This slipped under the radar somewhat as it seems to have taken a couple of weeks to filter into my news feeds. But finally, after all these years of trying to evolve the awesome range of creative software they purchased from Sonic Foundry in 2003, Sony have given up.
If you are a dedicated user of Sony Creative Software like me, then you’ll probably be aware of the frustration pouring out of the support forums over the lack of development in recent years. Sound Forge, although now at version 11, is largely unchanged from when I first started using it on Windows 95. Vegas is at times notoriously unstable but good enough to let you work around the issues because the workflow is so superior to any other non-linear video editor I’ve ever used. ACID sadly has not seen an update in 5 years. So maybe the level of shouting has something to do with this transfer of ownership.
Is MAGIX a good fit for Sony?
Well, my initial reaction is to think “MAGIX Music Maker” or “MAGIX Video Easy” which are consumer level bits of cool, cheap software for fiddling about. However, also hidden away in their portfolio is Samplitude Pro and Sequoia which are serious, professional DAW and post production tools that MAGIX acquired from German company SEK’D in 1999. So on the one hand MAGIX are completely capable of running a professional product line, on the other Samplitude has never penetrated very far into the DAW market.
What I hope is that MAGIX see it as an opportunity to invest some badly needed development into these once great bits of software. Maybe it’s too late for ACID. When it first arrived there was nothing like it for building tracks with loops. It pushed the whole idea of “Acidised” loops with built-in tempo and slicing information for instant automatic time-stretching. These days an app on your phone can do that. Sound Forge is a bit more unique in terms of being a dedicated audio editor. The alternatives tend to be either Steinberg’s Wavelab or the freeware Audacity so there’s definitely room for what Sound Forge is awesome at. It could just do with some updating and support for some real-time technologies.
Vegas Pro is something I use almost every day as a maker of YouTube videos. It’s so fast, so easy to throw together multiple video sources and audio and cut it all together. It works very much like a DAW and so is instantly familiar if you’ve ever used something like Cubase, StudioOne or Pro Tools. Other video editors that follow the Adobe Premiere style I find terribly impenetrable. MAGIX has a similar product in Video Pro X and so it would make sense to combine the two. I just hope that it pulls them closer to the Vegas way of doing things rather than the Premiere way.
Suffice to say that the forum of dedicated and passionate Sony Creative Software users is full of hope for a new beginning with MAGIX. Meanwhile Sony will continue to focus on its more recent Catalyst video production software.
Here’s the original press release.