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Avid Media Composer v3.5

Jul 14, 2009 12:00 PM, By Dan Ochiva

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Avid Media Composer v3.5

Support for Digidesign AudioSuite plug-ins. Price: $1,995 (street); $449 (upgrade)

No matter that many have prognosticated the demise of Avid a number of times over the past few years, the reality is that a reinvigorated management team, new software offerings, and strong support from loyal users still keep it in the running.

The new 3.5 upgrade to Media Composer runs a series of refinements on the extensive rebuild undertaken in version 3.0. One seemingly minor change is indicative of the new attitude around the company in Tewksbury, Mass. By doing away with the widely loathed hardware dongle, it seems the company is moving to resolve even complaints of such a long-standing nature.

Innovative new capabilities of the app stand out, such as the Avid Media Access (AMA) system, which builds on Avid’s strengths. Media simply pops up in a bin via an intuitive interface, ready to be worked on without rewrapping or transcoding. Current support covers Panasonic P2 media and Sony XDCAM files, including XDCAM EX; future support is coming for AVCHD, AVC-Intra, Red Digital Cinema R3D, and Canon EOS 5D Mark II (H.264). Other features of note: support for stereoscopic 3D workflow, keyframeable color correction, and a new 2D tracking engine called Fluid Stabilizer. Audio gets it share of improvements too, including support for Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) and the ability to record up to 16 channels of HD-SDI audio simultaneously.

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