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Slow Motion Speed Ramp with Avid Xpress

Creating a 'speed ramp' effect with Avid Xpress can be a little tricky. Especially since you must create all speed changes directly within the Source Window.


This tutorial will walk you through on how to change the speed of a clip at a certain point, and then return to its original speed. Before, you begin I reccomend that you create an entirely new Avid sequence and practice this exercise using a single clip.

The first step is to edit a single clip directly to the Avid timeline. Pick a clip that has some motion in it. Park the blue position indicator at the point in the the timeline where you would like the speed of the clip to change.

Since Avid Xpress only allows you to perform speed changes in the Source Window, you will then need to perform a 'match frame' function.


*It might be a good idea to use the 'Tools - Command Palette' menu to map the match frame command to a key on your keyboard.

After pressing the 'match frame' button, the frame in the source window should match the exact frame in your record window.


In the source window, you should already have an in-point that matches the same frame on the record side. Mark an out point in the source window for the area that you want to slow down or speed up.


Click the motion effect icon for the pull down menu. *Depending what version of Avid software you are running, the Motion Effect Icon may be located directly beneath the source window.


The Motion effect interface window will appear. Type in a speed percentage value to create your new motion effect. To speed up a clip, type in a value that is greater than 100%. Make sure you choose 'interpolated field' for the render method. The Avid will now create a new motion effect clip that is automatically loaded into your source window. A copy is also placed in your active bin.


*If you change your mind, and you want to experiment with a different value, you must re-load the original master clip back into the Source Window to create a new motion effect clip. You cannot slow down an exisiting motion effect clip.

Next, press the 'Overwrite' or 'Splice' button to drop your new motion effect clip into the timeline. As long as your position indicator stayed at it's original spot, the clips in the timeline should have matching action.


If you have some media left over at the end of your sequence, you can simply ignore it for the time being.

The last step is to match back to the clip at its original speed. Park at the last frame of the slow motion segment in your timeline. *This trick here is that you will press the match frame button twice. First to match back to the original motion clip, and then to match back to the original master clip.


Then press the 'red overwrite' button to edit the original clip back into the timeline.


Your timeline should now look like this, with the slow-motion clip edited in the center of your original clip with matching action on both ends.


Unfortunately, when creating motion effects, the Avid will not slow down the sound. You'll need to do this manually using Avid's Audio Suite Plugin. Follow that tutorial to continue with the steps on learning how to use the 'time compression expansion' audio suite plugin.

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Mapping Menu commands to an Avid Keyboard was the previous entry in this blog.

Top Keyboard Shortcuts for Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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