Following their very successful version 12.5, Blackmagic Design is almost ready to drop the finished version 14 of Resolve to editors and colorists alike. Their acquisition of Fairlight last year left everyone pondering what Blackmagic Design’s endgame was. Available for public beta, the latest from Blackmagic Design is setting its sights on Avid Pro Tools with a concentration on audio editing, sweetening, and mixing via Fairlight audio integration; making it a one-stop-shop application to edit, grade and audio mix for your project.
At Blackmagic’s NAB press conference, CEO Grant Petty took on Pro Tools when he explained Blackmagic’s new audio integration:
We didn’t feel there was any audio for the film and television industry…There are fantastic tools, but they’re music industry tools…We felt that was the big problem to solve – we didn’t want to have to export our project out, send it out over to a music industry guy, and then bring it back.
Petty went on to note that his remarks were not meant to be derogatory, just expressing disappointment in a native post-production environment to handle audio for film and TV.
Fairlight is famous for being used in the world’s highest-end studios for audio in film and television, as well as known for both its superior sound quality and its speed. Resolve users get a massive set of professional audio tools for recording, editing and sweetening, professional bussing, mixing and routing, and multi-format mastering to 3D audio formats such as 5.1, 7.1, Dolby and even 22.2.
Blackmagic is calling this version of resolve “the biggest release in the history of the product,” and aims to encourage filmmakers and post-production professionals to be able to work together all in one environment. Here’s a quick breakdown of what they have announced so far:
- Multitrack timeline for subframe editing of audio, down to sample level
- Work with up to 1,000 tracks with Fairlight Audio Accelerator Card
- Without accelerator card, up to 60 tracks in real time
- Mixer with several main, sub and aux buses for mastering and delivering
- Every channel features real time 6 band parametric EQ
- Clip time warping without shifting pitch
- Parameter automation
- Monitoring can handle buses up to 24 channels wide
- Monitoring on up to 16 different sets of speakers
- Better threading and CPU pipelining
- Lower Latency
- Faster UI refresh rates
- Support for Apple Metal
- New slip and slide trim commands for editors
- For colorists, 20 new Resolve FX filters
Of note too is the new bin, clip and timeline locking lets users safely work on a specific part of the project without overwriting each other. This dramatically changes post-production from a linear to a parallel workflow so everyone can work at the same time, giving editors, colorists and audio engineers more time to be creative.
There’s also a built-in secure chat client that lets team members talk to each other from within DaVinci Resolve without the need for an external internet connection; as most high-end facilities are unable to use services such as Slack or Skype for messaging because many are completely disconnected from the internet.
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In addition to extensive Fairlight integration, there are major CPU and GPU optimizations – up to 10x faster processing. This makes DaVinci Resolve 14 faster and more responsive than ever, allowing incredibly fluid performance and more precise editing, even on long timelines with thousands of clips. Scrubbing and playback are to be instantaneous and there is powerful new acceleration for processor intensive formats like H.264, making it possible to edit 4K images on a laptop.
The new Resolve 14 will be available for Mac, Windows, and Linux later this year, though there is already a public beta version available here. The basic version of Resolve remains free, but the price of Resolve Studio dropped from $999 to $299 (less expensive than most subscription models) and the dongle requirement has been removed.