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Migrating from Final Cut Pro 7 to Avid Media Composer 5.5 is a thorough comparison of the interfaces, concepts, tools, and workflow behind each of these two programs, covering the key differences video editors need to know to master Media Composer and make the switch. The course covers the basics of editing in Avid Media Composer, including sequence creation, project organization and navigation, importing and linking media, timeline editing techniques, and how to work with audio and add transitions and effects.
When you're editing, the use of various tools for trim, effects, multi-cam editing, or audio is a continuous flow. Editors are using all of the tools in concert to achieve the desired effect. However, for study, we sometimes have to break things out by themselves. In the case of audio, this is particularly necessary because the topic is huge and because there are many specialized audio tools, techniques, and processes. Here in the audio_basics bin, I've got a sequence called audio_pass loaded into the Record viewer.
What I'd like to do is spend a few moments just re-familiarizing ourself with the Media Composer interface, but this time from an audio perspective. So here in the bin I've got some audio-only clips. You can see that they have a small icon that's a black box with an audio waveform inside. If I switch to Frame view, you can see that they're displayed as a blue box with an audio waveform inside there. If I double-click and load it into my Source viewer, there is no image associated with the clip.
However, the name of the clip is up here, the icon is also here, and of course if I play it back, I'll hear it. (whooshing sound) Now, in Final Cut Pro, we're used to seeing the big old waveform here in the viewer, and that's not the case with Media Composer. If we want to see the audio waveform of our source material then we need to come down here to the timeline area, and we need to toggle the Source/Record timeline view.
Now we can see the audio waveform for our source material just like we would in Final Cut Pro up here in the viewer area. One thing that will really help us take full advantage of being able to see the waveform like this is to make the tracks a bit bigger. We have done that several times in the course. What I'm going to do here is actually choose my Audio Editing toolset that we set up in Chapter 3. Here I've automatically switched on various tools, such as the Audio tool, the EQ tool, the Audio Mixer tool, and resized the timeline area, so I can see and use the tools in the timeline a lot easier.
The Composer window is also being collapsed down into a single viewer. The thinking here being is if we're at the audio mix stage, we probably want to concentrate on our sequence. We don't really need to use up the screen real estate with the Source viewer. And now that my tracks are a bit bigger, you can also see that I'm displaying extra information here in the timeline. Not only do I have the name of my clip, but I also have its source track. So let's switch back to monitoring the record side, and let's play back our sequence and notice where Media Composer is giving us feedback.
(music playing) (Female speaker: Swing dancing brings you together.) (Female speaker: It brings you to a simple time where the rules were defined.) So one of those obvious places we're getting feedback is here in the Audio tool. Now, if this wasn't opened, we would be saving some screen real estate, and we would be relying on this audio meter here, built into the timeline. Now one quick thing here to note is that next to 1 and 2 we have an In/Out button.
If I click this to In, notice that the audio levels are sort of just hovering there, and the reason for that is what I've just done is I've switched my Audio tool to be looking at the incoming audio signal. Now, of course when I hit Play in the timeline, it's going to snap straight back to Output mode. (music playing) (Female speaker: One person follows one person.) And then flip back to Input mode when I stop again. Most times when we're editing we're going to want to leave that in Output mode and just be monitoring what's going out of the system.
Now next to the audio meters here, we have the Meter menu. Here we can do things like set how the meter behaves: Peak Hold, Infinite Hold, Reset Peaks. We can also set a reference level, for example, and choose what that reference level might be. We can also play calibration tone directly from here, (beeping) and we can also create tone media as well. If we wanted to create four tracks of tone media and send it to our bin here, just check the correct drive, click OK, and now I'm going to render Audio Tone Meter directly to my bin, like so.
If I really want to keep my setup looking very sparse, I also have the ability to hide the audio meters here in the timeline toolbar as well. Let's put them back on for now. If I now re-choose Audio Editing mode, I'll bring the bigger audio tool back up, and we can see that we have pretty much the same functionality inside of the main audio tool, as well as access to our Input and Output setting. The other area where we're getting feedback inside of Media Composer as we move backwards and forwards through our sequence is that the Audio Mixer tool is reflecting the levels over which it is parked.
So as I move other clips which have different levels, you see those levels update in the Audio Mixer tool itself. So that's a basic layout of the audio environment here in Media Composer. In the next video, we'll start to actually use these tools to affect the audio levels and audio properties.
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