Avid has been the leader in high-end film and television post-production for the past 20 years. Despite this fact, Avid's primary competitors (Adobe and Apple) have been stealing customers left and right for the past few years with new innovations in their NLE offerings. However, Avid has slowly and steadily been bringing Media Composer up to modern standards with 64bit processing, support for modern GPU's, AMA linking etc, but up until yesterday, the Media Composer platform was still limited to a 1920 x 1080 pipeline. Avid's Media Composer 7 looks to change all of this and bring the platform into the 21st century, where 4k looks to be the new standard. Check out the product video below:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=85zwkjFtwiM
Here are a couple of the key features (from Avid's website):
- Accelerate HD delivery from high-res sources. With the new FrameFlex tool and LUT support, you can acquire 2K, 4K, and 5K media and deliver the HD programming required today, eliminating time-consuming transcodes and resizing.
- Maximize creativity time with acceleration through automation. With new Dynamic Media Folders, copying, consolidating, and transcoding tasks can be automated in the background, so you can keep editing without the wait. What’s more, Avid media management now looks after all of your AMA-linked files too.
- Extend real-time production everywhere. Media Composer 7 Interplay Edition provides connectivity with Avid Interplay and Interplay Sphere, so you can edit, sync, and share projects and media with anyone around the world over the Internet.
- Make your picture sound as good as it looks. Take control of the overall program volume and insert plug-ins to adjust the tone with the new Master Audio Fader. And with Clip Gain, you can adjust gain on a specific clip, independent of track-based automation.
While Avid still won't natively support 4K output, the ability to bring files into the program and edit with them in their native resolutions, without having to transcode just to make the files work, will save Avid editors (and their assistants) so much time. Additionally, if you are planning to deliver in 4k, getting your Avid projects into Resolve for conforming and output has never been easier. Another huge time saver will be the ability to automate tasks like transcoding, and then have these tasks run in the background. With these new workflow enhancements and time savers, I expect Media Composer to be a much more pleasant (and speedy) experience for users both old and new.
Avid has also been ramping up the quality of Media Composer in terms of audio capabilities for the past few years as well. Ever since the company bought the world-class DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Pro Tools from DigiDesign several years ago, many of the features from Pro Tools have been slowly making their way into Media Composer. This version looks to be no exception, as the audio abilities of the program now go above and beyond the competition.
Lastly, Avid has dropped the price of Media Composer to $1000. While it's still a cut above the measly $300 for FCPX or Adobe's $30/month, the toolset is extremely high-end (especially considering that it comes bundled with Avid DVD and Sorensen Squeeze), and it's one that you'll find in just about every major post production house. Familiarity with the software is something that can potentially land you an editorial or assistant job, so with its lowest ever price point, right now could be the time to hop aboard the Avid train.
What do you guys think? If you're already an Avid editor, do these new features have you excited about the future of the program? If you haven't yet tried Avid, does this new version (and its new price) make you inclined to try it? Let us know in the comments.
Link: Media Composer 7 — Avid