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Working with Audio in the Track Control Panel

Only published comments... Mar 21 2013, 12:00 AM by Rob D'Amico
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My name is Rob D'Amico (Product Manager, Avid Media Composer Family), and I will be writing a blog series throughout 2013. The goal is to bring more awareness to editors, third-party partners, resellers and other industry folks that have an interest in Avid professional editing solutions. My topics of discussions will range from product news, new features, important bug fixes, tips and tutorials, third-party programs and anything else that could be of interest to folks relating to Media Composer Family. I hope this is useful information to all, as I look forward to an exciting 2013 with a lot of topics to talk about.


In this week’s post, I thought it would be interesting to give some tips and shortcuts for a part of the timeline that doesn't always get a lot of attention--Track Control Panel.  Working with audio for most of my life, there are some real cool tips and shortcuts you can use to help with audio mixing, clean up and effects. Everything that follows has been available since Media Composer 5 release. Let’s just dive right in and take a look.


At the top left corner of the timeline next to the timecode indicator there is a small sideways triangle icon.  Clicking this icon will cause a section between the track names and Solo/Mute buttons to expand with additional controls. The A1/V1 labels can be renamed to whatever you like. Right-click and choose "Rename".



1. Clicking on the top left "Audio Waveform" button will turn on the audio waveforms for the particular track.


Tip: Holding down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key while clicking on this icon will turn all the tracks in the timeline "On" or "Off".



2. Clicking on the menu item with the audio keframes icon will display the different clip effect attributes (Clip Gain, Volume and Pan).


Tip: Holding down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key while selecting an option in the menu will either turn "On" or "Off" the view for all the tracks in the timeline.


3. Clicking on the "Power" icon will either enable or disable the track. 


Tip: If a track is disabled, the audio and effects on that track will not be loaded into the player, so this could help performance on slower CPUs.



4. Five RTAS (Real-Time AudioSuite) inserts can be used to apply many different types of audio track effects (EQ, Compression, Limiting, Loudness, Reverb, etc.).


There are a few different shortcuts to share here. Once an RTAS effect has been inserted on a track the following can be done.


a. Click and while holding down the mouse, the RTAS effect can be dragged to another track, or in a different insert on the same track.  This can be handy to quickly hear what the audio will sound like if for example you feed the EQ into the Compressor, or the Compressor into the EQ.


b. Holding down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key while clicking and dragging an RTAS effect to another insert, will quickly make a copy of the plug-in and parameters.  This is great for quickly using the same compressor on multiple dialog tracks.


c. Holding down the Cmd (Mac) or Windows (Windows) key while clicking on an inserted RTAS plug-in will quicky put the effect in "Bypass" mode (insert icon will be highlighted).  This is great for hearing the difference with and without the effect being applied.



5. Even though the Solo and Mute buttons are not technically part of the track control panel there is a quick tip to share here too.


Tip: Holding down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) while clicking on either icon will turn all the tracks in the timeline to that state.



If you're running Media Composer 5.0 and later, you already have these audio refinements. Have a version earlier than 5.0 and want to try them out? Download the free 30-day Media Composer 6.5 trial. If you have any questions, be sure to connect with the team in our Professional Video Editing Forums.



I hope this information is helpful, as I look forward to keeping folks aware of improvements being made while we continue to work on our future releases.



Thanks for your continued support!




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About Rob D'Amico

Rob is currently working at iZotope Inc. as Product Management Director in the area of desktop audio plug-ins.  Rob also has over 20 years of production experience in music performance, audio post production supervision, sound design, sound editing/mixing for film, broadcast and web.   

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