Category Archives: Avid Media Composer

Using the Source Browser Window in Avid Media Composer

The Source Browser Window allows you to preview video content before bringing it into a Bin.

This Tutorial will show you how to:
– Create Favorites to access commonly used Directory paths
– Preview Media before linking to it
– Transcode Linked files for better system performance
– Linking to media from Multiple Folders

Check out this video tutorial!

Using The Source Browser Window – Avid Media Composer

Bin Layouts in Avid Media Composer

A relatively new feature in Media Composer is the ability to create Bin Layouts with the ability to save them to a shortcut key.

Media Composer Bin Layouts. Click image to play ‘Avid Bin Layout video tutorial.
Example of Bin Layout in Avid Media Composer.

Mastering Bin Layouts can speed up your workflow. A Bin Layout gives you the ability for the following:

  • Save the location of all your Bin Containers (including across multiple screens)
  • It remembers the number of Bin Tabs within each Bin Container
  • The arrangement of Bins with a Bin Container (see screenshot below)
  • You can create shortcut buttons that can be mapped to a toolbar
  • You can map your Bin Layouts to a shortcut key on your keyboard.
Two Bin Tabs within one Media Composer Bin Container
Example of Bin Layouts within Avid Media Composer

To Map a Bin Layout to a keyboard shortcut, or a button to a toolbar:

– Navigate to the Command Palette.
– Click on the Workspace Tab.
– Change W1 to your first saved Bin Layout (BL1)

Configure W1 (Workspace) to first Saved Layout
Drag Bin Layout to Keyboard

Now you can press a single button, or a keyboard shortcut to automatically map all your Bin Containers to a specific area within Avid Media Composer’s background panel.

For other great tips like this, and/or if you are interested in becoming an Certified Avid Media Composer Specialist , visit

Media Composer Matte Keys

It’s easy to clone areas of a video image by creating a Matte Key within Avid Media Composer.

YouTube Tutorial for Creating Matte Keys in Media Composer

Watch this Media Composer tutorial on how to create a Matte Key.

To start, select a clip segment in the timeline and then hold down the option/alt key and press the Up Arrow Twice.

Media Composer Shortcut Skin

This will duplicate the clip segment on top of itself two times.

Three Duplicate Avid Media Composer Layers

Next, make sure the V3 track is turned on, and the Monitor Icon is placed onto the V3 Track.

V3 Monitor Icon

Navigate to Effects Palette and find the Paint Effect with the Image Category.

Image – Paint Effect

Place the Paint Effect onto the V3 Segment within your sequence.

Media Composer Paint Effect on V3 Segment

Then enter into Effects Mode. This will bring forward the Effects Editor Window.

Media Composer Effects Editor Mode Icon

Navigate to the Effect Editor Window and click on the Poly Tool.

Media Composer PolyTool within Effect Editor Window

Change the Color of the Poly Tool Mask from Red to Black

Matte Color

Draw a black mask around area to be cloned.

Using the Poly Tool within MC Paint Effect

Then, click on the reduce button in the right corner (or CMD/CTRL K) so you can see outside to visible picture area within the Composer Window.

Navigate back to the Effect Editor Window and click on the Rectangle Tool. Change the color of the Rectangle Tool to White. Draw a white square around the entire visible picture area.

Draw White Mask

After you Draw the Mask, it will cover over the Black Shape that you made earlier. Click on the Send Backward button within the Effect Editor Window

Send Backward

The end result with be a Black and White Matte.

Navigate back to the Effect Palette, and find the AniMatte Effect within the Key Category.

AniMatte Effect in Media Composer

Hold down the ALT/OPTION key and drag the AniMatte effect onto the clip segment that’s on V3.

Alt/Option Drag AniMatte Effect

The last step is to resize your Matte within the Composer Window. That’s it!

Resize Matte Key

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

MC Color Correction – Animate

One of the great features of Avid Media Composer is the ability to create animated masks.

Click on this link for a YouTube Tutorial on how to create a quick mask by duplicating a clip segment within Media Composer.

Or, read the text/image based tutorial below.

Animate Effect in Avid Media Composer Tutorial

Start by duplicating a clip segment layer by holding down the option/alt key and pressing the UP ARROW key. That will duplicate the clip segment on V1 onto V2.

Duplicate Clip Segment – Avid Media Composer

Then, command click on the V2 Monitor Icon to Solo the Layer.

Command Click on Monitor Icon to Solo the Track

Drag the Animate Effect from the Effect Palette onto the V2 Clip Segment

Media Composer Effect Palette – Animate Effect

Then enter into Effects Mode.

Media Composer Effects Mode

Next, click on the Reduce Icon to zoom out of the visible area within the Record Side of the Composer Window.

Zoom Out of Visible Area of Composer Window – Record Side

Click on the Rectangle Tool within the Effect Editor Window.

Rectangle Tool within Effect Editor Window

Draw a Rectangle Mask around the water area and adjust the vertical feathering to hid the hard edge of the masked area.

Double click on the Animate Effect located on the Clip Segment within the timeline. The Timeline will expand with 2 additional tracks. This is called expanded nesting.

Within the Effect Palette, navigate to the Image Category and look for the Color Effect.

Color Effect within Avid MC

Drag the Color Effect onto the V1.2 track which is nested within the V1 track.

Nest Color Effect into Animate Effect

Then, adjust the blue parameter within the Color Gain category.

Adjust Color Gain for Blue

You can now umute the V2 track and place the monitor icon icon the V1 track.

Monitor V1 Track

That’s it!, now you have an isolated matte (mask) where you can adjust the color of the shape independently from the rest of the video segment.

Final Result of Color Correction Mask

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel, or consider taking an Avid Certified Media Composer Course.

Media Composer 3 way Color Correction

With Media Composer Ultimate, is easy to isolate colors and/or change color hues without having to export to DaVinci Resolve, After Effects, or another third party software product.

Here’s is the YouTube Video for this Media Composer Color Correction Tutorial. If you enjoy this tutorial, please subscribe to our Media Composer YouTube Channel.

Media Composer Three Way Color Correction

Edit a clip to a new sequence that has an area of Color that you would like to protect or change.

Then, start by click off to the right side of the screen by clicking on the Pre-Built Color Correction Workspace.

Color Correction Workspace

Then, click on the Secondary Color Correction Tab (Sec).

Next, click on the Input Vector Color Icon

Then, use the ‘Vector Icon Stabber’ to select an initial color of a hue area that you would like to change.

Select Reference Color Using Vector Color Icon

You may notice, it selects only a small range of color. Don’t worry. This next step is to click on the Add Color to Input Vector Icon.

Add Color to Input Vector Icon.

Click on nearby areas using the Add Input Vector Dropper until you’re happy with the selection.

Add Additional Color Ranges using Input Vector Dropper

If you need to remove Color Ranges, use the Subract Color from Input Vector

Subtract Color From Input Vector

By default Avid Media Composer will isolate the selected color range, which means the rest of the image will be black/white.

Isolated Color Range Result

Uncheck the Isolate Color Check Box

Isolate Color Checkbox

Now you can adjust the Output Vector to a different Hue, while persevering the rest of the video image.

Adjust Output Vector of Selected Color Range

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel, or consider taking an Avid Certified Media Composer Course.

Media Composer 2020.6

Avid Releases Media Composer 2020.6 on June 24th.

For all the brave souls using Avid’s new optimized Media Composer software, you may want to check out the latest update! Make sure you read the latest Avid MC Readme file before installing.

The latest version mostly consists of fixes and patches. You can read all the new features in Avid Media Composer 2020.6 by visiting Avid’s website.

There are a couple of new features that seasoned Avid Editor’s will enjoy which include:

  • The ability to Dock the ‘settings’ window to other interface windows. Hurray! another time saver! For those of you new to Avid’s new 2020 interface, the old ‘project’ window is called the ‘settings window’.
Media Composer Settings Tab
  • It’s now much easier lasso multiple clips when you are in frame view. The bin will automatically scroll down if you have additional clips that don’t fit within the window size.

For upgrades like this, I recommend that you download updates directly from Avid’s Download Center instead of using Avid Link. Avid’s download center provides access to previous versions in case you need to uninstall and go back to a previous version.

If you’re interested in learning the new Avid Media Composer 2020.6 Interface, and/or becoming a certified Media Composer user, please give me a call directly at 866-566-1881. -John (Certified Avid Trainer for 25 years)


There are many FREE or affordable audio plugins that can be used with Pro Tools and/or Avid Media Composer. One plug-in in particular is the Pro Tools BX_SubFilter.

Look for more tips and tricks like this, as GeniusDV now offers Certified Pro-Tools training that can be done remotely! Training sessions are conducted in a LIVE one-on-one environment.

Polishing up your mix’s low end can be tricky. Bass DI tracks can sound mushy, and kick tracks can lose their “Smack” Sometimes everything below 100Hz can become such an undifferentiated soup of noise that you just don’t know where to start! Why not start here ?

The free Pro Tools bx_subfilter is just the ticket for adding clarity and definition to tracks that have troublesome low frequencies. There are lots of expensive and complicated EQ plugins, but when it comes to controlling your low end, the bx_subfilter is unique for its ease and simplicity.

With just a few quick adjustments to its four-knob interface, you can breathe new life into those 808s that have been muddying your mix.

I use it on drum busses to control the monster drum sounds i create, this plug in is awesome! – Derek Hughes – Avid Certified Pro Tools Instructor.


Don’t forget that most Pro Tools plugins are directly compatible within Avid Media Composer. In Avid MC, they will show up within your Audio Track Effects. The same license will work with both Pro Tools and Media Composer assuming you have Avid MC and Pro-Tools installed on the same system.

Media Composer Blend Modes

Check out this short tutorial on how to use Blend Modes within Avid Media Composer!

If you want to experiment with a graphic that has an Alpha Channel, you can download the GeniusDV logo.

Click on Image and/or Link and then right click to save GeniusDV Logo with Alpha Channel

If you are new to the concept of blending modes, there are some great websites that explain in great detail on how powerful blending modes can be.

Blending modes were traditionally geared towards working with still images. However, they provide some amazing capabilities when used with video clips.

For compositing modes to work, you need some cool backgrounds that will affect the blend of the two video layers. Footage of Fire, Water, Clouds, and Lights make for great composites as a base layer.

You can download a Free Media Composer AVX Blending Mode plug-in that provides real-time blending modes within Avid Media Composer. There are no strings attached. Click on the link above and install the plugin.

After you install the Blending Mode AVX plug-in, make sure you restart Avid Media Composer.

I’ve tested the plugin with several versions of Avid Media Composer, including up until the 2020.4 beta.In the Blending Mode Tutorial, I’m using a graphic with an Alpha Channel. However, you can use any graphic and/or foreground to blend with a layer below it.

 It’s easy to create dynamic effects using blending modes in Avid Media Composer.

Take a basic logo and turn it into something like this….. with just a few clicks.

A blending mode provides effect options for how a base layer,  is affected from a layer directly below it. Blending modes requires at least two video layers.

Edit any two clips directly on top of each other. Make sure the V2 sequence record track and the V2 Monitor Icon are both turned on in the timeline.

Two Video Tracks are Required with V2 track enabled along with Monitor Icon.

Next, drag the blend-x effect onto the V2 track. You can use either Blend X Generic, or Blend-X Alpha Advanced.

Use Blend-X Alpha Advanced if you are working with a graphic that contains an Alpha Channel. An Alpha channel means that your graphic or video clip contains areas that are transparent.

However, for this tutorial, DON’T worry, just edit ANY two clips directly on top of each other.

In General, Alpha Channels are shown as a checkerboard pattern that shows the transparent area.

If you’re not familiar with Alpha Channels, consider taking any Avid GeniusDV video editing course, and we will walk you through the process.

Navigate to the Tools menu and select the Effect Palette. Look for the Blend X category under the filters tab.

From the effect palette, drag the Blend-X Generic or Advanced plugin onto the clip segment that on V2.

Then click on the effect editor icon at the top of the timeline window. The icon looks like a pair of ‘seatbelts’.

Effect Editor Button

This will launch the Effect Editor Window.

Within the Effect Editor Window, choose a blend mode. In this example, I chose Darken.

Choose a Blend Mode – Darken

NOTE: If you are using a graphic with an alpha channel on V2, make sure you choose Alpha Matte from the Alpha Processing area.

Choose Alpha Matte from the Alpha Processing area within the Effect Editor Window

That’s it! It’s that simple. Here’s a still from the final result.

Final Result Using Blend Mode – Darken within Avid Media Composer

Media Composer Window Font Sizes

If you’re new to Media Composer 2019.X, there is a new feature where you can adjust fonts and font sizes for each individual primary Media Composer Windows.

You can now adjust the font type and size for The Composer Window, The Timeline Window, and the Bin Container Window.

So for example, I recently upgraded Avid Media Composer System, and the fonts were too small to read within timeline window.

Super Small Fonts within Avid Media Composer Timeline
  • Select a primary Media Composer Window.
  • Navigate to the Windows Menu and Select Sent Font
  • Choose a new Font (i.e, Arial) and a Font Size
Set Font Size for Media Composer Window
Set Font Type and Size for Avid Media Composer Timeline Window
Adjusted Font Sizes for Media Composer Timeline

Thanks to Avid for implementing features like this that don’t seem like much. But believe me, some time the most simple features go a long way in terms of improving efficiency.

Media Composer bin container

Learn the basics of using Bin Containers within Avid Media Composer.

Basic Introduction to Media Composer Bain Container

This tutorial video is a super basic introduction to using a bin container with Media Composer.

Here are a a couple of key features that may be foreign to even the most seasoned Avid user that hasn’t had the opportunity to upgrade to MC 2019

  • The is no longer a project window within Avid Media Composer
  • The Bin container is now the heart of of the software. You must always have at least one bin container open.
  • You can have multiple bin containers, but they are essentially clones of each other. This concept may seem odd. However, multiple bin containers may be useful for different container ‘views’
  • Also, it’s critical to understand the difference between dragging a floating window into the main interface panel, vs another window that already has a tab. So, that’s why I’ve reinforced the concept of holding down the alt/option key when dragging a floating panel into another window.

Hold down the ALT/OPTION key to attach multiple tabs to the same window. You will end up with something like this:

Multiple Tabs within ONE single bin container

If you don’t hold down the ALT/OPTION key when re-attaching to windows that already have a tab. You end up with something like this:

Multiple Windows INSIDE the same container

I’ve been using Avid Media Composer full time since 1992. I can see how this new interface will take seasoned Avid Editors awhile to get used to. The new Avid 2019 interface now looks more like DaVinci Resolve and Premiere.