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Avid announces brand new everything at Avid Connect 2015

It’s was Saturday at NAB 2015 and Avid’s Avid Connect event was in full swing as CEO Louis Hernandez Jr. took the stage and let out a slew of announcements that continues Avid’s advance forward. I was on a plane on the way out to Las Vegas so I missed the event. But Twitter kept us in touch with all that was going on. And there’s news for the editor.

There really was a ton of announcements coming from this newly invigorated Avid. I won’t touch on the audio console and music notation but rather go over what we editors might look forward to. A special thanks to Michael Kammes for tweeting a lot of good stuff from the event.

Media Composer | First

Just like the Pro Tools | First announced earlier this year Media Composer | First will bring a limited, free version of the Hollywood-standard NLE to market. This isn’t surprising considering the Pro Tools version as that seems part of Avid’s strategy: Give the masses something they can learn on before up-selling to the full featured product. Here’s 5 things Avid wants you to know about MC | First.

We’ll probably have to wait until the full specs for MC | First is out in the wild to see exactly what limitations it has but the one that surprised me most was the 3 project limitation and those projects live in the Cloud. That doesn’t mean your media will live in the cloud I don’t think but that makes me wonder if you can work offline?

These are the bullet points from Avid’s Media Composer | First webpage:

  • Settings—limited and simplified, offering reduced or no customization
  • Menus—offers a subset of the full Media Composer menus
  • Timeline—limited video and audio tracks, with a simplified interface
  • Source/Record Monitors—simplified interface
  • Bins—limited column support, with limited types and number of bins
  • Closed Captions—offers limited functionality
  • LUTs—limited and simplified, offering reduced or no customization
  • Import/Export/AMA—limited and simplified, offering reduced or no customization
  • Titles—basic titles with a few included templates
  • FX—basic effects like PIP, Dissolve, Flip/Flop, offering reduced or no customization
  • Buttons—No re-mapping of buttons
  • Keyboard—Default mapping only, offering reduced or no customization
  • Trim—limited and simplified, offering reduced or no customization
  • Interface—limited and simplified
  • Multicam—limited and simplified
  • Compatibility—Media Composer | First will not work with Interplay | Production, Interplay | MAM, MediaCentral | UX, or ISIS systems

I wonder if this First version of MC will get an interface overhaul. By overhaul I don’t mean a ground up redesign but rather refinement so the interface isn’t so “clunky.”

One serious problem Media Composer has when trying to win over a next generation of editors is that clunkiness they feel as many college age editing students have already used other NLEs; maybe Premiere Pro, often FCPX, usually iMovie. Most all of them I’ve encountered can see a fluidity and smoothness that is missing from Media Composer. Anything you do stops playback. You have to click and double click on everything. Click a window to bring the app back to the forefront and all the other windows don’t come along with it. These are all things young-uns comment on when coming to Media Composer. And they are all things that shouldn’t happen in a modern NLE.

But what MC | First will do is give those young editors who want to make it in movies and television post-production a leg up they might not have had otherwise because they couldn’t afford Media Composer before their move to Hollywood. Use Media Composer | First to become fast and efficient with that tool then all you need is the storytelling chops.

Sign up to be notified about Avid Media Composer | First right here.


Avid is getting back in the video IO hardware game with the DNxIO. They have a long history of hardware what with Avid Meridians, Adrenalines and Mojos to name a few. And it looks like this won’t be a box only for Media Composer as it appears it’ll let Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X user interface as well. It’s been build with the help of Blackmagic Design so we can wonder if maybe Resolve might be able to use it too.

It will connect with Thunderbolt or a PCI card. The Mojo DX is dead which isn’t surprising considering how old that thing is.

Price? This also came from Michael: priced around 4K, there will be DX trade in options & bundles with MC SW. You also supply TB cable or PCIe card. That’s a bit more expensive than I thought it would be. But Avid’s hardware has never been Blackmagic cheap.

Media Composer 8.4

The features continue to come along. MC 8.4 will add all this stuff that Michael tweeted:

ISIS 1000

I think everyone has long wondered why Avid hasn’t made a more affordable shared storage option as part of their ISIS lineup. I used to be part of an Avid Customer Advisory Board and we asked that same question. Now we have one with the ISIS 1000.

With the cost coming in at and estimated $18,000 (according to the above tweet) this still isn’t an option for everyone but since it supports Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X (I wonder if FCP7 is supported) it might find its was into facilities and small production companies that wouldn’t have looked at Avid storage otherwise. Avid has a long lineage of producing solid storage so this new baby ISIS will be a welcome addition.

  • I was sitting in the airport waiting on my flight and all the news from the Avid Connect event began to roll out with the keynote speech from Avid’s CEO. It was a lot of press releases. And it made me think this:

I don’t follow Avid’s financials closely so I don’t know if they are making money yet or not but Avid has something they haven’t had in years: vision. They seem to have a strategy and an idea for the future of media and they are going for it. Some of this is product, some of this is service. I don’t get it al necessarily and it took me quite a bit of reading and a presentation to sort of understand Avid Everywhere. But as the lonely freelance editor I think Avid’s vision is far beyond who I am and what I do. They would love me to use Media Composer for all my editing but if I use Adobe Premiere Pro and their ISIS 1000 they are more than happy to allow that to happen. If I start composing and mixing music Avid has me covered there as well.

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PVC Staff
Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production…

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