A few days ago a young student of filmmaking called our office and inquired about what program he should master to make a living editing films. He had been told by his professors that Final Cut Pro is the way to go. I told him that—yes—Final Cut Pro is used by a lot of independent filmmakers, but if you want to work with major studios and post houses, Avid Media Composer is the best choice. The reality is that if you have used Avid Media Composer for editing your film, you’d be hard-pressed to try any alternatives. Avid Media Composer has a logical process and its reliability helps you overcome most of the tough challenges that you face as an editor. Now Media Composer 6.5 offers better tools and way of working. What I really like about Avid approach is that while trying to simplify the learning curve of Media Composer, they do not sacrifice the editing method and procedure that has made this program unique.
I always hoped Avid starts to deal with the support of 3rd party hardware and now I see it happening in 6.5. This has been an important step for Avid to stay competitive in the world of digital film editing and I am sure we see more adequate hardware support in upcoming versions of Avid Media Composer.
There are several excellent new features in 6.5, for example support for the JPEG2000 codec and now you are able to copy and paste audio key frames. Also supporting AS-02 MXF mastering format is great as it allows to store versions of one clip together. I liked the fact that now you can select non-adjacent clips and move them together, it saves a lot of time when you are on deadline.
As I mentioned before now on the audio side you can copy and paste audio key frames and this is part of big improvement in audio section of Avid Media Compose 6.5. For one, is the expansion from 16 to 64 active voices. Also number of the audio clips you can work with on time line has increased from 16 trucks to 24 tracks. I actually sat next to an sound editor friend of mine that created the sound effect for a desert scene with 22 audio tracks and working with them and mixing them to get an amazing result was a delight.
Simplifying the interface of Media Composer is a great help for those who are migrating from other editing systems to use Media Composer. I love cutting films shot from different angles by multiple cameras in Media Composer as it makes it so easy to find the right point to put together the shots from different cameras.
Final Word: If you are looking to ultimate way of editing, Avid Media Composer is what you should learn and use. We have heard a lot of good news about future versions of Media Composer and we plan to have several review of Media composer in the future and look at this program from different angles.