Nowadays I shoot most of my sit-down interviews with two cameras. As a result I do a lot of multicam editing. A lot. And the good news is that multicam just got better in the latest version of Avid Media Composer 8.6.1

I still recall thinking it was serious voodoo the first time I synced up the footage from two cameras, dropped a group clip into the sequence and then proceeded to fly through a 20min interview like it was a live cut...hit play, then hit cam 1, cam 2, cam 1 on the keyboard. Done! It was cool, but it took me a while to get the footage from those two cameras synced up frame accurately before I could fly into the cut. And while I've gotten very proficient at spotting matching audio waveforms or visual cues, it is still a tedious exercise to set up a multicam edit session manually. And "tedious" soon turns into "pain-in-the-ass" as soon as you deal with longer footage clips that import as spanned sets.

Well, the latest version of Media Composer will now happily do all that for you.

Step 1: Import the footage from all your camera sources, in this case a primary interview shot and a secondary shot from a camera on a slider. Don't worry about neat and tidy housekeeping, just drop it all into that bin.

Step 2: Next select all the clips (both cameras) and create a new group clip. When asked how you want to sync up your footage, choose the new option Waveform Analysis and watch the magic as Media Composer scans all your footage and match your shots up with perfect frame accuracy, much quicker and efficiently than you ever could by hand. 

Step 3: Now drop that new group clip into your sequence, hit play and then cut the interview in real time from your keyboard multicam keys.

Voila! "Quick" just became "Quick and effortless". As with most things Avid-related I'm sure there are a few more ways to do this that I'm yet to discover, but this workflow has now worked perfectly for two very urgent projects.