Multicams or Merge Clips in Premiere Pro: Which is Best?


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In this submit, we’ll be speaking in regards to the execs and cons of working with multi-cams and merged clips in Premiere Pro.

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Premiere is a strong enhancing device, and one in all its best strengths are its extremely adaptable sequences, particularly the multicam. You would possibly do not know what a multicam is, and that’s okay since you’re going to study all about what makes them so nice, and the way they examine to the “merge clips” characteristic.

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Watch the video or hold scrolling to learn the transcript!

First, you could have heard the time period “multicam” however precisely is it?

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Well, when you’ve got footage from one supply, the digital camera as an illustration, and audio from one other supply, maybe it’s the audio recording system your sound recordist was utilizing, you want a strategy to sync them up in order that they keep linked while you’re enhancing .

Traditionally, you would possibly assume “merge clips” feels like the way in which to perform that however there’s one other, higher, strategy to do it and that’s to create a multicam.

So, let’s break down the variations between these two choices and work out how they stack up towards one another.

Challenge 1: Number of Clips you Can Combine

The first vital factor to find out about multicams vs. merged clips is the quantity of footage and audio you may mix.

With merged clips, you may mix one video supply, and as many audio sources as you need. This means in the event you have been filming with one digital camera and a number of audio sources, resembling a growth microphone, a lavalier, and the on-camera audio, you may mix all of that audio along with one supply of video.

But in the event you have been filming with two or extra cameras, resembling engaged on a scene with many characters directly, or conducting an interview or filming a music efficiency, you wouldn’t have the ability to merge all of these video clips collectively. That’s the place multicams are available.

Multicams can mix as many video and audio sources as you need.

This is very vital if you wish to use the highly effective multicam digital camera switching instruments in Premiere to select the digital camera angle you wish to view, and even lower between them throughout stay playback.

Multicam digital camera switching instruments are nice for issues like interviews


Multicams win this class, and that’s as a result of not solely can you utilize multicams to sync one supply of footage and audio, it’s additionally potential to truly regulate your multicam AFTER you’ve created it.

Challenge 2: Modifying Synced Clips After Creating Them

So the subsequent merchandise on the guidelines is modifying the synced clips after you’ve created them.

Once you create a merged clip, you’re unable to switch it. It’s mainly like a model new clip in your bin, and you’ll’t change it. So in the event you made a mistake, and perhaps misaligned the audio and the video, or by accident used the flawed monitor from the audio recording and wish to swap it out, that gained’t be potential with out truly re-creating your entire merged clip.

Whereas multicams are, primarily, simply nested sequences with some fancy settings. So when you make a multicam, you may select to Open in Timeline, and it will mean you can see the contents of the multicam, and modify them as wanted.

Once you’ve created the merged clip, you may’t change it!


Not all productions are created equal relating to being exact with recording audio and video, many editors must have that sort of adaptability of their workflow to alter issues after the very fact. This is very true in the event you work on non-narrative tasks the place you could be discovering what video clips sync to which audio clips as you go alongside.

Challenge 3: Metadata

And that brings up the subsequent level, and that’s how metadata is preserved and used whenever you create merged clips or multicams.

Now chances are you’ll be asking “What do you mean by metadata?” There are two key items of metadata that almost all editors like and your shade and sound distributors want for a profitable collaboration.

The first is “tape name” or “reel name.” You could have seen this time period on the Relinking Offline Media display. This piece of metadata is nice for serving to software program like Premiere and DaVinci Resolve efficiently relink from transcoded media, like what you would possibly edit with, to the complete decision digital camera masters, that you simply would possibly use for shade grading.

The second piece of metadata is the iXML tags saved in your professionally recorded audio recordsdata. This info tells you what every monitor in your audio file is, and though Premiere sadly doesn’t have a easy strategy to view this info within the timeline, software program like ProInstruments does and sound mixers use that to assist them kind and set up on their finish .

Multicams will retain your iXML metadata which your sound crew will thanks for!

Now, let’s speak about how this pertains to merged clips and multicams. Well, merged clips successfully make model new clips in your bin, and in doing so Premiere strips out of a few of this info. Things just like the iXML monitor names and the unique audio file names are now not obtainable, so in the event you created an OMF or AAF file to do a turnover to your sound crew, they wouldn’t obtain that info from the audio you’ve got linked to your merged clips.

There are workarounds to make this course of work, nonetheless we strongly counsel you skip merged clips altogether as a result of multicams will retain that vital info for you all through your edit.

Once you’re finished enhancing with multicams and are able to ship your sequence to your sound crew, you may merely flatten your multicams, which is able to do away with them in your timeline and substitute them with the unique audio or unique video that was inside them . This makes doing turnovers to your sound crew very easy as a result of all of that metadata goes to return alongside together with your recordsdata now.


Multicams are the clear winner on this class, as they are going to protect your entire vital metadata and are fully non-destructive in your workflow.

Challenge 4: Match Frame

And that brings us to a different essential enhancing device. Match Frame.

Match Frame is a crucial device in your enhancing arsenal. If you aren’t utilizing it proper now, right here’s a fast demonstration. In your timeline, hover your playhead over a clip. The default shortcut key for Match Frame in Premiere is “F.”

That will load the clip you’re hovering over into the supply monitor. Unlike merely double clicking on the clip within the timeline to load it into the supply, Premiere went into the bin, discovered that supply clip for you and loaded it into the supply monitor with the In and Out Points set to match what you’ve got in your timeline. At this level, you may solely think about the facility this device supplies.

Multicams are nice in the event you love utilizing Match Frame

Fortunately Match Frame works nice with each merged clips and multicams however with caveats.

When you utilize Match Frame to load a merged clip into your supply monitor, you’ve got all the similar nice instruments at your disposal. You can lower a clip into your timeline, drag simply the video or simply the audio and alter the In and Out factors. However, in the event you for some motive wanted to get again to the unique footage that was used to create that merged clip, you wouldn’t have the ability to very simply.

Multicams, nonetheless, can take Match Frame one step additional. Once you utilize Match Frame to load the multicam into your supply monitor, you may press Match Frame a second time, and that can take you INSIDE the multicam and cargo the precise video supply into your supply monitor.

Now you’re in all probability questioning why I’d ever wish to try this? Well, it relies upon fully in your workflow. For occasion, you would possibly must rapidly discover the bin of footage from that day of filming as you’re searching down a clip that you simply want.

That’s simple with multicams as a result of you may Match Frame from the timeline to the supply, Match Frame from the multicam supply to the unique video supply after which proper click on and select Reveal in Project. And voila! You have a bin containing the unique footage that was contained inside the multicam, together with all the different video clips from that day of filming. You would possibly typically do that when exporting video recordsdata for VFX distributors to just be sure you’re pulling from the unique supply footage to ship out.

Multicams are nice whenever you’re utilizing match body to search out a clip that you simply want

So you may certainly use Match Frame on each merged clips and on multicams, nonetheless in the event you want much more performance inside Premiere, multicams will allow you to take Match Frame one step additional and reveal the precise supply footage.


Challenge 5: Working in Your Timeline

How do multicams work in your timeline in comparison with merged clips?

Well, the nice news is that they work identical to any common clip in your timeline. You can seize them and transfer them, you may unlink or hyperlink the audio from the video, you may scale and place them, apply results, stack them, draw just a little automobile with them, no matter you wish to do.

There is one finicky factor you need to be conscious of with multicams. If you edit with a multicam in your timeline and you must occur to unlink the audio from the video, Premiere can get just a little bit confused about what these audio clips are, since they’re technically nonetheless a multicam, however they’re additionally only a nested sequence.

If you double click on on audio that has been unlinked from it’s video, it’ll take you contained in the multicam timeline. This isn’t an enormous deal, you don’t actually ever must double click on on any clips in your Premiere timeline to carry up issues like the results controls, so in the event you’ve developed a “no double clicking” muscle reminiscence, you in all probability gained’t ever run into this downside.

Watch out – in the event you double click on on audio that has been unlinked from it’s video, it’ll take you contained in the multicam timeline.


Wrap Up

So who wins the problem? For us, multicams are the clear winner. They provide the sort of flexibility wanted to maintain tasks organized and in a position to scale up as they progress.

That’s to not say you must by no means use merged clips. If you’re an editor who’s working by your self in a vacuum, and also you don’t plan to do any turnovers to sound, shade or VFX, then merged clips will in all probability work simply effective for you.

But if you’re typically collaborating with many alternative departments in submit manufacturing, you’ll wish to develop a workflow that doesn’t take away vital metadata from clips and permits you essentially the most flexibility to adapt and alter issues as you go.


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