A suggestion for Sony in the FCPX Fiasco aftermath

MarkHolmes wrote on 6/29/2011, 3:27 PM
Forum User Mindmatter asked this question in regards to the fallout over the release of Final Cut Pro X:
"Why is it that none of these articles ever mention Vegas as an alternative?? It's always just "going back to avid" or "switching to Adobe Premiere". Strange isn't it? Is vegas stil lnot considered a pro software?"

I've thought this, and commented on it, repeatedly. Vegas does what FCPX SHOULD have done - 64-bit, maintaining the feature set of FCP, while moving the editing paradigm into the 21st century, and adding speed and ease-of-use to the platform.

Why don't video professionals consider Vegas as an alternative to the now-dead FCP? Perhaps because the marketing people at Sony don't. There's never been a serious push from Sony to present Vegas as a tool that can be used as a beginning-to-end solution for big-budget projects.

The frustrating thing is, it could be, especially given Sony's resources:
They manufacture high-end video cameras.
They have a professional NLE.
They own movie studios.
They control distribution.

The solution is simple.
Put someone in charge of a team, on one of their next big-budget films, with one goal. Make this film, using Sony products from end-to-end, including shooting on the PMW F3 or the F35, editing on Vegas, distributed through Sony theatrically and on Blu-Ray.

And then promote the hell out of Vegas, the way Apple did with Final Cut with Cold Mountain and Walter Murch.

There may be some struggles. Sony may find that their EDL and OMF tools need some work. They may find that Vegas Pro 10 wasn't quite up to the job. But Vegas Pro 11 will be. Because the experience of using their tool on a job that pushes its limitations result in the tools growth. Just as using Final Cut on Cold Mountain, before Final Cut was ready for such a job, did.


Geoff_Wood wrote on 6/29/2011, 4:23 PM
Yep. It's highly frustrating when Sony (camera hardware) promo people do not even appear to know Vegas exists !

farss wrote on 6/29/2011, 4:26 PM
The frustrating thing is, it could be, especially given Sony's resources:
They manufacture high-end video cameras.
True but Vegas is a bust with the high end ones.
The camera division has and will continue to have a cosy relationship with Avid.

They have a professional NLE.
They did, Xpri. Killed it off years ago. Pity, it was very cool.

They own movie studios.
Yes but that division might as well be on Mars compared to where Vegas sits in the corporate structure.

They control distribution
See above plus do we really need Sony becoming another Apple?

Here's my view.
There's a lesson to be learned from Apple. They tried to go after the king, Avid and failed or maybe just gave up. Perhaps they realised the ROI on the R&D dollars just didn't add up given the small market at the pointy end. Given that Avid managed to pull their finger out and get back on track with their clients there was no reason why Avid customers had a compelling reason to jump ship anyway.
There are more players at the pointy end than just Avid of course. Some products have a client base under 100 and they still turn a profit on their sales.

Now here's a thought. Try to build an argument that the devs / marketing guys at SCS could take to their CEO for the R&D dollars to go after Avid. There's a hell of a lot fo work to be done, you'd need well over $10M, heck maybe $50M and they're just wild guesses. Software development costs go up exponentially with complexity.

Once you've got over that hurdle try to explain how they're going to convince Avid users to jump ship, what "killer" feature can you dream up to tempt them.

Vegas is doing OK in its market segment, going after the likes of Avid would be suicide. Sure it'd be nice if Vegas got the respect due to it but meh, doesn't really affect me that much.


[edit] OMG, when did h-e-l-l become a naughty word?
rmack350 wrote on 6/29/2011, 4:44 PM
We've seen it from SCS and I've personally heard it from Adobe folks. They make a lot more money where the markets are big, and that means consumers, not professionals. Why support tape when consumers don't own decks? Why support OMF when consumers will never pay for an audio mix?

On the other hand, consumers have big dreams of making feature films and they look to professionals for their opinions. I think FCP owes a lot of its success to the evangelism of the pros using the software.

The needle to thread is to build a set of tools that both a consumer and a professional will like. To me, I think this means that the extra tools need to be there available for the pro, but not getting in the way of the amateur. You *need* experts who can praise the software and inspire the consumers.

MarkHolmes wrote on 6/29/2011, 5:17 PM
Nice dose of reality. Unfortunately, I'm tending to agree with every point you made. Do you think all the abandoned FCP pros will migrate towwards Avid or Adobe?

And yes, I was a little surprised to see my h-word turned into dashes...
farss wrote on 6/29/2011, 5:23 PM
"To me, I think this means that the extra tools need to be there available for the pro, but not getting in the way of the amateur."

I've devoted many hours of thought to this over the years. Darned if I can see how that can be done. Based on that I've kind of given up trying to add any weight to the push for SCS to produce a product that'd have more "pro" appeal. You end up loosing what it is about Vegas that appeals to those who have stayed with it and gain all the aspects that those who have stayed with it dislike about the other choices.
What's happened with FCP X adds some validity to my thoughts.

farss wrote on 6/29/2011, 5:27 PM

" Do you think all the abandoned FCP pros will migrate towwards Avid or Adobe?"

Some have already gone back to Avid, more will probably follow. The smaller players who don't need the "overhead" of Avid maybe to Adobe, keep in mind many people just have Ppro anyway as a result of buying a "bundle" from Adobe.

There's other options out there too, Quantel and Grass Valley for example have some decent offerings that can suit some.

TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/29/2011, 6:34 PM
I haven't seen the biggest reason listed here to switch to Avid or Premiere: they're on MacTel's. Vegas isn't.

No reason to drop another couple grand on new hardware & software just to use a competing product when everything else you have is already on your system. Remember, licensing isn't as liberal as Sony's: you can't buy a Mac program X, Y & Z & then get a free Windows version. Just for Adobe product alone you're talking several grand in new licenses.

Biggest reason I use Windows is because some "important" software packages I use are Windows only. Like Vegas. That's stopping me from switching to MacTel or Linux.
JLK wrote on 6/29/2011, 9:29 PM
Watch the credits at the end of the Cohen Brothers film "True Grit". Near the end, it states "Edited on Final Cut Pro". It would be nice to see "Edited on Sony Vegas Pro" in the credits of any feature film.

A. Grandt wrote on 6/29/2011, 9:57 PM
@Mark, Imho, before Sony can hope to do something like that, they definitely need to do something that a few other products have done quite successfully. A pure Bug fix release. And not just the minor ones either. Call it "60 days of bugs" where their testers run Vegas through it's paces, while the devs do nothing else than fix outstanding and new bugs.

Then release that as 10e.

THEN they need to talk so some UI designers and usability experts.

I don't want is shiny and polished Apple style, for the most part I actually like the current look, but what I do want is some consistency across the UI.
Joe White wrote on 6/29/2011, 10:14 PM
For every one movie edited by FCP there are 10,000 videos edited by Vegas on Youtube. Which market would you want to be in? I think Apple realized the money is where Vegas has been all the time.

A Honda Accord may not be sexy but you sell a dang lot more of them then you do Ferrarri's.
SuperG wrote on 6/30/2011, 12:21 AM
Wow - good thread here.

I wonder about Adobe, given their pricing structure. As someone noted, most folks get their Premier Pro via bundle. That's either a severe cut in ROI for PP, or it's to supporting a bunch of subsidized apps - like a millstone around its neck. Lose either way. Makes you wonder how Adobe accounts for it all.

Avid now, well they appear to be trying to attract people away from the middle, but they can only go so far - don't want to upset the cradle-to-grave folks who pay top dollar for their products and the support that goes with it.
Rory Cooper wrote on 6/30/2011, 1:58 AM
A big part of being successful in the marketing and media industry is perception and emotion

Your most important choices in your life = getting married, buying a house, car etc was based on perception and emotion, not hard facts.
That’s the way we are, Vegas has a negative connotation = gambling and hookers.

In your meetings your client will get the perception and emotion that you are gambling with his product or success of the ad campaign, production, movie, whatever.
W hell i don’t care …..Sony Vegas is the best NLE and it works for me.

Rory Cooper wrote on 6/30/2011, 2:06 AM
I don’t mind being a hellcat by dropping a bombshell but it’s like walking on eggshells on the forum in a nutshell
Byron K wrote on 6/30/2011, 4:19 AM
I mentioned back in April:
I think Sony Vegas Pro has a niche for folks like me and others who need a powerful straight forward video editor at a relatively affordable list price. It's a great value when it goes on sale.


IMHO Final Cut sees the prosumer, independent video editors and serious amateur market growing, where Vegas has been for long time, and is making adjustments to cater to this growing customer base.

Folks at Vegas should take note and learn from the FCPX debacle. (;
craftech wrote on 6/30/2011, 4:28 AM
Watch the credits at the end of the Cohen Brothers film "True Grit". Near the end, it states "Edited on Final Cut Pro". It would be nice to see "Edited on Sony Vegas Pro" in the credits of any feature film.
Why does that matter and how many feature films are edited with a single piece of software anyway?

I think Vegas was used for "PARANORMAL ACTIVITY", but feature film making isn't the market for these editors. The market is wedding and event videography, music video, shorts, indies, and web video.

I have always maintained that SCS should concentrate on workflow and editing refinements instead of bells and whistles. But they rarely listen. They are still using the amateurish Vegas 3.0 credit roll generator. Feature films??

Not to mention a better rendering engine than the Sony Main Concept renderer or babying DVDA by trying to find "food" it likes so it can regurgitate a Blu-ray disc.

I also still think that cross platform and promotion would put a dent in FCP on the MAC as well.

MarkHolmes wrote on 6/30/2011, 9:12 AM
All great input - thanks all.

And re-naming Vegas to get rid of those associations with gambling and hookers would do a world of good, I agree. Sony Edit Pro, anyone? Or.... Sony X?

CVM wrote on 6/30/2011, 9:48 AM
I like Sony Pro Edit.
rmack350 wrote on 6/30/2011, 10:48 AM
Say it quickly and it sounds like "Sony Predate". That's probably not good unless you want the predatory connotation.

GlennChan wrote on 6/30/2011, 11:19 AM
Why don't video professionals consider Vegas as an alternative to the now-dead FCP?
Because it isn't.

For offline editing:
Vegas needs to support CMX-style EDLs. This is not officially supported in Vegas.

For online editing:
Vegas needs to support capture cards, EDLs, maybe closed captioning (though there are workarounds if you have a linear editing bay; yes, LINEAR editing), a better broadcast safe filter, guaranteed RT performance when printing to tape, etc. It's also got to be faster and Vegas better handle the whole levels mess because most users on this forum can't figure it out.

The high-end professional market is really small and has some esoteric needs. One of their needs can be solved by a LINEAR EDITING BAY... hahaha.
MarkHolmes wrote on 6/30/2011, 12:06 PM
Thanks Glenn,
It would be wonderful if Vegas 11 simply updated to address your short list, perhaps an even darker UI, with a bit of cleanup, and bug fixes. And a simple name change.

I would pay for that, gladly.
paul_w wrote on 6/30/2011, 1:39 PM
"Sony Edit Pro" - thats a great name! count me in. Drop Vegas.

[edit] and put it in a silver shinny box!

K-Decisive wrote on 6/30/2011, 2:03 PM
o.k., maybe this sounds a little out there but...

Do you think someone could make any money if they wrote a
Vegas EDL/XML <> CMX EDL translator?

Is that all it would take? What other interchage formats are out there?

Just a question.

And how about "Sony Final Cut Cure".....it will keep the laywers busy...
Just kidding (ducking for flying fruit ...)
farss wrote on 6/30/2011, 3:02 PM
"Do you think someone could make any money if they wrote a

Somebody does, in fact there are two such products available.




The product from SSL seems to get better reviews.

What keeps getting overlooked in these discussions is that at its heart Vegas is a DAW, not a NLE. Video was tacked onto a code base written to do audio. Vegas remains beholden to the needs of working with audio. At the pointy end of the business there are the tools that the vision poeple work with and the tools that the sound people work with. At best the audio guys get one track of reference video. It wasn't so long ago they didn't even get that, vision came off a VTR, they'd wear out SP decks regularly shuffling tape.

Rainer wrote on 6/30/2011, 4:08 PM
"at its heart Vegas is a DAW, not a NLE." I'm surprised to see this comment here. It's a misconception that puts many editors familiar with other systems off even looking at Vegas. Its time to put it to rest. Vegas started off as a DAW, and probably showed its antecedents until version 8, but this view is no longer valid.