Price: 255 . 509 . 1390
Pros: First with integrated HDV support. Much improved audio tools. Still has great interface.
Cons: Much that is new is playing catch-up with Premiere. Messy effects arrangement.
Liquid Edition is one of those pieces of software that ‘coulda been a contender’. A few years ago, when Premiere 6.5 seemed on its last legs, Pinnacle – which sold many copies of Premiere bundled with its capture cards – bought what would become Liquid Edition and its developer, FAST, to try to wrest the market from Adobe.
However, it was Final Cut Pro that benefitted most from Premiere’s failings, and when Adobe rebounded with the reasonable Premiere Pro, it left Liquid Edition firmly in third place. This is a shame, as Liquid Edition 6 is the equal
of Premiere Pro 1.5 – though it’s not as efficient as Final Cut Pro HD.
Edition’s strengths have always been its interface and technological innovation. It’s still the only editing software to offer background effects rendering – which might sound irrelevant in the modern age of real-time DV editing but is actually incredibly useful. Not all effects are real-time, and you often work with a real-time ‘preview’. With Edition, everything you worked on more than a minute ago is likely to be fully rendered, allowing you to see just how your final edit will look. New formats such as HDV are placing higher demands on processors, reducing the real-time performance we’re used to.
Support for HDV is one of Edition 6’s innovations – as it’s the first major NLE to do this. Currently only 720P is supported natively but 1080i should follow when camcorders such as Sony’s FX1 become available. Edition also supports non-HDV HD, though without real-time effects.