Analyzing Avid Audio Wave-form Height

Avid Audio, or Avid Media Composer, is one of the pioneer software products in the non-linear audio/video-editing domain and has been completely put over with a lot of professional audio and video editors due to its ease of use and powerful functionality offerings. It is available for both the Mac and PC platforms and is widely cross compatible with its functions. The following discussion will focus on analyzing the audio waveform heights in Avid.

Step 1: Setup and Approach

You will need to import two different video or audio sources in to the Avid media composer. For tutorial and illustrative purposes, it is important that the audio difference between the two files be as significant as possible. It's best if one source is relatively quiet and reports just the usual ambient noise, while the other needs to be loud and strong, like a drum or a rock band performing. You will now attempt to analyze and match the audio waveform heights in these two clips. Make sure that the two clips are placed adjacent to each other on the timeline and have a visible difference in their waveform patterns.

Step 2: Analysis

You will go to the area of contact between the two clips and click on the touching edge for both of these clips. The edge should now turn a deep blue in color. You will now move your mouse cursor to the scale bar at the bottom. It looks like a single straight bar that has a button on its left edge. Click and drag the scale bar completely to the right (if the louder clip is on the right). This will show that the waveform has now been scaled down and will give you a realistic chance of working with the audio on the louder clip.

Step 3: Waveform Manipulation

You will now try to use the Ctrl + L and the Ctrl + K button combinations to click and then increase the heights of various video and audio tracks. You will notice that the waveform heights change proportionally to the height increase or decrease.

Alternatively, you can use a special button combination, Ctrl + Alt + K. This will make the waveform heights actually shrink down while keeping the track heights just the same. This can be immediately usable because it renders larger waveforms to a smaller size quickly and enables a lot of working and operational efficiency for the video editor.

You can combine the different techniques like the Ctrl + Alt + K key combination along with the scale bar and notice that suddenly a lot of very loud waveforms will shrink drastically and become useable (and can be tweaked). Also, please note that changing the track heights and waveform heights in the ways outlined above will never affect the actual volume of the clip. These changes are not absolute and are solely based on scale.

You will need to use other audio tools to achieve actual audio manipulation.