Avid AudioVision Sound to Picture Editor (part 4)
Almost all manufacturers of hard disk systems have some sort of scrolling track display, and they all give it a different name. Perhaps some charitable person could organise a poll of users and find what terminology they would prefer for all the elements and concepts found in hard disk editing systems and then we might have the consistency that many of us long for. Avid call their track display the Timeline and it works pretty much in the way you would expect. Ill have to mention one disappointment now - the scrolling of the display is very slow. There is an obvious reason for this since the Mac is already working hard displaying the moving picture, it can only do so much in the time available to it. Compared to DARs Sabre which runs perfectly smoothly and is locked tight to the audio, Avids display positively staggers along. I dont see what Avid can do to remedy this except to wait for for the next generation of Apple computers which promise to be very much faster than the current state of the art. I would say however, that although I think it is important to hear a sound and see its corresponding graphic pass beneath the cursor at exactly the same time, the provision of the moving picture probably means that youll spend more time looking at that and less at the other parts of the display. Perhaps youll only look at the Timeline when the audio isnt playing. I think you should try it yourself and see what you think. One good point (of many) is that the segments move from right to left so that the text shown on them reads in the correct order from one segment to the next.
The first thing you will want to do with your new AudioVision is capture some audio and video, as Avid put it, as if they are some new species of wild animals. Using conventional equipment the video may be handled simply by putting the Beta SP tape into the machine and transferring the audio across to the hard disk. At first thought it may seem like an extra process to have to transfer video onto AudioVisions disk, but you can in fact copy the audio tracks and the video at the same time. You would only lose time in the transfer if there was no audio material on the video tape that you intended to use, and you would save that many times over later on because you dont have to shuttle tape any more. Once you have some audio in the system then you may want to edit the cues before laying them up. Figure 3 shows the cue editing tool which to me looks neat and friendly. The three scrubable markers you can see show the beginning and end of the cue, and also a sync point. Of course when you edit the cue you are able to leave the original audio intact on the hard disk so you can change the position of these points later if you wish. Looking back at Figure 2 you can see something of the way sounds are organised within AudioVision, which thankfully is rather more clever and task-adapted than the Macs standard file handling system. As you can see in the window on the right, all the sounds have icons which, rather quaintly, look like frames of film. The wide single frame is a master clip which is a piece of unedited audio. When you split that into cues then youll get the smaller single frames, which allow you to handle these sections separately even though they are simply reference points for the computer to pick out the cue from the original recording on the disk. When you have assembled a sequence, which may be on several tracks, then the icon is three adjacent frames. You dont really have to think very hard to see how this works, do you? Its simple and I like it.