Avid Media Composer 5: Creating a Multitrack Sequence

Layering clips in the sequence across multiple tracks of audio and video is possible in Avid Media Composer. Listed below are the proper steps for you to take to make your project a successful one.

Step 1: Adding Audio Tracks

Suppose that your sequence has 2 to 4 audio tracks and 1 video track. Both the audio and video tracks are fully in sync with each other in the timeline. To add some music to the sequence, add more audio tracks from your music bin. Right-click the timeline area of Avid Media Composer and add new audio tracks.  You can use either the keyboard command, "Ctrl-U," or you can select and drag a selection from a music bin and drop it to the timeline area.

Step 2: Adding Various Sounds

If you want add some sound effects, you can choose them from the sound bin or load them from the source viewer. Be sure to adjust the in-points and out-points of any new material before you put them in the timeline.

There are now two alternate steps for you to take when creating a multi-track sequence in Avid Media Composer. The first is through visual patching, and the second one is through splicing and overwriting.

 Step 3: Visual Patching

Imagine that your timeline area is one giant pyramid, and the audio clips are on different levels. The one at the top is usually the main audio clip, with the audio clips below being obscured. However, you can alternate their playing time by visually patching your tracks if you click, hold and snap the chosen clip to the beginning of the timeline. That way, you can listen to them being played in sequence.

Step 4: Use the "Splice and Overwrite" Command

The "Source" and "Record" side of an audio clip is usually placed side-by-side, so if you were to place a sound effect, then edit the timeline, deactivate the other tracks and use the "Overwrite" command, you'd notice that the sound effect actually gets patched and recorded in the nearest audio clip. What you will hear is the sound effect instead of the audio clips, and of course that of the patched audio clip. It is the same process when dealing with audio clips in general; for example, you can connect Audio Clip 1 to Audio Clip 5 so that they bypass the other audio clips and are the only tracks you'll get to hear.

You might ask why the other tracks were de-activated. It is because they might interfere with the proper sequencing of the two tracks involved. Be sure that you know when to de-activate the right tracks, however, as this can affect the overall quality of the sequence in your Avid Media Composer.

It's generally the same steps for video tracks. All you have to do is either visually patch them or use the "Splice and Overwrite" command to create your multitrack sequence properly. After you're finished, you can begin to view your latest creation.