📽️Multi-track video editing

❓ What is it?

Multi-track video editing lets you edit podcast-style videos automatically, by switching between multiple video tracks based on multiple audio tracks.

FireCut will "follow" the loudest audio (similar to how video conferencing tools like Zoom and MS Teams will show the speaker on the screen), plus add some variations in the final cut to prevent monotony

🤔 How does it work?

Multi-track video editing in FireCut:

  • Lets you identify which video tracks correspond to which audio tracks; you can label the audio tracks by speaker names but this is completely optional

  • Listens to each audio track separately and decides which one to focus on at any given moment

  • Picks the corresponding video track to show on-screen (if the same speaker appears in multiple video tracks, it will pick the video track that hasn't been shown in a while, to give some variation in your cuts)

  • Shows you a results list, where you can preview the cuts that will be made. You can play around with the settings to change how often the cuts happen

  • Finally, it cuts the video once you are happy with the preview

⚙️ Settings

Once your video has been analysed, multi-track video editing has the following options:

  1. Speaker switching frequency: How "sensitive" to be when switching between speakers. Increase to switch more often (as soon as another speaker becomes louder than the current speaker), or decrease to switch less often.

  2. Cutaways: Cutaways are intentional cuts to non-speakers made to keep your video interesting

    • Max shot duration: This is the limit of how long FireCut should show any given clip. If we go over this threshold, FireCut will add a cutaway to one of the other video tracks to help keep viewers engaged

    • Cutaway shot duration: Whenever there is a cutaway (determined using the max. cut duration above), this setting determines how long that cutaway should be

  3. Cutting operation: What to do with the "inactive" video segments, i.e. the parts that are not shown on screen because a different speaker is speaking. You can decide to either disable them (keep them in the timeline but grey them out so Premiere Pro ignores them), or to delete them altogether.

💡 Tips for best outcomes

  • Ensure your different audio tracks are similar in loudness; if one speaker is always louder than another, they will naturally be focused on more

  • You can make cuts in the audio even before analysis; for example, if you know for sure that you want to focus on a certain speaker for minute 3 of the sequence, feel free to add a cut in the audio and disable the other speakers to make sure they are the loudest in that moment. This is completely optional, but give you greater control

  • Avoid noisy audio (garbage in, garbage out!) because you don't want background noise to be confused with the speaker's voice (some noise is OK, but if it's roughly the same loudness as the speaker, then the analysis won't get you good results)

  • Don't work in the timeline while FireCut is working in the background

🙋‍♂️ Common questions, issues, watch-outs

  • "Does it work on non-English audio?" --> Yes, at the moment this feature follows the audio loudness rather than the words being spoken, so language isn't a consideration

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