VEGAS Pro Is Still Around and Thriving. Do You Use It?

A blast from the past. 

For those who remember Sony Creative Software releasing the first version of Vegas back in 2003, kudos to you. The non-linear video editor had somewhat of a cult following as its users gave it high praise. For me, AVID was already a prominent fixture in my workflow, and in 2003, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro snuck their way in. Other than a Sony Vegas 9.0 download over a decade ago, I haven't thought of it since.  

So why now? An email brought it to my attention. 

Naturally, I zipped over to the website and then dove into some of its history. In 2016, Sony cut ties with Vegas, selling it to MAGIX, who then created the subsidiary Vegas Creative Software. The company offers four different software platforms: VEGAS POST, VEGAS Pro, VEGAS Movie Studio, and VEGAS Stream. Each platform has multiple software bundles that cater to different needs. Still with me? 

The question that immediately came to mind was what's up with all the different software options?

Here's a quick breakdown of each platform.  

VEGAS Stream 

Currently in beta, the streaming software integrates with YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live. It also supports up to 4 different video sources. It's similar to Teredek's Live:Air app. After adding each video source, it allows you to live stream to a connected account and switch between sources. It has title capabilities, a preview and program window–all the basic features for a live switch. The software will eventually be compatible with VEGAS Pro. 

Cost: Free

VEGAS Move Studio  

This is a stripped-down version of VEGAS Pro, but still fairly robust. It's more intuitive than, say, Adobe Rush and slightly above or on par with LumaFusion or iMovie. There are 3 versions of the software: Movie Studio, Movie Studio Platinum, and Movie Studio Suite. Depending on the version, it can support up to 200 video tracks, 16-bit 48 KHz audio, chroma key, plug-ins, and dozens of other features. There's also native support for HEVC, H.264, 4K XAVC S, and XDCAM EX. Here's a comparison chart.

Cost: $49 - $99

VEGAS Pro

This is its most advanced non-linear editor that carries on the tradition Sony laid out years ago. It's packed with tons of features for color grading, HDR support, compositing modes, nestled timelines, mastering in 5.1, ACES support, and more.  

There are 4 software bundles to choose from. VEGAS Pro, VEGAS Pro Edit, VEGAS Pro Suite, and VEGAS Pro 365. Again, each offers different options depending on your needs. However, all the base tools of the non-linear editor are supported by each bundle. The main difference between them are the plug-ins each one supports. Here's a comparison chart.

Cost: $249 - $399. VEGAS Pro 365 is the subscription model for $16.67/mo

VEGAS Post

This is a suite of programs that goes beyond editing. VEGAS Pro is combined with VEGAS Effects and VEGAS Image. As the name suggests, VEGAS Effects is all about effects as well as 3D modeling, green screen removal, video scopes, and other features. VEGAS Image is an advanced compositing tool, that adds color adjustment, chroma key, LUT support, and more.

VEGAS Post is similar to DaVinci Resolve in that it offers multiple programs in one user interface. The main difference in terms of price is that DaVinci Resolve is free and DaVinci Resolve Studio is $299. Obviously, both software suites will have their own advantages and disadvantages. 

Cost: $999. VEGAS Post 365 is a subscription model for $20.99/mo

Final Thoughts 

What jumps out to me are all the pricing tiers and software bundles. I understand why but simplicity can speak volumes. Here's one product, it has everything we offer, now go enjoy it as a filmmaker. It's just less to think about when it comes to supporting workflow, especially when considering using something new for the first time. But maybe I'm in the minority here.

When looking at the alternatives, Vegas Creative Software is an uphill battle if it wants to compete on a larger scale. But maybe it doesn't. Many of the tools filmmakers use fall into 2 broad categories: does it support the story and do you like using it?

I prefer AVID and Premiere Pro because I'm plainly faster with themthe shortcut keys are ingrained. Someone who has been using VEGAS Pro could very well say the same thing. And that's what's great. Sometimes a piece of technology speaks to you more than another. Vegas Creative Software does offer free trials.  

That said, there is a large VEGAS Pro community out there. Are there any No Film School readers using it? Do you like it? Is there something you want to see improved? Share your thoughts below.       

Update April 23, 2020: An earlier version incorrectly stated a release date. It has been update. 

Your Comment

13 Comments

I originally used Movie Studio then moved up to Vegas Pro. Love it. Will keep on using it.

April 23, 2020 at 1:38PM

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chip brandstetter
Filmmaker, Editor, Animator, Sound Design, Composer
296

Vegas is easy. It's like you said in the article. I use Vegas because I have used it since version 8. On version 17. I can do things a lot faster in Vegas than Premiere Pro (which I also have but don't use for much more than close captioning). I get frustrated then go to my default program. I also subscribe to the Vegas POST.

April 23, 2020 at 1:55PM

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WOW. This is the first Vegas Pro article on NFS. I championed this software for YEARS on the NFS forums, much to the ridicule of most. I kept asking everybody why even Sony's CATALYST software got NFS attention, but Vegas Pro, one of the most revolutionary NLEs out there, was completely ignored...
I was involved in its development. Last year I decided to abandon this quest, as the Color module I had envisioned and researched for a month for V17 was deemed "too ambitious", and it seemed that VP was never going to be taken seriously.
And yet, I see this post. I can't help but smile, albeit bitterly. Too bad it's poorly written, has no insight, and starts off with an error: "For those who remember Sony Creative Software releasing the first version of Vegas back in 2006, kudos to you." Actually, the first version of Sony Vegas was released in 2003. And Sonic Foundry released the first Vegas with video capabilities (Vegas Video) back in 2000.

April 23, 2020 at 2:14PM

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Cosmin Gurau
Director
413

Actually, as a professional corporate video producer, I have been using Vegas off and on for about 12 years. I recently came back to it after the latest release and can now say that it is my full time NLE. The "Post" part of Vegas Post (the compositing and effects section" was developed by the Hitfilm developers, so it's very powerful. The audio capabilities of Vegas have always been better than all the others, which makes sense seeing as Vegas actually started as a DAW.

It's definitely intuitive, unique, and it just works for me. Sure, I get razzed by colleagues for using it. But I could care less. It's a fantastic piece of kit and I wish more professional editors works jump on board (again).

April 23, 2020 at 3:48PM, Edited April 23, 3:48PM

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I started with movie studio and was eventually gifted premier pro by a friend and have never looked back. One thing VEGAS excelled at was audio since it started as an audio editor.

April 23, 2020 at 9:24PM

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One of the most intuitive and underestimated editors out there. Hoping the new team can bring it up to today’s speed.

April 23, 2020 at 11:20PM

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Perfect

April 24, 2020 at 12:56AM

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Despite having to do client and other work in Premiere, FCPx, Resolve, I return to Vegas as my editor for my own work. I've owned it since Vegas Audio v2 in 2000. Sony almost let it die and there is still old code that needs to be worked out to get Vegas back to full glory but Magix is going a great job moving it forward. It still offers features that put all other NLE's to shame especially around a much better timeline (the flexiblity and easy of the magnetic timeline but still with tracks for professional use). During the dark years before Magic, I tried hard with Premiere, FCP, FCPx, Resolve and Avid but so many specific features they simply don't have or implement poorly:

(1) Track Effects for Video and Audio. Adjustment layers are nightmares and don't exist for audio.
(2) Drag and Drop instant and adjustable audio and video transitions just by sliding clips over.
(3) Reorder tracks, put audio on top of video or anywhere. Rename tracks, nest tracks into track groups
(4) Full DAW functionality including good surround mixing, ASIO, VST. If Premiere combined with Audition, it might have something. Resolve has no ASIO and lots of missing DAW features. Avid wants you to use ProTools. FCPx threw the audio baby out with the audio bathwater
(5) Still ships with DVD and Blu-ray mastering programs that kept alive.
(6) Supports 8K, 3D and wide range of camera formats, reads ProRes and most pro formats.
(7) Easy to move and dock windows including with multiple monitors
(8) Runs on low end machines
(9) Not too picky about hardware

Things it still needs:

(1) Better Multiple timeline and sequences
(2) Workgroup features
(3) 7.1 and great surround mixing
(4) Stability and performance with complex projects especially with effects and VST plugin overhead
(5) Last of legacy code/UI cleanup.

April 24, 2020 at 12:38PM

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Stephen A van Vuuren
Filmmaker
547

Honestly I find it so much easier to use. I was using filmora for over a year and so the change to Sony Vegas a few years ago was such a huge help. I don't do it professionally or well to say the least haha and so it's enough for what I need. I would like tracking on surfaces and better colour grading. However I can finish my edit, go over to after effects and finish it there. With the little knowledge I have of that. It's just more visual and I think that's why I went for it, I knew it and I knew the structure from filmora. And it would be too hard of a change. It's fast and though crashes and sometimes can be annoying. I love it

April 24, 2020 at 1:05PM

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It's so easy to use. Intuitive. Gets the job done. I tried Permiere Pro but didn't find any good reason to jump ship. I tried Resolve and liked -of course- the amazing color grading capabilities. As an editing platform, Vegas it's easier and -in my opinion- better. Great NLE. Great results.

April 24, 2020 at 2:55PM

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Well, the Sony iteration of Vegas it wasn’t the first one. I used Vegas when it was Sonic Foundry Vegas (and Acid and Sound Forge), years before it was part of Sony, with the whole team inside, Gary Rebholz in command. I think it is the easiest NLE to use and I would follow using it if I wouldn’t have gone the Apple Mac way with Final Cut Pro X as my main NLE. Sometimes the most used is not the best but the most supported by marketing (Premiere) or the oldest and best stablished (Avid). Other NLEs have to demonstrate their capabilities in a conspicuous way to be popular (as it happened to Final Cut Pro X in the beginning, or the editing section of DaVinci Resolve now). Of course, those are excellent NLE, that have grown through the years and have kept up, but I think they have been somehow getting some ideas from Vegas that were there from the very beginning years before (just two of them for example: the idea of mixing different types of files in the same project without converting, or the possibility to throw the clips on the timeline directly from the desktop). If I went back to Windows, I have no doubt I would use Vegas again. Long life to Vegas.

April 24, 2020 at 3:10PM

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Juanjo Dominguez
DOP and Director
152

I used Movie Studio Suite since 2012 and in 2018 made the foolish mistake of upgrading to Vegas Pro 16. A monumental error a) because of the ludicrous upgrade price of £240!!! (on top of all the other upgrade fees I had shelled out) and b) because it is the most buggy software I have used in 20 years.

I have repeatedly asked for my money back for over a year now and keep getting pushed back to support, who are less use than a chocolate frying pan.

DO NOT BUY THIS SOFTWARE! Really unless you WA t a life of pain, do not buy it! My last project was 3 months late because of all the crashes (one time I couldn't even load the software for 3 weeks and support hadn't a clue, I fixed it myself in the end. On other occasions (note the 's') it repeatedly crashed because of software Magix supplied with installation! Then if course there was the reliable 2 hour or less crashes every session).

I have since moved to Davinci Resolve - wow, a breath of fresh air. A slightly steeper learning curve but you feel you are using top of the range software, not some kids programme, and the results are infinitely more professional.

PS the free version of Resolve is as functional as Vegas Pro.

April 25, 2020 at 5:03AM

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Morgan
81

It's always an awkward conversation when explaining to people that I use Sony Vegas (now Magix) as a professional editor, but it is by far the most intuitive, quickest, least buggy NLE I've ever used and I've used premiere, final cut and others, and I always come back to Vegas.

Editing is a breeze and I just wish more professionals realized just how amazing this software is for editing.

April 25, 2020 at 11:41AM

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