The rumored deprecation of Sony Vegas has been floating around for a while now, and although there has been plenty of push-back (just check out the discussion on the Sony forums…), it looks Sony is definitely ending development of the software. Does this spell certain doom for all of the faneditors using Vegas? Good question… So far, more than half of surveyed faneditors use Sony Vegas (either Pro or Movie Studio), so the loss of this editing suite could mean big changes for many members of our community.
The latest version of Vegas Pro (13.0 build 453) is flexible enough that it should provide faneditors with high-definition editing capabilities in coming years, but changes in codec and container advancement as well as increasing resolution of ultra high definition footage could make using version 13 difficult. Additionally, a number of bugs still exist for Vegas Pro as of build 453, so it looks like users could have to live with a few annoying glitches if production stopped.
In addition to the vocal user group on the Sony Creative Forums, users have pleaded with the company at conferences like the International Broadcasting Convention. Keep in mind, the software isn’t just used by our comparatively small group of faneditors. Vegas has been used for at least parts of production in pieces for ESPN, HBO, National Geographic, Sci-Fi, and the Discovery Channel, as well as a number of commercially released films (e.g., Paranormal Activity). Although Avid Pro is still the go-to editing suite for most of Hollywood, advancements in consumer-level software have allowed even studios to produce films at a fraction of the cost. Vegas isn’t the only movie edited on affordable editing suites. Gone Girl was cut using Adobe Premiere Pro, and Cold Mountain and Inside Llewyn Davis were both edited using Final Cut Pro.
An online petition was recently created to keep Vegas alive, and although it still has yet to reach it’s goal, a number of important updates have been posted that suggest Sony is listening.
So if Vegas is that widely used, why would Sony dump Vegas? It appears the company is putting all of its resources into the Catalyst Production Suite, which is a drastic change in design from all of their previous software. It’s still early to tell how well Catalyst will work, but initial reviews are not good. Their attempted response to Adobe’s production suite seems to have fallen flat. Given the big change in interface and workflow from Sony’s previous applications to the Catalyst suite, other applications are likely to follow Vegas to the grave. Development of Acid Pro (the audio analog to Vegas) ceased years ago, but Architect, Sound Forge, and even the newly updated SpectraLayers could also be discontinued.
However, just two weeks ago, Sony released an announcement that might please Vegas fans. MAGIX software has acquired most of the applications in the Sony Creative Software department, including Vegas, Architect, Sound Forge, SpectraLayers, and Acid. They’ve even hired several of Sony’s employees, which is a good sign for continued development of these programs. Word on the street is that Vegas Pro 14 will see an autumn 2016 release. No official statement regarding the future development of these programs has been released so we’re holding off on any celebrations.
Are you a Vegas user? Make sure you sign the petition and comment over at Sony’s support area about features you would like to see continued. MAGIX is slated to take over sales and support of all of these applications this summer.