Magix Movie Edit Pro Review

Movie Edit Pro by Magix is that European based software company’s feature rich video editing software program aimed at the consumer through to semi-pro video editing market.
Any Magix Movie Edit Pro review has to begin with a little background so we can gain a clear picture of how we got here and where we are going!
In its early years Movie Edit Pro always offered a…
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Friday Roundup – Vegas Movie Studio Updates and Sound Design

VEGAS Movie Studio 17 New Release
This week Magix announced the release of Vegas movieo Studio 17 with a bunch of enhancements and improvements depending on which level of the software you are running.
So just to recap for anyone not up on the Magix, Vegas, Sony situation here’s the short version.
Sonic Foundry started off making audio editing programs sometime around…
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Magix Movie Edit Pro Review Part Two

So what’s it got and what can you do?
First up importing your media such as video files, images and audio can be done through a wizard based system or you can do it manually.
Through the interface you can preview files before you hit the go button to import so you don’t end up with a bunch of stuff you didn’t really need.
Once you have everything located in the…
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The Friday Roundup – Audacity Walk-through, Smartphone Tips & Effects

Audacity Overview: Perfecting Audio with Keith Alexander
Let’s talk audio for a second here.
When it comes to dealing with audio in any of your video projects you will soon find yourself realizing one thing.
Even though at the beginning it seems that audio is a part of video shooting and editing the reality is that audio is an entire subject unto itself.
If you don’t get…
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Apollo 13: films and audio allow us to relive the mission in real time

Apollo 13: films and audio allows us to relive the mission in real time

Footage of Mission Control, film shot by the astronauts, television broadcasts transmitted from space, photographs and 7200 hours of audio tell the complete Apollo 13 story in real time.

Ready to experience the Apollo 13 voyage in REAL TIME 50 years later? Watch and re-live the entire mission as it occurred in 1970! Use your time at home to discover the lunar mission that never reached its goal but showed how mankind can overcome problems. Join the Apollo 13 mission in progress, from the comfort of your home, and share this experience with family. You can also use social media to share the website with your friends.

The importance of film and stills to tell stories is fully understood when you watch a project like Apollo 13 in real time.  The website, launched on the exact day that the Apollo 13 launched,  50 years ago, recreates the mission based on archived materials now put together for a multimedia experience. All mission control film footage, all on-board television and film footage, all Mission Control audio (7,200 hours), 144 hours of space-to-ground audio  and all on-board recorder audio tells us the story of the Apollo 13 mission as it happened, 50 years ago.

Apollo 13: films and audio allows us to relive the mission in real time

The missing tapes from Apollo 13

The website consists entirely of historical material, all timed to Ground Elapsed Time–the master mission clock. Footage of Mission Control, film shot by the astronauts, and television broadcasts transmitted from space have been painstakingly placed to the very moments they were shot during the mission, as has every photograph taken, and every word spoken.

This project includes newly digitized and restored mission control audio. “The most exciting part of this already unbelievable website“ writes Catherine Baldwin, the NASA History Center’s editor and social media coordinator, “is the ‘discovery’ of missing tapes. For years, there had been four tapes missing from the 21-tape collection of Mission Control audio. These tapes contained the audio surrounding the onboard explosion. Their whereabouts were not clear until Dan Rooney of the National Archives found them stored with the accident investigation material and e-mailed Feist saying, “I found them!”.

Apollo 13: films and audio allows us to relive the mission in real time

Relive the Apollo 13 mission

It is likely that these last four tapes were separated as evidence for the accident investigation that took place in 1972, writes Catherine Baldwin in the article “Missing Tapes And Acceptable Risk: Apollo 13 In Real Time” that expands on the whole story and reveals some interesting data about the project and the other two Apollo Real Time missions: the Apollo 11  and the Apollo 17, respectively the first landing on the Moon (launch in July 16, 1969) and the last landing on the Moon, launched on December 7, 1972.

The Apollo 13 website is a project led Ben Feist, Software Engineer and Historian  at NASA Johnson Space Center, who is responsible for the concept, research, mission data restoration, audio restoration, video editing, software architecture and programming. A vast team of volunteers has helped to bring to life this real time experience, which follows the previous Apollo Real Time missions mentioned earlier.

A key highlight of the experience is, no doubt, the opportunity to listen to the missing tapes, which were discovered in the National Archives fall of 2019 and were digitized in February, 2020 and contain the time surrounding the onboard explosion. These recordings haven’t been heard since the accident investigation in 1970. Listening to them while watching all the other data that appears on your computer screen is like watching a movie that unfolds in real time right in front of your eyes.  Sometimes you’ll feel as if you’re there, living the moment, either inside the Apollo 13 or at Mission Control.

Apollo 13: films and audio allows us to relive the mission in real time

Houston, we’ve had a problem here

Thanks to a timeline that allows you to define the exact moment to watch, you can jump to the moment during the mission when astronaut Jack Swigert, says “I believe we’ve had a problem here”. You’ll probably will want to hear that first, as it has become a popular way to announce a problem, especially after the 1995 motion picture Apollo 13, where it appears as “Houston, we have a problem”.

The Apollo 13 Real Time interface feels a bit like the one you’ll find in a non-linear video editor, with a timeline navigator allowing you to pick the exact moment you want to follow. Upon starting the application,  you can select whether to begin one minute before launch, or click “Now” to drop in exactly 50 years ago, to-the-second during the mission anniversary.

Audio is a key element of the whole experience. Selecting a Mission Control audio channel mutes the main audio, opens the Mission Control audio panel, and plays the “live” audio of each selected Mission Control position. These 50 channels of Mission Control audio spanning the entire mission have only recently been digitized and restored, and are made publicly available in Apollo 13 Real Time for the first time. They total over 7,200 hours in length.

The Apollo Real Time website is just another way to discover more about NASA and the Apollo program. Virtual Reality has been used to take us inside the Apollo, for the first landing on the Moon. There is, in fact, a whole series of experiences that allow people to spend their time in quarantine traveling to other places. Virtually, from the ISS – International Space Station to the surface of the Moon. Why not give it a try?

https://www.provideocoalition.com/apollo-13-films-and-audio-allows-us-to-relive-the-mission-in-real-time/

ATEM Mini Pro-maximum streaming bitrate finally revealed!

After what seemed to be an endless sequence of tango dance rounds between me and Blackmagic’s public relations department, we finally have a proper answer to my question about the maximum streaming bitrate available from the ATEM Mini Pro’s inboard encoder. This news is great for video quality seeking purists. I am so glad I persisted to get to the bottom of it. Fortunately, the maximum bitrate for live streaming can indeed be much higher than just 9 Mb per second as it initially appeared to be, as long as your ISP’s upload speed can support it.

Why we should have the initial payload as less compressed as possible

As long as I have the available bandwidth (for live broadcasting) or the necessary time (for uploading a pre-recorded video file to a server like YouTube or Vimeo), I always prefer to send the least compressed version possible, because the platform will be re-encoding it. I want to minimize generation loss. Seasoned video professional will recall that way back in the analog video days, if we produced in Betacam SP and distributed in VHS, we preferred to have a single generation on VHS, since VHS is such a lossy format compared with Betacam SP. That’s why when I upload a short video I just edited either to YouTube or Vimeo, I generally do it in the ProRes 422 códec, since it is much less compressed than any H.264 or H.265 file although ProRes 422 is much heavier. That way, when the CDN creates different versions at different sizes for different viewer’s devices according to the screen size and resolution, they will be the first and only H.264 generation.

When it comes to live streaming, given current Internet restrictions in most places, we need to upload a real time signal which is much more compressed than a format like ProRes 422, but I insisted that I would like to encode H.264 in a much higher bitrate (lower compression) than 9 Mb/s. Fortunately, most ISPs (Internet service providers) improve their offerings constantly, be they mobile Internet (like my beloved Google Fi, which can automatically use multiple networks in the US, and also works in 200+ other countries), fibre or cable TV providers.

The maximum bitrate available from the ATEM Mini Pro’s realtime streaming encoder

atem-mini-pro-max-streaming-bitrate

After what seemed to be an endless sequence of tango dance rounds between me and Blackmagic’s public relations department, we finally have a proper answer to my question about the maximum streaming bitrate available from the ATEM Mini Pro’s inboard encoder.

The final answer is: Streaming and recording will always use the same bitrate. Even without resorting to the XML file for advanced users (first covered in ATEM Mini Pro-great new functions—advanced settings-questions answered), we could simply choose one of the presets which are labeled as “HyperDeck” for Blackmagic local recorder family and use them for streaming too.

  • HyperDeck High 45 to 70 Mb/s
  • HyperDeck Medium 25 to 45 Mb/s
  • HyperDeck Low 12 to 20 Mb/s
  • Streaming High 6 to 9 Mb/s
  • Streaming Medium 4.5 to 7 Mb/s
  • Streaming Low 3 to 4.5 Mb/s

However, the customized XML permits us the range of allowable bitrates from 3 to 70 Mb/s. We can use our own nomenclature for the file, and we can force the output framerate to whatever we would like. This is especially convenient for “semi-shy” 1080p cameras. Blackmagic’s framerate auto-detection of the first camera source works great for “outgoing” 1080p cameras (which actually output the native framerate over their HDMI output), but not for “shy” or “semi-shy” cameras. Here are some examples of that:

  • Even though the camera is set to image and record internally at 29.97p, over HDMI they output either 29.97PsF (which appears to be 59.94i, “shy”) or 59.94p (“semi-shy”, repeating each frame).
  • Even though the camera is set to image and record internally at 25p, over HDMI they output either 25PsF (which appears to be 50i, “shy”) or 50p (repeating each frame, “semi-shy”).
  • Even though the camera is set to image and record internally at 23.976p, over HDMI they output either 59.94i or 59.94p, “shy” in either case.

In addition to avoiding unnecessary and undesired de-interlacing (see Blackmagic ATEM Mini video mixer with SHY 1080p cameras illustrated above), we also want to avoid streaming double the framerate due to a misunderstanding. The case of the duplicate frame situation (“semi-shy”, where 25p is doubled to 50p, and 29.97p is doubled to 59.94p), this is less complex to fix than the other two situations described: Just force the ATEM Mini Pro to be at the original desired framerate via the custom XML file, so it will skip each extra frame.

I always like to leave some headroom, depending upon the ISP’s measured upload speed. So if you test your upload speed to be 30 Mb/s, consider encoding at 20 Mb/s. If your upload bandwidth is 80 Mb/s or higher, by all means, encode at 70 Mb/s to get even better quality (higher bitrate=lower compression), knowing that the CDN is going to re-encode it. Always perform tests way before the actual live stream/broadcast.

Conclusions

I am very glad that Blackmagic has made the encoder allow realtime H.264 encoding up to 70 Mb/s. Even though Blackmagic won’t currently reveal it, I hope a future firmware upgrade might even unlock a now secret, dormant H.265 encoder which many be hidden inside the ATEM Mini Pro (AmazonB&H).

Combine ATEM Mini (Pro) with Ecamm Live

This is the topic of an upcoming article. Be sure to be on my mailing list… to be notified.

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