Sonic Foundry Vegas 4.0 +DVD test

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Sonic Foundry Vegas 4.0 +DVD

As Premiere loses its monopoly over the mainstream video editing market, Sonic Foundry is poised to go head to head with Pinnacle in a bid to seize Adobe's crown. Will Vegas prove to be a safe bet or a dodgy gamble?

Unlike the early days of NLE, video editors running Windows-based systems now have a wide choice of well-featured video editing programs. Back then, thanks to aggressive marketing and OEM bundles with video hardware products, the market was dominated by Adobe Premiere. Now, support for OHCI FireWire ports and DV video in all current operating systems has allowed some pretty strong competition to emerge - particularly in the form of Pinnacle's Edition and Sonic Foundry's Vegas. Both programs come from completely different backgrounds - Edition from the high-end video editing arena, and Vegas spawned from the world of audio editing software.

Vegas +DVD is a bundle composed of Vegas 4.0 and DVD Architect, Sonic's DVD authoring software. With this bundle comes an integrated software AC-3 encoder which works neatly alongside Vegas's 5.1 surround sound mixer - a feature unique to Vegas in the mainstream desktop video market. These audio tools alone could make Vegas +DVD an essential application for the freelance professional and advanced DVD author.


Vegas 4.0 isn't as tactile and comfortable an interface as Pinnacle's Edition, but it's still a hugely impressive program. While basic video cutting tools seem rather weak, its up-front video and audio effects are comprehensive and rich. In addition, the Vegas +DVD package offers 24-bit audio support, surround sound mixing capabilities and 5.1 AC-3 encoding, and that, to our mind, makes it a must-buy bundle - even if it's one we'd use to finishing off the audio of projects created in Edition, and then prepare for DVD authoring.

DVD Architect is a good program that competes well with Ulead's DVD Workshop, but lacks Workshop's tactile and user-friendly interface design. Most annoying, though, is its inability to play video in real-time with sound when setting chapter markers. Overall, we're a little disappointed with Architect, having seen the immense amount of thought that had gone into the latest version of Vegas. We were really hoping for something that would better address the needs of professionals working under Windows - and that means DLT export, copy protection and support for multi-angles, additional audio tracks and subtitles. We hope to see DVD Architect and Vegas develop further in this direction in the not too distant future.

Peter Wells

Read the full review in June 2003's Computer Video magazine.



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Reviewed in June's issue:

Sonic Foundry Vegas 4.0 +DVD
SurCode Dolby V-Plug
Ulead DVD Workshop AC-3
Final Cut Express
Magix Video Deluxe 2.0 Plus

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