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Avid has been working very hard at providing editors with the most professional tools, and best possible support. Avid introduced Avid Media Composer 5 which was ground breaking, and then took it further with Avid Media Composer 5.5. Now Avid has introduced a new 64 bit native Media Composer with even more powerful tools, known as Avid Media Composer 6.

Avid has now opened up their I/O support to third party hardware manufactures such as AJA, BlackMagic Design, MOTU, Matrox, and Bluefish444. Avid Media Composer 6 has overhauled the core to support a 64 bit native architecture for performance boost. They have also updated to a modern user interface that looks sleek and helps to accelerate your workflow. On top of all of this Avid Media Composer now supports full stereoscopic 3D editorial toolset. Exciting stuff!

I can assure you that both my AJA Kona card and my  Matrox MXO2 ran perfectly well with Avid Media Composer 6. Just remember to have the latest drivers installed.

Features and Capabilities

  • Rebuilt from the core to a 64 bit native architecture.
  • Modern sleek new UI
  • 3D Stereoscopic workflows.
  • All new Avid marketplace with on the fly access to footage and plug-ins.
  • Avid Artist Color support for high performance color correction
  • Support for 3rd party hardware including AJA, BlackMagic Design, Matrox, Bluefish, MOTU.
  • AVCHD and RED Epic with AMA
  • DNxHD 444
  • Apple Pro Res encode ( Mac only )
  • 5.1 & 7.1 surround sound with Pro Tools AAF exchange, and Dolby E support
  • New dual chip DNxHD or AVC-Intra Nitrus DX box for full res stereoscopic 3D


New User Interface

Avid Media Composer 6 set up could not be easier, within minutes I was off and cutting in this new application. First, let me tell you that editing with this new 64 bit architecture is very powerful,everything seemed quicker and snappier. Avid Media Composer 6 better utilizing multiple cores and ram for a increased performance boost. You can continue to customize your windows and workspaces to your own personal liking. I don’t think I could go back to 32 bit OS. This is the future.

The new UI looks fantastic. It’s not a complete overhaul, so you don’t feel alienated and have to re-learn a whole new NLE, but it’s new enough to feel brand new, and yet still at home with the interface. The UI looks very sleek and feels much more intuitive.

Avid Marketplace

Avid Media Composer 6 introduces a brand new feature known as the Avid Marketplace built right in. Now if you need a plug-in or you are searching for some stock footage, or even training material, simply jump into the marketplace directly from the app and have immediate access. This works very well especially when searching for stock footage, as I was able to drop stock footage into my timeline and see if I liked it the sequences before I purchased it. The Avid Marketplace has to be one of my favorite features already!

Apple ProRes Support

Avid Media Composer 6 can now capture to Apple ProRes. Not only can it capture to ProRes but it supports ProRes Proxy, ProRes LT, ProRes 422 &422 HQ, and ProRes 4444. All within an MXF wrapper. Avid Media Composer 6 also imports my old Apple ProRes files with no transcodes. Absolutely outstanding!

DNxHD 444

Avid has also introduced DNxHD 444 which supports 4:4:4 HD-RGB space while preserving a smaller file size and maintaining the full quality of color detail. This is a great addition to the DNxHD family, which I have grown to love in my workflows.

Stereoscopic 3D

Now although I did not have any 3D footage to work with at this time. I feel that it’s necessary to mention that Avid Media Composer 6 supports a full set of new 3D tools that allow you to manage a complete 3D end to end workflow. It also allows you to mix and match 2D with stereoscopic 3D clips on the same track. This is a vey powerful feature, and I am excited to get my hands on some 3D footage, so I can dive right in.

Surround Sound Mixing

Now I have to admit, I usually leave this to professional Pro Tool editors. However with today’s systems directors and producers want to hear a more polished sound while in the edit suite. Now if you are one of those editors Avid has got you covered. Avid Media Composer 6 allows you record, edit , mix studio audio in up to 7.1 surround sound. It also allows you to share mixes with Pro Tools editors using AAF.

Artist Control Color Correction

Color correction within Avid Media Composer 6 has been vastly improved. I found it extremely easy to grasp and get a responsive feel as kept my eyes on the picture instead of looking at my interface. I was amazed at how easy it was to change multiple parameters at once while color correcting. Color correcting in Avid Media Composer 6 is faster and more efficient than ever before.

I enjoy color correction, I always felt that the in applications for color correction were effective but not powerful enough. So naturally I gravitated to other applications such as Apple Color or now personal favorite BlackMagic Resolve. However with Avid’s Artist Control color correction, I did not feel it was necessary to export out to another application. Maybe If I had to do some heavy color grading to get a specific look I would jump back into BlackMagic Resolve.But I would take this as testament to how much color correction has been improved with Avid Media Composer 6. I even showed this to my colleague who grades on an Avid DS. She is very talented Colorist, and she too was also very impressed by the Artist Color Control. Avid has outdone themselves here!


AMA seems to have a love hate relationship in the post industry ever since it was introduced. However I found AMA to a valuable tool that has only gotten better with each version. Avid Media Composer 6 with AMA works flawlessly. I had no trouble importing various media, from Digi-Beta, HDCAM, XDCAM, AVCHD, H.264 (DSLR), P2, and HDV. AMA continues to be a great addition to Avid Media Composer.

Previously on other NLE’s AVCHD had a ridiculous long import process. AMA has helped to make the import process a whole lot faster. Plus editing the footage mo longer feels difficult.

RED Epic

Now I didn’t have any RED Epic files to try out, but it’s worth mentioning that Avid Media Composer 6 is capable of handling Epic 5K files. Avid has also added RED setting for RED Color2, RED Gamma2, and RED LogFilm & White Balance. I did have some RED One footage that imported easily into Avid Media Composer 6. I did notice that the import was not only easier but faster. This may have to due with it’s very powerful 64 bit architecture rebuilt from the core. Just remember this also depends on your own CPU. Obviously a desktop machine will outperform a laptop.


Final Thoughts

Avid has always been there for the professionals providing editors with the tools they need. Avid has raised the standards with the past releases, and they have done it again with Avid Media Composer 6. I have used many NLE’s over the years, and none of them have even come close to the offerings from Avid.

Avid Media Composer 6 is absolutely the best NLE I have used to date. Avid continues to push the boundaries and set new standards for tools provided to professional editors. If you have done so yet, I highly recommend upgrading, purchasing or running out and getting a copy of Avid Media Composer 6. Avid just raised the bar again ! Great Job Avid!

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