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Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.

COW Library : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate : Walter Biscardi : Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
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CreativeCOW presents Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise. -- Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate Editorial


Biscardi Creative Media
Buford Georgia USA

©2011 CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


Walter Biscardi has been beta testing Media Composer and gives his "Avid from a Final Cut Pro" point of notes in this article. This is not a full review, Walter tells us, but a point by point relay on Avid test systems, AJA Kona support, storage support, promises kept, and where it goes from here.



Avid kept their promise. I'll explain that statement shortly. And before we go any further, this is NOT a full early review of Media Composer 6. These are some of my "Avid from a Final Cut Pro" point of notes. If you want to read an outstanding, indepth early review, check out my buddy Shane Ross', "The More Open Avid Media Composer."

First I'll let you know that yes, I have been beta testing Media Composer. That might sound weird because quite honestly, the last time I used Avid for a full project was in 1995 at CNN. I was one of the first group of editors to be introduced to this "new technology" in '93 I believe and I flat out LOVED the concept of computer based editing. Then Media 100 for 6 years, and of course most recently, Final Cut Pro for almost 11 years.

I've told this story before, but I was not able to tell the "rest of the story" until now. This past April while at NAB in Las Vegas, I was invited to an Avid breakfast event. It was ironically the Tuesday morning that the SuperMeet was held. What I expected was several dozen to 100 folks at some sort of a marketing presentation. What I got was 25 minutes at a small table for 10 with CEO Gary Greenfield, Senior VP Ron Greenberg, CTO Tim Claman, Senior VP Chris Gahagan, Executive VP Ken Sexton, VP Christine Viera and Sales Manager Luke Smith and a few others. That got my attention. In all my years running Final Cut Pro I never even had a one on one meeting with anyone on the FCP team.

Mr. Greenfield started by saying nothing was off the table, ask the team anything I want. Naturally, the first request was "Open up the Avid to my AJA Kona boards." Over the course of the 25 minutes, all of the Avid executives basically tip toed around giving me a straight answer on the Kona boards and re-iterated "we're listening to our users." It was clear the product would be more open and almost certainly support AJA projects since the two companies have a long history together but nobody would come out and say it directly.

Then as the meeting ended and we were shaking hands, Mr. Greenberg leaned to me and said, "We'll have you in an Avid before the end of the year." Now mind you, I'm the guy who spent 10 years telling the editing world you DON'T need to use Avid. Save money and use Final Cut Pro! And here is the CEO of Avid telling me straight out, my AJA Kona board will be working with the next version of Media Composer AND it will be out before the end of 2011. Of course I could not say anything publicly about this until now. But Mr. Greenberg and Avid kept their promise.


Test Systems
We're a Mac shop and Avid has primarily designed Media Composer to run with Mac OS 10.7, Lion. However, our primary testing system is an older model Mac Pro 4 core machine with a Kona 3 still running Mac OS 10.6.8 because we're just not ready to upgrade to Lion yet. If you want to run Snow Leopard with MC6 you MUST have 10.6.8. It will not even install if you have 10.6.7 or earlier.

Now our entire facility is set up to run 6 Final Cut Pro workstations in a shared environment. We have nothing proprietary obviously because Final Cut was designed as a pretty open NLE that supported just about everything out there. One of the things I discussed with the Avid team out at Las Vegas was to open up the product to ALL of my hardware so all I had to do was change the software. Early indications are that they have done just that and have exceeded what most of us thought they would do.


AJA Kona Support
We've tested with the AJA Kona 3 so far in our shop because I kept the testing system limited to just two machines. I can report that the AJA Kona 3 works better with Media Composer 6 than it ever did with Final Cut Pro. What I mean by that, is especially when it comes to VTR control and tape capture, the card performs flawlessly and the controls are more snappy than what I'm used to in FCP. Really shouldn't be a surprise since Avid has been around for so long, but new to me.

This was a different experience than the current sluggishness issues inherent in Adobe CS 5.5 with the AJA Kona boards. I fully expect that sluggishness to improve when Adobe CS 6 is released, but at the moment, the Kona boards are running as if they've always been in operation with Media Composer. Performance is simply outstanding.

One other pleasant surprise has been the performance of MC6 / Kona on the older system. When we tried to run Adobe CS 5.5 in this same 4 core machine, it kept stuttering during playback of ProRes files. After investigating with AJA, we found that 8 core was the minimum configuration that would support CS 5.5 with ProRes and the Kona board. We're not seeing any stuttering or any playback / editing issues with the DNxHD codec so far. We haven't pushed the system hard yet, but so far, we can edit with MC6 on these older machines.

I have not tested with BlackMagic or Matrox products, but I'm told that they are working with Media Composer 6 as well.


Storage support
This was the make or break decision maker for me and Avid. Avid has traditionally been very closed with their storage solutions. You used Avid Storage or nothing at all. That has been changing slowly over the past few years but in our case, we're running a Small Tree Communications Ethernet based shared storage system. 48TB shared to up to 12 workstations all connected via ethernet with no management software controlling the SAN.

When we first started testing I just had a local drive connected to the Mac Pro mainly because when you're beta testing, you expect instability in a system. That's why we test, to help the manufacturer not only figure out cool new features, but what causes a system to get unstable. So I kept the testing system off the SAN during early testing.

This past week we brought the SAN into play and initially we thought it didn't work. As I'm new again to Avid, there was a miscommunication between what the engineers were asking me to do and what we thought they wanted us to do. We could link to the SAN using the "Link to AMA Volume" command, but could not select the SAN in the Media Creation Panel for capture / render. Once we got our communication solved, we got the SAN active as a media drive. There's a command you have to enter that will trip folks coming from Final Cut Pro so I'll tell you what we had to do in case you find yourself not able to connect to the media drives you want to use.

Here you can see that while my 4 SAN partitions are sitting on the desktop of the Mac, they are not available in the Media Creation Tool. It doesn't acknowledge that the drives are there.





So to correct this, you have to go to the Console via Tools > Console or shortcut Command 6.





In the Console type the command alldrives and then hit return. Note, all one word, all lower case. If you did it correctly, you'll see the following at the bottom of the Console acknowledging that all drives connected to the computer can be "viewed as media drives" not just "true media drives."





Now we go back to the Media Creation panel and voilà, the SAN is now active and ready to be captured to.





We just got this figured out a few days ago and have not pushed the system at all yet. That will come this week, but the fact that our ethernet SAN is available at all is a huge step forward for Avid opening up the software to many more storage solutions. The way Avid manages their video elements is a bit different than what we're all used to with Final Cut Pro and we need to test with multiple systems accessing the SAN to ensure it's all going to work as expected, but early indications are promising.


Now what?
So where does all of this leave us? Initially I thought Adobe was in the catbird seat for the Final Cut Pro market because all of our third party hardware works with CS 5.5 already and CS 6 will almost certainly improve that compatibility.

Well I have to say Avid delivered a much more open Media Composer 6 than I expected. With this release, Avid is definitely a valid choice for the Final Cut Pro user / facility that is looking to move away from that platform while still utilizing their third party solutions.

In other words if you've been waiting to see "what going to happen next" for your Final Cut Pro 7 shop, you've got two excellent options available to you now. Adobe Creative Suite and Avid Media Composer.

Which one should you buy? Well, download the 30 day free trial for both and decide for yourself. Consider which application fits your editing style best and also network with the other Final Cut Pro editors / post houses in your area. You need to consider what everyone else in your are is doing so you don't become an island that is not compatible with other folks in your immediate area.

If you're a freelancer, I would HIGHLY recommend learning both apps. Certainly concentrate on one of them, but at least have a working knowledge of the other. What are we doing? Well we got a bit more testing to do with the SAN and Avid before we finalize our plans. I can tell you we will support Final Cut Pro 7, Adobe Creative Suite and Avid Media Composer in our shop because we're an independent Post House and it makes sense to support all of them. As to what will be our primary editing tool, we'll make that decision in another week or so after more testing with the SAN.

Yep, we'll report back right here on this same channel in the near future. Let me just say thank you to Avid for allowing me to participate in the program. It's been a great experience and we hope to be able to help them more in the future.







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Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Daniel Roujansky
If I am working with OS 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) and currently editing with Avid Media Composer 5.5 but wish to upgrade to 6 & further, can I continue using 10.6.8 or must I upgrade to Lion or better?

Daniel Roujansky
President, Spotlight Media Group, Inc.
Director, Technical Director, Avid/FCP Editor
droujansky@aol.com
@Daniel Roujansky
by walter biscardi
You need to go Lion and up.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Jim Gilson
Something Avid, IMO, still needs work on is Customer Service and Activation simplicity. I purchased MC 6.0 and it took hours to install it onto my workstation and laptop. I was working on a Saturday for a Sunday session and it was impossible to get in touch with a human on their "no action" lines. Plus, it is very cumbersome to go through Avid's Activation/Deactivation process.
What Avid seems to not remember is: the main reason the decision makers at large post houses switched to Apple was that they were tired of Avid's extortion modus operandi.
Every editing program I use allows me to operate on either my laptop (when I'm in the field) or my workstation, without the need to "Deactivate/Activate" Plus MC 6.0 doesn't seem to like to capture SD footage from firewire devices.
In lieu of that, today I downloaded FCPX as a backup system.

"It's OK. They're speaking Chinese" - Firesign Theatre
@Jim Gilson
by walter biscardi
Activation is actually one thing that worked quite well for us. I have read about others who did have issues though, but fortunately for us it wasn't a problem.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: @Jim Gilson
by Jim Gilson
The 1st install/activation [onto my macbook pro] went without a hitch. This was a Saturday afternoon. Everything ground to a beaurocratic halt when I attempted to install at my workstation. Being on hold with Avid's phone "support" reminded me of their early days [the pizza box years]. Only worse. I have always preferred the mc interface but, it appears that you only get, even basic, service for a price. This is where the VPs at the big houses are going to get courted by Adobe. When you need service wherever/whenever/ whomever, they will have a portal open somewhere to help you keep their system working.

Believe me. I want Avid to succeed, but, this is the area that needs the most attention or someone else will service their costomers for them...ie...Adobe.

"It's OK. They're speaking Chinese" - Firesign Theatre
Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Jeremy Edney
Hey Walter et. al.,

Anyone tested MC 6 with Blackmagic cards (specifically the HD Extreme)? Considering the upgrade from 5.5 to 6 if my card is supported.

Thanks all,

Jeremy

Bonesaw
@Jeremy Edney
by walter biscardi
I have not tested personally with BMD cards yet, but I do know that the 3D Extreme does work with MC6 based on what testers were saying during the Beta.

MC6 is available for a 30 day free trial download, fully functional, so my advice is to simply download it and try it out.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Chip Dizárd
Thanks for this detailed post. I teach FCPX to my High School students but I am considering switching the advanced students to Avid. This article pretty much sealed it for me. I am calling the Avid rep on Monday so next semester we can make the switch.

Chip Dizárd
Teacher, Trainer, Editor, Director, Golf Hacker
http://www.webvideochefs.com
http://www.chipdizard.com
Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Tom Olsen
As someone who has been using Avid since 1988, who was forced to learn FCP, I am so happy that Avid finally adjusted to the times and listened to what some of us have been begging for for years. Bought the crossgrade last week and I can't wait to dig in to 6. Sure a lot of people say they are going with Premiere but I think a reasonably priced, 64 bit, open version of Avid will prevail and recover a big chunk of market share.
@Tom Olsen
by walter biscardi
Sure a lot of people say they are going with Premiere but I think a reasonably priced, 64 bit, open version of Avid will prevail and recover a big chunk of market share.

That's the million dollar question, how much of a share will Avid get? Up until now, one of my friends in LA said the people who are switching to Avid are actually "going back" to Avid. Nor do I know anyone who is brand new to Avid going that way at the moment. Most folks, including me, have been testing moving towards Premiere because it's a natural move from one to the other and most of us already have it on our systems.

I will say none of us expected the product to be this open when it came out. I figured storage was still going to be a nightmare, but that has proved to be wrong. So we're all very impressed with Avid in our shop, now we just need to hope that the company can survive as essentially software only. We know Adobe can because they've built up such a suite of products that makes them overall a stronger company. That's the last piece of the puzzle with MC6. Can the company survive financially the new business model? We'll know in the next 12 months.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Sebastian Schmidt
As far as I know there are two Avid-independent applications for collaborative workflows within Media Composer: "Flavoursys Strawberry" and "Editshare"
I was told Strawberry was created originally for a german tv station.

Litte hint: use the tab-key for smart-tools on/off makes editing very fast.
Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Jesse Glucksman
Walter--thanks for the great review. I do freelance color correction for lower-budget projects and have felt trapped in FCP-land for a few years now. I was very excited to hear that Avid was finally allowing Symphony to work with other hardware, and that the software price will actually be affordable for me. Reading about your positive experiences with MC only firms up my hopes to return to Avid soon.
@Jesse Glucksman
by walter biscardi
my pleasure. We all pretty knew the AJA Kona boards would work well since AJA has been powering Symphony for years now. But having our storage work so well now is also a great addition to the mix.

Yep, Avid / Adobe. Two excellent choices for the editor who wants to move away from FCP.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: @Jesse Glucksman
by sushil sharma
hi
"since AJA has been powering Symphony for years now".really? symphony was using nitris. avid DS is using AJA from quite a long. but DS is very different architecturally from media composer and symphony. symphony and media composer have common code not DS. so AJA support is written from the ground up for MC 6. i think the confusion is because previously DS and symphony could reside on same machine with nitris board but when DS went for aja symphony simply could not detect AJA.
regards
Re: @Jesse Glucksman
by walter biscardi
[sushil sharma] ""since AJA has been powering Symphony for years now".really? symphony was using nitris. avid DS is using AJA from quite a long. but DS is very different architecturally from media composer and symphony. symphony and media composer have common code not DS. so AJA support is written from the ground up for MC 6. i think the confusion is because previously DS and symphony could reside on same machine with nitris board but when DS went for aja symphony simply could not detect AJA."

AJA has been making the Symphony hardware for years now. It was just OEM equipment. That is, the AJA name appears nowhere on the cards. AJA makes a LOT of hardware for the industry that is not labeled, that's why the company is as big as it is today. Not just from FCP user, but from the entire production industry where their hardware is a part of many many products.

Yes, it is correct that the drivers for Media Composer is completely different and written from scratch but AJA hardware has been driving Symphony for some time now.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: @Jesse Glucksman
by sushil sharma
oh strange. well thanx for the info walter.
regards
Re: @Jesse Glucksman
by Scott Cumbo
As someone who is use to using avid hardware, that's been my major concern with avid opening up to new cards. I always hated capture or layoff in fcp.... It's just horrible where in avid I would insert fixes onto a master tape all day long without worry and on fcp with a kona card I would always need to relay entire segments because I couldn't trust it to insert into anything other than black. So i just hope they got it right with the kona cards. Cause I know my place will have plenty of duel boot avid/fcp once ver6 comes out. And if fcp really disappears than all our fcp rooms will turn into avoids with kona hardware.

Scott Cumbo
Editor
Broadway Video, NYC
Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Stephen Smith
Walter, you said Premiere played ProRess clips back clunky. What card are you using?

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials
@Stephen Smith
by walter biscardi
AJA Kona board on a 4 core Mac Pro. For the AJA boards, need to be on a Mac Pro 8 core. I've talked about this in the past in the AJA Kona forum.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Shankar Bhat
@Denis Velinsky

Keyboard shortcut functionality are visibly different between the erstwhile Xpress Pro and the Media Composer. So, it is still possible to go to previous and next edit points without entering the trim mode. Just needs a onetime [per user] keyboard remapping. Simply change the 'A' and 'S' to rewind and forward keys from the Command Palette 'Ctrl+3' They also work great when the capture tool is active.
@Shankar Bhat
by Denis Velinsky
Oh! You just saved my life! Thanks a lot!
@Denis Velinsky
by Shankar Bhat
And i suppose you would want the Up and Down arrows to zoom in and out of the timeline :) By default Up/Down will be set to previous and next for a multicam ganged clip. Using the Menu to Button reassignment, we can add More Detail [Zoom In] and Less Detail [Zoom Out] from the Timeline Fast Menu [Sandwich Menu] to the Up/Down Arrows.
Am attaching the Keyboard layout i use, very similar to the Xpress Pro but with some Mods for Render, Video Quality [helps with AMA media] etc. And i use the Shift+Y and Shift+U for Top and Tail

Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Mark Suszko
I'm curious about comparing the unified suite of sister applications in the Premiere bundle, to their analogues in the Avid world. How does the new Avid play with photoshop and AE for example?

Character Generator? Simple fx and DVe moves? Keyframing? Audio treatment? I've ignored Avid for so long I'm out of touch frankly with how people use it in a situation where you have to bring all the parts into play for sweetening sound, grading, adding compositing, etc.
@Mark Suszko
by walter biscardi
We are still playing with stuff in Avid. From what we understand, it talks very nicely to the Adobe Suite, but we're still testing out the basic editing with our SAN.

Basic title tool is very basic, but they do have the Marquee which is a very nice title tool.

I'll definitely follow up with a much more comprehensive article about how things compare, although Shane Ross did do a very nice job already in his article.

As I just said in my previous response, Avid ain't FCP so we're going to have to relearn some ways of doing things, but the basic operation is the same. I've been out of touch with Avid since 1995 so it's been a while. :)

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Denis Velinsky
What can you say about MC editing experience having FCP background? As for now I can try MC 5.5 only, but what bothers me is the lack of keyboard shortcuts in comparison to FCP. I am constantly forced to use mouse for navigating the timeline. I'm not some shortcut geek, but not having the ability jump through the cuts without entering trim mode is very annoing. Or maybe i didn't find the way to do it? What is the situation with modifier keys in MC 6? Are ctrl and alt keys open for custom shortcuts? If it does - can you put several shortcuts on one key with different modifiers?
@Denis Velinsky
by walter biscardi
Still learning the Avid way of editing. Look Avid is not Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Pro is not Premiere. If you switch to another NLE, then you have to adjust your editing style to fit the new NLE.

If you've been using FCP like I have for 10 years you're going to love and hate things in both applications. So Premiere is almost Final Cut Pro 8 because it behaves so similarly in a lot of ways, yet it's much more clunky in some ways.

Avid is what Avid has always been. It was not designed for FCP editors, it was designed to improve on their already proven architecture. So in some ways they have brought some of the "FCP way" of editing into MC6 but the base Avid is still Avid.

If you go from FCP to any other NLE you're going to have to give yourself a month before you can truly appreciate the new software as you will have to "unlearn" some of what you know. What you realize is that in some ways both Avid and Premiere are slower than FCP but in other ways they are much faster. You just have to truly use the apps and understand how they operate before making your decision as to which to go with.

I'm already able to do some tasks much faster in Premiere than I ever could in FCP. Avid tape capture / operation just blows away FCP and Premiere. I would probably be fully up to speed if I just sit at the Avid system for two weeks and do nothing else.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by illya laney
AVID can basically map any menu command or function to any key. You can create different workspaces(color correction, source record editing, etc.) and when you switch between them, you can actually link different keyboard layouts to each different workspace. If you want to save all those layouts and prefs, AVID creates a user file that can be transported and loaded to any system you switch to. Just get more in depth with the manual and you'll see all the crazy customization that's possible.
Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Eugeny Korkhin
In fact, "alldrives" command seems to have been there for ages, at least since Media Composer 2. So, it is not a huge step forward for Avid. It just leaves them at place. I don't mean to criticise what you've said, I just want you to put facts right, with no exaggeration and dithyrambs when they are actually not deserved.
Furthermore, though MC now supports so many 3rd party hardware, they've eliminated support for some of their own products like Avid Mojo SDI. "They are moving forward. Why support that vintage stuff?" - you may say. But this stuff works for me and lots of my collegues, who at the same time wnat to go forward with 64-bit, better AMA (transcoding to Avid native format will make you mad one day) and so on, but still wishing to have an ability to use the hardware they posess to make a Digital Cut or print to tape in other words (I remember you being upset this summer with lack of this feature in one particular product (let's call it X). I'm not sure there is a way to keep my 5.5 version on the same machine i'm going to install 6 onto.(If there is, then it's less frustrating and problem mentioned above is nothing more but inconvenience). For now, it's like either stay 32-bit and you may print to tape using what you have invested in, or move to 64-bit and forget it. Or go invest. Not so sweet.
Now, concerning what Juan Morales said: you can't open a project by multiple users at the same time. You'd still need an ISIS...
That is not a correct statement. Why would you say "you can't", while you actually can? Moreover, not only can, but you can even be quite safe with several people working on the same project simultaneously. Some workarounds are definitely needed, but in the end you just have to be careful and take into account some simple rules. We've had this workflow for years now and it works just fine. And no project copies required since Avid project is dramatically different to Final Cut Pro project.
P.S. By saying "project" i mean project. Not the sequence. (Just in case someone adopted to the new "reinvented" terms sees the post)
@Eugeny Korkhin
by walter biscardi
Now, concerning what Juan Morales said: you can't open a project by multiple users at the same time. You'd still need an ISIS...
That is not a correct statement. Why would you say "you can't", while you actually can? Moreover, not only can, but you can even be quite safe with several people working on the same project simultaneously.


We tried this yesterday and could not get it to work. We will test some more with it, but while one workstation was able to open the project, the second one could not access it.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: @Eugeny Korkhin
by Eugeny Korkhin
Sounds strange. Never faced that kind of difficulties with Avid. May be that is a Mac related issue... permissions or something...)) We have all PC's. I'll give it a try tomorrow by inserting a Mac in our workflow and post the results, but as far as I remember we had that experience already and it was all good. Obviously, I don't have MC 6, thus the results may be treated not valid....
@Eugeny Korkhin
by Eugeny Korkhin
We tried this yesterday and could not get it to work. We will test some more with it, but while one workstation was able to open the project, the second one could not access it.


Now I must confirm the same situation with v5. But I guess that only relates to Mac... It behaves like this:
If the project is opened on a Win machine first, then it it is impossible (at least for now) to open it on a Mac. In a reverse situation, opening the project on a Mac doesn't block the ability of Windows machine to access it. But... Still there are problems on a Mac side: importing media (not with AMA, but with an oldschool import) on a Win results an expected "scanning" on a Mac, but instead of updating it's database and having an access to that new media, it interrupts with an error message somewhere in the middle... not even listing imported file in the bin until the project is reopened. But when listed, it was offline, since it hasn't been scanned properly. AMA, at the same time, worked fine: file immediately appeared in the bin and played well.
This situation never took place in a Windows environment. Will test that more.
@Eugeny Korkhin
by walter biscardi
In fact, "alldrives" command seems to have been there for ages, at least since Media Composer 2. So, it is not a huge step forward for Avid. It just leaves them at place. I don't mean to criticise what you've said, I just want you to put facts right, with no exaggeration and dithyrambs when they are actually not deserved.

I actually missed this on my first reply. If you read the article, I didn't say this was new. I was simply showing the Final Cut Pro editor the command in you have to enter in the Console in order for storage to show up if it doesn't automatically.

Coming from Final Cut Pro we're not used to having to tell the NLE to see a drive to capture, with FCP anything that's attached is immediately available.

So no exaggeration at all with this. It's a basic command that an editor coming from Final Cut Pro will have to know.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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@walter biscardi
by Eugeny Korkhin
Walter, you got me a little bit wrong. If you read my post, the point was "it is not a huge step forward for Avid". And that relates to what you wrote:

"Avid has traditionally been very closed with their storage solutions. You used Avid Storage or nothing at all."

"...the fact that our ethernet SAN is available at all is a huge step forward for Avid opening up the software to many more storage solutions."


So, what i meant is that at this side there's nothing new and nothing to thank Avid for))
Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by David Roth Weiss
Frankly, I'm not surprised Walter. As I've stated often, I think my town will soon be all Avid all the the time, and anyone seriously working in the "professional space," i.e. in an ecosystem that requires a seamless exchange of projects and files, will pretty much have to rely on Avid from this point forward, at least until Adobe gets Premiere completely ramped-up.

Of course, we all could be surprised one day in the future should Apple be able to bring FCPX back into the professional ecosystem that I've described, but we all know that might never happen.

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@David Roth Weiss
by walter biscardi
I had a discussion with a former Avid editor about the future and he made an interesting point. Up to this point the only people he was aware of switching to Avid were people who used to edit on Avid. That is they were "returning to Avid." New Avid users did not seem to be coming along yet. It seems to be about the same here in Atlanta.

I think much of this had to do with folks, like myself, waiting to see just how open the new MC6 was going to be before making any sort of a decision. Obviously with the latest financial news out of Avid, they will need a lot more than just the folks returning to Avid if they are going to make the software dominant business model work.

I'll be curious to see if Avid runs that $995 cross grade special again for a short period when the product ships.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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@walter biscardi
by Mike Jeffs
Walter,

We at BYU Idaho have been FCP for the last 7 years and before that they were VideoToaster. I just submitted our Purchase order for 6 Licenses of MC 6. So we are NEW Avid uses. I suspect many people were like us, waiting to see what MC 6 provided. The fact that we don't have to switch out a single piece of infastructure was what sealed the deal for us.

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator
BYU-Idaho
Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by walter biscardi
An update to this article.

I'm hearing that Avid will not "officially" support Mac OS 10.6.8. That is if you have issues with your system and you're running on 10.6.8, it's more than likely Avid will recommend that you upgrade to OS 10.7, Lion.

MC 6 was primarily designed to run on 10.7 on the Mac, but we're not in a position where I want to update our primary editing systems to Lion yet. So it does work on our system, the public release will work on 10.6.8, but for how much longer after the initial release of MC 6 it will continue to work on Snow Leopard is anyone's guess.

I certainly understand Avid's position on this since Lion is the OS moving forward and with a brand new 64bit Media Composer interface, it's much easier to engineer the product to run on the absolute latest 64 bit operating system. It's a very good business decision on their part.

So just FYI for those of you getting ready to download MC 6 as soon as it's available.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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@Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Bret Williams
This summer I had the same results with MC 5.5 demo, and Premiere CS5 (which I already had). Same exact experience on an original Mac Pro that is only a 2ghz. The Avid ran flawlessly. Much better than FCP in fact. And AMA was seamless. The h264 files I threw at it ran no different than the pro res files. Premiere, although an easier learning curve for the FCP user, just felt clunky. And with it's special new Mercury engine it still couldn't play back my FCP Projects which were proves 422. It was also kinda glitchy on whether it would import them or not. Many times the XMLs just gave some sort of error and you were sol. The hot keys were great, but they were't totally the same, so I decided to just learn them the right way. But the whole experience was just a crash laden clunky experience. Avid, while it felt pretty old school, was a far better performer as a 32bit app vs. premiere's 64 bit mercury thing. The Matrox Mini was flawless with it as well. So I downloaded the newer CS 5.5 trial of Premiere and the results were the same. In fact, I was also having troubles keeping monitoring working with Matrox mini and premiere. It was a magic trick to make it work, and then it would just stop after 5-10 minutes. New drivers, Lion, CS 5.5 never helped. So I put it down and I'm in hold until Premiere, Matrox and ProRes get their act together. I think I'll end up using both. The Premiere AE connection is great, and I hear good things about audition. But I think the higher end work will go back to Avid. Maybe Premiere will improve with a newer MacPro with a Mercury compatible card and CS6. But like a lot of Matrox and FCP users out there I'm kinda tired of waiting and am more impressed with what works NOW. Avid works with Matrox Mini now as 32bit 5.5, AND it sounds like things are only better in 64bit MC 6.

All in all, I'm now more worried about the Macintosh Platform on the whole. Both Premiere and Matrox are more beneficial to use on Windows for sure, and both companies have quite the history of leaving Mac customers is the dust. Avid has some similar past issues with the Mac. Final Cut Pro on a Mac Pro forced Adobe and Avid to take the Mac post world seriously. Without competition from FCP, and without a new Mac Pro, why would Avid or Adobe put the Mac versions of their apps first?
Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Daniel Frome
I was also among the beta crew. Been using that networking trick for a few months and it works great. Extra bragging rights: I can even connect wirelessly on my macbook pro and edit XDCAM proxy media "over the air." I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but it's been fun.
Re: Media Composer 6: Avid kept their promise.
by Juan Morales
It's no secret that MC can work with any SAN, but unfortunately you can't open a project by multiple users at the same time. You'd still need an ISIS or similar dedicated SAN system for that... And it looks like Avid won't give this feature. Did you know this, Walter?
@Juan Morales
by walter biscardi
In Final Cut Pro you cannot open the same project at the same time with multiple users on our system either. So we create a "B" project when we have to have to folks on the same project simultaneously.

I suspect we'll do the same with Avid. We're going to play with that this week. It's a very easy workflow and one that we've used for years now.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Bins
by illya laney
With Avid you just copy over bin files. When dealing with dailies we just create a bin that references the media and send that with an ALE to editorial. No need to send or copy projects and it works well if you don't have access to a shared project environment. For example, you can have an assist capturing on one system, then they can copy the bin over to the editor's project folder and the editor can just open that bin in their project on a separate system. There's no need to duplicate huge projects and sort through them or have the editor manually track down media and import it into their project.


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