Wish List #3 – Segment Mode

Editors using Final Cut live in segment mode all the time. Whenever you click in the timeline you’ve selected a clip and you can move it around. That feels like a convenience to Final Cut users, but to me, and to other Avid people, the “segment mode all the time” approach is hard to get used to. I tend to move around in the timeline very quickly and it’s just too easy to grab something and move it unintentionally.

But Final Cut’s segment mode was developed years after Avid’s and in some other ways, it has advantages. Given the war that both sides are engaged in, I have to guess that Avid’s engineers are considering some changes to segment mode. I hope that wholesale alterations are not being considered, but some smaller ones would certainly be nice.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Clicking in a time track should not turn off segment mode.
    Some people like this feature, but Xpress doesn’t work this way and after cutting a show with it, I have to say I like it better. Sometimes you just want to leave segment mode on for awhile and with MC there’s no way to do that. It should be a preference.
  2. Make sync locks work properly in segment mode.
    Sync locks are supposed to prevent you from throwing your sequence out of sync. I leave them on all the time, because they make trimming so much easier. But sometimes they break down in segment mode, and when they do, you have to turn them off to do what you want to do.
  3. Insert black into the middle of a complex cut.
    If I want to open up room in the middle of a complex sequence to add a shot, I’ve got to add an edit in the middle of a clip, insert black, and then drag all the pieces back together. Final Cut allows you to select all clips to the right or left and then drag them. This makes it much easier, but it takes a certain kind of nerve to drag every clip in your sequence just to open up a little space somewhere. Avid’s trim mode lets you trim and add black at the same time (control+option+drag). That’s a great idea, but it was implemented so that you don’t actually add black, you trim material away and replace it with black. That never makes sense to me. I simply want to go from this:
    to this:
    It ought to be a lot easier to do.
  4. Slip or slide into sync
    It’s not strictly segment mode, but it sure would be nice if we could option click on an out of sync clip to either slip it or slide it into sync. You can do this in FCP and when you’re moving stuff around in the timeline, it would be very helpful.
  5. Linked selection.
    Finally, in FCP, you click on a picture clip and if it’s associated with sync audio, the audio gets selected too. The problem is that you have to turn linking on globally and that tends to tie your hands. Avid could easily do much the same thing, but in a simpler and more practical way. If you held down a modifier key while selecting a clip, nearby sync audio or video would be selected at the same time.

That’s it. Like I said, Avid’s segment mode generally works quite well. With a few little improvements it could be even better.

Explore posts in the same categories: Avid, Avid vs. Final Cut, Avid Wish List & Bugs

4 Comments on “Wish List #3 – Segment Mode”

  1. Travis Says:

    What can we do to “mobilize” and get Avid to take these ideas seriously? I feel like they are still trying to make things work that have been working well in other editors for years. I’d be interested in hearing their plans for the future.

  2. Martin Baker Says:

    You can do number 5 request on FCP already – If you prefer to work with linked selection disabled then Option-clicking on linked video clip will select its associated audio clip.

    Option-clicking just temporarily flips the state of the linked selection so it works the other way too – with Linked Selection enabled, option-clicking only selects the clip you clicked on.

  3. Harry Miller Says:

    I have two things that would improve my work experience.
    1.) Rendering should be done in the background, allowing you to do other Avid tasks. Processing power has improved this roadblock, but it still stops you in your tracks when you have a long VFX, or a timecode / feet and frames burn in.
    2.) I love working with audio. Avid has updated the EQ’s to have a graphical interface which is a huge improvement. I’d like to see this type of interface applied to the other audio plug-ins.
    There are a couple of bugs that Avid has never fixed: you can’t change the default font in the title tool, and if you add a font (on a PC) to your system, the bin fonts in the Avid all change. Mine all changed to a font called Samarkan which is as readable as heiroglyphs.

  4. Harry Miller Says:

    Another feature I’d like to see in Avid (currently in FCP)

    Search: I’m working on a television show with 6 workstations attached. An assistant imported a song thinking it was for episode 4. But I needed it for episode 2. When he wasn’t around, I had no idea where the master clip existed, nor what media drive (Unity) it was on. Avid can’t do a local / workstation search. And I was having problems with the Media Tool crashing the system.

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