Sony Vegas Pro 13 - PC Review

Video game recording has become a popular process for gamers in recent years. With tools like the recently reviewed, and excellent, AverMedia ExtremeCap U3 CV710, Fraps, OBS and XSplit, gamers have more tools than ever to record their content. However not every recording will be perfect so editing is needed and this is where things can become a bit more difficult, after all, it is pretty easy to start up a recording application and play a game.

Plotting out the edits, cleaning up audio, adding transitions and effects can all be a daunting process and there are not many video editors out there that can create a professional-looking product once you are done. Enter one of the larger names in the video editing business, Sony with Vegas Pro 13. We were able to get our hands on this ultra-powerful editing software so read on to find out more about this premiere editing suite.

Sony Vegas Pro 13 is not for the faint of heart; this is a fully-featured video editing platform that has more options for editing most of their competition. While the learning curve may be a bit high, once you get a handle on the highly customizable interface importing media, splitting content, adding transitions and effects are a breeze. Beginners may shy away from all of the options available at first, but a quick visit to Sony's free tutorials page will ease new users (and refresh existing users) into the Editor and help familiarize them with the application. Given the sheer power of Sony Vegas Pro 13 though, I strongly recommend users spend the time to watch the training material otherwise it is very easy to become overwhelmed.

Once you familiarize yourself with the editor via the free training material getting to work is actually quite simple. You would import your media, in my case some recent 1080p footage captured at 60 frames per second from my ExtremeCap U3 CV710 and my PlayStation 4. After adding my video to the timeline, splitting content, cutting out the errors in my gaming or narration, adding animations and transitions were all very easy to accomplish. Partially due to the fact that the primary tools are easy to get to but more so because I could completely customize my tool layout, and even save said layouts for future use. Initial setup with quite a bit of trial and error is required and time consuming but once you find the toolset that works best for you subsequent edits will be a breeze.

Vegas Pro has an impressive list of supported file formats and framerates, though for my purpose I was looking at Fraps AVI files and AverMedia's MP4 files, as both can become quite large and are recorded at 60 FPS. Other editors that I have used would stutter and have performance issues when loading in a 40GB+ 1080p MP4 however with Sony Vegas Pro 13, even with dozens, if not hundreds of cuts, the editing suite only showed slow down when I was trying to simultaneously download a few review titles via Steam. Upon exiting Steam though performance picked back up and all was right with the universe.

Once I was done editing my project (which, due to my own poor performance, took longer than expected, figure about 5 hours of cutting out deaths and bad "uhs" and "ums") it was a matter of rendering the final video. Just as Vegas can support dozens of file types, it can also produce a number of them, from standards like MP4 and MOV files to other file types like the XDCAM EX format or even MPEG-2 (an aging format), though you are not limited to video only; you can also export OGG, AIFF, AC-3 and MP3 audio files. For as powerful as Sony Vegas Pro 13 is though, the rendering process did take a bit longer than I expected, though it was within tolerable ranges.

For a 47 minute long project (cut down from 73 minutes) it took just shy of two hours to produce. Given how many tiny cuts I made I was not surprised at the length of time it took to produce and feel that Vegas performed admirably, if not best-in-class, though the rendered file was just as high quality as the original file so the time was well spent.

The sheer power of Sony Vegas Pro 13 places it well into the premiere professional video editing suites, providing nearly every video editing option under the sun, from trimming and transitions to chromakey and audio effects', Vegas Pro 13 has it all. New users may be a bit intimidated by all of the features but if you press on you will find that the suite is fully featured, easy to use, and best of all, you can create professional-quality video content with relative ease. It is, without a doubt, one of the most impressive video editing suites on the market today.

Review by Robert

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