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AVID? Why Not?

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Rich Rubasch
AVID? Why Not?
on Sep 10, 2015 at 5:34:22 pm

Had a revelation yesterday...

Many of us migrated from AVID to Final Cut 7 when Final Cut 7 cost 1/5 that of an AVID seat. Still, Final Cut 7 had its issues and we all complained about media management and other shortcomings....but we dealt with it, and there wasn’t an alternative as capable. We owned it and eventually we loved it. Mostly.

We all happily cut away on our trusty Final Cut 7 systems. Then one day, BAM, Steve Jobs shakes up the industry and pulls the heart out of FCP7 and delivers FCPX.

What the....?

Adobe jumps in and says, “Hey look at’s a whole new Premier,” (when we all really knew that it looked more like the same old Premier).

Meanwhile AVID kept adding features and lowering their prices....and one day....BAM, they make their software completely hardware and codec independent...we could use our KONA cards and ProRes (as well as every raw camera codec known) right on the AVID timeline. We could mix codecs and framerates on the timeline better than any system, with trustworthy accuracy. It still had best of class trim tools and unsurpassed multicam and all the solid performance and features (can you say Decompose?) it always had.

We didn’t bite.

So a few of you jumped on the Premier wagon....hey I need AfterEffects and Photoshop anyway, as I always have, and Premier sat, already in the kit (along with a monthly fee).

Meanwhile AVID dropped the Media Composer price again. Not Media Composer light, the whole shootin’ match. It is perpetual software and works with all of our existing hardware, Mac or PC. They do offer a subscription as well, if that's your thing.


Perhaps some of you have settled in with your shiny new tool and have embraced the roller coaster ride of updates and fixes, then more bugs and more fixes. And you have laid out your keyboard to do all (nay, most) of what you want it to do. You’ve tried to make Media Encoder part of your daily workflow, but find it is a clunky, convoluted little tool. Dynamic linking is more like playing roulette. And that sexy interface.

Tilt Media has not made the jump. We are comfortably settled, reclined back in our old broke-in leather chair that is FCP 7. But we are ready to make a move. Why not AVID? Why not now? Why not invest in the same software that Hollywood uses? Oh, they’ll tell you that Hollywood uses them all, but it’s little more than a dabble here or there. AVID is king in Hollywood. And you know that.

Are we settling for a less than the best tool. If so why?


Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage

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Steve Connor
Re: AVID? Why Not?
on Sep 10, 2015 at 5:46:48 pm

[Rich Rubasch] "Are we settling for a less than the best tool. If so why?

The "best" tool is the one that works for you, it depends on your workflow.

Avid, PPro CC and FCPX will all get the job done and will do it very well, they all have their issues, but at the end of the day it's a very personal decision which NLE you use and in any debate people will always say that their choice is the "best" one.

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Andy Field
Re: AVID? Why Not?
on Sep 10, 2015 at 11:45:25 pm

A few reasons why "not" Avid -- at least around version 5 which I have and occasionally use

1 - Mixed media and direct import - not so much -- you always have to transcode (or at least did in version 5) to output something - time consuming - Premiere just renders what you've got out to whatever you need (unless i was doing something wrong with AVID) and the direct import (rather than transcoding to the flavor Avid likes best first) never seemed to work exactly right -- this may have changed in subsequent versions -

2 - Model editing - need an effect - jump into effects move -- then back to editing - wait that effect isn't just right - jump back into effects mode -- stack effects..jump in...jump out -- very aerobic - then back to color correction - seemed like a lot more steps (yes i'm sure Avid whizzes have shortcuts to seamlessly jump back and forth -- but Premiere Pro CC is so much like FCP 7 (or you can make it work the same) that it was an easier transition.

but the bottom line is Premiere Pro is what most FCP 7 editors expected as the next step forward - not what they got in FCP X -- Premiere pro is FCP 7 on steroids -- no transcoding - zippy, responsive interface (yes the dynamic linking can be funky but for the most part it's worked ok)

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852

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Tim Kolb
Re: AVID? Why Not?
on Sep 20, 2015 at 12:08:10 pm

I think the 'Avid is King' thing from a -market- perspective is pretty outdated.

I think the tool is everything it ever was and much more, but the role of the person running the software is suffering from extreme 'scope creep' and the clear advantage that Avid had as a really focused, efficient cutting tool for people who cut diminishes as the number of editors who are only asked to 'cut' diminishes.

Is that a good thing? I don't know that my opinion matters on that.

I look at edit tools that are more streamlined and I confess I have an appreciation for straightforward editing software that isn't also trying to do everything from effects to captioning to CC on one timeline. However, I look at what I've been asked to do on my projects over the last decade and I have needed those things.

'Hollywood' (or more accurately, the mainstream entertainment industry) is a very specific niche that really isn't as 'big' as they are visible.

When you are selling NLE packages and you make the same amount of money on each license, the numbers really are in the middle of the bell curve where the in-house video department for the widget manufacturer and the small marketing agency that does regional/local TV spots are...thousands of these users.

Adobe has created a pretty heavy piece of software that is trying to capture ALL the NLE users across a very wide could be a real opportunity for Avid, but Avid has now dropped their price and is in the numbers race with all the other NLE manufacturers when they were arguably above the fray for many years. Since they made the shift, their pace of innovation has been conspicuously slower than their competitors...sometimes not delivering features that are primarily 'shiny objects'...sometimes not delivering fundamental items like 4K support for years after their competitors. If they are clearly a more stable platform because of this, then maybe that's a selling point...

As far as the continuing assertion that Adobe hasn't significantly cracked the mainstream entertainment industry...Avid Media Suite's support for PPro (and FCPX) tells me that even Avid isn't spinning that yarn any longer.

Director, Consultant
Video Producer at I-CAR

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