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Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve

Tristan Kneschke

Compound clips are a great way to group multiple clips together in DaVinci Resolve. Here’s how to use them.

Similar to grouped clips and compound nodes used during the grading process, compound clips allow users to cluster clips together in the Edit and Color pages. DaVinci Resolve’s compound clip functionality is essentially a grouping feature that works much like those in other nonlinear editing programs. Here’s how to make the most of compound clips in DaVinci Resolve.

Lasso or command-click the shots to be grouped together and right-click on them. At the top of the menu, choose New Compound Clip. Compound clips don’t necessarily need to be in sequence with one another.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: creating a compound clip

You’ll get a dialogue box that enables you to give a specific name to the compound clip. After clicking Create, the compound clip will show up in your Media Pool as a project element. After executing the New Compound Clip command, a dialogue box pops up, allowing you to name the compound clip and process the audio in one of two ways (see below).

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: creating a compound clip: compound clip properties

You can also choose whether to group the audio as Single Adaptive, which will cluster them together as its own group, or as Multiple Mono, which retains the audio stems for further editing, but it will make a sort of mixdown of them (see image below).

You may choose to employ this method as an easier way to send stems, but it can be cumbersome when editing further. Here’s an example of choosing the Single Adaptive audio mode. All audio is “mixed” down to one channel:

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: single adaptive option

Here’s an example of choosing the Multiple Mono audio mode. All audio is kept as discrete channels that are the length of the compound clip, regardless of the original audio durations.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: multiple mono option

Frankly, you may find that both audio modes disturb the integrity of your audio edits, as frequently one performs different functions on audio than video. To retain your audio edits as they were before creating the compound clip, make sure your video clips are unlinked by selecting them, right-clicking, and deselect Clip Link.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: clip unlink

Unlink clips before executing New Compound Clip to process audio clips separately from video. Right-click and uncheck Clip Link.


Adjusting the Compound Clip

To modify the compound clip, right-click on it and select Open in Timeline. This will “zoom into” the compound clip to allow for further changes.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: open compound clip in timeline

The choice to utilize compound clips during the editing process may not be ideal for grading. DaVinci Resolve grades compounds as a single clip, but shots containing different setups will most likely not receive the same grade, and decomposing the clip may disrupt what you’ve created in the edit.

To color each clip separately, step into the compound clip using Open in Timeline, switch to the Color page and grade as normal. To step back out of the compound, click on the name of your master sequence.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: editing compound clip, return to master timeline


Decomposing Compound Clips

You can get rid of a compound clip just as easily as making one. Select the compound and right-click on it, and choose Decompose in Place.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: before decompose in place

See below for the result. The result places the innards of the compound clip where it once was in the timeline.

Using Compound Clips in DaVinci Resolve: after decomposing compound clip

Have any tips for creating compound clips? Share in the comments below.

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