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Workflow improvement #1

Today I want to show you a little workflow tip which can help you speed up the editing process. It’s very easy, and based on the fact that everybody is faster if there is no need to change the hand’s position during editing.

Disclaimer: this is only one method of doing things, not a definitive guide.

Scenario: we have many clips on one or more tracks, and those clips needs to be edited as they need fade ins/outs, occasional trims hear or there and maybe some other things.

Note that the keyboard focus (the tiny az button) must be on!

Our right hand stays on the mouse/trackball (left-handed people use their other hand obviously) and our left is on the keyboard just as if we would like to type, so your pointing finger should be on letter f. If you positioned it right your fingers now cover the letters a,s,d,f.

Now select the first clip you want to edit. Select it with a mouse click or with the keyboard (ctrl+tab). And this is where the fun begins.

Now, we can trim the clip or make fade in/out with the mouse, but we can also use the keyboard for that, this is why the proper left hand position is important. Trim with a=trim start or s=trim end. Select the point for the fade inside the clip and hit d or g depending on your needs (d=fade from start, g=fade to end). If you need to see more detail, because of your left hand position, you have multiple options.

You can easily reach the zoom presets from 1 to 5, or hit e=zoom toggle, or use the r=zoom out or t=zoom in. A slower but viable method is to hit F5=zoom tool which you can still reach easily and use the mouse to select the area you want to zoom in.

Tip: Select a clip with your mouse, hit e=zoom toggle, zoom in even more with t=zoom in, make your trim and fade in, select the clip again with your mouse and hit w=centre tl end so you can see the end of your clip in the zoomed-in position. Make the trim and fade you want, hit e to switch off zoom toggle so you can see everything again.

Need to change editing modes? No problem. If you still have your left hand in position (which you should of course), then you can easily reach the editing mode keys: F1=shuffle, F2=slip, F3=spot, F4=grid.

With this hand position we can reach many highly used things already, but there’s even more we can do. Just take a look at your keyboard. You reach the tab and some basic editing shortcuts z=undo, x=cut, c=copy, v=paste, b=separate and n=insertion follows playback.

Tip: When you have a clip selected and zoomed-in into high detail, you can check the head and tail of the clip with q=centre tl start and w=centre tl end. After the quick check hit alt+f to see the whole clip.

And the most obvious I haven’t mentioned yet is the spacebar for play/stop.

Tip: if you need to find something, many times it is very useful to hear the material at a slower speed. Hit shift+spacebar to initiate the half speed playback so you might spot the problem easier.

That’s all for today, but before I let you go, never forget to hit cmd+s to save your job. Enjoy!