Some new consumer-friendly products from Avid coming mid-September

nav-logoAvid, makers of a wide range of digital video/audio software and hardware have a couple of new product updates coming your way mid-September. The first to note is an updated version of their consumer-friendly family of products know as Pinnacle Studio.

The new Pinnacle Studio meets the needs of a wide range of consumers, from novices to video enthusiasts and semi-professionals. The family of products includes Pinnacle Studio HD, Pinnacle Studio Ultimate and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection, which offer a complete HDV & AVCHD workflow and allows consumers to export movies to Flash, QuickTime, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, Apple iPod and more. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate and Pinnacle Ultimate Collection also offer Blu-ray authoring with motion menus.

Other new features include:

  • A stop-motion capture for animated and fast-motion effects.
  • New content and enhancements for Pinnacle Montage.
  • Dynamic Motion Titler tool that includes a number of new templates.
  • A new stabilizer effect – leveraging the same technology used in Avid’s professional editing products to fix shaky camera shots.

Also, those who purchase Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection will receive the most complete solution, including a green sheet for Chroma key effects and six highly acclaimed professional plug-ins from Red Giant:

  • Shine ultra-fast light ray effects
  • ToonIt turns video into cartoon style animation
  • Knoll Light factory creates lens flares, sunsets & more
  • Magic Bullet Looks generates advanced video styles
  • 3D stroke creates glowing lines, swirling shapes, and 3D camera effects
  • Particular smoke, explosion, and abstract effects

Did I get that right? You get a green screen? COOL!

The price of Pinnacle Studio HD, Pinnacle Studio Ultimate and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection remains the same as previous version: US$49.99, $99.99 and $129.99, respectively. However there will be upgrade price breaks of $30 for Studio Ultimate and $40 for Studio Ultimate Collection made available to existing customers.

Pinnacle Studio is compatible with Windows Vista SP2 (Both 32-bit & 64-bit), Windows XP SP3 & Windows 7.

protools-logoAlso coming soon are three new Pro-Tools bundles that aim to give experienced consumers and first-time hobbyists alike, affordable access to the classic digital editing toolset for audio–ProTools. The bundles which are named Pro Tools Vocal Studio, Pro Tools Recording Studio and Pro Tools KeyStudio™, have both software and hardware components. The distinct software portions are known as Pro Tools M-Powered™ Essential software, which is a specific version of ProTools that works natively with M-Audio hardware (which incidentally Avid owns). The M-Audio hardware within these packages sounds compelling too: a studio quality USB mic, FastTrack USB interface and an M-Audio  KeyStudio USB keyboard, respectively.

Here are some more detailed descriptions from Avid:

Pro Tools Vocal Studio turns the computer into a complete vocal recording studio. This bundle includes the Producer USB microphone, a studio-quality mic that lets people capture vocals, as well as record acoustically played instruments. The Producer USB mic lets people record with stunning clarity, whether they’re singing a future hit song or narrating a family biography. And with Pro Tools M-Powered Essential, it’s easy to remix vocals to produce professional-quality soundtracks and podcasts with ease.

Pro Tools Recording Studio enables people to craft professional-sounding songs and remixes — no experience needed. With the included Fast Track® USB audio interface plugged right into the computer, music enthusiasts can capture pristine digital sound for any recording project, whether from a guitar or a standard microphone. With Pro Tools M-Powered Essential software, consumers can dub, mix, remix, edit, blend, restore, hone and more to create audio projects that will sound like they came from a pro — even if someone’s never recorded a note before.

Pro Tools KeyStudio features the M-Audio KeyStudio USB keyboard, a simple, yet high-quality 49-note velocity-sensitive keyboard that also functions as a MIDI interface. With Pro Tools KeyStudio, users can record a single keyboard track or create a complete orchestral recording using the KeyStudio to input any of the 60+ virtual instruments that come loaded with Pro Tools M-Powered Essential.

Each Pro Tools Essential bundle is, as of this writing,  available at an MSRP of $129 and works on mac or windows.

All of this is good news for the people out there looking for reasonably priced entry products of this nature. It makes sense for both the Pinnacle and ProTools offerings to be released together as they are meant to work together to help people craft “slicker-than-you-thought-I-could-do” home movies and more. I wonder how seamlessly they interact?

It’s also a good strategy on Avid’s part to offer these less expensive products to compete with FinalCutPro, Premiere, GarageBand and the many other pro-sumer type software packages out there these days. I seem to always remember Avid as an expensive, “for-professionals-only” platform back in the day when I was doing all my FCP work in agency-life, but clearly their acquisition path and continued development of some consumer-friendly apps shows that they are trying to cover more than one side of the quickly evolving world of digital media.