Creating a Montage Faster in Avid

Creating a montage can seem like a lot of editing, but in avid you can use some short cuts to make it easier on yourself. This will only work if you have a generally good idea of what your final result should be.

Step 1 - Set up

Generally montages are cut to a catchy tune. So find the music that you like and add it to your audio tracks. Your video track above it should be blank. Now you need to map a few keys to your keyboard. Go to the project window and into the "Settings" tab. Here you should find your "Keyboard." Open the map by double clicking. Now open your "Command Palette" which can be found in the "Tools" drop down. Make sure that "Button to Button Reassignment" is selected and then move to the "Edit" tab. Here you should find a key that says "Add Edit." You may notice that this key is also in the timeline window, but this technique will only work if you use it from the keyboard. So drag "Add Edit" to any available key. Do the same with the "Replace Edit" key. Do not forget where you put them.

Step 2 - Marking Cut Points

Since you have a general idea of how your montage should be paced, listen to the music to make sure that it is suitable for your goal. Now get ready to test your rhythmic skills. Select only the video track, but keep the audio tracks audible. Start playback at the beginning and try to keep the beat. Whenever the song hits a beat, hit the "Add Edit" key. If you had decided that your cuts should be every other beat, then adjust accordingly. Now if you had been using the button in the timeline to "Add Edits" playback would have stopped when you clicked it. When you are done marking edit points, stop playback and take a look at your video track.

Step 3 - Adding Clips

Place your cursor anywhere between the two first edits that you added. Open your desired clip in the source monitor and hit mark in (or E) at the point where you would like to start. Now all you need to do is activate the timeline and hit the "Replace Edit" key that you set in step 1. Repeat this step for each clip until you are satisfied with your montage.

Step 4 - Fine Tuning

Your rhythm may not have been perfect in step 2, so you may need to tweak your edits. This can be easily accomplished in trim mode. Place your cursor near the cut that you want to adjust and hit "[". You are now in trim mode. Use the "," and "." keys to move one frame at a time in your desired direction. If your musical skills are highly unpracticed, you may need to use the "m" and "/" keys to move 10 frames at a time.

Montages seem like they should be a lot of work. But with a little planning, you can crank one out quickly thanks to Avid's many tools.

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