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Avid Media Composer Overwrite Edit

This lesson focuses on the basic fundamentals of using the overwrite edit function within Avid Media Composer.  Learn how to avoid 'insufficient content' errors while using the overwrite edit function.

play_avid_tutorial.pngIt's best that you learn the Avid Keyboard Shortcuts when editing within Avid Media Composer.  Use the 'B' key on the keyboard as instead of using the buttons within the Media Composer interface.


One of the most common editing functions in Avid Media Composer is the overwrite edit.

Here’s how it works.

Instead of dragging a clip to the timeline, you can press this red overwrite button.

In doing so, it will edit the clip from the source window into a sequence.

Okay, let me load another clip into the source window.

You can also mark in and out points within the source window before pressing the red overwrite button.

The distance between these in and out points is indicated in the upper middle portion of the composer window.

So now when I press the red overwrite button, only this section will be edited to the sequence.

Okay, let me find another clip to use.

This time, I’m not going to mark any in or out points.

In doing so, if you do place the position indicator at a point where you want to start.

The Avid will use the position indicator as the in point and the last frame of the clip as the out point.

So I here I go, I’ll press the overwrite button again, and the Avid will add the clip to the timeline.

Okay, let me find another clip.

Again, I’ll mark some in and out points for the area I’d like to use.

Now, the term overwrite means it will overwrite any clips within a sequence.

Assuming there aren’t any in or out points in your sequence, the Avid will use the placement of the blue position indicator as the starting point for an overwrite edit.

So, this area here is in jeopardy by being overwritten by the clip in the source window.

Also, instead of pressing the overwrite button within the composer window, you can use the keyboard shortcut B.  

So by pressing the B key, the Avid will perform an overwrite edit of (1:26 ) frames, and it will use the blue position indicator in the sequence as the starting point.

Now, can also mark in and out points for a specific area in the timeline, and the Avid will obey the marked area.

And, if you are having problems marking an exact area of a clip segment, you can press the mark clip button, or the T key on your board which will mark the clip segment for you.

Just make sure that the position indicator is parked over the clip and the correct tracks are turned on.

It’s very important that you look up here to determine how much media you will need to fill the marked area.

So for example, it says I need 1:13 frames.

Okay, let me find another clip.

When you click back into the source window, make sure the duration box matches or exceeds the marked area within the timeline.

If not, the Avid will beep at you and a dialogue box will appear indicating you have insufficient media to fill the marked area.

In this case, I’ll need to back up a bit until I reach a minimum of at least 1:13.

Then I can press the overwrite button or the B key to perform the overwrite edit.

Okay, check it out.

Now you have the basics of using the overwrite edit function.

And don’t forget, GeniusDV also offers classroom and flat rate onsite Avid Media Composer training.


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