It’s finally here. Avid’s 2019 Media Composer Update. And hell, was I hyped for this one.
For the makers!
That’s how Avid itself advertised this update, and with it came an interesting change of presentation. Avid usually used to use the more traditional editing suite for they’re promos. You know, 2 GUI monitors, a dedicated preview monitor, audio mixer etc. But with this update, Avid shifted it’s focus to the “makers”, which are supposedly using less conventional hardware, like Laptops and iMacs. Therefore, the promo pics for the “All-New Media Composer” showed the software running on a weirdly ubranded 3D model of said iMac, without any additional hardware.
This change in tone clearly shows that Avid wants to reach out to “One-man shows”, Youtubers, Content Creators and small studios, where a lot of work is done by just some persons instead of dedicated departments for each job.
Avid is facing more competition than ever before.
DaVinci Resolve is quickly becoming a truly powerful and fast editing software, including audio editing, Fusion, and the already outstanding color grading. All of this comes to y<ou for free, or for 300$ max if you truly need the advanced features of the studio version.
Premiere Pro is very likely Avid’s biggest competitor, and it has a growing features in the younger generation of filmmakers. Premiere Pro has also been upgraded with additional curves for color correction in it’s Lumetri-panel, to close the gap to Resolve in terms of color grading.
I can’t really say anything about Final Cut X, bevause I’m not a Mac user and I’ve never seen FCPX running anywhere up to this day. But that’s just the niche I’m working in, I’m pretty sure it’s undoubted that Final Cut has it’s userbase, especially considering it’s performance and it’sprice tag.
So, how is Avid going to break into that new, more “lightweight” style of filmmaking software?
The wokspaces are what made me truly interested
They didn’t show us too much prior to the release of 2019.6, but we did know some things.
- There will be a GUI overhaul
- There will be tabs for different workspaces
- There won’t be overlapping windows anymore
- There will be increased performance
- There will be ACES and 32-bit floating point support
Why did I care most about the workspaces? Well, I guess I’m just a bit naive to be honest. This is what I was thinking:
The fact that Avid creates an own workspace for color means that they are acknowledging the importance of color grading in a time where 1000$ cameras are recording 10-bit log. And that means they are ultimately trying to compete with DaVinci Resolve or Premiere Pro in this point. And when they are acknowledging this and therefore are creating this new workspace, they HAVE TO reimagine they’re whole color correction in Media Composer. This is truly what I was thinking. Especially with Avid’s strange politics of the symphony option, where you get the slightly advanced color tools when you have a monthly subscription, but not when you pay yearly. There is absolutely no way to create a color workspace but leave the tools untouched, right? Well, I was wrong on this one.
When you click on the color tab in the new sidebar, the same old color correction panel opens like it always did. This was when my hopes immediately dropped. This is of course part my fault, because my expectations where way too high. But really, just look what Adobe or Blackmagic are offering compared to Avid:
And it’s just the same with the effects tab:
A click on it opens the effect editor. The same, old, unchanged effects editor that we know for decades now.
Audio tab? More of the same. All it does is opening the audio mixer.
Why introduce seperate workspaces when they are not offering anything new? Literally everything that those workspaces can do was already available for years.
“But don’t get me wrong, I do like the update and the changes they introduced. It’s just not nearly enough. And this is my big disappointment with this update: It’s almost purely cosmetical when I was desperately hoping for some deeper changes under the hood and in the core machanics.”
Here is a brief overview of the bigger changes Avid introduced with the 2019.6 update:
The project window is gone (kind of):