September 14, 2014 at 8:56PM


Where to start with the AVID suite/programs?

I want to learn to edit using Avid (i come from a premiere and all adobe background) but their website is very confusing and daunting, basically which programs should i get? do i just need the "media composer"? or is it only worth ir with the media managment one? or do i need most of their suite? help any AVID connoisseurs


Hey Ricardo! If you're just starting out, there's really no need to buy anything more than the basic Media Composer software (which actually comes with a few other software tools like Sorensen Squeeze for encoding and Avid DVD for disc creation, plus a few others I'm pretty sure). If you need high end grading and finishing functionality, consider getting the Symphony add on. Honestly though, most people who aren't doing high-end grading can get away with using the color tools built into Media Composer. Also, if you happen to be a student, make sure you take advantage of Avid's educational pricing, which is phenomenal.

In terms of actually learning the software, there's an amazing Creative Cow video tutorial series by Kevin P. McAuliffe that covers literally everything that you'd ever want to know. The series is based on version 6 of the software, but Avid's functionality and interface haven't really changed much in 5 or so years, so all of the tutorials there are still applicable to the newest version. Here's a link!

Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any questions.

September 14, 2014 at 10:37PM

Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom

Thank you so much Robert! You answer is spot on what i was looking for, now it's all about learning and cutting away sir. Againg thank you so much

Ricardo Reyes

September 15, 2014 at 8:46AM

Thanks for the information Robert...

October 17, 2014 at 5:29AM

Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director

As Avid is made for fast cutting I would advise to use the overlaid keyboard as well, it will save you a lot of time in the edit (memorizing the keyboard is another option).

October 29, 2014 at 10:02PM

Niels De Vries
Co-Founder & Producer at Radicle Animation

Robert's answer is part correct, part incorrect & part maybe correct. Avid recently released MC 8 (8.2 actually) c. Oct. '14. It's available as monthly, annual & perpetual license. Student pricing is very, very reasonable. The student and commercial programs are the same. The only differences are the end user licensing agreement--student versions may not be used for commercial purposes--and the academic version no longer comes bundled with software or, if it does, it doesn't come with very much. The Production Pack is available separately for $99. It has NewBlue Titler Pro 2, iZotope Insight & Sorenson Squeeze. Check up on which flavor of Squeeze is in the pack. It may be a lite version. You need to determine if it meet your needs.

Avid DVD was end of life as of MC6 if I recall correctly. Avid FX went away with MC7; however, Avid FX is Boris Red. It is roughly equivalent to After Effects and can be purchased separately.

You do not want the media management version or Newscutter. They're for facilities and news departments. I do not think Symphony is available for students, only commercial and academic institutions. At least that was the case as of MC7.

The Avid user forums are an excellent resource. has useful information.
Try the tutorials at

Hope this helps

November 4, 2014 at 12:52AM


I switched from Premiere to Avid myself and found getting a ShuttlePro 2 helped me a lot. I rarely have to touch the keyboard and it requires minimal movement of my hands. Plus if I do go back to Premiere or even Vegas, I have all the mappings the same so there's nothing to relearn.

January 7, 2016 at 11:04AM

Chris Tempel

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