specializes in complete and ready-to-use VES/Delta series professional video editing systems running Avid Media Composer or Avid Liquid (Pinnacle) software, along with friendly User Training and Support. Because you are an artist, not an engineer!  are the U.S. Distributors and Customer Support for VES/Delta series workstations & laptops.

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Choosing a system
Choosing a system AVID Liquid AVID Liquid Chrome XE AVID Media Composer Studio 12 Ultimate AVID Express SmartSound


Choosing which software platform is right for you: Avid Media Composer, Avid Liquid, Avid/Pinnacle Studio, or MacroSystem Casablanca. offers you a choice between the most popular Avid software platforms as well as the MacroSystem Casablanca line of editors. So how can you determine what system is best for your needs?

Besides the cost factor, you need to seriously examine your professional (or personal) goals or expectations of the system, along with an honest and personal assessment of your technical skills (or lack, thereof).

Here is a brief rundown of how to choose, but please feel free to talk with us and discuss this issue. That is why we are not posting these systems up on the web as click-here and purchase. It seems pretty unrealistic, in our opinion, for someone to make as major a purchase as a complete editing system and not want to go over all the details with a live consultant!

Avid is the software of choice for the serious professional, as it is the software of choice by all of the major Hollywood and broadcast professionals. It is the industry standard by which all other editing systems are compared. It is amazing stuff and can do just about anything. It is complex to learn, very complex to properly install (but we take care of that for you), but we at offer a lot of training & support to make this process easier and a whole lot less intimidating. Most folks with at least some editing experience should have no trouble learning these platforms.

Within the Avid family there are:  Avid Media Composer, Avid Liquid, and Avid/Pinnacle Studio. There are also more complex DS systems, but those are more for the larger institutions  such as universities, studios, and broadcasters, so we will not deal with them in this article. By the way, Avid Express was recently discontinued.

We like Avid because they offer a choice of different editing applications for different levels or needs.

Studio 12 Ultimate is good choice for new videographers (filmmakers using video), students, hobbyists, and folks who are not professional editors. It comes included on our VES/Delta 3000 high performance laptop, and is a powerful video editing tool that is quick to learn yet offers "professional" results and runs on our machine at blinding speed. We have nicknamed Studio as "Liquid Light", since it borrows a lot of features found in the more sophisticated Avid Liquid professional software package.

By the way, Studio is also used by a number of television news stations, thanks to its ability to cut HDV quickly on a portable computer.

Avid Express Pro was a scaled down version of Media Composer and has been discontinued. Owners of Express can upgrade to Media Composer 3.0 at a very discounted price.

Avid Media Composer is a more advanced platform, offering the ability to input and output at higher, less compressed resolutions suitable for professional broadcast or video-to-film.

The Mojo is an accessory input/output device that interfaces with analog video/audio connections. The Mojo SDI is a more expensive accessory for higher end SD connectivity.

AVID is the best platform for those working in film or cinema, since it supports EDL, keycodes, cut lists, script sync, and other tools required for the sprocketed film to video to film again workflow.

Avid Liquid (formerly known as Pinnacle) is a platform best suited for those staying in the video domain. It supports the higher resolution video formats, and is excellent for those looking for a very stable and versatile system. Liquid works well as a single workstation but can also be easily networked.

According to what we hear in the inside circles,  one of the big three broadcasting networks will be adopting Liquid as their platform of choice!

Liquid features, as a selectable user option, an operating skin or scheme akin to the classic Avid. This makes it easier for the end user to work in an Avid edit bay later on, should the professional need arise.

Liquid PRO includes the Liquid software, Title Deko Pro,  along with a video breakout box. It is an excellent value for the money, and is preferred by quite a number of industry respected editors over FCP.

Liquid Chrome XE refers to Liquid software intended for use with the AJA digital I/O breakout box with HD SDI. If you have no idea what we just said, then you probably do not need this advanced (hardware) version of the program, but we can always talk about it and explain it to you if you are curious.

The more you explore the features of Liquid, the more impressed everyone becomes! It is a complete software package, which includes thousands of special effects, a professional titling package, a complete audio package (supports 5.1 Surround), DVD authoring. You can intermix formats on the timeline (imagine NTSC, 720P, and PAL all in the same project!). There are codecs for every video format I can think of, as well as the ability to customize codecs yourself. Project data is saved at every keystroke; and exporting a complete project (with media files) is just one mouseclick. 2D and 3D effects editors allow mindblowing special effects. Color correction is simple and accurate. And the list goes on.... I cannot fathom why anyone would choose FCP over Liquid!

Personally, we think that the practical choice for professional editing comes down to either Liquid PRO or Media Composer, depending on one's needs and budget.


Casablanca is the editing system for those who are less technical and less computer experienced. These are very affordable turnkey systems that include hardware & software, and can be learned extremely quickly. They are digital and frame accurate, but do not offer timecode editing nor support Edit Decision Lists. Casablanca is extremely popular amongst Wedding & Event Videographers as well as small corporate in-house applications. Input is via RCA or S-Video analog video, as well as firewire. Finished product can be authored to the built-in DVD burner, or output via analog or firewire.

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Copyright 2009
Last modified: 05/12/09

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