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Decent video editing software for Windows

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Looking for advice / guidance / suggestions from the Basschat Massive.

Please do not tell me to buy an Apple Mac, that's not going to happen.

@Silvia Bluejay takes loads of band videos at live (pub) gigs, sometimes at rehearsals, occasionally in a recording studio. It's quite normal for there to be two (or even three) cameras in use, and perhaps also to have a separate audio source.

I have absolutely no background in media, video, or editing. I would like the ability to pull in a video from one camera, bring in a couple of cutaways from another camera, and marry up the whole to a single soundtrack. And to do that limited range of processes in a simple manner. The ultimate aim would be publication on YouTube or similar.

I'm not looking for a television standard of editing with (virtual) racks of high-end equipment and an unlimited range of effects and processes. In truth I need little more than Cut & Paste, Fade In/Out, maybe the usual Transition effects, but if you think I need more than that then I'm listening.

Given that I am a Media Fool, the software needs to be foolproof. Free software is always welcome, but I have no objection to paying a sensible amount (i.e. no 'Pro' licences at $995 each) for a package that will do what I need.

For context, I have for years used Freemake Video Converter as a simple Cut & Paste tool, taking a good-quality video from a pub gig, editing out the stuff before and after the song, and then saving as an MP4. On very rare occasions I have also used Windows Movie Maker because that allows me to marry up one video to one external soundtrack. Neither of these programs will let me do things like cutaways.

What can you tell me?

 

 

 

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Not free but Adobe Premiere I found spectacularly easy to do what you described on.
I haven't used for a while and i think it is now a cloud/monthly based model 

 

Its not much different to editing audio (on a very basic level) - put your audio layers and video layers on and change the levels etc etc

As a soundie, it made the most sense to me
PremierePro_Timeline-centric.png

Edited by gapiro
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If sightly negative (from your point of view) reviews help, I use Shotcut for editing in car video from track days and other bits and pieces. It's free and it will do everything you need and more but I wouldn't say it's easy or intuitive. It's not terrible in that respect but it's not the best either. So maybe not the one for the top of your list.

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@gapiroThanks for that. :) I have an Adobe account which I got when I bought a copy of Photoshop Elements, I'll have a look at that and see how much Premiere may end up costing us!

Other suggestions welcome! 👍

Edited by Silvia Bluejay
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DaVinci Resolve.

I know it says it costs £239, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the page there's a link to slightly less featured free version.

IMO Premier isn't worth it unless you are already paying for the Adobe Creative Cloud in which case it is essentially free.

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1 minute ago, BigRedX said:

 

IMO Premier isn't worth it unless you are already paying for the Adobe Creative Cloud in which case it is essentially free.

Last time I used premiere I definitely didn't obtain it through a sea based downloading website ... 

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1 minute ago, BigRedX said:

DaVinci Resolve.

I know it says it costs £239, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the page there's a link to slightly less featured free version.

IMO Premier isn't worth it unless you are already paying for the Adobe Creative Cloud in which case it is essentially free.

Will check it out.

*luddite mode on* I'm not paying for the Creative Cloud as I'm an aficionado of having the bleedin' program on the bleedin' hard disk, none of this subscription shite, thank you very much... *luddite mode off*  😂

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I've been dabbling with davinci resolve too for my band. Its free and I've picked it up pretty quickly and there are plenty of you tube help videos too if you get stuck. Does everything I need.

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13 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

 

@gapiroThanks for that. :) I have an Adobe account which I got when I bought a copy of Photoshop Elements, I'll have a look at that and see how much Premiere may end up costing us!

Other suggestions welcome! 👍

If you've already bought Photoshop Elements there's an upgrade reduction. I had Elements 10 years ago and it's come a really log way since then so I bought the Photoshop/Premiere 2020 Elements bundle. I've only done a few movies with the kids on Premiere, but it's really flexible and easy to pick up.

I believe they've just released the 2021 bundle now. 

Edited by NickD
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I've used various versions of Sony Vegas for years - all of them them of the "non-pro" level.

It allows you to be very flexible in your workflow and has lots of effects, titles, transitions, corrections and even audio plugins bundled with it. You can even use it to mix multichannel audio if you so wish,

I bought a Mac a few years ago, largely with a view to moving my video and music stuff over to it but I just couldn't make the switch.

Here's a recentish video that I did in Vegas, five or six cameras, audio mixed separately in Reaper and then dropped into the finished edit:

 

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4 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

*luddite mode on* I'm not paying for the Creative Cloud as I'm an aficionado of having the bleedin' program on the bleedin' hard disk, none of this subscription shite, thank you very much... *luddite mode off*  😂

For those of us who use software to make a living, subscription services tend to be better value for money. My Creative Cloud subscription means that I never have to worry about suddenly having to find several thousand pounds for updates to all the applications that I use on a daily basis, as I did on more than one occasion under the previous model. 

Also I am currently looking at changing my DAW to Prosonus Studio One, as it has several features that I may need which are missing from Logic which I currently use. The subscription version will allow me investigate all those features at my leisure and not have to worry about either paying upfront for something I end up abandoning, or having to cram all of all my investigation into the one month free trial period. Also I get treated as a proper customer while I'm paying the subscription and access to the full-level of support, which I may well need.

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I've been using VideoPad for several years now, with modest success (loading my multi-camera 'plane videos to YouTube, with my own soundtrack etc...). Of late I've been dabbling with Da Vinci Resolve, which does a very similar job in a very similar fashion. I'm not as familiar with it as yet, but it compares favourably for my usage, and the free version does far more than I'll ever need. Cut'n'shut, fade in/out/crossfade, adding audio tracks, and syncing them to video... Both the packages I use do this with ease on my modest PC (HP 8200 desktop, i5 proc, 12 Gb memory, Windows 10 Pro...).
Hope this helps. :friends:

Edited by Dad3353
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59 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

For those of us who use software to make a living, subscription services tend to be better value for money. My Creative Cloud subscription means that I never have to worry about suddenly having to find several thousand pounds for updates to all the applications that I use on a daily basis, as I did on more than one occasion under the previous model.

Yes, my post was tongue-in-cheek. The main reason I was, and still am, uncomfortable with subscription is the constant need to be online - even if these things do allow you to do some work offline and upload it later - and for the remote server to always be up and working fine when I need it.

I never had trouble upgrading from one expensive package to a better version of the same, because upgrading used to be far, far cheaper than buying from scratch, at least in my experience. I've never done video work, but in my previous working life I used to run big and complex specialised translation databases on highly specialised translation software: all very expensive but mostly just the first time. Same with old-time versions of Microsoft Office etc.

Unfortunately I'm in the losing camp, as now everything has to be online and updated via the internet, from Windows 10 to all other operating systems and applications. I will never be equally comfortable with them as I was with the old-fashioned way.

Edited by Silvia Bluejay

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4 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Yes, my post was tongue-in-cheek. The main reason I was, and still am, uncomfortable with subscription is the constant need to be online - even if these things do allow you to do some work offline and upload it later - and for the remote server to always be up and working fine when I need it.

I never had trouble upgrading from one expensive package to a better version of the same, because upgrading used to be be far, far cheaper than buying from scratch, at least in my experience. I've never done video work, but in my previous working life I used to run big and complex specialised translation databases on highly specialised translation software: all very expensive but mostly just the first time. Same with old-time versions of Microsoft Office etc.

Unfortunately I'm in the losing camp, as now everything has to be online and updated via the internet, from Windows 10 to all other operating systems and applications. I will never be equally comfortable with them as I was with the old-fashioned way.

Creative Cloud doesn't work like this at all. The applications and all my work reside on my computer. IIRC the main CC application "checks in" with the Adobe servers when it is on line to ensure that your subscription is paid up to date, but you can run for a month without an internet connection before it will stop working. Just for the applications that I use on a daily basis - InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat Pro - the subscription is less than it used to cost for me to keep everything up to date under the old method, and therefore the applications that I use less regularly - Dreamweaver, Muse, Animate, Lightroom, Dimension, Premier, After Effects and Audition are essentially free.

I can see that if you are just using a single application for a single vendor, then the old model might have been better value, but, for example the Presonus application, with all the extras you get with the subscription service, I worked out that it would take over 3 years of using it without any paid upgrades before it worked out cheaper to buy it outright.

Nothing I use on a subscription service requires a constant internet connection nor for the applications or your documents to reside "in the cloud". TBH even with the fastest of internet connections for anything other than simple "Office" applications and files it would be unfeasible.

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5 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Creative Cloud doesn't work like this at all. The applications and all my work reside on my computer. IIRC the main CC application "checks in" with the Adobe servers when it is on line to ensure that your subscription is paid up to date, but you can run for a month without an internet connection before it will stop working. Just for the applications that I use on a daily basis - InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat Pro - the subscription is less than it used to cost for me to keep everything up to date under the old method, and therefore the applications that I use less regularly - Dreamweaver, Muse, Animate, Lightroom, Dimension, Premier, After Effects and Audition are essentially free.

I can see that if you are just using a single application for a single vendor, then the old model might have been better value, but, for example the Presonus application, with all the extras you get with the subscription service, I worked out that it would take over 3 years of using it without any paid upgrades before it worked out cheaper to buy it outright.

Nothing I use on a subscription service requires a constant internet connection nor for the applications or your documents to reside "in the cloud". TBH even with the fastest of internet connections for anything other than simple "Office" applications and files it would be unfeasible.

Fair enough, you do seem to use a lot more expensive packages than I do, or even used to do when working as a technical translator and editor.

I've logged into my long-forgotten Adobe account and been offered Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, both 2021 versions, for just over £130. There's a discount for upgrading, but I need to check if it requires you to already have both programs (I've only got one).

Assuming I like Premiere, that purchase would be doable. I will have to do a free trial run of Premiere first, though, as I have no idea if I would get along with it as nicely as I do with Photoshop. :)

 

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4 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

.... but I need to check if it requires you to already have both programs (I've only got one).

 

It doesn't.

I just had PSE Elements 10 and got the discount upgrading to the PS/Premiere bundle. 😊

Edited by NickD
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3 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Fair enough, you do seem to use a lot more expensive packages than I do, or even used to do when working as a technical translator and editor.

I've logged into my long-forgotten Adobe account and been offered Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, both 2021 versions, for just over £130. There's a discount for upgrading, but I need to check if it requires you to already have both programs (I've only got one).

Assuming I like Premiere, that purchase would be doable. I will have to do a free trial run of Premiere first, though, as I have no idea if I would get along with it as nicely as I do with Photoshop. :)

You should be able to sign up for a free month's trial for the full version of Premier.

However, looking at what is required from the OP the free version of DaVinci Resolve will almost certainly do everything you need.

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I'll do the free trial, then probably upgrade to both, since Photoshop is one of my main staples, and I've got version 15. :)

Many thanks to all! 👍🙏

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So I downloaded all 1.6Gb of DaVinci Resolve (free version), extracted & installed the software, and fired it up.

It wanted me to create a database, with a password. WTF? OK, so I did that. It offered me the opportunity to add a folder. OK, so I did that too.

It lets me 'enable sharing'. WTF? Share what, with whom, and why? Ignored.

It allows me to 'optimise'. WTF? Optimise what, and why? Ignored.

It invites me to 'create an access key". WTF? Key to what? Why do I need one? Ignored.

What it does NOT let me do:

  • Search for media files
  • Bring anything up on screen
  • Playback anything
  • Edit anything
  • Do anything remotely useful

And of course there's no on-screen Help or an option to Get Started.

With recommendations (above) from both @BigRedX and @Dad3353 it's clear that the software is more competent than I am, but it's equally clear that this is a P155-poor interface and already dangerously close to being uninstalled.

 

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(ahem) Sony Vegas.

Honestly, if I can make it work for me virtually anyone can: just drop your footage in (on separate tracks if you prefer) then cut, chop and copy to your heart's content. 

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I know you said not to tell you to buy a Mac and I'm not going to, but all this downloading this and getting licences for that nonsense would wind me up, so I feel I have to defend the corner somewhat.

By far the hardest video I've ever had to put together was this one using iMovie which comes with the Mac.

I had multiple cameras, video and audio files of varying quality/length and iMovie did it all with ease. No single audio source existed for the whole song and there were gaps in the video that had to be bridged.

I'm no Mac fanboy by any means, but credit where it's due.

 

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Here's one I did with Adobe Premiere earlier this year (my son already has it so I used his account). I've used Vegas before, so had an idea of how to fly it. It took a few days to do during lockdown, using a sound track produced in Reaper

Edit to say, all footage was taken on mobile phones and sent to me using WeTransfer 

Edited by Norris
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