View Full Version : SpeedEdit or Final Cut Studio?

07-28-2007, 11:37 AM
Although this is my first post to this forum I'm not new to video. I bought my first Amiga 1000 around 1988 and used a program called TV Text to place graphics over video using a genlock (Wow!) When the toaster came out I bought an Amiga 4000 and then a few years later purchased the Flyer which is still in operation today.

However, I know that it's time to make a change so I'm looking at switching to the MAC (using Final Cut Studio 2.0) or going to a PC using SpeedEdit. My equipment has only been turned off a couple of times in the 12-15 years that I've owned it. I connect everything to protected power supplies (APC) and I leave it on. The only thing I turn on and off is the monitor.

During that time I may have had 2 or 3 real problems with my system. One was just a month ago but I've always received top quality support from Amitrace in Norcross, Ga. (Bruce Ellsworth) where I purchased it.

I've noticed several negative comments about SpeedEdit or possibly the individual PC that particular person is using and I would like your comments.
(either positive or negative).

1. Has anyone here used SpeedEdit and not had any problems with it?

2. Did you purchase a system from a dealer or build it yourself?

2. Has anyone here bought a system from Amitrace in Norcross, Ga?

Thanks in advance for your help.


Greg Martin

07-28-2007, 01:46 PM
1) I've found SE to be pretty much rock-solid, but there are always things that throw any program for a loop, and if you happen to stumble on one, it can be - shall we say "interesting." It's not going to be much different with any app or platform.

2) My suggestion, no matter what you buy, buy from a reseller who is personally intimate with the video editing suite you decide on. It won't cost you much more, it will work correctly out of the box, you'll have made a useful support contact, and you won't be writing one of those thread you read in here that begin "I don't know why I'm having trouble - my system is brand new, and the IT guy at work told me it would be perfect for video."

3) ... you did mean to type "3", right ;)

No, but they have a fine reputation.

07-28-2007, 02:59 PM
Thank you for your insight. Yes, I did mean #3 but sometimes my fingers get in the way. Anyway I've dealt with Bruce (at Amitrace ) for a long time now and he's always been able to help.
What are the specs for the system that you're using? Thanks again for the reply.


07-28-2007, 06:03 PM
IMHO There is no point in jumping in feet first into FinalCut if SpeedEDIT is suitable for your purposes. Given you are choosing NewTek because it has been so good in the past - I'd use that to try and discover all you can in the trial period before you register the product. Really do set yourself a good week aside for mastering SE and opening up any questions you may have here on the forums. Also. ask your dealer if they'll go along with such a "pre-order contract" and whether the product can be returned if you don't register it for a full refund.

There is a wacking great price difference between FCS and SpeedEDIT. I'd recommend the same with OSX+FinalCut Studio2. Evaluate it for your main/current/initial (delete as appropriate) workflow.

There will always be some elements that are easy or occasionally impossible to do in any NLE. I've not had any problems with current SE 1.2 for the scope of work I'm putting through it. Final Cut is too expensive for me to find out what I'm missing.

If you are buying a new PC it might still pay to look at the Mac Pro range. As these are usually fine with Bootcamp + WinXP. PCs tend to plummet in value the moment you drive them off the forecourt. Software/suites, slightly less so.

GregM, what sources will you be bringing into SE and what will be your delivery format? Will there be multiple delivery formats from the same edited project?

You may be fortunate to be able to continue with your always-on computing experience. However I wouldn't like to guarantee it. The PC and Mac industry are both a lot less sanitary than an A4000+Flyer, IMHO. Many more variables likely to be at play....

07-28-2007, 07:52 PM
Thanks for your input. You're exactly right in saying that one of the things that I'm looking at is the price. It appears that I can save some money if I chose a PC with SE. But I do want it to be very reliable. So there's my dilemma. You make some very good points and I appreciate your feedback.
One of the things I want to do with it is to edit some personal HD video that I've taken on our cruises to Alaska. I've also got plenty of SD as I'm still videotaping different projects from time to time.
I'm also doing as you suggested and spending this next week cramming for the decision. I will visit Amitrace (they usually run when they see me coming-just kidding) and ask lots of questions. There's nothing like getting your hands on it to see what it will really do.
Finally, thanks so much for your advice. You've been a great help!


07-28-2007, 09:50 PM
Hey, If you can afford it do both... I have a Mac with FCP and bootcamp running XP and SpeedEdit, it running pretty solid. Personnally I hate to be limited, so I've been fortunate enough to have a piece of all the pies I like. Since I do build my own PC's I save money on that end and have more to buy other things. Building is about learning your needs and building around that. I have 2 Premiere machines, 2 VT4 machines and 3 seats of SE: 1 on thee Mac, 1 on a Premiere machine and 1 on a VT4 machine. FCP is good, but I like Premiere Pro especially since I own India Titler Pro which is now LiveType. If you can do both, but if not; if you have a pc you have more options---Adobe Production Studio, SpeedEdit, VT4 or Avid even. PC will always give you the most choices, even with bootcamp on the Mac.

07-28-2007, 10:18 PM
Since you are coming from the Classic Toaster/Flyer world, then yes, without question, SpeedEDIT would be the easiest to learn and use for you, since there are similarities.

If it's right for you all depends on exactly what type of projects you intend to do with it. So definately not only ask plenty of questions of your dealer but be sure to do some hands-on demoing with it.

And yes, as has been suggested, see if you can get the right to return it if isn't right for you and you haven't registered it. It may be perfectly right for you, but you really won't know till you use it for your own projects. Unlike other PC NLEs, there's no way to demo it without buying it.

I also like the idea of a Mac with BootCamp, but I also build my own PCs. That said, unless you are really into building your own, and up on all that is involved, you should go with a dealer, especially since you have one.

And since you did say that price is certainly something that is very important to you, you may want to consider a downloadable demo of any competing PC NLEs that are in your price range. Remember to look at the total cost of what you're gonna need, from ingest to final output, and what workflow works best for you. Don't forget to take into account the cost of necessary plug-ins, supporting programs, etc.

Good luck. :thumbsup:

07-28-2007, 10:47 PM
Unfortunately I can't afford both right now but I agree that a PC does give you more choices. That was a very good point.

I believe that you are correct in saying that it will be an easier transition for me to use SE. I did take a quick look at it a month ago while I was there picking up my Toaster/Flyer. I guess I got more concerned when I started reading some of the problems folks on the forum were encountering.
I've never had any real problems that the folks at Amitrace couldn't fix. So I'll probably buy from them again.

Anyway thanks to both of you for the good feedback.


07-29-2007, 11:44 AM
It is very stable, and I have had very few problems. The few that I had were bugs that I reported and are now fixed. So, my problems have made your problems fewer! :hey:
I just finished a large HD project on it, and I am still using the machine that I have been running VT[4] on for several years. SE performed well despite being underpowered (the machine was cutting edge in its day). My wifes laptop is now faster than my editing workstation. (We just got the laptop.) I can hardly wait to see the performance when I upgrade the workstation. But, that will wait till VT[5] comes out, because I don't want to have to upgrade twice in one year!

Brian Peterson
07-29-2007, 04:01 PM
The myth that PCs have more problems than Macs is in my opinion, hogwash. I own both and have had my Macs give me as many problems as my PCs.

If you are coming from the Amiga T/F then SpeedEdit is the way to go. The learning curve will be far less.

07-29-2007, 05:41 PM
Thanks for your post and I appreciate the fact that you've made my job easier. I used to be the one to pioneer new technology but I've slowed down a bit. Matter of fact, I can't believe that I'm still waiting for the winner of the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray fight. Hopefully as the dual core become hexa core we'll be able to load our SE on a really fast machine.

You know I have several friends that own Macs but they've never admitted that they have ever had problems. I always suspected that it was a possibility.

Thanks to both of you for your feedback.


07-30-2007, 09:41 AM
I've used both, I like both, eventually we'll have both here. Without hesitation, I'd say do SE first. It has a very "clean" workflow that is stable, intuitive, and productive. It is also aptly named -- for all your everyday stuff, it will run circles around other systems.

07-30-2007, 10:46 AM
Thanks for your reply. I see that you're located in Tyler, Texas. I lived in Shreveport for many years before moving to Baton Rouge and then Roswell (Atlanta suburb). Did you build your own system or purchase from a dealer?
Thanks again.


07-30-2007, 11:32 AM
SE should be less difficult to "build" for than VT since it doesn't have the hardware component. Actually, you don't really have to "build" because many off the shelf computers (even laptops) have everything you would need for SE. If you go this route, just make sure you follow the specs carefully, and don't scrimp.
If you want to go the laptop route, costco.com has a build it yourself page for HP laptops where you can specify your components. The HP DV9000 is what we are using with dual 7200rpm drives, and 512mb nVidia graphics card. I can play a fairly complex HDV 720p project with color correction, slow motion, two streams with DVE, CG overlays, all in real time, with background rendering turned off, with the output screen sized to full the laptop screen (which is higher resolution than 720p) without a glitch. I haven't pushed it to see what the limit would be.
If you want more detail on the specs of my machine, let me know.

07-30-2007, 11:43 AM
Hey Greg --

We hired an engineer-type to review the specs, design the system, and then build it in our studio with us in attendance. We recorded the whole thing as a reference, so we could refer back to it later if there was a problem. We ended up having several, but we never had to refer to the tape, as the guy we hired to build it was literally all over every problem we had. His efforts, and input from this forum, got us going in pretty short order. Our system is awesome.
We have since taken the tape, edited it (roughly) down into short episodes, and will have it running as instalments in the little "RunTime" teck-talk show that our i/t guy does as an experiment in podcasting. We didn't have any special lighting up, and we ran on-camera mics, so it will not be a polished thing to watch. I'll post the url when it is up. There will be four episodes.
We built our own SE (sort of) because our first system, a really nice VT box that we bought from a reputable dealer, had a ton of problems that he could not solve. The dealer really knew his stuff and worked really hard to fix things, but the problems were weird and the dealer was a distance away. It was our engineer friend that finally realized that something was up with the system power, and that it was on the drive-side of the case. This led the dealer to realize that variable speed fans that he had installed were leaking voltage back to the motherboard. We have no hard feelings anywhere, but it did make us think twice about our next system. We know so little about the tech side, really needed to learn. We learned a lot with this new machine, are still learning more.
This is not to say that I would recommend the self-build route to everyone. If you get 'some guy' to help you build your system, will he be there if/when there are problems? A newtek dealership is not an easy ting to get, which means that a newtek dealer has something valuable to protect - but if he's a thousand miles away and your 'guy' is right down the street, that may be more valuable to you. It depends on 'the guy,' I guess, and ours is a saint.
My apologies for the long, rambly answer. It's a tough issue to address.

Good luck -- feel free write me off-list with any specific questions--
[email protected]

07-30-2007, 06:25 PM
Stephen & others,
Thank you so much for all your valuable input. I visited my dealer today and I've decided to buy from them again. They've always helped me out in critical situations plus they gave me a good deal. It's a win-win for the both of us.
Anyway thanks again and after I learn SE maybe I can contribute to helping someone on this forum.


Greg Martin
Martin Video Productions