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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.
Unless you're editing with animation or special effects clips, there are probably many extra fines in your source material, compared with what will get used in the final sequence. So being able to confidently and quickly play, understand, and mark up clips for inclusion in the cut is an essential skill for any editor. In FCP the in and out point markers are down here on the recessed panel. When I mark a clip in the source viewer, the duration of the clip marked is displayed in the top left-hand corner.
In Final Cut I can also drag my in and out point markers directly using the cursor and now my duration has updated. If I have a clip with audio, then I can go to the Stereo tab here to look in more detail of my audio waveform. If the level of the clip is too loud or too quiet, I can adjust it directly here. (Wind blowing/white noise) Down in the Timeline area, if I choose the Timeline pop-up window, it's here that I can switch on Audio Waveforms.
I can also go to the Audio Control button, open up my Audio Controls, and it's here where I can solo, mute, and even switch off tracks altogether. And here in the top left of the Timeline window we have the sequence timecode displayed. Okay, back in Media Composer I have got a bin called swingdane_interview. Single click. Let's open that up. Next, let's say the interview one clip here unloaded into the Source viewer.
Now, let's playback and find our end point. (Female speaker: Swing dancing--) (Female speaker: Swing dancing brings you together, brings you to a simple time where the roles are defined.) Okay. So now we have marked a clip in our Source viewer. The duration of this clip is now displayed here at the top of the Composer window in the center Duration box. One thing that's different here in Media Composer is that I cannot grab my in and out point markers.
Instead, if I want to adjust my out point, I would have to move my Timeline cursor and then use my out point marker again to update. Now you can see that the center Duration is 11 seconds and 24 frames instead. If I want to move quickly between my in and out points, the Q key is go to in and W key is go to out. To remove an in point, I can use the D key. To remove an out point, I can use the F key. Alternatively, if I need to remove both points at the same time, then I can use the G key.
To mark an entire clip, I use this button here, Mark Clip, or else the T key on my keyboard. Now so far, we have been only using the Source viewer to look at and listen to through our clips. However, sometimes when you have a long clip or you need to find something very specific in the audio, we need to be able to look at the audio waveform for the source clip itself. Now in Final Cut, we can do that directly inside the viewer here. In Media Composer we do it a little differently.
Come down to the Timeline window and let's toggle this switch here called the Source/Record in Timeline. What this does is it actually switches the Timeline to now be displaying the contents of the Source viewer, rather than the contents of the Record viewer. Notice if I switch back to showing the contents of the Record viewer, there is nothing there. So, now what we are looking at is the tracks over time for the source clip. If I wanted to see my audio waveforms now, I come to the Fast menu.
I will go to the Audio Data and switch on Waveform. Now we can see the audio waveforms for our clip. I can go ahead and zoom into the clip here, then I can also pan around the clip using my scroll bar. Now to be really clear, I have not edited the source clip into a sequence. I'm simply switching the view of the Timeline window from the record side to the source side, so we are actually looking at the tracks which make up the source clip. Okay, before we move on, I am actually going to go back here into the Timeline Fast menu and I am going to switch off my Audio Data, because I want to show you a different way of displaying waveforms in just a moment.
Now let's switch back to viewing the contents of the record view in the Timeline area. I will load this sequence here called Interview_String_Out. If I play through this-- (Female speaker: Swing dancing brings you together.) We are listening to both of the audio tracks here, A1 and A2. I have Solo and Mute buttons here that are in the timeline as well. So, if I mute track 1-- (Female speaker: ?brings you to a simple time where...) Now it's just taming the results of track 2. If I mute that as well, now we can't here anything at all.
Equally, if I switch the mutes off, I can solo a track, which by default mutes the other tracks. Notice that an explicit mute is bright orange and an implicit mute is the darker orange color. (Female speaker: One person follows, one?) On the subject of audio, if we're playing back a clip and we find it too loud or too quiet, then what we can do is adjust the source clip audio level. Go to the Tools menu and bring up the Audio Mixer. Now, I can make an adjustment to the audio levels for this clip.
I am going to gang them together like so. And now it's just a level down. By ganging the tracks together I can adjust both at the same time. (Female speaker: One person leads, and there's only three...) [00:05:3.09] I can also of course adjust the pan here, type numerical values in, etcetera, etcetera. Using Alt+Click will return any values back to their default, whether it be 0 level or MID pan. What I would like you to do now is take a look at this Interview_String_Out, then have a go putting it together from scratch using the tools that we've covered so far and these source clips in the bin.
In conclusion, marking clips and using the source view in Media Composer is very similar to marking clips and using the viewer in FCP. The Timeline window in Media Composer can also be used to display the contents of the Source viewer as tracks of media over time, which allows us to view the audio waveform for our source audio clips.
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