November 03, 2011

Avid Media Composer 6 open + 64-bit

Avid has launched new 64-bit versions of its non-linear editing systems, with Media Composer 6, Symphony 6 and NewsCutter 10, which are claimed to offer "unparalleled workflow speed, flexibility and time savings." They are available for Mac OS (Lion) and Windows 7 (64-bit).

They have been rebuilt from the core on a new open, 64-bit architecture, with a sleek, new User Interface, designed to speed workflows while preserving the functionality existing users are familiar with.

They support AVCHD and Red Epic (inc 5K) with Avid Media Access (AMA), an Avid DNxHD 444 codec, and support for Avid Artist Color.

AMA gives direct access to file-based media, while other new technologies include: Avid PhraseFind, powered by Nexidia; and Avid ScriptSync, for phonetic searching and editing; and real-time Mix and Match, allowing multiple formats in the same timeline.

The new Avid Open I/O enables support for popular video and audio cards from AJA Video Systems, Blackmagic Design, Bluefish444, Matrox and MOTU. Users can also incorporate Avid’s Nitris DX hardware video accelerator, which has been reduced in price. Nitris DX comes with one or two Avid DNxHD or AVC-Intra chips and supports full resolution and full frame stereoscopic workflows.

The Symphony software now offers greater flexibility and choice for on-set and mobile editorial and colour correction work, or meet increased facility capacity, and it too is now available at a lower cost, as a software-only product.

There is enhanced integration with Pro Tools (which has recently been upgraded to version 10) plus 5.1/7.1 surround support and extensive metadata management, which allows the transfer of more session data from Media Composer to Pro Tools. Additional metadata is available in the AAF interchange format.

Its new 3D stereoscopic workflow offers full resolution, real-time editing, with title and conversion control.

It will preserve full colour information from HD RGB 4:4:4 sources, without affecting system performance or storage requirements through the new DNxHD 444, high-quality HD codec, which it says is also "an ideal archiving format."

For colour correction it now support the Avid Artist Color control surface (above). It can also reduce time to edit by eliminating transcode, re-wrap, and log and transfer processes through AMA with its native support for AVCHD and Epic as well as the ability to encode Apple ProRes (Mac OS-based systems only). There is also 2.5 times faster encoding with Sorenson Squeeze v6.0.4, included with the new NLEs.

The new versions will be available on November 15, with NewsCutter costing the same price as Media Composer, while Symphony 6.0 (from $5,999) will be available as a standalone software option and Nitris DX (from $5,499) will also be a standalone hardware option.

Media Composer 6.0 starts at $2,499 (Academic versions from $295). Upgrades cost from $299. NewsCutter 10 starts at $2,499, with upgrades from $499.

Final Cut Pro users (excluding FCP X) can purchase Media Composer, with free online training to help them make the move, for $1,499.

By David Fox

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