Book Image

Avid Media Composer 6.x Cookbook

By : Benjamin Hershleder
Book Image

Avid Media Composer 6.x Cookbook

By: Benjamin Hershleder

Overview of this book

Avid Media Composer has become the tool of choice by editing professionals worldwide. Whether your project involves editing television programming, independent films, corporate industrials or commercials, this cookbook shows you exactly how to do so in a step-by-step and practical manner, and get the most out of Avid Media Composer editing. "Avid Media Composer 6.x Cookbook" is an expert, clear and logically-sequenced resource with highly effective recipes for learning Avid Media Composer essentials and beyond. It's task-based approach will help users at all experience levels gain a deeper, more thorough understanding of the software. It will help you master the essential, core editing features as well as reveal numerous tips and tricks that editors can benefit from immediately. Just some of the topics include understanding Import settings, mixing frame rates and understanding AMA (Avid Media Access), along with thorough explanations of Trim Mode, Segment Mode, and the Smart Tool. You will learn to customize your work environment with Workspaces, Bin Layouts, Timeline Views, Bin Views, Keyboard Mapping, and much more. The recipes inside are packed with practical examples, time-saving tools and methods to get you working faster and more confidently so that you can spend less time dealing with technical and operational issues and instead focusing on being creative.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
Avid Media Composer 6.x Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Preparing to use AMA (Avid Media Access): Getting the plug-ins

AMA allows you to almost immediately begin editing with file-based video, without first having to go through another process, such as Transcoding or Importing. Essentially, you point Media Composer directly to the native files, and because of AMA programming/architecture, it recognizes them and links to them. However, Media Composer needs to be given the ability to recognize the files first. This is done by installing free plug-ins for each camera and/or video format (note that the QuickTime AMA plug-in is an exception and is installed by default). Using plug-ins means that they can be updated at any time independently from the Media Composer program, and, as new video formats are created, their AMA plug-ins can be made available by the manufacturer at the same time.

How to do it...

Here are the steps to get the AMA plug-ins:

  1. You will need to access the Internet.

  2. To get to the AMA plug-ins page at, either:

    • To open the AMA Settings, go to the Project Window, select the Settings tab, and double-click on AMA Settings. In the AMA Settings window, click on the tab labeled Volume Mounting. At the bottom of the Volume Mounting window is a link labeled Check for additional or updated AMA plug-ins at

    • At the time of writing, you may visit one of the following links:



  3. On the web page, you'll see a link labeled Download and/or there will be three tabs near the top labeled Overview, Features, and Plug-ins.

  4. Click on either the Download link or the Plug-ins tab.

  5. Before downloading a plug-in, make sure the file formats will work with AMA and your version of Media Composer. At the time of writing, there is a link below the Downloads column that states Please refer to the 'AMA Plug-ins and Media Composer Version Compatibility' table for software requirements.

  6. Download the AMA plug-ins for the formats that you'll be using and that correspond to the version of Media Composer that you're using.

  7. Each plug-in has its own installer and will guide you through the installation process.


    Avid also provides helpful, in-depth AMA user guides for different video formats on the same page as the download links. I highly suggest downloading them for the formats you will be using. They provide a good deal of helpful information that is outside the scope of this book.

There's more...

You can verify what plug-ins have been installed or check which version of a plug-in is installed.

  1. Open the Console window by either:

    • Selecting Console from the Tools menu

    • Pressing cmd/Ctrl + 6

  2. In the text entry box at the bottom of the Console window, enter the following: AMA_ListPlugins

  3. Press Return (Mac) or Enter (PC).

  4. A table will be generated in the Console window that lists the plug-in name(s) and its version number.