The next task is to start laying up your clips, or cues or segments or whatever
you prefer to call them. You will see in the Timeline that there is an extra
track labelled V for video at the top. Remember that you are working an integrated
system now. Lower down is the Universe Bar which shows the entire duration of
the project. Clicking here locates the system instantly, audio and video. To
spot effects, say, just drag them over from the list of clips to the cursor,
level with the track you want them to appear on. You will find that clips are
‘magnetically’ attracted to the cursor, to their start, end or sync
points. Spotting is absolutely intuitive and a clever chimp could do it, for
a banana, without looking at the manual. You won’t be able to see from
Figure 2, but I can assure you, that the eight numbers down the left represent
the eight outputs. You actually have twenty-four tracks to play with and you
can see that audio tracks A1 to A8 have been allocated to the outputs in a way
that the operator presumably found most convenient. These could have been any
combination of A1 to A24. As you would expect, tracks can be muted and soloed,
and you can also select a single track for scrubbing. Scrubbing is done with
the mouse, and although I’m not a fan of mouse operated scrubbing I will
say that this is the most responsive system I have tried yet. I could soon get
used to it I am sure.
AudioVision has a full range of hard disk editing tricks. You can insert segments
into tracks and have the following segments ripple down, extending the track.
Or you can insert a segment into a gap in the track and have every other segment
stay in place. You can group tracks together so whatever you do to one is done
to all the others. You can cut, crossfade, lift out segments, move from one
track to another etc etc. Looping? Just draw a box the length you would like
the loop to be and AudioVision can fill it using your chosen clip. Another useful
trick is the ability to ‘reach through’ the graphic to the underlying
audio on the disk. Suppose you had a segment on the screen and it started and
finished in the right places relative to the picture, but it didn’t fade
in and out from the preceding and subsequent segments as smoothly as you would
like. Maybe you hadn’t edited it accurately enough in the first place.
This is no problem since you can just click the appropriate icon and you can
slide the audio forwards or backwards without changing the segment shown on
the display. One slight surprise is that double clicking on a segment doesn’t
play it. That would have seemed a very obvious thing to me, but if you want
to play a single segment you must locate to it, solo the track and then play
it. Avid should think again about this.
I mentioned earlier that the file system of AudioVision is specifically adapted
to audio work and you don’t have to make do with the normal Mac file handling.
This extends to the provision of an ‘Attic’ where all your work throughout
the progress of the project is stored. Every time you save, the whole project
is stored in the Attic and stamped with the date and time, an the most recent
100 saves are retained before the cleaner comes and throws out the dusty old
ones. So suppose for some reason you have to break off work on a project and
hand it over to an assistant who makes a pig’s ear of it. You can look
in the attic and find the last version you saved before you left for that more
important task and reinstate it exactly as it was. You may think this is the
ultimate in undo capability, but you have an Undo command as well in the Edit
menu, with up to thirty levels.