Tips for Cutting to the Beat in Avid

There are plenty of tips for cutting to the beat in Avid. Music is not everyone's forte, but there are ways to facilitate the need to cut using the cues as a guide.


The first tip is for those who are entirely musically deaf. If you have a piece of music with very distinct beats to which you want to cut, then you do not need to listen to it at all. Select your audio tracks on your timeline. Go to the fast menu which is at the bottom left hand corner of the window and is represented by two white bars sandwiching a black bar. There are a few view options in here for your audio track. The one that you should be interested in is "Sample Plot". Check this function and now you should see a waveform on your audio clips. Go ahead and play the clip so that you understand what this all means. You will notice that at each heavy beat, there is a spike on the waveform. So now, you can use these spikes to cut to the beat.


This tip is for the minutely musically inept. If you have no sense of rhythm, you can still find the beats without having to tap your foot along to the music. Hit Caps Lock. Now, drag your cursor around your timeline. You should be hearing a gibberish version of the audio as you move around the timeline. This is called scrubbing. So you can find the beats by scrubbing over the approximate area and listening for the heavy drum. Scrubbing will also work with your arrow keys when you get down to the difference of a few frames.

Add Edit

This tip is best for long runs of beat cutting but requires a little more musical intuition. In this method, you will be able to find all the beats in one fell swoop rather than individually. First, you need to make some quick keyboard assignments. Bring up your keyboard by going to your project window and entering the "Settings" tab. Double click on "Keyboard". Now, open your "Command Palette," which can be found in the "Tools" drop down. Enter the "Edit" tab and check out the "Add Edit" command. You may have noticed that this button is already on your timeline window. Having this command set on the keyboard will allow your playback to continue while you mark the edits whereas the timeline button will cause playback to stop. So drag the "Add Edit" function to an available key. Select only your video track and go to the beginning of your musical cue to start playback. Hit your "Add Edit" key at each beat. When you get to the end, you will find that you now have a great guide. If any cuts turn out to be off, you can use trim mode to perfect them.

Cutting to the beat may seem like a chore, but there are many ways to ease your suffering. Once you have these methods down, you will find that they are useful in many different situations as well.

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