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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sony Vegas, much to my surprise, kicks butt, May 26, 2010
This review is from: Sony Vegas Pro 9 - Old Version (DVD-ROM)
I absolutely LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this software and have never looked back.

I was a newbie at making videos, and started off last year (2009) with Roxio Video Wave (which I would also highly recommend to anyone starting brand new). However, as my skills progressed, I found I kept wanting to do more than Roxio could accommodate.

I trialed lots of software (I tried Corel's suite, Nero's, Cyberlink's PowerDirector, Adobe Premiere Elements and Premiere Pro), with my hopes set the highest on Cyberlink PowerDirector and Adobe Premiere Elements.

Being a Photoshop user since Version 3 and loving that program, I couldn't wait to try the relevant Adobe Premiere Elements and Elements Pro. Unfortunately, they were total disappointments because of their complexity, kept crashing (those users who complain about that aren't kidding), and the lack of some basic intuitive interface workings. Plus with Adobe they install all sorts of extra "crap" software that runs checking registration, etc.

PowerDirector was great, but not expandable and had quite a few little annoyances with its interface I couldn't get over.

Reluctantly, I tried Sony Vegas Pro. I was reluctant because seriously... how many people have received decent software from a camera or hardware electronics manufacturer? Zip. Zero. You get those cheezy programs to make short clips or transfer files from your camera to computer, but that's about it.

Well, let me say Sony's software division that's created Vegas Pro has certainly altered my stereotype!

I had a learning curve of about a day with Vegas getting used to their terminology as opposed to Roxio's (for example, in Vegas Pro media on a timeline is referred to as an "event". Roxio also has the same functionality as "envelopes", but Roxio doesn't call it "envelopes").

Anyway, Vegas Pro's functionality is exactly what I need/want in a software package. It does all the little things I find "non professional" producers would do. For instance, if I want a clip in a Vegas Project, I can just drag and drop it from Windows explorer onto the timeline. In any Adobe project or PowerDirector, it's a 2-step process of first having to "import" it into your media library and then dragging from your media library onto your timeline. Vegas Pro knows what you want, and does everything automatically for you when you drag/drop (eg, import it into the media library, etc).

Vegas installed easily, starts in less than a minute of my cheesy laptop, renders quickly, and hasn't crashed once. It's also not bloated software, and doesn't install more software than you need.

Vegas Pro can handle almost any kind of media file you want to throw at it.

It comes with an amazing set of transitions and video effects out of the box (as PowerDirector does). But if you want more, dozens of companies produce hundreds of additional plugins (both audio and video) allowing you to do more. Two great ones are 3D Six Pack from [...]
Video is a cinch to work with on the time line. In the same single clip you can easily slow video down, speed it up, and even reverse it without having to use or create separate subclips, and all just by clicking and dragging the mouse pointer. Super fantastic.

With audio, it's a snap to work with. I've even created a few remixes just by working with sound clips across the time line, doing fades, and adjusting audio envelopes (eg, the volume, playback speed, etc) on the time line.

Another big advantage of Vegas Pro over Adobe Premiere Pro is you can preview transitions and video effects *before* you actually apply them! In Premiere Pro, you can't do that. Who the heck wants to have to memorize transitions/effects to know what they might look like on your timeline before rendering?

Anyway, with Vegas you can also customize just about everything; windows can be docked however you like; you can write your own scripts to include your own functionality using .NET; the PDF manual was a breeze to read through;

After learning their Vegas lingo, it's become even easier and things just work.

The three drawbacks I find to Vegas (which are really minor) are:
1) the media library that came with it has nothing but "demo" clips which I can't use unless I purchase them;
2) the "trimmer" window where you can work with sound/video clips separately outside the timeline works differently than Roxio's similar interface. In Roxio, when you set an "in" and "out" point in a media clip and insert that into the timeline, that's the version (eg, you can't extend beyond the boundaries of the media w/o reediting the in/out points). In Vegas' trimmer window, you can set the in/out point, but when dragged onto the timeline you can extend beyond those points if you need to (I personally wish it was locked like it is in Roxio because otherwise there's no point to having the trimmer window as you can just do all your work in the timeline);
3) the Sony Message boards are restricted to people who have registered their software. So as a "trial user" you're out of luck. Also when registering (not activating) you have to provide Sony with all sorts of information (which I refused to do).

I've been recommending this software to anyone who's thinking of wanting to do more with creating videos than just the basic stuff. I'm not a fan of Sony products (computers, cameras, video cams, etc), but I absolutely love this piece of software. As much as I love Adobe Photoshop (and recently purchased the CS4 version), for video production I'm definitely a Sony software convert.
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Location: Fairfax, VA

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