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BEST NLE for Non-Mac?


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#1 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:26 AM

Can anyone recommend a good NLE for PC or Linux?

These are the ones I've seen:

WINDOWS
Vegas
Premiere Pro
Avid Media Composer

LINUX
Autodesk Discreet Smoke
K-Den Live
Cinelerra


I tried Vegas once but gave up on it and haven't found a great tutorial on it yet. I also tried Premiere Pro, it seems a bit sluggish. Has anyone tried Smoke? A linux solution would be neat. What are its limitations as an NLE?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:34 AM

I'd honestly go PC with AVID, it'll open you up to other projects many of which are posted with AVID and via automatic duck you can bring in FCP projects as well (or vice versa). In editing, you basically have 2 horse race, FCP and AVID; and I'd say a familiarity and ability to run both would be a good idea.
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#3 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:43 AM

I'd honestly go PC with AVID, it'll open you up to other projects many of which are posted with AVID and via automatic duck you can bring in FCP projects as well (or vice versa). In editing, you basically have 2 horse race, FCP and AVID; and I'd say a familiarity and ability to run both would be a good idea.


Hmm, I didn't realize how well it works with FCP. That sounds great. I'm a little concerned about the hardware requirements though. I have a 2 Ghz Core 2 Duo T61 ThinkPad and Avid Media Composer need at least 2.53. That seems a little excessive to me considering HDV editing wouldn't need a clock speed like that to run well. Is that high rating assuming that I'd be using a professional grade HD codec? Something equal or greater to Apple Pro Res?
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:50 AM

HDV is a lot more processor intensive, and if you're going to get into AVID you really need to run it on a certified system. It's very specific in it's hardware requirements in terms of how well it works. Now, if you meet those requirements then it runs like a breeze. If not, well then you're kind've asking for problems.
And a lot doesn't depend on the processor, but rather the RAM and your Video card in terms how how well an NLE will work. Other issues which come into play are the speed of your hard-drives. For example, I'm on a pretty well endowed Macbook Pro, and it runs wonderfully for both AVID and FCP, that is until I try to pull in a ProResHQ file from an external hard drive, when I get into a slight lag due primarily to the USB or FireWire Connection to the Mac.
if you're looking for an at home editing system on that kind of setup, I'd stick with Premier Pro. If you're planning on getting a new editing system, I'd highly consider a Mac-Pro or an HP workstation running either FCP and/or AVID if your'e on the mac, or AVID if you're on the PC. In either case, though, you'll ironically probably need to go with the Adobe Suite anyway, at least for After Effects and Photoshop to really be able to compete and edit with other peoples who can offer all these services at once (and hope you have some time to bone up on editing).

Back to HDV for a moment, it's not really a professional codec. it's heavily compressed and the reason for the sluggish response is that it needs to be "reconstructed," in a manner of speaking, to something that can be worked with. (It's a Long GOP format where it records 1 frame and then the changes to that frame for a bit, then another frame in order to pack more information onto that tape). And HDV will be a little jittery on any NLE, though more ram/faster processor/better graphics card will bring improvements to editing.

Hope this helps
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#5 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:09 PM

I might have misspoke. I was suggesting that HDV is a prosumer option. I have a MacPro (Early 2009) Quad Core at home with which I use FCP 7. That guy's got 8 GB of RAM too. I was intending to upgrade to 4 GB in my T61 but Avid is requesting some rather high CPU requirements and I was wondering if their requirement referred to more professional codecs (NOT HDV). I was hoping for a portable HD solution and would be happy with a prosumer codec editing set up for projects on my T61. It's just that Avid's CPU requirements seem a little excessive and I know that I've run FCP on 2 Ghz before while using a prosumer codec such as HDV.


HDV is a lot more processor intensive, and if you're going to get into AVID you really need to run it on a certified system. It's very specific in it's hardware requirements in terms of how well it works. Now, if you meet those requirements then it runs like a breeze. If not, well then you're kind've asking for problems.
And a lot doesn't depend on the processor, but rather the RAM and your Video card in terms how how well an NLE will work. Other issues which come into play are the speed of your hard-drives. For example, I'm on a pretty well endowed Macbook Pro, and it runs wonderfully for both AVID and FCP, that is until I try to pull in a ProResHQ file from an external hard drive, when I get into a slight lag due primarily to the USB or FireWire Connection to the Mac.
if you're looking for an at home editing system on that kind of setup, I'd stick with Premier Pro. If you're planning on getting a new editing system, I'd highly consider a Mac-Pro or an HP workstation running either FCP and/or AVID if your'e on the mac, or AVID if you're on the PC. In either case, though, you'll ironically probably need to go with the Adobe Suite anyway, at least for After Effects and Photoshop to really be able to compete and edit with other peoples who can offer all these services at once (and hope you have some time to bone up on editing).

Back to HDV for a moment, it's not really a professional codec. it's heavily compressed and the reason for the sluggish response is that it needs to be "reconstructed," in a manner of speaking, to something that can be worked with. (It's a Long GOP format where it records 1 frame and then the changes to that frame for a bit, then another frame in order to pack more information onto that tape). And HDV will be a little jittery on any NLE, though more ram/faster processor/better graphics card will bring improvements to editing.

Hope this helps


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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:11 PM

Avid should be ok on the 2Ghz. I have 2.4 in my own macbook running it.. the higher requirements are more than likely for their higher end codes (DNxHD i think is what they call it). I'd highly recommend dropping AVID an e mail. They've become a very approachable company, just give them you specs and they'll be happy to answer you, I'm certain.
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#7 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 02:21 PM

For out-of-the-box native editing of "exotic" formats (Panasonic P2, XDCAM, RED, AVCHD), the only game in town is Premiere CS 3-4. It definitely lacks the film editor refinements of AVIC and FCP -- but for those who use said formats, its a very strong contender in the crowded field of NLEs.
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#8 Brian Rose

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 03:30 PM

I for one swear by Premiere. I think it has been unfairly knocked in the past, for a variety of reasons. I got my start on Premiere, and so far have edited four features with it, and I don't know how many shorts. Recently, I went to work for a company that edited on Mac/Final cut, and honestly, I wasn't impressed. I mean, for all the "Anyone who's serious edits with Final Cut" hype, it was merely good, not spectacular.

And if you're doing client based work, most won't know Final Cut from Premiere from iMovie from Windows Moviemaker. All they care about is getting the final, edited product.

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself what you intend to do with the program? Are you currently, or hoping to become a professional editor? Then Avid might be worth the investment, because it is more prevalent in film and tv production (at this point). So having an AVID system, and being able to operate on it could be a nice feather in your cap. Otherwise, I'd say go with Premiere. CS3 is superb (it's what I use). I haven't used CS4 yet, so I can't attest to its quality, but if it improves upon CS3 like CS3 improved on Pro 1.5 and 6.5, it must be pretty awesome!

Hope this helps in your decision!

Best,

BR
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 03:55 PM

My feeling is that Premiere is a video program for computer people, whereas Avid is a computer program for video people. FCP is more similar to Avid than it is to Premiere, but I really don't like the approach very much - it's too tied down in being a replacement for linear video edit suites, which is where it came from, but I think it's slightly limiting. I was always a computer person first, so I'm a Premiere fan - it also integrates nicely with After Effects.

Really these days it isn't so much a factor of feature set. All the major editors are basically competent and can be used to do a wide variety of the usual tasks. It's not really about toys any more, although recent versions of Premiere are frankly better than FCP in this respect. If you need to cut a wide variety of different things you will rapidly find that FCP is rivetted, bolted and welded to Quicktime and if Quicktime doesn't like filetype X, you are, as our colonial cousins say, S.O.L., or at least in for a lengthy and disk-intensive conversion process.

There isn't really much on Linux. I have long been banging on at the Cinelerra people to accept some consultancy, because it seems that they're very much a bunch of software engineers who don't really edit at anything beyond the "youtube" level and it shows in the feature set (or lack of it). They have a very bad case of the disease which afflicts open source software projects with monotonous regularity and causes them to refuse the assistance of anyone who isn't a software engineer. Sadly it's the most promising thing for Linux and it is far from usable.

Vegas is actually very good. It's blisteringly fast and has excellent audio edit features (given its heritage). However, it has even less cachet than Premiere and it's not nearly as commonly used.

P
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#10 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 07:27 PM

Hmm, this has given me a lot to think about. I do FCP on my Mac for bigger projects but I wanted something for on the go projects that I could later put on the Mac or for when I need to visit a client and they want to work with the project. I've had occasions where videography clients wanted to sit in on a session and it'd be a nice service for them if they could have the work brought to them rather than make them visit me. Adrian, I appreciate the tips and I'll inquire with Avid. Saul, Brian and Phil I definitely appreciate your perspectives. Phil, I've tried Cinelerra and you're right it's not all that ready for pro use as of yet. KDenlive is pretty descent but that too lacks quite a bit.

The thing I'm mostly concerned with is that the NLE I want I'd like to have more in common with FCP in functionality. Vegas had quite a few differences in control. Kind of like switching from Photoshop to Gimp. Sure a lot of the same features are there but they don't operate quite the same way. So far it looks like a close tie between Premere Pro and Avid. What will break it is whether or not my laptop works for Avid's hardware requirements.
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#11 Brian Rose

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 08:55 PM

The thing I'm mostly concerned with is that the NLE I want I'd like to have more in common with FCP in functionality. .


I was just checking the specs on Premiere CS4, and found something you might like. It now has the capability to import Final Cut projects! Now what they're not clear on is if you can export a final cut proj, or if once you've imported the project, it is irrevocably changed, and no longer backward compatable. Anyone know for sure?

At least, it does give you some fluidity between programs!

BR
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#12 Richard Boddington

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:59 PM

It now has the capability to import Final Cut projects!


Sacrilege!! :D

R,
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#13 Brian Rose

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 12:06 AM

Sacrilege!! :D

R,


Premiere shall assimilate all other NLE software programs. Resistance is futile. Mwa-ha-ha-ha!
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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:31 AM

I'm kinda ok with that, Premier 5 was my first NLE, I'm just not going to call it Lecutus.
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#15 Glen Alexander

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 01:29 PM

Premiere shall assimilate all other NLE software programs. Resistance is futile. Mwa-ha-ha-ha!



Premiere's the best of the crowd, it's not bad but the codecs aren't really great. The SDK for hooking in your own or different codecs is pretty lame. Something seems amiss with hooking into DirectX, it finds some codecs but not others.
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