Blackmagic Design Announces DaVinci Resolve 14 Software now with Complete Audio Tools Following Acquisition of Fairlight

April 25 2017, 06:00
At NAB 2017, Blackmagic Design announced a game-changing version of its DaVinci Resolve 14 software. The biggest release in the history of the product with massive performance improvements, now features a whole new audio post production suite with Fairlight audio built-in, together with multi user collaboration tools that let multiple people edit, color and mix audio from multiple systems, all in the same project at the same time. And the basic software is completely free!

What this means is that the new DaVinci Resolve 14 is like three high-end applications in one. Born as a professional color correction and ingest tool, DaVinci Resolve evolved in recent years to become a fully featured non-linear editing solution, which now becomes a complete production and post-production collaborative environment with the integration of the new Fairlight audio tools. All it takes is a single click to switch between editing, color and audio, while the new multi user collaboration tools let everyone work on the same project at the same time, without the need to import, export, translate or conform projects in different workstations using different tools.

As Blackmagic highlighted during its press event at NAB 2017, DaVinci Resolve 14 dramatically changes post production from a linear to a parallel workflow, so everyone can work at the same time, giving editors, colorists and audio engineers more time to be creative. A public beta of DaVinci Resolve 14 is now available for download from the Blackmagic Design website. 

According to Blackmagic, DaVinci Resolve 14 features a new high performance playback engine that’s up to 10 times faster than before. In addition to extensive CPU and GPU optimizations, with better threading and GPU pipelining, the new software offers lower latency, much faster UI refresh rates, support for Apple Metal graphics technology and much more. This makes DaVinci Resolve 14 faster, more responsive and more precise, even on long timelines with thousands of clips. Scrubbing and playback are instantaneous and there is powerful new acceleration for processor intensive formats like H.264, making it possible to edit 4K images on a laptop.

Following the acquisition of Fairlight by Blackmagic Design, confirmed by the two Australian companies in September 2016, audio is now fully built into the DaVinci Resolve 14 application itself. Fairlight was famous for being used at the world’s highest end studios for audio post on film and television, and the company's technology known for its superior sound quality and its speed. With the integration in DaVinci Resolve 14, production professionals get a massive set of audio tools for recording, editing and sweetening, professional bussing, mixing and routing, and multi format mastering to surround and immersive audio formats. Fairlight audio features built in 3D audio support for working with spatial formats such as DTS multi dimensional array, Dolby and even 22.2, apart from standard 5.1 and 7.1 surround mixing. 

Being one of Fairlights' development focus in the last few years before the acquisition by Blackmagic, users of the new DaVinci Resolve 14 software in combination with one of the existing Fairlight consoles get a 3D panner to position sound in space, 3D B-chain processing and 3D Spaceview visualization, which provides a clear view of each object’s location in space. AirPan, which is exclusive to Fairlight consoles, allows users to reach out in space to place sounds where they want, simply moving their fingers in the air to pan, rotate, move and spread sound.

The new super low latency audio engine is designed to work with 192kHz audio and delivers up to 1,000 tracks with real time EQ, dynamics processing and plug-ins on every track when used with the Fairlight Audio Accelerator. Plus the new Fairlight audio engine can record up to 96 channels while simultaneously playing back up to 150 audio channels, while mixing it all in real time! As Blackmagic highlights, "there simply is no other software available with this level of dedicated audio power."

The new Fairlight audio in DaVinci Resolve 14 features a full multitrack timeline for subframe editing of audio, down to the sample level. The mixer is designed to let users create sophisticated sequences and has several main, sub and aux buses for mastering and delivering to multiple formats at the same time. Every channel on the mixer features real time 6 band parametric EQ, along with expander/gate, compressor and limiter dynamics. Clip time warping lets users stretch or compress audio without shifting pitch. In addition, every single parameter can be automated, even VST plug ins, using a variety of automation modes.

In addition to audio editing, sweetening, and mixing, Fairlight audio in DaVinci Resolve 14 also includes multichannel recording tools that Blackmagic says are "far superior to those found in most editing systems. Users can record voice overs or even an entire symphony orchestra while also monitoring video and multiple channels of dialog and sound effects," they state. The advanced monitoring can handle buses up to 24 channels wide with customizable fold-up and fold-down for crossing between formats. Monitoring can be done on up to 16 different sets of speakers, including massive cinematic installations.

DaVinci Resolve 14 works with the Fairlight Audio Accelerator card, which provides up to 1,000 zero latency tracks and real time effects processing for EQ, dynamics, and up to 6 VST plug ins per channel. Even without the accelerator, most modern computers can still process more than 60 tracks in real time. In addition, DaVinci Resolve 14 can also be used to drive the entire line of Fairlight hardware mixing consoles, which makes working on complex multitrack projects faster. The advanced busing and mixing architecture also allows multi language and multi format delivery to be handled simultaneously from the same project, dramatically reducing the time required to deliver final masters.

Supporting editing, color correction and audio post production, the new DaVinci Resolve 14 collaboration tools completely redefine post production workflows by supporting all those simultaneous tasks. Assistant editors can prepare footage while editors cut the picture, colorists grade the shots, and sound editors mix and finish audio, all in the same project at the same time. New bin, clip and timeline locking lets users safely work on a specific part of the project without overwriting each other. There’s also a built in secure chat client that lets team members talk to each other from within DaVinci Resolve without the need for an external internet connection. This secure chat is vital because most high end facilities are unable to use services such as Slack or Skype for messaging because they need to remain completely disconnected from the internet to ensure security against hacking.

The new timeline comparison tool makes it fast and easy to see differences and merge changes between two timelines by viewing a side by side comparison of every single change made between users. Best of all, DaVinci Resolve 14 works with existing storage solutions, without the need to buy expensive or proprietary storage and servers to work collaboratively. The new multi user features of DaVinci Resolve 14 eliminate the need for importing, exporting, translating and conforming projects. 

In addition to the incredible performance improvements, editors also get new slip and slide trim commands that make it easier to dynamically trim live on the fly during playback. They can now save interface layout presets, view multiple bins at once and open multiple bin windows. New marker overlays, audio only and video only edit tools, track colors, and subframe audio editing make the new software a very powerful creative editor.

For colorists, there are over 20 new Resolve FX filters that make it easy to remove dust, fix dead pixels, warp images and more. The amazing new face enhancement tool automatically recognizes and tracks facial features so colorists can quickly smooth skin, adjust skin tone, brighten eyes, and even change lip color, all without having to manually select or rotoscope any part of the image. The face enhancement tool is an indispensable feature that colorists will use every single day.

In addition, there are new stabilization, match move, and other image processing tools that give colorists more creative options than ever before. DaVinci Resolve 14 installations can be complemented with hardware control panels, such as the DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel, DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel or a DaVinci Resolve Advanced Control. All controls are logically placed near natural hand positions and are made out of the highest quality materials. Smooth, high resolution weighted trackballs and precision engineered knobs and dials feature the perfect amount of resistance for accurately adjusting any setting.

“The overwhelming success of DaVinci Resolve has been incredibly exciting. It has become the world’s fastest growing editing system and now we’re taking it to the next level with DaVinci Resolve 14,” says Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “With this new version, we didn’t want to do an incremental update. We wanted to make a large leap forward and break new ground. It’s also much more exciting for the whole engineering team here at Blackmagic Design! We are really excited about how quickly editors are switching and we hope that a new generation of audio engineers will enter the industry. Together, we can all work to continue making it the best editing, color correction and now audio software in the world!”

Blackmagic Design also announced a price reduction for DaVinci Resolve Studio from $995 to only $299. It costs less than most annual cloud based subscription plans, making DaVinci Resolve more affordable to more users. The free version of DaVinci Resolve is also available with the same powerful new editing and audio post production features. The $299 DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio version adds the new collaborative multi user tools, over 20 new Resolve FX including the advanced face enhancement tools, 4K and 120fps project support, stereoscopic 3D, optical quality blur and mist effects, film grain, de-noise tools and much more. 

Best of all, DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio does not require a connection to the Internet or a cloud subscription to work. In addition, Blackmagic Design has also announced a new worldwide training and certification program, along with certified curriculum for DaVinci Resolve. Users can learn at their own pace by purchasing the Blackmagic Design series of books, or they can take training courses online or in person at certified training centers.

DaVinci Resolve 14 runs on all major platforms, including Mac, Windows and Linux, making it easy to integrate with existing systems and workflows. Users running Red Hat or CentOS Linux can even build their own workstations using low cost motherboards, extremely fast processors, massive amounts of RAM and up to 8 GPUs for incredible real time performance.

The public beta of DaVinci Resolve 14 is available today as a free download from the Blackmagic Design website for all current DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio customers. DaVinci Resolve Studio is available for $299 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.
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