I’ve been able to sit down and play around with MAGIX VEGAS Pro a bit over the last few months and there’s one stand-out feature that I have dreamed about in my usual NLEs for a number of years now. It’s skimming/hover-scrubbing in the Source/preview monitor. I don’t know exactly what VEGAS calls this action but I noticed it within minutes of playing around with VEGAS Pro and it felt like that dream come true. As far as NLE dreams go.
I’m not switching to VEGAS Pro for any real work but I did check it out as part of my NLE Independence – Editing Beyond Adobe, Apple and Avid class at NAB 2017. This interview with Bobby Grubic was part of that. And you maybe have noticed Bobby in the first of a multi-part piece of VEGAS here on PVC. This is a result of the acquisition of VEGAS Pro, by MAGIX, from Sony. I think VEGAS Pro has gotten more marketing in this last year than in its whole previous life with Sony. It’s great that MAGIX is making a marketing push with VEGAS Pro as it’s a very capable tool with an amazingly full feature-set.
There’s one simple little feature that caught my attention in the first few minutes of playing with VEGAS. Drag a clip into the VEGAS Pro Trimmer or what we might call the Source monitor (that one on the left) and just dragging your mouse over it will scrub through the clip. How brilliant! I first imagined this many years ago as a preference called Live Scrubbing.
It’s such a simple thing and a great way to get an overview of the clip on the source side without the constant carpal-tunnel inducing click-and-drag that usually happens in the source side. A perfect implementation of this would be just scrubbing over with the ability to mark an IN to OUT via the keyboard. If you need more precision then the old JKL playback method could work too.
If you think about it, innovations on the source/preview side of the NLE have been few and far between. Final Cut Pro X added the Event Viewer a few versions into its life and while it was a welcome addition I’ve always thought it was a missed opportunity to do something different. FCPX really kind of invented the skimming thing so I was surprised they didn’t implement it in the Event Viewer.
Adobe Premiere Pro can Hover Scrub thumbnail clips in the browser but can’t hover scrub the clip in its own left side preview window.
The only real source side monitor innovation I can think of recently would be DaVinci Resolve’s waveform preview that can be turned on in the source monitor. This is an incredibly helpful little addition that will work wonders when doing things like trudging though a question and answer talking head or searching for that slate clap. It’s one of those why hasn’t anyone done that before moments.
I’ll add the MAGIX Vegas skimming/hover-scrub/live-scrubbing to that list of why hasn’t anyone done that before NLE things. I guess I could go and file feature requests with all the rest of the NLEs but I don’t know if that would do any good. Maybe some NLE product manager will read this and fast-track it into Premiere Pro, Media Composer or Resolve. Or maybe Apple can add it to the FCPX Event Viewer since they missed it in the initial design.