AMA is a great tool to quickly get media into Avid, however, AMA leaves much to be desired in the edit bay due to lackluster speed and render times. You use the Transcode/Consolidate function to create MXF format material on your hard drive. The new media goes into a Avid MediaFiles folder in your hard drive. If you have multiple Avid projects on your hard drive, the MXF material gets mixed together, so you must use the Avid Consolidate Function to move the media between hard drives. Also note that MXF material is not playable in VLC, quicktime or any other player, so Avid Media Composer is the only option for playback.

MXF is just a container and supports a variety of codecs. DNxHD is the Avid equivalent of Apple’s ProRes and is a solid choice as a codec choice when transcoding. However, when you are working with XDCAM based material, EX1, EX1R or EX3, XDCAM EX 35 is the best choice. When working with AVC-Intra from DUTV’s HPX-3000, you can encode directly to MXF’d AVC Intra.

Transcode Procedure

  1. Select all of your AMA’d material in a certain bin, right click it and choose Consolidate/Transcode
  2. Consolidate/Transcode window will pop up, and do the following inside it
    1. Make sure Transcode is selected in the top left
    2. Under Target Drive, make sure the proper project hard drive is selected
    3. On the convert video pane, make sure Convert Video is checked
    4. Change Target Video Resolution based on the following:
      1. If footage is from the EX1, EX1R, EX3 or DUTV PMW-350, choose XDCAM EX 35 Mbits MXF
      2. If footage is from the DUTV HPX-3000, choose AVC-Intra 100 MXF
      3. If footage is from a DSLR or other 8 bit source, choose DNxHD 115 MXF
      4. If footage is any flavor of DVCproHD or other 10 bit source, choose DNxHD 175 X
    5. In the bottom audio pane, make sure Convert Audio Format is checked and set to PCM (MXF)
    6. Hit Transcode
  3. Get some sun upstairs during the transcoding process as it takes a long time.
  4. Once it transcodes, delete the yellow AMA material in your bin.
  5. If you have already synced your sound prior to transcoding, relink your synced bins
    1. Open up a synced bin, and select all the ama’d clips, right click it and choose Relink
    2. relink window will pop up, and click ok
    3. Youy sync’d clips are now linked to your MXF’d media.