Autor: Redaktion

Avid Media Composer

AVID has been one of the main providers of non-linear editing systems for a long time, thanks to its editing system Media Composer.

AVID has been one of the main providers of non-linear editing systems for a long time, thanks to its editing system Media Composer. Although best known for Media Composer, AVID provides software and hardware products for a range of diverse applications in media production, post-production, transcoding, and storage. 
In later releases of Media Composer, content resolution independence was introduced into the systems architecture. This means that while project types offer 4K and 60fps, the limitations in the software have been removed to enable 8K, 64K or even 128K post production in the future (if the processing power is available to achieve this).

Working with the company's own codecs: DNxHD/DNxHR

The Media Composer (MC) is widely used globally and offers an extensive set of tools to meet the requirements of different production and recording formats. Colour correction and mastering features make it possible to map the entire post-production workflow within the one software tool.
Avid developed the DNxHD codec in-house, which is specifically geared for post-production and as an intra-frame codec, it offers different quality levels.

To respond to the growing need for post production systems to edit material in higher than HD resolutions, Avid introduced it’s DNxHR codec in 2014. This codec currently supports resolutions up to 4K and is backwards compatible with previous versions. As with DNxHD, DNxHR enables editors to work with different levels of compressed proxies, which increases performance when working on complex projects. This approach enables mastering at resolutions of 2K, 4K and at high frame rates for the final Master.

To increase performance when working with high-resolution materials, the MC provides the ability to convert the timeline into proxy mode during the edit, displaying 1/4-resolution and 1 / 16th resolution. For editorial reviews in full resolution the timeline and effects will need to be rendered for playback.

Working with other codecs

For some time, it has also been possible to use different recording formats and codecs, imported natively into projects within Media Composer.  This includes ProRes (Apple), XAVC (Sony), AVC-Intra (Panasonic) or XF-AVC (Canon). A complete overview of the codecs supported natively in Media Composer can be found in the software release notes.
If, however a codec is not supported natively it is possible to transcode the material into DNxHD or DNxHR codecs. Transcoding materials is often time and processor intensive, so one alternative is to use an Avid Media Access (AMA) plugin to enable the playback and further processing of materials. 

AMA plug-ins are available for several formats (e.g. XDCAM ), high quality formats like ARRIRAW , REDRAW and Phantom Raw can be processed via plugins. These plug-ins are usually developed by the codec manufacturers themselves and are available to Avid. However, the AMA method is a processor-intensive procedure, therefore it will have an impact on systems operating on older hardware, when they want to process high resolution materials.

Hardware requirements

It is important to follow the AVID recommendations for hardware specifications. This ensures that  equipment will run optimally. This isn’t limited to just the processor speeds and ram, graphics cards and interface cards also play a significant role in modern post production acceleration. The hardware is always tested by Avid in advance and certified, to ensure it is suitable for the application.
In addition to the Media Composer software, Avid offers hardware solutions in the form of I/O boxes. The Avid Nitris DX hardware, Mojo DX or DnxIO are external input and output devices which include hardware encoders (for DnxIO via firmware update and also DnxHR encoding) and convert media formats and colour spaces.

Exchange formats

Avid MC offers compatibility and media exchange with a variety of other software products via the AAF exchange format. This format can include metadata , entire projects or compositions, inclusive or exclusive of AV data. The handover of different sections of projects to sound post production, or to colour correction have become extremely easy via AAF.
The newly developed Avid MediaCentral UX offers opportunities for collaboration across different workstations, locations and systems.


The current version is v2019.6
Find details in the PDF in the download area.

With support for more video and audio streams, live timeline and background rendering, and a distributed processing option, users can expect more performance from the newly developed media engine. Depending on the Media Composer version, Media Composer 2019 adds various editing, finishing and collaboration features. 

Highlights include the new engine:

  • 32-bit floating point pipeline with 16K, HDR, as well as ACES and OpenEXR support
  • New formats with support for MXF OP1a and new DNxUncompressed
  • New Timeline tools to edit clips & audio tracks faster
  • Panel interface for individual customization of the user interface
  • Workspace Toolbar to switch between Edit, Color, Effects and Audio.
  • Organize, view and search media with new methods, including a small visual navigator window.
  • Inspector tool to create, edit or view metadata for a clip or sequence in a Bin.

AVID Media Composer First

With the AVID Media Composer First, AVID has been offering a free cutting program for download.
AVID thus enables all interested parties to test the video editing system for professionals and try out the first steps with this editing program.

You register and can then download the program.
You can create projects, import and cut material, create a slimmed down Use the effect palette and export it for Youtube and VIMEO. The free version of AVID Media Composer has some limitations, compared to the full version, the so-called AVID Media Composer and the AVID Media Composer Ultimate.

Here are some of the most important limitations at a glance:

  • you can create a maximum of 5 bins in your project
  • transcoding and consolidation is limited
  • the EDL - Tool is now called List Tool and is not available
  • Video tracks are limited to 4
  • Audio tracks are limited to 8
  • Data traces are not available
  • at the frame rate there is no progressive support for SD raster
  • 5.1 and 7.1 Audio is not available
  • no import of AAF, EDL and ALE
  • the export is restricted

AVID Whats new v2019.6

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