How to Automatically Jump Cut Your Videos

If you are a shooter/editor, you already know that you can often end up spending more time in front of a computer screen than behind your camera. Editing can end up taking a really long time and in many cases some of the little, repetitive tasks are the ones that can be the biggest drain. Among these is cutting down some basic talking head footage and using some jump cuts.

At least one company is out there looking to help and that is TimeBolt. Photographer and videographer Kevin Raposo, the founder of Speedy Photographer, highly recommends TimeBolt to help save you time as it automates a lot of the jump cut process. He even uses it extensively himself.

How does it work? It’s simple, actually. TimeBolt analyzes the audio waveforms of your clips and cuts out the dead air. Then it makes a file you can pull into Premiere Pro or Final Cut.

There is one thing to consider before you get rolling, and that is whether you are using single-system or dual-system sound as each approach will be different.

Starting with single-system recording where your audio is recorded in-camera—or at least to the same final clip—you just drag the file into TimeBolt and adjust the settings.

Raposo’s recommendations here are to remove silences longer than 0.2 sections, to generally trust the dB level settings unless it isn’t picking out everything, and set the left padding to 0.05 second and the right padding to 0.15 seconds.

Diving into why he chose these settings, first his particular way of talking involves taking a breath and then starting a sentence clearly and loudly. The shorter pad on the left ensures as much dead air is eliminated as possible.

The next reason is that you tend to trail off at the end of a sentence, so you don’t want TimeBolt to cut the clip early. And there isn’t much to it. Just export an xml file that is compatible with a majority of NLEs.

Now for the more complex situation of having separate audio and video tracks you need to sync. Raposo has a system for Windows users, thought I will admit that it is essentially just syncing it and exporting a synced file to use in TimeBolt the regular way. This is Raposo’s process:

  • Bring your video and audio clips into Premiere and sync them as usual.
  • Set In and Out points at the beginning and end of your video clip. Don’t trim yet!
  • Solo the good audio so it’s the only active audio.
  • Export Media > mp3 file. Rename so you can easily identify it.
  • Use My MP4Box GUI app. 
  • Pull in your original video file and then the new audio file. The app will replace the original audio with the new audio.

There you go. One way to quickly cut down your editing time. It’s simple if you have synced up clips, but sometimes simple is the best way to go.

Would you use TimeBolt?

[source: Kevin Raposo]

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