Now let’s see. If you were thinking of just starting out in the wonderful world of video editing – or indeed, even having a rethink on your current setup – and wondered what NLE to use, where would you start?
Features? Price?” Workflow? Operating systems its available on? Plugins compatibility? Associated applications such as image editing, motion graphics and 3D?
Common sense says all these factors should be brought into play of course, but I reckon Blackmagic Design has recently thrown a huge curved wobbly into the mix.
And that curved wobbly is called the Da Vinci Resolve Speed Editor.
So What Is It?
Regular readers will remember some time back I waxed lyrical about the Blackmagic Design Da Vinci Resolve 16 keyboard (read about it here). Well, the Speed Editor is sort of like its little brother (or sister). It’s an elegant piece of beautifully engineered hardware especially particularly designed to complement the Cut Page command structure of the da Vinci Resolve NLE from version 17 onwards.
Consisting of a series of dedicated buttons, keys and a big jog / shuttle wheel, old timers will be instantly taken back to the workflow of the old analogue way of editing, but with the huge convenience of the digital way of doing things.
And as the name suggests, it does speed up editing. Dramatically.
Buttons and Keys
Segmented into different panels depending on the type of commands or function, and to a degree also colour coded, it rapidly becomes second nature to use the Mark and Trim In / Out buttons, Ripple Overwrite, Smart Insert, Append and Close-Up buttons.
I especially like the Source button letting you see all your assets in a media pool bin as one long clip delineated by separators allowing you to quickly and easily shuttle up and down to find segments to add to the timeline, just as if it was a single tape.
There are also 9 dedicated camera buttons, video / audio only keys, and a Sync Bin button which shows all the clips on separate timelines but synced via timecode. This allows very fast choosing and inserting of footage from different camera angles to create a more interesting story without having to manually sync up footage.
Connectivity to your PC, Mac or LUNIX based Da Vinci system is via either USB Cable (which oddly is not supplied), or via Bluetooth.
For all the details, you can click here.
Why Is This Such a Game Changer?
Let’s do some background work to answer that question.
Say you were looking at Adobe Creative Cloud as your preferred editing environment as you want Premiere Pro and After Effects, with Photoshop as an added benefit.
This as you probably know is now only available via subscription from Adobe (for Mac and PC) and will set you back AUD$76.99 per month for all the apps (20+) or AUD$59.98 / month for just Premiere and After Effects. Photoshop adds another AUD$30 to that, so obviously the complete Creative Cloud suite is the way to go.
If Vegas Pro Suite (with Vegas Pro, Effects and Image) takes your fancy, as a purchase that’ll set you back approx. AUD$1400 based on current exchange rates and is of course PC only.
Final Cut Pro for the Mac is AUD$499, AVID Media Composer approx. AUD$30 month on subscription and then you have the likes of Corel VideoStudio, Pinnacle Studio and a host of others of varying levels of features / functionality, but needing add ons for the image editing and motion graphics etc.
Compare this to the Studio version of DaVinci Resolve which you would own outright for AUD$469.
And here is the game changer bit. For that price, you not only get an NLE that just about everybody agrees is up there with the very best and definitely has the colour grading system all others would like to be, but also gets you the Speed Editor hardware for nix.
If you want more motion graphics etc capability than the basic Fusion toolkit that is built into Resolve, then you can download Fusion 17 from Blackmagic Design for AUD$295 and then you’ll have one hell of an editing workstation indeed.
Or to put it another way, if you buy the Speed Editor, you’ll get a full version of Resolve 17 Studio thrown in.
Simply, I do not think there is a better deal available than this considering our initial requirements question of features, price, workflow, operating environment, plugins available and associated applications.
Plus you get the Speed Editor hardware thrown in. All for AUD$469.
And if you chuck in a Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro …