Vegas Movie Studio 14 Review

Vegas Movie Studio 14 marks the first update of this software since Magix bought out the entire Sony Creative range of video and audio editing products last year.

Despite the doomsday rumblings of existing users regarding what Magix was going to do with the software, this update has clearly marked Magix intention to not only bring the software up to date but to continue its development.

So just as I do whenever I am embarking on a review here is a video from Vegas Creative showing a quick overview of the software itself and what has changed in this new version.

Before I get into a full Vegas Movie Studio 14 review I think it is important to address why Movie Studio in many ways sits outside the box when it comes to consumer level video editing software.

Movie Studio is a bit of an anomaly within the the consumer level video editing software market due to its history in that it doesn’t really look or behave like most of the others in this market.

The reason for this is that the product itself grew out of the original Creative professional editing software which we now know as Vegas Pro.

At that time video editing software was considered to be something only professionals would ever use and the idea that average people would be shooting and editing digital videos on home computers was about as likely as us all having flying cars.

Sadly we don’t have our flying cars yet but we certainly do have a wide range of video editing products available these days!

All of those early editors were based on the terminology, techniques and workflows of professional film editors which is why when you look at the Vegas Movie Studio user interface it can seem a little daunting!

However the reality is that no matter which editing software you choose, if you have had no previous experience with it, it will all look a little daunting.

Every brand of software on the market will at least at some point in time make the claim that, “It’s easy to use!”

I don’t care which software you are using or are thinking about using, that claim is absolutely meaningless.

I have had friends who are professional video editors at the level of feature films sit down with an “easy to use” consumer grade editing suite and be utterly stumped by it.

So, is Vegas Movie Studio easy to use?

Yes, if you are a professional editor!

If you are not, then like the rest of us you have a bit of a learning curve to get over before you can unleash its full potential.

So the real question is, “How well does the product guide you through that learning curve?”

In the case of Movie Studio 14, they have met the challenge admirably and have included with all their versions a series of excellent interactive guides built in to the program.

For any person new to video editing or new to the software this is by far one of the best introductions and guided tutorial series I have seen.

Before you even get started with the software you can spend an hour or so just following the interactive lessons learning the exact procedure for any given task within the software.

You can get up to pace and be working on your project in no time at all and more importantly, any time you get stuck or want to know how to do something, you can access the appropriate guide and find out immediately how to do it.

To give you an idea of it check the video below to see an explanation of adding effects to a project.

What’s New?

Although a few years back Sony attempted to improve the overall look of the program and make the interface easier to understand I can’t really say they succeeded particularly.

The image below is the old interface and I guess if you were looking for outdated and clunky this would certainly fit the bill!

The good news is that in this latest release Magix have taken the bit between their teeth and completely revamped and streamlined how the software looks and behaves.

I think part of the problem for Sony was that they never really understood what “consumer level” video editing was and how the average person actually used the software.

Fortunately this is exactly where Magix’ expertise comes in and the new interface is clean, modern and does not make your jaw drop to the floor in horror when you first see it!

I think this is a bit better!

As far as other “New” stuff goes most of it falls into the category of bringing Movie Studio up to date with the other video editing suites at this level.

Magix’ task with this software was never really to introduce a bunch of shiny new toys for us all to play with.

Movie Studio has always had the best toys!

What they really needed to do was to add on all the peripheral features that others in the field have been offering for a while now.

In VEGAS Movie Studio 14, (the simplest of the versions available) there is of course the new user interface I already mentioned as well as the ability to directly upload to a range of social media sites. (Can you believe it never had this?)

There is also a couple of new effects and access to Magix Music Maker software which can be used to create your own music tracks.

In VEGAS Movie Studio 14 Platinum you get all of the above plus the addition of Multicam editing which is like a switching module for editing footage of one event from a number of different devices.

To get a better idea here is a video showing it in action.

They have improved the program’s ability to access the computer RAM for previews and have included the NewBlueFX Platinum Complete effects and filters package.

In VEGAS Movie Studio 14 Suite again you get all the above plus a full working copy of SmartSound® Sonicfire® Pro 6, NewBlueFX Titler Pro Express, NewBlueFX Suite Complete and HitFilm Toolkit Pack.

That last one is an additional set of filters and effects from HitFilm.

Which Version?

Vegas Movie Studio is offered at three levels:

Movie Studio 14

This is the bottom of the scale version. It offers basic editing features but has no ability to create discs of any kind. It has limited audio features and only ten available video or audio tracks.

It does have integrated uploading to YouTube and other services because that’s basically the style of editing or distribution it is aimed at.

It would ideally be for someone wanting to perform simple editing and uploading to the internet or mobile devices.

Movie Studio 14 Platinum

At this level Movie Studio adds the ability to burn DVDs, Blu-ray discs and AVCHD on to DVD discs.

You also get a much wider range of audio effects, video effects and filters plus greater ability to control them.

Movie Studio Platinum 14 Suite

This version represents the peak of the consumer level of the Movie Studio family.

It has all the bells and whistles and I think if you look hard enough you will find the kitchen sink too!

It has hundreds of features and can do just about anything you can think of and it is at this level that the interactive guides really become necessary.

There is just a bewildering array of video, audio and still image effects and features inside the program and to list them all out would take pages and pages which I am not going to do here.

You can see a full Product Comparison Chart Here

Summary

There is no point going into what Vegas Movie Studio 14 can do here… it does it all and it does it very, very well!

Of all the video editing software at the consumer level Vegas Movie Studio 14 is easily the most feature packed product at each price level.

It particularly excels in the field of manually controlling every aspect of video production and honestly if it can’t do what you want then you probably need to go up to a pro editor.

With its excellent tutorial system the learning curve is still a curve but much less painful than most.

Within a very short time you will have the software well under control and doing what you want it to do.

Click Here to See the Vegas Movie Studio Range

4 / 5 stars     
Vegas Movie Studio 14 Review was last modified: March 28th, 2017 by Lance Carr
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22 comments to Vegas Movie Studio 14 Review

  • Kal

    Thanks very much for your feedback Lance. Much appreciated.

  • Kal

    Thanks for the review Lance. I’m testing a trial version of Vegas Movie Studio 14 Platinum and Magix Movie Edit Pro Plus. Haven’t yet decided which to purchase. Any thoughts on the comparison? Thanks

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Kal,
      Both are good choices and I’ll repeat what I say all over the site, “Please download the trials first and take them for a spin before you commit to a long term relationship.

      At the end of the day both of them have pretty much the same feature set except that Vegas gets you there manually and Movie Edit gets you there with presets and plugins.

      To me the real question is where do you want to finish?

      If you are going to keep it relatively simple then Movie Edit Pro, if you want to really get into editing as a serious hobby or even move towards pro, Vegas Movie Studio.

  • Hello,

    Thank you for this article. I’ve had Movie Studio Platinum 13 for about 2 years now and I love it.I have yet to do anything complicated such as making animations or adding special effects, as the videos I make don’t really require anything of that nature. My question is, do you think that there is a large enough feature improvement to spend the money to upgrade? I got platinum 13 off of Amazon for about $60.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Zack OK so apparently as a marketer I am supposed to make up some kind of story here that backs my recommendation for you to upgrade regardless of the situation.

      Unfortunately for me I suck at marketing.

      Given the fact that you are happy with the current version, are working within in its capabilities and have no need for any more fancy bells and whistles then I would stay with what you have.

      What I would recommend is keeping an eye out for the next update and going for that one automatically.

      The main reason I say this is because it keeps you in touch with the cheap upgrade path and makes sure that changes in computer configurations and video file formats don’t start crashing your computer or giving you problems.

  • David

    Hello. I read this article with great interest. I had been a Pinnacle user since forever, but after Version 12 I decided to try Sony Vegas. They actually released bug fixes! Pinnacle seemed to carry the same bugs from one version to another. I currently have version 11 of Vegas Movie Studio HD platinum suite. Is the update to 13 worth the cost? Has Pinnacle finally figured out how to release software that won’t kill you from frustration due to the bugs? What would you suggest? I loved using Pinnacle Studio and would consider switching back if they have fixed the issues I mentioned.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi David,
      Yes Pinnacle has certainly has its fair share of “moments” throughout its history!

      Probably around the time you ditched it, it was bought by Avid and they made some inroads into getting it stable… but!

      Given that they are a software company used to only working at the pro end of the market I think they realized they has bitten off a little more than they could chew.

      Possibly by the time they were surrounded by enraged villagers with pitchforks and lit torches they made the decision to sell Pinnacle to Corel.

      Corel spent probably about versions 16 and 17 just trying to tame the beast and get it to behave which they did quite well.

      Versions 19 and 20 have been good solid updates and hopefully the instability issues are behind them now.

      As far as Vegas goes, Sony sold it to Magix last years so the entire Vegas range has moved over there.

      Magix have released a new version of Vegas Pro and a new version of Vegas Movie Studio is in the works right now and should be due for release pretty soon.

      I think you should wait until that release and then take a look at updating to the new version.

      Magix have undertaken to respect the upgrade pricing paths that people agreed to when they originally bought the software from Sony.

  • Sam

    Hi there, I’ve read the review on this as well as on pinnacle studio and I am in a real dilemma as to which one to choose. They both seem to be very powerful and professional editing softwares, have been around for a while and both do the job of allowing you to create high quality content. I am fairly new to editing, but am looking to invest in a software to develop my editing further. I also like how there are different types, eg with song Vegas you have the simple edition, followed by the platinum one and then suite and the same is for pinnacle studio too, again making it difficult to differentiate them! Please could you help in pointing me in a direction. I am slightly gravitating more towards Sony Vegas as I read one part where you said it is capable of doing anything you can think of. But then again, how you said the one thing that stands out about pinnacle studio is its control, also sounds really good. I would also like to add that this review website is the best I have seen and it has helped me narrow down my choice of softwares. It’s very concise, detailed and straight to the point, so thank you for providing us with this information.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Sam,
      Well congratulations!

      You actually did the work and got it down to two… genius!

      So let’s clear up one point.

      They are both NOT “very powerful professional programs.” Yup! You read that right.

      They are both very powerful consumer levels programs that can do what the pro level programs of five years ago could do.

      They definitely are at the top end of what you as a relatively new user, will need for some time yet.

      At this point in time there is almost nothing separating them feature wise or performance wise so the good news is that you can’t go wrong here!

      The bad news is that you still have to decide!

      I am thinking that you feel more comfortable with Vegas Movie Studio so here’s another bonus.

      Once you get to the top of the range with Pinnacle you are done.

      Once you get to the top of the range with Vegas Movie Studio you can then (at a discount!) keep going higher to their fully professional editor Vegas Pro.

      That’s about all that is separating them really!

  • Withehld

    I just upgraded from Sony Vegas Pro 13 to Vegas Pro 14. It is a nightmare. The installation base on Windows 10 has increased 8 fold (VP-13 was 110MB, VP-14 is a whopping 990MB). The software itself is extremely buggy, it constantly throws Exceptions, crashed a few times in the first 30 minutes after installation and once it crashed my system entirely. The app shows low memory errors, fails to load projects with just 4 or 5 files and throws exceptions after every 5 or 10 operations. IT felt like Magix has taken Sony’s Vegas Pro and transferred all their bloatware into it and released the product without adequate testing or quality control.

    I have uninstalled Vegas Pro 14 and my system is back to normal. Luckily I had not uninstalled Vegas Pro 13 which, is still working fine.

    I have reported all the errors with screen-shots to Magix and have asked for my money back. Keeping fingers crossed.

    Stay away from Vegas Pro 14.

    • Lance Carr

      First of all for anyone reading this let’s be clear here.

      This is the review page for VegasCreative Movie Studio NOT Vegas Pro 13 or 14 so your observations are not relevant to this page.

      You are talking about a completely different product.

      However, I am not surprised that this latest update has been problematic.

      The sheer logistics of Magix taking over the entire Vegas and Movie Studio range must have been enormous.

      The idea that Magix would spend a bucketload of money on getting these products and then carelessly screw them up is just silly.

      Clearly your individual experience has not been pleasant but I have just been to their user forum and have seen nothing like this being reported anywhere there.

      In fact I specifically went there to see if YOU had reported it in an effort to resolve your problems. I guess I must have missed it.

  • I found your article as I have used version 11 for a number of years. I love it, but it crashes and stuggles with long video clips. So I thought I should look at upgrading and had no idea what this meant. Your article has given me a lot of encouragement. I absolutely agree about heir tutorials to help get started. I originally used Adobe premier elelments – they lost in in one of their upgrades everything changed so much, I did not have a clue what I was doing so ditched it and found Vegas 11. Thank you for your article, well written and honest.

  • John Norton

    This looks like the last version (13). So new users should consider whether getting to grips with it is worthwhile. Other software, PD etc will probably continue to be developed.

    I have version 13 and like you I put off getting it for a very long time, got ver 13, fabulous, powerful program. A bit of a learning curve definitely, can’t say I would ever know all of it, but enough to get by. I’d really never use anything else after using svp.

    • Lance Carr

      Hi John,
      I am not sure why you seem to think this is the final version of Sony Movie Studio.

      I haven’t seen or heard of anything like that.

        • Lance Carr

          Not at all John.

          Yes it has been purchased by Magix but they certainly did not buy it to let it slowly die!

          That’s just bad business.

          Magix have made pretty good products for a while now but have found it difficult to break out of the European market which is their traditional base.

          By acquiring the Sony stable they are most likely looking to keep the brand intact and continue development to maintain that market.

          • Lance Carr

            That’s pretty much the type of scenario I was expecting John.

            I remember when Corel bought Pinnacle there was endless gnashing of teeth and moaning but the reality is why would a software buy a piece of software and then not continue to develop it?

            Especially ones like those in the Creative stable with a huge, existing and very loyal user base.

            Magix don’t actually need the software, they have great products already.

            What they want is the customer base and the brand so I am sure they will do everything they can to please that customer base.

            In the case of Pinnacle, Corel have actually built that software back up from the buggy piece of crap it was to the point where I am thinking about putting it on this site as a recommended product!

            Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!

  • Hazel

    I didn’t like it for the first hour or two of the trial software (Platinum Suite 13) – the lists and so on put you off. So I downloaded a trial of PowerDirector. Instantly liked that. After a couple of days of playing around I much preferred the Sony – it is very versatile, it’s clever, and once you’ve got the hang of it it is incredibly quick and easy to use. Went off PowerDirector. The only thing I wish is that some of PD special effects were in the Sony package! One thing I really like – when you upload a video, whatever frame rate it is at, the Sony one will ask if you want a custom frame rate to match it, and then set it for you. Clever. Also if you want to edit quickly, you can drag fades on very quickly and easily without wading through a load of transitions. It also handled a Quicktime video much better than Powerdirector. I like both, but after using them for a few days I preferred the Sony, even though PD looks slicker (initially).

    • Lance Carr

      Hi Hazel,
      Thanks for dropping by and giving us a rundown on your experience ans conclusions. It is much appreciated.

  • Jerry

    Had 11 upgraded to 12 (current) never invested quality time to learn the features, functions and benefits – got the job done taking more time than necessary and was about to change to another manufacturer til I read your article which basically described me. Will probably upgrade to v13 and pay more attention and learn how to maximize Sony’s efforts to make me look good or at least look like I know how to create excellent productions. Thanks for reminding me of that old adage: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush…”

  • Ramya

    Perfect post at right timing. Thanks for the post. It was very helpful!!

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