Join Chris North for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding tracks and patches, part of Avid Xpress Pro 5.5 Essential Editing.
Let's talk about tracks and patching now on the Avid. There are going to be many situations where you are editing away and you decide that you need more than the standard one video track and two audio tracks. And you just start adding tracks to your Timeline. Let's talk a little bit about how we do that and how we start patching different tracks, different source tracks, different timeline tracks, etcetera. I am going to go my Interface Bin, I'm going create a new sequence. First of all, let's go to the Clip menu, New Sequence. That's Shift+Ctrl+N or Command+Option+N on the Mac, and by default I get one video track and two audio tracks.
Rename this sequence quickly, let's just call this Tracks Sequence and let's start putting some footage onto our Timeline. I am going to click once on Car Footage, double-click on Wide Shot Of Car, let's clear the marks that there are already. So let's have a look at these tracks down here and explain and talk a little bit about what's going on here. The tracks on the left refer to my source clip here; the tracks on the right refer to my Timeline. So at the moment V1 is going straight across to V1 on the Timeline; A1 is going straight across to A1 on the Timeline, etcetera.
So when I insert this clip on a Timeline I am going to use the Overwrite button, or B on the keyboard. The source tracks have gone straight across onto the Timeline tracks. So it's gone straight across from the Source side to the Record side, so it's gone straight across from V1 to V1, A1 to A1, etcetera, which is pretty much what we would expect. But what if we start to add additional video and audio tracks now? Well, let's do that. I am going to go back into my Clip menu and add a new video track, that's Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac, and let's add some audio tracks as well.
So to add an audio track is Ctrl+U or Command+U on the Mac, I'm just going to do that now. So now I have added one video track and a stereo audio track. So I have added one video track and a left and right audio track here as well. Now if I just go ahead and choose a point on my Timeline, I choose another clip, let's say Keys In Pocket. If I just go ahead and overwrite now, what do you think is going to happen? You may have guessed correctly, basically, because V1 is still patched across to V1 and A1 to A1, A2 to A2, it's just overwritten my existing tracks on the Timeline, which is not what I want. What we actually want is the V1 track to go to V2 and my two audio tracks, A1 and A2 to go to A3 and A4, so I need to re-patch them. How do I do that? Well, let's Undo this first of all, Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac.
To patch, very easy. All we will need to do is drag out a little lower from V1 to V2, boop! And V1 is now going to pop-up to V2, and with my audio, I'm going to do the same thing. Drag A2 to A4, A1 to A3, and now I am going to do my overwrite or press B on the keyboard. And what do you know? It's done what you needed it to do. It's just as an aside here, if I Undo this, Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, if I left V1 and A1 and A2 selected on my Record side here, if I then do the overwrite, you see what happens? What it's done is put the video and audio in the right place, so V1 to V2, A1 to A3, etcetera, but what it's also done is erased or filled with filler the same portion on those tracks, and the reason it's done that is because I have enabled these tracks and because there's nothing on this side of them, it's just put filler on there. So it's essentially overwritten them with nothing.
So when you are adding tracks to your Timeline you need to make sure that you turn off the tracks that you don't want to affect and then when you do your overwrite it will work correctly. Let's add one more video and two more audio tracks now, so Ctrl or Command+Y to add a video track and Ctrl or Command+U, twice, to add some audio tracks. Now you go through and just add one more clip to the Timeline. I'm just going to choose another clip here. Don't forget, I am going to turn off the tracks I don't want to affect. Park my blue bar sort of into an area where I want them. I am going to re-patch my audio to the correct audio tracks.
I'm going to patch my video to V3 and do my overwrite and there we go. Now I have got all my video and audio in the places where I want them. Now once I have got my tracks and everything arranged as I'd like I can then choose which tracks of video and which tracks of audio I am monitoring. To do that I can simply click on my Monitoring panels here. So for example I could Monitor V2 or V1. This is quite useful if you are working with effects and you want to step through the various layers and stages of your effects. It's also possible to solo or monitor only one track specifically. If I hold down the Ctrl key or Command on the Mac, click on the same a little bit, it will go green which means I am monitoring that video track. This is particularly useful with audio because for example, if I'm playing through my sequence now, (audio plays) I am getting all of the audio and all of the tracks and rather than turning off the audio I don't want to listen to, what I can do instead is just solo the tracks I want to listen to. So the way I will do that is hold down the Ctrl key or Command on the Mac just click on the little speaker icon, they go green, and now that means I am only going to be listening to the audio on those selected tracks.
(Audio track plays sound of footsteps.) So by using a combination of your monitoring panels here and soloing you can be very specific about what you are reviewing when you play back your sequence. Let's move some clips around now. If I go into Segment Mode button here I can actually start clicking on clips and moving them around my Timeline if I want to reposition them, and then once I finished faffing around with the Timeline, if I want to delete certain tracks, just need to make sure I am selecting only the tracks on the Record side that I want to delete. I can then push the Backspace key. They will ask me, "Do I definitely want to delete those tracks?" I'll say, yes I do, and away they go and now I've reduced those tracks and then I'll go ahead and re-patch my Source side as I wish.
So that's a quick overview of tracks and patching on the Timeline. As you become more familiar with the Avid and your edits become more complex you are going to find yourself adding lots and lots of video and audio tracks as you go along. So spending a bit of time and getting used to the concepts of tracks and patching is well worth doing. It's going to make your editing experience much more pleasurable.
- Exploring and customizing the user interface Organizing media and planning a story Editing essentials Moving clips around on the timeline Adding and modifying transitions Using the Effects palette and editor Rendering principles Creating titles and credits Editing and manipulating audio Importing footage and live capture Recording to tape Exporting files and media