Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Best Way to Create Add Edits For Your Multigroups

This tutorial explains the most efficient way to create Add Edits when preparing subclips for multigrouping in Avid. Full credit goes to Rob Kraut for this tip.

Here are some reasons why you'll want to use this Add Edit technique when multigrouping:
  • Cameras will no longer shift their banks. They maintain position throughout the multigroup clip which should make both you and your editor very happy.
  • Fewer subclips (both while multigrouping and in the final laid out multigroup clip)
  • Fewer subclips to add auxiliary timecode to (to learn how you can automate applying auxiliary timecode to your subclips, click this link:
  • Fewer clips to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong
  • Save precious time!
The general consensus about multigrouping is that when preparing your subclips you need to create a sequence riddled with Add Edits at the start and stop of every single clip in your timeline.

Take this sync map before Add Edits:

And after (red lines added for emphasis):

This is an inefficient strategy. The Rob Kraut Add Edit gives you the exact same functionality with a fraction of the subclips, so instead the above timeline can look like this: 

This technique is easy to learn and once implemented will save you significant time while multigrouping. Without further ado, here is the general rule for the best way to Add Edit: 

One clip instance per camera/audio clip, per group. 

Relatively easy to say, harder to visualize.

Here again is that same timeline from earlier, the clean sync map:

Now with the Rob Kraut Add Edits:

With this technique, I am only making an Add Edit when it is necessitated by a new instance of a clip, whether it be camera 1, camera 2 or external audio. In this case, the Add Edits are mostly prompted by the trigger-happy operator of camera 2.

To make it clearer, I numbered the "groups" of clips. Avid likes its multigroup subclips in stacked, one-clip-instance-per-camera portions. You'll notice that no cameras or audio clips have multiple clip instances in any of the "groups":

To make it even clearer, here is a video that walks you through the logic behind each of the Add Edits I made in this sequence:

And that is the Rob Kraut Add Edit. 

If this was helpful to you, please share this with others who could benefit! Thanks! 

For a comprehensive multigrouping tutorial please check out this page by Tim Leavitt:

As well as this excellent multigrouping video tutorial by Vincent Rocca:


  1. I think a video would be great of this because myself and many other AE's are not wrapping our heads around this.

    We already only do add edits the the head of any new instance BUT that means you would have another add edit in Group 1 where the Ext Audio comes in. So thats where we are getting lost.

    1. I'm going to repost this with a correction-- my first add edit, while not technically incorrect, could be pushed to the start of Group 3. Hopefully that will make it more clear/consistent. If you send me your email via the contact form I'll notify you when I update.

    2. Everything is now corrected with a video added demonstrating the add edit points which hopefully should make things much clearer!

  2. One of the perks of adding an edit at the start and end of each clip is that, when finished, you can sort by duration and aux TC to easily check that your subclip values match up.

    Am I correct in assuming that, using this method, that won't be possible?

    1. Vinny...answer to an old question... You should drop that habit. You will result in your cameras shifting cam banks in the middle of a take. No bueno. The way you suggest, believe it or not, can open you up for a world of errors. ....all errors that I, myself, have run into long ago and shiver when I think back on them. Embrace the technique here... You'll have far less work to do, it will be much MUCH cleaner, more efficient, less drag on the system, and your editors will love you for it. (Even makes their sequences a lot cleaner.)

  3. In group 5, without making add edit for Camera 2 clip, how can you sync camera 2, camera 1 and external audio all together? Should the add edit point be the first frame of camera 2?? the same problem goes to group 1, too.

    1. Nope. This entire blog post is about this exact topic. If you have some footage to test with, give it a shot. You'll see how perfectly it all works. Not to mention, your cams won't jump around in their banks when one turns off. Again, the entirety of the point of this blog post.

    2. One point of clarity, maybe: Do you understand that the "add-edit" part of multigrouping isn't really necessary at all? If you wanted to, you could go through and manually mark in and out points along all of your groupable clips and sub-clip them that way. Although it would be super painful and accident prone to work that way, that's all you're really doing. The add-edits are simply a way to "mark" where you're going to make sub-clips. That's it.

      I could group this example sequence on this blog without making a single add-edit at all. Make sense?