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10 Useful Avid Console Commands

Avid Media Composer features a little-known Console window that allows you to enter commands to tune performance, improve debugging and enable hidden features. Many of the commands are aimed at plugin developers but here is a list of several that are generally useful.

To access the Console, go to Tools > Console. Note that many commands will need to be re-applied the next time you launch Media Composer.

Allow editing over network drives

By default Avid will only recognize locally-attached hard disks. You can switch off this limitation to enable editing over a network share. Note: do not let others access the project at the same time.

AllDrives 1 - Switches it on
AllDrives 2 - Switches it off

List installed AMA plugins

Displays a list of installed AMA plugins and their version numbers. Plugins can also be enabled, disabled and removed through our Plugin Manager app.


Cache audio before playback

Specifies how many seconds of audio to cache before starting playback. If you are getting ADM_COREAUDIO_UNDERRUN or similar errors, you may benefit from increasing this number. You can also decrease it on a fast computer to reduce the time taken to begin playback.

audiopreread [number in seconds]

Set still image default frame duration

When importing an image via the Import dialog the length can only be specified in seconds. This command allows you to specify it down to a frame.

Cmd_setimportslidelength [number in frames]

Conform imported QuickTimes to current sequence frame rate

This applies a rudimentary conform feature by overriding a movie's frame rate with the rate of the project. This can also be done with QT Edit.

IgnoreQTRate 1 - Switches it on
IgnoreQTRate 0 - Switches it off

Cache multicam frames

Multicam playback is very taxing on a computer because it requires the playback of multiple video and audio streams at once. To help improve this you can increase the number of frames Avid caches before playback starts.

multicampreload [number of frames]

Rename media files to match clip names

Renames media files using the clip names specified in the bin. So 001V01.C4BV01.C9E214DBCCD3C.mxf becomes MyClip.V1.MyMovie.mxf.

Warning: This can potentially unlink precomputes (render files) and cause issues if you have to export an EDL or otherwise send the project to someone else. Not recommended in a shared environment.


Load precomputes into a monitor

Allows precomputes (render files) to be loaded into a monitor for playback and editing. You'll need to make precomputes visible in the bin before you can do this, by going to Bin > Set Bin Display and ticking Rendered Effects.

subsys monpane debug

Set timecode break threshold

This sets the interval at which to detect timecode breaks, in frames. Setting it to a high number might miss some timecode breaks; setting it to a low number might cause false positives. The default is 6.

TCBreakTolerance [a number between 2 and 12] 

Toggle between PSF and progressive

Outputs video as Progressive Segmented Frames (PSF) instead of pure Progressive. Useful for compatibility with certain displays that don't support Progressive at higher resolutions or frame rates.

TogglePSF 1 - Switches PSF on
TogglePSF 0 - Switches Progressive on
Posted by Jon Chappell on Nov 18 2014 to Avid, Tutorials, Video Editing


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