Should Media Composer And Pro Tools Converge?

02-11-2014 09:45 PM

Russ’ recent article 5 Basic Features Pro Tools Continues To Lack proved popular with the community with people offering lots of alternative basic features they think Pro Tools should have. For anyone who hasn’t visited the Ideascale you really should as Avid are interested in hearing the views of the users, of course that doesn’t mean that everything which is popular on ideascale will make it into the next release of Pro Tools, far from it. It would be a terrible mistake for Avid to attempt to meet every user feature request, even if they could. There is an old saying “a camel is a horse designed by committee”. Consistency and simplicity are essential in any product, Apple have made an unimaginable fortune by doing exactly that.
Inevitably there are feature requests I agree and disagree with but I often find myself wondering at the requests which say something along the lines of “make feature X from Logic/Ableton/Reason/Reaper available in Pro Tools”. If you want to use another DAW then use another DAW but respect the differences and treat them as a strength rather than a deficiency. I love Pro Tools, I’m good at Pro Tools but the last thing I want is to turn all other DAWs into Pro Tools - What would be the point of that?
Avid make Pro Tools and I’m sure they are not interested in turning it into anything else. Just because an alternative DAW has a useful feature it does not follow that Avid should introduce it. I always found dynamic transport to be a little too close to Logic for my comfort but that’s just me. If we want to identify features which are reasonably likely to migrate from other software into Pro Tools there is one title which has special status and has already begun to homogenise with Pro Tools - Media Composer.
Converging the interface, technology and terminology of Media Composer and Pro Tools is already underway. The first example of this I became aware of was the renaming of regions to clips, in line with MC terminology. Other examples of changes in nomenclature are start and end markers becoming in and out points and audio suite processing becoming rendering.
These changes have been an exercise in branding but the introduction of a common core technology in the form of the Avid Video Engine was the first example I was aware of of a convergence of technology. Mike’s recent comments and poll on the success of this suggest this is still a work in progress but the advantages for Avid of developing shared technology between Media Composer and Pro Tools remain. Perhaps the evolution of Adobe’s Creative Suite of complementary products shows the way ahead and Avid might offer a bundle of both products as part of a Media Tools Suite? If significant amounts of the codebase were to become common to both products, why should you buy it twice?
So what features from Media Composer would benefit Pro Tools? What is on your wish list? Mine are Clip Bins and MC style locators (markers) with multiple colours available and markers in clips as well as the timeline.