Vegas Pro Reviews& Product Details
Vegas Pro is a suite of video and audio editing tools supporting complex storyboards, such as switching between multiple camera angles and perspective tracking. There are add-ons as well, such as Vegas Stream, which covers live broadcasting. The entire package was known as Sony Vegas up until 2014. There is an entire constellation of programs that work with Vegas Pro. These are in theory available through the Vegas Hub login found in Vegas Pro, but this failed to function at the time of the review.
Found in these Categories
- Small Business
- Medium Business
- Large Enterprise
- Non-profit Organization
- Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
- Mobile - Android
- Mobile - iPhone
- Mobile - iPad
- Desktop - Mac
- Desktop - Windows
- Desktop - Linux
- Desktop - Chromebook
- On-Premise - Windows
- On-Premise - Linux
Pricing Model: Subscription
- Free Trial
- Free Version
Features list not provided by Vegas Pro.
Professional video editing studio
Video content sells whatever product or service it’s attached to. Better yet, professional video content impresses and mesmerizes the audience. It would be best to have professional video editing software, such as Vegas Pro, to make such content. The more time and effort you put into a video, the better it will fare as it’s shared through social media that distort and compress video content. People who enjoy making memes relish high-quality videos, as they are amenable to being used as templates in viral marketing.
What is Vegas Pro?
Up to 80% of the human brain is dedicated to visual information processing. It makes sense then that video content is the best way to create engagement with the audience. Still, you want to put your best foot forward and spruce up your audio, muting the noise and trimming dead silences. Here’s a Vegas Pro review showcasing how it works as a professional video editing suite and an audio editor. The best use case is learning how to make a YouTube video, bells and whistles included.
What is Vegas Pro used for?
The program used as video-creating software hides imperfections in the recorded video. Shooting conditions are rarely ideal, and you can always expect problems with the hardware, lighting, or actors. These problems can result in anything from jarring colors to noisy audio, breaking the immersion and grating the viewer’s senses. Sound Forge is a companion program that corrects the audio.
The software can do color correction, which is useful for better visibility on different devices and formats. For example, professional video recording hardware uses the maximum number of colors, but not all can be displayed with equal fidelity on all viewing devices. Color correction emphasizes some colors and mutes others for a more balanced image.
Special effects underline some action or event that might not have been captured properly. For example, if a collision happened off-screen, you could add dust particles through special effects to make sure the viewers notice it.
Motion blur mimics the human peripheral vision during fast eye movement. The human eye sees sharp details within a narrow cone in front of the eye; the rest is murky. When the eye quickly changes what it’s looking at, we experience motion blur but the brain papers over it.
The motion blur effect tells the viewer, “do not look at this screen part.” Use sparingly as it can cause motion sickness. Anyone can use Vegas Pro as a movie studio, but that is recommended for professionals. Video editing newbies will need a lot of trial and error to figure out which option does what.
Vegas Pro Trial
Run the installer and select the components you’d like to test. By default, five components totaling 2.8 GB are installed:
- Pro 19
- Deep Learning Models
- NewBlue Live2Post
- Sound Forge Audio Studio 64-bit
Boris FX Primatte Studio is also offered for installation, but you will have to purchase it before trying it out. Vegas POST and Vegas Effects are two more modules the program suggested later, but I already had plenty on my plate.
When you launch the program for the first time, you will be asked to register an e-mail address. Then, please do the needful and drag your first video file into the editor, dropping it into the timeline at the bottom of the interface.
Vegas Pro Features
I used a 44 MB .MP4 file showing 36 seconds of gameplay footage captured through OBS in 1920 by 1080 resolution and 60 frames per second to test its features. The setup involved two monitors, one in which the editing took place and another to show the real-time preview.
Pressing ALT+SHIFT+4 sent the real-time preview to the secondary monitor. Unfortunately, the video was displayed at 480 by 270 resolution, making it look gnarly.
A quick check in the Preferences under the Preview Device tab confirmed the monitor settings are fine. Then, clicking the “Preview(Auto)” button above the video, selecting “Preview,” and then “Full” showed the video as it was originally recorded. All right, now we’re cooking with gas!
Next up was applying a motion blur effect to make the video feel more action-packed. The file in the timeline has an “fx” button, which seemed like an obvious choice. It opens the Plug-In Chooser and displays available effects strewn across several folders. The default view shows 84 effects, such as Mirror and Swirl. There I found these motion blur effects:
- Chroma Blur
- Gaussian Blur
- Linear Blur
- Quick Blur
- Radial Blur
Clicking the “Vegas” folder in the sidebar showed an entire folder of blur effects, adding these to the mix:
- Unsharpen Mask
So, I double-clicked Quick Blur, and it got added into the plug-in chain on top of the dialog. I clicked “OK” and set the Blend amount to 0.250, which seemed like a nice number. Then, I played the video and — nothing. The preview showed no change at all.
I went back into the dialog, changed the number to 1.0, tried again, and still saw no change. When I did the unthinkable, I opened the Vegas Pro help file. It stated Quick Blur has a subtle effect and recommended Gaussian Blur.
Motion Blur – take 2
I went back into the plug-in explorer and chose Gaussian Blur. This time around, it applied an appropriate amount of grease across the screen, producing an immediate change on the preview. There were five blur presets, ranging from Light to Extreme. The plug-in chain automatically added another effect called Pan/Crop. It is represented as a dotted F inside a circle and a rectangle. I presume that’s how I choose where to apply the blurriness. Wait, did I add Pan/Crop by accident?
Mousing over the video file in the timeline made the cursor change to 5 different shapes. Did I perhaps move the file, click something, or tweak an option without noticing? I ended up undoing all my changes to make sure and started with the intact file.
Motion Blur – take 3
The third try confirmed the Pan/Crop plug-in effect was added automatically. It seems some plug-in effects have prerequisites, which are added automatically. However, there doesn’t seem to be a way to remove the Pan/Crop without Undo. I eventually gave up on tweaking the Blur effect. It was applied across the same screen area that I couldn’t figure out how to customize.
One thing I noticed is that the “…” menu had an option called “Media FX” as opposed to the one I used through “fx” being called “Event FX.” I assume that there is a way to add events to the file in the timeline and then attach effects to events.
Video Color Correction
I clicked the “…” menu next to “fx” in the timeline on the loaded file and chose “Color Grading.” This opened a few panels with something more intuitive. Four rainbow circles at the bottom were labeled:
Each circle had a dot in the center. For example, a panel showed an RGB color curve with four dots to the right. Moving any dot around immediately changed the colors in the video preview, allowing me to experiment, compare, and learn on the spot. Every panel also had its Reset button.
Two reticles did color corrections based on black/white areas in the video. I targeted a black/white area in the video with the appropriate reticle, and Vegas Pro did the rest.
Click “File” and “Render As…” to save the edited video. There are at least 100 file formats supported, including HD video formats, 5K, and 8K videos. I choose 1080p at 59 frames per second, close to the original file specs. The render of my gameplay with redness ramped up to eleven (to make it look more action-packed, of course) took a minute and produced an 88 MB file. Upon playing, the playback was smooth, the quality flawless, and the frame rate steady.
Vegas Deep Learning Models
These algorithms learn by comparing hundreds or thousands of data points to what they were taught before being released to the public. They power two plug-ins in Vegas Pro:
- Style Transfer
The first automatically colors black&white footage by guesstimating, while the latter mimics a painting style on a real-life photo. If you’re not going to use these two plug-ins, you don’t need to install Deep Learning Models.
This is a streaming interface. You’re asked to create a new project or open an existing one on the first launch. There are templates as well. Overall, the program feels and functions as a stripped-down version of OBS.
Everything works, but just barely. For example, I could not put both the webcam and the desktop feed in the same window. However, the recording worked fine; I didn’t test the streaming performance.
I clicked the NewBlue Application Manager in the Windows Start menu. After creating a new account, I was welcomed by the NewBlueFX App Manager dashboard. It showed a store page with some 30 products that don’t seem related to Vegas. Switching over to the “Products” tab showed two familiar names:
- Vegas Stream
It appears NewBlue bundled its products with Vegas Pro in hopes of scoring a sale. During the installation, a PDF opened and asked me to click a bit.ly link to buy and install Boris. When checking NewBlue FAQs, I found one mention of Vegas Pro and Boris, confirming my suspicions.
Live2Post appears to be used only if other Vegas modules are installed. The entire NewBlue product portfolio seems focused on adding effects, titles, and polls to live broadcasts.
Sound Forge Audio Studio 64-bit
This program asked me to log in and check my e-mail for the activation code. Once pasted into the box, I clicked “Test program” to start the trial. Immediately after, I got an error stating, “The scan server audio_plugin_scan_server_vst3.exe could not be started”. The message told me to either disable my antivirus and try again or abort. I noticed my sound got disabled due to whatever process the program tried to run.
I aborted the scan, the sound returned, and I was greeted by the Sound Forge interface offering tutorials, which is a nice touch. They are available by clicking the “Show Me How” button at the top center of the interface. I used a 4-second MP3 clip of a comedian speaking in reverse I recorded off of YouTube using Audacity, a free audio editor, to test Sound Forge. The challenge is to play the clip backward to hear the hidden message.
In Audacity, the process is:
- Drag&drop the clip into Audacity
- CTRL+A to select all of it
- Click “Effects”
- Click “Reverse”
In Sound Forge, one tutorial is named “How to reverse audio.” Perfect! So, the tutorial told me to:
- Drag&drop the clip into Sound Forge
- CTRL+A to select all of it
- Click “Process”
- Click “Reverse”
Clean, simple, and efficient. I like it. The interface again suffers from diminution, but at least the main project window can be resized and maximized, showing the sound file in more detail.
Microscopic interface for…
You can dabble in Vegas Pro, but only a video editing ninja can find his way around the minefield of buttons and options. The buttons are minute, measuring 20 by 20 pixels, and they are all over the place, as are drop-down menus. That’s not a problem, but there’s little indication of what you’ve clicked or changed.
Vegas Pro has reached the limit of adding new options to the interface. I would like to see something more intuitive, such as a console where users can search for an option. In addition, more ways to see what a button does would aid experimentation and smooth the learning curve. As it stands, you are all but expected to use a pair of monitors and binoculars.
I used Windows Magnifier to zoom in into Vegas Pro’s interface. I was floored to discover there are even more buttons, particularly two “…” menus in the lower-left corner of the interface. One was white on pink, making it barely visible even after I knew it was there. Who thought that was a good idea?
Little feedback on what you’re doing
The interface is jam-packed with options, it’s just that Vegas Pro doesn’t give much feedback as to which ones are activated at what point. That doesn’t sound so bad until you realize many effects and changes are subtle. Having a lengthy history and a consistent before/after preview would help discover and give the newbie user confidence.
Vegas Pro Pricing
See all Features
Vegas Pro Alternatives
The video industry is growing day by day, and so are video editing tools. Yet, if you work in the professional industry you already know the business. Most of the video editors are using Premiere Pro, together with After Effects. Yet, here are some of Vegas Pro alternatives:
- Premiere Pro
- Final Cut Pro X
- Avid Media Composer
Premiere Pro vs. Vegas Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is the Adobe video editor. The main advantage is the seamless integration with Adobe Creative Cloud, from which you can pull assets of any kind to insert into the video.
The interface is up to the industry standard and always provides subtle feedback. For example, the active pane in Premiere Pro is highlighted with a light blue border, so you can immediately tell if you’ve accidentally clicked somewhere. Unfortunately, premiere Pro suffers from the same problem as Vegas Pro — you need a whole slew of supporting programs to get all the effects and options, but the product quality is much higher.
Vegas Pro Review Conclusions
I would say that Vegas Pro was intimidating as a video editor program. It made me doubt my skills, yet the only friend was the Undo button. There are plenty of options in the program, but unless you’re a seasoned video editor and have a 20/20 vision, you’ll likely be stumped on what they are and how to use them. In addition, the interface is so tiny to border on unusable, and there’s little feedback on your actions. But otherwise, you can face it if you’re into video editing.
The only way to tell if you’ve accidentally clicked something is to check the Undo drop-down. Despite its interface woes, Vegas Pro is usable and useful, and Sound Forge is intuitive, but I’m skeptical about the other three products I installed (Deep Learning, Live2Post, and Stream); they seem to border on bloatware. But maybe that’s me and my experience. You should use Vegas Pro only if you’re a professional user, but I would not recommend it for beginners or people who have no idea about video and editing. Thus, it is a great program to start if you have an idea about video and what editing implies.