Help with Sony's Vegas Pro 9
October 11, 2009 6:10 PM   Subscribe

How do I use Vegas Pro 9? I can't find a lot of useful or free info on the web or on Sony's website.

I'm in charge of shooting and editing video during my company's conference and meetings, which begin tomorrow. I don't have much experience with either, and I think I kind of jumped in the deep end with Vegas by downloading the 30-day free trial.

I'm not doing anything too fancy...a basic intro, cutting, overlaying the name of the speaker. But I really haven't found any helpful, basic, beginner-level manuals or information. My camcorder is a canon vixia hf200.

Any tips, sites or other resources would be appreciated. Thanks all!
posted by tenaciousd to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think that Windows Movie Maker might be more your speed. It's free, and included in most XP and Vista preloads.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:35 PM on October 11, 2009


That sounded condescending, and that wasn't my intent. I apologize.

WMM is quite easy to learn and use and it can do all the things you say you want to do. It's also free since it comes as part of Windows. That's why I was suggesting that instead of struggling with Vegas Pro 9, you should use WMM which is free, easier, and doesn't have a 30 day timeout.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:52 PM on October 11, 2009


I haven't used Vegas, but I have used other NLE (non linear editors).

To keep it simple, it should be a case of dragging the video onto the timeline, cutting it at whatever points you need to, and arranging it in the order that it needs to go in.

There'll probably be a title tool or text generator of some sort. You may have to overlay that over the text yourself.

Experiment and read the help file, and you'll probably find that it's not that mysterious.

In terms of shooting - lock it down on a tripod, and definitely, definitely, definitely get a good quality sound recording. The visuals are probably not going to be interesting, and the speech is really what any viewer would find interesting. So make sure that you've got a line-level recording coming from the mixer, either into an audio recording device/laptop, or into the camera, if it can do that.
posted by Magnakai at 3:00 AM on October 12, 2009


Vegas resources/forums
posted by filmgeek at 7:39 AM on October 12, 2009


@Chocolate Pickle
That crossed my mind too. I looked at the WMM, but you're given very limited editing options. For instance, I don't think you can overlay a speaker's name or logo on the video.

@Magnakai
I have an external mic for the camcorder. Are you saying I need something else?
posted by tenaciousd at 10:03 AM on October 12, 2009


For instance, I don't think you can overlay a speaker's name or logo on the video.

Sure you can.

In the "Edit" menu on the left side of the window, one of the choices is "Titles and credits". Inside that choice, one of the things you can do is to place a title on top of a video.

On the bottom, you can change the "Storyboard" to "Timeline" (with the pulldown menu) and adjust the time positioning and duration of such titles.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:07 PM on October 12, 2009


I was just messing with it. The only thing you may not like is that the titles are centered. I didn't see any obvious way to move them around on the screen, but there might be one.

But in the timeline, you can put the cursor horizontally where you want a title to appear, and then use the "Add title" function and it gets created starting at that point. It defaults to a one second duration, but you can drag the right side of the box out to make it longer.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:15 PM on October 12, 2009


Not necessarily, depending on the mic placement, but I wouldn't rely on it. If it's a large lecture theatre-type room, with a proper PA system in place, you'll certainly not want to record the sound coming out of the speakers (as in the audio equipment variety). If, on the other hand, it's a small conference room and the speaker's (as in the human variety) voice is unamplified, it'll probably suffice, though you'll still want the mic as close to the speaker as possible to ensure a clear sound and reduction of ambient sound.

If it's the former, large hall scenario, you'll should be able to get a recording of whatever's coming through the speechmaker's microphone at the point at which it hits the mixing desk/amplifier. This will have the advantage of being a very clean sound.

Ideally, you'd have a wireless lavalier mic attached to the speechmaker's tie/shirt, with a wireless receiver recording directly into the camera. If this is an ongoing thing, it would be worth at least investigating renting one.

Good luck!
posted by Magnakai at 5:28 AM on October 13, 2009


Vegas 9 has a nice interactive tutorials. Go to the help menu to find them. The help section in general is very good in Vegas.

I would suggest spending an hour or two and getting to know Vegas. For what you want to do that should be all the time you need to figure it out. Vegas gives you a lot more options for export than movie maker, so I think it is worth taking the time.
posted by afu at 2:27 AM on October 15, 2009


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