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  • Avid Media Composer 5.5 Review

    Avid Media Composer 5.5 Review

    May 16, 2011, 8:51 am
    Avid recently released a faster and more powerful Media Composer with Avid Media Composer 5.5. With this latest new release I was anxious to get my hands on this latest iteration, and thanks to the good people at Avid they made that a reality.

    Avid has been the industry standard when it came to professional editing software for either broadcast or film. They lost some of that market to Apple’s Final Cut Pro and to a lesser extent Adobe’s Premier Pro. However, with when Avid released Avid Media Composer 5. it was apparent Avid was going not going to take this lying down. Avid Media Composer 5 was a huge upgrade over previous editions, while also introducing new tools to help bring Final Cut Pro users into the fold, with the addition of the Smart Tool.
    Avid Media Composer 5.5 Review
    I was on hand at NAB 2011 when Avid was showing off some of the most powerful features they have now introduced into Avid Media Composer 5.5.
    Avid Media Composer 5.5 Review
    Avid Media Composer 5.5 Review
    These features have been implemented to make Avid Media Composer 5.5 even more powerful and faster than ever before. Now the one thing I would like to help further explain is the Smart Tool. Many seasoned editors have had some difficulty using this tool or misunderstand the way this tool works. Even I had some initial frustrations working with this tool, as I become so used to editing in segment mode. However the power of this tool when activated allows you to lift and insert edits almost instantly. Just tying to remember to keep an eye on where your cursor is highlighted on.
    Avid Media Composer 5.5 Review
    The smart tool also allows you to trim using the overwrite trim or the ripple trim depending again on where your cursor lies. Once you get used to working with The Smart Tool on, you quickly realize this is a very powerful tool. It is clear that the Smart Tool was created to help integrate Final Cut Pro users over to Avid. Providing them with a tool that works similar to Final Cut Pro’s drag and drop system. This is a great idea, as I always find that editors that initially learn in Avid have no trouble picking up FCP, but Editors that learn FCP first have a much harder time learning Avid.

    The Smart Tool has a new feature which allows you to manipulate transitions directly within the timeline. This feature allows you to work more efficiently and gives you control over in an out points of the transition. Fine tuning transitions just got a whole lot easier and quicker. The Smart Tool has evolved into a very powerful tool that I throughly enjoy using.

    To see this tool in action watch the Video

    Avid has traditionally kept everything internal including I/O support concentrating on their own product line. However with Avid Media Composer 5.5 , they have now opened the doors to other manufacturers including AJA and Matrox. This means that those of us with either with an AJA IO Express or a Matrox MX02 mini can now easily integrate those existing systems with Avid Media Composer 5.5. This is great news, as you can now have a small I/O to monitor with using HDMI for as little as $449.
    Avid Media Composer 5.5 Review
    AMA (Avid Media Access) has to be undoubtable one of the greatest things Avid has introduced to Media Composer. AMA has opened up Avid Media Composer 5.5 to allow an unprecedented support for various codecs which include QuickTime files, DSLR footage, and HDCAM SR lite. This means in Avid Media Composer 5.5 the new AMA will support Sony HDCAM SR Lite codec, and allows you to directly access the media and all associated metadata without transcoding. Providing you with the ability to jump into your edit instantly. Simply outstanding performance, just remember to have a powerful graphics card as AMA using accelerated GPU’s.

    Check out AMA in Action in the Video
    Avid Media Composer 5.5 Review
    Avid Media Composer 5.5 also introduced an even more advanced search tool known as PhraseFind. For a $495 upgrade the PhraseFind tool allows you to find clips and various footage using voice recognition. PhraseFind will search through bins and available meta-data to find what you are searching for. To see this tool in action click the link.

    Avid has also introduced a fantastic cross grade deal of $995 USD for Final Cut Pro users. To receive your discounted price, present your original Final Cut Pro documentation (such as your install guide or manual) and your Final Cut Pro serial number for verification. Follow the link below for more details.


    Avid Media Composer 5.5 is the most robust and powerful editing platform to date. Add to that PhraseFind and the Production suite, and you have one of the best platforms out there. Avid has long been a leader in post-production and they continue to evolve and enhance the craft of editing. Now is a great time to purchase or up grade to Avid Media Composer 5.5.
    Follow me on Twitter to get the latest news.Tej Babra

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