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Featured VEGAS Pro

Sony Vegas Pro 12: How to Render in 720p HD Settings Tutorial

How do you render your video in 720p HD (1280×720 dimension) in Sony Vegas Pro 12?  Today, I’ll be showing you how to render your videos in 720p HD quality, using a custom rendering template and settings to produce excellent video quality and also optimize the final product for YouTube uploading. Also, I’ll be showing you how to change slight settings to help reduce the video file size for a very small and almost insignificant decrease in video quality!

 

Make sure to follow the easy-to-follow video tutorial embedded below to ensure that you are following the correct procedure to render your video!

  1. The first step we’re going to take, is to actually make sure that your project is saved as a .veg (Sony Vegas Project) file in case you want to come back and work on your project further, or change anything. To do this, what you need to do is go to the File drop down menu at the top left corner of your screen, and simply click Save As.. . Now, enter a name referring to your project (e.g. – “My Video Project”) and click the save button. *(see end of post)
  2. Now that we have our project backed up, we’re going to want to Render it.  Now, go to File , Render As.  You’ll now see a window pop up with two drop down menus, “Save as Type:” and “Template:” .
  3. Firstly, lets start with the “Save as Type” drop-down category. Click on the drop-down menu, and select “Windows Media Video V11″ , it should be towards the end of the list.
  4. Now we’re going to move onto the “Template” drop-down. This section is slightly more complicated, so we’ll split it into more steps, keeping it simple.  However, we’re not going to choose a pre-made template, in fact, we’re going to create our own custom 720p HD template!  To do this, we need to select a random .wmv pre-made template and click the “Custom” button besides the Template category !
  5. Once you click Custom, another window will open up. Here, the template is split up into Audio, Video, Bit rate, Index/Summary and Project. We’re going to be going through each of these with custom settings, so make sure you read carefully!

AUDIO TAB:
Mode: CBR
Format: Windows Media Audio
Attributes: 64 kbps, 48 kHz, stereo (A/V) CBR

VIDEO TAB:
Mode: CBR
Format: Windows Media Video
Image Size: Custom – 1280×720
Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.00
Frame Rate (FPS) – 30
Video Smoothness – ~90-100

BIT RATE:
Internet/Lan: ~ 4M – 8M
(The higher your bit rate, the higher quality your file will be, but also the size of the file increases with bit rate.)

PROJECT:
Video Rendering Quality: Best

You have now successfully created a .wmv 720p HD Custom template for your videos. If you want to render your other videos with these settings, instead of trying to remember all of these settings again, you can simply go to your File > Render As, select .wmv from the first dropdown menu, and NOW on the second drop down menu for “Template”, you can find your custom template under the name you saved it as, eg, “720p HD Video Template” !

*IMPORTANT NOTE:

 (One common misconception is that when you Save your file using File > Save As.., you are now ready to play it back or upload it to the internet. However, this is not the case. This creates a .veg file, which is only accessible in Sony Vegas, as a project file. To make your clip playable you need to RENDER it, this is explained at STEP 2 above!)

Categories
Technology

Watch US Netflix / Hulu for FREE Outside of the US on your PC!

Although Netflix is a service available to several other countries outside the US, the selection of content for Netflix users depends on their location. For Netflix users living outside of the US (Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Ireland, South America, Denmark, Finland,  Norway and Sweden), a common question asked is: “How can I access and watch US Netflix outside of the US?”.

There are services that people use that can trick the Netflix/Hulu servers into giving the user access to the US based content, however, they charge a monthly fee. This method will also work for accessing Pandora (internet music streaming service) outside of the US.

 

Would your friends like to enjoy US Netflix / Hulu or Pandora? Let them know how to by Tweeting this article or Sharing it on Facebook!

 

Here’s what you will typically see when visiting Hulu from outside of the US:

Hulu not working

 

To show the difference between my Netflix (Ireland) and the US Netflix, I searched for Parks and Recreation (unavailable on Irish Netflix):

Netflix UK

 

With MediaHint or Hola, you can access US Netflix content without even signing up for anything (besides a Netflix account of course)! (NOTE: MediaHint has been more reliable for me personally lately, Hola was not working during the writing of this review, but may be back up working soon as it was before.)

MediaHint is a browser extension available for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The installation is as simple as visiting MediaHint.com and clicking “start using”. When you click “start using”, your browser will begin to download the extension (it should only take a few seconds) and then the site will display instructions on how to install it (very simple).  Once you have the extension installed, visit Netflix.com or Hulu.com and you’ll have access straight away! That’s it!

Hola is available as a browser extension for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, but it’s also available for Windows, Android and Mac (from Hola.org)! The installation is very simple and straight forward and there’s no need to register to use the extension!

After installing one of the above extensions, you should be able to access US Netflix / Hulu / Pandora!

Hulu working

 

Netflix US

 

netflix US2

Would your friends like to enjoy US Netflix / Hulu or Pandora? Let them know how to by Tweeting this article or Sharing it on Facebook!

Categories
VEGAS Pro

Sony Vegas Pro 12 | Hollywood Transition Effect Tutorial #1

Today we’re going to be kicking off a new Sony Vegas editing tutorial series called “Hollywood Transitions”. This new series will consist of Sony Vegas (Pro 12) editing tutorials on how to create Hollywood / film style transitions.

For our first Hollywood Transition Effect, we’re going to be taking a look at a simple transition effect that consists of a video clip split up into several rectangles. These rectangles will then slide onto screen separately, creating a cool transition! (It’s hard to explain in words, see the video tutorial embedded below for an example!)

In this video tutorial we are using Sony Vegas Pro 12 and making use of the shape-mask feature. This feature allows us to create perfect rectangle masks on our video and also allows us to duplicate and move them easily. If you’re using an older version of Vegas PRO, you can still create this effect using the standard masking feature ( the standard mask feature is not available in Movie Studio versions of Vegas).

Categories
Product Reviews

Editors Keys SL300 Microphone and Portable Vocal Booth Pro Review

Mark Brown, over at EditorsKeys, was kind enough to send us out an Editors Keys SL300 Condenser USB Microphone, Portable Vocal Booth Pro (2nd edition) and the Editors Keys Dual Layer Pop Filter to review. Over the past month I have been using and testing all 3 products, both separately and in combination with each other.

General Information

Let’s start off with some general information about the three of these products. (All details and prices were accurate on date of creation of this post in October 2012.)

The SL300 Condenser USB Microphone is available on EditorsKeys.com for €119.99 ($160.98). This payout rewards you with the SL300 itself, a shockmount and the necessary USB cable. There is no installation disc included, that is because it’s not required. The microphone contains built-in drivers allowing you to simply plug-in and use in a few seconds.

The Vocal Booth Pro (2nd edition) is available on EditorsKeys.com for €179.99 ($241.98). The Vocal Booth Pro can be used either on a desk or on a heavy duty stand (which is included). Also included with the purchase are the desk stand adapters and any tools needed to fix the stand together with the booth.

The Dual Layer Pop Filter can be found at EditorsKeys.com for €23.99 ($32.18). The Dual Layer Pop Filter is compatible with all microphone stands with a simple turn to tighten mechanism, allowing you to fix the pop filter onto the microphone (stand) of your choice.

You can also purchase these three items (SL300 Condenser USB Mic, Portable Vocal Booth Pro (2nd Edition) and the Dual Layer Pop Filter) in a bundle for €311.99 ($418.58)

Editors Keys SL300 Condenser USB Microphone Final Verdict

The SL300 has a solid build with an impressive weight to it. I found the build of the microphone particularly impressive. I appreciate the weight of the microphone (even though the microphone will remain in the shockmount for the majority of the time in my use) and the solid feel to the microphone.

The mic also features a built in blue studio-light hidden behind the wire mesh. Note: The blue studio-light turns on upon plugging the mic into the USB socket and does not symbolize that it is recording live.

As shown by the symbol on the front, the microphone is omnidirectional. The microphone also features two switches on either side of the omnidirectional symbol.

The -10db setting allows you to record your audio at a -10db level which is ideal for musicians recording vocals, instrumentals, etc.. The microphone also features a “low-cut” switch allowing users to record audio and cut off any frequency below 200Hz.

I personally did not find a huge use for the low-cut feature or the -10db setting, however, that’s due to the fact that the audio I record is normally for audio commentary. I’m not the most talented musician and I understand and want to emphasize the fact that both features can play an important role in a musicians recording or instrumentals and/or vocals.

Overall I would recommend this microphone to anyone who is looking for a professional microphone within the hundred €/$ price range. The microphone produces clean, crisp audio that can only be admired. Comparing this microphone to my previous microphone (of a similar price) I was quite blown away by the quality. The audio sounds much more professional and allows me to take pride in my audio. This microphone easily deserves 9/10 stars.

Editors Keys Portable Vocal Booth Pro (2nd Edition) Final Verdict

The Portable Vocal Booth Pro (2nd edition) varies in several ways from the 1st edition.  The 2nd edition features a new “barn-door” style folding mechanism, allowing for simple storage and transport. The 2nd edition also features desk-stand mounts allowing the booth to be used whilst sitting on your desk, unlike the 1st edition.

The 2nd edition also includes the microphone stand in the listed price. The acoustic foam featured in the 2nd edition of the Portable Vocal Booth Pro boasts a different design pattern allowing for optimum recording conditions (explained further below).

The “specially molded foam” that lines the inside of the Portable Vocal Booth Pro (2nd edition) aids to create dry vocals while also helping to prevent exterior audio from polluting your audio. The punched aluminium back to the booth is not just cosmetic, the design actually adds an extra layer of “audio deflection”, reducing the sound pollution into your microphone.

The stand is very easily assembled to sit on top of the stand (which is included with purchase) and after your first few assemblies you should be able to put that vocal booth on the heavy duty stand, with the microphone in the shockmount and the pop-filter applied within 5 minutes! The booth and stand truly are portable!

As I noted in the review, I probably would not have recommended the booth until I used it under different circumstances. To elaborate on this, while examining and testing the booth I found the improvement in audio quality slightly impressive, but nothing to get excited over.

However, when I used the booth with exterior noise outside or even on my desk (from my old-loud laptop), I noticed that the design of the foam and the exterior case to the booth isn’t just for fancy looks or minor improvements. The features actually did help to reduce the amount of background noise reaching my microphone to the point where the two recordings (one with and without the booth) had obvious differences.

Overall, the Portable Vocal Booth Pro has hugely impressed me (especially after the previous background-sound-test mentioned)! With a price tag of €179.99, it may be out of reach of some lower-end musicians and recording enthusiasts. However, if you’re looking to upgrade your equipment and spend a bit of dough, the price tag is actually quite affordable compared to alternatives when looking at quality. I find it hard to rate this product out of 10 due to the fact that this is one of the only products like this that I have reviewed, however, I would recommend this product.

Did I find any cons? Yes, but it’s very minor, and I like to nitpick.

I was very impressed with the combination of the Vocal Booth Pro 2, the SL300 and the Dual Layer Pop Filter. The only thing during my month of testing that stood out as a con to me was the fact that in certain cases, when you attach the dual layer pop filter to the microphone while it is in the shockmount and sitting in the vocal booth AND the vocal booth is on a desk, the apparatus can very easily tilt and fall forward which could possibly cause damage to the products. However, this was such a minor con that only arose in certain circumstances that I still couldn’t call it a full-fledged con.

 Editors Keys Dual Layer Pop Filter Final Verdict

I don’t have much to say about the Dual Layer Pop Filter. Compared to a normal pop filter (one that is not dual-layered), I couldn’t find much of a difference in audio quality. I found two or three situations in audio recordings where I think that the dual-layer pop filter did a slightly better job of reducing the pop and rise in audio levels. However,  the dual-layer pop filter is €23.99 which is similar to what you would pay for a normal (high quality) pop-filter. 

Would I recommend the dual-layer pop-filter? I would recommend a pop filter. If you were going to purchase the SL300 and the Portable Vocal Booth then I would advise you to purchase the bundle with all 3 products for €311.99. The dual layer pop filter has a similar price to a normal pop filter so I wouldn’t find any need for an upgrade from a typical pop-filter to the dual layer pop filter, but if you are someone who is searching for a suitable pop filter, the dual layer pop filter would not be a bad purchase.

 

Please enjoy the video review embedded below:

Video review goes live on the 28th of October at 7PM GMT .

Categories
VEGAS Pro

Sony Vegas Pro 12 VS Sony Vegas Pro Edit – Fall Release Date

Sony Creative Software announced the future release of Sony Vegas Pro 12 and Sony Vegas Pro Edit at IBC on September 7th, 2012. They have both been given a Fall 2012 release date. Now, you may ask, what’s the difference between Sony Vegas Pro 12 and Sony Vegas Pro Edit?

Sony Vegas Pro Edit is Sony Creative Software’s attempt at making a more “cost-efficient” program that still has the majority of capabilities that Sony Vegas Pro 12 has. Sony Vegas Pro Edit will feature the same audio and video toolset of Sony Vegas Pro 12, but will not feature the disc-authoring components.

Recommended Article – Sony Vegas Pro 12 Announced – New Features & Trailer

There have been no prices released at this point, but we expect that Sony Vegas Pro 12 will retail for $599 (similar to previous versions) and Sony Vegas Pro Edit will retail around the price-point of between $299 and $399, similar to that of Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, but we could be wrong.

Sony Vegas Pro Edit is being released for the first time to act as a more cost-efficient program, targeting users who cannot afford to drop the $599 for Sony Vegas Pro 12.  It’s a sensible move by Sony Creative Software to try and spread into a larger consumer base by offering an editing program with the same toolset of Sony Vegas Pro 12 minus the disc-authoring components.

For most people, the loss of the disc-authoring section of the editing program won’t be a huge deal, but professional video editors will most likely be purchasing Sony Vegas Pro 12.

TEASER TRAILER OVERVIEW: