Videoguys' FAQ: Avid Media Composer 7 and Symphony

What is Avid Media Composer 7?

Media Composer has long been the most trusted tool of professional editors. Media Composer 7 opens your possibilities even further, simplifying and accelerating file-based workflows and extending real-time production everywhere so you can focus on telling the best story possible. From new high-res workflows and AMA media management, to automated media operations and global collaboration, experience the industry’s preeminent NLE, now starting at just $999 USD.

Accelerate HD delivery from high-res sources
With the new FrameFlex tool and LUT support, you can acquire 2K, 4K, and 5K media and deliver the HD programming required today, eliminating time-consuming transcodes and resizing.

  • FrameFlex - Pan and Scan tools that extract a user-definable and keyframeable HD raster from Hi-Res source media
  • 1D/3D LUT’s and Color Decision Lists. Convert color spaces from various camera formats and image types into Rec. 709 HD.

Media Composer is incorporating some big changes with high-resolution media, yet it’s still not resolution independent. Why is that?
As creative professionals, Avid's customers are expected to deliver high-quality content that inspires viewers all over the world. So that they can work with the best image quality possible, many of these projects are using high-resolution acquired source material. In speaking regularly with their customers it became clear to Avid that their most pressing need was a fast and proficient method for extracting the HD masters they are required to deliver today-- including for high-res based projects. This also allows them to avoid a resolution independent pipeline that would tax performance and increase external monitoring costs. Media Composer 7‘s new FrameFlex™ and color space conversion tools give customers complete creative control over this process, using the editing tools they‘ve come to love and trust.

Maximize creativity time with acceleration through automation

With new Dynamic Media Folders, copying, consolidating, and transcoding tasks can be automated in the background, so you can keep editing without the wait. What’s more, Avid media management now looks after all of your AMA-linked files too.

  • Dynamic Media Folders. User specified folders that can be automated to perform non-creative tasks such as transcoding and copying media.
  • Managed AMA Media. Source media that is liked directly to Media Composer via AMA now benefits from the full complement of media management tools that native Avid media does
  • Background Consolidate/Transcode. Time consuming consolidation and transcode operations can now be processed in the background without interrupting the creative editorial process

Make your picture sound as good as it looks

Take control of the overall program volume and insert plug-ins to adjust the tone with the new Master Audio Fader. And with Clip Gain, you can adjust gain on a specific clip, independent of track-based automation.

  • Master Audio Fader. A master fader position in the mixer that will allow for the leveling of all audio tracks at once, as well as the addition of RTAS plug-ins (such as a compressor) to the entire audio mix
  • Cached Audio Waveforms. Rendered waveforms for audio clips are now preserved in the bin for faster display in the timeline
  • Direct Audio Clip Gain. Modify the gain of clips already in the sequence directly from the timeline without having to open any additional audio tools (e.g. Audio Mixer)

The most recent releases of Media Composer, including the new Media Composer 7, feature more and more audio functionality. Why?
Tools such as clip-based gain, multi-channel audio and the master audio fader to Media Composer were added to help streamline the workflow between picture editorial and sound mixing--the two core components of nearly every post process. The audio features added to Media Composer translate directly to similar tools and features found in Pro Tools. Professional content creators recognize that real performance increases and cost savings come from seamless transitions between the stages of post production. Being able to begin audio mixing without having to redo any of the audio work done in picture editorial is a great benefit and can be the deciding factor when it comes to delivering high-quality projects on time.

Extend real-time production with Symphony Option and/or InterplaySymphony Option. Advanced color correction tools for secondary color correction of images as well as relational color correction, formerly only available in Avid Symphony

Media Composer 7 Interplay Edition provides connectivity with Avid Interplay and Interplay Sphere, so you can edit, sync, and share projects and media with anyone around the world over the Internet.

Avid Media Composer 7 $988.00
Upgrade from Version 6.5
Upgrade from Media Composer 6.5
Upgrade from Older Version
Upgrade from Media Composer 6 or older
Upgrade from Avid Xpress
For a limited time only: This is your last chance to Upgrade from Avid Xpress DV or Xpress Pro directly to MC7
while supplies last

New Avid Media Composer 7 pricing and upgrades?

Let's talk a bit about how much Avid has changed over the years. First and foremost, Avid Media Composer is very affordable. At NAB this past April 2013, Avid not only announced the new version, they also announced the new MSRP for Media Composer 7 at $999, and that existing Media Composer owners would be able to upgrade for as little as $299 to Media Composer 7. That is a dramatic pricing change and it makes Media Composer affordable for video editors of every level, including event cinematographers, independent filmmakers, worship videographers, corporate video shops and online media producers.

What is behind the Avid MC price reduction?
Avid understands that professional customers are under relentless pressure to achieve operational efficiency, and are being asked to deliver high quality content, faster, and in compressed timeframes. The Media Composer price drop will enable customers to cost effectively deploy more editing seats so they may expand their production footprint with Interplay, both in-house and everywhere else their work takes them.

Avid will always be solely focused on the professional media space. More and more, Professional Post and Broadcast organizations are adopting distributed workflows and require solutions that offer faster, seamless collaboration, wherever the right talent may be. The price reduction demonstrates Avid‘s understanding that creative professionals require solutions that are built with the flexibility to connect and collaborate in order to achieve their creative vision.

Avid is still offering college students the chance to purchase the Student version of Media Composer for just $295 with 4 years of free upgrades. Institutions and faculty can also take advantage of the $295 price point.

In addition to its new low price, Avid Media Composer now has a much lower overall total cost of ownership.
You do not require an expensive HP/Dell workstation or Mac Pro to edit video with Media Composer. Thousands of video editors all over the world are editing video using our DIY builds as a guideline for putting together a powerful, yet affordable Windows PC. You can edit on a laptop or Mac Book Pro, as well as an iMac. Media Composer does not require any special hardware to run just as long as you stick to the basic requirements outlined on the Media Composer Product Pages or on the Videoguys' PC & Mac System Recommendations for Avid Media Composer 7

The major determining factor on how much computer you will actually need is the format of your source footage (SD or HD). Editing DSLR, GoPro or AVCHD footage takes a lot of horsepower because these formats are very compressed. The video quality is spectacular but you need a powerful computer to work with the media. Fortunately, you can find these powerful computers everywhere today.

Can I buy Avid Media Composer Today?
Yes. Avid Media Composer 7 is now shipping!

FREE Upgrade Available Now, direct from Avid, for Media Composer 6.5 Owners who Purchased After April 7th, 2013

If you purchased Media Composer 6.5 after April 7, 2013, and activated the "Download Code" before June 27, 2013, you are entitled to a software upgrade to Avid Media Composer 7, from Avid, at no additional charge.

How the Process Works

  1. You purchased a physical kit for Media Composer 6.5 or Symphony 6.5 (either a new copy or an upgrade from a previous version) after April 7, 2013.

  2. You redeemed the "Download Code" received with your purchase before June 27, 2013.

  3. Now that Media Composer 7 is released and available, an upgrade license (Activation ID) and new installers have been automatically deposited into your Master Avid Account. You simply need to log into your account at to retrieve their update.

  • If you purchase and register Media Composer 6.5 after 6/27 you will automatically be offered MC7 in your Master Avid Account. This applies to Full versions, Upgrades & Student/ Educational.

    • If a customer needs to use Media Composer 6.5.3 or 6.0.4, they will be able to activate these software versions with the Media Composer 7.0 license.

4. Upgrading your Dongle - Customers that still use a dongle will trade-in or redeem their new 7/11 Activation ID/serial # at the following link.

How to update a dongle: Customers will enter their system ID, Dongle serial # ( both can be found on the dongle tag) and new activation ID along with their name and email from the original registration and if all is legit the site will generate a updater.avd file. Instructions along with the dongle manager utility for Mac and Win is still located at

What is the Bonus Training included with all Avid Media Composer & Symphony orders at

Class On Demand Training Black Card - Single Title for 2 yearsClass On Demand Complete Training

Learn to edit like a pro regardless of past software experience. Avid Master Editor, Steve Hullfish, will guide you through a series of information-packed lessons.

This training title is available for Online Streaming only (the box is for representation only) and will be fulfilled by the Class On Demand Black Card. The COD Black Card entitles you to access and watch the Complete Training for Avid Media Composer and Symphony 6 from Class On Demand's online training library at any time for up to 2 years.

Questions about Avid Symphony 7 (now Media Composer 7 with Symphony Option)

Why is the Symphony functionality now an Option for Media Composer?
Avid introduced the Symphony Option to make Symphony‘s unique color correction tools; such as secondary color correction, segment and track based corrections, and Symphony‘s unmatched relational color correction more accessible to Media Composer users.

Since Avid Media Composer 6 and Symphony 6 were introduced it was common knowledge that they were built on the same code and, in fact, were the same software. Symphony added secondary color correction and universal mastering for the pros who needed it. Now, that same capability may be added at any time to any Media Composer 7 system with the Symphony Option.

What upgrade options are there for Avid Media Composer 7 with Symphony Option?

Avid Media Composer 7
with Symphony Option


Upgrade from Version 6/6.5
Upgrade from Avid Symphony 6 or 6.5 to the the new Avid Media Composer 7 with Symphony Option

Upgrade from Older Version
Upgrade from Avid Symphony 5.5 or older to the the new Avid Media Composer 7 with Symphony Option

Upgrade from Avid Xpress
or Media Composer
Upgrade from any version of Avid Xpress Pro, DV or Media Composer to the new MC7 with Symphony Option
$999.00 while supplies last

reg. $1,495.00

I just purchased Symphony 6.5. Am I eligible to receive an upgrade to Media Composer 7 with the Symphony Option for free?
Yes. If you purchased Symphony 6.5 between April 7th and June 26th 2013, and you redeemed your download code during that same time period, then you are eligible for an upgrade to Media Composer 7 with the Symphony Option. Simply access your Avid Account between June 27th and July 1st to download your Media Composer 7 installer and the Activation codes for Media Composer 7 and the Symphony Option.

What does the Symphony Option add to Media Composer?
Media Composer with the Symphony Option includes the same feature set as previous versions of the Symphony stand-alone software. By adding the Symphony Option to your Media Composer v7 software, you enable Universal Mastering, the full Symphony Color Correction feature set, which includes secondary color correction and Boris Continuum Complete v8.x.

What is Avid Symphony Color Correction?
Avid Symphony Advanced Color correction and color grading tools are very powerful and work fantastic with the Avid Artist Color control surface. Artist Color is certainly not required to take advantage of Avid Media Composer 7 with Symphony Option but if you do make the investment in the control surface you will quickly understand the benefits its brings to your workflow.

Avid Symphony Option advanced and secondary color tools let you correct color and grade it to get the look you’re after—with the utmost precision—and with full 4:4:4 HD RGB color support. Save time and maintain the highest quality production with the fully integrated 10-bit color correction toolset. Quickly and accurately match colors from shot to shot using NaturalMatch. Gain better color precision with support for full-quality 4:4:4 HD-RGB color space processing. Get fine control over shots with animatable color correction. Speed up your color work with Artist Color. And dive into the large palette of easy-to-use tools to refine settings or get creative.

Check out this great video about Artist Color and how it can improve your workflow!

Media Composer color correction includes:

  • HSL - Hue, Saturation & Luminance (master only)
  • Curves – Red, Green, Blue, and Master

Symphony Advanced Color correction includes:

  • HSL - Hue, Saturation, and Luminance
    - Highlight Midtones and Shadows
    - Master Hue Offsets
    - Luma Ranges
  • Curves – Red, Green, Blue, and Master
  • Channels
  • Secondary Color Correction
  • Relational color correction - This is the ability to quickly apply a correction on a clip and have it apply to a number of clips based on its relationship: tape name, source clip name, master clip, etc.

What is Avid Symphony Universal Mastering?
The other advantage of the Avid Symphony Option is Universal Mastering which is only available when used with Nitris DX hardware. Be more productive and profitable-and take advantage of growing worldwide broadcast and distribution opportunities. When you’re ready to send your project out to tape, simply set the desired output frame rate in Universal Mastering to create your final master in the highest quality, with consistency—even if your project includes clips with different frame rates.

Universal Mastering allows you to deliver 24p SD and HD content to multiple SD formats - NTSC (4:3 and 16:9) and PAL (4:3, and 16:9) - with point-and-click ease. Be more productive and profitable-and take advantage of growing worldwide broadcast and distribution opportunities. When you’re ready to send your project out to tape, simply set the desired output frame rate in Universal Mastering to create your final master in the highest quality, with consistency—even if your project includes clips with different frame rates.

Nitris DX is fully customizable, enabling you to install either a single DNxHD or AVC-Intra encoding chip to capture and encode to these high-quality workflows, dual DNxHD or AVC-Intra chips to support full-frame stereoscopic 3D workflows, or one of each to get the best of both worlds. Plus, take advantage of a full RGB workflow with dual HD-SDI inputs.

Thanks to Avid Intelligent Architecture, your Avid video software tightly integrates the Avid hardware with your host computer's CPU and GPU. You get a single high-bandwidth effects engine that delivers without compromise—

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