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Newb at crossroads:devote more time learning MSP13 or PD14?

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Newb at crossroads:devote more time learning MSP13 or PD14?

Postby lingyai » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:41 pm

Happy New Year everyone.

I'm a video-editing semi-newb just getting back into the hobby after some years. I got Sony's MSP 13 Suite, and after around 20 hours of messing around, like it a lot. Powerful, accessible, stable, yay :exc: I'm also at home with the GUI and general workflow as I've used Sony products (Acid, Acid Pro, Sound Forger) for some time now.

Yesterday, I realized, though, that it has a 20 track limit, and while that can be worked around by rendering things to keep the track count in check, it's not always ideal.

So I looked around, decided Vegas is just too expensive for me now, and long story short, got PowerDirector 14 Ultimate on sale. The 100 track count was the main reason; my basic idea was that if I have projects with loads of tracks, I'd create "stem" clips in Sony and then arrange them in PD14.

Only after purchase did I realize -- wow, PD14 is, on paper at least, quite a full-featured editor in its own right, with a lot of cool-sounding features.

Time will tell which I prefer. I don't mind shuffling things between two editors sometime if there's a real benefit to doing so.

For now, though, I have to get to grips with what each does / does best. I already have Steve's book on MSP13 as well as a lot of video tutorials. I now see Steve has also written about PD14 , and that there's a lot of other learning material out there, including a hefty manual, for it as well.

I am willing to learn by the usual methods -- by reading, watching tutorials, trying things out, asking questions ... BUT the thing is .. between this hobby and my main one, music production, I am now really drowning in software to learn. With sooo many features out there :ha: I strongly prefer to ration my time by trying to learn about something only if it can offer some real advantage over what I already have / know. There's just so many hours in a day, and so much my ageing brain can absorb.

With that in mind -- would anyone care to share their thoughts -- in your opinion, between MSP13 nd PD14,

a) which would be the better one to concentrate on? This is basically asking, what's the better DAW for a hobbyist, who of course likes cool features, is willing to learn new stuff within limits, but who can't stand bugginess / instability? (I really hate learning a feature which turns out not to work -- or making a full clip or film which turns out not to render -- in the end)

b) if that question is too big / broad, may I ask are there, in summary, things which MSP13 dos a lot better than PD14, and vice-versa? Several years ago I tried PD, and my impression was that while it had some cool, unique / uniquely good FX, it was freezey / crashy as hell. So I ended up using it to apply certain FX to individual clips, rendering hem, and the using them in another editor.

That was many verions ago, in a 32 bit XP world. Fast forward to now (Win 64 Pro, i7 2.7 Ghz CPU, 16 GB RAM). Maybe things have changed?

Anyway, I'd be grateful for any guidance.
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Re: Newb at crossroads:devote more time learning MSP13 or PD

Postby Steve Grisetti » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:29 am

I'm not sure how much guidance I can offer, lingyai. It's a little like trying to help someone decide if they should get a Ford or a Mazda. It all kind of depends on which you're more comfortable with.

Both Movie Studio and PowerDirector are very stable products that handle a variety of video formats.

Of the two, PowerDirector 14 Ultimate has a more full-featured toolkit. With PowerDirector you can edit multi-cam video -- a feature rarely seen in a consumer program. It also comes with a huge library of particle effects (especially if you use the free, online library) and includes and excellent disc authoring tool.

On the other hand, Movie Studio 13 has a more traditional timelline and, in my experience anyway, it takes fewer steps to do basic things like split, trim and add effects to clips. But that could be because I haven't spent enough time getting used to PowerDirector's workflow. Also, going from Movie Studio to Vegas Pro involves a fairly easy learning curve -- and Vegas Pro is full-featured, professional editor at a fraction of the price of programs like Premiere Pro and Final Cut X. If you like Sony's workflow, you may want to look into version 11 or 12 of Vegas Pro, which you can probably find deeply discounted on eBay or Amazon.

The biggest liability with Movie Studio/Vegas is that Sony has officially announced that they're "done" with the program. They'll continue to support version 13 of each program, but they aren't planning a new version -- which could mean any number of things from Sony getting out of the video editing business to Sony completely re-thinking the programs.

So give PowerDirector and Movie Studio both a test drive. They each offer full-featured free trials of the software. Throw everything you can at them. 4K, if you can get your hands on it. Mix several formats in the same project. Stick an hour or two of footage on your timeline and see how stable the program behaves on your computer.

And then follow your instincts. You can't go wrong. These are both excellent programs!

Hope that helps.
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