PROS / Terrific features including an excellent audio editing and mixing interface.
CONS / The user interface is a little tricky to master compared to other edit systems.
VERDICT / Sony Vegas Pro 9 is a fantastic edit system with a great feature set.
Sony Creative Software’s Vegas Pro 9 is an innovative, Windows-only non-linear edit system (NLE) that has really exploded in recent years on the market. Fully featured, the system also includes excellent built-in tools for audio editing, graphics and titling, DVD and Blu-ray authoring, and more. Along with ease-of-use and an affordable price, Vegas Pro 9 moves up to earn the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award on our list of video production software reviews.
Included with the latest version of Vegas Pro 9 is 4K resolution (RED) compatibility and enhanced native XDCAM EX support. Editors can work with unlimited video tracks for multitrack editing, and the program includes a great multi-camera workflow. It also ships with over 190 customizable video filters and effects.
There is plenty of compatibility between other Sony Creative Software apps, including Sound Forge and the ACID family of software. These apps are sold separately.
Native format support includes most types of standard definition (SD), DV, and high definition (HD), in addition to RED’s 4K resolution (ultra high definition, UHD). Vegas Pro 9 also supports 32- and 64-bit Windows operating systems, including Windows 7 and Vista, one of the first to do so. In fact, Vegas Pro is usually ahead of the curve on important new features over competing NLEs, including being the first to add native 24p support. They’ve also added Bezier curves for keyframe automation in a software update.
Vegas Pro 9 is one of the easiest NLEs to master for those new to non-linear editing. Its interface might be a little different from other apps, but it won’t take long to get into the Vegas Pro workflow.
Sony’s non-linear editor is also a multi-functional tool, allowing users to work in different projects and tasks. Users can capture or import footage in one project, edit in another, and render in a third, all at once. Editors can work with multiple streams of processor-intense HD video via its 64-bit support, and a system with the proper specs (multicore, plenty of RAM, etc.). In short, Vegas Pro 9 is a fantastic, high-end NLE at a very affordable price.
This is a new plug-in developed by Sony Creative Software in partnership with VASST that streamlines the editing process by automating many tasks common to broadcast, industrial or event videography. There are also a number of project templates. Easily and quickly add transitions, filters, perform color correction and much more, plus export to any number of formats at once through intuitive batch processing.
There is a definite advantage to this plug-in: to get similar functionality, an editor would need a variety of third party plug-ins and different built-in features to achieve what this single one does. The Production Assistant plug-in is sold separately.
Easily export to a wide variety of formats for video, web, and optical media (DVD and Blu-ray). DVD Architect 5, part of Vegas Pro 9, contains a set of tools to create great looking and professional DVDs and Blu-ray discs. The program is fairly easy to use, which is a plus for an editor with any level of experience on leading non-linear edit systems and DVD/Blu-ray authoring apps.
As 3D continues making a major push into the field of motion picture and video production, Sony is staying on top of the game with the forthcoming Blu-print 6 and Z Depth. They will allow editors in Vegas Pro to create 3D discs for viewing at home. Blu-print is developed in conjunction with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the film division of the Sony parent company. This is definitely must-have software for editors working with 3D source material.
You may notice the lack of a true stand-alone audio editing and mixing application in this package. This is because Vegas Pro has perhaps the best built-in audio editing and mixing tools of any non-linear editor on the market. Vegas Pro started its life as an audio-only software application, but became a full-functioning NLE by version 2.0, which gives it a distinct advantage when it comes to audio editing, mixing and mastering over competing apps, without having to switch to a separate audio editing and mixing program.
Vegas Pro 9 supports 24- and 32-bit 192 kHz full resolution audio, and can handle it efficiently on well-spec’d computers. With the release of more advanced, multicore and hyper-threading processors, users can work with a more robust audio editing experience and real-time playback.
Sony Creative Software offers several interactive tutorials on their website to help editors to become familiar with Vegas Pro 9. There, you’ll find a series of free training videos hosted by Lee Stroud of “Survivorman” fame. Telephone support is only available to U.S. customers who purchase a support plan, which range in prices depending on the level of support.
Web forums and user groups are a great way to find expert advice, and there are websites and companies dedicated to offering complimentary or paid training, including VASST, who also offers additional third party plug-ins for Vegas Pro 9.
Sony Creative Software’s Vegas Pro 9 has grown into a major player in the non-linear edit system market. Functionality, ease-of-use, tool sets, affordability and more have given it an edge over Avid Media Composer 4, despite being available only for desktop and laptop computers running Windows.
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