Avid Media Composer 5

Government Video by Wayne Cole

Media Composer 5 is the most significant upgrade to Avid’s marquee product since its release as a software-only package.

There are clear indications that this update resulted from reorganizing, rewriting and modernizing major portions of the underlying code.


At first glance, the user interface may appear to have changed little from previous versions of Media Composer. However, a closer examination reveals the addition of some new tools, and updated functionality in older ones. The new “Smart Tool” pane in the Timeline window is the most obvious addition. In it sit the segment and trim overwrite/ insert mode tools. Moving one step closer to “modeless” context-sensitive editing, Media Composer 5 allows the editor to enable insert and overwrite segment modes at the same time. Then by click-dragging at the top of the segments track, you can execute a lift/overwrite edit. A click-drag on the lower part of a segment’s track will allow you to do an extract/insert (ripple) edit. If you are in the trim state with the Smart Tool enabled, the same location-sensitive clicking applies to single-sided trims: Clicking high on the track will perform an overwrite trim, and clicking low on the track results in a ripple trim. Sync-locking of tracks in the timeline has also been simplified to a single button. Formerly, you had to tick each track that you wanted to move or keep in sync, and activate them in order to do a synced track edit. Now, a single button syncs all tracks that are active, which makes much more operational sense and improves productivity in multi-layered timelines significantly.

Avid also added a “Track Control Panel” which is not visible by default, but can be shown by checking it in the timeline fast menu. Its main focus is to aid in editing audio tracks. When activated, the track control panel adds buttons for each audio track to toggle waveform display, to control the clip/gain/auto-gain and auto-pan parameters, and to solo or mute the track. The button that appears to be a volume control knob calls up a list of RTAS (real-time AudioSuite) plug-ins applied to the selected track and allows you to access the control panel for that plug-in much more conveniently than the previous method. read more...

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