Vegas 5 first impressions

Ben  wrote on 4/19/2004, 11:42 AM
Well, I think the audio feature set is pretty impressive. A lot of work's clearly gone into this and hats off to Peter and the Sony team. Haven't really put it through it's paces yet but just had a quick play with the new automation and it's awesome. Can't wait to get it hooked up to my 03D - hopefully a template will be released for this soon to make it even easier.

A few other points spring to mind:

- The new interface look. A big yuck from me I'm afraid. I don't know if it's because I work in XP Classic mode, but it just looks horrible. Too washed out and pasty and the white track and mixer faders are particularly nasty. Sony - fine if you want to do this, but you need to make it a lot more customizable or skinable, or at least have the option to retain something more like the old V4 look. I hate to say it, but it terms of look, the words toy-like spring to mind.

(Edit: I think number one in the weirdness department looks-wise is the very bright, white mute icons. They stand out too much. I've played with the saturation controls in options and they don't tone it down enough for me. Well, certain thinks tone down ok, other icons all but disappear. There's no getting away from the fact that the overall look feels very messy. V4 just felt cleaner. This is a direction in interface look that fortunately under Sonic Foundry, the products never went in. Can anyone say Sonar?)

- Bearing in mind how beautiful the new automation is, I think Vegas is now crying out more than ever for the choice of using a tradition vertical mixer paradigm. Be nice to be able to choose between that and the way of working at the moment. Currently, mixing 50+ tracks by having to scroll down for miles on the timeline is a little clumsy.

- Linked to the above - we desperately need track grouping! Even something as simple as right clicking on a load of selected tracks and being able to call them A or B, etc and they move together. Would be a lifesaver. Needed very much for mixing (yes I know about busses), and also for group muting, soloing, etc. Again, this would link very nicely with the new automation.

- What the hell happened to midi implementation? If this is not going to happen, ok, but then you've got to make Vegas rewire-able, so we can link it with the (hopefully soon improved) midi in ACID. This seemed to be one of the, if not the, most popular request on Peter's "what do you want in Vegas 5" thread a while back. It's absolutely crazy to not have rewire, especially because it's now in ACID. Sony - surely it makes sense to implement Rewire in Vegas 5? Maybe the idea is to add it to a later V5 release, as you did with Acid. Let's hope so.

Ok, there we are for the time being. I love all the new stuff and haven't even scratched the surface! But, do feel the above points seem like a bit of a missed opportunity. What'd you all think?



JamesHE wrote on 4/19/2004, 12:50 PM
yeah the look is a littel wierd. I exspect I will get used to it though. I can't say I liked 4 when I first saw it either. THe automation is excellent, very well implemented. I can't wait to have a control surface!
Rednroll wrote on 4/19/2004, 12:57 PM
Replies to your comments:

"The new interface look. A big yuck from me I'm afraid."
I agree, I commented on this, but unfortunately a little too late. I just didn't get excited by the new UI, and felt it was a step back from V4. I guess I was hoping for a little more flashy 3D effect UI like all the other audio apps have been headed. My point was if you're going to release some new 3D effects in the Video features, at least expose some of that flashiness in the UI. I was particularly disappointed with the Icons used for the transport and track fader icons. I commented they looked like beta graphics to me, where they where hand drawn with colored pencils. We'll see what everyone else thinks.

"I think Vegas is now crying out more than ever for the choice of using a tradition vertical mixer paradigm. "
Sorry, I have to disagree with you on this one. I hate the seperate vertical mixer paradigm and don't understand how this would solve your problem. What's the difference between having too scroll vertically, as your solution would make you have to scroll horizontally to access all the faders? Try adding a bunch of buses in the "mixer" section, and you'll get the idea you're talking about. I think it's nice the way it is, because I can minimize the track fader height and get more faders on the screen and have a visual continuity of what fader belongs to what audio track. With the paradigm vertical mixer, you lose the continuity of which fader belongs to each audio track and I find myself counting faders to know which track I'm adjusting, unless I spend the additional time to write the names on the fader.. If you want a vertical mixer, the solution is to get a hardware control surface and assign the Vegas faders to your hardware controler.

"we desperately need track grouping"
I agree this would be a good feature enhancement to create "groups" with selected faders. I don't think this is a desperate necessity, because you can already freely put tracks/faders in any order and then easily select them by selecting the first track, followed by a SHIFT>LEFT CLICK to select all the faders inbetween and you can move all their faders together. So in other words, let's say you wanted to group 5 faders together. I would put order those 5 tracks in a sequential order, say 1-5. Then select track 1 followed by a SHIFT>LEFT CLICK on track 5 and all 5 track faders get selected and when you move 1 they all move together. BTW, having the paradigm vertical mixer would probably elliminate this versitility that's already there.

"- What the hell happened to midi implementation?"
Vegas 6 would more likely be the answer to this. Rome wasn't built in one day, and I agree Rewire should have been a feature in V5 and I have voiced my disappointment. Not only would it give Vegas midi abilities, but would allow you to run Vegas and Acid together to get Acid tracks into Vegas more easily, which you still can't open an Acid project in Vegas. Maybe there will be an Export as .VEG project option in a future Acid release? I'm hoping.

"Can't wait to get it hooked up to my 03D"

I've been trying it out with my 03D for awhile now. A few things to note, about the 03D, because these are the problems I ran into. I'm assuming you're going to use the "midi remote" feature on the 03D. I setup midi ox, to monitor the messages being sent from the 03D, and it has some limitations. I found you'll want to either use the "Protools" default page or the "General Midi" preset page. The bad thing about the "Protools" page is that you only have use of 8 of the 16 faders on the 03D. Faders 9-16, don't send out any midi CC messages when using that page. The good thing is that you have control over fader position, mutes, and pans. Using the "General midi" preset, you can use all 16 faders and their pans, and a couple sends for each fader. The bad thing is that the mutes, then don't send any midi CC messages. Another point on the Protools page, is that you can't do a punch-in scenario using the transport buttons on the 03D, unless you redefine the buttons in Vegas. In other words, if you hit PLAY, followed by RECORD, Vegas will not do a punch-in, because the RECORD button does not send out any midi CC messages. You must hit "STOP" and then "RECORD" for the record button to send out a midi CC message. My work around was to assign the "Stop" button as Record in Vegas, and the "Record" button as Stop, and this allowed me to do a punch-in now, I have to tell myself that Stop is Record and Record is Stop.

Nat wrote on 4/19/2004, 1:09 PM
Am I the only one who likes the new UI ?

I run the classic windows xp theme and it looks great.
Ben  wrote on 4/19/2004, 1:16 PM
Hmmm, well maybe the way mine looks is to do with the way I have my Windows colour scheme configured in Classic mode. Nat - any chance you could upload a screen shot somewhere of how your V5 looks?

SonyIMC wrote on 4/19/2004, 1:35 PM
One thing that you might want to try is changing some of the new display features.

Go to Options->Preferences->Display and cut down the icon saturation and tint.


Ben  wrote on 4/19/2004, 1:59 PM
Thanks for that Ivan. But I've played with those controls a lot and unfortunately they don't change enough of what's for me a yucky looking interface. I think this is a real shame as the other new features really rock. So feature wise Vegas 5 as a DAW now competes with the Pro Tools, etc, but it's starting to look like a toy! Sigh, it's scare-off-the-clients time again (remember the whole Vegas Video 3 debacle when our DAW had the word 'video' emblazened across it?)

Come on Ivan, any way you guys can sort this out in the next release update? Either tone-down the nastiness, or make it a <lot> more customizable or skinable. Time to get rid of those crappy coloured pencils that Red mentioned...

Red - I see your point about a vertical mixer. It would though be nice to have a choice; I do generally label my tracks so would know what's what, etc. Also, in theory they could implement things like minimizing faders in the mixer you needn't need to touch, etc so they length of the vertical mixer didn't get out of hand. Btw, big thanks for the 03D heads up. I'm going to try to look into that more soon.

Again, agree to extent about track grouping and I too rearrange tracks to get around this. But it's annoying to have to keep re-grouping with CTRL/SHIFT click. When you've got loads of different tracks you want to group at different times, you just want them to stick. Dare I say it, this could be implemented quite nicely in a vertical mixer - there's not much space left on the timeline track pane.

Rewire, midi, etc. Yep - I guess it just was the last thing on their to-do list or something. More worrying though would be the idea that this isn't something they ever want to implement. I'd love an answer from Sony on that, though I know I'm not gonna get it...

PipelineAudio wrote on 4/19/2004, 2:03 PM
This is a GREAT step in the right direction!
Auto input philosophy and implementation need some help.
Some basic useability things seem to have been adresssed.
Buss to Buss routing is AWESOME!
We will see how 2 track rendering works out once more users have their hands on it.
Control surface......WOO HOO!
There needs to be a global "show automation controls" switch, it is just too cumbersome otherwise
Likewise we need a global "show active take names in events" switch that is quicker to get to and exposed on the interface, since the pitch info is now carried here
Related, the new pitch controls are AWESOME, but the right click pitch control in properties seems VERY user UNfriendly
Things have been added to scripting that might make life nicer too
Lets all BEAT THE HELL out of this thing and expose any tiny flaws, so we can use this VERY useable new vegas 5 with complete confidence.

Those who want me to jump ship or encourage my partner to do so, will have a MUCH harder time now. Vegas 5 is a big middle finger in the face of the enemy
Rednroll wrote on 4/19/2004, 2:14 PM
"Auto input philosophy and implementation need some help."

Could you ellaborate on this a little more? The only thing I could see differently is if there was maybe a master auto-input switch like on a tape machine, where all the tracks will switch to auto-input mode. But I didn't think this was a biggie, because you can set the default track properties and work in auto-input mode for all the tracks anyways.
PipelineAudio wrote on 4/19/2004, 2:26 PM
Its in software. Lots of audio hardware is available to carry this out correctly. Im not saying it doesnt work, it sure as hell does, but realistically in any available computer i can find, software monitoring is too resource intensive.

I tell you what tho, I see a dream of ditching my console, using the control surfaces and a big knob, monitoring thru software with whatever fx, and I think that time is coming and vegas five is primed and ready for it...I just dont see a computer powerful enough yet, but I am more than happy to be proven wrong, and I will head to the store and set up my dream system
PipelineAudio wrote on 4/19/2004, 2:49 PM
red how do you feel about the right click pitch change?
Rednroll wrote on 4/19/2004, 3:05 PM
"red how do you feel about the right click pitch change?"

I must have missed that one. What are you talking about?

What do you think of the automatible track volume and pan inserts now available? I found that little loop hole in V4 using the Sound Forge volume plugin chainer saves, and now it's fully exposed in V5. Makes it now possible to make FX's pre or post fader.
Arnar wrote on 4/19/2004, 3:31 PM
Will Vegas 5 be compatible with vegas 4 projects and i dont mean if it will open them, i mean if they will sound the same if it contains timestretched or pitched material?
This is very important to me as i had an album go haywire from veg 3 -4.
Rednroll wrote on 4/19/2004, 3:48 PM
There is a Demo to download, to test it out for yourself.
PipelineAudio wrote on 4/19/2004, 3:53 PM
Arnar, I dont know if Im smoking crack or not but I think you will be AMAZINGLY surprised by the quality of the pitch stretch now. Pulling up a V4 project you will maybe have to fix up the automation controls, but the pitches and stretches will be fine.

Red, I mean when you right click an event, and choose pitch, you used to be able to go + - cents and + - semitones very easily, look at it now
MacMoney wrote on 4/19/2004, 4:25 PM
Hi Red and Pipe they spent alot of time on this, Its pretty cool.
I love the GUI automation.

George Ware
Nat wrote on 4/19/2004, 4:34 PM
While the new timestretching sounds good, the menu is a bit weird, less effective than the previous one. Anyone else ?
Ben  wrote on 4/19/2004, 4:37 PM
Yep, with you there Nat. I'm trying to work out how to pitch shift without keeping the duration, ie resample, as you used to be able to do in V4. Maybe I'm being thick, but I can't work out how to do that. The dialog does seem confusing. Anyone?
PipelineAudio wrote on 4/19/2004, 5:14 PM
thats what Im talking about
PipelineAudio wrote on 4/19/2004, 5:15 PM
thank you
ibliss wrote on 4/19/2004, 5:20 PM
Can't see a way to do this with any precision. You can of course Ctrl-drag the end of the clip to change the length and then use the - and = keys to change the pitch, but it's a pain to work out the 'correct' value for each.

A step backwards one feels, though the pitch shift does sound very good, and have the direct keyboard access and values shown in the event is excellent.
Arnar wrote on 4/19/2004, 5:25 PM
that would be "lock to stretch" in the timestretch dialog.
then it shows the pitch change as well as the timestretch percentage in the event.
I wonder if this can be set as default???

I love the timestretching, although the time stretching , automation (being able to twist knobs on the plugs themselves), control surface support, bus to bus routing seems to be all ther is to impress me it still warrants a buy in my books although im pissed about no rewire.
still some cool upgrades

I wold really like an official answer as to wether my old projects will sound the same now that they seem to have improved the time/pitch algo.?
I know i could try and open projects and listen but that would a lot of listening as my projects have various amounts of timestretching applied, so a definitive answer would be appreciated.

being able to move event volume on several events is a welcome addition....nice, so is the floating dock, although if you close the docking window then you have to go to the view menu and manually call up all the windows you had in the dock which is not good at all..hopefully they fix that.

also the "create subclip" no more need to do open in soundforge and close just to make a subclip.

Can anyone tell me how i can save the various screen layouts?
PipelineAudio wrote on 4/19/2004, 6:06 PM
the auto docking is kinda a pain in the but for me, especially for fx windows
ibliss wrote on 4/19/2004, 6:10 PM
ah ha, 'lock to stretch', cheers for that! I should be RTFM i suppose, or just being a little bit more adventurous in my experimenting.

to the layout thing: (from the inbuilt help file)

- To save layout:

Arrange the windows and docked windows as desired.

Press Ctrl+Alt+D, and then release the keys.

Press a number on your keyboard (not the numeric keypad) to save the layout in that space.

- Recall a saved layout
Press Alt+D, and then release the keys.

Press a number on your keyboard (not the numeric keypad) to recall the layout saved in that in that space.
tmrpro wrote on 4/19/2004, 8:39 PM
*********"Auto input philosophy and implementation need some help."

Could you ellaborate on this a little more? The only thing I could see differently is if there was maybe a master auto-input switch like on a tape machine, where all the tracks will switch to auto-input mode. But I didn't think this was a biggie, because you can set the default track properties and work in auto-input mode for all the tracks anyways. **********

When Input Monitor is in "ON" position, you should not ear the track and the input when you roll. You should only hear the input. This is so the player can rehearse a performance with the track, from its monitoring position without having to repatch or reassign....

What currently happens is you here both SC input and track repro when this option is selected; which makes no sense to me at all....

Other than that I've been doin' backflips for weeks about Auto Input and Punch On The Fly!!!!

WoooooHooooooo ---- :)))))