DaVinci Resolve 14 now with audio capabilities

DaVinci 14 public beta 2 is out.
The list of improvements is impressive. Support for CC cards and controllers included, with Fairlight audio engine replacing the old DaVinci audio, automation, surround monitoring, collaboration on the same timeline etc. More on BM support page.

Great comments and thoughts that - in turn - made me thinking again. I don’t think DaVinci has anywhere near the functionality and flexibility Nuendo has. So for bigger type productions software such as Nuendo, PT, Logic will still be needed. For now.

Fredo has a very valid point, though. If this solution ends up well polished, many tight budget productions aren’t going to leave the house anymore for audio post, but some guy will fiddle with the audio inside the Fairlight module. For most mixing tasks such as quick volume, EQ, and Comp, Fairlight surely will do the job. So for any YouTube series and web content stuff it’s more than enough, I would say.

I’m just impressed with the tech. They’re a newcomer in the audio market and in their first version they are able to have some great ideas that none of the established DAW houses have thought of. All of the established DAW makers should look at this video and take some of the great ideas and implement them.
I recently imported a Track Archive that somehow had an error and showed 1302 tracks. I didn’t want all of them. I only wanted the first 50 or so. But no way I could multi-select tracks and check their box. I had to do it ONE BY ONE. It feels like being in the 1990s where dialog boxesandusability were a novelty.
Also reconforming looks like a strange take on an Excel spreadsheet. While DaVinci has a beautiful diff tool that shows changes within the timeline in a clear and visual way where you can have an approval workflow. It’s things like that I find fascinating for a first release.

SB, grab some of the great ideas and while you’re at it, modernize some of your 1990 dialog boxes.
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Fairlight systems have been around for decades. And they have always been highly appreciated within the business. So nothing “new” to see for the moment.


Very impressive. They seem to have a very fast development cycle.

So, I just got out of a meeting with a studio owner and a post supervisor here in NY, and the conversation was about adding value to a suite of post-audio rooms. The proposition was basically to set the rooms up for grading/coloring/online as well as audio.

Once the super mentioned that a system needed to be in place for either rendering/importing video into Pro Tools or audio into Resolve the obvious point was made that Davinci now has Fairlight. The question then was to what degree it could be used, and I had to admit that as long as there isn’t a requirement for anything other than stems as audio files or stem-audio-files in a Pro Tools session Fairlight will do the job just fine (once the software is stable).

The basic thinking here was that at this stage in the process, the online and the mix, producers these days still look to make changes. They’re involved in the production and editing process, but intermittently in several productions. So they end up looking at stuff with truly fresh eyes, corrected and graded color, and a nice mix, for the “first” time. Inevitably the questions that arise are along the lines of;

  • Hmmm… didn’t realize we had so much of this guy on camera during the interview. Can we cut away sooner to X?

  • Hmmm… Maybe we can swap the shot of the demonstration for the one in the other episode, it looks nicer…

  • Hmmm… I’m not loving this VO; what can we do here?

So if the facility has access to the original content, the timeline, the color grade, the audio edit and mix - it can all be addressed then and there - and then rendered to the final product.

I really think this is the direction we’re heading in for a large part of the audio post market. I’m curious as to what role Nuendo will play in it. I see game audio as being a smart thing to ‘move towards’, and high end film for the non-American markets, and also midi / composition. For TV though…

Interesting times…

Really? Did Fairlight have this visual representation of merging two project versions together? Did Fairlight have multi-user collaboration within different parts of the same project? Together with video editors and color grade people?

Very interesting indeed.

The biggest gating factor in post right now on Windows right now is generating Prores deliverables. That is the opportunity. And we have to say Windows because much of the post world over the past 5 years has migrated to Windows despite lack of the easy or affordable access to generating Prores files.

Blackmagic Design will not, in my view, be licensed by Apple to have Resolve be able to generate licensed Prores files on Windows. Other apps in the windows space can but it is relatively expensive proposition. With Scratch you can do it (semi-affordable), Nucoda you can do it: super expensive. You can buy another Mac as effectively a dongle to help you generate Prores files in Resolve and overall these solutions are esoteric, troublesome, cost a bunch of money and doesn’t allow an easy standardized workflow to develop to for the post industry. Apple is a HUGE liability for post as they are clearly lack lustre in their commitment to the industry and there needs to be a reliable piece added to the standardized workflow on mac and windows that will allow final deliverables that producers and the end clients want (that is not reliant on Apple’s largesse). Nuendo could step into this space. The big piece to make this work beyond licensing is to make the final render process straight forward so the user can generate files to spec without too much effort and into Prores files.

A larger question is should Nuendo even go there. What I am proposing is there is a huge opportunity here for Steinberg to address a massive hole in the post process that is a need for many. Can they find a way to have this make sense in an audio-post app that deals with video? They are architecting a new engine so it does beg the question given the state of post at the moment and that they are developing a new video engine that could encode into a variety of codecs of their choosing (and ability to licence).

Fairlight is as rock solid as it has ever been, so really nothing new here. Fairlight working inside DaVinci, with multiuser collaboration, moving projects between computers, that is indeed a very different thing. For simple projects it may work fine, but certainly not for features.

Even audio professionals get overenthusiastic expecting that full featured Fairlight system will work inside DaVinci (http://www.onerivermedia.com/blog/fairlight-part-1-the-dawn-of-a-resolved-era/). Some people even think that reconform and AAF are almost a thing of the past. I’m not so sure.

DaVinci is a resource hog. Serious colorists use big iron, workstations with tens of cores, loads of ram, one or more power hungry graphic cards, separate raids for data and cache etc. Even with a powerful computer DaVinci does not play video at realtime all the time. When you press play it ramps up the speed gradually, quite useless for audio sync. Blackmagic is constantly improving the performance, but with such a huge amount of processing only so much can be done.

Now try to open one such project, perhaps with 4k RED or XAVC video, a dozen of CC nodes, debayering, stabilizing, noise reduction etc, on your average audio computer, which may struggle even with a plain prores HD video that otherwise plays so nicely in Nuendo.
So much for moving DaVinci project from computer to computer easily and multi user collaboration, which looks so good on the paper.

Agreed, I’ve been also watching and working in this space for a while now: FCPX, Premier (argh) and Resolve; and with various DAWs. The round tripping is a drag & Resolve 14 certainly looks poised to deliver on some of those outstanding issues - assuming the accompanying DAW gets it right.

Of particular intrigue: the many as yet uncompleted Chapters in the Fairlight section of the Resolve 14 Manual. There is one section devoted to Rewire … I can only assume that a beefy app like Resolve will not be a Rewire slave, but then, there are only a very few DAWs which can be slave as well (Live & Reaper come to mind). So, apart from the problematic AAF round-tripping or similar, Rewire promises real time sync & channeling of audio - something which I would be far more interested in.

BTW, have done recent tests with exporting from Resolve 14 to Pro Tools HD12 - that Resolve preset exports both MXF & AAF, then which opens perfectly in ProTools - both the video, correct audio regions and overall synchronisation. Very impressive (a pity Avid are such turds). Nuendo on the other hand looks old and tired in this respect. Much fiddling & just to import rather simple audio tracks.

And so yes I agree - a very good opportunity for Steinberg to make use of these developments: Rewire, improved round-tripping etc & in a situation where music, sound design and video production are in the same facility.

It’s been a while since I had to do AAF/OMF imports, but if I remember correctly there’s still the issue of “improper” exports coming out of Media Composer. I think Steinberg is in a tricky spot because of “the turds”. If they allow non-standard AAF exports it makes it hard for those following the standard. Still though, it is what it is and the turds have the market. I’d much rather that Steinberg “waste” development time on implementing non-standard things that cause problems for us when importing.

At the end of the day when we receive media to work on the client doesn’t really want to hear about problems, they just want to hear the job is done.

So yeah, I think the tie between Avid PT and MC, and Fairlight and Davinci, places the rest in potentially difficult situations.

Just wondering, why does it have to be Prores? If Prores is such a liability on Windows why does everyone still use it?

It seems to beg the question… is there an alternative which gives the same quality with less liability / licensing issues? For example, could DNxHR 444 be a valid alternative? Or something else?

The Prores codec is the defacto standard codec for deliverables in the film industry with Avid’s DNxHD (HR) codec is a distant second. For Visual FX people it is different. As an intermediate H.264 and now H.265 is good, However, as elements of the post process become more and more combined into one operation, it will become easier and ultimately essential to be able to do final deliverables out of any app, particularly ones that used near the end of the film process, like color and sound.

If you have been told to deliver in Prores, as a supplier, you don’t argue, you deliver in Prores unless you don’t want the job or to be hired again.

Worth a read:

Good read.

It’s interesting to me because I’m looking at the teased upcoming features for Nuendo 8, and from the standpoint of making investments it’s really not clear to me that it would be a better value than buying an upcoming Davinci/Fairlight solution. More money? Certainly. But the added benefits are pretty substantial, especially if they allow third party interfaces for i/o.

Indeed, a good read.

Expresses my own feelings on some of the issues, mainly the development cycle. The speed with which they have integrated the new features in 14 is astonishing. And as the author mentions, they don’t use the awful rent based system introduced for pro tools. A flat fee Resolve is going to be attractive to a lot of users. And of course there’s also the free version.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Resolve 14 will become stable. During testing here it crashes a lot.

Me too. Have just begun a new 4k production on Resolve 14 b2 (yes, I know: dangerous working with a beta, but on the other hand this is a personal project, so nothing lost there & original 4k GH5 camera files still in place).

Depends on your assumptions about audio /music workflow I guess.

For me (as a composer) I’m thinking /hoping the combo of Resolve 14 & Nuendo 8 looks promising, primarily because of the MIDI /VI compositional features of Neundo (like Cubase) in this respect. MIDI & Steinberg VIs are very well developed & perfect for many - from roughs /MIDI orchestral scores /sound design FX /pop grooves etc etc. Very fast, my favourite aspects of Nuendo /Cubase. Of course Nuendo has the additional post features & again is something that Resolve cannot provide directly as yet, eg: the ADR features. On the other hand, Resolve has the new rather brilliant collaborative features showing recent edit workflows etc.

The unknown as yet is in the messing about with round-tripping etc. To that end, am still intrigued with the promised Rewire feature in Resolve (and that may well dictate the composition DAW for me). Ideally, I’m looking for greater real time interaction with video clips & audio /music composition. On the one side: trimming and/or speed changing vid clips to suit music cues; on the other tempo changing /metering etc to suit video cues. Similarly for traditional ‘dailies’ workflow, this could make subsequent creative work much more straightforward.

ProTools 12.7 HD is presently working flawlessly with Resolve 14 round-tripping (AAF & MXF for both vid and audio), but then for various reasons I don’t really want any Avid on this new Win 10 workstation. Conversely, both Fairlight & VST plugs, busses, Auxs seem to doing roughly what they’re supposed to do in Resolve – however, this is very early days in terms of comparison to full-blown /mature features like that provided in Nuendo or similar dedicated DAW. I can’t see letting that go, ever. Resolve’s new Fairlight audio features are welcome & certainly well-overdue in NLE land, but still, this is like ‘pro audio’ for video people (some of the new tunes getting around are hilarious - 'this is how to use EQ!). A long way off pro music production for now I’d say.

Needs both apps in my view & Resolve have now stirred up things a little. And hopefully DAW manufacturers will respond with some useful hooks for new kinds of integrated work flow. Very much looking forward to seeing how that shakes out in the next six months in particular. I for one will continue to hassle Blackmagic & Steinberg as a paying customer - and in general, have found both organisations to be well ahead of the competition in terms of responsiveness and in general, treating their user base rather well. If not, I always just vote with my pocket (like for Avid).