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Avid Media Composer Replace Edit

This is one of the most powerful editing functions within Avid Media Composer.  If you haven't used this function before, I promise you, it will improve your editing efficiency.

Before I begin, if you find this tutorial useful, please comment or share it with others. 

replace function.png

   This replace edit function is hidden, so I recommend that you map it to a keyboard shortcut, which is explained in the video below.

play_avid_tutorial.pngNavigate to the project window and click on the settings tab.  Double click on the keyboard settings.


This will bring forward the keyboard layout window.  Because of commercially available specialized keyboards, you may want to leave main default keyboard layout in its original configuration. However, there are some blank keys that are empty.  By default, the first set of function keys will be empty. 

You can also set your own keyboard settings that are unique to a user profile. To do this, click on the user profile menu at the top of the project window, and select the appropriate user.


This is also where you can export your user profile if you need to take your keyboard settings with you to put onto another system.

Okay so now, navigate to the tools menu and choose command palette.

The command palette contains a list of Media Composer functions that can be mapped to the keyboard.

You can also hold down the shift key which will give you another keyboard area with additional empty spaces.


  • Click on the edit tab within the command palette window.
  • Look for the blue replace arrow and map it to the F2 key.
  • Then look for the add-edit function, and map it to the F3 key.

map_blue_replace_ function.png

Now click on the other tab.  Another function that I recommend you map to your keyboard is the match frame function.  

Also, if you decide you want to erase a mapped function from the keyboard, drag the blank icon and drop it onto a key.


When you're done mapping your keyboard, close the keyboard and command palette windows.

Now a quick side note, especially for Mac OS X users who have an aluminum style keyboard. 

  • Navigate to the Apple menu in the upper left and select system preferences. 
  • Click on the keyboard settings.
  • Make sure the function keys are set to standard function keys, Otherwise the function keys will not work for the keyboard shortcuts.


Now, back within Avid Media Composer,  navigate to the timeline window and turn off the sequence track indicators for A1 and A2,  and turn on V1 track.

Play through the sequence and press the F3 key to the audio beat.  The add edit marks will appear after the position indicator stops.


Once that's done, you can use the replace function to replace the empty segment areas with different clips.  The replace edit function can also be found by tearing off this tool bar from within the composer window.


But remember we mapped the replace edit function to the F2 Key.  Now, the replace edit function has a special property.   It does not require in and out points.  It will automatically fill a clip segment area within a sequence for you. It uses the position indicators within the source and timeline windows as a sync position.

So by parking in the middle of any of these segment areas, and by parking in the middle of the source window, you only need to press the F2 key to make the replace edit.


The main trick to this editing method is to make sure you have enough media to the left and right of the position indicator within the source window to fill the segment area.

So now, by repeating this process, you can quickly create a montage of clips that go with the beat of the music.

Okay, fantastic!  Now you have the basics of mapping the keyboard to improve your editing efficiency.

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


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