Purchasing an editing computer

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Gavin

Guest
Well I've decided to purchase a computer strictly for editing nothing else. And have been looking into some options. First is to by a mac which is what i truly want, what kind of set up should i get, i want to get 2 hard drives, 2 20 inch screens, but i only have 2500 to spend. Other people say i should just build a pc and since they are cheaper i will be able to do alot with it it. I want to use final cut pro. Any suggestions or setup recomendations.
 

JimT

New member
Computer

Computer

Take a look at the MacBook Pro. It is not everything you want, but it is a pretty good compromise and you can get it new for $2,500. Good luck. JimT
 
G

Gavin

Guest
yeah thats what i was thinking i would get if i got a mac its what our school has, and I like em but the set up i want with that is 3, 800 without monitors
 

DBXMe2

New member
man you totaly dont want a Mac. And I'll tell you why. Final Cut Pro, although an easy software to use and powerfull, is still not what the industry uses as a standard. Avid is an industry standard. Be it TV or Cinema. Almost every big one uses Avid.

Secondly, Macs are becoming MORE And MORE like PC's.... Intel chips with dual bootable OS's cmon give me a break... Mac has become what everyone tryies to escape from, a PC. The only thing you get from Mac that I dont really see in other computers is that a mac is sexy...

BUT besides that, PC's will cost you less... if you are poor, well atleast you can rip software, which I highly do not recomend doing and dont condole... besides that, if a piece breaks, well atleast its something in such abundance that it would not be a lengthy process to get repaired... if it's a mac, you've got to go to a Mac certified repaire place... etc etc etc..

If you like final cut pro, you should look at Adope Premiere on PC, which, I'm sorry to say looks an alot like Final Cut. BTw, Avid is the software which all these programs base them selves off of. Even though Avid looks antiquated, it does, what it does best, it Cuts! your film that is :p

well, I hope this helps abit. BTW, Nvidia is an almost prosumer industry standard, so what ever you get, make sure you've got Nvidia in it so not only your software work, but it works efficiently. Look up the programs you want to use, and make sure certain hardware is certified by these companies. Those are important things to know, because atleast if you run into any trouble, there are people out there who have tested it and can help you rapidly. And not go and say.. "well its because you didnt buy the right type of hardware"

GL!
 
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Gavin

Guest
thanks for all the replies they've helped me alot i think im gonnna get a guy to build me a computer that will ahve more features and is all around better and it will be alot cheaper, thanks for all the help.
 

Tim Kolb

New member
Just a couple of comments...

Adobe Premiere was around before Avid...

Avid can no longer be called the standard. It's a ten year old interface designed to imitate a twenty year-old workflow. Avid may still have the edge in systems installed at a certain level, but even the television network technology guys I talk with feel trapped in the Avid proprietary trap with no way out. With the exception of media management (TC lists, asset tracking, etc...which is very important in network television and feature films...), the capability list per dollar spent would always favor software like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro for the smaller shop...

I'd be careful about talking about a "standard" any longer in post production systems these days. I hear this sort of talk most often from faculty of universities or colleges lately as very few editors with any wide experience would make such sweeping generalizations any longer.

Avid's dominance in television and film is being threatened by FCP and in certain workflows (particularly online compressed HD and digital intermediate work), by Adobe Premiere Pro.

In televison station broadcast work, I think Canopus' Edius has probably taken over more seats in the past year than any other single system.

...there is no longer one best workflow for the entire industry...therefore any assertion that there is one best editing system is no longer credible.


***Also, the last time I checked, an Intel based Mac was cheaper than the same Intel-based Dell PC system...in several cases the difference was 1,000 dollars or more...

Things are changing and what was true 10, or even 5 years ago is in many cases, no longer true.

(I'm a PC-based Adobe user BTW)
 

skierbri10

New member
Tim Kolb said:
Just a couple of comments...

Adobe Premiere was around before Avid...

Avid can no longer be called the standard. It's a ten year old interface designed to imitate a twenty year-old workflow. Avid may still have the edge in systems installed at a certain level, but even the television network technology guys I talk with feel trapped in the Avid proprietary trap with no way out. With the exception of media management (TC lists, asset tracking, etc...which is very important in network television and feature films...), the capability list per dollar spent would always favor software like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro for the smaller shop...

I'd be careful about talking about a "standard" any longer in post production systems these days. I hear this sort of talk most often from faculty of universities or colleges lately as very few editors with any wide experience would make such sweeping generalizations any longer.

Avid's dominance in television and film is being threatened by FCP and in certain workflows (particularly online compressed HD and digital intermediate work), by Adobe Premiere Pro.

In televison station broadcast work, I think Canopus' Edius has probably taken over more seats in the past year than any other single system.

...there is no longer one best workflow for the entire industry...therefore any assertion that there is one best editing system is no longer credible.


***Also, the last time I checked, an Intel based Mac was cheaper than the same Intel-based Dell PC system...in several cases the difference was 1,000 dollars or more...

Things are changing and what was true 10, or even 5 years ago is in many cases, no longer true.

(I'm a PC-based Adobe user BTW)
Many people feel that Premiere is antiquated as well. So... I guess it is all personal preference. :D
 

Tim Kolb

New member
If it comes to interface, it's pretty tough for anyone who likes FCP to say that Premiere Pro is antiquated, they are very, very similar. You can like or not like this feature or that feature, but that sort of thing would be applicable to all software.

I'm not really sure what is antiquated about it.

It's the only NLE that can edit sound at the sample level on the timeline...it's ability to "Dynamic Link" to an After Effects comp and eliminate rendering in After Effects completely really raised the eyebrows of a national spot director who I was cutting for a while back...he used to edit at an Avid house and he figured what took me 20 minutes would've taken an hour to an hour and a half, and would have required him to rent that facility's GFX suite to do the compositing work. Two weeks ago I had an agency client in and I was able to do several things that the Avid couldn't at the last place she worked...

Premiere Pro also has the highest quality compressed HD workflow in Prospect HD and Aspect HD at this point. Canopus' Edius using Canopus HQ editing is almost as good, if not equal in image quality. The fixed data rate of DVC ProHD editing on FCP or Avid's DNxHD are not equivalent in image quality.


...hmmm. Sorry turned into a long response. I've looked at most of these systems and do some consulting with manufacturers as well as some testing, and writing for the trades. All these systems have their place, but the thought that Premiere Pro is not competitive or antiquated in any general sense is...antiquated.
 
N

Nexus

Guest
Although I am an "avid" Sony Vegas fan(pardon the pun): I couldn't tell you the amount of times I have watched the "Behind the Scenes" parts of DVDs to find a Mac running FCP. I work for a semi-large corporation, a part of Berkshire-Hathaway, as a video production assistant. We use FCP because as Tim Kolb mentioned, Avid's design is rather dated for its price, and FCP training is much easier to find for us. We have used Adobe Premiere as well, but it caused some deadline problems for us inthe past, so we now just stick with FCP.

All of our platforms ar run on Mac computers. Every single editing suite. They are the only ones used by our company, anywhere, because they are the perfect machines for our editing software.
 

skierbri10

New member
Tim Kolb said:
If it comes to interface, it's pretty tough for anyone who likes FCP to say that Premiere Pro is antiquated, they are very, very similar. You can like or not like this feature or that feature, but that sort of thing would be applicable to all software.

I'm not really sure what is antiquated about it.

It's the only NLE that can edit sound at the sample level on the timeline...it's ability to "Dynamic Link" to an After Effects comp and eliminate rendering in After Effects completely really raised the eyebrows of a national spot director who I was cutting for a while back...he used to edit at an Avid house and he figured what took me 20 minutes would've taken an hour to an hour and a half, and would have required him to rent that facility's GFX suite to do the compositing work. Two weeks ago I had an agency client in and I was able to do several things that the Avid couldn't at the last place she worked...

Premiere Pro also has the highest quality compressed HD workflow in Prospect HD and Aspect HD at this point. Canopus' Edius using Canopus HQ editing is almost as good, if not equal in image quality. The fixed data rate of DVC ProHD editing on FCP or Avid's DNxHD are not equivalent in image quality.


...hmmm. Sorry turned into a long response. I've looked at most of these systems and do some consulting with manufacturers as well as some testing, and writing for the trades. All these systems have their place, but the thought that Premiere Pro is not competitive or antiquated in any general sense is...antiquated.
I have never used Premiere, it is just what I have heard from a few people. I have also heard of deadline problems with Premiere Pro, not sure of the issues, but that studio ended up ditching the Premiere and going with Avid and FCP. :)
 

DBXMe2

New member
Everyone went off topic and had to defend their program of choice :p

haha.

I'll tell you all this much. If you want to edit movies, then use a program that does just that. If you want to do a sound mix, use Pro-Tools... if you want to paint a picture Use a canvas with paint.

It doesnt matter what you use, its how you get there. All the editing programs do the same, they cut!

and on a side note. The only reason why I edit in Avid, is because it resembles alot like editing on a flatbed, like a Steenbeck. Personally, thats more fun, but hey! cant do the fancy things on a Steenbeck then on an avid. Doesnt matter really, you can always do an online, then matchback. That's what's so much fun for Cinema.
 

MarkG

New member
Adobe Premiere was around before Avid...
From what I can find online, Premiere was released in 1991, whereas the first Avid system was released in 1989. And Avid was capable of editing serious movies well before Premiere reached that stage; even Premiere 4.2 couldn't handle movies more than an hour long and certainly was nowhere near stable enough to be used at a professional level for projects of that length. Some days I spent as much time rebooting after crashes as I did editing!

The fixed data rate of DVC ProHD editing on FCP or Avid's DNxHD are not equivalent in image quality.
Given how good DNxHD is, I'd be impressed if Adobe had something better.

I agree with the general point that Avid need to improve their software and bring it into the 21st century if they expect to stop losing market share to FCP and Premiere Pro, but it's silly to compare even Premiere 5.0 to an Avid system that was used to edit multi-million dollar Hollywood movies years earlier. It's only in the last couple of years that the alternatives have caught up.
 

Tim Kolb

New member
Huh... I stand corrected. I didn' realize that Avid released in 1989. Premiere was indevelopment and was purchased by Adobe, as FCP was by Apple, so there is development history that pre-dates 1991, but you are correct, Avid was released first.

I wouldn't make the case that Premiere was better than Avid in the 90s, in fact my point was that what was true then is no longer true as far as which of these systems are best for what purpose.

As far as DNxHD...the CineForm codec out performs most everything out there. I figured it would outperform DVC ProHD, which is an acquisition format, but i was a little surprised at the difference I saw between these two. DNxHD is designed to be efficient with Avid hardware of course, but it's a fixed bitrate. Any codec that is a fixed bitrate will end up being less efficient in footage with little or no motion, and will end up compromising high motion footage as it needs to make all the information.

There are also advantages to using a wavelet transform (CineForm) over a DCT transform (Avid), which is what has been used in video codecs traditionally. No blockiness even under stress as there are no macroblocks to begin with...

I don't know if anyone has tried to image DNxHD to film output, but CineForm has. Dust to Glory was edited completely on Premiere Pro with the CineForm Prospect HD plugin and it was imaged back to film with very good reviews. Several other features are in the works...now acquiring in the CineForm codec with the Silicon Imaging camera.

Avid still holds the lead in asset management from what I keep hearing, and there are some issues that I would prefer to be different in PPro, but I think that overall, editing systems are running in a tighter pack than ever before.
 

MarkG

New member
Yeah, I haven't been impressed with DVCPRO HD either. I tried converting some HDV footage to DVCPRO HD and then back again and it looked pretty bad, whereas HDV to DNxHD to HDV was basically indistinguishable from the original footage. Of course with nearly twice the bit-rate that's not too surprising!

I'm not sure whether anyone's used DNxHD for output to film; I'd suspect that if they were doing that on an Avid system most people would probably use uncompressed HD in the first place.
 

DBXMe2

New member
DVCPRO HD isnt a format you should convert to from HDV...

and as for the higher end formats editing on a Smoke by Discreet is loads of fun! ^_^

My teacher gave me the book, since Discreet gave them the new one, so I kept the old one and well hopefuly I'll be able to shoot something in Super16 soon..

My school loves to make us run circles for what we want. Yay school.

I'll try and take a picture of the sgi
 

screenlabs

New member
AVID vs. Premiere vs. FCP

AVID vs. Premiere vs. FCP

Look, I've used them all and...

First, don't built you own system unless you want to spend hour after hour of unproductive time playing the geek computer engineer. There is NO gain in it. Really, it is stupid to build a computer of any kind from scratch. I KNOW, you'll find all types and kinds of guys who swear up and down BUILD YOU OWN! But don't listent to them. You never save money doing it. The little flexibility you gain from "designing your own computer" is completely lost when balanced against the problems it raises.

Second, Premiere is dead. Advising anyone to buy Premiere these days would be like telling someone ten years ago to buy a Commodore Amiga system. Enuf said.

Third, I am trained in Avid. At one time it was the de facto industry standard. It is NOT anymore. Much to my astonishment and economic interests (because the editing service I offer is Avid) everyone is switching and as much as I might regret it -- they are switching to FCP for really good reasons. So don't make the mistake of buying Avid.

Buy a Mac with Final Cut Pro and get busy. It is the wisest, most economic, most professionally compelling thing you can do. And, listen to your first instincts because they are right and you know you wanted a Mac. It would be different if you are one of these other guys posting in here with a history, with geek engineering impulses, with allegences to other platforms but you're NOT. So do the right thing for you.
 

Tim Kolb

New member
"Second, Premiere is dead. Advising anyone to buy Premiere these days would be like telling someone ten years ago to buy a Commodore Amiga system. Enuf said."

I suspect that is a little rash. We had an Avid in house in another suite and when it comes to cutting lots of footage and not mixing many filetypes, Avids are fine, but frankly I run Premiere Pro on a dual Opteron workstation and do HD and 2K online and the agency clients I work with are usually wondering why they put up with the graphics limitations of Avid suites for so long.

I'll be the first to say that Premiere up to 6.5 lagged behind the industry, though there was still plenty of production being done on it, but if you've nnot used Premiere Pro recently, you need to take another look. Dynamic link to AE and being able to open audio files off the edit timeline in Audition to deal with audio post, etc...it makes a pretty powerful package.

FCP and Premiere Pro are very similar and since the Avid in our shop has been replaced with an FCP system, I've been able to help out the guy who has to run it even though it's been a version or two since I've really sat down to operate on FCP.

As you stated yourself, Avid is steadily losing marketshare because the market has moved away from superior service and support to disposable desktop systems running on off-the-shelf software. Premiere Pro is one of the systems that is taking marketshare.

With CineForm Prospect 2K, Premiere Pro also runs the only compression type ever employed to ONLINE a feature...several independent films that were ultimately imaged back to film for exhibition have been done on Prospect since "Dust to Glory" sort of took the role of guinea pig. The response to the image quality was very, very good.

I'm not sure how many years you've been in the business (I've got 20 myself), but blanket statements like "X is dead" or "equipment brand Z isn't professional, but brand Y is..." seems like something I hear most from students and their professors, not any professional who is out there and seeing the diverse range of tools that are now being used...and using them.

You have to remember that DV was said to not be fit for professional production when it came out and now half or more of the programming across the cable networks that is shot in standard def is shot on some version of 25Mbps DV (DVcam, DVCPRO25. etc)

Never say never.
 

screenlabs

New member
Preimere vs. Avid vs. FCP

Preimere vs. Avid vs. FCP

I've been in the business now for 25 years. Of course, I didn't start out as an editor but as a PA and worked my way through almost every positon in production and post. I had many good years as an Avid editor. I never said any of it wasn't professional, although Atari and Commodore Amiga, and Avid VideoShop I think it could be argued were not professional applications -- they were aimed more at the home video market.

I look on my bookshelf and I see old software boxes with Adobe Premiere. I never used it for a professional job, not because I didn't want to but because its never been available in a professional commercial or industrial post facility that I've worked with as well as educational institutions. I've used Premiere at home on the Mac up to 6.5, however, Adobe has been slow responding to innovation and user needs with many of it products on both platforms, not only with Premiere 6.5. I'm just talking from my experience, mileage may differ...

It is not about providing less superior service -- Avid wasn't too great at service and Adobe even less. I use a whole bunch of Adobe software for graphics, design, illustration and imagining and their service is vastly inferior. FCP is, as Mark Harrison the head of post-production implementaton and planning for BBC in London said, the fully tapeless production environment of the future is being driven by Final Cut Pro. The reason is not only the 20 fold improvements in the technology using FCP, and driving innovation but as he points out, normally you have to pay a premium for innovation but with FCP the cost of running is cut in half. Apple executes and because they do, they have the highest customer service ranking in the industry.

As I recall, the last shops I worked in that used Avid, they had to go out and buy a 18 GB hard drive for Avid and it cost $4G. Now, no thanks to Avid, you can buy a fast 120 GB hard drive for $160. The software needed to burn a DVD using an Avid was an add-on that cost more money than the entire FCP Studio and DVD Studio Pro combined and you can throw in Motion, SoundTrack Pro all at the fraction of the cost.

This is the real reason -- MONEY -- that is eroding the marketshare of Avid. I just can't in good conscious tell a student to buy this hardware and software when they have much better tools for much less money at their fingertips.

Avid can no longer fall back on their slogan that they are "the industry standard" because they are no longer.
 

MarkG

New member
Really, it is stupid to build a computer of any kind from scratch. I KNOW, you'll find all types and kinds of guys who swear up and down BUILD YOU OWN! But don't listent to them. You never save money doing it.
Saving money isn't the goal; the goal is to build a PC with high-quality components that you know will work together and give you the performance you want.

A PC from a big manufacturer will always be cheaper because they can load it up with any old junk for hardware; it's always amusing to open one up and find they've stuck $1000 of CPU, disks and graphics card on a $5 power supply.

The little flexibility you gain from "designing your own computer" is completely lost when balanced against the problems it raises.
Only if you don't know what you're doing. I have far more problems with the Dell I have at work than my Avid/Premiere/Fusion/Vue/Lightwave/Games/Internet/software developing/DVD player/HD player/music player PC at home.
 

Tim Kolb

New member
There is no question that Premiere did not get much of a foothold in professional post environments, though I employed 10 people in my shop in the late 90s and we used Media 100 and Premiere on Mac. I owned the place and could buy whatever I wanted of course, we had complete, end to end projects and jobs coming in and never had a complaint.

However, when you make your living with post, which I am now...(but I'm still an independent) and it sounds like you do, the prevailing system is what you need to have and there is no question that broadcast and post productions facilities were Avid's party through the 90's.

As you point out, Avid did contribute to their own demise by not looking outside their bubble and suddenly they have competitors with 10,000 dollar systems on the market that outperform Avid systems costing 10X that. Avid's long-running leadership in the field had become an assumption...unfortunately mostly by Avid themselves.

FCP is a good program, and if you want to be employed as an editor in a facility, it's definitely one of the packages you will simply have to know.

If you're an editor that has his/her own suite and you are hired for your skills, you can use whatever you like as long as you deliver...

There are a lot of editing answers because there isn't only one question.

...opinions on what is better are fine with me as it's individual taste. I just take issue to broader brush statements that have ultimate implications. A
 
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