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Capture Methods in Avid


Method 1: Log & Batch Capture
This method helps you if you are trying to conserve drive space. It's more time consuming up front, but when done, your clips are all labeled and you are ready to edit. It is imperative that you have continuous timecode to use this method.
See these sections in this document:

  • Logging in Avid
    Batch Capturing in Avid

Method 2: Capture Big Chunks & Subclip
Recording on the fly and in a couple of large chunks and then subclipping them later. This method can get you editing faster, but if you skip the subclipping stage, you never really view and log your footage. After you've captured the big chunks of media, you can create subclips of all the individual important pieces.
See these sections in this document:

  • Recording on the Fly in Avid
    See also Subclipping in Avid

LoggingLogging is the process of watching your footage, marking "in" points and "out" points, making comments on and labeling your shots.


1. Make sure the camera or deck is properly connected and turned on.2. Choose Capture from the Tools menu. AvidMenu>Tools>Capture

3. If the Capture tool is not currently in Log mode, click the Record/Log
Mode button until the LOG icon appears (pencil).

4. Insert your tape into the deck. The Select Tape dialog box appears.
5. Provide the system with a tape name in one of the following ways:

  • Select the name of the tape from the list in the Select Tape dialog
    box and click OK.
  • Click New if the tape is not in the list. A new tape name line
    appears in the dialog box. Type the new name and click OK.
    The tape name is displayed in the Record tool.
    SELECTING A TAPE NAME IS VERY IMPORTANT --If you ever loose your media, you will need the proper tape name, to be able to recapture your footage. Come up with an organized system by which to name your tapes.

6. Click on the tracks you want to record into Avid (just video or video and audio).7. Select what bin you want your clips to go in.

8. Scroll through the tape with the "Deck shuttle control." Find the "IN" point for your first clip.
9. Click a Mark IN button (in the upper left corner of the Record tool or the Mark IN button in the lower right). Once you click the mark in button in, it will change to a "Mark out and log button" as pictured.

  • You can also mark in by typing in timecode into the text box next to the "mark in" symbol in the lower right of the record tool box.10. (Optional) Enter a clip name and comment in the corresponding text
    11. To finish logging the clip, advance the deck to the Mark Out point and do one of the following
  • Click the Mark OUT and Log button (upper left).
  • Click the Mark Out button (lower right). The "Mark out and Log" button will change to a "Log Button" Hit the "Log button."

12. The clip name, which is automatically numbered by the system, is highlighted and ready to be changed in the bin you have selected.

Rename the clip by typing a new name in the highlighted
area.13. Repeat these steps until you have logged all your clips.

If you enter a clip name and a comment in the corresponding text boxes, they will show up in your bin.Select the "text" tab and scroll over to the "comments" column in your bin. You can move a column by highlighting and dragging it.

Batch CapturingBatch Capturing is what you do once you have a bin full of logged clips. If you double-click on them, you'll notice they will come up in the source screen as "media offline" Here's how to batch capture.


1. On the record tool, select what drive you want the media to go to. If you have a firewire drive, select it, if you are doing a class exercise, select "Scratch disk"2. Make note of the green number's to the right. They tell you how much more footage can fit on the drive

3. Select all the clips you wish to capture by holding down "shift" and clicking each clip. you can also type "Command-A" to select the whole bin.4. Go to Avid Menu>File>Batch Record

5. This batch record box comes up. Check offline media only if it's not already checked and hit OK.
6. The computer will do the rest, advancing the deck to each record point and recording.
7. Hit Esc if you want to stop early.
When you're done you will be able to double click on your clips in the bin and they will appear in the source window.If you have problems. See Troubleshooting Capturing or Drop Frame, NDF problems.

Recording on the fly
You would use this if your tape does not have timecode or if you were just eager to get started and didn't want to log first.There are limits to how big a clip can be. In general, don' try recording sections longer than 10 minutes.


1. Click the Record/Log Mode button in the Record tool until the REC icon appears. The Record tool is ready to record.2. Select tracks you wish to record.

3. (Option) Click the triangular opener in the Record tool to display the
Name and Cmnt (Comment) text boxes, if you plan to enter clip names or comments during recording.

4. In the bin section, select where you want the media to go.


5. Use the deck controls in the Record tool to locate the position on the tape where you want to start recording.6. Click the Play button and when the deck gets up to speed, click the Record button.Make sure you have cleared any previous marks so that the deck does not begin cueing to the previous location.

7. While the system is recording, you can type a clip name in the Name text box. Press the Tab key after typing a clip name to enter comments about the clip.
8. Click the Pause button at any time to pause play. You can also stop the record procedure by clicking the Trash button in the Record tool. The clip is discarded.9. To stop recording click the Record button, or press the Esc key. The system creates a new clip in the bin.

Recording non-time coded material
1. Click "Toggle Source" button in record tool.
2. Follow "Record on the Fly" instructions.WARNING - if you loose this media later on, you will not be able to recapture it because there will be no timecode.

Troubleshooting Capturing Problems






"Time code break"

The computer cannot capture across a timecode break.

It also can't roll across a timecode break without getting confused, so if there are timecode breaks anywhere in your tape, there could be problems during capture.

If your timecode breaks are between shots, capture one clip at a time and manually advance to the beginning of each shot.
Or: clone your master tape and have the record deck lay down new timecode. Use the new tape to capture from.
As a last resort, you could use the "toggle source" button on the record tool which will allow you to record timecoded material. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RECAPTURE that material if it's lost.

"Not adequate Pre-roll"

Your in-point is right at the beginning of the tape. The deck needs 5 seconds before that to "Pre-roll" before it can record.

Set your in point later or change pre-roll. Or use "Record on the Fly" function.

Expecting DF tape when NDF tape is detected

When you logged your clip it was in drop frame. Now the deck is reading ndf.

Cue the deck to the right place on the tape. It's possible that it's in a place without any timecode.

"No Deck"

Your computer is having difficulty communicating with your deck.

Make sure your deck is on, that you are using a sony dsr-11 (our most reliable decks) and that the deck menu in the record tool reads the proper deck name.