DaVinci Resolve 14 now with audio capabilities

Every time there’s a new DaVinci Resolve version from Blackmagic I’m astonished about how many features they’re able to cram into that thing for a new release. How many people are working on Resolve, actually? Must be a ton! Now it’s version 14, and even though Blackmagic acquired Fairlight only about 8 months ago, Resolve 14 contains quite a powerful DAW within their editing/grading solution.

I think it’s always interesting to see what’s going on in the audio market, and the features they packed into the DAW component of Resolve is quite astonishing for a first release.

One of my highlights: I’m often reading about import, export problems, AAF problems (I recently had my own episode with a transfer from PT12 to Nuendo), and re-conforming here on this forum. But when you can bring a studio to embrace Resolve, you soon have your complete workflow inside this software, as it can edit film, color grade, and now also do audio. And with their network collaboration feature everybody in the team can work in the same project at the same time. Also re-conforming, or merging different timelines, is beautifully solved with a visual tool that shows changed things where you can cherry pick what to import. Really elegant.

As I said, if you’re interested in what’s going on in the audio market, just watch this video. I find it very interesting to see what’s possible with today’s technology.

Also, the price went down from what, $999 to $299 to be more along the lines of Final Cut Pro X. They can probably cross finance with their hardware division.

If you only watch one video today, make it this one.
https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve (scroll down a bit, first video on from the left)

Is it true you need one of these though, to absolutely achieve all that (audio) marketing hype.? At $999.00

An impressive package, none the less.

I think you get 60 channels without the card, 1,000 with.

Despite some drawbacks of the system it’s pretty interesting I think. With only 60 channels you pretty much guarantee that this falls into the lower end of the market without the card for the most part. That makes sense considering the company’s product lineup in the low end. You can basically get great HD footage, great color grading, and a very good editor for about $1,000 by buying one of their cheaper cameras (you at least used to get the full Davinci if you did). So at that level 60 channels is possibly fine.

I also think only 60 channels is fine for a lot of productions where they go out-of-house for audio and receive stems back. Plop the stems back in and if it’s a simple enough project 60 channels may be all you need. So you get the most difficult work done by a professional (production sound editing / restoration etc), and can then either adjust or actually do final levels yourself.

The beauty of this for some companies is that they can get a complete lineup of Blackmagic devices; from capture through post production and all the way to broadcast. It’s actually pretty darn impressive if they can get all of this to work. I can’t think of a single company that does this.

For a lot of audio engineers the greatest benefit could possibly getting access to an NLE for free if it also includes the ability to export / import AAFs. There are a lot of cases where stuff is just pushed down the line and you either push back and have someone else do the job or you do it yourself. So at a certain part of the market it actually makes sense to just do it yourself and bill for it, rather than hold up the workflow, as much as I wish that wasn’t the case.

Avid just announced they’re releasing a free limited version of Media Composer, so there are now two NLEs and two DAWs that are free but limited. I’d say it’s time for Adobe to match at least a free NLE…

…and Steinberg… [cough]…

It says 60 tracks yes but they talk about habing EQ, Dynamics and the modules enabled. At least that’s what I understood. Does Nuendo work on a normal machine with 60 tracks and the channel strip modules turned on?

I guess if you have tracks that don’t use an EQ or you bussed multiple together, you probably could have more. Anyway, I think this combination of all software in a single package together with real-time collab features is a great move and technically veey interesting, as well as for workflow.

Note that the new price of full DaVinci software is slashed to just 299!

“Normal machine” probably covers a pretty wide range. I’m currently on the fence about upgrading my old computer, and for the sake of reference it might be interesting to consider what’s possible;

On my current home-build I’ve mixed both commercials and full shows, all for broadcast. But it’s an old Phenom 9950 - which I recently discovered was released in 2008! I had completely forgotten how old the CPU is. Anyway, I can enable plenty of stock bread-and-butter plugins like EQ, compression and limiting. No problem. The stuff that brings that computer to its knees is iZotope stuff. It just won’t handle it. I can’t remember how it does with DAWBench, but probably not great.

Now I’m looking at the Ryzen 7 1700. Since I’m only mixing latency isn’t an issue, and even if it was I could probably live with 192/256. At those latencies from what I can see I can load up a gazillion multiband compressors. Certainly more processing power than I use for my mixes generally.

So in that context, if the question is if Nuendo can run with all channel strip plugs working on 60 channels simultaneously my guess is “very most likely”.

That probably very much depends. I think that some DAWs do or did essentially “lock” the user down. Either you couldn’t instantiate more than X plugins, or you couldn’t run more than X tracks. The reason for either would be that you’d have a guaranteed maximum amount of plugins you could run. And I want to say that it may have had something to do with whether or not they process silence without signal, or shut down, because I seem to recall that Nuendo at one point changed so that plugins take up virtually zero resource when audio isn’t flowing through them.

Yes, it’s an interesting development for sure. I see further segmentation of the market with more video editors/engineers… editeers… whatever… since that might be easier for a post house to deal with from one standpoint…

Not sure I like it. But at any rate, with it being free it’s pretty hard to resist downloading it and trying it out. It’s very tempting.

there is more noise here >> http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=390703

I’ve been a very happy Resolve user for years - using the color grading that is - which is impeccable. The rendering machine it’s got is also top of the line, I love it!
Having said that, and still being on 12, the video editing feature in it is godawful. If you come from Avid and Premiere, you take one look at it and chuck the thing. I heard they improved a lot in V14, but I severely doubt we’ll ever be friends. So I don’t expect to be impressed by the new DAW features, but who knows…
To each his own, I say. Edit with Symphony, mix in Nuendo, grade with Resolve. That’s the workflow that makes my day… :slight_smile:

Well, Heiner, I asked people about Adobe Premiere for editing years ago. Everyone looked at me like I was an alien. The only thing that mattered for those I asked was Avid and Apple. I tried to point out their integration between their apps - Premiere, Photoshop etc - but it fell on deaf ears because, well, Avid and Apple. Period.

So then FCPX happened, and people started shifting over in bigger numbers, and here we are. And what is Adobe doing? It’s trying to add audio features because it realizes that so many productions don’t have time/money for a full audio post production and so they want to enhance the tools for editors.

I’m seeing the same with Blackmagic.

I’ve read and viewed comparisons between the NLEs, and from what I can tell for basic editing Davinci’s recent version (not beta) is fine. It does the job. Most of the comments I’ve seen as far as pure editing goes relates to it being slightly different, but not so different that it would mean anything more than relearning some stuff (akin to moving from PT to Nuendo). So the question is what else you need that outweighs the convenience of staying within one app. Possibly media management, but I’m seeing them improving that as well.

The main battle Blackmagic is facing is I think that Davinci isn’t a commonly used editor, yet, and that the same is true for Fairlight, relatively speaking. But they do have a big market with their hardware, and they do have a high end presence for color, so I think they’ll get very relevant not too far in the future.

Which other company can offer all of what BM now offers? None is the answer.

Hey, Mattias!
What you say is perfectly true, of course. And although Premiere always had it’s fans in the pro sector as well, it’s true that it’s popularity was foremost boyed by the FCPX fiasco.
However, while lots of people nowadays (including myself) make ample use of and enjoy the integration Premiere, Photoshop and AfterEffects offer, I have yet to meet somebody who actually LIKES using Audition.
As to Resolve (editing) - I’m sure it has it’s fans, but working with it, at least for me, actually reminded me a lot of FCPX. It would greatly surprise me if it gains traction in the pro market, but who knows…
And it’s besides the point, which is that, whatever we use in our diverse studios and editing suites, there is now a perfectly usable editing, grading and mixing software out there that young, creative and aspiring colleagues have access to FOR FREE. Pair that with the really excellent and reasonably priced hardware that they make - it’s actually quite amazing.
Opinions may differ here as well, of course, but I think that’s a good thing…

As a former fairlight and now Nuendo user I had a closer look at the software with special interest.
At the moment it’s pre pre pre alpha at best. Problems, crashes and missing functions all over the place, to be honest and nothing close to what the fairlight can do. I did not even manage to import an audio aaf…

Of course this has a huge potantial, especially for smaller end studios and one man show operations, but they have a LONG way to go and it will be interesting to see what will happen (maybe we’ll see a media tools or pro composer before this thing even takes off)

Also this does not take any advanced routing/rendering problems into account. How do you guarantee the sound when working with bins? In more complex audio post you need to have several stems and submixes, what do you do when you get edits and people did not use your routings in different bins? How do you license 3rd party plugs across larger company networks, do you need licenses on all computers? Do colorists and video editors want to spend their cpu cycles on audio plugins? Do you need a rendering mainframe in the background that takes audio into consideration? What about latency then? How do you work with different audio setups in different edit suites and mixing rooms?

A lot of questions that will need to be adressed if this is really going to be an alternative in audio post.

On the other hand it IS impressive to take a vst plug and just drag it onto an audio clip for real time rendering. Why does a video software do this in the first alpha of serious audio while Nuendo 8 and PT cannot?

I think a lot of that will be solved or aren’t actually issues in the first place. Bins for example, as far as I understand it, are just virtual folders containing clips, not items on the sequence’s timeline, so I don’t see how a mix would live in a bin. For licensing I can see the issue, but seeing how incredibly cheap plugins are these days I’m not sure they’d care about that extra cost. The more expensive tools in audio as far as plugins go are possibly so specialized that any audio requiring them requires a specialist in the first place, and I think that might then be done in all suites. I also don’t think sharing CPU cycles will be an issue as long as the computer is properly equipped. With the CC-2 card you’d get 1,000 channels with full processing, and for all the video stuff you have dedicated GPUs. So really the shared work would be the bandwidth requirements on the actual motherboard, not computing cycles (as far as I can see). I also don’t see rendering as an issue since if it’s on a render farm it’s possibly vfx-specific in the first place, which means it’ll happen “separately” from the edit/grading/mix.

But I agree that there will be issues, especially practically. Sharing across suites and accounting for different setups will probably have to be either really well coded so that outputs remap automatically and intelligently, or the company in question will have to make everyone aware of what can and can’t be done in different suites. Ultimately I think the latter will be the case, and it isn’t rocket science, but since a lot of people don’t pay attention for more than 15 seconds these days it could cause problems. But I do think that working with stems and being able to ‘own’ tracks/channels solves a lot of potential sharing issues.

PT took a step towards this with their new realtime clip-based processing. I’m not sure if the upcoming version of Nuendo has that function, but it “should”. I can see how it can be useful. Actually, Pro Tools have received a lot of very nice workflow improvements in the past three-four updates. Like, very nice.

I was once a Nuendo user but eventually moved to Cubase, as my primary focus is audio with video being a secondary need. When I am doing video my target is web platforms such as Vimeo, YouTube, etc.

For video, I’d been using the Adobe suite. When they removed the option for perpetual licenses and went to the cloud extortion scheme I immediately looked for other options rather than committing to the lifetime Adobe tax. I was considering MC or even buying a Mac for FC. Then I discovered that Blackmagic had added an NLE to Resolve and offered a node based effects package with Fusion.

I don’t have a problem with paying for my software (coding is how I pay the bills), but the $999 version only had another 5% of functionality, all aimed at multi-user shops. So, I’m using the free version of both. As an NLE it’s a fairly young product, but it covers that basics just fine. I don’t doubt that the same will be true with their first cut of an audio platform.

Honestly, since I have a pretty nice recording studio and have been doing audio for so many years I’ll probably keep mixing video projects in Cubase just because it’s comfortable and familiar. However, for simple stuff that doesn’t need much audio polish I may try staying in Resolve. It’s certainly nice to have the option.

As for quality, the most negative environment in the world is a software developer’s forums. You’ll hear just as many complaints on theirs as you do for a SB, Avid or any other product. But I’ve been using their stuff for a couple of years now and it’s just as good / bad as everything else out there. For what they give you, for free, I have to say I’m a fan. This new move is typical Blackmagic thinking. I hope they’re successful with it.

And we shouldn’t forget the “hybrid” division of audio-post; It’s entirely possible for a production company to send out production-sound editing and restoration jobs to specialists and then receive back a finished leveled product to integrate and finalize in the NLE. So in other words they could determine that the tools and skills available in-house (i.e. Fairlight and the video editors) aren’t enough to do dialog editing etc, and so they send that out - as a Davinci project even maybe. Then when we have done the work in PT or Nuendo, we transfer it back to Davinci and send it back. They then set the relative levels between sfx, music and our production sound.

That way they get to nit-pick levels in the edit suite during the online session (which they “shouldn’t”) without paying ‘top-dollar’ to go back to the audio-post house.

That’s the way I see things developing. And quite frankly, I’m not sure this is good news for Steinberg. Avid at least has both Media Composer and PT which they can keep trying to integrate (both now exist as limited free versions), and Adobe at least has more than just an NLE, but a very limited audio section. Steinberg I guess is aiming more for the game-developing market which is a good thing to stay relevant. But I wish there was an even bigger push to integrate further with NLEs and other DAWs. Maybe an expanded project-interchange function beyond just OMF/AAF… although it’s certainly difficult to pull off.

Video editing rooms aren’t normally that well build for audio work. Poor speakers, poor acoustics, no calibration…
Of course there are exceptions.
So the basic concept of doing everything in one room might be a bad decision. Many have no idea what it takes to make good sound. It is not just the applications and features that matter.

My 2 cents
Bye / Tumppi

That’s true of course. I’m betting though that more will see the value in treating rooms acoustically and getting better speakers and calibrating it now that they don’t have to pay for that every single time they go out-of-house. Secondly, I also think that we already reached a peak in terms of quality versus the willingness to pay for it, if you measure all content that’s available. To me, it seems far more people today are ok with less quality as long as they don’t have to pay, and that translates exactly into what we’re talking about; video editors doing audio work in environments not designed for it.

I totally get what you are saying. I try my best to keep away from such productions and producers…

bye / Tumppi

Nice that you have a choice. Not everyone does.

Yes, I try to enjoy this while it lasts.

You just described how (at least) more than half of the reality, docu and other quick turnover shows are -ahum- “mixed”. At best they are hiring a freelance audio guy to give a hand.

My take on this is that if Blackmagic can polish this into a cheap and good working system, it is the nail in the coffin of many small to mid-sized audio Post companies.