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July 2014
Issue: June 1, 2011

Review: Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5

By: David Basulto

PRODUCT: Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5

WEBSITE: www.adobe.com

PRICE: $799

- Keyframing on timeline

- Audition now part of CS 5.5 suite

- Expanded Red workflow

When Premiere Pro CS 5.0 came out I really didn’t think nonlinear editing tools could get any better. The new Mercury engine in Premiere Pro was amazing. The ability to edit multiple formats in the same timeline without any decrease in performance just blew me away. 

We all know time is money. As budgets get smaller and the projects get bigger the post production specialist needs efficient tools that work smart and fast. So what could Adobe do with their new version to make me like it even more? An editing tool made for the DSLR filmmaker.

Having used the Canon 7D for numerous projects now, I’ve grown to know its limitations: audio. For such an amazing camera that gets beautiful images with shallow depth of field, its audio is completely crap. No worries though as we have been using the Zoom H4N to capture audio separately. As long as you use the clapper and timecode you’re in great shape.

WHAT’S NEW

Premiere Pro CS 5.5 has a new feature called Merge Clips, which allows for dual system sound support. Once you synchronize your video and audio tracks you can have up to 16 audio tracks synced with a single video track. Simply place all your synced audio with a video track on the timeline, right click, choose merge clips and this will create a new clip called “name of clip” merged. This new clip will contain all the audio files in it. You can double click it to open in the source monitor, drop it into the sequence, or anything else you like since it reacts as a normal clip.


KEYFRAMING ON THE TIMELINE

Working in the Premiere Pro timeline for years has made me pretty proficient in selecting my clips, adding that affect, then clicking on the effects panel to make changes. In CS 5.5, Adobe now lets me do my effect keyframing right on the clip in my timeline. I’m pretty sure this is one of my absolute favorite features. Something I’ve wanted for a long time.

New contextual clicking on the clip allows you to access opacity, scale and any effects it may have on the clip. You can also keyframe your audio to raise volume up and down. All on the clips on the timeline. This is truly a huge timesaver for me.

AUDITION NOW PART OF CS SUITE

In the past, Adobe Soundbooth, via the dynamic link, really did a decent job for fixing audio for me. With CS5.5, Adobe has pumped steroids into the audio fixing abilities. Enter Audition for Mac and PC. Audition is an extremely powerful audio tool.

In Premiere Pro CS5.5 you can send your clip over to Audition, or the whole sequence, something you could never do with Soundbooth. You can also send reference video to help you with your editing. Once you’ve completed your audio enhances, save the file and then import it into Premiere Pro and you’re good to go. It’s a very simple, yet powerful workflow.

CLOSED CAPTION SUPPORT

What could be better than to have more tools to offer your clients? Premiere Pro CS 5.5 now supports closed captioning. I can see it now: My client calls on a new job and before he hangs up I say, ‘Oh by the way, did you need close captioning with that?’ Can you say increase in revenue?!

CS 5.5 supports 608 and 708 closed-captioned via the SCC and MCC file formats. It is very easy to add them to your videos.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Additional features such as expanded Red workflows, Adobe media encoder enhancements and integration with Adobe CS make this point release really rock solid. And let’s not pass over the new ability to create a sequence from a clip in the project panel with that clip’s exact specs. Ultra cool! Adobe, you had me at keyframing in the timeline.

For video tutorials on the new offerings in this NLE, please take a look at my new course on lynda.com: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5: New Features.