Avid Media Composer Techniques: Lasso Tool

In Avid, the lasso tool can be used if you are looking for an alternative way to select clips. Depending on your preference, this may or may not suit your working style, but it is an option different than holding shift and clicking.

Selecting Clips

You can select one or many clips using the lasso. Left-click on your timeline background somewhere towards the upper-left corner of the clip you are aiming for. Hold down your mouse as you drag a rectangle around the clip. Make sure that you completely surround the clip in order to select it. If you want to include many clips in the same selection, then you can drag your rectangle around multiple clips as long as they are all completely surrounded. Notice that on the lower-left hand corner of your timeline window, either the yellow arrow for splice/extract mode or the red arrow for lift/overwrite mode is now highlighted in purple. Avid remembers which mode was the last one you used and automatically puts you into that mode when you make a lasso selection.

Trim Mode

If you want to make a clip selection to be adjusted in trim mode, you use the lasso. Rather than placing your cursor above the upper-left corner of a clip, start at the upper-right corner and drag the box out towards the left. Again, completely surround the clips that you want to trim the edges of. Now you will have a selection ready to be trimmed in trim mode.

Clips within the Timeline

Sometimes you will want to select clips that are not on the top track of the timeline. This means that you would have to start your lassoing by clicking on another clip rather than the background. If you try to do this, your cursor will merely snap to wherever you click. Therefore, you will need to hold down "Alt" while beginning your lassoing. You will know that it is working if a little rectangle appears at the tip of your arrow. Proceed to select clips as usual.

Selecting Cuts

You can use any of the above lassoing techniques to lasso a cut between two clips. From any start point, drag your lasso completely around the line that indicates a splice point. Regardless of your direction, you will always end up in trim mode at that cut. You can only select multiple cuts if they are perfectly aligned across the tracks.

Selecting Tracks

You can also use the lasso tool on the list of tracks at the left of the timeline. First note which tracks are selected and which are not. Move your cursor over to the track area and notice that a little rectangle appears at the tip of your arrow. If that rectangle is present, you are in position to select tracks. Now, drag your lasso around all or some of the tracks. When you release, the tracks that you had selected will inverse. So the ones that were formerly selected will be deselected and vice versa.

The lasso tool can be useful for making selections in the timeline. It may not be the best option for your personal style, but in certain situations, it could be helpful.

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