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What's New in Sony Vegas Pro 13?

A quick look at the latest new features in Sony Vegas Pro 13, including the Vegas Pro Connect iPad app, a proxy-first workflow for mobile and 4K editors, and true, four-range loudness meters.

What’s A Proxy?

A proxy is a substitute for the real thing. When you're working with 4K media, you may become limited by your hardware. This kind of file is unbelievably taxing to even the most robust systems. A proxy file is a file of reduced resolution rendered or transcoded from the original file and used during the editing process. You do all your cuts and color grading using the smaller files, then just before your render or encode for delivery, they are swapped out on the timeline for the original 4K files. (And please note, I could use the hyperbole from my original HD articles and get the same effect. We have indeed been here before!)

The More Things Change…

For those of us who have been in the video business longer than say, 20 minutes, it won't seem like that long ago that we were transitioning from Standard Definition DV to some flavor of HD or HDV. Computers ground to a halt, camera specs were all over the map, and NLEs were falling all over themselves to adopt and keep up--and here we are again at the dawn of 4K’s widespread adoption.

Vegas has accepted some 4K footage on the timeline ever since version 9 (and was the first NLE to do so) but in version 13 there are even more ways to handle and output to this newest resolution. You can render to more formats and codecs in full 4096x4096. In addition, Vegas 13 will create proxies for you on the fly as you add 4K media to the timeline, if you choose to work this way.

And Still...

Another broadcast feature is the inclusion of true loudness meters with four distinct ranges to ensure compliance with broadcast loudness standards. Also in this grab bag of features is a dusting off of Project Archiving to include nested projects and proxy files; updates to the main toolbar, the window docking layout, and transport controls; and the addition of many more formats and templates.

Other changes to the workflow include improved project archiving, easier control over docked windows, and changes to the transport controls. Although these are not headline-worthy features, they are welcome improvements. As insignificant as it sounds, having Windows auto-dock and not knowing how to deal with it drove some Vegas users bonkers.

Is It Safe?

If you’re talking about Fridays, elevators, and hotel floors, maybe not. New version of Vegas Pro? You bet. Since early May users have reported great performance that improves on version 12, well-known in the community for its stability. According to development managers at Sony Creative Software, for v13 the codebase has been refactored and compiled under the latest Windows .NET environments and the few bugs that haunted a few users seem to be gone.

While not abundant in new features, Vegas Pro 13 is a solid release for the Vegas community. I suggest you download the trial and check it out. 

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