Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video Placing markers on the beat, part of Premiere Pro Guru: Cutting with Music.
- One of the best secrets of being a fast and efficient editor when cutting to music, is using markers. By placing a marker on the beats of music you want to cut to, you can quickly jump to the right spot, mark your in and out points, and just cut. Now, it is important to differentiate between placing a marker on your music clip and on the timeline. Let's take a look at how to place markers and then talk about the benefits of placing them on clips versus sequences.
The one keyboard shortcut you really need to know when using markers is the M key, every time you press the M key it's going to put a marker wherever your playhead is parked. We're gonna go ahead and put markers on this clip and I can do that either directly in my timeline or I can actually do it in the source monitor. Either way, once it's put on the clip it will show up in every instance of that clip throughout your project and it actually writes the markers, in many cases, directly to the original clip on your hard drive so if you drag it into another show those markers might be there.
That's one of the reasons you may want to put markers on your timeline versus directly on the music cut. Let's go ahead and show you how you can put markers on a clip. What I would do, is I'd go ahead and play the clip and I'm gonna do this in the timeline. Usually I'll listen to the music a little bit and then I'll go back cause I wanna kinda get a feel for the rhythm and I'm gonna tap it out with the M key, kind of like a metronome, these will be very consistent beats.
I'll be tapping my foot and counting it out and just hitting the M key and if I kinda screw up, I would just stop, rewind the playhead, and pick it up so I know where all the beats are in my music. Let's go ahead and start placing some markers directly on our clip. (haunting music) Well, that's good enough to give you an idea.
Now, I missed the very beginning because I wanted to kinda get into the rhythm and I could go back and retry that. I could simply move my playhead back to the beginning and maybe I even wanna zoom in, that way I can see more detail. Where this becomes really advantageous is if I took this and brought this back from my timeline and opened it up in my source monitor. You'll notice that since I have the same clip in my source monitor, all those key frames that I just created in my timeline are also in the source monitor.
Let's go ahead and select the source monitor and zoom in a little bit. If I zoom in enough I might be able to see where some of the spikes are, in this case it's kinda tough but what you'll notice is, is that I actually cut off the very beginning of this cut of music and this is all before we start hearing it but if I go ahead and play it, I can kind of get a running start to the rhythm. Now I'm gonna go ahead and place some markers in the source monitor and you'll see they'll be reflected back into the timeline.
(haunting music) There we go, that looks pretty equal. If they weren't, you can always move a marker left or right by simply grabbing it and dragging it. So, if you didn't quite get it on the beat I could go ahead and move it over. If you really messed things up, you can always right click on a marker and you can choose to clear that selected marker.
If you really messed up all your markers, if you were way off beat, you can go ahead and choose, clear all markers. It'll remove all of them and you can start fresh. Let me go ahead and zoom back out on my timeline. I'm gonna hit the backslash key so I see the whole timeline. As a matter of fact, you'll notice and you might have already noticed, if you're looking at the files that you've downloaded that there's a second version of this with the markers already applied and I just put an adjustment layer on top so you can see that here's a finished copy for you to work with.
I'm just gonna go ahead and move that out of the way so we're not distracted by it and I wanna point something out when I move the clip. If I move the clip in the timeline, the markers stay with the music and they stay with the beat. Now, this is really a good thing but it does provide us some challenges. First, it will affect every time that clip is used throughout your project and possibly other projects. The other challenge is, I can't jump from marker to marker in my timeline using markers that are inside of a clip.
I can only jump from marker to marker while I'm stepped inside of a clip or if I'm outside of the clip, I can only use the markers in my timeline. For instance, if I wanted to jump to the next marker and I'm inside the clip. Let's go ahead and zoom in. Move our playhead inside. I'm gonna hit shift+M and it jumps to each subsequent marker and to jump backwards, I simply would use shift+ctrl+M, or shift command M on a Mac and I can jump to the previous marker.
That is all well and good but what if the clip wasn't selected? Now, if I go shift+M or shift+ctrl+M to jump forward or backwards, it's not gonna find any markers. Let me zoom out a little bit and take a look at the timeline, now we're gonna throw some markers on the timeline so you can see how they look. They work pretty much the same way, so I'm gonna hit the minus key to zoom out so we can see a little bit more and as you can see the markers are all starting to get squeezed together but that's okay.
I'm gonna go ahead and put some markers on the timeline. I'm gonna deselect the clip and do the same thing that I did before, I'm gonna go ahead and hit the M key and put markers in on the timeline. I'll put a couple in before the music starts, simply hitting the M key and I can go ahead and move the playhead and listen to the music and put some in on the timeline also. (haunting music) That should be enough to demonstrate my point.
So, I have markers on the timeline and if I move the clip, those markers that were right to the beat of the music, are no longer to the beat of the music. I kinda lose the advantage of having put the markers there. One of the disadvantages of putting markers on your clip, especially if you start having a lot of clips in your timeline, is that if I take this and I make this smaller, so I can actually see more tracks of audio, I no longer see those markers in my clips and it's much easier to see the ones in the timeline.
Depending on your style of editing, you may want to put your markers directly inside of clips, you may want to put some markers directly on the timeline, or you may want to do both. A lot of times I'll put markers on both the music cut and sometimes my video, so I can line up a certain sound or a certain crescendo, with a certain visual in my show. If you're going to cut to music and you wanna be fast and efficient, get your head wrapped around how markers work and use them.
- Changing the duration of the music with editing
- Placing markers
- Cutting to the beat vs. cutting with the beat
- Preparing images for import
- Adjusting image size
- Editing to markers
- Trimming sound bites
- Adding effects
- Mixing audio levels
- Retiming music
- Changing pitch and key