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Thinking of Upgrading


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#1 Carlton Rahmani

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 01:21 AM

In the last year, I decided I wanted to try dallying with every and any aspect of film/video production, and have been experimenting and trying out whatever stuff my limited budget would allow. (So this question will seem almost remedial to most of you. . .)
I have been working with Magix on my laptop, and, with a couple of cheap digicams and sometimes some help from Gimp, have been having a lot of fun making little shorts to experiment with technique, timing, transitions, and other 'aesthetic' elements. A LOT of fun.
I have become confident enough of my development (and dedication) that I am now considering upgrading to a professional setup to handle CS4 and Avid with the intent of making feature length productions.
For those of you who might be able to answer, though, what ARE the drawbacks and disadvantages of Magix in comparison to Avid?
Please don't give me any indignant or generic responses such as, "Night and Day," or, "Why even waste our time!?" I know that Magix is for home amateurs, and that Avid is for pros. . .and that the difference between the prices of the two of those exists for a reason. But understanding what the differences are would help me understand more about post-production in general. . .
Does it have to do with available functions? I noticed that there are things I want to do, but haven't been able to (so far) with magix. Such as still-frames. . .
What are the differences between fidelity or resolution? Are there any if all you're doing are cuts and fades, etc? I HAVE noticed that using certain effects results in an image that seems more 'pixelly', for instance.
And am I right to assume, for instance, that Magix can't handle any HD or film (via telecine) material?

I'm asking these questions because I want to make sure that it is worth my money to upgrade, as the process is going to cost me several thousand dollars.

But, like I already said, I'm having a lot of fun messing around with what I have, and am not displeased with what I've managed so far. As a matter of fact, I have learned to work with some of these quirks and somewhat learned to appreciate the effect that the 'digital grit' element brings. So much so that I'm actually thinking of producing an entire feature using the equipment and software I already have, as the visuals would match the theme of the story, itself. . .Plus, I can carry EVERYTHING I need to make it on my back.

However, I don't want to limit myself or my understanding.

Any feedback--or even links--would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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#2 Peter Moretti

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 02:23 AM

I can answer questions about what Avid can do. But I've never used Magix, so I can't you give you any kind of a product comparison.
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#3 Carlton Rahmani

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 06:39 PM

I can answer questions about what Avid can do. But I've never used Magix, so I can't you give you any kind of a product comparison.


Basically I'm wondering, as I'm gradually upgrading my (photography) gear, if Magix can handle higher-resolution material, such as high definition video or telecined 16mm with any adequacy. Also, I was wondering if anyone could compare the output capacity/resolution between the two editors, as I'm thinking about putting together a dvd (to sell), and was wondering if I need to remix my stuff on a higher end program before creating the product.

I guess my original question was pretty open ended; and I'm beginning to wonder there are any Avid editors who ever even used Magix. Thanks for your reply, though. Do you have a demo reel you can link me to? Or other examples of what can be done on Avid (and its effects)? It might help to flesh the matter out for me a little more.

some of my stuff--and I want to 'warn' that it is mostly experimental/kind of dada/avant garde--can be seen on my youtube account at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/BOBMAN1980
Just about everything posted in the last year was done on Magix, and maybe you can get a better idea of where I'm coming from.
Thanks, again.
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#4 Peter Moretti

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:26 AM

Avid can edit up to 1080 X 1920 resolution HD. Avid comes with software that can make both SD and Blu-ray DVD's.

I'm assuing you are using a PC. There are three main editors out there for you to consider: Adobe Premiere/CS4, Sony Vegas and Avid Media Composer.

One determing factor may be if you want to use your existing computer or are willing to upgrade. Depending on your current machine, it may not be compatible with Avid. Adobe is a little less pikcy, and Vegas will run on almost anything.

Premiere and Vegas will do even higher resolution than 1080 X 1920 HD, actually upto 4K. But unless you're using a Red camera, it won't really be of much use to you.

Avid comes with an excellent set of plugins from Boris FX that allow you to create many very high quality effects. These are superior to what you'll find in Vegas. Not that what Vegas gives you is bad... it's not.

I really think it comes down to how much $ you want to spend and what your existing computer is.

I'll be glad to answer more ?'s.
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#5 Rob Vogt

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:47 AM

I was thinking about picking up Avid Media Composer for quick, on-site edits on my laptop PC. I'm running an HP dv5, I have 3 GB of RAM running 32-bit Vista Home Premium. I'd archive any footage it through a USB 2 (no firewire) onto an external hard-drive. I'm wondering if my machine would be able to handle it. I was considering Vegas too, but Avid is actually cheaper through Academic Superstore by about $50 and its more a recognizable name.
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#6 Rob Vogt

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:55 AM

I can't seem to figure out how to edit my post anymore, but I also have AMD Turion Duel Core Processor 2.0 GHz and ATI redeon graphics card.
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#7 Peter Moretti

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:26 PM

Rob, while MC does often times run on non-qualifed computers that don't meet the system requirements, yours is very far out of spec.

There is a 14-day free trial. You could give it a shot, but even if it seems to work at first, there are no guarantees that you won't find inexplicable problems down the road. Vegas is much more computer agnostic.
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#8 Carlton Rahmani

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:55 PM

Thanks for the information, and I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you. As for what I've decided, and as luck would have it, I thought I should tell you that I managed to get a pretty good deal on a copy of Sony Vegas 7, which is probably exactly what I needed. I guess I still dream of an Avid system. . .but when one of my primary concerns was also portability (using my laptop which I just boosted to 2gigs RAM), and being able to upgrade without having to dole out $thousands, and after checking out reviews, and with some assistance from your perspective, Vegas 7 seemed to be optimum, for the time-being.
I thought I should add, here, that my original post/question was more-or-less trying to ascertain what the difference between consumer versus professional-grade editors. The videoguys.com have a pretty accurate explanation of things--the two biggest being key-framing and 'workflow'--or the ability to apply several effects to the same clip of video--both of which I was previously trying to work around through exporting, then reimporting, segments of videos, etc.
There are plenty of other minute differences, I'm sure, between the two formats--but that's pending more exploration and experimentation of Vegas, itself.
I thought I would also include that I decided to keep my old editing program to use, as well. Vegas doesn't recognize a lot of the AVIs I use, so I filter and export them Magix, first. Also, I've been doing a lot of work with 'time-lapse' material, and Magix comes in handy, as you can speed up things up to 5-times the original duration, whereas the version of Vegas I have only goes up to 3x. No biggy, but I though I'd list this just for anyone who might be interested, which is why I included most of the rest of this information.
Mostly, I just wanted to say thanks for the input, since it did point me in the right direction.
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 10:09 PM

Rob, while MC does often times run on non-qualifed computers that don't meet the system requirements, yours is very far out of spec.

There are computer deals out on ebay. I scored a pair of AVID qualified HP XW8400 workstations with Dual Xeon processors, 2GB RAM, Quadro Pro video cards, etc. off ebay six months ago for a little over $500 each. Both were coming off corporate lease AND still in warranty until this December! Media Composer runs like a dream on one of them, Pro Tools is in hog heaven on the other (with an M-Audio soundcard added).

Deals do exist.
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#10 Peter Moretti

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 02:48 AM

Carlton, you're very welcome. Vegas is a very powerful program in its own right. I really think you'll be happy with it.

Hal, you definitely scored!
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#11 Rob Vogt

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 08:59 AM

There are computer deals out on ebay. I scored a pair of AVID qualified HP XW8400 workstations with Dual Xeon processors, 2GB RAM, Quadro Pro video cards, etc. off ebay six months ago for a little over $500 each. Both were coming off corporate lease AND still in warranty until this December! Media Composer runs like a dream on one of them, Pro Tools is in hog heaven on the other (with an M-Audio soundcard added).

Deals do exist.


Nice Hal. Thanks for the heads up, I was thinking about building my own server with Xeon processors, but if I can get a deal like that I would be more than happy!
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