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The Cutting Edge: Editing Tools in the Getz Multimedia Lab

July 31st, 2013 · No Comments

This summer we’ve been hard at work upgrading our post-production environment in the Getz Multimedia Lab. We’ve refreshed all of our workstations with new iMacs that are up to spec for working efficiently with the latest video formats and platforms. Each workstation will now be running the most current versions of two industry-standard nonlinear digital editing applications: Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere.

We chose these pieces of software as replacements for Apple’s Final Cut Pro, which had been our primary post-production tool since the lab’s inception in 2007.  (Our testing last year revealed that the new version of Final Cut Pro would provide too many headaches for our users in a lab environment.) To ensure a seamless user experience, we have taken a phased approach to introducing these new platforms: last year, we offered training on Adobe Premiere as well as continued support for the old version of Final Cut Pro. Beginning this fall, we will offer training and support on both Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer. Final Cut Pro will be retired from our lab, though we will offer migration support for any users who have legacy projects.

We are happy to consult with Brandeis community members about which platform might best suit their needs and abilities. Avid Media Composer–heavily used in film schools and in Hollywood–will now be used in the production and editing courses offered by the Film, Television and Interactive Media program. Adobe Premiere is widely used to produce videos for education, media relations, news programs, and independent features; it is also tightly integrated with other industry-standard tools in Adobe’s Creative Suite, like Photoshop, Audition, After Effects, Media Encoder, and Encore. These additional Adobe applications allow users to rapidly integrate graphics and stills into their videos, edit and mix their soundtracks, design special effects, and format their final work into deluxe packages for the web or DVD. For our Avid users, we will be providing support for exporting an Edit Decision List (EDL) to one of these secondary applications, so that those users may also take full advantage of our entire suite of digital media authoring tools.

Furthermore, in our efforts to provide the best possible user experience, we’ve reviewed our video camera inventory and replaced much of our older gear with cameras that record onto tapeless media in formats that both Avid and Premiere can import directly. We hope these upgrades will accelerate workflows for students and faculty who need to turn projects around quickly.  You can read descriptions of most of our available production equipment (which also includes lighting and audio recording gear) here.

To learn more about the hardware and software in the lab, or to arrange for a training or project consultation session, feel free to e-mail me at

Tags: Faculty · Graduate Students · Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship · Staff · Undergraduate Students

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