Professional multi-track editing

If you need a full multi-track video editor that can add and mix multiple interviews and overlay, and add music, a logo and captions, we recommend the following professional apps that provide all necessary functions.

LumaFusion (iOS)

LumaFusion is the most advanced video editing app for a smartphone. It is a full multi-track video and audio editor that mimics many of the functions of desktop software like Premiere Pro, and is available as one-time purchase – currently around $US20.

The app offers considerable range with post-production features including imported branded titles and supers.

LumaFusion files can be exported at both 30fps/60fps (for NTSC countries) and 25fps/50fps (for PAL countries). You can also export at different aspect ratios – including square (1:1) and landscape (16:9). So you can create a version for social media and online, and a version for TV.

LumaFusion’s export settings are also designed to be compatible with desktop editing systems such as Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro and AVID.

The LumaFusion website has a series of introductory tutorials, and this introductory video on the LumaFusion YouTube Channel will get you started and guide you to more advanced tutorials.

KineMaster (iOS / Android)

KineMaster is a multi-track video editor for both iOS and Android, with the ability to edit both video and audio, add titles, captions and a logo. It can export at 25 or 30fps, making it suitable for NTSC and PAL countries, and you can export your projects in landscape, square or portrait.

In 2019 the app received a major update to support multiple overlay tracks and additional audio tracks, making it the most powerful option for editing on an Android phone.

The free version of KineMaster has a watermark. The paid version requires a monthly subscription ($US5) or an annual subscription ($US40). For detailed user tips and tutorials, visit KineMaster’s website. This tutorial will get you started.

PowerDirector (Android)

PowerDirector is a multi-track video editor with the ability to edit both video and audio, add titles, captions and a logo. It is a good alternative to KineMaster.

Note: PowerDirector only exports at 30fps, so it’s unsuitable for TV journalism in PAL countries. The free version also has a watermark. The paid version requires a monthly subscription ($US3.99), quarterly subscription ($US8.99) or an annual subscription ($US24.99).

The Cyberlink PowerDirector website has information and tips. This tutorial will get you started:

For more recent tutorials, visit PowerDirector University on YouTube. This channel isn’t owned by PowerDirector but the tutorials are clear and easy to follow.

Alight Motion (Android)

Alight Motion was released in 2018 and offers professional-quality animation, motion graphics, visual effects, video editing, and video compositing features to Android phones.  It also offers the ability to import branded animated graphics – an important feature for TV journalism.

Alight is the closest thing to Adobe After Effects for a smartphone, and in this respect eclipses what is currently available for iPhones. Thankfully, an iOS version of the app is due for release in 2020.

The free version of the app offers basic features and watermarked apps. There are several payment options including a subscription model that will automatically renew until cancelled.

You can access the user guide here, and watch the two-part introductory tutorials here:

Adobe Premiere Rush (iOS / Android)

Adobe Premiere Rush was launched midway through 2018 for iOS, and an Android version became available in 2019. If you already have an Adobe Creative Cloud licence, then you can access the pro version of the app for free. Otherwise it costs $US9.99 a month.

This makes it one of the more expensive smartphone video editing apps – but for this investment you get a powerful video editor with the ability to add motion graphics, adjust audio, and make colour adjustments – and if you’re a Creative Cloud user, the app offers cloud-syncing meaning you can start your edit in the phone and finish it on a desktop using CC software like Premiere Pro.

The app is also a high-quality video filming app – making it a useful alternative to Filmic Pro.

Read more about the app on Adobe’s website, where you can access tutorials and a user guide. Here’s an introductory tutorial:

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