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Advise for this newbie : What are Avid Nitris /DS ,Adrenaline ,Mojo ,Symphony,etc exactly ?

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Shravan Ram
Advise for this newbie : What are Avid Nitris /DS ,Adrenaline ,Mojo ,Symphony,etc exactly ?
on May 11, 2014 at 10:06:45 am

Hey guys,I'm a beginner editor,and I've proficient with the 3 major NLEs, however in many of the job descriptions ,I come across these softwares such as Nitris DS ,Adrenaline ,Mojo,etc

I only know how to use Media Composer as far as Avid is concerned.

(And I'm aware that Symphony is also an NLE for broadcast productions ? )

and how easy is to learn & adapt to these softwares ?

It'll be great if someone could fill me in !

Thanks in advance !

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Shravan Ram
Re: Advise for this newbie : What are Avid Nitris /DS ,Adrenaline ,Mojo ,Symphony,etc exactly ?
on May 11, 2014 at 11:00:44 am

( They all aren't softwares I know, but hardware devices )

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Shane Ross
Re: Advise for this newbie : What are Avid Nitris /DS ,Adrenaline ,Mojo ,Symphony,etc exactly ?
on May 11, 2014 at 11:10:38 am

Avid Media Composer...the basic software editing package. The thing most of us use.

Avid Symphony...exactly the same as Media Composer in every way, but with additional color correction tools. Also, paired with the Avid Nitris hardware, has the ability to do all sorts of high end conversions upon output (frame rate, upres...so on). Unless you online and color correct...you won't be using this.

Avid DS...higher end finishing tool. PC only, very limited in terms of plugins and transition effects that can carry over from Media Composer. But a very capable finishing tool. Unless you are a finisher...you won't be using this.

Nitris DX - Input/output hardware for Avid Media Composer/Symphony. SDI, Component, Composite, HDMI connections. Allows you to capture from tape, output to tape and external monitoring. All sorts of options when paired with Symphony.

Mojo DX - Input/Output hardware for MC/Symphony. Lower end...basic connections (SDI, HDMI). Cheaper than Nitris, lacks a lot of connection types, and conversion capabilities. Basic tape capture and output to tape and external monitoring.

Avid Adrenaline. Input/Output hardware that connects to the computer via Firewire. Outdated...And pretty awful hardware. Adrenaline drove people nuts...and drove many people away from Avid. We all cheered when Nitris and Mojo replaced it.

Unless you plan on being an online editor, finisher or colorist...you won't use Symphony or Avid DS. And the other things are hardware options for capturing and outputting video signals. Avid is now open to third party hardware for this, so now it works with AJA, Blackmagic Design, Matrox.

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Shravan Ram
Re: Advise for this newbie : What are Avid Nitris /DS ,Adrenaline ,Mojo ,Symphony,etc exactly ?
on May 11, 2014 at 11:26:40 am

Thank you, very useful !

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James Beattie
Re: Advise for this newbie : What are Avid Nitris /DS ,Adrenaline ,Mojo ,Symphony,etc exactly ?
on May 12, 2014 at 2:31:18 pm

First, how easy are the tools to learn:

There a many editing systems in the market. Sony makes a great editor and it seems like many other companies come up with a new one yearly. Editing is all about the interface, the experience of the editor and the support. Avid is used in a ton of feature films. Mainly because the phrase, "Slow and steady wins the race." Avid has rarely been first to market with their technology, but they produce a product that can realiably do the tasks that are needed. If you are editing basic videos for the web then one may scoff at Avid's interface and wish for something easier. If you are doing a feature film, documentary or longer form episodic, then the Media Composer was built to last. The way it handles memory, the way it deals with media and the sheer years of experience being reliable make it a great product. Professionals use it because it is a real professional tool that many have relied on. Again, not always ground breaking. We always wish for one or more features, but if I am relying on a product the build a career on, the experience of being an Avid editor at least says that you are familiar with the right tools.

These days, most software operate the same at a core level. Editing, trimming and moving segments of video up and down the timeline. Each has their own verbage and logic, but after a few minutes of tinkering most people can stumble through it. The key point in the interface I would make is that Avid has different tools for inserting or overwriting video. Instead of rippling vs non rippling to be destructive, you have specific tools for each task.

The key to which software to use comes down to workflow and formats. Avid has a great architecture called AMA that allows you to quickly access camera material and organize it. Avid is a true professional tool that provides support and a reliable experience.

Learning the Avid interface is pretty simple, but I always think it is best to start the ground running with a quick tutorial or overview from many of the online offerings. The thing I have always loved about Avid is that once you understand the logic, it consistently applies. So compositing, audio and graphics all act the same way.


Avid has had many different versions of software and hardware in the past few years. Let me say what is current first, then we will go out from there.

Avid Media Composer is the core software. You now only buy Media composer to start editing. Once you know how media composer works, the other software options build up on it.

Software options:
Symphony has more high end color correction tools and mastering options (multiple formats for output to 23.978 or 59.94 formats)

Newscutter has more simplified feature for an on-the run demands of a newsroom, and additional tools to connect to a newsroom automation system. You may be able to operate a media composer, but a news environment is a unique place. They do things in certain ways that add speed to the process. Understanding the editor is one piece. Understand how to publish you files and where to find them when they come in is where the real learning begins.

Hardware (Avid makes their own video capture hardware, which is nice from a single vendor solution. Avid's hardware is necessary today to capture and output closed captioning properly. There are many vendors that write to an Avid plugin that allows you to use third party capture devices. Most prefer to buy the hardware from Avid, so there are less issues, but long term as the 4k and UHD formats evolve the third party world will be the best option. AJA is my preferred device, but Blackmagic makes great products as well).

Nitris DX is an Avid created device that is tested to work with their software in every way.(tons of connectivity for older devices. Composite, component, svideo and analog audio built in. Acceleration and support for 3d applications).

Mojo DX is an Avid created device that is tested to work with their software in every way. (just what is necessary for a basic device. HD or SD Digital in and out analog output and HDI for an external device).

Legacy devices:
Avid DS: An Avid compositing product that positioned itself toward a Flame and Discreet compositing. This product has been end of life'd

Adrenaline and older Mojo These are devices that transfer video data over firewire. You can do compressed HD on the Adrenaline and Standard Definition on the Mojo. These are end of life'd and new software does not work with them.

Xpress was an Avid product that was marketed that has less features than Media Composer. When Media Composer became cheaper, Xpress no longer had a market.

James Beattie
ACSR Elite/Avid ACI, Apple Certified Technician

Consulting for Workflow and Digital Technologies at Comprehensive Technical Group

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