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In Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training, author Ashley Kennedy demonstrates basic and intermediate editing techniques in Media Composer, one of the most widely used nonlinear, video editing systems. This course covers how to build sequences, mix audio, color correct footage, apply effects, and troubleshoot common post-production issues in Media Composer. Exercise files accompany the course.
So once your sequence is all set, you can safely print to tape. In this movie, we'll explore the Digital Cut tool and a couple of the more popular options you have in laying your sequence to tape. First, let's go over the various types of digital cut and what each means for your delivery. An Insert Edit is the most precise method of digital cut and gives you an exact level of frame accurate control. And in Insert Edit, the sequence time code exactly matches the timecode that is pre-laid to the tape. Only video and audio are printed to the tape from Media Composer, not the timecode.
Therefore, to perform an Insert Edit, you need to pre-black an entire tape, which means that you have taken the time to record a black video signal to it, laying an control track down on the entire tape. An Assemble Edit also needs control track laid on the tape, but only at the very beginning. After the initial grab onto the control track, Media Composer lays timecode from the sequence itself, so video, audio, and timecode are being printed on the tape. A Crash Record is the least precise or least frame accurate version of the digital cut.
It requires no control track to be laid. It simply begins recording at the point the tape in the deck is cued. Again, with a Crash Record, the video, audio, and timecode are printed at the tape from Media Composer. Okay. Let's take a look at the Digital Cut tool. The Digital Cut tool is accessed via the Output menu > Digital Cut. And let's go over several of these options. In the upper left-hand corner are the tracks that will be laid to tape. The video track is the uppermost video track and all the tracks below it.
It lists each audio track separately. Coming over here, this is the Play Digital Cut. It's what you'll push to actually perform the digital cut. This is a preview, so that you can see how it's going to look on the tape without it actually being printed. And this is your Stop or halt button. In your Output Mode pull- down menu are several choices. Depending on if you are in an SD or HD project, you will have different choices. I'm actually back in an SD project now, so I have DV25 and DV50 available to me.
So if it drops any frames, for example, if it plays through a composite that was accidentally rendered, the Digital Cut will stop and it will allow me to reset it without having to find out later. I also recommend clicking Add Black at Tail and you can specify a duration of black to be added. This will prevent the sequence from simply dropping off into an area of the tape with no control track. I will go ahead and just put in 5 seconds at the end. Digital Cut Safe Mode is an option where the Digital Cut tool analyzes the entire sequence for areas that might drop frames during playback.
It will then alert you of those and allow you to either render or transcode the clips accordingly. An LTC out during preroll will actually let you add one second of black before the sequence starts for a Digital Cut, which again is useful so that it doesn't start in an area with absolutely no control track. And here is where I select the relationship between my sequence time code and my tape time code. For an Insert Edit, I would choose Sequence Time, because then it's going to match my sequence time code to my tape time code, which I've already laid down by pre-blacking it.
However, right now I am only connected to a FireWire Deck, so I don't have the type of frame accurate control that an Insert Edit demands. But if you would like to perform an Insert Edit, you can certainly choose it from this list here and then choose Sequence Time. For me, I just have the Crash Record Option, so I am going to choose Ignore Time. I am simply going to print this sequence to tape without a heavy consideration for time code accuracy. I also have the option to set my Custom Preroll, like I did in my Capture window. I can also set my Output Format.
Right now I am in a 23.976 project. I can switch it on the fly if I like and here are my deck controls. For an Insert Edit, I can actually specify an exact frame to start my digital cut and this is where I do that. Okay. So once I am sure that I have my Format set, the correct audio sample rate, and I have all of my effects rendered, I am ready to perform my digital cut. I will go ahead and press the Play Digital Cut button.
It asks me to mount a tape, I'll say OK. (Music Playing.) (Male speaker: You have the mentor and the apprentice, Drosselmeyer and Mini-Meyer, and?) I am going to go ahead and halt the digital cut. We don't want to wait for the entire thing to pass through, but that's all there is to it. So printing your show to tape is such an important step, because you don't want to have made all the effort in putting the sequence together just to have it printed shoddily at the end.
Take your time with this step and make sure that you consider all the time code accuracies needed at this stage of the process.
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