Avid Media Composer 7

Avid recently released version 7 of its Media Composer software, featuring significant changes to workflow, functionality, and integration. With version 7, Avid continues to update and support its flagship product, responding to user feedback, adapting to the rapidly changing production environment, and preparing for the future needs of its clients. Avid has managed to improve existing features, add new features, and still maintain its familiar interface and workflow. This makes Media Composer 7 a compelling choice for new users, while offering a smooth transition for users of version 6.5 and earlier.

Dynamic Media Folders represent a new functionality available in Media Composer 7. Running as a separate service from MC 7, which prevents it from bogging down your edit, Dynamic Media Folders can be set to carry out actions automatically on any file you drop into the folder. This includes transcoding, resizing, and even copying to new locations. Another feature of MC is Avid Media Access or AMA, which allows you to import and work with different file types, such as RED (.R3D), mov, XDCAM, ProRes, AVCHD, SDCAM SR Lite, GF Cam, and Canon XF. You can work with these file types, and even the 2K, 4K, and 5K file formats, without importing or transcoding to DNxHD (Avid’s native file format). You can even mix and match resolutions as well as AMA files with DNxHD files on the same timeline, without needing to render your clips for playback. Improvements to AMA for MC 7 allow you to better manage your AMA clips and track them, just as you would imported/captured media. This makes going back to work with the original clips, to apply effects or for final output, much simpler than in the past.

Media Composer 7 is also able to apply 1D and 3D Look Up Tables (LUTs) non-destructively, which is great for working with RAW files and getting a sense of what your footage will look like without rendering the effect or generating new media. This allows you to work with the RAW files on your timeline, add a LUT, and view the footage in real time.

Improvements to audio within MC 7 feature compatibility with RTAS plug-ins, and the ability adjust your audio directly in the timeline, on a clip-by-clip basis. You can also play HD and SD Avid sequences in sync with Pro Tools sessions.

Other features include Multicam editing with up to nine sources and selecting multiple clips on the timeline without selecting the filler/slug. You can also work with Alpha-channel media, and now you can edit on Windows 8 computers and laptops as well. Media Composer 7 is also a full stereoscopic editing system, allowing you to capture, edit, and manage the entire 3D workflow, and you can mix and match 2D and 3D clips on the same track.

Version 7 is an expansion of Media Composer’s capabilities, and more of an evolution of the software, rather than a revolution in the editing paradigm. While it maintains the familiar workflow, Avid is guiding the software, and its users, toward the future. One important change is that Avid Symphony is no longer a separate stand-alone product; it is now a plug-in for Media Composer. In previous versions, Symphony shared many of Media Composer’s functions, but also included advanced color-correction tools that Media Composer lacked. Now the Symphony option brings those additional tool sets to Media Composer. Now you can choose to work with the tools you need, without having to purchase two systems with overlapping functions. Furthermore, you can share Symphony licenses among more than one system, although a single Symphony license can only be activated on one computer with a valid MC 7 license at a time.

Media Composer also works with an expanding lineup of third party plug-ins and I/O hardware, instead of limiting you to Avid products only. This allows you to build the system that suits you, based on Avid-approved computer systems and hardware.

Avid provides numerous upgrade paths and options for its customers, starting with the basic upgrade of Media Composer 6.5 to MC 7, Pre-MC 6.5 to MC 7, as well as a variety of activation options. The software is downloadable, and you can use an activation code to register Media Composer 7 on one computer. Or, you can purchase the dongle version of MC 7, which is still a software download, but you can install it on as many machines as you wish, as it requires the USB dongle to be plugged into the computer for the software to run.

Academic versions are available for most of the MC 7 products, including MC 7 with the Symphony option. There are different versions available for institutions or students, and students are eligible for free software upgrades for four years, provided they maintain their student status. This is a nice deal, as it allows you to buy once and keep your software up to date at no cost while you're enrolled in school.

You can also purchase Media Composer with Avid’s hardware options. The Mojo DX hardware provides SD/HD-SDI input/output and monitoring. An available Thunderbolt adapter allows you to connect the Mojo DX unit to an available Thunderbolt-equipped laptop running Avid MC 7, bringing Mojo DX hardware I/O to a laptop. For users who need even more powerful hardware I/O, the Nitris DX offers you encoding and hardware acceleration of video to either Avid’s DNxHD codec, the native file format of Avid, or AVC-Intra. With optional boards you can use a single Nitris DX unit to support either Full Frame Stereoscopic I/O, or both DNxHD and AVC-Intra. Available Avid support plans, including Expert Pro and Elite, enhance the value of your purchase and keep you up and running with phone and unlimited web support. They are available with or without hardware.

There is a lot to like about editing with MC 7. The 64-bit architecture means it handles complex layers, effects, and provides smooth playback without a hiccup. Being able to mix and match formats, resolutions, and frame rates on the same timeline without having to wait for the clips to render makes it faster to get to editing, instead of just sitting around and waiting while it renders. It is an impressive accomplishment to manage and expand on all these features, while maintaining the familiar Avid look, feel, and workflow. Considering the tools, features, workflow, and product path, as well as all the options available to you with Avid Media Composer 7, it is easy to see that this is another step in the right direction.

For more information, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.

1 Comment

thnx for all, i'm ready for using it.