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Sony Vegas Pro 9

Sony delivers a robust version 9 of its flagship NLE Sony Vegas with support for 4k video, including Red One, new UI By Jeffrey P. Fisher

Sony delivers a robust version 9 of its flagship NLE Sony Vegas with support for 4k video, including Red One, new user interface, and a barrel full of little tweaks and new features. Read the full review ...

When a software program matures into its ninth iteration, you expect big things from it. I've been on-board Sony Vegas when it was an audio-only, version one application. It's been really interesting to be a part of the software's growth. As my go-to app for many years, I was excited to give the newest version a test drive. This review looks at Sony Vegas Pro 9.0b 32-bit (VP9), the second (free!) update since its release at NAB earlier this year. You can choose either the native 32-bit or the 64-bit version and run in either Microsoft Windows XP SP3 or Vista (32/64 bits) SP1.

It must be hard for software vendors to prioritize what to include in a new release. From a competitive standpoint, they want to include BIG things that are worth promoting in this industry like a 64-bit version, 4k support, Red One native file support, and other cool features. Meanwhile, the long-time user base sometimes prefers little things that make their life easier such as new transitions and video effects or maybe something so seemingly mundane (but very handy) as having audio edits not quantize to frames.

Well, I'm here to say that this version of Vegas Pro delivers something for just about everybody. Whether you are a broadcast pro, indie filmmaker, event editor, or just a video enthusiast, useful tools abound in this new version.

When you first fire up the program, current users will notice a darker color scheme and a revised default layout. The design pulls the Trimmer window into its own dock next to the Preview monitor. This makes Vegas look more like other NLEs, but doesn't change its functionality -- you are not forced to use the Trimmer. There are two other preset layouts devoted to audio mixing and color correction respectively and you can store up to 10 custom layouts and recall them with a keyboard shortcut. The darker scheme is easier on the eyes and does give the program an updated, modern look. You can turn it off in Options > Preferences > Display tab and force Vegas to follow your Windows color scheme instead.

It's always been that you can mix and match just about any media file format on the Vegas Timeline including 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios and frame rates a-plenty: 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps. And that tradition continues here. Vegas offers extensive native file support adding XDCAM EX and RED ONE (.r3d) to its already comprehensive MXF, AVCHD, HDV, and DV file formats. The Red ONE native support is particularly robust as you can access the r3d Decode Properties and work on each clip's raw data. Higher-end facilities can now capture XDCAM MXF using an AJA SD/HD-SDI card or continue to access the XDCAM via its own Explorer pane including proxy editing support. Of course, VP9 can render to all the popular formats at many resolutions and frame rates, too.

Vegas supports native RED ONE r3d files and lets you tweak the raw data.

The XDCAM EX and AVCHD formats include a Device Explorer window that lets you connect your camera, preview the media, import clips, and then edit both formats natively on the Timeline. It's a nice touch and means you don't have to use separate software when working with these camera formats. 

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Related Keywords:Vegas 9 Pro, NLE, video editing, non linear editing, video workflow, 4K editing


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