Avid Ships Media Composer 7
High-Res Workflows, Media Management, Lower Price Highlight Release
Avid started shipping Media Composer 7, the new 64-bit version of its powerful NLE, this week. Lots of enhancements have been made under the hood, but one of the most obvious improvements is the price — MC7 sells for a competitive $999. Upgrades are $299 for existing v6.5 users and $399 for users of earlier versions.
With this release, Avid Symphony ceases to exist as a standalone program. Instead, its complete feature set (advanced and secondary color-correction tools, Universal Mastering, and the bundled Boris Continuum Complete collection of filters and transitions) is contained in a $1500 optional upgrade to MC7, bringing the total price to $2499. Symphony users can upgrade to Media Composer 7 with Symphony Option for $299 (from v6.5) or $399 (from earlier versions). Academic versions of Media Composer 7 are $295.
The Media Composer Interplay Edition, which adds Avid Interplay and Interplay Sphere support for collaborative production, is supposed to be available for $1499, but does not yet seem to be available from Avid's online store.
A key feature of MC7 is its tuned-up high-res workflow options, which make it easier for editors to deal with 2K, 4K and 5K media for an HD deliverable. High-res files and volumes are linked into a project through a new unified AMA (Avid Media Access) window. The new FrameFlex tool gives editors new ways to control HD extractions from higher-resolution footage, easily reframing clips. FrameFlex is key-frameable, allowing the quick simulation of simple pans and zooms within the original high-resolution frame. MC7 also handles non-destructive color transformations from raw and Log C to Rec. 709 with support for 1D and 3D LUTs and CDLs, including batch conversions of multiple clips in a bin.
MC7 now automatically manages AMA-linked media, and new Dynamic Media Folders allow transcoding, copying, and other media-management tasks to be automated and run in the background. ARRI Alexa MXF; Red Epic, Scarlet-X, and One; AVCHD, ProRes, QuickTime, XDCAM, P2, Canon XF, and other formats are supported by AMA. (Potential upgraders should be aware, however, that certain AMA plugins have not yet been updated for MC7, including those for Sony's XDCAM-EX and certain QuickTime files. However, you may be able to use the existing MC6.5 versions of those plug-ins. Visit Avid's Knowledge Base for a list of as-yet-unsupported file types.)
Avid Media Composer comes bundled with Avid FX (Boris RED), Avid DVD, and Sorenson Squeeze.
Sound interesting? Take Media Composer 7 for a test drive with Avid's offer of a free trial version. And if you're wondering what performance will be like on your workstation, check out the Avid Knowledge Base for a complete list of systems that are qualified to work with MC7 on both the Mac and PC side.