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Building multitrack sequences

From: Avid Media Composer 5 Getting Started

Video: Building multitrack sequences

As our project progresses, we may need to start layering clips in the sequence across multiple tracks of audio and video. When we start dealing with multiple tracks, we need to have a method for directing a source clip to a specific track in the Timeline. This is known as patching tracks. So far, we have limited ourselves to sequences with two to four audio tracks and a single video track. Here I've got one such sequence, where the video clips have sync sound on A1 and A2.

Building multitrack sequences

As our project progresses, we may need to start layering clips in the sequence across multiple tracks of audio and video. When we start dealing with multiple tracks, we need to have a method for directing a source clip to a specific track in the Timeline. This is known as patching tracks. So far, we have limited ourselves to sequences with two to four audio tracks and a single video track. Here I've got one such sequence, where the video clips have sync sound on A1 and A2.

I want to add some music from the beginning of this sequence, but I also want to keep the sync audio on A1 and A2. To do this, we need to add more audio tracks. There are a couple of ways to do this. If I right-click in the Timeline area, I get the option to add a New Audio Track. We're going to be doing Mono tracks here. A3 has now been added to the Timeline. I'm going to add another track now, but this time, I'm going to use a keyboard command; Command+U or Ctrl+U on a Windows machine will add another audio track.

Now, I've got A3 and A4. I've got some music in my bin up here. I'm going to select it, hold down, drag and drop it to my Timeline area. I've got the ability to patch my tracks visually. If I hold down Command on a Mac or Ctrl on Windows machine, and pull to the left, I can snap my audio to the very beginning of the Timeline. If I let go, I've added music on audio tracks 3 and 4. (Music playing.) There we go.

What if I want to add yet more audio layers to my sequence? Well, I'm going to go ahead and add two more audio tracks to the sequence, like so. Here, I've got a sound effect in my bin. This time though, I'm not going to drag and drop into the Timeline; I'm going to load the sound effect into my Source viewer. Let's see what we've got. (Audio playing.) Okay, that's pretty good. I might just start the in point a little earlier, and maybe come out a little earlier, too.

So, I've adjusted my in points and out points, and now I want to add this material into the Timeline. Well, of course, I could drag and drop it, but what if I want to use Splice-in or Overwrite instead? Well, in that case, I would need to be aware of the track patching. A1 is currently adjacent to A1, and A2 on the source side is currently adjacent to A2 on the record side. If I park to the beginning of my Timeline, and I were to go ahead and edit this clip in now - let's deactivate the other tracks that we don't need - and use the Overwrite command, you can see what happens is that the sound effect actually gets patched, and recorded on to A1 and A2 instead.

This has overwritten the sync sound for the sky and flower clip. Let's undo that. Instead, I'm going to hold down on the A1 track, and pull an arrow down to A5, like so. Let's do that with A2. Let's hold down and drag an arrow to A6. Now, I've patched A1 to A5, and A2 on the Source side to A6 on the Record side. Now, when we overwrite into our sequence, we've added the sound effect alongside the sync audio and the music.

(Music playing.) Before I did that edit, you probably noticed that I deactivated the tracks that I didn't want to edit onto. Let me undo that one more time, and this time show you what would've happened if I had left all of my tracks engaged. Whilst I've added the sound effect, I've overwritten the other material that was on video track 1 and A1-A4.

The logic of this is as follows: If I'm using Splice-in, or Overwrite, then if I've got material adjacent to a track, it'll be added, but if I've got nothing, then nothing will be added, i.e. black or zero audio for the length of the edit that we just did. So, it's very important to make sure when you're adding material across multiple tracks that you not only know where you've patched the track, but also whether the tracks need to be active for the particular result you're looking for.

That's multi-track audio. What about multi-track video? Well here, I've got a multi-track video sequence. I'm going to be monitoring on video track 1. As I drag through the sequence, you can see at the moment, all we can see is the material on video track 1, the sunset clip. If I go up to video track 2, even though there's black here, we see through the black to what's on video track 1. If there's nothing in the way on video track 2, then we'll see what's on video track 1. However, now with monitoring enabled on video track 2, as I scrub across the next clip, forest floor, you see that it obscures the sunset clip, until I get all the way to the end here, and now we just have the sunset clip again.

If I engage monitoring on video track 3, and scrub back this time, you see that we finally get to see the sky clip on video track 3. Let's go ahead and add one more clip to this Timeline. I've got my rushing water clip here. Now if I wanted to drag this into my Timeline, no problem; just drag the clip in, drop it, and now I've patched it to V4. Alternatively - let's undo that - if I wanted to use my Splice-in or Overwrite arrows instead, I would need to make sure that I patched V1 to V4, just like we did with the audio clips.

Let's deactivate the audio tracks too, and now when I add this clip to my Timeline, I've patched from V1 to V4, source side V1 to record side V4. As I scrub backwards and forwards in my Timeline now, I can indeed see that clip over top of the sky. The way I like to describe this is you can almost think of the Timeline like a fish tank or aquarium, and the monitoring logic is as if we're looking in through the top of the fish tank.

If there's a fish swimming above the other fish, then we'll see this one. If not, then we'll see the one below, and so on. In some cases, drag and drop using the Segment tool is the best approach; in other cases, using track activeness and track patching will be more efficient.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Avid Media Composer 5 Getting Started
Avid Media Composer 5 Getting Started

36 video lessons · 6048 viewers

Steve Holyhead
Author

 
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  1. 4m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 42s
  2. 21m 40s
    1. Starting Media Composer and creating a new project
      4m 15s
    2. Understanding Media Composer
      5m 47s
    3. Working with clips, bins, folders, and the Project window
      3m 44s
    4. Saving and backing up your work
      4m 16s
    5. Retrieving a project from the Attic
      3m 38s
  3. 27m 58s
    1. Understanding media formats and the Format tab
      8m 25s
    2. Importing media
      6m 11s
    3. Linking to media using AMA
      5m 43s
    4. Accessing media from other projects
      2m 56s
    5. Working with clips in the bin
      4m 43s
  4. 23m 49s
    1. Getting started with editing
      7m 25s
    2. Creating a new sequence
      5m 39s
    3. Removing material from your sequence
      6m 20s
    4. Editing segments in the Timeline
      4m 25s
  5. 30m 44s
    1. Using Splice, Overwrite, and three-point editing
      5m 25s
    2. Understanding trim concepts
      4m 39s
    3. Working with trim techniques
      6m 6s
    4. Using the Timeline
      7m 49s
    5. Building multitrack sequences
      6m 45s
  6. 14m 21s
    1. Adjusting audio levels and pan
      6m 42s
    2. Diving deeper into audio
      7m 39s
  7. 23m 8s
    1. Setting quick transitions
      5m 33s
    2. Working in the Effects palette
      3m 42s
    3. Keyframing effects
      7m 1s
    4. Setting system performance and rendering effects
      6m 52s
  8. 17m 37s
    1. Creating freeze-frames and motion clips
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding timewarp effects
      7m 15s
    3. Understanding Timeline compositing
      5m 42s
  9. 19m 44s
    1. Working with basic color correction
      7m 13s
    2. Stabilizing shaky footage
      1m 44s
    3. Creating a basic title
      5m 0s
    4. Mixing down video and audio
      5m 47s
  10. 6m 33s
    1. Building the final output
      6m 33s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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