As a freelance videographer, I need to be skilled not only in video editing software but also in the ones that come in handy when editing videos. I’m going to tell you and explain to you every production software I need in order to create amazing videos for my clients on a very high level.
What editing software I use primarily?
Starting with the main course right away, my #1 editing software to use is Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing. Why not Final Cut or Avid? Because I’m used to Adobe and I’m pretty comfortable with it. I don’t see that much of a difference when it comes to editing softwares. They all function on the same principle and it’s just a matter of what you are used to. But just out of curiosity, you can check out the best video production softwares according to Creative Bloq. The same thing goes to using Canon or Nikon. Both cameras are great and have almost identical functions but still there are people will only use Canon and people who only use Nikon.
When it comes to editing software, it’s the same thing. I started using Adobe Premiere Pro when I was on at the University because we were required to learn Adobe. And I was pretty fine with it. Back in time it was very accessible for everyone. You could download 30-day trial and you could download any kind of version based on your operating software or laptop.
Which software to use when you start your editing career?
My first video editing software I’ve learnt to use was Windows Movie Maker. I was around 12 years old I think and I wanted to start editing cool clips from my favourite music videos and movies. The only software available on my laptop as a free version was Windows Movie Maker. It was primitively easy to use and there was not much of a creative freedom to be allowed but it was good for understanding the editing process in general.
Then my friend told me about Sony Vegas and I tried it. I don’t remember which version it was but I remember I used for 2 hours and I switched back to Movie Maker out of frustration. Sony Vegas didn’t allow me import any file I wanted, it was always freezing up for no reason and I couldn’t, for the love of God, figure out how to use it. No offence to Sony Vegas, but the first versions were objectively awful. Later on, it got much better but at the time around 2004-2005 it was horrible.
However, I have to say that some features are really good these days but I still find it very limited towards what you can do with your videos in this software. I guess it’s because it’s a semi-professional software made mostly for people that have it as a hobby and not as a profession. Sony Vegas doesn’t allow you create your things with 100% of possibilities. In other words, it has a lot of previews and defaults with no option to change them completely to what you want. On the other hand, it allows people with less editing skills to already use these presets with one click.
Adobe Premiere Pro was so easy to understand despite so many functions and buttons available when you open it. I understood it by myself very easily from the first moment. It was running very smoothly, accepted all my formats and gave me no errors. Fast, reliable and gives a lot of creative freedom. That’s why I didn’t have a need to switch to another software. Ever. Not to mention the advantage of using other Adobe software such as After Effects or Photoshop.
Why you need to learn Photoshop?
Photoshop is my #2 software for editing videos. Literally, I think that every single person on this planet should learn how to use Photoshop. Why? Because you can do anything in Photoshop and it’s not that hard to learn. If you are looking for a job and try to create a CV, you don’t have to create it in as a Word document, which gives me chills because I find it pretty complicated and not logical to use when you can create the same thing, much much faster in Photoshop and export it in any desirable format in seconds.
You can also use Photoshop for any graphics you need to create. Even when we talk about birthday party invitations or anything usable in your life even if you don’t work as a web designer. Photoshop is or should be part of our lives and my opinion is that it should be taught in every single school, at least in Europe.
When it comes to video editing and Photoshop, I like that anything I need to create my graphics for my videos, can be done in Photoshop and I will have no problem importing it and using this graphic in my Premiere Pro, because it’s both Adobe and it communicates pretty well together.
I use Photoshop for title graphics, logo changes, photo retouching, anything that I use later in my videos.
Which secondary software to learn if you want to edit videos?
If you want to take your video editing skills to the next level, you can learn Adobe After Effects which is #3 from my top 5 softwares. You can create amazing graphics and explainer or animation videos in a very easy way. But first learn Photoshop!
How to edit audio recording?
It’s always good to know how to use Audio editing software in case you need to make serious adjustments to your audio recording.
You can use my #4 of editing softwares which is Adobe Audition for example as I mentioned transition between Adobe softwares are pretty good as an advantage. But if you look for a free version and a simpler one, then try Audacity. However, have in mind that free software to use are usually not working 100% the way you want. So it might, during exporting or importing, experience some troubles. Honestly don’t expect free software on the same level as paid one.
However, you don’t actually need an audio editing software at all! Why? Because every single video editing software allows you to edit audio recording as well. And for example Adobe Premiere Pro gives you many options when it comes to that. A lot of affects and possibilities to improve your audio.
But I need to say that when it comes to audio, I’m pretty strict because you should never ever get into a situation when you actually need to edit audio because it’s not good quality, there’s noise or wind. This is a chapter itself but I’ll give you a short insight. When someone gives you a recording full of background noise, wind or whistling as signal malfunction, tell them immediately that you’re not going to work on this. There’s no software on this planet to allow you make a perfect high quality clean audio from really crap original recording.
Why do you think movie makers have all those microphones and all audio engineers on the set? Because they know, if they record it in a low quality, there’s nothing they can do about it later. The only thing I would say you can improve it a little bit but every single wind reduction etc. will lower quality of your voice and the recording in general. So you might end up with less wind noise, but you will never end up with better quality. When you film your videos, buy a proper microphone, don’t film in noise places without one because video editing will reduce the noise but also your voice and quality. Audio needs to be perfected on the set, not in editing studio.
What is the best way to share video files?
In terms of sharing video files with my clients, I use Dropbox and Google Docs. I have paid business account on Dropbox which allows me space of 2 TB which is pretty good. I pay monthly £10.99 and I have all my files available on my iPhone Dropbox app. And this is my #5 on the list for video editing softwares.
I use Google Docs only because some of my clients require it, because they’re used to work in this platform and for some reason they refuse Dropbox. I’m fine with it, but when it comes to uploading and downloading video files, which are kind of big, Dropbox is much faster than Docs. Sharing videos is very easy and you can download videos with one click to your phone and then share it on your social media. And the whole interface of Dropbox folders is very clean and easy to see.
What codecs do I need to install in order to start editing?
When using Adobe Premiere Pro, this doesn’t really concern me except for one format. And that is .mov, in other words videos from iPhone. Adobe installs a codec pack which enables you to open/import any file and format you want but with different versions of .mov – iPhones these days, it might be challenging. But the solution for that is to install the latest version of Quicktime and this problem will be solved 100%.
Whether you decide to start learning video editing or you already are a video editor, I hope you this article helped you understand what you need in order to take it to the next level.
- Media expert at ClickDo. Passionate videographer/photographer with focus on video marketing and social media.