Sony Vegas Pro 12 Review
- Category: Production
- Published: Tuesday, 23 October 2012 17:19
All right, now we're talking. The initial release of Vegas Pro 12 let us down with constant crashing and problems with our P2 media. Sony released an update on November 2nd that has us feeling much better about Vegas Pro 12 and its ability to handle P2 media natively. We tested it using the AVC-Intra 100 codec and about 100GB worth of files. We just dragged everything to the timeline. Vegas Pro 12 took a little time to catch up and draw the wav forms but everythign was in synch and it didn't crash. Not removing Vegas 11 and Raylight from the system just yet but the latest update seems to have fixed the P2 issues.
We also dumped lots of different media into the timeline while very aggressivley jumping around, scrubbing, right clicking and trying to work very fast. So far, "Build 394" is much more stable than the initial release. If you recently made the jump to Vegas Pro 12 you should get the notification of the new software release automatically unless you've turned this off in the software or your NLE system isn't online. Be sure to grab the latest update here.
We were asked to create this video for the Cal Bears football game with a very tight deadline. The goal was a 30 second video that featured SanDisk and co-branded with the University of Berkeley. . We used a variety of XDCAM, ProRes, DNxHD and P2 media to create this remix. The audio was looped, mastered and mixed in Vegas as well. The end result worked really well on the Jumbotron at the stadium. These kind of quick turn projects using a variety of media are ideal for Vegas. By the way we're still getting the best H.264 and X.264 codec results by rendering to a master DNxHD file and then transcoding to MP4 in Sorenson Squeeze or Handbrake.
New in Vegas Pro 12 is project interchange. Vegas can now convert between the native .veg file and AAF, for Avid® ProTools®, XML for Apple® Final Cut Pro® 7, Final Cut Pro X (export only), DaVinci Resolve 8, and .prproj for Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS6 and After Effects® CS6. This is really great in theory but when we exported our current project as a Premiere CS6 project we got a laundy list of items in the export log that were igrnored because of the differences in available features in the two programs. So, sure, with simple A-roll cuts this might be helpful but once you're knee deep in a project you're better off to render a master DNxHD file and pass that around.
We experienced good peformance with HD footage taken on the Canon 5D Mark III. Vegas 12 is able to work with these files without the need to transcode to DNxHD or ProRes and the performance seems improved over Vegas 11. This is a huge time saver, especially under tight deadlines. For the next example, we shot the interviews using the 5D Mark III and dropped in additional broll from the Antartica expedition. We also mastered the sound and added some wind for the open. All done in the Vegas Pro 12 timeline. No transcoding and no roundtrips to another application.
We were really glad ot see the update to Vegas 12 because in our first version of this review Vegas Pro 12 was not functioning on all cylinders. The product marketing team did a good job of adding the right features to Vegas Pro 12 but the execution isn't entirely there. If Vegas 11 is working for you you might want to hold off on the upgrade. If Vegas 11 is crashing on you for whatever reason definitely run the trial of Vegas 12 to see if things improve. There are lots of new features but we're a little skeptical given our initial first impression. We imagine it will keep improving with subsequent updates and now that the P2 issues have been worked out it's much more compelling.
Sony's tech support group is very slow to respond. We usually find the various online forums to be a more effective way to get answers on little tweaks and fixes that can help performance. We encountered a scenario where the explorer tab in Sony Vegas Pro 12 no longer displayed the contents inside the folders. It just stopped working. We didn't make any changes to our preferences or the layout. Needless to say once you no longer have the ability to browse for files using the Explorer window in Sony Vegas it becomes very frustrating to use requiring you to toggle in and out of directories. Well, after quite a bit of searching, we tried a master reset of all our Vegas settings and that did the trick. Control + Shift during restart while launching Vegas and low and behold the Explorer tab returned to its normal operation.
One last thing to note is the GPU acceleration. We've experienced a couple of problems with plug-ins when GPU acceleration is turned on. So to keep things stable we've opted to keep it turned off. We didn't notice much of an improvement in performance anyway. This is an area where Sony could make some improvements and offer better real time previews at higher resolutions.
Test System: Supermicro Workstation Dual hexcore Xeons 24 GB memory SSD for OS and apps, SSDs and Velociraptors for data, Quadro 4000/video Windows 7 Pro. Other software that is running great on this system includes: Adobe CS6 Production Suite, Edius 6.5, Combustion, Sorenson Squeeze, AVID Media Composer, and Vegas 11.
Visit Sony for more information and all the specs on Sony Vegas Pro 12.