I was invited up to Avid HQ a couple of weeks ago to get an in depth, hands on demonstration of Media Composer 6. I was blown away! We met with the MC6 product managers and in addition to the demo, we had some really great discussions about the upcoming release and the Avid road map. While I can't go into details about the roadmap, I can tell you...
Avid is 100% committed to professional video editors and their workflows. They always were, and they always will be.
I have been dying to share what I learned about Avid Media Composer 6 with you, our customers, and now that it is officially announced, I can!! At the end of this article I've included links to a bunch of blog posts for even further reading but, for now, I'm going to give you what the Videoguys' see as the most important new features for our customers and why we think Avid Media Composer 6 is better than ever, and is the best choice for professional video editors at every level.
- Attention Avid Media Composer 5.0 or older, Xpress Pro/DV owners: Order your MC6 Upgrade today $575!
- Final Cut Owners can Crossgrade to Media Composer 6 for just $1,495! Order your MC6 Crossgrade for $1,475
- Check out Videoguys Media Composer 6 Money Saving Bundles Bundles with Upgrades or Crossgrades
64 bit architecture unleashes the power of todays CPUs
Avid has completely re-written the underlying code of Media Composer 6 to be 64 bit. It is a major step forward and it allows MC6 to tap into all that great CPU processing power and massive amounts of RAM. The biggest benefit of the 64 bit architecture will be increased AMA performance and faster rendering.
This is a very big deal, and it is the culmination of years of engineering. It shows both Avid's long term commitment to their products, and to their customers. We have to keep in mind that since it is an all new 64 bit codebase, in some ways that makes it a 1.0 product and we may run into some hiccups. Thankfully Avid understood that while Avid editors want this new performance, they did not want an all new product.
The improvements here are under the hood, and they allow editors to do more, work faster and take full advantage of today and tomorrow's new technologies. Unlike Apple, Avid did not throw the baby out with the bathwater. All your old MC6 projects and media work just great in MC6.
A tidal wave of 3rd party hardware support
Okay, I'll admit it, from the day that Avid and Matrox told me they would announce at NAB2010 that Media Composer would support the MXO2 Mini, all I wanted to know was when it would support more hardware and when they would add full support for the entire MXO2 product line. Then, at NAB 2011, they added support for the AJA Io Express and, while I was happy to see more 3rd party supported, all I kept asking them was "What about Kona?" Well, my wish, and the wishes of video editors all over the world, has been granted. Avid Media Composer 6 is completely open. Any and all hardware vendors are welcome to develop for Media Composer going forward. Matrox, AJA, Black Magic, MOTU and Bluefish have all announced support for Media Composer 6.
What took so long? Now that we see the full Media Composer 6 picture, it is understandable why Avid felt they had to take baby steps with 3rd party hardware support before they could make this giant leap. Since MC6 is now 64 bit, all supported 3rd party hardware and software plug-ins must also be 64 bit. Avid needed to test the waters first, before they could unleash the tidal wave of fully open 3rd party hardware support.
Apple's simultaneous release of FCPX and the killing of Final Cut Studio and FCP7 left their loyal professional users with major work flow issues, not the least of which was support for their existing Kona, MXO2 and Decklink cards. So while many of you wanted to take advantage of the Avid crossgrade offer, hardware compatibility may have kept you from pulling the trigger. This is no longer a concern! Now you can take advantage of Avid continuing crossgrade promotion and migrate your existing hardware to Media Composer 6. Avid reprised the crossgrade at $1499, a thousand dollar savings from a new retail seat.MojoDX hardware to $2,999 ($4,499 with Media Composer 6) and Nitris DX $5,499 ($6,999 with MC6). Right now Videoguys can only sell you the MojoDX hardware, but who knows, we may just be able to get you a Nitris in the not to distant future ;-)
New AMA Support is SWEET!
Avid Media Composer 6 adds AMA support for AVCHD and Red Epic files. Talk about the two extremes of the spectrum! For high end post, indy filmmaking and Hollywood productions; adding native AMA support for RED Epic is huge! I've been reading up on some of the initial reviews and RED users are raving about the AMA performance. Thanks to the new 64 bit architecture Media Composer 6 can handle these files with ease.
While most of us can dream and drool about RED cameras, what we all have to edit with more and more is AVCHD footage. You'll find AVCHD in inexpensive point and shoot cameras and devices, and even on some professional cameras. Now that Avid AMA supports AVCHD you can just drag and drop your footage right on the timeline and start editing. This means that you can actually edit directly off of the SD, CF or other media -but we strongly recommend copying your AVCHD footage over to your video storage drive first.
AMA support for ProRes has been expanded. Now you can export ProRes as well as edit ProRes files with AMA. This feature is only available on the Mac platform, but it means you can integrate Media Composer 6 fully into your existing ProRes and FCP workflows. This makes crossgrading and migrating to Avid get even easier! SWEET!
In the new GUI, your AMA clips show up in the bin with a special chain link icon - a nice improvement over the old yellow highlights. Speaking of the new GUI....
New GUI - Same old Avid, just better looking and updated.
Don't worry Avid editors! Avid has not pulled a WTFCPX on you. While the interface has a sleek new look to it, you keep editing the way you always have. I understand how important this is to experienced Avid editors. Watching a professional Avid editor in action is an awesome mix of speed and efficiency. Years of muscle memory and the proven Avid workflow is not something you just dismiss for new technology. Avid understands and values this. You're not just editors, you are Avid editors.
That's not to say that the old reliable GUI didn't need a facelift. The new look is much sleeker and more intuitive to new editors. It's more customizable and you can now add Tabs to your bins and just about anything can go on a TAB.
Artist Control knocks Color Correction out of the park!
A couple of years ago Avid purchased Euphonix and I've been waiting patiently to see how they would further integrate the Artist Series control surfaces into Media Composer. Avid media Composer 5.5 included support for Artist Control, Transport and Mix. I was personally hoping for tighter integration with Avid Media Composer 6 and Artist Control get but instead Avid added a higher level of integration for Artist Color and MC6 that is a homerun!
For the past few years color finishing has gone form super expensive to incredibly affordable. It started when Apple included Color in Final Cut Studio 2 at no cost. Then, Blackmagic bought DaVinci and dramatically lowered the price on Resolve. Avid Media Composer has always had a pretty powerful set of color correction tools, while not as comprehensive as the toolset found in Symphony, still rather impressive. Now, with the new integration with the Artist Control surface you'll be amazed how much more productive and powerful it has become.
Avid didn't just integrate the Artist Color into the color correction, they took it into the main Avid interface. When I saw this next feature I was downright giddy! You can use the track balls and wheels on the Artist Color to jog shuttle through clips in any window. You can also program the hot-keys for in and out points and any other shortcuts you use to edit. You can customize it to the point that you may never have to touch your mouse again!!! Avid has hit a homerun with this and we intend to turn it into a grand slam by offering fantastic bundles with Artist Color and MC6 full, crossgrades & upgrades!!
Note: Media Composer 6 bundles will be added to Videoguys.com soon! In the meantime call us at 800-323-2325 for special bundle discounts.
More great news to come
There is a lot more to talk about in the coming weeks leading up to product release. I'm sure the internet will be flooded with Avid Editors talking about what they love, hate and wish they had in this release. So far, the feedback I'm getting from Avid editors and frustrated FCP guys is that this is a great opportunity for Avid and that many of them are considering migrating to or adding Media Composer into there workflows. I can't say I blame them. Avid is the professionals choice. And Media Composer 6 the best NLE around.
You can check out all the latest Avid MC6 articles, reviews and blog posts in one easy place! The Videoguys blog using keyword MC6
Below are some important URL's that Avid's amazing Marianna posted on the Avid Community Forums and the Avid-L2 List Serve.
There will be additional FAQ's and FAQ Updates coming within the next week such as FCP to MC FAQ, Trial FAQ. ScriptSync and PhraseFind FAQ's etc. as we finalize the content. Stay tuned for the URL's to those documents.
Or check out some of my favorite articles from around the web...
And check out these FAQs on Avid Media Composer 6 Open IO and the hardware supported:
Avid Media Composer 6 is faster, better - and more open, as illustrated by the many bundle options now available at Videoguys.com
GLEN COVE, New York– Videoguys.com, a leading Avid Authorized Reseller, has just launched their special bundle pages for Avid Media Composer 6 combined with some of the best hardware I/O devices in the industry. Upgrade bundles start at just $795 and Crossgrade bundles for Apple Final Cut Pro owners start at just $1,595.00.
Avid Open I/O allows third-party manufacturers to develop their own plug-in for their hardware to function with Avid Media Composer 6. Manufacturers like Matrox, AJA, Bluefish444 and Motu can now bring Avid video editing compatibility to their hardware I/O cards and devices. Avid worked closely with each of the manufacturers to certify their hardware for use with Media Composer 6.
Gary Bettan, "Videoguy" at Videoguys.com said "My wish, as well as the wish of video editors all over the world, has been granted. Avid Media Composer 6 is completely open. This is especially good news for video editors who have invested in hardware to support other editing software applications but can now Crossgrade to Avid Media Composer 6 and continue to use their AJA Kona, Decklink, Matrox MXO2 or other existing hardware."
The Videoguys Bundle pages include more than 50 different options for video editors with various experience and background - and of all budgets. They have bundles with the Avid Media Composer 6 upgrade from Avid Xpress DV, Pro or an older Media Composer and bundles with the Avid Media Composer 6 Crossgrade from Final Cut Pro. These are each respectively paired with Matrox MXO2 family of products and Mojito MAX, AJA Kona cards and IO Express, Motu HD Express and HDX-SDI and the Bluefish444 Create Cards. The Videoguys even have bundles with the new Thunderbolt products from Matrox and AJA to support the latest and greatest MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini. There are also very affordable Blu-ray Disc bundles, and Avid bundles with the Artist Color, MojoDX and more.
For the Avid Media Composer 6 Upgrade & Crossgrade bundles please visit:http://tinyurl.com/avidbundles
Or, call the Videoguys at 800-323-2325 for help finding the best bundle to meet your needs.