Adobe Products tend to be the industry standard when it comes to editing, but content creators typically exist outside of that sphere. So the question is, what editing software do YouTubers use? Well, there are a few answers to that question.
Barely Sociable, who runs a YouTube channel dedicated to the reality behind internet spookiness and online mysteries, mainly uses Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro for his videos. It is all about finding your process, Barely Sociable states. “I never did seek any certification; I mostly just figure out what I want on screen and google everything along the way.” Using Adobe’s convenient interface in concurrence with his passion for true crime storytelling, he has built a channel with over 400,000 subscribers, with just over 16 million views and growing.
Adobe Premiere Pro
Though Adobe dominates the film industry, Premiere Pro has its problems. Startup crashes, choppy playback and abysmal rendering times are just a few of the issues Adobe subscribers face. For almost a decade, Adobe promised multi-core support and many other features to the community, yet these issues go on neglected. The UI, by default, is outdated but easily customizable. Text effects are outdated, and at times, Premiere’s limitations feel like an advertisement for After Effects. Because of these limitations, Adobe’s monthly subscription model has come under fire in recent years.
Needless to say, it is not what it could be. However, due to industry trends, certification testing is nationally subsidized, so a technical understanding of Adobe Premiere Pro signifies an understanding of editing itself. It is essential, but maybe it should not be.
Sony Vegas, though just as powerful as Premiere Pro, has an unintuitive UI and has been known to crash on playback. Vegas is the only professional software on this list without multi-editor support. Rendering is inconsistent at best, and exporting to anything other than .mp4 risks a crash. It is suitable for a quick edit, but nothing more. Sony Vegas 17 currently sells for $299.99. Vegas Post, an After Effects alternative that picks up some of the slack for its lackluster predecessor, starts at 34.99/month or $999.99 outright.
DaVinci Resolve is an intuitive software with a fully customizable workspace and easy to learn UI. Not to mention, it is free. I had trouble with playback on the newer DaVinci 16.1, but reverting my download to the 16.0 version made things run smoothly. Dragging clips feels natural, even on a trackpad. The software has variable playback, a long-requested feature for Adobe products, and the best color grading on the market. It also boasts custom effects and workspaces for motion and sound designers, all at a grand price of $0.00. For one of the best editing programs on the professional market, you cannot beat free.
Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro is similar to DaVinci or iMovie, but more is a more automated software. There are a lot of presets readily available to you, and you will find plenty of features present in Adobe After effects. It is almost an all-in-one editor with a drag and drop format, where you can go from splicing and clips to rotoscoping without skipping a beat, not to mention that it runs like butter. It’s convenient, easy to look at, and only available on Mac, for a one-time charge of $299.99.
Final Cut Pro is similar to DaVinci or iMovie, but more is a more automated software.
Intermediate and mobile software
Filmora is a substitute for the more complex Sony Vegas. Albeit, a more clunky, laggy one. The thirty-day trial is free, but exporting creates a watermark that fills the screen. Videos on the timeline are also unsubtle, but not intrusive. Importing footage and sound is deviously simple, but effects are sparse. At a starting price of $39.99, even beginners will pick up this nonlinear editor and learn it in minutes.
Software such as Adobe Rush is not technically demanding, so they are mobile phone friendly. The tradeoff for the convenience of on-the-go editing is limited features. Mobile integration leads to issues such as lackluster color correction with downright awful filters, limited sound tools, and frequent crashing. Rush brings Adobe’s outdated text-editing functions to mobile, so controlling it is nearly impossible. While adjusting to Rush, even simple cuts are difficult. For the learning curve it throws at you, even as an experienced video editor, it’s not worth it.
iMovie is the perfect software for introduction to video editing. It looks like a stripped-down DaVinci, maintaining a clean UI without the intimidating pro features. Video frames display in the timeline, with transitions, and audio effects neatly tucked above the imported media. For a beginner, an hour or two of trial and error serves as an introduction to the non-linear timeline. The effects are nothing to write home about. It is simple, it works smoothly on mobile devices, at least smoother than Rush, and there’s minimal latency on playback.