What's a Good Video Editor

I’ve been wanting to upgrade my video editing software for a while now, and I’ve been watching a lot of reviews/guides/tips for different programs. The main thing is that a lot of the guides I’ve seen are for movies/music videos/vlogs and the like. I’d like to get the opinions of people who are also doing Let’s Plays since that’s what I’m going to be using it for.

If anyone knows of good free ones that can do what we do, that’d be cool. But I’m also thinking to save up and just buy a new program as well. I kind of want to stick away from Adobe CC stuff, since I think it’s kind of a rip off to pay monthly. After 2 years I’d have paid to own a program and then some. That and I’m not made of money.

My big contenders so far are Vegas Pro 14 and Adobe Premiere CS6. I’d really just like to know what other people use and what they think are good options.

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You might want to read through this thread here if you’re looking for advice on which editing programs to use.

I personally use Sony Vegas 13 for my stuff. It’s fairly easy to use and there’s tons of tutorials for more advance stuff up on youtube.

so far I’ve been using Sony movie studio 13 platinum, which is like $50 on amazon, and it’s been doing me just fine

That’s fairly cheap. I’ll take a look into that one.[quote=“fenns, post:2, topic:1154”]
You might want to read through this thread here if you’re looking for advice on which editing programs to use.

That is where I started. I guess I didn’t clarify it. I was looking more for other peoples opinions on the matter. Something could spec really good but people may have had a lot of issues for “x” reasons that aren’t covered in some spec line ups and reviews.

If you’re willing to put in the time to learn AVIsynth scripting, AVIsynth via a text editor is very powerful. (I’d suggest using AvsPmod because it provides you with a preview of whatever your script is doing to the source video.)

It’s what I use for my Phoenix Wright LPs, since I only ever had to write the script once to resize things properly and then comment in and out the crops I use for one screen or the other.

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I’ve used both Final Cut and Adobe Premiere at various points in the past. Currently we have Premiere CS6 at work, which works very well for me. It’s both intuitive and rather comprehensive in what it can do, plus it’s super easy to figure out how the non-basic stuff works, because there’s a million tutorials online. So I can absolutely recommend that one. Only drawback is obviously the price. The Elements version goes for about $100 (that’s a rough estimation, didn’t look up € to $ conversion rates). Not sure how much less functionality the Elements version has compared to CS6, but I’d suggest downloading the demo and checking out if it works for you.

I used to use Sony Vegas Pro 13, but got frustrated that I couldn’t export files that exceed 2gb, so I swtiched to Premiere CS5 and stuck with that ever since.

Well, for the amazing price of free there’s Openshot which can be okay if you can get it to work. I tried feeding it some Musashi footage and intended to see if I could recreate the same edits from the previous update, but I asked Openshot to show me the audio waveform and it just wasn’t having it and crashed. Maybe it didn’t like me feeding it 50 minutes of footage all at once something. On top of that, Openshot limits your choice of compression when exporting. Wanna export this as an lossless avi so you can encode it later with MEgui? Too bad, we’ve got avi with h.264 compression and mpeg2 and 4 compression. This might not be problem for you, but me personally that’s a big red flag. UI is easy on the eye at least.

There’s also Lightworks, and from the looks of things is very keyboard heavy. So much so that the website has a 145$ keyboard for sale with the various key commands labeled. As for the program itself, I couldn’t really tell you because I spent almost half a hour trying to figure out why the program was adding a weird ghosting effect to my footage. After that I couldn’t figure out how to make a simple cut on the timeline. I guess you would need to read and watch the tutorials on their site, because there ain’t any razor tool on the UI or in the menus.

Lastly, I believe the 3D modeling program Blender is capable of video editing, but I’ve never tried it before.

I used Vegas for years and generally prefer its interface (not because it’s that good or easy to use, but because I’ve learned my way around that mess), but for some reason it has some weird issues on my current computer and messes up the colors on x264 footage, making it unusable for OBS/Shadowplay/etc. Switched to Premiere Pro (paying Adobe 20 euros a month for the license) when I found out it handled the footage properly.

So this one might be a bit out of left field, but I’ve found NCH’s “VideoPad” video editor to be really nice. I’ve tried using Sony Vegas Pro but for some reason its method of rendering (Along with the fact I only own a single hard drive) means my videos get a weird stutter for the first few minutes. Stranger still is that this has never happened with NCH VideoPad.

Granted, the extent of my editing tends to be fades, cutscenes and occasionally snarky text, I don’t do anything over-the-top, and I can’t really do picture-in-picture like with Vegas Pro, but you can work with VideoPad for free for as long as you want, and as far as I’m aware the price for the full program is actually pretty reasonable, and doesn’t appear to be time-constrained either. You buy it, you keep it.

All that said, I have tried AviSynth in the past and it’s confusing. I’d really like to give it a proper chance, because it sounds potentially really powerful, but I’ve had a bit of trouble figuring out how to get it to cooperate with my videos instead of throwing out errors every single time.

Oh yeah, you shouldn’t be rendering your videos in Vegas or Premiere, as their built-in encoders are rather mediocre and you can get much better results (as in noticeably better quality with much lower filesizes) if you use a frameserver. I use DebugMode Frameserver myself (it has plugins for Vegas and Premiere), and my workflow is like this:

  1. Edit in Premiere, export audio as WAV, export video using DebugMode Frameserver option. This creates a temporary signpost AVI.
  2. Open MeGUI, press Ctrl+R to create Avisynth script, use your signpost AVI to create said script
  3. Use resulting Avisynth script as video source and the WAV file for your audio in MeGUI
  4. Encode with MeGUI
  5. Enjoy (well, in the case of my videos, that is debatable)

This sounds a bit technical and quite frankly I have no idea how a frameserver actually works, but it’s really a very simple process. If I can do that, anyone can. .

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I’ll be making some videos today so I’ll try some of the free trials of some of the recommended stuff here. When I first started I tried getting MeGUI to work, but it for some reason always crashed on my old computer and didn’t go back since. Maybe my new computer will handle it better though.
Thanks everyone for commenting in this. It’s given me some good insight into what other LP’s are being made with.

The biggest issues I can think of with Avisynth are that it is very, very finicky about order of operations and that even with AvsPmod, you definitely want to have the wiki open to check syntax and usage for a while. The order of operations one is the big one, though - mess around with the order you give it commands in, it’ll often fix things.

The “trick” to Avisynth, such as it is, is to think of your operations as creating individual clips. You could export any of these clips and have a working video output. So you do something like:

rawclip = AviSource(“MyInputClip.avi”)

and now rawclip is a clip containing the original input video. You could put “return rawclip” next, open it up in VirtualDub, and see your original, unchanged video. My next step is to build up a “mainclip” variable which will ultimately contain the end product of my editing. Let’s say I want to cut out certain segments. I call out the portions I want to keep:

mainclip = rawclip.Trim(0, 5000)
mainclip = mainclip ++ rawclip.Trim(6000, 8000)
mainclip = mainclip ++ rawclip.Trim(9000, 15000)

The ++ simply appends the two clips. Each time, I’m adding a segment of the original video (rawclip) to the end product (mainclip). Then I want to do something fancy to a particular segment:

mainclip = mainclip ++ rawclip.Trim(17000, 17100).Reverse

Now I’ve reversed a portion of the original clip and added that to my output. Maybe that was the end of my video, so I want to export the result.

return mainclip.ConvertToYV12

MeGUI requires YV12 video to encode in H264, so in case my original clip wasn’t in that colorspace, I convert it.

Now let’s say I create a commentary track in Audacity and want to add that to the video. I can export the audio as a WAV using VDub, import it into Audacity, and mix there, then export to a new WAV and import that into Avisynth. Or I can just export the commentary alone and do something like this:

soundclip = WavSource(“MyCommentary.wav”)
mainclip = MixAudio(mainclip, soundclip, 0.3)

right before the return statement. That mixes the two audio clips together in a 30:70 volume ratio - I can play with that number until I get something that sounds good. If my soundclip variable is the game and commentary audio already mixed, I can just replace the audio track entirely:

soundclip = WavSource(“FinalAudio.wav”)
mainclip = AudioDub(mainclip, soundclip)

So if you’re having trouble with your order of operations, you’re just not writing your script from top to bottom. Give that a try. I’m always open to help with Avisynth scripting problems or helping you figure out how to do more complex things, and the best part about Avisynth is that if I write a script for a nifty effect, I can just send you the text file and you can apply that effect yourself. It’s fairly simple once you understand how it all works.


That actually does sound pretty simple. I messed with MeGUI/Avisynth once, so when I get to actually rendering something, I’ll have to try that frameserver method.

I had some experience with Hitfilm 3 Express, back when it became free. It was a pretty competent video editor; certainly nothing to sneeze at. Apparently it’s been usurped by the fourth version now.

I use Avisynth, but if it weren’t for all the tutorials, I’d still be banging my head against it. I copied a lot from examples and other scripts until I started to understand why mine would or wouldn’t work. Also, googling errors verbatim got me loads of helpful forum posts. I save all my old Avisynth scripts for later reference, because I usually copy parts of them for newer projects.

It also lets me do fun things with Nintendo DS recordings using MastiDS/MDS.