough. They spent a fortune on companies like Pinnacle and Softimage that took resources (human, business and financial) away from the core business.

(Agreed that DS rocked. Even as the most expensive product in the video portfolio, it was the best bargain. As an example of not understanding that target customer though: those customers complained that the price was too LOW. They could no longer charge Discreet/Autodesk-room rates, because their clients knew how little DS cost. Another story for another day, but shows the problems Avid had when they tried to compete on price. That wasn't helping DS customers AT ALL.)

You might say that a narrowly focused, specialist core business is the problem for Avid and Media Composer. Maybe. But I look at a company that's wall to wall with specialist solutions whose fortunes have revived: Quantel, not because they tried to become someone new, or do anything especially different. They became a better Quantel.

Of course, Quantel was way out in front with 4K, so maybe I'm full of it. LOL

Hey, and advertising in Creative COW helps. LOL I'm just saying. LOL

But to circle back to the part of your quote I agree with wholeheartedly, Quantel stopped committing unforced errors.

I just don't see that not having 4K YET is one of those for Avid.


[Walter Soyka] " I have absolutely no idea what Avid's view of the future is in post."

Well, I ain't arguing with THAT. LOL

Except to the extent that, no matter what else is true, Avid's future is the same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same. as. it. ever. was: cutting in a group setting.

Yes, including online...but NOT finishing. OMF, AAF, and all those are TLAs (three-letter acronyms) are all about getting your Avid projects OUT of Media Composer, to their proper next steps.

Stable timelines, stable bins, networked workflows -- these are still priceless to Avid's core business, and exactly why Avid's not going away for those folks any time soon. Not because they're on top of next year's formats.


("Same as it ever was" is a joke that some of you will be too young to remember. Even for the geezers, I guarantee that it's been too long since you watched THIS. Skip to 1:30 if you need to.)





A post that's still too long, but not TOOOOO long. :-)


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Walter Soyka
Re: Avid?
on Dec 12, 2013 at 3:35:27 pm

[Tim Wilson] "So we can debate the slogan, but not the price. The PRICE is laser focused. The price IS the marketing message. That's why it's in every ad. If $999 is too much for you to profit on in a job or three, then you're not Avid's target. Chasing customers who aren't Avid's target, that Avid is unable to service, for the sole sake of more customers -- that's how to kill a business in no time."

That's the whole thing: I think this marketing IS chasing customers who aren't (or shouldn't be) Avid's target.

The price point confuses me (though this is admittedly easily done). I think it's competing with the ghost of FCP7.

Who will buy a new license of MC now at $1000 who wouldn't buy it if it were still priced at MC5's $2500? Are they making up for this much lower price point in much higher volume? Maybe they are, but I'm not seeing anyone I know going back to Avid, and the company's financials don't seem to be turning around.

The slogan is interesting. Avid isn't competing with MC by what it is, they're competing with it by what it's not: FCPX or Premiere. Or perhaps more accurately, they are trying to appeal to people's prejudices against FCPX or Pr. It may as well be "Avid: We're Cheap Like FCP7 and We're Not As Bad As You Think Apple or Adobe Are (Even Though We Seem to Be Unaware of the Trademarked Brand Names of Really Popular Cameras)."

I guess that's focused, but it looks like it's focused on scraps of the NLE market. They're saying "Try us if you don't like the first couple NLEs you think of." They're not giving a reason to think of Avid first, even though several good reasons exist.



[Tim Wilson] "You might say that a narrowly focused, specialist core business is the problem for Avid and Media Composer. Maybe. But I look at a company that's wall to wall with specialist solutions whose fortunes have revived: Quantel, not because they tried to become someone new, or do anything especially different. They became a better Quantel."

I don't think that being narrowly focused on a specialist core is a problem at all. I think that Avid SHOULD be pulling a Quantel. (Quantel's slogan: "The quality choice for high-end color and finishing.")

I think that Avid has an identity crisis.

They are (in actuality) a specialist solution, and a very good one at that. But they are positioning themselves (at least on whatever mailing list they have me on) as a competitor to FCPX and Pr, with a mass-market price tag even though they clearly lack the mass-market feature set.



[Tim Wilson] "Except to the extent that, no matter what else is true, Avid's future is the same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same. as. it. ever. was: cutting in a group setting... Stable timelines, stable bins, networked workflows -- these are still priceless to Avid's core business, and exactly why Avid's not going away for those folks any time soon. Not because they're on top of next year's formats."

Avid basically defined non-linear editing for a decade. I think it's because they haven't kept on top of things like next year's formats that they've been forced to retreat to "cutting in a group setting."

So if they've already conceded the broader editorial market and are hunkering down in this niche specialty that doesn't match their marketing, what happens when Adobe Anywhere installs start popping up? Or if FCPX goes collaborative in 10.1 or 10.2? The space that Avid is best in could get crowded in a hurry.


[Tim Wilson] "I'm going to keep contending that by the time they HAVE to have 4K for the MAJORITY of their customers, they will. It's not like they're not working on it, just that their customers don't feel the same urgency that YOU do."

Conceded. MC does not need 4K today. This is not about 4K.


[Tim Wilson] "(Agreed that DS rocked. Even as the most expensive product in the video portfolio, it was the best bargain. As an example of not understanding that target customer though: those customers complained that the price was too LOW. They could no longer charge Discreet/Autodesk-room rates, because their clients knew how little DS cost. Another story for another day, but shows the problems Avid had when they tried to compete on price. That wasn't helping DS customers AT ALL.)"

There's a fascinating sub-thread in here on pricing and marketing for finishing products, but I don't think it was only too-low pricing that ultimately killed DS. I evaluated DS last year, but it was just too far behind on features, so I went for Smoke on Mac instead.

My worry is that MC is on the DS path right now. It's a great tool for a niche within a niche, but it's falling behind on features outside that core, it might be priced unsustainably low, and other developers are better positioned to penetrate Avid's core market than Avid is positioned to penetrate theirs.

From my comfy armchair CEO seat, I worry that Avid's current unique advantages are not sustainable, and I worry that they aren't developing enough positive momentum.

I'm not as down on Avid as I sound here. I enjoyed my time cutting with Avid back in the Meridien days immensely. I'm a former Avid customer because my needs changed, but I totally get why current Avid customers are sticking with them. I also understand why new customers would buy into Avid system in 2013. I think MC is immensely valuable, and I think Avid has mindshare in a very valuable market. I also think Avid could turn it around in the broader market I'm a part of if they really want to. The last few releases do show a clear understanding of where the market is going, with glimmers of hope like open I/O, AMA and their partnership with Eyeon. I just think they need to be clearer about what they want to be.

(Oh, and if this were actually about 4K, I'd point out that DS handled 4K just fine -- but it's not, so I won't.)

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 5:00:50 pm

[Tim Wilson] "If you make a Venn diagram of the slice of the industry that Herb and others are talking about, you might find 90% of THOSE jobs are on Media Composer. These guys are saying that in some markets, for some of the best kinds of jobs, the number is, in practice, 100% Avid.

That's what he means when he says, [Herb Sevush] "for employers of good paying jobs.... it is Avid or nothing."

(I'm trusting Herb to step in if I'm misrepresenting him.)"


No, that's it. I might add that I'm not particularly happy that this is the case, I've been avoiding Avid for 20 years or more, it's just that the dissonance between this forum and the reality of the working world, at least in NYC, sometimes requires an airing.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Walter Soyka
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 5:21:04 pm

[Herb Sevush] "No, that's it. I might add that I'm not particularly happy that this is the case, I've been avoiding Avid for 20 years or more, it's just that the dissonance between this forum and the reality of the working world, at least in NYC, sometimes requires an airing."

I don't see it as dissonance; I'm not sure we're all talking about the same time frames. I'll stipulate that they are competitive now in 2013. I'm asking how long into the future Avid can remain competitive.

Put another way, will MC be the next FCP7?

If not, what is Avid's way forward?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 6:02:05 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Put another way, will MC be the next FCP7?
If not, what is Avid's way forward?"


Avid is the Microsoft of NLEs - it will not modernize at the expense of cutting itself off from it's legacy customers. It's way forward will be by keeping one foot in the past - by adding just enough to keep up with new formats without alienating it's customer base. How long they can keep doing this is anybodies guess, but I don't see why it can't continue.

This is the value of a "Cold Mountain" moment, some very well respected figure is going to have to demonstrate why it's safer and more profitable to go with a different technology. If Mark Raudonis, or someone of his stature, publicly switches to XYZ editor, and goes on record for a new workflow, then Avid should start to worry. That's why the thread about Radical Media was so heated, it's as if Walter Murch came out and said, "nah, I tried using FCP but it really wasn't ready, maybe next year."

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 7:54:39 pm

Damn, I was going to make the same MS analogy.

With Interplay Avid was the first to demo (under a different name at the time) and release a server-based, 'edit anywhere' solution but it's aimed at larger instillations so isn't of much use to smaller users. For the past few years though that's all I can come up with in regards to Avid leading a charge. The rest has been more along the lines of survival and keeping up with the Jones', if you will. Out of curiosity has anyone used the new Flame Flex tool in MC 7?

I wonder how much Avid wants to (or can) try and get back the middle of the market that FCP Legend took over. The middle area certainly needs tools that have the capabilities for broader reach and maybe Avid wants to stay focused on the higher end right now where specialist are hired for specific tasks instead of generalists hired for many tasks? What got me thinking was that I didn't realize Avid couldn't go up to 4K but when I thought about it 99% of my Avid work ever has been in offline in SD. Of course I do a lot of multi-editor unscripted work where it's just not feasible to work in HD (even DNx36). A dozen editors trolling through hundreds of hours of footage that's all in 4-12 cam multi groups gets demanding in terms of storage and bandwidth.




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James Culbertson
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 11:12:50 pm

---- [Tim Wilson] "First, it's 147 self-selected respondents. Without careful modeling, that's just not a meaningful sample. ----

What was Herb's sample size? A bigger question would be: what percentage of all good paying editing jobs is in his friends market?

---- (For reference, there are 250,000 members at Creative COW, with around 2 million visitors every month.) -----

What does your poll say?

---- Most important, the survey doesn't address Herb's point at all -- the top 10% of the industry, maybe even less. Maybe 5%." ----

Define the top 5-10%. Income? Income/expense ratio? Broadcast? Feature Films? Top number of views on YouTube? Client satisfaction? Personal happiness? Name recognition? Number of posts on Creative Cow? Who gets to decide this?

If I make $2500/week (minimum) for a 40 hour week living in a rural area near Seattle, how does that compare to making $3500/week in New York? I bet my income to spending ratio is better where I live. I pay all of my essential personal and business bills in a week and a half here (including my home mortgage). There's a lot of variables in asserting who is in the top 5-10% of the pro workforce.

My perspective is that the inroads that FCP legacy made have not vanished, they have diversified. Specifically, AVID isn't really on the map much where I live anymore... it's not AVID, none of the time, and less so than it has ever been.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid?
on Dec 11, 2013 at 2:26:53 am

[James Culbertson] "My perspective is that the inroads that FCP legacy made have not vanished, they have diversified. Specifically, AVID isn't really on the map much where I live anymore... it's not AVID, none of the time, and less so than it has ever been."

Horses for courses. My comments were strictly about broadcast in NYC and LA. The difference between those cities and yours, or any others, is the sheer number of editors here. This has nothing to do with who is "more pro" or makes more money. NY and LA are the largest media producers in the country, and in the broadcast segment it is all Avid.

Quite simply, if you're in NYC and your trying to make a living as a freelance editor and you don't have any experience cutting with Avid, your painting with your eyes closed - it can be done, but I don't recommend it.

And someday I will get smart enough to take my own advice.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Keith Koby
Re: Avid?
on Dec 11, 2013 at 2:59:27 am

You have to stop talking out of your arse. There is more than avid in the broadcast sector in NYC.

Keith Koby
Sr. Director Post-Production Engineering
iNDEMAND


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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid?
on Dec 11, 2013 at 9:19:55 pm

[Keith Koby] "You have to stop talking out of your arse."

Well, yes, I have been doing that. I have been exaggerating to make a point. There are folks still using Legacy for broadcast in NYC, I'm actually one of them. I cut cooking shows distributed by PBS and while I used to do it on discreet edit* I've been using FCP Legacy for the last 8 years. But considering the fact that Legacy hasn't been updated in almost 4 years those still hanging on will be changing sometime soon. And I'm looking for a ray of hope that there is a reason not to go Avid's way.

So tell me what do you see, what companies do you know in NYC that are using something other than Avid for broadcast, something that can be purchased someplace other than eBay.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Keith Koby
Re: Avid?
on Dec 12, 2013 at 4:37:40 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Well, yes, I have been doing that. I have been exaggerating to make a point."

I can't tell the difference between your exaggeration and regular tone. So I apologize for that... But it reads to me like you will write something a few times in a thread i.e. "it's all avid in new york" to make it as if it is a fact when it's definitely not the case.

And I do write sarcastically in response to people, see above, but I hope the sarcasm is taken as sarcasm and not taken as anything else. So your "Exaggerating to make a point" is lost on me because it seems the point you are trying to make is just not true.

[Herb Sevush] "There are folks still using Legacy for broadcast in NYC, I'm actually one of them."

[Herb Sevush] "So tell me what do you see, what companies do you know in NYC that are using something other than Avid for broadcast, something that can be purchased someplace other than eBay."

There are literally still thousands of legacy editing seats in broadcast in new york city. I've had several meetings with my peers at other broadcasters, networks, post houses and streaming services, over the last 2 or almost 3 years, all of whom had significant fcp7 and fcp6 infrastructures. The issues most of us faced were the same and it was interesting to discuss the dilemmas and they certainly were way more civil and productive discussions than the ones found in here.

I will not name names outside of those meetings and I otherwise won't say what other businesses are doing (by name) where I have first hand knowledge. I don't think that it would be my place to do so. They can do that themselves if they want. I don't mind discussing generalities, but you'd have to take my word for it.

But what I don't care for is throwing crap out there like it's "all avid or no work in NYC", because it's just not true.

There are certainly former legacy places going with premiere. There are places like where I work that are going FCPX. There are many places holding on with 7 until the market shakes out (yeah that's still a strategy). There are other places that were going premiere until they bungled the ownership thing which causes big companies to have to re-budget from a capex purchase to opex in mid stream (don't cross the streams, it would be bad). Some corporations don't like adding opex. And there are places that have different software in different divisions and they are just fine with that.

What I've heard little of except for what Mark R was saying here, was that companies are buying in whole hog on Avid switching from a legacy/xsan environment. I know of one other place that was avid edit and fcp7 for producers and they switched to all avid. I see Mark's case as rare but I've been told that there are indeed places picking up avid, just not on the scale that everything else becomes extinct or even that they are in the majority in NYC even... The guys that switch legacy to premiere also probably have a mac to pc switch to deal with which is complicated on large scales because you have to administer windows boxes with way more attention in a large environment.

At this point I think it's funny to share that all the folks that I've had the pleasure of sharing with (larger NYC broadcast post facility admins) had an initial panic that at some point we'd have a labor shortage with nobody knowing how to edit in premiere or fcpx - those two being the logical switch choices from legacy/xsan/stornext infrastructures. FCPX obviously being the bigger concern of the two a couple years back, because Premiere was nicknamed FCP8. However, I can tell you I haven't had any problems so far finding guys that can edit well in x. Our best "go to" freelancers were all over it anyway and they, like everyone else love it for certain things and dislike it for others.

I'm now waiting for another week (?) or so until Apple gets around to releasing this software and hardware to see what the future really holds. If it is good for FCPX.1 or whatever is's called, it will be interesting to see the flow of information between my peers yet again.

The message to apple was clear from the people like me and my peers over the last >2 years, and I do think that the FCPX team had there ears open.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid?
on Dec 12, 2013 at 7:03:51 pm

Keith -

Thanks for the reply, it just goes to remind me how small my little world is. I know of plenty of FCP Legacy seats for broadcast that are hanging on, but I haven't heard of anyone switching to anything other than Avid, and the Avid places I know of are not changing at all. Your post has been a little ray of sunlight. I don't mind being wrong. On the other hand rumors of Avid's imminent demise are also a bit overblown, 4K or no.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Walter Soyka
Re: Avid?
on Dec 12, 2013 at 7:45:23 pm

[Herb Sevush] "On the other hand rumors of Avid's imminent demise are also a bit overblown, 4K or no."

To try to put my wall of text above in perspective, I agree with this.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Keith Koby
Re: Avid?
on Dec 12, 2013 at 10:59:13 pm

[Walter Soyka] "[Herb Sevush] "On the other hand rumors of Avid's imminent demise are also a bit overblown, 4K or no."

To try to put my wall of text above in perspective, I agree with this."


Yeah I don't believe in that going out of business stuff. And I hope they don't. I have a few good friends who are employed by Avid who I'd rather see stay employed - and as I said above or below depending on the sorting, they've made or purchased (and then nurtured (not killed off)) several really great products over the years that have made post and tv/film better. So all sarcasm about 4k and marketing aside, they have certainly earned my respect for that.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Avid?
on Dec 12, 2013 at 11:16:47 pm

IMHO Avid won't "go out of business" so much as get sold.

Avid still is a company without a business strategy. MC is not a major profit component but it is a piece in the puzzle of their hardware packages. I'm not sure what they gain by pushing MC by itself. That's not a major component of their revenue. They need to expand their hardware sales and that doesn't seem to be happening.

My own guess is they have about 3 years to either turn around the company with a new plan or they'll be sold to someone who sees how to exploit their value.



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Shane Ross
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 8:28:32 pm

[Keith Koby] "For me, I thank god every morning that Avid hasn't resorted to deceptive marketing practices like touting 4k."

Avid Marketting does tout that editing native via AMA is a perfectly good workflow....great idea. It really isn't. It MIGHT work in some instances, but real world workflows have shown that you really need to transcode to Avid media before editing. it's getting better, but far from solid.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Keith Koby
Re: Avid?
on Dec 11, 2013 at 8:48:22 pm

btw - don't take my sarcasm wrong from that earlier post. Avid makes and has bought a lot of great products and we'd probably use more of their stuff (besides protools etc) if it weren't for the economics of it.


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Chris Kenny
Re: Avid?
on Dec 9, 2013 at 9:44:07 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I guess it's time to start the "Is Avid Professional or Not: The Debate Saga of the Millennium" forum.

N'est-ce pas?"


Heh. Honestly, Media Composer has a lot of issues/limitations that you just know would be constantly used to support an "it's not professional" narrative if FCP X had them. We ran into an entertaining example of this just last week involving timecode metadata on AMA clips getting lost.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Dan Stewart
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 6:47:43 pm

It's true I forgive Avid a lot because I prefer it as an interface for cutting, especially trimming and simple fast effects and coloring. Offline work, essentially.

That said if they ever release a shiny new version that can't connect to shared storage or a client monitor they will get plenty of abuse from me.



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James Culbertson
Re: Avid?
on Dec 10, 2013 at 10:31:24 pm

[Dan Stewart] "It's true I forgive Avid a lot because I prefer it as an interface for cutting, especially trimming and simple fast effects and coloring. Offline work, essentially.

That said if they ever release a shiny new version that can't connect to shared storage or a client monitor they will get plenty of abuse from me."


Hey, that's why I prefer FCPX as well. Which editor today cannot connect to shared storage or to a client monitor? Premiere?


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Shawn Miller
Re: Avid?
on Dec 11, 2013 at 1:06:13 am

[James Culbertson] "Hey, that's why I prefer FCPX as well. Which editor today cannot connect to shared storage or to a client monitor? Premiere?"

No, Premiere can do both...

Shawn



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Neil Goodman
Re: Avid?
on Dec 11, 2013 at 3:39:59 am

Someone mentioned Avid playing catch up, which is for the most part true, EXCEPT background transcoding now in MC7 works way better than Apples implemation, in that it actually keeps going in the background while you work, and doesn't seem to heavily bog down while it's going. Just one area where avids tech is leading. Also nothing feels better than avids timeline and trim tool for doing actual creative cutting, IMO.

I use it at work in an 88 bay facility in L.A. and honestly, this place will never change. The word final cut is a curse word here, let alone premiere, and yea most of it is plain ignorance but that's just how it is and I'm sure the other major networks here, are the same. I also use it at home for the odd freelance job although I usually have to talk people out of using final cut 7. Premiere or Fcpx still haven't come up in a paid work scenario.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Avid?
on Dec 12, 2013 at 4:58:20 am

[Neil Goodman] "Premiere or Fcpx still haven't come up in a paid work scenario."

Premiere is currently my personal choice for projects I produce, but yes, most bays I come across are MC. The Hallmark Channel has converted to Premiere, and I last heard that Pivot was planning to go that way as well. I've also heard, first hand, that the promo department for DirectTV was converting to X. So, there's change going on. But, yes, if you are trying to work as an editor here in LA, you'd be pretty foolish not to know Avid.


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Dan Stewart
Re: Avid?
on Dec 11, 2013 at 12:18:07 pm

Of course anyone with the bank balance to survive a year or so of angry screaming and massive loss in business will eventually put right what once went wrong. Sooner or later even tracks..



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