What marriage has taught me about my NLE

I’ve been married to my wife for nearly two and a half wonderful years. I’ve been married to my NLE, Avid Media Composer, for twice that. What I’ve learned over that time is that the two relationships are fairly similar. I’m going to explain to you how lessons learned through your significant other directly relate to how you should work with your NLE.

How's your relationship with your NLE? Photo by Christopher Michel on Wikimedia Commons
How’s your relationship with your NLE?
Photo by Christopher Michel on Wikimedia Commons

Learn and Observe

In any relationship there is a learning curve. A man or woman never writes a user’s manual for himself or herself. That’s where you have an advantage with your NLE. Everything you need to know about it is right in front of you!

When I began editing on Avid Media Composer I had zero idea of what I was doing. None. I sat there for hours trying to figure out why I couldn’t click a clip in the timeline and move it (this was pre-Smart Tool). Then one day digging around my edit bay I found the software manual. I took it home and after a couple weeks had read the entire thing. This didn’t mean I knew everything about it but it did give me a huge heads up because I knew what it could and couldn’t do.

I have learned over the years to observe when I do things that may not bother me but bother my wife, i.e. picking at my nails, leaving my socks everywhere, etc. While I still do these things I know they could set her off. I limit these behaviors the best I can. The same goes with your NLE. My current laptop “gets angry” at me sometimes when I drag and drop multiple files into a bin from Finder to import. This is a wonderful time-saving feature but there’s a small percentage chance that Avid will freeze so I no longer do this. I listened to what I was doing that “shouldn’t be a big deal” and changed my behavior. Yes, it might take me 5 seconds longer to import some clips but Avid no longer crashes from this.

Spend Time With It

Spending time together is the best way to build a relationship with your significant other or NLE. One college summer my wife, then girlfriend, and I both had killer commutes. She lived further out and would pick me up in the morning and we’d take the HOV lanes in during rush hour. She’d go to work in Arlington and I’d metro the rest of the way into DC. This summer we got to spend a ton of time together, stuck in a car in traffic nearly everyday. I’m positive our relationship would have made it without this time together but it greatly help strengthen us as a couple. We got to be grouchy together in the mornings and tired together in the evenings.

The circumstances around when I started using Avid allowed me a similar situation. I was able to be on it nearly as much as I wanted. This was usually 30+ hours a week. I understand you might not be able to use your NLE this much, especially if this is something you are picking up on the side, but the main thing I want you to take away is that you need to use it frequently. Try to use it everyday if you can. It’s okay to miss a day here or there when you are learning but try not to let two or three days pass. This weakens your bond. Time + Frequency = A strong relationship with your NLE.


As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed presents are harder and harder to come by. Grand parents stop getting you birthday presents. Mailing gifts to your siblings is expensive for Christmas so “you’ll get it when you come visit on day.” No big deal – this doesn’t upset me in the least bit. What brightens me up is that my wife goes overboard on me (and I try to follow suit). Our mutual over-giving makes us both happy.

You can give and receive presents with your NLE too. Give yourself new things to edit and try out different features. This way you dig deeper into the software and your editing abilities. You never know what you’ll find, just like receiving a present.

How’s your relationship going?

Learn and observe your NLE. Spend as much time as consistently as you can with it. Give it presents. If you do that, you should have a happy relationship with whatever NLE you work on.

So how’s your relationship going with your NLE? Are you on steady ground? Do you need to spend more time with it? Are you ready to dump it and move to another NLE? Share below!

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