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A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems

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Scott Thomas
A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 7:44:00 am

My brother and I were talking over the holiday season about NLE systems, and we were discussing the many that have come and gone. Has anyone kept a list?

I started at the tail end of the linear editing era:
Sony RM440
CMX Edge
GVG VPE-251
Sony BVE-900

These are the systems I used before I worked on an Avid Media Composer 1000 in 1996. That was not the only system then, but it was probably the most popular. I could have had a Media 100 or Immix Video Cube if I asked. So, how many other systems have gone be the wayside? Here's my very incomplete list, and not in any order. Perhaps we can refine and sort it later?

Immix Video Cube
Immix Turbo Cube

ICE had a compositing engine that tied into a Video Cube and added more compositing layers... I think. Saw it in 1994 and the same time I saw After Effects. In the long-run, software seems to trump hardware.

Sytex Stratosphere
Accom Affinity

Avid Media Composer
I've lost track of the versions after FCP came out.

EMC2
PC architecture NLE systems

Discrete Edit*
Wasn't this EMC?

Speed Razor

Casablanca
Amiga based H/W

Fast Video Machine

Video Toaster Flyer
Amiga H/W

Play Trinity (Didn't it have an NLE part?)

Media 100
NuBus Card
Vincent Card
944/X PC based system

Pixel Power
Don't remember the model, but Cambridge England based company had a NLE in late 1990's

Quantel
Harry (NLE style effects composting based on Paintbox H/W I believe)
Harry (Fuller featured NLE)
EditBox
QEdit

Eidos
Judgement
Justice

...And many many more. Please add to the list. I'm tired of typing right now.



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Steve Connor
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 8:34:06 am

IMC Incite


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Misha Aranyshev
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 10:37:50 am

There was Fast Blue/Purple/Silver after the Video Machine and then it became Liquid, got bought by Pinnacle then by Avid. It was also rebadged by Sony as ES-7 or at least ES-7 looked like Fast. Panasonic had a clone too.

Lightworks/Heavyworks.

Sony XPRI

DPS Reality/Velocity


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Joe Marler
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 11:48:16 am

In 1984, EditDroid was one of the first NLEs (PDF brochure):

typewritten.org/Articles/DroidWorks/ed-485.pdf


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Oliver Peters
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 1:03:37 pm

The first NLE was CMX's computer disk pack system. It begat the linear CMX systems. I think only a few were ever made.

There are also the tape-based NLEs, including Cinesco Ediflex, Montage and TouchVision. Also laser disc NLEs, including CMX6000 and EditDroid.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 1:24:47 pm

Adobe Premiere
Sony Vegas
EditDV


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Oliver Peters
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 2:54:28 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Cinesco Ediflex"

EDIT: Cinedco Ediflex

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Thomas
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 3, 2016 at 6:14:01 am

There was Panasonic PostBox, but I think that was before Fast Video.


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Herb Sevush
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 1:04:04 pm

[Scott Thomas] "Discrete Edit*
Wasn't this EMC?"


No, edit* was Discrete's cutesy re-name for the windows version of D/Vision after they bought it. There was also an earlier DOS version of D/Vision as well.

You also left out the "Montage" which was one of the earliest, most widely available NLEs in use. it was not digital, it used banks of up to 17 betamax or laser disc copies of the same material to allow for instant access.

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


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Steve Connor
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 1:55:35 pm

[Herb Sevush] "There was also an earlier DOS version of D/Vision as well."

I did quite a few projects on this version, rock solid edls and very easy to use.


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Herb Sevush
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 2:16:21 pm

[Steve Connor] "I did quite a few projects on this version, rock solid edls and very easy to use."

When I was buying my first NLE it was down to EMC vs D/Vision. At that time EMC was being bought up by some larger company, which I thought was a good thing, and I bought the EMC. Time has shown me that it is rarely if ever a good sign when a fully formed product is bought up by a larger company. When it was time to upgrade again I bought D/Vision Windows 3.0 just before it was bought by Discreet. Oh well.

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


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Scott Witthaus
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 2:21:16 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Time has shown me that it is rarely if ever a good sign when a fully formed product is bought up by a larger company."

Yup. When Avid bought Softimage, nothing good came out of that!

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Scott Thomas
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 3, 2016 at 5:58:33 am

I remember visiting Post Effects in Chicago around 1990 or 91 and they had, I believe, that DOS based system. Elsewhere was a room where they were doing post on Siskel & Ebert on a CDL switcher.


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Walter Soyka
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 1:19:23 pm

You might be interested in John Buck's book Timeline: A History of Editing.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Scott Witthaus
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 2:08:29 pm

Softimage|DS

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 3:56:23 pm

There was also a hybrid system called the Mickey, which worked on Mac computers. It was essentially a computer controlled A/B roll edit system with the precursor elements of an NLE built in to it. If I remember correctly, the plan was to be both an edit controller, as well as work with digitized elements on a computer EDL, gradually going to a full NLE at some point. I don't think it made it. I can find no reference to it in my searches, but when I was working as a freelance producer, a facility I used was using it. It was a step above the hardware edit controllers, but not much of a step...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Scott Witthaus
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 4:27:42 pm

EECO Emme (or something like that). An almost uncontrollable linear edit system (the one I worked on controlled MII decks!).

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Nick Toth
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 4:48:38 pm

@Joe Bourke

There was also a hybrid system called the Mickey, which worked on Mac computers. It was essentially a computer controlled A/B roll edit system with the precursor elements of an NLE built in to it. If I remember correctly, the plan was to be both an edit controller, as well as work with digitized elements on a computer EDL, gradually going to a full NLE at some point. I don't think it made it. I can find no reference to it in my searches, but when I was working as a freelance producer, a facility I used was using it. It was a step above the hardware edit controllers, but not much of a step...

This sounds a lot like Matrox Studio which ran on Windows 3.1. We had it in for testing for a couple of weeks back in the early 90's. It looked great at all the tradeshow demos. In actual use it would be fine up to a point and then something would inexplicably go berserk. At one point, with the sales rep and a producer there in the middle of a project it crapped out once again. I literally went out to my car and cried! It was removed from the premises soon after.

Long before that I used an EECO Ives editor. For basic AB-roll editing it wasn't bad. No EDL but it did have a GPI to trigger the DSK! LOL

Also used a Calaway which was a software/board package in a DOS computer. For its time it was pretty powerful with extensive EDL, multiple GPI's and multiple source editing.

I haven't thought about these systems in years!


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Bill Davis
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 5:30:06 pm

If you open it up to the consumer and industrialr spaces, there are dozens more.

Corel, Movie Edit Pro, and Roxio et al. in the consumer space.

And in industrial video Sony, for example, had their "appliance editors" to accommodate their new tape formulations, like the EVO-9700 and 9720 editors based on 8mm - and later Hi-8 tape.

That's where I got my start doing corporate work at well below BETACAM level prices.

And if you want to be comprehensive, you've also got to look at modern Apps. The Android and iDevice ecosystems are FULL of editorial options.

Sure, none of these will likely turn out a resume film, easily. But they all edit video in a non-linear system, for better or worse.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 8:46:22 pm

[Scott Thomas] "Speed Razor"

My first NLE was In-Sync Speed Razor, paired with a Fast DVMaster Pro Firewire card. I was shooting with the Sony VX-1000. It was amazing :)

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Scott Thomas
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 3, 2016 at 6:04:03 am

I worked with a guy in Orlando that Oliver Peters most likely knows, Curtis Sponsler. He was a huge fan of Speed Razor and had probably the most tricked out PC you could buy in 1997 to run it... next to his Pentium Pro render farm for 3D Studio Max!


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Oliver Peters
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 3, 2016 at 12:30:38 pm

Yes, I've known Curtis for years. Good VFX guy. For awhile we worked at the same company.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Thomas
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 4, 2016 at 8:48:03 am

Century III

I remember my boss wanting to buy their DF/X Composium. Not happy when I explained that After Effects had eclipsed it seven or eight years later.


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Oliver Peters
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 4, 2016 at 12:36:52 pm

[Scott Thomas] "DF/X Composium"

At various stages we had a pretty big investment in heavy iron and for a while, the business to support it. In addition to the Composium, there was a Colorgraphics (?) box, Quantel paintbox, and several SGI computers running Parallax, Wavefront, Maya, Softimage, etc. That was in addition to full-blown digital linear suites, Avid rooms, film transfer and audio post.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Thomas
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 4, 2016 at 7:59:29 pm

I used the Colorgraphics box, the DP-422. It's forgotten in the annals of video graphics history.


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Oliver Peters
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 4, 2016 at 8:28:38 pm

[Scott Thomas] "I used the Colorgraphics box, the DP-422. It's forgotten in the annals of video graphics history."

Yep. We had the one with both disk drives and 3D animation option. At that time we were doing dual post on some first-run syndication - "Superboy" for Viacom, as I recall. We were doing a dual post operation in both NTSC and PAL, starting with native film transfer in each standard and then native online and VFX. For VFX, the NTSC side (29.97) was using the Composium and the PAL side (25) was having to match the VFX by eye and duplicate them as faithfully as possible in PAL using the DP422. The only common element was a speed-adjusted/pitch-corrected mixed track.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Thomas
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 5, 2016 at 5:40:35 am

Neat to hear the history of that machine. I believe the one I used was purchased from CIII and sat next to a newer DP-MAX.


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Mark Raudonis
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 9:57:32 pm

My First NLE was made by Eastman Kodak company.
It was called FILM.



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Oliver Peters
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 2, 2016 at 11:03:23 pm

[Mark Raudonis] "It was called FILM."

Can we call you grandpa now?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 3, 2016 at 5:40:11 pm

FORscene?

And how about the finishing systems? discreet/Autodesk Smoke/Flame, Assimilate SCRATCH, Quantel/SAM Pablo, SGO Jaleo/Mistika.

It might be fun to look at compositors, too: Shake, Chalice, Rayz, IFFFS, combustion, Toxik, Cyborg, Socratto...

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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olof ekbergh
Re: A Comprehensive List of NLE Systems
on Mar 3, 2016 at 8:22:32 pm

Did anyone other than me use Radius (MacClone) computer and Radius Telecast. It was a Mac 8100 I seem to remember, and the thing never really worked. There was a cheaper version Radius Edit that used Premier that absolutely did not work at all. Audi drifted in 2 minutes. You had to write scripts to play back 2 minute segments.

Then I went M100 and stayed with it for more than a decade.

Now FCPX is my main editor.

Those early NLE days were painful and expensive, Telecast was about $20K I seem to recall, before they dumped the production and you could buy them for a tenth of that.

Olof Ekbergh


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