What Are the Huge Changes Coming to AVID Media Composer On JUNE 20TH?

Avid Media Composer is launching a thorough and complete redesign like they never have before, and now you can check it out for yourself.

Among the big four editing platforms currently with large market share (Premiere, Final Cut X, Resolve and Avid's Media Composer), MC sometimes gets a bad wrap for not innovating as quickly as some of it's competitors.

That is not true, of course, since there are countless features Avid was the first to roll out (or the first to at least roll it out properly). ScriptSync and PhraseFind are still the gold standard for automated text analysis, for instance. 

However, there is one area where MC has lagged a bit behind, and that is UI (user interface). While you can customize it quite a bit and create a very modern look, the default installation UI for MC has always felt a bit 90s.  

At NAB 2019, Avid announced that they have completely redesigned the UI. Now, Avid has one of the longest and largest installed userbases in the country, so it will be possible to recreate the original UI.

Editors who got Avid Certified in 2005 and have used it every day since aren't likely to care about a brand new UI; they want it to keep working like it has, and might integrate new features slowly. So who is this for?

It's likely more exciting for younger editors who are considering picking up Media Composer as the new UI promises to make it easier to learn the platform and all its possibilities.

In addition to new media navigation metadata tools, the new design features a fluid timeline and, most importantly, task-based layouts. Sound familiar?

Maybe because they are similar for Resolve, Premiere, and FC-X users already. You look at the same timeline, but as you switch between "edit" and "color" views, the interface changes dramatically around it. Of course, there were always pre-built window layouts in Media Composer that populated certain key windows for given tasks, the new tasked based layouts should take that design further to make tasks less technically onerous and more creatively fruitful.

What else

Well under the hood there is an entirely new, end to end, 32-bit floating point color pipeline.

What this means for end users is that there will no longer be destructive steps in the image pipeline, so say you decide to clip out the sky in the top of a shot, you should be able to bring it back in the next step in the process.  So if you are combining multiple Color Corrector effects in on your clip, those effects should be less destructive on your source shot because the processing is designed to reserve extra detail.  

All of this is available as of today to subscribers to Media Composer software, which can cost as little as $19.95/month.

There also continues to be the Media Composer First free option available, which is limited in the number of tracks and doesn't allow projects to move over to full Media Composer.

Tech Specs:
  • New 32-bit color processing engine
  • Completely redesigned UI
  • Task-based layouts
  • Fluid timeline

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Your Comment


Glad to see some media composer coverage here. Use it all day every day and can say that UI isn't one of the big issues. I would say it is a superior editing program to anything else out there but it is the biggest pain to do graphics in. Things like not having a way to default fixed keyframes and resizing an animate will deter a lot of users.

June 18, 2019 at 11:13AM, Edited June 18, 11:14AM

Joe Hughes
Editor / VFX

ScriptSync? PhraseFind? I wish the interplay plugin could do a proper search. I wish the new title tool wasn't designed by someone with inspiration from a 1995 software program. I wish the timeline was more responsive. I wish it didn't take 5 steps to do something other programs can do in one step. I wish I didn't have to constantly go to After Effects to accomplish simple tasks.

June 20, 2019 at 2:22PM, Edited June 20, 2:22PM

Craig Swanson

I use MC daily (I started 20 years ago?!) and I still need to use third-party software to import XAVC-S files from my sony A7iii camera, Canon files need ages to import, in run n gun situations it's impossible to deliver something quickly, no matter how powerful is the PC I'm using. It use ONE processor ignoring the other SEVEN sitting there.
I don't care about the UI, I'm so well used to it that changing it will just create a new problem, I keep using MC just because I know well the UI, and now you want to change it?
And color correction was good 10 years ago, now compared to others looks like a dinosaur. Wanna talk about integrated effects? I still need to buy other brand suites!! I find myself using more often Premiere just to keep things simple.
And finally, why I can't just buy this program, subscription is a stupid method to keep customer, I had tons of problems with it and I found myself stuck for weeks without being able using the software, waiting for the "customer service" taking care of their server problems.
Do you call this "innovation"?

June 21, 2019 at 2:48AM

Dar Son
Filmaker and Editor