Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Patch tracks, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101.
- [Instructor] There are essentially three ways to add a clip to a sequence. You're either going to drag and drop with the mouse you're going to use a button on screen or you're going to use a keyboard shortcut. For this lesson, I'm going to use the button on screen. I want you to see clearly what's going on. And I've opened a sequence here. This is my track patching sequence. You can see the name at the top of the Timeline window. And I've opened up a clip that has some video and audio in it. Now I know that it's got video and audio because if I look on the far left of the Timeline window I can see there's a V1 and A1 track enable button.
So I can see that I can access these parts of the clip if I want to. Just to the right, I've got my Timeline tracks. And I've already added V1, two, three and four and A1, two, three, and four. Coincidentally, the reason new sequences are created by default with one video track and two audio tracks is because the Timeline setting in the project window if I just open this up, has this option in it. This is under the Edit section of the Timeline settings.
So I'm going to add this clip to my sequence. And unless you're dragging and dropping it's particularly critical that you set up a thing called track patching, correctly to define where the clip's going to go in your sequence. I'm going to click the red overwrite button here. And you can see right away, my clip's gone to V1 and A1. Coincidentally, before starting this video I also turned off the display of the clip audio data the clip gain, just so we could see the audio clip nice and clearly.
And to make it a little easier to spot I'm going to click to turn on the waveforms for these audio tracks, just so we can see what's going on. By the way, I held down the ALT key there to turn the waveforms on for all of the tracks at once. And you'll find that the ALT key really is your go-to modify key in Media Composer. If you're trying to do something different if in doubt, just try the ALT key you'll probably find it gives you what you want to do. Okay, so we've got out video and our audio. And the reason that this clip has gone on to the V1 and A1 track is because that's where the source track selection buttons are.
Or the source track enable buttons are. It's pretty easy to see what we need to do to change this. In fact, it's a drag and drop operation with the mouse. Let's say I'd like this clip instead to go on to the V3 track. So I'm going to click and drag V1 to V3 and let's maybe put the audio down on A3 as well. I'm going to click and drag to direct the source Audio1 to Audio3. Now this is a really simple clip it's just got one video track and one audio track. You might find yourself working with much more complex source material.
Before I go any further, I want to just flag up design feature, I think is the best way I should describe it, in Media Composer. Which is, if you don't specify the beginning of the section of a clip that you want or the area of a sequence that you want using an in-mark which we'll come to in detail very shortly. Then Media Composer presumes that you want to use the blue play head instead. So here, if I want to add this clip to my sequence.
Unless I move my play head, the sequence is going to arrive on this track from here, from wherever we are. Five seconds and eight frames into the sequence. So, let's see what happens. I'm going to click the overwrite button, and there it is. The play head by the way, will go to the end of a clip when you add it to your sequence, automatically. It's ready for the next clip that you want to edit in. Now I think this aspect of track patching is pretty easy. I've said for years that these source track enable buttons should be arrow shaped, so you can see it's pointing into the track it's going to end up on.
But I think you can see what's going on. There are another couple of ways of working this too. If I click and hold on a track selection button I get a little menu with all of the available tracks on it. This might seem a little bit like overkill for a small sequence like this one. But I have seen Timelines with many more tracks on it and it can be a little quicker particularly if the tracks are going off screen for you to choose from a menu. You can also use a feature called auto patching. And I'll show you how this works.
I'm going to turn on my video tracks here and I'm going to turn off Video2. And you can see as I do that Media Composer has automatically jumped down with my source track enable button to the Timeline V1. That's because it's the lowest enabled track selection button. If I turn off V1, it jumps up to V3. Now we'll come to these buttons on the right very shortly. These are the track monitoring buttons. But you'll notice that they are also changing automatically.
If I turn off V3, now my track patching jumps up to V4 and so does the monitoring. So these automatic features are very useful if you know what they're for. If you go into the Timeline settings you'll notice under Edit we've got the option to turn them off. And you'll find that as you develop your familiarity with Media Composer there are going to be little habits little characteristics in the application that you like or dislike. And very often you'll find you can enable or disable them using a setting like this one.
Now I'm going to undo one step. I'm going to remove that clip that we just added and I want to show you one more feature here which is of course these are enable and disable buttons. So let's just take a look at what happens when I enable or disable different buttons here on the left and on the right stack. First of all, if I perform an overwrite edit now you can see the clips added to the tracks to which they're patched, that's all good. I'm going to undo. Just pressing Command-Z or Control-Z. Now I'm going to turn off the source V1 track and I'm going to click again.
Now you can see pretty clearly what's happening. I've turned off the available source track so all I get is the audio from my clip. Just going to undo again. Now see what happens if I keep the source V1 on and available but turn off my Timeline V4. Exactly the same thing. So let me just undo again. So these track enable buttons operate as a kind of a handshake between the available tracks in the source clip and the tracks on the Timeline.
They both have to be on to work. Now you might be wondering. Why not just only use the source track enable buttons to decide where the media's going to go? And the reason is that Media Composer is giving you a really fine control over what's going to happen on your Timeline. You can't see it because there's nothing in the way. But every time I've been performing these edits. Because my Timeline A2 and A4 tracks are switched on they're actually getting silent sound they're getting nothing that's written over them when I perform the edit.
I'm just going to demonstrate this now by turning on my timeline A1 track that does have some audio on it. Now notice there's no available source media here. It's just blank, so when I perform the edit right away you can see what happens. Let's start at the top and work our way down. First of all, we do have our source V1 enabled and our Timeline V4, so that gets our video media. There's nothing going on for V3 and V2, so that's okay. Nothing happening on V1, so our original clip remains.
But our A1 track on the Timeline is switched on. Which means, when we hit this button. I suppose it's a little bit like a record enable button on a multi-track recorder. We have enabled the edit to be applied to this track. It just so happens there's no microphone plugged in to this input. There's no source media to go there. So instead what we get is nothingness. In fact, it's not exactly nothing. The blank area I the background on these tracks is referred to as filler.
And just like clips, you can work with a filler. You can move it around, you can trim it. You can even apply visual effects to it. Moving down on our A2 track, there's nothing there. So although the track's turned on, we won't see any change. We did get our audio for our Audio3 track because that's where it's patched. And again, there's nothing on A4. I'll just undo. These rules apply whether you're using the keyboard shortcut to add a clip to a sequence, or a button. When you're dragging with a mouse the track selection buttons for your source also apply.
So you can turn off particular parts of your media when you're dragging and dropping. We'll cover that in another lesson.
- Setting up the editing environment
- Creating a new project
- Importing media
- Finding, organizing, and linking clips
- Building a sequence
- Editing and trimming
- Adding transitions
- Applying segment effects
- Combining effects
- Applying freeze frame and motion effects
- Creating titles
- Exporting video projects