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Video Tutorial: How to Use PhraseFind in Avid Media Composer

Ashley Kennedy
By Ashley Kennedy

Use PhraseFind to quickly burrow into the audio of all the clips in your project to find a specific word or phrase!

PhraseFind is one of the most talked about new features in Avid Media Composer.  Released in v. 5.5, PhraseFind phonetically searches every clip in your project for a word or phrase that you input.  In just moments, it returns highly accurate results, allowing you to immediately find specific soundbites.

Watch this video tutorial to find out how to use PhraseFind in Avid Media Composer:

This Avid Media Composer video tutorial will teach you how to:

  • Use PhraseFind to phonetically search for a specific word in the clips in your project
  • Filter your search further by combining PhraseFind searches and Find searches

For a demo on the Find Tool, watch this video tutorial.

Full Video Transcription

Ashley: Hello. This is Ashley Kennedy with PremiumBeat.com, here to show you how to use Media Composer’s new PhraseFind tool. Now, PhraseFind is an additional plug-in, available for $500. And that’s because it is developed by a third party called Nexidia and it’s the same technology used in ScriptSync, which is also available in Media Composer. PhraseFind has been available since Media Composer 5.5, but I definitely thought it deserved special mention in this series of video tutorials dedicated to new features in Media Composer 6, because it’s certainly relatively new and it’s extremely useful.

Now, to access PhraseFind, we open up the Find tool by pressing command F or CTRL-F on a PC. And if you watched the previous tutorial on the Find tool, you already know all of the ways in which Media Composer can burrow in and find the metadata in your clips and sequences, your script text and your time-line in monitors. Down here though, instead of looking through the text in your Bins, we’re going to look through the spoken dialogue in all of the clips in our project. We know that we’re ready to search because this is lit up green and we also have the correct language selected. OK? We come back up this search box, just as we did when we performed a simple find, and we type the text in just like in a simple find. I want to bring up all of the clips where someone says the word Krissy. Krissy is one of the people in this documentary and I want to find all of the instances in which people talk about her, because I’m editing that part of the documentary. I’m just going to type in the word Krissy and instead of hitting Enter or pressing Find, this time I’m going to press PhraseFind. It
takes just a moment to analyze all of the clips, and as you see here, it found 78 instances of the word Krissy. Notice that Krissy is not in most of these clips as far as the text is concerned. That’s because it’s actually analyzing what these people are saying, the spoken dialogue.

Before we take a look at these, I want to take a look at this column here, Score. Score indicates Media Composer’s confidence that it got it right.  What it’s doing is it’s using the Nexidia phonetic searching tools where it matches up the spoken word with the written word and it’s not 100% accurate. This Score column is really important. The ones near the top are probably correct and the ones near the bottom are probably not correct, and it stops at 50%. There’s nothing that goes below that. Let’s take a look at this. We’ve got a 75% confidence that this one is right. Let’s go ahead and load it and see if it is. I’ll go ahead and double click. Notice it brings it forward in the Bin, highlights it and also loads it in the Source Monitor with the position indicator at that point. Let’s go ahead and see if it got it right. We’ll go ahead and press Play.

Matt: Krissy.

Ashley: All right. Very good. Let’s go ahead and check a couple more near
the top of the list and we’ll press Play.

Matt: Krissy, but she was around…

Ashley: All right. Again, very good, and let’s just check one more.

Matt: Course he would…

Ashley: All right. There, he says “course he would” and that isn’t correct.  “Course he” and Krissy sound relatively similar, but again, it’s not a full guarantee. As you can see, the clips at the top of the list are pretty accurate in terms of finding your search criteria, but are not 100% accurate. Now, let’s take it a step further. I want to find all of the times in which Matt talks about Krissy. So I’ve got the search criteria for the spoken dialogue up here, but I’m going to come down and filter this further by typing in “Matt” on the Name column because I usually have labeled the Name column with the person speaking. I’m going to filter on the Name column, and let’s go ahead and just type in “Matt.” Now, instead of returning 78 results, I just have four. If I’m looking for the time in
which Matt talks about Krissy, which it looks like we have here at the top. I’ll go ahead and double click and let’s play.

Matt: Krissy, at the bottom with a K.

Ashley: And we found the clip in which Matt talks about Krissy and ready to edit it right into the time-line because have an endpoint ready to go. Now, I’ll probably have to adjust that to find exactly the sound byte that I need, but as you can see this is extremely helpful. Again, it is an additional $500. You can use it for free for 30 days in a trial. Definitely check it out. If you work heavily in narrative projects with a lot of dialogue, or documentaries with a lot of interviews, you might find it’s absolutely necessary in your work flow. OK, thanks for watching. Check back again on PremiumBeat.com for lots more exciting video tutorials in both Avid and Final Cut Pro. This is Ashley Kennedy with PremiumBeat.com.

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