How to edit video footage to the beats of music

A fast, simple and accurate hack: Using time-line markers for music video editing

In this tutorial I explain a little hack, how I use time-line markers in Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro for video editing to music. Before starting the actual editing, just playback your background music and use the marker-hotkey (M) to create a grid, which is based on the beats and bars of your music soundtrack.

Editing video footage on the beat of your background music can make your video project look more dynamic and professional. Video editing in sync with the beats of the music generates a powerful and driving energy for the audience. Especially for music videos (singers, bands, etc.) where the video is all about the music, this is important.

Sometimes accurate video editing on the music is a bit tricky, because you need to find out the exact video frame where to set a cut to the next piece of video. I remember that in the past this was sometimes a bit annoying, so I started to look out for an easier way to edit music based videos. My first technique was to use the position pointer in Premiere Pro. During playback I just pressed the space button during playback at the point where I wanted to set a cut. Later I did more complex video editing projects and used time-line markers more often. So I tried a bit and I found out that in current versions of Premiere Pro and Final Cut it is possible to drop a marker during playback.

Today I use to prepare my video time-line with markers whenever I start a music video project or other music based video editing projects. The use of markers has become such a great help, that I decided to do a little tutorial about this video editing technique.