• Jay

Random Thoughts: Doing Everything in NLE

I’ve been witness to a weird phenomenon recently that just has me scratching my head an wanting to run to the hills. That phenomenon is doing everything in the video NLE.

Now let me back up before you smack me give and you some insight into where I’m coming from as I wonder. I came from a professional audio broadcast background. I spent over ten years in radio and audio post-production. In the audio field we also had our dedicated audio applications and hardware interfaces. We also had similar workflows: recording/enginering = production film shoot days; editing and mixing = editing and VFX; and in the record world mastering = DI/Color grading. It’s a very similar process with a different medium.

But I noticed something as I watched my film and video friends do their work. They did everything in the NLE. Including the audio. This I couldn’t understand because NLEs can’t do shiznit with audio. Even the latest versions of Avid, Premiere the venerable FCP- their audio mixing and editing functions are slow, basic, and clunkly. I can compare the same to doing my VFX, transition and motion work in Premiere or FCP vs. After Effects or Motion.

Why? Because it’s faster? I’d argue no. It’s like not reaching for the screwdriver to pull out the screw when you have pliers in your hand. Just grab the pliers and start pulling the screw out that way. Ever tried it? You can do it, but it sucks. It would be faster and more efficient to put down the pliers and reach for the screw driver even though you have to take the time to switch tools. The right tool for the right job. I’m the first to admit that I’ve taken the “short cut” by doing some audio and VFX in my NLE. And you know what? It’s been more frustrating and in fact taken me longer to the same amount of work.

I use Premiere/Avid, After Effects and Nuendo on every project. Yes, Adobe has made it very, very easy to move things from app to app, but it’s also the tools I use and I’m quicker taking the time to switch tools than not.

But, I understand there may be some really compelling circumstances surrounding keeping the project in the NLE and time and/or experience on another application isn’t one of them. It could be creative control,  assorted issues with another facility or costs with additional software/hardware. Either way, it’s something I’ve noticed that’s stuck me as odd.


©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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