Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Create a video and audio mixdown, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 110.
- [Instructor] It's common as one reaches the end of an edit to do what's referred to as a video mixdown. This is a flattened version of the video layers in your sequence that you can either reuse in the sequence, or you can use for review and approval, or you can use to apply a motion effect on the entire piece, or even to share in other projects. I've got a sequence ready to go here called Mixdown, this is the complete version, and I've created a bin called Mixdowns to put what I'm about to create into.
I won't include the output from this with the assets for this course, because you could just use one yourself. The first thing to do when creating a video mixdown is specify the top level track that you want to be included. You do that by using the monitoring button, so I'm going to choose the top level track of these graphics, and I'm going to exclude the timecode and watermarking. You can also specify which part of your sequence you want to include in time. So, I'm going to go to the end of my sequence, I'm just going back one frame to catch the last frame of that audio, and mark them out with my keyboard, I'm pressing the O key, and then I'm holding the control or command key here on Mac OS to snap to the beginning of this clip and mark an endpoint.
I chose the very end of the sequence, including this filler gap at the end, because I want to know that the video mixdown I'm producing covers the entire section of the timeline that I need visuals for, even if that visual is black video. The track selection buttons aren't important here, so it doesn't matter that, at the moment, video four and five are turned off. And now, all I have to do is go to timeline, mixdown, and video. I want to specify the target bin for the new media I'm going to create, I'm going to choose the Mixdowns bin that I made, specify target drive, and choose a resolution.
I'm just making this as an example, so I'm going to go for DNXHD 60, MXF being the file type. This is a 1280x720p project, so I'm getting relatively low data rates here. Media Composer says I need about 206 megabytes, so I'm going to click OK, and here's our mixdown in the bin. I'll just double click to open this up, and I scrub through, and obviously the performance is great because this is no longer multiple layers of media with effects, this is one flat video clip.
If I right click on it and choose reveal file, we can find it here in our Avid media files folder. Whether you're on Mac or PC, this is going to be on the root directory of your drive. There's no sound, of course, when you produce a video mixdown, so I suppose that's one key difference between a video mixdown and outputting a file. But, you can also produce an audio mixdown, and an audio mixdown is the same principle but for sound. The process is very similar, but whereas the monitoring button is used to specify which video tracks you want to add to a video mixdown, it's the audio track selection buttons that you use for an audio mixdown.
This is a super simple mix, of course, I've just got one piece of music, but the same principle would apply if you had 50, 20, or 30 layers of audio. I'm going to go to my timeline menu, and I'm going to go to mixdown and audio, and I can specify if I want to mixdown to my current sequence, or to produce multiple mixes. For now, I'm just going to choose to sequence, we can see the selected tracks are displayed here, it's audio A1-4, we can see the range, which is set by my in and out box, and here I can specify what kind of audio I'm going to produce. I'm going to go for stereo.
You might decide you're going to go for dual mono rather than stereo, if you're sticking with mono tracks. I also need to specify which track in my sequence I want the new audio to go to. Audio five is the next available track, so I'll choose that one, remember, any track can be mono or stereo. Remember, in the audio mixer there's a fader for the master output, that's the mix of the sequence as a whole, and you can choose if you want to apply the adjustments made to that fader in this audio mixdown, or any effects applied to that channel.
Choose an output bin, specify a drive, and there's a warning here to let you know that if you produce an audio mixdown, it's just for playback, and you won't be able to recapture or relink the media, because it's generated from inside of your project. And here, we've got an option to save a premixed sequence, this just means that because we're going to modify this sequence in this step, Media Composer can create a copy of the sequence before creating a new version with the additional audio. I'm okay modifying this one though, I just want to show you how it works, and I'm going to click OK.
Now, if I scroll down in the timeline window, I'm just going to remove those marks so you can see more clearly, we now have a mixdown. And I'll turn on the waveform so you can see the result, and you'll notice that this waveform is smaller than the waveform in the original music, and that's because the music has a gain adjustment applied, let me just make that visible. Earlier on, I added a -20.4db drop in the audio level of the music, just so it wouldn't be too loud for us as a background, and the newly created audio mix, of course, is the consequence of that adjustment.
So, we have a smaller waveform. By the way, just as a reminder, the reason these clips have different colored waveforms is that the original music has a different sample rate to our project. That's okay for playback, but Avid wants to let you know, because it does require a little bit of work for the system to adjust it. So now, in our Mixdowns bin, we have a mixdown complete clip. Again, if I right click, choose reveal file, we can find this in our Avid media files folder, and we could use these two pieces of media any way we like.
- Importing and transcoding media
- Creating a group clip
- Syncing picture and sound clips
- Making quick edits such as stringouts
- Recutting a scene
- Creating subsequences
- Pacing a scene with Media Composer's trim tools
- Mixing sequence audio
- Working with high-res media
- Retiming video
- Nesting effects
- Keying video
- Animating titles and graphics
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 10/13/2017. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover what’s new in Media Composer 8.7, 8.8, and 8.9.