Vegas vs FCPX vs Premiere vs Avid

Martin L wrote on 3/30/2012, 11:34 AM
I work at a Scandinavian trade magazine for Broadcast, video, film, audio and lights, the Monitor magazine.
We plan to do an article soon where we test FCPX, Premiere CS6, Avid and Vegas 11. We want to give all of them a fair chance and try to judge which is best, or rather, which is best for what type of user. Vegas is still quite unknown over here.

Our questions for Vegas is: Can it measure up to the others? What are its strong/weak points? Many FCP users are presently extremely disappointed at the X version and prepare to migrate to something else, probably Premiere or Avid. But would Vegas be an option too? If so, this could be an excellent opportunity to show what it can do.

What do you Vegas users say? Why have you chosen it? For those who prefer Vegas to any of the others, what makes you do that?
I would be pleased to read your brief and honest comments on this and might bring a summary of it into the article.
(By the way, we have tried to contact SonyCreativeSoftware for help in this test but still not received any answer from them.)


TheHappyFriar wrote on 3/30/2012, 11:59 AM
Things I love about Vegas (I've used 3, 4, 6, 8 & 10):
*Can run multiple instances at once
*Can install on multiple computers I own
*Great upgrade price
*Run on my wife's laptop & my desktop w/o any issues
*Accepts nearly all video/audio formats right to the timeline
*I can preview surround sound in real time
*I can preview my work w/o rendering anything on any system
*If I edit a file outside of Vegas it will update the file in Vegas automatically.
*East to use UI

I'm sure I can think of some others later.
R0cky wrote on 3/30/2012, 12:44 PM
I second those points. For me:

The user interface is by far the best. There is just no comparison.

Includes Dolby surround encoding. Adding this on to adobe is expensive. Dolby recognizes it as a compliant encode and will give you a license to use their logo trademark for free. Just try to get a BluRay trademark license. Sell your car to pay for it.

The best tool by far for doing audio and video together. Audio in premiere is a pain.

Much wider range of plugins available then for mac/FCP. Same plugin costs less frequently than for ProTools.

Multiple instances so I can be rendering and editing at the same time.

No media conforming needed though Premiere has caught up on this one I think, not sure.

Script support for user add on functionality. I don't write them but I sure use them.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 3/30/2012, 2:19 PM

Frankly, Vegas is struggling right now. Just read the posts here in the forum. I was a loyal Vegas user for nearly 12 years. When they started adding bells and whistles, it began getting bogged down. It got to the point where I couldn't edit without one issue after another.

Finally, I gave up and moved to Premiere Pro CS5. Now, I'm editing smoothly and everything moves along like it used to in Vegas, many years and many versions ago.

This is just one person's experience. There have been others.

Cliff Etzel wrote on 3/30/2012, 2:57 PM
I'm in the same boat as Jay. I gave up on Vegas Pro in Dec 2010 and have kept an eye on it's progress - which hasn't happened IMO.

Since moving to Premiere Pro Cs5 (now 5.5 and soon CS6) along with Adobe Audition, The only time Premiere has crashed was trying to import an AAF exported from Vegas. That's an EPIC FAIL in my book.

I'm even exploring Media Composer 6 - anything else is folly IMO.
Steve Mann wrote on 3/30/2012, 3:45 PM
Martin, Vegas has been an extremely stable system here. So reliable, we will upgrade mid-project without hesitation. If your users are new to video editing, then they will love the intuitive and easy to learn workflow in Vegas. If they are coming from another NLE like FCP, Avid or Premiere (all of which follow the ancient paradigm of film editing), then they will complain at first. I will put Vegas up against any other editor for a challenge (except for 3D compositing, which I have yet to learn) against any of the other big-name programs.

My advice is to simply download the demo versions of each and try them out.
Laurence wrote on 3/30/2012, 4:01 PM
Please don't do the article with Vegas 11! It will crash and burn and it will be a horrible review! For goodness sake, test V10 which has almost exactly the same features but actually runs smoothly! I would hate to see a review based upon V11 in it's current state. I love this software way too much!
fausseplanete wrote on 3/30/2012, 4:07 PM
Robustness aside, Premiere can't have multiple instances but has a nearest equivalent in the sense that a project/instance can have multiple sequences and a workspace can have multiple timelines (eg one for each sequence).

Also on timelines a kind of FCPX-like skimming can be set up (not in an obvious way) so you can skim a source-timeline and copy to a target timeline. I don't know if Avid can do that (multiple timelines in one workspace), but have read that FCP7 can. In Vegas my equivalemt of this is to have a source project/instance and a target project/instance.

Just one example area where comparison is not trivial.
TheRhino wrote on 3/30/2012, 4:17 PM
IMO Vegas is the best tool for small shops that run on a shoestring budget. I can charge my clients less because I get things done faster & most of the time my results match or exceed services costing 2X to 4X my rates. Therefore I agree with the points TheHappyFriar made & will add my own details:


*I can run multiple instances at once - which means I can render-out a SD & HD
version of a completed project while I start a new project in the foreground.

*I can install on multiple computers I own. As long as I have the source video files on a hot swap drive plus ONE VEG file, I can resume work at home when deadlines are pressing.

*I can just drag & drop almost any video & audio file right onto the timeline & start editing the native files right away. This is a BIG time saver & the reason I hate to switch to another NLE...

*I can preview my work w/o rendering anything on any system. With a fast 6-core CPU or fast GPU the previews are 30fps high quality which is a BIG time saver. The ONLY time I render is when I am done with a project or in the rare cases where I use a slower 3rd party effects.

*Vegas has superior sound editing capabilities. My sound editing is 4X faster than any other NLE and good sound is 60% of the project. I have saved 4X the labor just because I can go right to the same VEG file & fix the sound.

*I can do multi-camera work & color correction work in Vegas about 2X to 3X as fast as any other NLE. What I do is shrink each camera to 1/4th the preview window so that I can see all cameras at once. Using a mic I record my vocal switches "live" to an empty audio track as I watch the video from all 4 cameras at once. (I just call-out "One", "Two", "Three" etc. as I place a marker at the cut point) I then run a scipt to place a cut at all markers. I then listen to the video 2X to 3X speed and drag my choice to a new video track on top. (When I hear "three" at the cut point I grab the video from Camera 3 to the top video track...)

*Although just as capable as FCP, PPro or AVID Vegas is not an industry standard. When I tell pros I edit with Vegas they think I am an amatuer. Most have never heard of Vegas and those who have wrongly assume it is an amateur/home product.

*The inability of SCS to fix known bugs since the introduction of the 64 bit editions starting with 8.1. 9.0e is the least buggy but 10e and 11.59 are known for rendering to black & replacing footage.

*Poor marketing = Unknown future... When droves turned-away from FCP X Adobe's advertising campaign went into high gear. They not only demonstrated how PPro could be a true replacement for FCP, they also offered PPro at a considerable discount. Although part of the reason they could do this was because PPro also runs on Mac, SCS should have stepped-up to the plate & demonstrated how you can run Vegas on a Mac using bootcamp, etc. Since the cost of PCs is a fraction that of a Mac, Sony should advertise the merits of being able to do Pro editing on an affordable system. The Mac Pro line hasn't been updated since forever, so lots of pros are itching to make some changes since Apple seems to have abandoned them...

Workstation C with $600 USD of upgrades in April, 2021
--$360 11700K @ 5.0ghz
--$200 ASRock W480 Creator (onboard 10G net, TB3, etc.)
Borrowed from my 9900K until prices drop:
--32GB of G.Skill DDR4 3200 ($100 on Black Friday...)
Reused from same Tower Case that housed the Xeon:
--Used VEGA 56 GPU ($200 on eBay before mining craze...)
--Noctua Cooler, 750W PSU, OS SSD, LSI RAID Controller, SATAs, etc.

Performs VERY close to my overclocked 9900K (below), but at stock settings with no tweaking...

Workstation D with $1,350 USD of upgrades in April, 2019
--$500 9900K @ 5.0ghz
--$140 Corsair H150i liquid cooling with 360mm radiator (3 fans)
--$200 open box Asus Z390 WS (PLX chip manages 4/5 PCIe slots)
--$160 32GB of G.Skill DDR4 3000 (added another 32GB later...)
--$350 refurbished, but like-new Radeon Vega 64 LQ (liquid cooled)

Renders Vegas11 "Red Car Test" (AMD VCE) in 13s when clocked at 4.9 ghz
(note: BOTH onboard Intel & Vega64 show utilization during QSV & VCE renders...)

Source Video1 = 4TB RAID0--(2) 2TB M.2 on motherboard in RAID0
Source Video2 = 4TB RAID0--(2) 2TB M.2 (1) via U.2 adapter & (1) on separate PCIe card
Target Video1 = 32TB RAID0--(4) 8TB SATA hot-swap drives on PCIe RAID card with backups elsewhere

10G Network using used $30 Mellanox2 Adapters & Qnap QSW-M408-2C 10G Switch
Copy of Work Files, Source & Output Video, OS Images on QNAP 653b NAS with (6) 14TB WD RED
Blackmagic Decklink PCie card for capturing from tape, etc.
(2) internal BR Burners connected via USB 3.0 to SATA adapters
Old Cooler Master CM Stacker ATX case with (13) 5.25" front drive-bays holds & cools everything.

Workstations A & B are the 2 remaining 6-core 4.0ghz Xeon 5660 or I7 980x on Asus P6T6 motherboards.

$999 Walmart Evoo 17 Laptop with I7-9750H 6-core CPU, RTX 2060, (2) M.2 bays & (1) SSD bay...

BinaryCafe wrote on 3/30/2012, 4:30 PM
I am a long time user of Vegas. It has given me much pleasure over the years. I love its audio capabilities, the multiple formats it can handle, the ease of implementing transitions, keyboard shortcuts, real-time preview, and the ability to script to automate redundant tasks. Regarding FCP, I use my Mac only for music production (Logic Pro). I prefer to edit video on a PC, just a personal preference.

I haven't given up on Vegas yet, but let's just say that we're taking a break from each other right now. I've given her a lot of love over the years and she hasn't been treating me very well, lately.

I kicked myself too hard and for too long, since upgrading from Vegas Pro 10e to 11. There were two things I wanted from 11. I wanted GPU acceleration for quicker renders and NewBlueFX's titler, for obvious reasons. Each of these 'features' has provided me with deep frustration due to crashes.

I'm not a beta tester and don't want to be one. I don't want to submit crash reports and error logs to software developers. I want to get what I paid for, which is a NLE that runs with stability on a powerful system dedicated to the task. I am happy to invest my hard earned money in products that provide quality and reliability for myself and my customers/audience. When I don't get a good return on my investment, I take it seriously.

People/companies make mistakes. I'm OK with that, to an extent. How they respond demonstrates their character and commitment. That is, perhaps, the most frustrating thing about Vegas 11. I know SCS is trying to resolve these issues; however, based on the numerous and repeated comments in this forum, it's taking too long.

There seem to be a few Outliers running Vegas Pro 11 with stability; however, I find myself along with many others--on the sidelines--hanging my head in my hands every time I install a new build and am greeted with the now-all-too-familiar Vegas crashes and error messages. I've been wondering if I was the only one that made a switch to another NLE because of VP11. Jay and Cliff, thanks for your input. I know I'm not alone, now.

I'm sure there are others who feel they are at their wits end with VP11 and would make a switch... but we know it's not free to do so. It's not just the money for the software, it's the investment in time to learn the software and establish confidence with it... Plus, there's an intangible emotional element; let's face it, long-time Vegas uses don't want to make a switch. At least I didn't.

I was reluctant to make the move to a different NLE, but was nearly brought to tears by Vegas Pro 11 during a late-night video edit. The dozens of crashes I suffered through that night sent me over the edge to find a solution, regardless of the commitment required. We all have the same amount of time in ours days. None of us can afford to waste it.

I've made the switch over to Premiere CS5 (Adobe's Master Collection Suite) and am quite happy, again. The learning curve wasn't easy for me, but I am flying around the keyboard with confidence, experiencing real joy from my new work flow. The feeling of taking a concept, recording the video and audio, then editing and rendering...all without a single crash is something I took for granted with the earlier versions of Vegas. I've found that joy again in Premiere. I don't think I'm the only one that is in a state of borderline-bliss when it "all comes together".

I have not experienced crashes in Premiere CS5. btw, this is on the same system (specs in profile) that was rock solid with Vegas Pro 10e (but not Vegas Pro 11).

Vegas Pro 11 is broken and I don't waste time tinkering with broken things. I replace them.

Vegas Pro 11 caused me much stress. I love editing video. It's a passion. Vegas 11 tainted that for me. Premiere CS5's stability brought back my joy. I still check this forum, looking for news of fresh software builds. If future builds bring back stability, who knows... maybe I'll go back to Vegas. At least for a quick fling, or two. As the days go by, that becomes less and less likely.
ushere wrote on 3/30/2012, 5:48 PM
if it's for 'the broadcast industry' forget it. NO collaborative tools at all. can't even spit out an industry standard edl. (a facility that's been asked for since version 4!).

brilliant for one man band productions, but sony are trying too hard to add gimmicks BEFORE getting the basics stable.

one show-stopping bug, randomly replacing clips, has been around for ages, and surfaced recently in 11. this does not bode well for my future business with vegas.

newblue plugins, though very appealing, seem to be a major cause of vegas crashes. obviously NOT scs's problem, but it does reflect on them....
Andy_L wrote on 3/30/2012, 6:08 PM
+ Gloriously fast, easy, intuitive timeline editing of clips
+ Supports wide variety of formats
+ Probably the fastest/easiest way to get clips from camera to youtube

- Color correction/grading/exposure tools are pitiful
- bugs, broken features, missing features, illogical features, insane features
- It's not clear whether or not Sony wants Vegas to be a pro-grade App
- It's definitely clear Sony lacks the personnel & software development culture to turn Vegas into a Pro-grade App
PeterDuke wrote on 3/30/2012, 6:39 PM
"For goodness sake, test V10 which has almost exactly the same features but actually runs smoothly! I would hate to see a review based upon V11 in it's current state"

That would not be fair because people reading the review can't buy V10 now.

"9.0e is the least buggy but 10e and 11.59 are known for rendering to black & replacing footage."

I use Vegas Pro 9c and have had the occasional replace footage.

MUTTLEY wrote on 3/30/2012, 9:20 PM

I have literally built a career around Sony Vegas and quite frankly would most likely not be doing what I do without it. Despite decelerations from bitter grapes making exaggerated and unsupported sweeping claims like "Frankly, Vegas is struggling right now" or sounding the alarm by saying "Please don't do the article with Vegas 11! It will crash and burn and it will be a horrible review!" many of us are happily using it and making a living without issue.

- Ray
Underground Planet
TheHappyFriar wrote on 3/30/2012, 9:22 PM
So it seems the general consciousness here is that Sony should shut down Vegas tomorrow as it's crap. So much for a "What do you guys like about Vegas" thread, eh?

A few more pluses:

*Unlike Adobe, you're not forced to upgrade now or buy a new copy later. You can get the demo of the latest version when it's released, try it out & if it doesn't work, no worries, the upgrade price will be the same time NEXT year for the NEXT version.
*Support for ATI/AMD & Nvidia GPU acceleration
*32 & 64-bit compatible (both included)
*DVD & BD authoring straight from the timeline or with menus via DVDA (included)
*Nearly everything is keyframeable
*3D motions w/o using an external program
*At the 48 Hour Film Festival, all the "other" NLE's can't get their field order right on the DVD but Vegas does!
*Supports alpha channel, chroma key, mask FX & bezier mask for doing compositing.
MUTTLEY wrote on 3/30/2012, 9:29 PM

TheHappyFriar, wish the forums had a "Like" button like on Facebook. Consider this post a longer version of the "Like" sentiment.

- Ray
Underground Planet
Laurence wrote on 3/30/2012, 11:10 PM
>newblue plugins, though very appealing, seem to be a major cause of vegas crashes. obviously NOT scs's problem, but it does reflect on them....

I have all five New Blue "Video Essentials" installed. Vegas 11 crashes way before I get as far as using them however. Is that my problem? A New Blue FX / Vegas 11 incompatibility that is New Blue rather than SCS's fault?
deusx wrote on 3/30/2012, 11:52 PM
In my case Vegas' strongest point is that it is a great DAW and a NLE . To others it may not matter, but makes things simpler for me.

No other NLE does that, so Vegas is in a class of its own.

It doesn't crash or cause problems for me, so I've had no reasons to try newer versions of those other NLEs. I'd never buy FCP, it's always been garbage. AVID may be good, but left a bad taste from about 5-6 years ago. Just too picky with hardware while Vegas would install on anything, maybe even my cell phone had I tried it.

Vegas has always been simple. Drag and drop, edit and render. All done before other NLEs finish transcoding, calculating, importing or whatever other nonsense they do ( or used to do ). just to have video show up on the timeline.
ushere wrote on 3/30/2012, 11:55 PM
@ the world at large - vegas rocks! i've used nearly every nle out there and settled on vegas ver 4 to use commercially alongside my online suite many years ago.
fortunately as an independent production facility i had little need for collaborative tools, and when i did i fell back on our avid system, which in comparison to vegas seemed almost spartan and archaic.
i can in all honesty say vegas earned me more than enough to take early retirement, which has proved to be a misnomer since i'm getting offers of more work than i can handle.
11's latest release seems relatively stable so far, but see my note to laurence below.

@laurence - my 'generalised' statement was gleaned from many posts on this and other boards, and should have been more specifically aimed towards nb titler - which, in my experience was (and for all i know still is) a disaster. couldn't do more than a couple of things without it crashing and bring vegas down as well. maybe this has been sorted out? i don't know since i don't have time to waste supposedly beta testing 3rd party plugins.
VidMus wrote on 3/31/2012, 12:06 AM
Laurence Says, "I have all five New Blue "Video Essentials" installed. Vegas 11 crashes way before I get as far as using them however. Is that my problem?"

No, that is not your problem but you are not helping others help you find a solution when you do not provide any system specs to help determine what the difference is between my system where Vegas is 100% crash free and your system which has a lot of crashes.

AND NO I DID NOT SAY YOUR SYSTEM IS JUNK!!! Just different in some way than mine that means crashes on your system and none on mine!

To start with I do not have all of the New Blue stuff and it might be possible that your having them can cause Vegas to crash even before you get to them. I doubt if that is the case but it is just a thought.

But it seems as you are not willing to have a calm discussion on ways to solve the crashes on your system. Instead you are much more content to keep ranting over and over again! You insist that your system is perfect and that is the end of it!

Sorry, I just ranted a bit.

Please calm down already and lets have some sensible discussions on how to solve these issues. OK?

As for the topic of this thread, I cannot possibly compare Vegas to the other major NLE's because I have never really used them. I have looked at their tutorials to get an idea about them and as far as I am concerned Vegas has the best workflow of any of them! My twin brother uses Premiere and thinks that it is the best. Depends on how one does things and their logic.

I can slap a mix of different types of videos on the time-line as well as audio mixing and keep playing the video(s) and audio(s) while making adjustments in real time.

The number one problem with Vegas is too many people have not heard of it! That is because Sony/SCS gets a big 'F' when it comes to marketing it!

It pays to advertise!
nedski wrote on 3/31/2012, 2:33 AM
Martin, as you might be able to see from the comments here is that Vegas has a great number of strong features. Also you might see that most of the negative comments about Vegas are about it's stability. I hope in your review that you make the reported stability of each NLE as separate section. You should read the user comments of each NLE forum.

I've have Vegas 11, FCP7 and Premiere CS5 and I've had stability problems with all of them. Since none of them are perfect, I choose the NLE that is the closest to perfection and that is Vegas!

As some others have suggested, I don't think you should review older versions of each NLE., especially FCP. Apple killed the old versions of FCP. FCP X is pretty much a completely different product!
NickHope wrote on 3/31/2012, 3:58 AM
+ Not expensive. Generous licensing on multiple computers.
+ Ease of use. e.g. Dragging clips across each other to automatically get a cross dissolve.
+ Supports lots of formats natively (and responsively) on the timeline without transcoding.
+ Great scripting interface allows users to add all sorts of useful add-ons.
+ Vegas continues to play the timeline while editing etc. (Premiere would stop).
+ Solid audio functionality (Vegas started as an audio app).
+ Mouse wheel zoom. Would be hard to live without this.

- Priority is given to new features rather than improving/fixing old features such as HDV capture, credit roll, color curves.
- Lack of Windows XP support in version 11.
- Very slow response to support tickets.
- Almost no community involvement from the Sony team.
- Serious "replaced footage" bug remains.
- Serious "black clips/frames" bug remains.

I am using version 10.0e, not 11, and editing DV and HDV. I am returning to version 8.0c when I have completed my current project, due to better stability in that old version. The last 2 negative points (the 2 serious bugs), along with reports of poor stability in version 11, may well force me to look at an alternative NLE when I finally upgrade to more modern video formats (AVCHD etc.).

Maybe you should also include EDIUS in your article. It is certainly on my radar as an alternative, along with the others you are reviewing.
Christian de Godzinsky wrote on 3/31/2012, 4:27 AM

You should also include Edius in your comparison, a very capable, fast and professional, high quality application.

If just the latest Vegas release would be more stable it would probably be the best editor for those that work solo. Easy, affordable, intuitive. All applications have their shortcomings, and the only fair way of doing the comparison is just how you intended to do, what is best for each type of use...


PS: Please let us know when you publish your artice...

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

ushere wrote on 3/31/2012, 4:50 AM
+1 for adding edius (my fall back option)
Aje wrote on 3/31/2012, 5:34 AM
I´m writing this in Swedish to show Martin that we are some Vegas users here in Sweden and that I think that Vegas and this forum is fantastic.

Hej Martin!
Jag har använt Vegas sedan ver. 3.0 och uppgraderat till alla nya versioner f.n. ver. 11/595. Det har alltid förvånat mig att så få i Sverige känner till detta mycket potenta, prisvärda och lättarbetade redigeringsprogram.
Jag håller med om många omdömen ovan och vill bara tillägga att när ver.11 kom var det mycket instabilt och drog ner Vegas rykte men sedan built 595 fungerar allt som det skall igen (åtminstone för mig).
En sak till, forumet du just använt med din fråga är det bästa jag upplevt.
Man får alltid hjälp med problem och man kan lära sig allt om programmet av alla erfarna användare här.