Video: Get Up to Speed with the Best New Features in Media Composer 7

The 7th installment of Avid's powerhouse NLE, Media Composer, is an impressive upgrade to previous versions. Not only is Media Composer considerably cheaper than it has ever been, but it also takes some cues from the competing NLE's, and adds some major time-saving features that make it a better fit into many of our editing workflows. Alex Walker, an immensely talented DP, has put together a quick video showing his favorite new features in Media Composer. Check out the video and see how MC7 can save you some time:

Video is no longer available:

My favorite new feature in version 7 of Avid is definitely the ability to automate transcoding tasks, and then have those tasks run in the background while you continue to edit. In the past, if you wanted to transcode media inside of Avid, it would render the rest of the program useless while it was doing its thing. No longer. As long as your machine has the processing power to handle both the transcoding and running Avid, then you should experience a major boost in productivity.

Another significant upgrade to Media Composer 7 is with the functionality of the "Source Settings" panel. Not only have crucial settings been added for those who work natively with .R3D files inside of Avid, but for those who are working with flat log footage, it is now possible to apply various look up tables to your clips directly inside of Avid. Additionally, reframing your high-resolution footage is now much simpler with the Frame Flex tool. All of these changes are non-destructive.

You can check out the rest of the new features in Media Composer 7 on Avid's website.

What do you guys think? What are your favorite new features in Media Composer 7? What features would you like to see in future versions? Let us know in the comments!

Link: Four Minute Runthrough on Avid Media Composer and Avid Symphony -- Cinescopophilia

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While I appreciate MC being the industry standard, it's just too deep for most of the stuff I do. I gave up after realizing I couldn't nest a sequence for multicam after syncing with PluralEyes.

I gave it a shot, but I think I'll stick with Premiere for now.

August 24, 2013 at 3:43PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Yeah, MC is a powerhouse that's just designed too much for bulk footage and long films, however I can totally see when editing a feature length film how it pulls through. Premiere can get pretty messy pretty fast if you aren't seasoned with it.

August 24, 2013 at 4:09PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Agreed. I use Premiere for the bulk of my editing, but it's still lacking in the media management department (although it's definitely getting better). Avid is, and likely will continue to be, the best choice for managing massive amounts of media.

August 24, 2013 at 4:16PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom

I have been using MC for a few years now and I can honestly say that I'm not even remotely interested in Premiere or FCPX anymore. I came directly from FCP 6 and haven't looked back once. MC 7 is just the best MC has ever been. Yes, it took me quite a long time to learn the software. But with as much knowledge that is out there on the internet, I can always find a solution to whatever trouble I find myself in.

I agree with Tyler and Derik that it probably isn't for everyone, but I found that it greatly reduced the amount of time I spend editing. Once you learn all the keyboard shortcuts it really is the fastest way to cut a movie. Not to mention that I can have powerful color grading tools and compositing tools built right in. For me, I just had to get past the drag and drop mentality I had used for so long.

My favorite part of MC 7 is definitely the frame flex. Since 720p is good enough for anything I throw up on the internet, I usually shoot in 1080p and take advantage of the frame flex to crop or animate my footage. Stuff like this was possible in past versions but now it is fast and easy.

I am certainly not a complete expert at the software yet, but I am so glad I chose to go the Avid route. I wouldn't have it any other way.

August 24, 2013 at 4:26PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Andrew Spickert

I will stick to FCP 7. There is no best software out there. Just use what you have and make what you love. Citizen Kane was made without these things. Yet with all we have we cannot make a single film that beats it.

August 25, 2013 at 2:56PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I've been dyed-in-the-wool Avid since it was the only one around, but I liked FCP7 the few times I used it once I figured out the differences between the two. The problem at this point is that since it's no longer supported or developed by Apple, it's going to become more and more limited as codecs and so forth continue to evolve, and will *eventually* fail to perform properly on the mac OS. It would be nice for all y'all FCPers if Apple would sell the source code to someone who wanted to develop it, but then I guess they'd have to also admit that FCPX is...well, I'll leave it at "unpopular" ;-)

August 30, 2013 at 2:03PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

You voted '+1'.

Where is the music (in the video) from? so familiar

August 26, 2013 at 6:39AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I would like to see a quick sync capacity instead of puting files through pluraleyes or similar external software. Time change would be easy if it could be handled like I-Movies select a clip, enter a percentage and render... And finally an upgrade from just ProTools to media composer would benefit many just starting to learn like college students or recent grads forced to use FCP or Premiere in classes.
Thank for the Op. to speak up!

August 30, 2013 at 12:46AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Jon Whaley

Jon, we use timecode to quick sync in Avid. I agree that if you can't get it working on set it would be great if they could sync with waveforms. Having used avid for 12 years I wouldn't be surprised if its in there and I've never found it. Every editor here uses it differently.

August 30, 2013 at 4:02AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Oh, you kids and the need to import whilst editing.
What's the rush?
Sit back, have a coffee, pretend you're digitizing from tape - you'll be in a much better state of mind to notice that one frame makes all the difference.
Editing is a craft and a certain amount of calm is needed to get it right.
Better to get it right in more time than spend even more time correcting your mistakes - even when you're required to turn something around in no time at all.

Avid's still the daddy, even though Premiere is nice for the little jobs.

August 31, 2013 at 1:38PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM