Media Composer 8.5 Now Available—Expand Your Workflow with New Features and Enhancements

By in Filmmaking, Media Composer Updates

Today we are launching a brand new update to Media Composer (version 8.5), packed with great new features that will expand your editing workflow even more.

Media Composer 8.5 is now available for all customers who have a Subscription, Floating or Perpetual License with an active Upgrade and Support plan.

Here’s an overview of what’s new in Media Composer 8.5. We also encourage you to ‘like’ and ‘retweet’ your favorite ones on Twitter!

High Dynamic Range (HDR) Support

Media Composer now includes color spaces for High Dynamic Range (HDR). Enhance color and contrast to achieve more realistic, dramatic imagery, with exceptional detail in the shadows and highlights, and get support for Dolby Vision, Sony S-Log3, BBC/NHK, and ACES profiles. If you are working in an HD project, Avid recommends using DNxHD444 and HQX because of their 10 bit resolution. For higher than HD, use DNxHR444 and DNxHQX which are 12 bit resolutions.

Menu Simplification

A lot of the menu items in Media Composer have been reorganized. They now are grouped in a more logical location. Note that the Bin, Timeline and Composer context and Fast menus have also been reorganized.

A handy table in the What’s New Guide lists the main menu items that have moved, where they appeared in previous releases, and where you can find them now.

High-Visibility Timeline Editing

With this release, you can clearly see the segments as you drag them in either trim or segment mode. As you drag a clip, the movement is transparent allowing you to see other elements in the Timeline. If waveforms are turned on, the waveform stays visible as you drag, making it a lot easier to line up clips as you are editing.

Adding Tracks in the Timeline

Now you can add a track by simply dragging a clip in your timeline. As you drag the clip vertically up or down the timeline, and let go of the clip, a new track is added. Note that you can only create as many tracks at the same time as you are dragging.

Trimming with Sync Locks On

A new feature allows you to enable Sync Rollers for Sync Locked Tracks. In previous releases, you had to wait for the trim to end to see how sync was maintained. With this release, when you enter single roller trim, each track gets either a gray roller or a dimmer yellow roller. The gray roller appears when there is a segment directly under the selected roller. The dimmer yellow one will appear on the left side of the next segment when there is filler underneath the selected roller.

Changes in Trimming Clips

Media Composer now has new ‘end of trim’ indicators that show you whether the trim ends because there’s no more media or whether you’re running into the next cut. These new indicators instantly show you what track or cut point will be your stopping point if you were to continue trimming.

It also shows tick marks when trimming.  This is useful when slipping clips, to show the movement of the actual trimmed segment.

Adding Custom Columns and Multiple Columns to a Bin

In addition to the standard column headings, you can now add your own column headings to describe information about clips and sequences.

Also, if you select multiple columns to add to the bin, they will appear directly to the right of the selected column. If you do not select a column, the new columns will be placed at the far right of the bin.

Effect Palette Update

Effect Palette has been improved to allow you to find and filter effects quickly and easily. Effects are now divided into two categories for video (Filters and Transitions) and two categories for audio (Clip Effects and Track Effects). A Quick Find field has been added, allowing you to search for a specific effect.

Identifying Rendered Effects

Now you can easily identify rendered effects media. The Media Tool includes the option to see rendered effect precompute clips separately from Titles and Matte Key precompute clips. This will make it easier to delete the rendered effects media. You can also choose to display the rendered effect precompute clips separately in the bin by choosing that option in the Set Bin Display.

FrameFlex Rotation

If you need to straighten or rotate your source image, you can now rotate the framing box in the FrameFlex source settings using the Z Rotation slider. Once on the Timeline, these adjustments can also be animated with the Effect Editor. All settings are saved with the clip metadata which can be exported to other applications.

Video Memory and Video Frame Cache

All played frames—and all effects applied to those clips—are now cached in RAM. A new Video Memory tab has been added to the Media Cache Settings. Here you can allocate video memory for the editing application. You can also turn on interactive video frame cache. This saves the need to regenerate each frame every time it is needed during subsequent playback of the sequence. Enabling this cache will result in faster response times while editing.

Audio Mixer Tool Changes

The Audio Mixer now includes triangular openers that allow you to control what parameters are displayed in the Audio Mixer Tool. Clicking the top expand/collapse triangle opens the track selector sidebar where you can select the tracks you want to display in the Audio Mixer tool.

Click the first column heading to sort the tracks according to which are enabled. Click the # column to sort by track numbers. Click the Track column to sort by track label (if applicable).

More New Features in Media Composer

Support for Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan

MC85-01

Now you can use Media Composer on OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and Windows 10 operating systems.

64 Tracks of Audio

MC85-02

With this release, you can have 64 tracks of audio in a single sequence, meaning 250% more audio tracks than previously available! Bear in mind that you are limited to 64 voices. So some of the possible combinations are:

  • 64x mono tracks = 64 voices
  • 10x 5.1 tracks + 4x mono tracks = 64 voices
  • 8x 7.1 tracks = 64 voices.

Opening a Settings Dialog in the Project Window

MC85-03

You no longer have to use the mouse in the Settings tab to open a setting’s dialog box. Type the first letter of the setting you want to open, scroll to the setting and press Enter to open the applicable Settings dialog.

Manage Preset Project Formats

MC85-04

Custom raster dimensions that you have added to your project formats can now be modified or deleted. To modify your presets, click the Manage Presets button in the Project dialog box. In the preset manager, select a preset and overwrite any of the existing values. You can also add or delete presets from this dialog.

Changing the Background Color of the Project Window or Timeline

MC85-05

In the Settings tab of the Project Window, open the Interface Settings. If you want to change the background of the Timeline, select Use custom Timeline background and choose a new color. If you want to change the background of the Project window, select Use custom Project background and choose a color.

Overriding Bin and Project Font and Font Size

MC85-06

Now you can easily override the bin, project font and font sizes fonts for all bins and/or projects through the Interface Setting. This is useful if you share projects and bins with other users or if you are switching between systems. The font and font size you want to see on a desktop might be different than the one you want to see on a laptop.

Grouping Clips by Audio Waveform Analysis

MC85-07

Apart from grouping clips by IN points, OUT points, or timecode, with this release, you can also group clips by audio waveform analysis. Media Composer performs an analysis of the waveforms of the selected clips and creates a group clip for you.

Timecode Burn-In Effect Update

MC85-08

In previous releases, the Timecode Burn-In effect would always count from frame 0. Now, the Burn-In effect provides the option to set the starting frame count at 1. You can also display a frame count for the effect in feet and frames (35mm 4perf).

Applying the Same Text to a Column for Multiple Items

MC85-09b

You can now apply the same text in a Frame Count Start, DPX, and Ink Number column to multiple items in the bin. This is useful for example if you wanted to apply the same frame count start to multiple items in the bin. Select the items in the bin to which you want to apply the same text. Right+click the column and select Set <column name> column for selected clips. Enter the text you want to appear in the column for the selected items in the bin.

Linking and Importing Broadcast Wave Files

MC85-10

Importing and linking Broadcast Wave files has changed with this release. The change ensures the beginning of an imported or linked audio clip is not cut off at the beginning of the clip.

Audio Track Ordering Layout Name Change

MC85-11

A new 7.1 track ordering layout is included with this release. This change supports interoperability with Pro Tools. For 7.1 EXT the order is: Left, Right, Center, Low Frequency Enhancement, Left Rear, Right Rear, Left Side Center, Right Side Center. For SMPTE-DS (per the SMPTE Standard 428), the order is: Left, Right, Center, Low Frequency Enhancement, Left Side Center, Right Side Center, Left Rear, Right Rear.

Get It Now

If you don’t have Media Composer, you can get it now from the Web Store or you can Find a Reseller.

If you already have Media Composer, the new 8.5 release is now available for all customers who have a Subscription, Floating or Perpetual License with an active Upgrade and Support plan. As soon as you connect to the internet, your Avid Application Manager will notify you about the availability of this new version.

If you don’t have an internet connection on your system, just download the latest version from a separate computer by accessing your Avid Account or the Video Download Center. Get more details on these features, changes and improvements in the ReadMe and What’s New Guide on our Media Composer Documentation page.

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As editor-in-chief at Avid Blogs, I'm excited to bring you inspiring content on creative editorial and compelling stories from the post production world. You can find me on Twitter at @editorbelga.
  • Robert Rodriguez

    I can finally upgrade to El Crapitan! Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnice!

  • Fari

    Oh finally El Captain supported! Which version of El Captain? The latest update? .3? I have a question if someone could help me out please, it might sound trivial though, but, I don’t have my Avid installed on my new iMac, can I download the latest version online and using the serial number I have activate it?

  • BestBullpenWins

    ScriptSync or equivalent?

  • Sean Lander

    Finally. Thank you Avid. Now you can get to work on modernising your software.

  • zackaroni

    Cannot run it on my MBP with El Capitan… It get stuck on splash screen saying “Initialize AVX2 host”.

    • Robert Zimmerman

      Magic Bullet cause this on my MBP with El C.
      By removing the plugin it stopped getting stuck.
      I notified Red Giant who is looking into it.

      • zackaroni

        Thanks for your replay. In my case it was Boris Continuum 9 from old installation I removed it from the folder and instaled BCC10 and everything is fine.

        • Victor Cohen

          I have the same problem but I don’t have any of these plug-ins…
          Don’t know what to do

          • zackaroni

            Remove all of them from the folder… and it will work. If you want to know which one was the problem, add one by one back to the folder and test it… Then you can reinstall it.

    • Phillip Moss

      I have had this same issue on install of 8.5 on El Capitan. The Avid software gets as far as ‘Initialise AVX2 host’ and then hangs. It took me a while to find the offending folders – Avid seems to put folders all over your hard drive. The AVX and BCC folders which I took out were Library>Application Support>Avid>AVX2_Plug_ins and Library>Application Support>BCC Presets 9 AVX. Not sure now which one was the offending article, but I am glad to have resolved it and got past the repeated crash at ‘Initialise AVX2 host’