Vegas Pro not 'professional'?

John McCully wrote on 11/14/2013, 12:13 AM
I recently viewed a video titled ‘Top 10 New Features In Davinci Resolve 10 (HD)’ and the commentator said something like ‘if you are working in the commercial or broadcast don’t need to go back to Avid, Final cut or Premiere...but he does not mention Vegas. This is not the first time I have encountered the exclusion of Vegas from the discourse of ‘professionals’ and while it doesn’t really bother me (I’m not a professional nor do I have any pretensions along those lines) I can’t help but wonder why this is. Of course I think Vegas Pro is just the cat’s pajamas but then in the many years as a hobbyist I know no other. Well, right at the outset I did use Premiere but then discovered Vegas, actually during Sonic Foundry days, and immediately dropped Premiere in favour of Vegas Pro, or whatever it was called.

So why is Vegas Pro so often excluded from the serious discourse? Is this some kind of snobbishness, perhaps an Apple inspired thing, or is Vegas simply an inferior product when it comes to professional use?

Just curious.


PeterDuke wrote on 11/14/2013, 1:36 AM
low market share
deusx wrote on 11/14/2013, 2:20 AM
There is really only one professional NLE and that is AVID. If you define professional as what most movies and good TV shows are edited on.

Premiere and Final cut are not even close. What's edited on these is mostly $hit like reality tv, crappy news clips , low budget movies, youtube clips, your usual garbage.

Vegas is even below that ( credits wise ) , as Peter said, low market share.

Having said that you could edit anything on any of these. Cohen brothers even edited a movie or two on Final cut pro and that is about as crap as you can get in a NLE.

I'd guess that AVID will continue being used the most by high end productions because it does the job and people stick with what's familiar. There is little point in changing what works.
Grazie wrote on 11/14/2013, 2:26 AM
Where's this post going?


deusx wrote on 11/14/2013, 2:31 AM
Does it have to go anywhere? What's wrong with here?
PeterWright wrote on 11/14/2013, 2:41 AM
I have several hammers and other tools. They are all capable of being used either professionally or badly.

The NLE programs mentioned in this thread including Vegas are the same, so as Grazie suggested, the topic is scarcely worthwhile.
deusx wrote on 11/14/2013, 2:46 AM
All the visually "cool" stuff happens in compositing and 3D software anyway.
Grazie wrote on 11/14/2013, 3:09 AM
@deusx:[i]Does it have to go anywhere? [/I]

Yes, absolutely.

@deusx:[i]What's wrong with here?[/I]

None at all



set wrote on 11/14/2013, 3:21 AM
I think we better define first, of why and how the Editing Software can be assumed as "Professional". What elements or feature needed for this 'category' ?

Next, what most people will think when they heard 'Vegas Pro' now ?
ushere wrote on 11/14/2013, 3:24 AM
plain and simple - if it makes money for you it's professional.
John_Cline wrote on 11/14/2013, 4:38 AM
Avid is the standard when it comes to collaboration and media management. My brother is a highly paid Avid editor that works for the networks doing sports broadcasts around the world. For his own projects, he uses Vegas. I rarely collaborate on my projects, so I use Vegas 99% of the time and only us Avid or Premiere if the client has some good reason for me to do so.
Christian de Godzinsky wrote on 11/14/2013, 6:12 AM
A professional application should produce professional results. I'm not referring here to artistic quality - even a pro application would produce garbage out if garbage is thown in.

I'm referring to the downconversion from HD to SD within Vegas Pro. The quality is not (according to my experiences) professional or up to par. Such conversions are still a standard procedure in many workflows, and will be for a while. To get professional pristine quality I'm forced to perform some heavy conversion acrobatics using third party software (even shareware!). I have compared apples to apples with Edius, and their quality is just so much better. Beliver me, I have tried all possible settings in Vegas and read ALL (numerous) forum listings on this subject.

This alone is a thing that at least for me strips the shiny "professional" badge off Vegas. Why can't SCS fix this elementary thing? The application is called Vegas Pro Video - shouldn't we excpect pro quality output from a common format conversion...

Everyone loves Vegas intuitive editing experience and the speed and ease of operations during editing. However this alone does not earn the application a high professional status. A professional can do his job whatever tools he has on hand, much like a professional plumber than can empy a bathtub just using a teaspoon... it just takes longer but the quality of the result counts!

John is right on the collaboration issue, its one important reason why Vegas has not been that popular among people that needs to collaborate within projects. SCS added tools to make this easier, but how well do these fulfill this need?



WIN10 Pro 64-bit | Version 1903 | OS build 18362.535 | Studio 16.1.2 | Vegas Pro 17 b387
CPU i9-7940C 14-core @4.4GHz | 64GB DDR4@XMP3600 | ASUS X299M1
GPU 2 x GTX1080Ti (2x11G GBDDR) | 442.19 nVidia driver | Intensity Pro 4K (BlackMagic)
4x Spyder calibrated monitors (1x4K, 1xUHD, 2xHD)
SSD 500GB system | 2x1TB HD | Internal 4x1TB HD's @RAID10 | Raid1 HDD array via 1Gb ethernet
Steinberg UR2 USB audio Interface (24bit/192kHz)
ShuttlePro2 controller

Grazie wrote on 11/14/2013, 7:20 AM
And here, at last, we have the starting point for the discussion: What is Professional and what makes Vegas Pro - er . . Professional?



TheHappyFriar wrote on 11/14/2013, 8:37 AM
A professional application should produce professional results

So you're saying NLE's that never dealt in HD as "professional", programs that scanned film to digital, DVD media, etc.

You say you need a 3rd party program to do this. Avid needs needs a 3rd party program to get film in to it's NLE. Doesn't make it any less of a program.

A professional can do his job whatever tools he has on hand, much like a professional plumber than can empy a bathtub just using a teaspoon... it just takes longer but the quality of the result counts!

Then it that's the case Vegas does count as "professional" by your description. After all, if a plumber could empty a tub with a fork (any tool you said), you should be able to do a good job with Vegas. By your logic, the issue is the editor, NOT the tool.

Which makes the person a "professional", not a tool.
CJB wrote on 11/14/2013, 9:05 AM
How 'bout if it could export EDL that other apps can use. (e.g. Resolve)

Would also be nice if there were GPU specs that guaranteed rock solid performance. (i.e. no bombs).
larry-peter wrote on 11/14/2013, 9:40 AM
If Vegas included a good media management tool, reliable EDL export, better deinterlacing and better/more options for resizing algorithms I think it would surpass any other NLE.

Downrezzing from HD to SD hasn't been a show stopper for me, but I can't wrap my head around the fact that the cheapest BD player appears to uprez SD better than Vegas or any software solutions I've tried. The rule has generally been that real-time solutions and hardware based solutions are more expensive and difficult to implement.
vicmilt wrote on 11/14/2013, 11:38 AM
I don't know what's a "professional" editing system in 2013.

When I bought my first AVID in 1989 it was strictly an off-line solution. The images we edited were 320x120 and looked like poop. BUT I regained my life, for the first time.

At the time I owned a full BetaSP edit system (about $400k). We could cut our own national tv commercial in a studio I built in my home. At the time it was unheard of, to have your own edit system. A half million investment sort of kept the club elite.

But tape editing was sloooow. We accepted it.
Hey, it was still faster than cutting in film.

My non-linear AVID changed all that.

TV spots that generally took five days to edit "on-line" on tape, I could knock off in a day or two. Then we would generate an edit decision list EDL and bring it into an edit studio in NYC to be rebuilt on 1" tape.

When the AVID became air worthy (that is the resolution was suitable for broadcast) the whole game changed again.
I dumped my Beta decks, waveform monitors, Abacus digital effects and genlock and a whole room full of gear which I no longer remember the names of.

In the late '90s I bought my first DV camera a Sony VX-1000 and shot one of the first DV national commercials for American Express publishing. They loved it. I did well and soon was back to a half million in AVID gear, but steady work at the old rates paid it all off in a year or so. Then huge profits.

In about 1998 I met Douglas Spotted Eagle at a trade show in Yonkers and he literally knocked my sox off with this new all digital editing system - Vegas 3.0. It did everything my AVIDs with banks of SCSI drives and all kinds of other gear, did. And it worked on a cheapo desktop. And it functioned fast and easy. And I could teach my staff how to do simple logging and straight cuts. A-freaking-mazing. But I still had a large vested interest in tape completion (although by this time it was totally off `1" and on BetaSP. No more schlepping to the city.

In 2000 I moved to Florida - sold off most of my hardware and began to edit only in Vegas - ON A LAPTOP!

I've never looked back.
I used to own 2 AVID Media composer 4000 systems (about $90k to $120k).
They crashed all the time, but by and large they delivered.

Since that time I have created dozens of national tv commercials, won scores of prizes, edited three features (and won more prizes for them) - all with the ever more wonderful Sony Vegas. Sure it's had it's moments of despair. News flash - THEY ALL DO!

I continue to edit virtually everything on Vegas.
I own CS6 - big deal.
Only the keying system is better than my Vegas.
Everything else I can do without any other help. 3D graphics, and edits. Sound editing and color correction. I used to go to five different specialty shops to do what I now do at home.

What else is there?

Why is Vegas "not professional"?
Because unfortunately Sony simply doesn't promote it to a professional crowd.. But on the screen - you can't tell. And in the end that 's all that counts.
ddm wrote on 11/14/2013, 11:55 AM
Well said, Vicmilt!
Curt wrote on 11/14/2013, 12:16 PM
The same thing happens in the audio recording world. If you want to be regarded as "professional," you have to use Pro Tools. Never mind that it's not the best system out there. It's the industry standard, so there.

It usually collapses into circular reasoning.

"Why is Pro Tools the industry standard?"
"Because every studio uses it."
"Why does every studio use it?"
"Because it's the industry standard."

robwood wrote on 11/14/2013, 1:35 PM
warning: long answer (short answer below)

software isn't "professional".

PEOPLE are professional. software is a toolset used by professionals or amateurs... no-one says "is this screwdriver professional?" or "this is a professional alarm clock"... they're just tools.

if the media generated by a software is too poor to be used, if it crashes more often than it runs, or in some other fundamental way is unreliable... sure, don't use that software... but this is nothing to do with the word "professional"... for instance, i've used...

-fisher-price cameras for source footage.
-microphones from desktop cassette recorders.
-stretched rubber bands to generate pitch values.
-other dumb things i can't recall atm

people are professional. software is just tools to be used.

i've used Vegas since v4, done a bunch of documentaries, a really large number of short films & demos, and recorded a fair number of bands (live and studio) using Vegas.

i use other software as well, but tho Vegas has suffered since DV became HD, i still like its quickness, the lack of crashing when running multiple instances, that it's sRGB (rather than YUV like most NLE's), scripting (don't use it much but it's saved me a few times), etc.


if you prefer a shorter answer with less thinking involved: Vegas is professional. :)
John McCully wrote on 11/14/2013, 1:38 PM
Thanks everyone for the discussion and in particular a thanks to vicmilt for taking the time to provide such a detailed explanation. Now I get it. Much appreciated.

And I too remember Douglas Spotted Eagle from way back when. The last I heard he fell out of an airplane, and survived, though only just as I understand it!


PS Robwood posted as I did. I understand what you are saying about 'professional' and software in general. I suggest when we use the word professional we mean the user rather than the software. And when vicmilt tells us in his bottom line 'Why is Vegas "not professional"? he is of course responding to my question about why Vegas Pro is excluded from the discussion by professionals and my read of his comments is as you say. Is Vegas Pro suitable for professional use, or to be used in a professional 'environment'? Indeed it is. Why is it often excluded from the conversations of professionals? Because Sony has not promoted it successfully to these people.
ushere wrote on 11/14/2013, 5:51 PM
+ 101% vicmilt.

more or less my story too.
set wrote on 11/14/2013, 6:58 PM
Interesting story Vicmilt!

Btw, can you post your latest 'Wow, Is this edited with Sony Vegas? I can't believe it!' feature or TV commercial?
I guess by showing that..., we can shut those 'Vegas-haters' mouth sealed on a debate :)
Larry Clifford wrote on 11/15/2013, 7:08 AM

I definitely like your answer. I was interested in AutoCAD several years ago, and someone said basically the same thing to me. It is the user that makes the program work and produce results.


I think the same is true for any well know brand, e.g., IBM computers. At the same time, that brand may not be the best for what someone wants to do with it. That is one reason why most software has trial versions.
Former user wrote on 11/15/2013, 12:07 PM
Many many years ago, when I was a technology reporter for a TV network, I did a story on a local guy who, three years running, won the Corel Draw design contest. He did all his design work at his office, which had some clunky old early 386 computer. It was painfully slow to watch him work. So slow we sped up the video of the screen shots to make it look like he was doing something.

This designer, however, was so patient, and creative, and knew the tool he was using so well (Corel Draw) that he had become incredibly efficient. It was still slow, but his results were amazing. The third time he won the award, his prize was a new state of the art pentium. When I went and did a follow-up, he was using the old clunky computer again. He found the speed altered how he thought about his designs and he became less efficient.

I guess the moral of the story is what others have said: the creativity is in the creator, not the tool.

My father is a calligrapher. He's done work with the computer, and "it's okay," he says. But he always turns to ink and paper, and the results are always astounding.

The creator needs to have the right tool for the job. Unfortunately, we live in a world where popularity, market share, and share price mean more than the actual utility or quality of the thing.