Patching and Auto-Patching in Avid Media Composer

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In this tutorial you will learn what patching is and how to use the Auto-Patching feature in Avid Media Composer. Patching is an essential skill for a video editor while Avid Media Composer’s Auto-Patching feature saves you time.

What is Patching in Video Editing and Avid

Most video editing programs, or NLEs, use a form of patching when editing a clip into the timeline. When you load a clip into the Source Monitor, you’ll notice on the left side of the timeline where the tracks are listed, new tracks appear to the left of the usual timeline tracks. These additional tracks represent the clip in the Source Monitor.

Patching inside of Avid Media Composer and most NLEs, is when you decide which track from the Source side is going to get edited into on the Record side (the timeline tracks).

Avid Media Composer Timeline patching V1 on Source side to V2 on Record side
Patch the Source side clip to the track on the Record side to determine which track it gets edited onto

In the example in the video, the clip in the Source Monitor has one video track (V1) and two audio tracks (A1 and A2). You can patch the tracks to different ones. V1 from the Source side does not have to go to V1 on the Record side. It can go to V4 or V24!

To patch the clip to the appropriate tracks, you can click on the Source side track then with the mouse held down drag it to the level on the Record side. When you let go of the mouse the Source side track will jump to the new track.

Note: if it’s labeled V1, it’s going to remain named V1. It’s just now going to be located next to V4 on the Record side if you want to use the example from the video.

Then once the Source side is patched to the appropriate tracks and your in and out points are set, edit the clip into the timeline.

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Auto-Patching in Avid Media Composer

Avid Media Composer has a feature called Auto-Patching. I find it extremely useful in my editing sessions. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say only track V1 is selected. Now you deselect it then select V4. With Auto-Patching turned on, the Source side clip’s V1 will jump up and patch to V4 automatically (hence the name “auto-patching”). You never have to take your fingers off of the keys to patch.

If Auto-Patching is not turned on for you or if you want to disable it, this is what you do:

Start by right-clicking an empty area in the timeline. A menu will appear. Go to Timeline Settings…

Timeline menu when it is right-clicked with Timeline Settings... highlighted
Right-click an empty area in the timeline and then select Timeline Settings…

In that menu. A box will now pop up with two tabs — Display and Edit. Go to the Edit tab. Then check the Auto-Patching box to turn it on or uncheck it to turn it off. Click OK in the box. That’s it!

Timeline Settings with Auto-Patching feature setting circled
Check or uncheck the box next to Auto-Patching to enable or disable it

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If you’ve read this tutorial and you still can’t figure it out, please leave a comment and I’ll do what I can to help troubleshoot it. But if you can now know what patching and Auto-Patching are and can turn Auto-Patching on in Avid Media Composer, I hope you stick around and check out some of the other Avid Media Composer tutorials on my website or consider signing up to get notified about new blog posts and happenings around EVF.

– Josh

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