Vegas 9.0 Pro review after 7 days and 13 episodes

gwailo wrote on 5/26/2009, 11:41 AM
After editing 13 episodes of a talk show, here are the things I discovered:

New Things I love;

Much smoother shuttling/jogging with contour pro (than ver 8)
4 point audio edits
When Quantize to frames is on - Audio can be extended / shortened non-frame based
4 tracks of audio not truncating to 2 tracks in the trimmer
The glow effect rocks :)

Minor Annoyances:

Timecode custom colour display does not save and work as a default.

Playback slowly gains momentum to get up to full frame rate

Zooming and movement of timeline during playback freezes the gui when the going gets tough (this never happened in 8, zoom and movement was always fast/smooth) the gui can be frozen for a few seconds at a time before it comes back to normal

When Quantize to frames is on - Moving audio that is not aligned to frames, from 1 track to another will shift the audio back to a frame (seems counter-intuitive that you can drag the audio so that it's not frame based, but shifting between tracks will shift the moved audio to the nearest frame)

Major Problems / Things I had to work around to get the project done:

Secondary monitor video corrupts after rendering a preview (must restart to get it working again)
- work around - never rendered previews

Video Clips / Title Clips - randomly link to different clips - this happened a lot to the titles
- work around - had to find / fix / replace wrong clips every time I re-opened the project - pain in the a**!

Mask Layer - Having a mask layer over regular DV Pal footage occasionally corrupted the DV Pal footage showing black boxes
- work around - had to replace the mask layer with another identical mask layer with a different name - occasionally had to replace and re-render even if the preview was okay - another pain in the a**!

Recommendation stick with 8c until 9 fixes the major bugs


ChipGallo wrote on 5/26/2009, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the writeup! Confirms my decision to wait a while on this upgrade, until a maintenance release that addresses these and other issues.

winrockpost wrote on 5/26/2009, 4:45 PM
ya know,, I ain't no business genius, and there are probably good business reasons for not having a public beta,, but man would it keep bs bugs from hitting a first release. I played with 9 for about three hours last weekend and found it to be a typical SONY vegas release.... a beta. ,with obvious gotchas.

edit: on second thought .....assuming they listen to beta testers
John_Cline wrote on 5/26/2009, 4:58 PM
There is just no way for ANY software company to release completely bug-free software as complex as an NLE. It is simply impossible to catch every issue in beta testing, it isn't until a version is in wide release that all the issues can be identified.

It is a "typical Sony Vegas release", it works and will work even better with an upcoming 9.0a release. I've been in it pretty much all day, every day since its release and I haven't found any problems which I would consider "show-stoppers." The world isn't perfect and NLE software isn't perfect. Accept these two things and move on.
winrockpost wrote on 5/26/2009, 5:03 PM
no software is close to perfect,, obvious gotchas is what bugs me, sometimes its not even a bug, just a oops didn't think anyone would miss that kinda thing, I choose not to accept that. But I'm sure I'll be back on a or b release.
farss wrote on 5/26/2009, 5:41 PM
I think what John says is true. Thankfully the quality of engineering that goes into most other things is orders of magnitude better than what we accept from all NLE Vendors. I caught a very basic glitch in FCP a few days ago.
The guy using it said it was his fault for accidently ticking the "Abort on timecode break" check box. It didn't abort, it locked up!

I'd love to see the likes of Boeing test their engineering the same way software vendors do it. First million passengers fly at half price, travel insurance not available :)

rmack350 wrote on 5/26/2009, 6:08 PM
I think SCS ought to go ahead and do a semi-public beta, require an NDA, set up a private forum for it, and just give the beta testers the discount. Break the NDA, lose the discount.

Given how many users seem to find things in the first two weeks, I don't think SCS has a good excuse. It's not valid to say that this stuff can't be found by their internal QA people when users find it so quickly.

Rob Mack
ushere wrote on 5/26/2009, 6:45 PM
hey bob,

be careful - qantas might be reading this forum......

Xander wrote on 5/26/2009, 6:57 PM
I submitted a trouble ticket for Vegas 8a. Sony was able to repro the issue and suggested I wait for the next release. I'm on 8c right now. Problem still not fixed. Given the memory problems I have with the trial version on 9 Pro, my expectations are somewhat low.
gwailo wrote on 5/26/2009, 7:18 PM
The trial version starts very slow and quits very slow compared to the registered version.

The registered version of 9 seems to be even faster loading and quitting than 8.

The projects are definitely using more RAM though. Typical project is using about 500 megs active memory as opposed to 300 something before for 8.

After leaving Vegas on overnight, the program definitely had to be closed and restarted to be responsive again. I could leave 8.0c on for days. So i guess there are new memory issues to be worked out as well.

I use vegas mainly for audio-post. So I don't have a problem keeping 9 and using it. With only 1 track of mp4 video, it flies!

Another cool improvement, are the slightly thicker envelope automation lines. They are much easier to see now.

Back to work!
John_Cline wrote on 5/26/2009, 7:49 PM
"It's not valid to say that this stuff can't be found by their internal QA people when users find it so quickly."

Yes, it's perfectly valid. Sony can't possibly test it using the literally billions of different possible configurations of hardware and already installed software and drivers. To say otherwise is simply ignorant of the realities of software engineering.

As far as equating SCS to Boeing, Boeing is designing the entire system, both hardware and software, it is relatively easier if you control everything. Avid will only support their software on specifically approved hardware systems.
apit34356 wrote on 5/26/2009, 8:19 PM
"As far as equating SCS to Boeing, Boeing is designing the entire system, both hardware and software, it is relatively easier if you control everything. Avid will only support their software on specifically approved hardware systems." Plus Boeing has the price tag that comes with development and production........... and few complain about the price tag or the limit of options. Plus big commercial aircraft are "over" designed for safety and performance issues..... ie. 115% minimum.

As many has pointed out, if SCS controlled the hardware combinations like Apple does, I think Vegas would be "almost" bullet proof....... the down side would be a lot less users ;-( or ;-)
blink3times wrote on 5/26/2009, 8:56 PM
"It's not valid to say that this stuff can't be found by their internal QA people when users find it so quickly."

I think SCS has done a pretty dammed good job for an initial release. Is it perfect? No.... but then let's see you release an initial production that's glitch free.
farss wrote on 5/26/2009, 10:05 PM
You and John are correct of course but you forgot to mention lead time. Even if there was a few people who'd pay for the cost of a 100% bullet proof editing system by the time it was bought to market it would be obsolete...

Anyone want a Grass Valley linear editing system?
We'll throw in the aircon, the line conditioner and the computer flooring.

John_Cline wrote on 5/26/2009, 10:10 PM
While we're at it, I have a CMX-340 linear editing system and a few 1" machines... anyone interested?
albert_kes wrote on 5/26/2009, 10:12 PM
Simply in the world crisis. At SCS also there are no technicians for beta testing. Here also have allowed to us to test :-)
jazzmaster wrote on 5/26/2009, 10:23 PM
I still have a Sony 3/4" edit deck!!
farss wrote on 5/26/2009, 10:44 PM
"While we're at it, I have a CMX-340 linear editing system and a few 1" machines... anyone interested?"

Thanks for the offer, the freight would be a bit much and my mate has already managed to score a 1" NTSC machine, a much prized rescue from the scrap metal merchants. Got a few with the Merlin mod as well. Still some demand for these VCRs, the local networks are digging through the vaults to find old Australian soaps that the US cable companies are buying up. Even the old 2" quad machines are getting a bit of a work out.

Terje wrote on 5/27/2009, 12:46 AM
>> As far as equating SCS to Boeing

You are absolutely right, it is unfair, particularly given the price and the mark-up Boeing has on their products. So, let's do something that is much more fair, let's compare SCS to SF, Sony Creative to Sonic Foundry.

Why is it that Vegas under SF was rock solid. Sure, it had issues, most non-trivial software does, but it was still pretty solid as complex software goes. Vegas 9 is an incremental update of Vegas 6. Some UI enhancements, some new codecs, a new titler. There is not an order of magnitude more complexity with Vegas 9 compared to 6. So why are there so many more problems?
JJKizak wrote on 5/27/2009, 5:23 AM
I used to work with a guy who worked at Boeing as a quality control inspector. They used a 4" diameter ball to roll down the toilet tubes to make sure they were within spec. The front cowlings on the jet engines were formed buy placing the material under water in a huge tank and then setting off dynamite under it thus maintaining .100 thickness at any crossection. All wiring is teflon coated with very specific fastening locations. The wings are carved on the worlds largest lathes and start out at 3/8" at the fuselage and gradually down to 1/8" at the tips within .001 inches. If they don't hold that tolerance the plane won't fly straight. They have welders that start out pure stainless and then slowly change to aluminum. They never ever have a part with square corners as that's where a crack begins. When they drill a hole in a wing for a rivit the hole is then checked for accuracy before the rivet is inserted. If the hole is too large the next size rivet is inserted. All drill bits are resharpened after every use no matter if it was used only once. Parts are hot cleaned with triclo. The inertial nav systems (three in each airplane) must have two working out of three or the plane will not fly. They had one assembler who made three perfect ones. I think he got some kind of reward. The flooring is two 1/8" sheets of titanium glued together with 1" cardboard foam and will not break or bend. There are only four bolts that hold the engines to the wings. All engine bolts are safety wired in case of loosening. There are usually 2 hydralic systems, one for backup. The wings hold the fuel and the levels are measured with capacitance probes.
I had to listen to all of this for many hours on end as we maintained our radar console watch on the Dewline.
mekelly wrote on 5/27/2009, 6:53 AM
While a complex piece of software like Vegas will always have bugs (as will every other piece of complex software), a well thought out beta testing plan should catch most major bugs.

If you simply hand the new software over to testers and say 'test' (which I think is what happens), you're going to miss a lot of bugs. If on the other hand, you provide the software and a test plan to be used in conjunction with their 'normal use', you'll catch significantly more bugs.

Simply using the software without a controlled test plan, is not an effective way to test. That's why you don't catch a lot of these bugs until you put the initial release of software in the hands of many users. It's all part of the plan (in my opinion), they know many more bugs will be found, so they're geared up for a pretty quick .0a release.

The hardware caused issues are a whole other can of worms. Obviously, there's no way they can ensure the software will run on every combination of machine. In my opinion, Microsoft has had to endure a little worse rep than they should have because people expected to be able to throw ANY hardware in their machine along with ANY software and expect it to run without problems. Now, they certainly should have engineered the OS to handle problems better and not just blue screen. Compare that with Apple who has tightly controlled the hardware environment. It makes a big difference.

Same thing with Vegas. They can't ensure it will work with every piece of hardware and software, but you can engineer graceful 'catches' so that the software doesn't just lockup or abort.
gwailo wrote on 5/27/2009, 7:16 AM
Maybe the guys doing audio with Vegas should be grateful they've basically added no new audio features. It's pretty solid. I love using vegas for audio, it's so much better than pro-tools/nuendo.

I just really wish we had OMF import, an AAF export that other programs can understand, BWF export and a glitch free operation with UAD cards.

But again there are work arounds. Get the editors to export an OMF and convert it to AAF before opening in Vegas. It's depressing that the OMF->AAF converter program is more expensive than Vegas though!

And as for exporting....

Whatever happens in Vegas....

Stays in Vegas!

I think that's the real reason, they called it Vegas in the first place.
apit34356 wrote on 5/27/2009, 7:31 AM
"I had to listen to all of this for many hours on end as we maintained our radar console watch on the Dewline. " In the later days of NORAD, you earn your battle pay the hard way ;-) I guess Taking pictures of the ice caps help keep you sane! ;-)
Sebaz wrote on 5/27/2009, 8:00 AM
"It's not valid to say that this stuff can't be found by their internal QA people when users find it so quickly."

No, it's not valid, at least in the case of the major bugs. You may be right in the case of bugs that only show in certain configurations, but the bugs that show up for everybody that tested it for an hour, those are inexcusable. Either Sony is not testing their software, or they see the bugs and don't care. What editor, amateur or pro, is going to be happy when, as the OP puts it, "Playback slowly gains momentum to get up to full frame rate"?? That is not a hardware specific bug, it's a bug that everybody is seeing, so obviously they had to see it in their own computers. And they released it like this anyway? I edited a small home video project in 9 yesterday to keep testing it and just this bug was so irritating that today I'm going to uninstall 9 and see if they fixed the bug in 9a. If they don't, at least I'm happy I kept my money in my pocket.

Oh, and also, while I was editing in 9, every time I sliced an event, the head and tail thumbnail on it went red. Any event that I trimmed or cut in any way would start showing red thumbnails. Pleaaaaaase!!!
gpsmikey wrote on 5/27/2009, 8:06 AM
You couldn't even begin to afford a down payment on the software if it was done the way Boeing and all others who have to comply with D0-178B regulations for flight critical software have to. It would be in the millions of $$ (seriously) and the simplest of changes (one line of code) can take months to impliment and re-validate since you have to re-run ALL your tests validating all modules of code etc. Trust me - you don't want to go there (health care software has the same sort of restrictions on it). Been there, done that !!