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In Avid Media Composer 5 Getting Started, author Steve Holyhead explores the tools and techniques in Media Composer for producing great looking video, as well as the basics of high definition media formats. This course walks through the video production workflow from input to editing to output, covers key information such as trim concepts and frame rates, and introduces techniques such as color correction, footage stabilization, and real-time audio effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Media Composer provides a powerful blend of tools and techniques for bringing the audio in your project to life. Here in my Timeline, I've got material on A1 and A2 that I'd like to work with. I've also got material further down on A5 and A6, but I've muted those tracks so we can concentrate on what we're listening to up here. Okay, let's play back and see what we've got. (Clip playing.) What I'd like to do, because the ambiance on the flower clip and the cobweb clip are quite different, I'd like to create a crossfade between the two of them.
There is more than one way to create a crossfade. Here's one example. First off, what I'm going to do is select my cobweb audio. Now, I'm going to drag it down to A3 and A4, but to make sure I don't slip left or right by a frame or two, I'm going to hold down Command on the Mac or Ctrl on a Windows machine, and this snaps me into the correct location. Now, I've got my material on A3 and A4. What I'm going to do is I'm going to extend the outgoing tail of the flower clip.
I'm going to click down, and I'm going to drag to the right, but as I do so, I'm also affecting the video track. That's not what I want. So, let's undo that, disengage the Link Selection Toggle, and now with V1 deactivated, I can just drag the audio. So now, I've added some material to the end of the flower clip. So, come down here to the cobweb clip, click on A4, activate A3 as well, remember, that's because the Link Selection Toggle isn't active right now, because we don't want to affect our video.
I'm going to click down again and drag to the left. Now, I'm adding Head onto the cobweb clip. So, we've created an area in our Timeline where the flower clip and the cobweb clip are playing at the same time with each other. Now, I want to create the crossfade. First off, on A1 and A2, I'm going to activate Auto Gain. Next, I'm going to come to where I'd like to start the fade-out in the clip, and add a keyframe.
Next, I'm going to come to the end of the clip, and add another keyframe. Now, I can create an animation of the audio level from here to here. Great! Now, I want to do a similar thing, but in reverse on the cobweb clip. I want to deactivate A1 and A2, turn off audio keyframing on A1 and A2, and you can see that it hides the keyframe and just puts this little mark here to tell me that there are keyframes on that track, but I'm not in the correct mode to view them right now.
Let's turn on Auto Gain on A3 and A4. Make sure that A3 and A4 are also active. Now, I'm going to add a keyframe here, and then one at the very beginning of the cobweb clip. Now, I can grab those and pull those down. I'm going to turn them off, so there is no danger that we would accidentally affect them as we're doing other things in the Timeline. Now, when I play back though, you'll hear the crossfade. (Clip playing.) Okay, so that's one technique for creating a crossfade in your sequence.
Let's have a look at another technique. Over here, between the forest floor and the sunset, let's listen back. (Clip playing.) Okay, again, quite a distinct difference between those two clips. So, if we want to smooth that out, what I'm going to do is park the Transition Point. I'm going to activate A1 and A2. We're going to come up here to this ribbon of tools at the top of the Timeline. See this one here? It's called Quick Transition. Click on that. Now we have the Quick Transition dialog box up.
All I want to do is add a dissolve, centered on the cut, but I'm going to change the duration here to 12 frames. This is A1 and A2 only, and you can see, there is the outgoing side of the clip, and the incoming side of the clip, Add. Now when I play back - (Clip playing.) - we've added another crossfade. So, there you go: two powerful techniques for creating crossfades in your audio tracks.
Let's have a look at something else. I'm going to go ahead now and un-mute my music tracks, and in fact, I might solo both of them instead, because I'd rather not listen to these tracks while I'm working specifically on my music. At the moment, the music sounds like this. (Music playing.) Media Composer has numerous RTAS effects built-in, Real-Time AudioSuite effects. I access these effects by coming to the particular track I want to work on.
I'm going to make A5 and A6 active, deactivate A1 and A2, and then I have one, two, three, four, five parts where I can add real-time audio effects on each track. Now, by the way, this is a track-based effect. This is going to affect everything on that track, not just the clip I'm currently parked on. Click in here, and that brings up the RTAS tool. A5 is what we're looking at. If I click on no insert, now I get a choice of the various different real-time effects which come with Media Composer.
In this particular case, let's choose Long Delay. Okay, so this is the interface for the particular Real-Time AudioSuite effect that I've chosen. I can go ahead and manipulate the values here, and then when I'm ready, I can play it back. But because I'm soloed on both tracks right now, and it's only A5 that I'm working on, what actually I would like to do is only solo on A5, so I can hear the effect on its own. Let's play back and hear what we've got. (Music playing.) Great! So, we've added a real-time audio effect.
I'm going to close the panel, and you can see that I've added that little effect on A5 in the first of the five parts. Incidentally, if I like what I did to A5, I can go ahead and copy the effect. All I need to do is grab hold of the Effect icon, hold down and drag it to my bin. Then I can close the RTAS tool and then take that effect and drop it on to A6. Select number 1 as the Insert, and now I've got the same effect on A5 and A6 on the first insert.
Let's remove the solos and listen back to the whole thing together. (Clip playing.) Great! So, we've started to delve into audio effects. We've looked at how to create a crossfade, and we've also looked at how to use Real-Time AudioSuite effects across an entire track.
Audio mixing usually takes place towards the end of your project, when you've got most of your elements together. In your Timeline, you are fine-tuning the relationship of the various different tracks of sound, things like dialog, background audio, music, and practical effects to produce the final result that you're looking for.
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