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


Whether you're just beginning your use of Avid Media Composer or you've been using it for some time, I believe this book contains a great deal of useful, time-saving, and frustration-reducing information for users at all experience levels. Further, I believe this book fills a particular gap in the Avid Media Composer publications that are currently available.

Because the features and abilities of Avid Media Composer are so broad, encompassing editing, sound design, color correction, and visual effects, I decided to focus this book primarily on the core story-telling needs we have every day; essentially, getting footage into the system, editing, and audio mixing.

I first began learning Avid Media Composer in 1994 through trial and error. Nonlinear editing and the Internet were still in their infancy, and there weren't any books on Avid Media Composer. So, I did my best to learn by reading the manual. My frustrations came when I'd read about a procedure or tool in the manual, but it didn't include a definition of it or context for when it would be useful. So, in addition to providing the step-by-step instructions, as cookbooks published by Packt Publishing promise, I've included many definitions of industry and Media Composer-specific terms, explanations of why tools and functions behave as they do, and situations when they would be helpful. In many ways, this is one of the books I wish I had had all those years ago.

I'd also like to mention that some incredibly knowledgeable people have helped me by reviewing this book's content while I was writing it: Michael Phillips, Oliver Peters, and Roger Shufflebottom. These very generous gentlemen are talented professionals whom you may find yourself meeting, consulting, or working with in the future. I encourage you to read their biographies, which are included in this book, and you'll see how fortunate I was to have them on the team.

Lastly, I truly hope you find this book to be helpful.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Getting Assets into Your Media Composer Project, gets you thinking about organization, provides you with some common workflows, and gives you some tips to hopefully make your work easier and/or more productive.

Chapter 2, Customizing Your Work Environment, has a goal to show you some great features to help you work more comfortably, swiftly, and efficiently.

Chapter 3, Polishing Gems, explains that there are many useful features, gems if you will, that go underutilized. This chapter shines and polishes a few of them up by revealing some functions' hidden abilities, explaining their behavior, and/or giving you a few new ideas about how you might use them.

Chapter 4, Creating Split Edits, examines several methods to create a Split Edit, which is also known as an L Cut, Prelap, Postlap, or more simply, a Split.

Chapter 5, Maintaining and Regaining Sync, focuses on giving you a solid understanding of why Avid Media Composer works the way it does regarding sync, how you can be in complete control of staying in sync when using any of the editing modes (without Sync Locks enabled), what Sync Locks do and how they work, and what to do if you find yourself out of sync.

Chapter 6, Managing Your Media Files, has a goal to take some of the mystery out of dealing with media files, using the Media Tool, and helping you through some common media management situations.

Chapter 7, Mono and Stereo Audio Mixing, centers on many of the common audio mixing and effects tasks and challenges when working on a mono or stereo project.

Chapter 8, Editing with Group Clips and MultiCamera Mode, covers several methods to sync all the footage from different cameras used in a multiple-camera production, and how to edit with this footage in an efficient way using the features that Media Composer provides.

Chapter 9, Output Tips and Tricks, includes topics for creating bars and tone; adjusting your sequence to accommodate bars, tone, and slate; an overview of exporting still images and QuickTime movies; and familiarizing yourself with the Timecode Burn-In effect.

Chapter 10 , Time Savers in the Title Tool is not present in the book but is available as a free download from the following link:

This chapter examines some of the commonly overlooked behaviors and features of the Title Tool.

Appendix A, Additional Tips, Tricks, and Explanations, has additional helpful information about various functions and features that did not fit into the step-by-step format of a cookbook published by Packt Publishing.

Appendix B, Details on Trimming, Slipping, Sliding, and Segment Mode, provides helpful background and supplemental information for users at all levels to help demystify, and get more use from, Trim Mode and Segment Mode.

Appendix C, Helpful Details about MultiCamera Editing, provides supporting information for Chapter 8, Editing with Group Clips and MultiCamera Mode, which is beneficial to users at all levels.

What you need for this book

In addition to this book, you will need Avid Media Composer software, running on either a Mac or a PC. You can download a 30-day free trial of Avid Media Composer at While this book focuses on Avid Media Composer Version 6, because Avid has done a great job of preserving the majority of functionalities as the software has evolved, a great deal of the information will still be useful to those using other releases of the software.

Who this book is for

This book is intended as an additional resource for Avid Media Composer users ranging from those just beginning through intermediate users looking for a deeper understanding of the functionality of the software, tips, and tricks.


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text are shown as follows: "Project settings are located inside the Project folder along with the bins and folders that you created."

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "On the Record Track Selector Panel, enable only the V1 Track Selector."


Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

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