Article Overview

Avid Introduces “New Media Composer Family”

The Leading Editing System Raises the Bar with Third-Party IO, 64-bit Performance and the Support of New Native Formats

Avid® announced new versions of its flagship video editing systems—MediaComposer® version 6, NewsCutter® version 10 and Symphony® version 6. Building upon more than 20 years of product innovation and commitment to its professional users, these industry-leading professional editing systems today deliver new levels of openness, performance, collaboration and productivity — enabling independent professionals, post-production houses, broadcasters and all media companies to get their work done faster, work together on projects more effectively and reduce costs through greater productivity.

Key Features Include Native RED Epic and AVCHD Support, ProResEncode/Decode, and 4:4:4 DNxHD
Key features in this update include an expansion of Avid's Media Access (AMA), which now supports native AVCHD, native RED Epic, ProRes encode and decode, and a new DNxHD 4:4:4 codec. Support for Avid's Artist Color hardware interface has been beefed up, and Pro Tools round-tripping is now complete — users now can make changes to their mix in Media Composer and see them show up in Pro Tools 10. Media Composer 6 will be $2,499 - NewsCutter 10 starts at $2,499 and Symphony 6 — available for the first time as a standalone software product, rather than a turnkey system — will start at $5,999 in its software-only incarnation.

New 64-bit Media Composer, Symphony andNewsCutter offer unparalleled workflow speed, flexibility and time savings; available for Mac OS and Windows
Together with existing Avid innovations such as AMA, for direct access to file-based media, Avid PhraseFind, powered by Nexidia, and Avid ScriptSync®, for phonetic searching and editing, and real-time Mix and Match, allowing multiple formats in the same timeline — this major release reinforces MediaComposer, NewsCutter and Symphony systems as the ultimate professional editors on the market, specifically designed to meet the creative and technical demandsof the broadest array of editing workflows.


AJA, Blacmagic Design, Bluefish444, Matrox and MOTU and more third-party support

Answering users who have complained about a lack of flexible workflow options, Avid said it's serious about third-party solutions, announcing a set of partners who plan to have products supporting Media Composer 6 on its November 15 launch through the Avid Open I/O initiative — AJA, Blackmagic Design, Bluefish444, Matrox and MOTU. AndAvid will be providing an open SDK for any third party who wants to extend their gear to work with Avid products, said Chris Gahagan, senior VP of products and solutions, during a press briefing introducing the new release.

The current family of KONA cards, KONA 3G, KONA 3, KONA LHi and KONA LHe Plus, will all support Avid Media Composer 6.0, NewsCutter 10.0 and Symphony 6.0 with the addition of Avid Open I/O enabling support for third-party audio and video interfaces. AJA’s Io Express portable video I/O device already supports Avid Media Composer and NewsCutter, offering HD/SD capture, monitoring and output; AJA’s recently announced Io XT will offer a similar feature set for Thunderbolt-enabled workflows.


AJA’s Io Express portable video I/O device already supports Avid Media Composer and NewsCutter, offering HD/SD capture, monitoring and output; AJA’s recently announced Io XT will offer a similar feature set for Thunderbolt-enabled workflows.

“With KONA 3G, Avid editors can have access to very cost-effective, high quality video I/O. Avid editors have been clamoring for KONA support for Avid, and we’re thrilled that the Avid Open I/O initiative is making this possible,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “We also have an array of products from AJA for Avid editors that deliver industry proven quality and reliability.”

In addition to the AJA KONA and Io family of products, the company is also working jointly with Avid to build support for the Avid DNxHD® video codec into Ki Pro Mini, enabling further production efficiencies to Avid Media Composer. AJA’s Ki Pro Mini is a portable video recorder, facilitating direct camera-to-edit workflows that enable the digital acquisition of the highest quality and most-popular post-friendly codecs.


Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design announced Desktop Video 9.0 with advanced capture and playback for the Avid® Media Composer® 6 family of for both Windows 7™ and Mac OS X™.

Avid Media Composer has long been respected by the broadcast and film industry. For the first time, Avid customers can use Blackmagic Design’s latest Thunderbolt, USB 3.0 and PCI Express video capture and playback devices. The combination of Blackmagic Design hardware and the flexibility of Avid Media Composer let the user work with virtually any media format including Uncompressed 10 bit YUV and RGB, Avid DNxHD®, Panasonic DVCPRO HD, Sony XDCAM and more.

Blackmagic Design’s UltraStudio 3D and DeckLink HD Extreme 3D take full advantage of new advanced 3D editing support in Media Composer 6, saving time and creating a much more fluid editing experience for 3D projects.


“We have been waiting to do this for years!” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “To have full integration with Avid Media Composer 6 with our capture and playback devices, plus AAF round trip with DaVinci Resolve, are truly defining moments for all our creative customers and for the film and television industry, this changes everything.”

Desktop Video 9.0 is available for download now and free of charge for all Blackmagic Design customers. This update includes support for all current DeckLink, Multibridge, Intensity and UltraStudio models.

Bluefish444 has worked closely with Avid engineering and product management throughout 2011 to tightly integrate Media Composer 6, Symphony 6 and NewsCutter 10 with the entire range of Epoch and Create video cards.


As a result, Bluefish444 customers can now avail themselves of Avid’s unique time-saving tools and advanced workflows, including seamless integration of the Avid DNxHD® codec. Support for Avid software, together with Bluefish444 bundled Symmetry and Fluid software, provides an end-to-end, extremely flexible post production workflow solution from Bluefish444 at an ultra high quality 12 bit processing of SDI I/O.

“Bluefish444 has provided a robust 444/422 SDI I/O solution for the past decade. The most commonly demanded request throughout that time from our customer base has been support for Avid software. Avid have been a pleasure to work with and have clearly been listening to and acting upon the same message. Avid Open I/O is an exciting development for everybody involved in post production and especially Bluefish444 Epoch and Create customers” said Craige Mott, Managing Director.

All Bluefish444 customers with an Epoch or Create video card will be able to access the Avid plug-ins free of charge from the Bluefish444 homepage

Matrox® Video Products Group announced support for Avid® Media Composer® version 6 with the entire range of Matrox MXO2 I/O devices and the new Matrox Mojito™ MAX™ card. Not only do Matrox I/O products provide broadcast-quality input and output, they also lets users deliver H.264 files for the web, mobile devices, and Blu-ray up to five times faster than software alone, without sacrificing quality. Other important features include 10-bit hardware scaling, inexpensive HD monitoring with the exclusive Matrox HDMI Calibration Utility, and 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound monitoring using professional connections.


“Matrox MXO2 MAX I/O devices are unique on the market in giving Avid editors lightning-fast H.264 encoding directly from Media Composer 6,” said Alberto Cieri, senior director of sales and marketing at Matrox. “They are also still the only solutions that connect anywhere, Mac® and PC, via Thunderbolt, PCIe, or ExpressCard/34 — with the same versatile unit.”

“Avid first supported the Matrox MXO2 Mini — a cost-effective HD monitoring solution compatible with both Mac OS® and Windows®, and on laptops and desktops — with Media Composer version 5, and the reaction from customers was great,” said Angus Mackay, pro video marketing manager at Avid. “Avid customers have asked for even more support for Matrox products, and they will be pleased to know that Matrox support for Avid Media Composer version 6 has now expanded to the entire range of Matrox MXO2 I/O devices, and the new Matrox Mojito MAX card, and includes full integration with Avid editing systems, including capture, monitoring, and output.”

MOTU's HDX-SDI and HD Express video interfaces are compatible with Avid Media Composer 6, Symphony 6, and NewsCutter 10.


The HDX-SDI and HD Express deliver uncompressed, full-raster 1080/720 HD or SD video to and from the computer, allowing users to capture and play HD/SD material using any video format supported by Media Composer and Avid Media Access®, such as XDCAM, DNxHD, and ProRes.

With the full rack-space HDX-SDI, ingest any uncompressed SDI, HDMI, or component HD source and then capture and edit in an Avid-supported codec of choice, while monitoring the Media Composer timeline on external SDI, HDMI and/or component monitors. The half-rack HD Express provides all the same video I/O features for those who don't need SDI. Both devices deliver unmatched multi-channel audio I/O features, including embedding and de-embedding, to cover a wide range of audio capture and playback workflows.

An updated MOTU video driver installer that includes the Open I/O Plug-in for the HDX-SDI and HD Express will be available for download on the MOTU homepage.

Enhanced Integration for the Most DemandingPost Production Workflows
• Increase flexibility for editorial and finishing with enhanced ProTools® integration and 5.1/7.1 surround and extensive metadata management, whichallows the transfer of more session data from Media Composer to Pro Tools.Additional metadata is available in the AAF interchange format. Extensive5.1/7.1 surround support is also fully compatible with Pro Tools through theimproved AAF capabilities.
• Maintain a familiar and trusted editorial process with new,industry-defining 3D stereoscopic workflows that offer full resolution,real-time editing, mixed eye workflows as well as a deep toolset, with titleand conversion control. Editors can also easily export metadata into Avid orother third-party finishing systems for grading and high-end effects.
• Preserve full color information from HD RGB 4:4:4 sources withoutcompromising system performance or storage through the new Avid DNxHD 444, ahigh-quality HD codec. Avid DNxHD 444 can help significantly enhance real-timeHD production productivity with the highest color detail possible, is suitablefor the most demanding productions, and is also an ideal archiving format.


Additional New Editorial Capabilities to Increase Workflow Speed and Productivity
• Gain greater power and flexibility in high performance color correction with support for the Avid Artist Color control surface within Avid editing systems.
• Speed time to editing by eliminating timely transcode, re-wrap, and log and transfer processes through expanded AMA, which now offers native support for AVCHD and RED Epic as well as the ability to encode Apple ProRes (Mac OS-based systems only).
• Ease and expedite workflows and toolset expansion with the new Avid Marketplace, which offers in-system access to stock footage from Thought Equity Motion. The Avid Marketplace also enables customers to browse available video and audio plugins along with other products in the Avid Store to complete a suite.
• Get questions answered quickly with a new Customer Assist Tool, offering direct, in-app access to guides, help, and configuration information.
• Gain up to 2.5 times faster encoding with Sorenson Squeeze v6.0.4, included with Media Composer, NewsCutter, and Symphony software.

Hiding Stereo 3D Tools Until You Need Them
“The strategy of staying true to the software's longstanding interface is our approach to a stereoscopic workflow,” said Chris Gahagan, explaining that improved stereo tools are very much a part of the new version, but they're kept hidden until an editor needs to dip into them. "We've tried to make 3D editing as easy as editing in 2D," he said. "We hide the fact that there's a left eye and a right eye, but the editor is surrounded by tools that help them understand if they're making good decisions from a 3D standpoint. They can hop into 3D mode and make changes to depth of field and convergence. It lets them edit at a pace that makes sense, but be surrounded by tools that make the process much easier."

According to Gahagan, beta customers who are currently working on major-studio film releases for 2012 say the new tools dramatically speed the process of editing stereo content. "The feedback we're hearing is that we're changing the speed they can work from days to minutes in terms of 3D content," he claimed.

And Finally
“Time and creativity is money for our customers, and they are looking for solutions that can help them continue to advance the art of creative storytelling without adding technological complexity,” said Chris Gahagan. “As we debut the most open, accessible and highest-performance versions of Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter—ever—we are thrilled to take a significant leap forward in providing our customers with new industry standards in speed, ease and access that can help them do their jobs more effectively.”

About Avid
Avid creates the digital audio and video technology used to make the most listened to, most watched and most loved media in the world – from the most prestigious and award-winning feature films, music recordings, television shows, live concert tours and news broadcasts, to music and movies made at home. Some of Avid’s most influential and pioneering solutions include Media Composer, Pro Tools, Interplay®, ISIS®, VENUE, Sibelius®, System 5, and Avid Studio.

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion, acquisition and desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post-production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world.

About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards  launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s DaVinci Emmy™ award winning color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore, and Australia.

About Bluefish444
Bluefish444 is the manufacturer of the industry’s highest-quality uncompressed 4K/2K/HD/SD video cards for the Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems. Its video cards are used in broadcast, feature film and post-production markets for editing, animation, compositing, color correction, restoration, digital intermediate, 3D and IPTV applications. Bluefish444 cards have been used on award-winning feature films, commercials, music videos and sports events worldwide. Bluefish444’s range of video cards are incorporated in video servers, encoders, decoders and character generator solutions by numerous 3rd party OEM manufacturers, in addition to other niche & mainstream applications. Founded in 1998, Bluefish444 is a division and brand name of Bluefish Technologies Pty Ltd., which is based in S. Melbourne, Australia. Its products are distributed via an extensive sales channel of OEMs, dealers, and system integrators globally.

About Matrox
Matrox Video Products Group is a technology and market leader in the field of HD and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, DVD/Blu-ray authoring, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, clip/still stores, and CGs. Matrox's Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, post-production facilities, project studios, corporate communicators, and videographers worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

About MOTU
MOTU is a leading developer of computer-based audio and video production hardware and software. MOTU was founded in 1980 and has been developing audio, video and music technology products since 1984. Inspired by the Macintosh when it first appeared, engineers at MOTU developed one of the Macintosh's first music programs ever. Performer®, the music industry standard for MIDI sequencing, began shipping in 1985. MOTU products serve a wide range of users, from consumers to enterprise-level installations in music, broadcast, film, gaming and other entertainment industries. MOTU is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just across the Charles River from Boston.