By Neil Bennett | on December 22, 2003
Price When Reviewed: 425 . 535 . 29
Liquid Edition finally brings together Pinnacle’s prosumer and broadcast DV editing tools into a single application. There were few differences between the two apart from that while Edition cost less than £500, Liquid Purple was nearer to £5,000. Edition had most of the back-end tools that broadcasters require ripped out, such as tie-ins with networked storage and asset management systems – plus it lacked the excellent CX Colour Correction and Dynamic Timewarp tools in Purple 5. Liquid Edition 5.5 is essentially Liquid Purple 5 with a few tweaks. Edition users will find at least two major features to like here, but you might be annoyed that they weren’t in Edition 5. The first main new feature is CX Colour Correction. Edition’s colour correction tools were good but lacked automation and scopes. Both are added in Liquid Edition, so it’s easy to fix colour problems using grey balance (one, two or three point), colour balance (one or three point), and tone balance – and match colour across frames based on hue and histogram. These tools are greatly efficient but you can’t replicate a correction across a series of clips as with Avid Xpress Pro’s One-Step AutoCorrect – though Liquid Edition is less than a third of the price of Avid’s system. Scopes include waveform, vector, 3D vector, histogram and a combination of all. Dynamic Timewarp is Edition’s controls for speeding up and slowing down clips. It’s not limited to fixed acceleration and deceleration terms such as Ease In and Ease Out as in Premiere Pro. Liquid Edition offers full bézier-driven tools that offer fine forwards and backwards controls. Bargain upgrade The rest of the new (to Edition) features will be less appealing to the majority of Edition users, though some will appreciate support for RS-422 control over capture decks, the ability to work with DVCPRO25 footage natively, and support for audio control hardware via MIDI. Liquid Edition can edit media stored on network drives, though you’ll need a bespoke, managed network to achieve the stream speeds necessary. The XSend media import/ export command can communicate with Pinnacle’s broadcast servers and asset management systems. We’re torn how to score Liquid Edition 5.5 – £29 for the excellent colour correction and timewarp tools is a bargain, but then these should have been in version 5. However, the product is a bargain in itself, £100 less than Premiere Pro and £250 less than Final Cut Pro. It’s better than Premiere and can more than hold its own against FCP, but lacks each product’s large user, support, and development base. It has the most efficient and flexible interface going – similar in some ways to Discreet Combustion – but it can take a while to learn, especially if you’re used to the MS Office-stylings of pre-Premiere Pro.