It is early in September and we are in Amsterdam. That means only one thing, IBC. Surprisingly it is bright and sunny, but we are indoors looking at what is new at the show.
A trend which tends to be happening with a lot of trade events these days, the big news is actually happening outside of the show.
First up has to be the acquisition of Fairlight by Blackmagic. Fairlight has been a digital audio production tool developer ever since the seventies and eighties when their 8 bit CMI instrument brought sampling to music production. Think Trevor Horn & Herbie Hancock moving a light pen on a screen to adjust a sample. Using their digital audio knowledge, the post production market seemed an obvious market extension to move in to.
“Fairlight creates the world’s most powerful digital audio software and hardware for video production,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “The exciting part about this acquisition is that it will add incredibly high end professional audio technology to Blackmagic Design’s amazing video products. We look forward to working with the Fairlight team to build even more exciting new products for our customers!”
It seems that Blackmagic has taken the same route with audio post production as they did with colour correction and editing: Buy a company with the technology and hardware and then mass produce a product for a low price. Think about the acquisition of DaVinci, Fusion, Terranex etc.
We expect to see a product demonstrated at NAB that could grow up to be a Pro Tools rival. A very clever move by Blackmagic by adding high end audio post to their growing roster of products.
Read the full Blackmagic press release on Fairlight here.
They have also acquired Ultimatte, the leader in providing live green screen keying that you've seen on a regular basis on news and weather reports on TV stations around the world.
We are pretty sure Ultimatte's technology will make its way into other products such as DaVinci Resolve and Fusion.
AJA have new products, but not many that relate to us editors this year. If you are using AJA Control Room to digitise media from tape, then the new update to 12.5 will be of interest.
It was a slightly different first day to IBC as we had meetings in the morning, this did give us a chance to walk through Hall 7 where most of the post production news happens.
We didn't see any obvious FCPX screens on show, but we did get a chance to sit down and watch a few of Adobe's presentations on the way to the press coffee.
Please show this photo below to any clients who moan about you having to assign roles. That big fat checkbox party in the middle of the screen is Adobe's way of exporting out different mixes of audio from Audition.
The reason why we sat down was to catch Adobe's demonstration on collaborative workflows using their recently announced Team Projects.
This cloud hosted system allows editors to work on Premiere Pro, Audition and After Effects projects collaboratively over the internet. No media moves, you have to have the same media on connected drives and perform one link operation to reconnect everything.
Users sign in with their Adobe user name and can then see all the projects that are available to work on. You can convert an existing single project into a Team Project.
We saw a demonstration of two editors working on the same Premiere Pro project, but to be honest, it was very clunky. Sure the product is in beta, but resolving the conflicts created by opening up each version and comparing them looked a slow process. Never mind having to watch a lot of blue bar whilst it all happened.
The 'Time Machine' function being able to scroll back through time to find a previous version was very cool though and a lot easier than opening up multiple backups.
A few things to note here. First of all it is cloud based, so you have to have a connection to hit the update or send update button. You can do a lot of of work on a project locally and then hit the update button once, changes don't have to be done on an incremental basis.
Secondly, the presenter said "No word on pricing yet" which seems to indicate to us that this will be extra on top of your Adobe subscription.
Of course there is no FCPX news on the show floor from Apple. However, if you are in Amsterdam you must visit the FCPX Tour event that is happening on Saturday and Sunday. If you don't, you'll miss out, so please register!
We will be at the FCPX Tour for most of Saturday & Sunday, so please come along and say hello.