VEGAS Pro 20 Launches—Editors, Is It Time to Switch NLEs?

VEGAS Creative Software
Credit: VEGAS Creative Software
VEGAS Pro 20 has launched with all-new features and functionality. For those of you cutting on a different NLE system, is now the time to consider making the switch?

VEGAS Pro has an uphill battle, competing with industry giants such as Adobe, Apple, Blackmagic Design, and Avid. Adobe Premiere Pro and Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve find themselves at the top, in terms of popularity, with the former being a part of Adobe's Creative Cloud, which includes Photoshop and After Effects. These two are top industry choices for image editing, VFX, and motion graphics and will be hard to beat. Resolve is also offered for free and includes color grading, sound, and VFX tools built right in.

However, there might be some chum in the water. Following a letter from video editors and content creators to Apple, the technology giant promised to heed their requests to make Final Cut Pro more competitive with DaVinci Resolve and Premiere Pro, signaling long brewing frustrations.

Finally, while Avid Media Composer is still considered the standard for Hollywood film and TV productions, its market share has dropped over the past two decades. Can the launch of VEGAS Pro 20's capitalize on the shaky foundation and use its all-new features and updates to climb the mountain of competition? Let's find out!

What's New in VEGAS Pro 20?

As part of its ongoing commitment to regular updates and full version releases, VEGAS Creative Software is offering new features with the recently debuted VEGAS Pro 20. It includes enhanced cloud collaboration via VEGAS Hub, more color grading tools in the timeline, automatic subtitle generation in the Speech to Text feature, and support for VST3, the industry-standard audio plugin.

The team behind VEGAS Pro is providing regular updates with a continuous development cycle commitment, with plenty of important feature releases and updates through the time between major releases. And VEGAS Pro 20 is the newest "major release."

VEGAS Creative Software
Credit: VEGAS Creative Software

VEGAS Hub is its cloud-based collaboration tool, and VEGAS Creative Software added File Drop, allowing filmmakers to "drag and drop" video and audio files to be uploaded to the cloud from a computer or mobile device. An editor, who may be sitting on the other side of the world, can then download and import the clips directly into a project via the VEGAS Hub Explorer window and begin editing immediately (depending on internet speed). Automatic Project Collections can quickly organize assets into a project, saving plenty of time.

More color correction tools have been added to the Color Grading Panel, allowing editors to fine-tune the edit right in the timeline. No need to open up a new app to grade the project when it can be done immediately and directly in the cut. These include Hue Adjustment Curves and White Balance Controls.

Speech to Text is available with automatic subtitle generation (available only with a subscription).

One of the biggest new updates is the enhancements to the audio production functionality. VEGAS Pro is arguably one of the best NLEs in terms of audio features, if not the best, having started as an audio editing app years ago before adding video. There are plenty of audio tools that sweeten your project's sound and get the best final mix. The addition of VST3, an industry-standard audio plugin, is an important next step for those using VEGAS Pro 20. This interface can integrate software units into digital audio workstations, giving more options for working with third-party VSTs.

There's been a major update to the VEGAS Stream functionality, which streamlines livestreaming workflows. This is important, because most of the time, you need a separate livestreaming app you have to pay to get that kind of feature. This is part of VEGAS Pro and VEGAS Post.

VEGAS Creative Software struck a partnership deal with Action VFX to include a starter subscription of high-res and high-frame-rate VFX assets and elements.

Multiple video and audio formats are supported, including the major ones like ProRes, RED RAW, HEVC 10-bit 4:2:2, Blackmagic RAW, and more.

Why Should Filmmakers, YouTubers, and Other Creatives Consider VEGAS Pro 20?

Let’s be honest, there are a lot of affordable and industry-standard NLEs out there, including DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, and Premiere Pro. If you’re a Windows user or thinking about switching to a high-end Windows workstation, why should you consider taking VEGAS Pro for a test drive?

To start with, the UI is modern and "feels" right when using it, and the team at VEGAS Creative Software has made the right tweaks to improve upon it. VEGAS Pro gets out of your way so you can focus on editing and not a clunky UI.

VEGAS Creative Software
Credit: VEGAS Creative Software

The cloud collaboration tools are perfect for when you’re working with someone in another location. The File Drop feature is pretty cool, and you can be editing pretty quickly after the production team easily uploads video and audio from the set.

Much like DaVinci Resolve started as a color grading suite, VEGAS started as an audio editor and added video soon after. The tools used to edit and mix your audio and soundtrack are bar-none, and adding support for the VST3 audio plugin makes it that much better. 

There's also a ton of royalty-free content. All 1.5 million audio and video clips are available at a moment's notice. This can help save time and money when you need that stock clip of a beach scene right away. 

VEGAS Pro has three different subscription tiers that aren’t just a one-size-fits-all model, and the pricing is affordable. You can subscribe—or buy a perpetual license—to the tier that works for your workflow, including VEGAS Edit, VEGAS Post, and VEGAS Post (more on those options shortly).

Pricing and Availability 

Here's a summary of the different tiers and pricing.

  • VEGAS Edit: VEGAS Pro 20 NLE software; 20 GB of cloud storage (available with subscription plan); VEGAS Content (20 royalty-free HD video and/or audio clip downloads per month); $12.99/month or $249 for a perpetual license.
  • VEGAS Post: VEGAS Pro 20 NLE software; 50 GB of cloud storage (available with subscription plan); VEGAS Stream; SOUND FORGE Audio Studio; VEGAS Content (unlimited royalty-free HD video and/or audio clip downloads per month); +Primatte chroma keying software; ActionVFX one-month starter subscription; $19.99/month or $399 for a perpetual license.
  • VEGAS Post: VEGAS Pro 20 NLE software; 100 GB of cloud storage (available with subscription plan); VEGAS Effects for high-end compositing; VEGAS Image for RAW image composting; VEGAS Stream; SOUND FORGE Audio Studio; VEGAS Content (unlimited royalty-free 4K and HD video and/or audio clip downloads per month); +Primatte chroma keying software; ActionVFX one-month starter subscription; $29.99/month or $599 for a perpetual license.

VEGAS Pro is available now, and you can learn more about all the features on VEGAS Creative Software's site.

Is It Time to Switch?

Probably not, especially if you're already working in a post house. But, if you're not, I feel that if you haven’t tried out VEGAS Pro yet, or it’s been a while, now is the time to take it for a spin with a free trial. I’ve had the pleasure of working on projects or doing tests in VEGAS Pro going back to 2005, and I always enjoyed working in the UI, and felt like my actual cutting speed increased, much like with Final Cut Pro.

Plus, as we’ve said before, we love an underdog, and VEGAS Pro fits the bill. Plus, the team will continue to provide important updates with new features and fixes throughout the year between major releases. In a world where some NLEs crash when you look at them funny, it's nice to see other options stepping up to the plate.      

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