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Avid Media Composer RTAS Audio Filters

This lesson focuses on how to use an RTAS audio filter within Avid Media Composer.
Other interesting topics in this tutorial include:

  • Using the track control panel
  • How to use a 3 way parametic equalizer
  • How to create a play loop between in-out points
  • How to move all your audio tracks or video tracks down/up a layer without having to use the segment tool.


This lesson focuses on using a type of audio filter called RTAS which stands for Real-Time Audio Suite. Each audio track in Media Composer has a solo button and a mute button. If you click the solo button on track A1, you will not hear any of the other tracks when you play the sequence. Now, if you listen carefully, there is a low frequency hum in the audio for this segment. "We had a call from fire rescue, that were three men being extricated from a manhole and all three of them were unconscious, and not breathing." You can fix this by applying an audio filter to the track. Navigate to the project window and click on purple effects icon tab. Towards the bottom of the list, you will see a list of RTAS categories. Click on the Mono EQ category. Look for the EQ3 1 Band filter, and then drag it onto the A1 track. A dialogue box will appear asking you to insert the filter into one of 5 available banks. So go ahead and select a bank. In the upper left corner of the timeline window, click on this slide arrow to reveal the track control panel. The track control panel provides access to the 5 audio filters banks for each track. There are also three buttons at the top that also affect each individual track. The waveform icon will turn on the audio waveform specific to this track. This is important because if you have a very long sequence, it can take awhile to draw the waveform for all your tracks. Next, the audio display button will turn on the various volume display options for the specific track. And this button here will de-activate the entire track, which means in addition to the track being muted, you will not be able to make level adjustments using audio mixer tool. Within the track control panel area, click on the bank that contains the RTAS filter. This will launch a dialogue box for the filter that you've applied. This particular EQ filter allows you to create a graph in order to increase or decrease specific a specific audio frequency. By pulling down an area of the graph, it will remove a specific audio frequency. Now the great thing about using an RTAS filter, is that you can play the sequence and make and hear adjustments in real time. I've found it's best to play a loop of a specific area while you make adjustments. To do this, you can press the mark clip button to mark in and out points for a segment area. Then, hold down the alt key on the keyboard and press the number 6. This will loop the marked area. So now, I'll slide the graph until the hum starts to go away. You can also narrow the range of the graph by adjusting the Q knob. Okay, that sounds a lot better. Now, keep in mind that when using an RTAS filter, any adjustments are applied to the entire track. You may encounter a situation, where you need to use an RTAS filter for a specific segment. If this happens, do the following. Hold down the alt key, and right click in the grey area of the timeline window. Choose New Add Audio track mono. Specify a track just below the track you are working on. Another box may appear telling you this track already exists. If so, press the insert button. Use the red segment smart tool to move the segment down onto its own track. Then drag the RTAS filter from the previous track into the bank for the new track. Okay, fantastic! Now you have the basics of using an RTAS audio filter. "We had a call from fire rescue, that were three men being extricated from a manhole." And don’t forget, GeniusDV also offers classroom and flat rate onsite Avid Media Composer training.

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Avid Media Composer Audio Keyframes was the previous entry in this blog.

Adobe Premiere video inside text is the next entry in this blog.

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