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Basic video editing with audio waveform display during clip trimming

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've now gone back to videography after a few years of only doing still photography. The old Sony DV camcorder that's just been sitting on a shelf lately has now been replaced with a Canon HF G10. The purchase was largely based on info I gathered here on AVS forum. This is a great source of expertise, and I am truly grateful to all the people who contribute here. I also hope to be able to contribute as my experience grows.

Now to the main reason why I'm writing this post: I need advice for selecting the right video editing software for my needs. I have started to try out the various products that are available for trial, and I am annoyed that most of them seem to be missing one feature that is crucial to me. I need to see the audio waveform when I'm trimming my video clips. It is so difficult to set the in and out points correctly with regards to the cameraman's and the subjects' speak when not seeing the audio waveform. The only software I have found so far that lets me do this is Sony Vegas Movie Studio, and I am not too thrilled about it's old-fashioned user interface.

I like to keep my videos very minimalistic, so I don't need hundreds of transitions or fancy instant movie stuff. Basically, the only things I want to do is trim my clips, add background music and simple titles, fix exposure and white balance if it's really off, and maybe do the occasional J or L-cut.

Output features are fairly important, since I want to render in AVCHD and MP4 formats at different resolutions and bitrates, maybe upload to vimeo, and probably make some DVDs for people who don't have blu-ray players or HTPCs. Since I also intend to take care of some old videos from my DV era (my kids were so cute when they were really small), I also need solid DV capture functionality. I know Microsoft's Windows live photo gallery can capture DV, but it wasn't completely solid on one of my tapes (I probably hadn't "formatted" that tape with a continuous time code prior to shooting).

I'm sorry for rambling and making this such a long post. Thank you for reading, and helping me out with this.
post #2 of 7
Which version of Vegas did you try? Vegas Platinum HD 11 is well-suited for what you describe.

Vegas also allows to add audio plug-ins, including third party. (Vegas actually started as an audio editor/video was added in later versions.)
I'm not sure what you mean by old fashioned user interface.

As with any software, you really have to give it a good try to understand the features that may not initially be apparent.
post #3 of 7
I have been working to learn Adobe Premier Elements. The progress has been slow until I bought into http://www.lynda.com/. It provides video training courses on a wide variety of software products, including most of Adobe's offerings. You pay $25 a month for access to everything. It is a subscription, so you have to remember to turn it off.

The course for Premier Elements is six and a half hours if you don't stop to practice anything. A couple of days ago, I was working on the audio section and I think it does everything you might want. In fact, I was overwhelmed by all that can be done with audio in a consumer level software package. I had to quit for a few hours to let it soak in. Without the video course, it would be months before I would discover the capabilities on my own.

To answer your question, it will handle multiple tracks, let you adjust levels independently on each track and manage transition points. It displays wave forms as you do it.

The newest version ups the rendering choices to include more AVCHD choices including making AVCHD DVDs. I'm not sure, but I don't think it will render in 1080p60, but reads them fine.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhult View Post

The only software I have found so far that lets me do this is Sony Vegas Movie Studio, and I am not too thrilled about it's old-fashioned user interface.

Define old-fashioned.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhult View Post

The only software I have found so far that lets me do this is Sony Vegas Movie Studio, and I am not too thrilled about it's old-fashioned user interface.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Define old-fashioned.

maybe my vague memory is wrong, but it seems Power User would best describe the interface; much like Apple's Final Cut
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfws View Post

Which version of Vegas did you try? Vegas Platinum HD 11 is well-suited for what you describe.

Vegas also allows to add audio plug-ins, including third party. (Vegas actually started as an audio editor/video was added in later versions.)
I'm not sure what you mean by old fashioned user interface.

As with any software, you really have to give it a good try to understand the features that may not initially be apparent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Define old-fashioned.

What I meant with old-fashioned is that it doesn't look quite as colorful or snappy as the latest versions of Premiere Elements and PowerDirector.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy80 View Post

maybe my vague memory is wrong, but it seems Power User would best describe the interface; much like Apple's Final Cut

I think you are right about this. The lack of colors in the user interface shouldn't deter me from what appears to be a good product. I am going for Vegas Movie Studio HD now.

Thanks for the advice.
post #7 of 7
Take a look at Camtasia Studio. Not all that fancy, but very solid, shows the waveform and you can zoom in and out, you can add any number of addition tracks for music, layering, etc., and you will have basic transitions. Also will not break the bank. They give you a 30 day full function trial.
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