Being primarily a sound designer, composer and performer – I can’t justify the monthly Adobe Creative Cloud pricing model. I’d rather save money for music software and instruments :^) Adobe does offer a more affordable yet value-packed alternative in Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements – both of which happen to be on sale till January 11th!
I should also mention as a long-time user of alternative tools in this regard, I’ve been testing the free trails of these prosumer Elements editions for the past few weeks. Below is a post on my thoughts on the value of the pricing models and some rationale for making the switch to the Elements Family for artists where graphic and video editing is a secondary need for their artistic practice.
Burdens Passed on to the Musician and Sound Artist
First off – let’s acknowledge what you already know and feel. In today’s music world, most aspects of communicating and marketing have been passed on to you the artist. This means you need to be able to do some photo and video editing from time to time. Even if you are not out in public with your art yet – having tools for photo and video editing will help you maintain an archive and portfolio of your work.
Personally, I do a majority of the visual art related to all my albums, web sites and events An example of this is the banner for a recent post Waldorf Blofeld Keyboard Tip: Droning with the Free Button I made with Photoshop Elements. Groovy right?
The More Expensive Creative Cloud Pricing
Ok, back to Adobe. Let’s take a look at their Creative Cloud Pricing. Owie! At least for an artist who is only using these tools secondarily.
Adobe Elements to the Rescue
The elements family offers a more budget friendly one-time fee product pricing alternative to Creative Cloud for the prosumer editions of Photoshop and the video editing app Premiere. The Elements edition of these products offer some unique features as well such as Quick and Guided interfaces and integrated help videos to save you time and take some of the learning curve off of these products. Since the target market is more prosumer, the Elements editions come with tools for organizing and sharing photos and videos.
When you buy these versions, it’s a one time fee for the current version (15). Without the sale, Photoshop Elements is $99 as is Premiere Elements. If you bought them as a bundle, you’d save a some and the price would be $149.
All these options are now discounted between 30 and 40% off till January!
Visit http://www.adobe.com/products/elements-family.html for more info – and yes there are free trials.
Advantages of Using an Industry Standard
Enough To Get the Job Done + Industry Standard = Bigger Community
Sure, there are free and cheaper tools out there. Up till now, and for years and years, I’ve been using the now discontinued Adobe Fireworks for my graphic editing needs and Sony’s Movie Studio Platinum (a light version of Vegas grown out of the Sony Acid UI). An advantage to jumping over to Adobe Elements from other tools is you’ll be using an industry standard tool set. Albeit “light” editions – these prosumer editions share UI with full editions. The community for these tools is massive – so help for a task is a google or YouTube search away. Getting on board with standard tools won’t hurt your resume either :^)
Collaborating with a Common Tool Set
You’ll be able to share projects and collaborate with pros. Sure – you have to stick to the common feature set for full fidelity collaboration – but handy nonetheless. For example – for more “heavy lifts” in the graphic design department (like logos and high end event posters) I work with my friends over at Cuttlefish Arts. By using common tools I can more quickly collaborate and repurpose assets.
Photoshop CC & Lightroom CC
It’s worth mentioning that if you want a little more oomph but don’t want to go all in with Creative Cloud – there is intermediate-level version of Photoshop called Photoshop CC that is bundled with Lightroom CC.
Visit http://www.adobe.com/products/elements-family.html and free trials.
Make Some Art + Collaborate with the Pros
Now get out there and make some badass album covers! And don’t be afraid to call in the pros for the important work. Our brothers and sisters in the visual arts have to eat too :^) Also, you never know when they’ll need some kick ass sounds and music for one of their projects.
Composer, Synthesist, Electronic Musician & Multimedia Artist | Sr. Systems Analyst | Founder of the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup