A suggestion for Sony in the FCPX Fiasco aftermath


SuperG wrote on 6/30/2011, 5:04 PM
I think Glenn's points about professional needs vs Vegas are valid. In the end, it all boils down to 'what is SCS's business model?'. More than a few blog posts on the net have pointed out that the professional editor market is quite small, and professional editors are a demanding group with some specialized and esoteric needs. Mostly, they point out that Apple's strategy (although their PR here failed) is to go after the greater pool of opportunity (money), as any smart corporation would do.

My guess is Vegas is right where it needs to be.

rmack350 wrote on 6/30/2011, 6:22 PM
My guess is Vegas is right where it needs to be.

I think I probably made this point seven or eight years ago but it's worth repeating. Some of the people using Vegas will improve their skills over time and take on bigger projects like feature length docs and dramas. Or news. Those people will eventually outgrow Vegas.

So while Vegas may be right where SCS needs it to be, it might not be where its longer term customers need it to be.

I'd like to see something like a three tiered strategy with Vegas. The bottom tier would be a product like Studio that is useful for most home users but also has a place in a production workflow (Say you want to have productions assistants use it for reviewing footage, for transcription, for building closed captions, maybe for taking a master render and setting up an array of batch renders. Basically lower skilled grunt work.)

In the middle would be the current Vegas Pro.

At the top would be a system that is a lot more collaborative and network aware. Something that could manage big projects across up to 100 edit stations, for example. Maybe this is the place where you can start handing off projects to specialists.

The idea here is to have all the parts fit into a production chain. It also means that the bottom end of the chain needs to be capable of doing things that help the top end of the chain.

Byron K wrote on 6/30/2011, 9:08 PM
Your suggestion 3 layer strategy would be an excellent roadmap for Sony Vegas.

A similar model is the Steinberg DAW model. They have Cubase LE for intro Cubasers and novice recording folks. This software is included in many hardware audio interfaces. Cubase 6 (which I have) for the smaller pros and serious audio engineers and then they have Nuendo for the high end professional editors, and scoring.

But as mentioned above, in the end, it comes down to $$, resources and profit margin.
farss wrote on 7/1/2011, 6:52 AM
" Vegas started off as a DAW, and probably showed its antecedents until version 8, but this view is no longer valid. "

It's got nothing to do with its antecendents, it's to do with how it works at its core. I've noticed no change between V4 and V10. It is still a time, not frame based timeline.

Certainly around V8 time was when a lot of the audio guys left because they weren't getting the features they needed. At the same time other audio products surpased Vegas and of cause Reaper also appeared.

Not to say of course that the way Vegas works internally is a bad thing, no other product does sound AND vision as well as Vegas. That should make it way more attractive to the indie producers however it must have implications when it comes to pushing it into the higher end arena.

Cliff Etzel wrote on 7/1/2011, 11:08 AM
I'll first off state I moved to Premiere Pro CS5 in Dec 2010 after too many issues with version VP10a that I couldn't get past.

Having said that, I'm reconsideringg Vegas again due to the unique position it holds for solo shooter/editor types like myself.

I placed a feature request to address one glaring omission that would allow Vegas to be taken more seriously in collaborative environments - Proper import & export of industry standard AAF, EDL, OMF and XML project files to be shared with others on different NLE's.

True, Vegas is an island unto itself, and for many of its users, it's what they find so appealing. But in what is now becoming a competitive world of multimedia production - ie; stills, video, audio combined, a tool that allows the user to move upwards into more advanced collaborative editing scenarios would be a valuable asset in what Vegas Pro does.

I've forced myself to work in nothing but Premiere Pro CS5 just to confirm some things. Projects have never crashed once in that time. I've utilized advanced plugins from Red Giant that give my finished work a polish I really hadn't been able to accomplish with Vegas Pro (Magic Bullet Looks being a main go to plugin for me and recently Colorista Lite).

But I do have to say, the performance when using said plugins is slow as molasses on a cold winter day.

Having said that - now that Apple is focusing on the prosumer and emerging professional solo shooter/editor types, it's caused me to reassess Vegas in a way I hadn't before. My base workflow is using AVID DNxHD 720p 10bit 110bit intermediates batch encoded from Canon HDSLR clips via MPEGstreamclip. What I want/need is the ability to utilize plugins along the lines of Magic Bullet Looks and some sort of hardware that allows me to run a dedicated monitor for preview of the timeline that allows me to color calibrate it.

IMO, the Vegas color correction tools are alot easier to use and, to me at least, better than the native ones in Premiere Pro. Colorista requires rendering the timeline before you can get RT playback. Same goes for using Magic Bullet Looks. Otherwise it's a choppy handful of fps.

I'm still watching all of this going down as there appears to be a major shakeup in the post production world. Many shops who had built their post production businesses on the Apple Final Cut Ecosystem are now jumping ship to Adobe or Avid. The competitive upgrade offer by SCS to Vegas Pro was interesting to learn about - and it falls directly in line with what FCPX has become.

It's been said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery :-)

Cliff Etzel
Photographer & Multimedia Journalist
GlennChan wrote on 7/2/2011, 9:58 AM
Do you think someone could make any money if they wrote a

Maybe, but probably not. There is EDL software out there such as EDLMax:


It's $600/$900. Some people use it but don't purchase it because the demo offers all the features for a limited period of time.

2- The problem is that Vegas would need to output OMF too.

2b- It may not make sense to go after the offline editing market when you need to charge maybe $30k-100k to earn a good return on capital (this is what Avid and Media 100 used to charge). But right now Avid and Apple/FCP are <$5k for an offline editing system. For a market that is maybe 1000 users or less.
Profit (say $1k/year, which is too generous) * 1000 users * 10% market share = $100,000/yr. SCS would almost certainly lose money chasing that market. Whereas the amateur, prosumer, and other professional markets are much larger.

Business-wise, you might look at Avid's stock price. They revolutionized video editing and made billions of dollars in revenue. But as a shareholder, you lost money. Avid as a company has lost around half a billion dollars according to its financial statements. Though this is mostly because Avid wasted money on dumb acquisitions. It has probably made money on Avid and Pro Tools and lost it everywhere else.
LoTN wrote on 7/3/2011, 2:52 AM
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.

I am afraid Mr Brohn just don't care about this. 3D buzz is better for shareholders.
rdolishny wrote on 7/5/2011, 1:08 PM
Sony Vegas works for me.

It makes me money in my particular niche: corporates and weddings. Web video and BluRay discs.

I have a G4 FCP suite sitting there for the odd client that hands me off a timeline to complete.

Different creatures. I'm happy with the stability and features that Vegas offers.
K-Decisive wrote on 7/7/2011, 1:12 PM
Thanks, So I guess that in a round about way, In theory..... Vegas could be used in a pro environment, with an expensive 3-rd party EDL application....correct? Just trying to the whole "what would make vegas pro?" thing.

I agree with Vegas being where it needs to be. I would hate for a whole bunch of development work to go into it and then for Sony to have to turn around and push the price up to $2000. ....be careful for what you wish for........

SuperG wrote on 7/8/2011, 4:14 PM
The way I see it, if you're a professional, there's no way around paying for all the 'accoutrements', unless you have a specific limited market.
John Lundsten wrote on 7/8/2011, 8:38 PM
wow, Great thread, lot's of well informed contributions & feedback, IMO.
Including how the undoubted merits of Vegas don't "cut it" for many in certain parts of the "Pro" market.

To paraphrase and add some of my thoughts to what I feel has been said:-
1) To be credible in the high end editing market, a safe bet is to use industry standard software. So Avid, ok, it's obviously hideously out of date but it does do loads more than other NLE's (it does it badly as it happens, which can be good, as it's clunky slow nature means you make more money).
And no one can point the finger and say you are using some semi-pro, "never heard of it" crap NLE, it's the best, industry standard.
2) For many only software on a Mac is credible, this I reckon is a modern quasi religious belief system for the secular age. And of course has the advantage that if one "knows" there is no need to waste valuable time bothering to actually check out what other software like Vegas can do.
3) the fact that Vegas has way better audio capabilities than any other NLE, is a huge plus point, to me {Eg Editing audio on Avid is clunky -n - horrible}.

I used to be a full time Film Editor [Steenbeck's, Moviolas & the like] and very far from alone, but in the minority in needing to get stuff like speech rhythms just right. IMO one needs an interaction of getting the timing & dynamics of speech right and also choose the best images. So IMO for dialogue led sequences in Films/TV drama & for almost all TV, sound is the template to which images are added. Or silent movies died many many years ago.

So back in the days when 1 roll of picture & 1 of mag sound was the norm, I (and many others) wanted at least 2 rolls of sound.
All NLE's can do this, Vegas brilliantly, FCP & Premier do this rather well, I find Avid & to a lesser degree Lightworks painful.

A criticism I do have of Vegas to be the must have NLE for high end production where editors may appreciate the great audio editing facilities, is they are near nowhere in supporting "file based " audio recording. Vegas seems stuck in a world where the audio is sourced from a video tape. BWF file support is sort of there in that files can be placed as per the timestamp but otherwise totally pathetic.

Avid needed a huge amount of user feedback, moans, pushing but now do read stuff like the scene, roll & track names from poly files, fps, etc. Also though clunky, it is possible in audio post to source multi-track ISO original recordings where the editor has only used a rough mix of the location sound.
FCP is pretty rubbish in this respect too, tho there are some good 3rd party tools.
FCP-X is even more rubbish in this area (very like Vegas). And as has been noted there is no I/o to any other apps in FCP though you can buy a near $500 ext app (for this $299 prog) that gives OMF & AAF I/o.

Bob, or farss wrote
"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?"

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




The product from SSL seems to get better reviews."

I'm a long time user & fan of Pro-Convert & before that EDL convert, fine software for sure, but the last update was in 2008. As a customer paying quite a lot for this software i can only conclude SSL have lost interest in developing it further.

AATranslator started development in Feb 2009, & has had over 400 updates since then.

The fact is, P'con was getting stupidly out of date for my needs, and I desperately needed to convert the sound of a film I had sound designed in Adobe v3 (Pro-Convert had stopped at v1), this motivated me to persuade Michael Rooney, a programmer working in this area of audio, to write some code to convert AA3-XML files to something Pro-convert could read & then convert to something Pro-Tools could read. Yes nearly all high end facilities in London where I work, know they must have PT. They winge loads about this, but they know commercial reality.

Since then Michael & I have it seems spent most of our time developing what he named AATranslator to include way more formats than pro-convert handles. Eg we can read PT v 8 & 9, Pro-convert can't.

So this perception thing, why Bob, please tell why do you think "The product from SSL seems to get better reviews." ?

As to some Vegas specifics Re what AATranslator can do & Pro convert can do.
Both of us can read Vegas TXT (EDL) & Script-xml. But the scripts included with Pro-convert no longer work in Vegas 9 or 10. We can do multiple video clips (to destination formats that can take this) Pro-convert just 1 video clip.

CMX, we both do this as a read only format.
As you doubtless you all may know there is a demo, or proof of concept CMX3600 Vegas script, dating from 2004, for1 video &1 audio file, we can read this, as far as reading FCP & Adobe CMX files go we are way ahead of Pro-convert.
Eg include/exude video events, clip volume, static or envelopes from FCP or Adobe (sometimes Avid, tho they have sooo many variants, not all avid CMX files). But then Pro-convert can't understand the latest/last FCP CMX EDL's.

If there were a need I know we could extend CMX3600 Vegas scripts to something actually useful.
John L


Marc S wrote on 7/8/2011, 11:46 PM

Thanks for the posting. I'm still a little confused though. Would your program be the solution to export an edited project from Vegas into Premiere for color grading? Would all of the the audio volume envelopes and video crossfades hold? Which version would be needed and is there a trial?

Thanks, Marc
John Lundsten wrote on 7/9/2011, 8:44 AM
The main function of AATranslator is to convert audio , from DAW & NLE session formats. And yes including volume, pan mutes markers fades dissolves names, etc.

Video is limited to placing 1 or more clips at the correct positions, dissolve & FX are ignored.

So it's a tool used mostly for Audio post.
Though we do have a user who just uses it to convert sequences of animation stills images via CMX EDL's.

Marc S wrote on 7/9/2011, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the clarification.