Vegas Pro? Should I?

I feel my faithfulness to Shotcut is being challenged… :slight_smile:

Having messed with many free or “included” video editors I’ve often wondered what you get from a paid for editor. Most often I conclude the amateur ones are quite middling insofar as they want to take over and, to boot, apply effects and stuff which is mostly quite ugly and cheap. Since discovering Shotcut my wandering eye has been mostly tamed.

However… Magix seems to have a brilliant one-day deal on Vegas Pro in both standalone and suite versions. I’ve downloaded a trial to have a play and quite obviously discovered a sea of features I have no chance of getting to grips with before the offer ends.

Hence the post… In a nutshell, does Vegas offer anything I can’t get from Shotcut? Consider the question within the context of someone growing into the video editing scene and wanting to explore what’s possible etc. I don’t want to get into the Adobe subscription based purchase but happy to spend money as a one-off.

I’d love to hear opinions.

I think your questions would be better answered by doing a YouTube search on Vegas Pro. I believe Vegas Pro is just Windows based (could be wrong here), and the software seems to be more of a bait/buy tactic approach. Appears you pay dearly for the plug-ins beyond the upfront cost. There does appear to be a 600 page user manual you can download for free to read through.

You are probably comparing apples to oranges, although both are fruit.

Below my 2c worth:

Being in the broadcast industry, I can tell you that Premier, FCP and Avid’s Media Composer are by far the most prevalent.

Now the question arises, do you really need them? In a word, no.
My take on these as follows:

Premier - Don’t like their new licensing model and it also has plenty of bugs (yes, plenty) when it comes to subtitles and messing up black levels on certain codecs.

FCP - Has an almost cult following, can’t see the attraction really, has nothing special.

Media Composer - Completely over priced and the “bare bones” version lacks a lot which forces you to buy all the plug-ins at even more inflated prices.

I often have to get clips ready for broadcast, adjust in and out points and sometimes even have to do some transcoding as clips arrive in the wrong codec and/or container.
Instead of loading up Premier or one of the others, I’m finding myself using Shotcut more and more.
Quick, easy and no fuss.

Does it have bugs ? absolutely, although some are because of the underlying ffmpeg.
One example is ffmpeg not correctly flagging the clips as interlaced top field first.
It does save them correctly but messes up the flags.
Luckily the Omneon play out server we have is not fussy about this but you could run into problems with other servers/equipment.

Another bug is Shotcut messing up audio playback speed when the video contains 8 or more audio tracks.
When I have to work with these files, then Davinci Resolve is my go to editor.

Don’t fall into the marketing trap of “…this NLE has 1,000,004 video effects as standard…”
In practice, 99.999% are cheesy that just make your video look cheap.

Shotcut has a wonderful filter called html overlay.
If you get familiar with it and invest some time learning webvfx, it becomes very powerful.

So to wrap up, Shotcut is a tool like any other, know your tools and use the right one for the right job, problem solved.


Thank you both. Confirms some of what I suspected; including reinforcing how good Shotcut is. The fact that it is free is a bonus. I had a short play with the trial of Vegas Pro and it certainly felt far more fiddly (although I realise that a proportion of that will be my lack of familiarity).

I do like the fact I can enlarge the clip thumbnails - I find the ones in Shotcut too small to work out what the content it. (I’m expecting to be told it’s possible to enlarge the thumbnails in Shotcut too - such is my experience to date).

Thanks again.



That’s useful but not quite what I was after. It’s the thumbnails in the playlist. Wierdly, I’ve just opened Shotcut and they are larger than I recalled… Now I’m confused… Either going a little senile or I found a way to make them larger :slight_smile:





Make them Large


Large with Details


My eye is starting to stray away from Shotcut due to the color errors I’ve documented in recent posts. It seems you can’t get video out of Shotcut without introducing some grievous color errors. Having said that, I haven’t found anything better that I like. I hate Adobe’s software rental plan — I don’t do $20 worth of editing every month. It would cost well over $1,000 to get a Mac Mini just for FCP. I’ve had the beginner version of the Avid program and it had serious issues. I don’t want to repeat that mistake. I’ve looked at other “prosumer” editors and agree about their cheesy-looking effects which may be OK for wedding and birthday videos but not for anything serious. Maybe I’ll have a look at Vegas.

I like Shotcut’s galaxy of lossless export formats, but if you pick up color errors in the process then it’s not really lossless, is it? Shotcut also has some UI issues which I have documented in the past but which show no signs of being addressed.

I am working on a program which won’t be an editing program but instead will focus on video quality control and will have some provision for interactive adjustment. It’s challenge enough dealing with ffmpeg’s quirks so I’m trying to deal with them as best I can, keeping the colors and levels true. What I will ultimately do with this program once it’s written, I don’t know.


Yup, ffmpeg certainly has it fair share of quirks.
Since most of the video we broadcast arrives in XDCAMHD, it’s essentially MPEG2, 8 bit video.
Haven’t noticed any serious color issues with exports.

For other codecs like Prores HQ that uses 10 bit video, you could well pick up some issues.
I read somewhere on this forum that adding the following to the “OTHER” tab in exports might help:


(Of course the codec you are using will have to support it).

As I mentioned in my previous post, I do use Shotcut for quick jobs but if I was editing and color grading a full episode or feature, my choice would undoubtedly be Davinci Resolve.
It’s also available for Mac and Windows and has one very important feature that is sadly missing in Shotcut, namely waveform and vector display.

Can that program you write be integrated into Shotcut to improve the color issue?

@chris319 Consider contributing code changes. Good luck getting that opportunity with Vegas.

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I’m writing a complete, standalone program. I started to tool up to compile Shotcut but it turned out to be too daunting and I didn’t feel like starting at the bottom of the learning curve, learning Shotcut’s inner workings, so I built on code I had already written.

The program I’m writing is not that complicated but is geared toward professional video and may be out of the league of Shotcut users, and it is designed to address some of ffmpeg’s quirks, particularly in clipping video levels. There is also the question of how my code would be integrated into Shotcut. In the past my suggestions and ideas have been greeted less than enthusiastically. I’m happy to share code but am slightly reluctant to contribute to Shotcut. Not to close the door, if Shotcut’s PTB were more receptive I might feel differently about it.

There are SDKs to make it easier. Look in the Site Map on the site / top of this page.

Volunteers primarily scratch their own itch while also occasionally motivated by others. They are not so keen to feel like they are doing the bidding of others iyswim. Also, anyone who is a team member is naturally going to have their opinion held higher. I do appreciate you as a power user.

One thing about my program is that it deals with pixels at the individual pixel level. That’s how it overcomes ffmpeg’s quirkiness. I don’t know if that is consistent with the way Shotcut works, or if Shotcut simply applies ffmpeg video filters.

In my program it remains to be seen whether the video will survive a round trip from YUV to RGB and back to YUV with the levels intact. I do my processing in RGB for consistency with EBU r 103.

@chris319, did you check out Shotcut’s SDK? If not it’s here.

As I said, I started to tool up to compile Shotcut but it seemed very daunting. I may pick it up later but right now I’m focused on my own programs.

More color testing:

zscale range, x264 encoder

limited = inaccurate
full = accurate

limited = inaccurate
full = accurate

yuv or yuvj, makes no difference.

If ffmpeg is limiting luminance values to 16 - 235, it’s not surprising that there will be color errors. We have no control over what ffmpeg is doing under the hood to achieve these levels.

My preferred way of making video r 103 compliant is to hard clip R, G and B at 5 and 246. This gets any ringing and overshoots, yet does not mess with the levels so there is no color distortion, provided the video levels are kept within the range 16 - 235 to begin with. You can do this with the camera iris, lighting, gain or choice of subject matter.

I doubt there is a broadcaster anywhere that would refuse to broadcast video that is r 103 compliant.

We all know that ffmpeg does have issues with certain codecs.
In your post, you used the x264 encoder as an example, why that one for broadcast and why 4:2:0?
We never use 4:2:0 for broadcast, only 4:2:2 due to better color subsampling.

What I’m trying to say is, before re-inventing the wheel, why not try different encoders/codecs and also report your findings to the ffmpeg developers?
They are quite receptive to bug reports.

I remember a few years ago there was a red shift problem with their Prores encoding, that was reported and fixed.


I have a desktop, it has 4 Hard Drives in it, 2 500 GB and 2 2TB Hard Drives. On the 500 drive, one has Windows 7 Pro and the other has Linux Mint 19 Sara Cinnamon. On the windows side I have Vegas 15 and 16. On the Linux Mint side, I use Kdenlive. In my opinion Kdenlive and Vegas are almost alike, in 2 years I have not found anything Kdenlive can do, that Vegas can do. So go get Kdenlive and look on YouTube for help using it.

I Have no idea what OS is on your Hard Drive, but Kdenlive is also a free Video Editor