Post Production

Day 19 #28daysofQuickTips 2018 – Map audio waveforms and keyframes in Avid Media Composer

Mapping global waveforms, clip gain and clip volume can save a lot of time when working in Avid

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A number of versions ago Avid added the very handy per track toggle option for audio waveforms where you could turn on waveforms for a single track at a time. This was very handy.

Avid Media Composer track control panel

At some point after that Avid fixed the caching for audio waveforms where once the waveforms are drawn the data is cached and they are able to redraw very quickly after that … and not painfully slow like in previous versions.

With that fix I find that turning waveforms on and off globally for the whole timeline almost as useful as the per track toggling. And using the Command Palette you can map this to keyboard shortcuts. In addition to the waveforms you can globally turn both Clip Gain and Volume on and off with a keystroke.

First you must know of the Audio Data options under the timeline Fast Menu (or hamburger menu as many of us call it, or hot dog menu as my spring 2018 editing class calls it) located in the bottom left of the timeline.

Avid Media Composer fast menu audio data

Here you can turn on audio data for the entire timeline all at once instead of per track in the track control panel. Waveform is for audio waveform data. Clip Gain is for audio levels and corresponds to the Audio Mixer. Volume allows for keyframing and rubber-banding of audio levels.

Second you must open the Command Palette and enable the ‘Menu to Button’ Reassignment option as we are going to map a menu command to the keyboard.

Avid Media Composer command palette menu to button

Third you have to open the Keyboard setting and choose a place to store this new keyboard shortcut goodness. With the ‘Menu to Button’ Reassignment option enabled in the Command Palette when you move your cursor over the keyboard setting map the mouse will change to a little menu icon that tell you you’re about to map a key to a menu item.

Avid Media Composer keyboard menu to button

Click the button where you want to map the Audio Data (or any menu item if you’ve never mapped a button to a keyboard shortcut) and that button will turn yellow. Then head down to the timeline Fast/Hamburger Menu and map those Audio Data toggles to your desired keyboard shortcuts.


Avid Media Composer my audio data keys

I’ve mapped the Audio Data options to SHIFT + F9, F10, F11, F12. I find that even on long, complex timelines with a lot of audio the Media Composer waveform caching is finally fast enough to turn them on and off globally with little impact on the speed of the edit. In older versions of AMC this isn’t the case. Your milage may vary but it’s also a fast way to turn on and off the clip mixing options as well.

Have your own editing and post-production related QuickTip for #28daysofQuickTips 2018 that you’d like to share? Know a killer Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer or DaVinci Resolve tip that no one else knows? Want to possibly win a prize? Then click over to the post announcing this year’s #28daysofQuickTips and find out how you can send in your own QuickTip.

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Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production…

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