At NAB Avid introduced Media Composer 7 which is really targeted at two very specific things. That is, helping people with the file based workflow revolution including hi-res as well as distributed editing. We’re seeing a lot more production going outside of the facility. People needing to edit in the field in real time and collaborating in sync with the facility just to make the project much more efficient.
So for the file based end a while back Avid did something called AMA. Avid Media Access which allows you to link directly to file based media and work with it inside media composer. People really like that but missed the traditional media management tools. So now in Media Composer 7 AMA media is treated just like native avid media. So the full compliment of media management tools is available whether you capture from tape or import or you directly link to file based sources like RED and ARRI and Canon media.
Specifically for high res we’re seeing more and more people ask for support for 2K and 4K workflows but they are all saying they need to deliver in HD masters. They just want to future proof their content so they’re not looking to upres later on when people are asking for it and actually viewing 4k at home.
So for that Avid is releasing two new features. The first called frame flex which is basically a hi-res HD pan and scan tool to allow the editor to have full creative control over how the image is reframed from hi-res to hd. In association with that is new support for 1D and 3D LUTS as well as colour decision lists. So lets say I am working with ARRI media, its shot as log c, I want to be able to apply the ARRI LUT inside my editor so it looks proper in the REC 7i space. Of course it’s not baked into the file it is a meta data file so we can add or remove it as need be. So for just basic editorial you wanna have this REC 709 LUT on there for viewing you can do that. Then when its time for colour correction you can remove the LUT and begin doing colour correction.
More on the media management front is a new feature called dynamic media folders. These are user customisable folders that you can setup outside of media composer to do media management operation for you. So For example, I can setup profiles that say when I get media in from the field when it mounts on my desktop I want you to make a local copy for me, I want you to transcode that into a editing friendly DNxHD codec and I want you to automatically link that to my project. So three steps right there that used to tie up the editor from doing creative story telling are now all done in the background and automated.
There is also a lot of great things with audio. You now have a master audio fader in media composer so now we have a single bus that you can use to level your entire audio mix to add RTAS plugins to it, to do total adjustments, to compression and things like that which we know is becoming more and more important with the regulations happening around loudness levels inside your programming. Things like audio wave forms which editors used to turn on and go ahhh I have to wait for that has now been borrowed from pro tools and it’s cached. So they draw much faster, they stay on the screen as you resize and shuttle and stay with the project so once they are done you go over the project again and they are waiting for you. So its not something you have to do over and over again.
And of course you wrap all that up into one of the biggest announcements about media composer is that its available for just 1000 dollars. It’s an incredible price and incredible package of new features that were shown at NAB. We're expecting version 7 to ship later this month and if you purchase 6.5 now you will receive 7 when it comes out! Pretty cool!