Vegas Pro 19 is a new twist on the classic video editing software† New name, new features – but is it the same old Vegas underneath?
Vegas has always been a bit of a dice roll. In our Vegas Movie Studio 17 reviewthe video editor scored a clear average of 2.5 stars (the same goes for Vegas Movie Studio 15† We criticized the software for “wasn’t good as the name Vegas would lead you to believe. Your options are limited, or unnecessarily hidden, overly complex or confusing, and while some of the tools are implemented in a very clever, original and intuitive way, it feels generally too restrictive beyond your most basic needs”
But we are all a work in progress. So does Vegas Pro 19, which now includes a suite of new tools that will suit both beginners and experienced video editors, even if it’s not up to the mark. best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro†
The editor’s interface has undergone some subtle improvements. The overall look is a darker gray which makes the icons stand out more. Each use of color is more muted, with softer pastels, like those given to each video layer label.
You’ll also find this with Notes, an excellent online collaboration tool that makes it easy to work remotely with others on the same project. As the name suggests, Notes allows you to leave real notes, linked to a specific time code (this link can be easily changed). Clicking on the note will take you to that place in the timeline so that everyone can see the context of that note and make any necessary changes.
It is now possible to change the color of any note from a handful of different choices. It makes workflows more efficient, making it easier for you to distinguish between each of them. Although we found that selecting the yellow shade made it impossible to read the description and it’s a mystery why the developers added it without automatically darkening the text in it.
Changing the colors of the interface to improve the editing experience is one thing, but it’s also nice to see that the actual color correction has also improved.
The review panel has been redesigned, like thinner-looking, range-limited color wheels, giving you more control over the adjustments you make.
Vegas also comes with 40 LUTs and extensive individual R, G and B curves, making color correction more accurate and enjoyable than before.
The Subscription Hub
One of the biggest visual differences you’ll notice is the introduction of the Vegas Hub. Both as a large login button, at the top of the interface, and as a tab just above the timeline.
The online side of Vegas is being beefed up, though most of the cool features are subscribers only. It seems you can’t get around subscriptions these days – top editors like Adobe Premiere Pro and Cyberlink PowerDirector take them too. But like PowerDirector, you can choose to subscribe or pay for the software directly.
Such benefits include the ability to store media online, which can be synced between devices. This means that filmmakers can record footage with their phone and then upload it to the Hub using the video editing app on Android or iOS. Those clips will then be ready by the time you go back to your editing suite.
Another interesting addition only for subscriptions is Text to speech, which uses computer-generated voices to pronounce any phrases you give it. You have a choice of gender and different accents, giving you a good variety to work with.
Fortunately, not everything is tied to a subscription-only online service. Vegas Pro has a bunch of cool new additions to your workflow. One of these is ‘Adjustment Tracks’.
Instead of adding filters to clips, you can apply them to entire tracks instead. This allows you to add the same effects to multiple clips and control parameters from one location.
Even better, you can keyframe these effects and change their intensity over time, right from the timeline. It’s basically kinda cool VFX software that wasn’t possible – it wasn’t even conceivable – before in Vegas.
Another interesting improvement is in the upscaling. The previous filter was starting to show its age, but Vegas now has a new one AI-based which does it much better.
It is claimed to be able to convert SD (720×480) images to 4K (3840 x 2160). The filter comes with a simple slider – the farther you drag it, the more zoomed in and AI-detailed the clip will be.
Obviously, the sharper and cleaner the original clip is, the better the results will be. The tool is certainly a surprising improvement, but a welcome one. Especially when compared to older versions of the video editing software.
There is a new feature that Vegas introduced with version 19.
They care so much that they’ve provided three different ways to accomplish this: analyze completed, exported projects you’ve brought back to the editing suite, and split them every time there’s a cut.
After almost 20 years of editing short films, we haven’t had to do that very often, but then again, we are hoarders and most of our projects are still accessible and editable. This new feature makes us realize that we are clearly outnumbered.
If you need to re-edit or use a project, but no longer have access to the original media, only the finished product, you no longer have to manually cut your file, thanks to the new ‘Automatic Scene Detection’.
One way to do this is to select the file from the Project Media folder and choose ‘Detect and add scenes to timeline’. Vegas analyzes it, cuts it out and adds all the pieces in order to the timeline at the playhead location.
A second option is to select “Detect scenes and create subclips” instead, which will do the same thing, except it doesn’t add anything to the timeline, but inserts subclips from any cut into your Project Media folder.
Finally, there is “Scene Detection” in the Video FX section. This filter gives you some customization options that you won’t find with the other two methods. You get access to three sliders that help increase or decrease the sensitivity of the cuts.
If you perform such actions regularly, you will find that all these methods are a huge time saver.
Vegas is moving to the subscription model – who isn’t? – but it hasn’t forgotten those who would rather pay for a perpetual license. You can get Vegas Edit for $250, Pro for $400 and Post for $600. This is actually cheaper than what the previous version cost. Subscriptions are $13, $20, or $30 per month, respectively.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, you do receive benefits with the subscription model. For example, Edit allows you to edit 20 . to download royalty free HD videos and stock music samples every month and receive 20 GB of cloud storage†
Pro increases online storage to 50GB, gives you unlimited access to their content library and includes Vegas Stream streaming softwareSound Forge audio editor for sound production and the excellent Primatte chroma-keying software.
Post grants you 100 GB of cloud storage and also comes with VEGAS effects for high-quality visual effects composition and the VEGAS Image Photo editorallowing RAW image composition.
Vegas Pro 19 is still a video editing platform that is easy to use, yet packed with advanced features that can significantly speed up your workflow if you need to make more complex edits.
The interface redesign and all those new features added to the latest release are very welcome. It is unfortunate that some tools are only available to those who purchase a subscription to the software, but that is unfortunately the direction of travel for modern video editing software.