Sony Vegas Pro 9 was initially just audio editing software that has now developed into audio and video editing software on Windows, with audio editing still being its strength. It is an integration of two very powerful applications that work together to offer a strong environment for video and broadcast professionals. It provides a very tough platform for creation and production of content. Although, it faces a tough competition from other editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro, it does have some very unique strengths at a very reasonable cost.
It gives you the option for adjusting the volume and applying audio effects at three places: per clip, per track, and at the master output. You may also apply independent volume envelopes to tracks, and fade clips in and out. This feature lets the user solve issues at the source. The Mixing Console view is a new feature added to this version of Vegas Pro. It shows audio track parameters in a fashion that is familiar to musicians. Adobe Premeire and Apple Final Cut Pro offer different audio editing applications to be used with the video editors.
The application has a streamlined interface. Navigating through the timeline is quicker. The key functions are assigned to a few mouse clicks and keyboard commands. The preview window and timeline thumbnails refresh faster, too. On the negative side the preview monitor is not always very quick to respond. Like other editing applications, Vegas Pro 9 does face some issues handling HD resolutions and demanding video codecs, like AVCHD.
Sony Vegas Pro supports video resolutions up to 4096×4096. It is capable of capturing XDCAM EX footage in MXF format, and offers support for RED's . r3d format, thanks to the in-depth dialogue/UI to control the RED RAW format as you add it to the timeline. It also offers a better support for AVCHD footage, while still supporting DV, mpeg2 HDV and MJPEG that were also supported in the earlier version. However, like the previous versions, Vegas Pro 9 too faces the same problem of being very slow and crashing at times when editing . mp4/. mov files from HD digital recorders like the Sanyo Xacti series and the Flip.
Version 9 features even better processing of 32bit floating point video. It gives you the freedom of switching form a faster 8bit processing to a slower, but better, 32bit processing and vice versa, without compromising on the quality of the video. This can be done with just the flip of a button. You can now edit in 8bit and export in 32bit. It also offers support to a few new image formats like OpenEXR, MS HD Photo, DPX. The application can load images much larger than a gigapixel in resolution, allowing you to zoom in to an image and crop it without pixilation.
Vegas Pro now has new plug-ins and transitions in addition to the existing ones. It offers visual effects like glint, rays, defocusing, etc. that were found in Final Cut Pro and After Effects. In addition to this it also lets third parties develop their own plug-ins, thanks to the stronger SDK.
The package includes a DVD Architect 5 that supports full Blu-Ray authoring in MPEG2 AVC format at 50i, 60i, and 24p frame rate. The application itself can burn current timeline on AVCHD disc, meaning you can burn high definition video on a plain DVD using a DVD writer. These AVCHD discs are supported by some Blu-Ray players, but not all of them. It also lets you apply brightness and contrast, Auto Levels, Crop, and Anti-Flicker filters for better results.
Vegas Pro 9 does have its share of problems, but when compared to other editing software in the same price range, it offers a lot of flexibility and power. It is aimed at people who need serious editing software at a reasonable cost. However, if you have been using Vegas Pro 8, the list of new features may seem short to you and the upgrade cost too high.