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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.
So obviously as we start to build up our tracks and create an audio mix, we've got various different tracks that we need to be able to listen to, either together or in isolation. So over here we've got our solo buttons, so this would be soloing A1 and A2. (Female speaker: Swing dancing brings you together.) Or I could choose, for example, to mute A1 and A2, which would therefore solo all the rest of the tracks. (music playing) Now obviously we can use all of the same navigation tools that we've been using up until now.
We can use the Spacebar or J, K, L to play clips back. We can scrub through the timeline, and we can step through the timeline. But when we're dealing with audio of course, we're most interested in those modes which enable us to listen to the audio as we move or navigate around the clip or the sequence. So, straight away you probably notice the difference with Final Cut Pro. If I move backwards and forwards in my timeline here or step one or 10 frame forwards or backwards, I'm not hearing any audio.
In Final Cut Pro, I would hear a digital scrub as I move forwards or backwards. So in Media Composer you can switch this on by using the Caps Lock key. Now as I moved backwards and forwards, you'll better hear what I'm doing. (music playing) Same is true from stepping backwards and forwards. (audio playing) If I'm playing back more quickly than real time, Media Composer will support up to 16 tracks of playback up to three times the frame rate. Beyond that, playback will be silent.
(audio playing) And we know that if we want analog scrub then we can hold down K and use L or J to scrub backwards or forwards. (audio playing) So there are some of the different modes of actually navigating around the timeline or within clips and listening back to what the content is. An important audio setting to bear in mind when scrubbing is whether the system is looking forwards from the playhead at the incoming frame, or backwards at the outgoing frame.
If we go to the Project window and to the Settings tab, right up at the top here we have a sitting for Audio, and you can see here that that's exactly what's being displayed. Media Composer is set by default to audibly scrub the incoming fine. If you want to change that, this is the setting that you need. Underneath that is another setting called Audio Project, and we'll cover that at the end of this chapter. Now so far, we've been looking at working with mono audio tracks only, but with Media Composer five and later you can also work with stereo tracks, just like in Final Cut Pro.
This mean you can import, capture, and edit with audio that contains two streams of audio. If I right-click in the timeline window, you can see that I've got the choice of generating a new mono audio track or a new stereo audio track. Command+U will create a new mono audio track; Shift+Command+U will create a new stereo audio track. Now as I mentioned earlier, Media Composer supports playback of up to 16 tracks in real time. So if you're working with stereo audio tracks, you obviously going to get a lot a more bang for your buck, in terms of real-time monitoring.
If you're working with Mono tracks, or you reach the full extent of the 16 tracks of real-time playback, then you can move through to do audio mixdowns. To mix down a whole section of the timeline, what we do is we select that area in the timeline, we go to the Special menu, and then we choose Audio Mixdown from here. We get a dialog which asks us where would like to render the media. We get a choice of which bin to go to and whether or not we're creating a mono or stereo audio mixdown, and this would be the wide combine tracks together to save track real estate and allow yourself more flexibility towards the end of your process when you're mixing many, many different tracks together.
Okay, so we've looked at all of the basics now to do with how to deal with audio and how to monitor our audio. Now let's move through and start mixing.
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