The "buttons" on the far left of the timeline panel in the header/track information area are the source and target track selectors. You use them together to turn on or off specific tracks from a source clip, and to direct those incoming tracks into specific tracks in the sequence.
The "buttons" on the left (in this example) labeled V and A1 are the tracks contained in your source clip loaded into the source monitor. Depending on the nature of your source footage, you'll have between 1 and 4 audio tracks you can select from. You'll only ever have one V (video) track, however. You click these to toggle those sources on or off for an insert or overlay edit, and you drag them up or down to target which destination track you want the edit to be placed into.
Simultaneously, you must turn on or off the target tracks in order for the edit to happen the way you'd expect. These are the buttons to the right labeled "Video X" and "Audio X". You can turn on all, none, or some of these tracks, and have different effects. The simple story is that, if you want the tracks from a source clip to be edited into a specific set of target tracks, the selector buttons must be "lit up" to indicate the tracks are on and targeted.
Here's an example, using a DVCPROHD clip with four mono tracks:
In this instance, if I were to do an overlay edit, the source video ("V") will be overlaid on destination track Video 2, but it will also edit "emptiness" onto destination track Video 3 because I have it turned on. For audio, I've mapped Source Audio 1 to Target Audio 2, Source Audio 2 to Target Audio 1, Source Audio 3 to Target Audio 4, and even though Source Audio 4 is "turned on" it will have no effect since Target Audio 3 is "turned off." In this manner, you can selectively target which tracks are effected during an insert or overlay edit, while using the Insert and Overlay commands from the Source Monitor or Bin. Note, however, that this selections have no effect when you drag a clip from the Source Monitor or Bin; in that case, ALL source tracks will appear in the sequence, though you can position them to a degree by holding the Shift button down after you position one portion of the clip and drag across the dividing line between the Video and Audio tracks.
Also, the Target Track Selectors affect which tracks are subject to timeline operations, such as "razoring."
I hope that helps somewhat. The best bet is just to play around with it; it does take some time to wrap your head around, but will make sense after a bit of exploration.
Brilliant Colin! Many thanks. In the words of Homer Simpson, "I just tripled my productivity!"
Anyway, you're welcome
I am experiencing a slightly different problem relating to inserting a new clip between two existing clips on the timeline using CS5. I have brought the new clip into the Source window and trimmed its in/out points. I have positioned the current time indicator between the two clips I want to insert the new clip between and clicked on the 'insert' icon but nothing happens. I have tried toggling the 'toggle sync lock' on and off, I have tried tried toggling on and off the V & A buttons at the far left if the timeline. The tracks are not locked with the 'padlock' icon. I am only using one video track and one audio track in the project in question. I have a colleague using the same system and his works OK. Any suggestions would be greatly received.
If nothing happened, my first thought would be that your destination Track was not Targeted.
My guess is that your source clip has stereo audio (or possibly mono), and you're attempting to insert edit the audio into a sequence that does not have stereo (or mono) tracks. In either case, since their is not a "place" for the source audio to land, it will not be edited into the sequence. You can either drag the clip from the source monitor into the sequence, and the necessary track will be created at the bottom of your track stack, or you can right-click in the header area of your sequence (where all those V and A buttons are) and select Add Tracks. In the dialog that appears, simply indicate the number, type, and preferred location of the added tracks, and they will appear in your sequence. You'll then be able to edit the source clip, both video and audio, into the sequence using the Insert (or Overlay) buttons.
You've hit the nail on the head. Apart from the oversight of not having selected the tracks to target, I had not targeted the position in the destination track correctly. After having selected the track it took me some time to realise why it was inserting the clip at the beginning of the timeline and not where I had positioned the 'Current time Indicator'. I then tried to select the positon on the target track by setting it as an 'in point' and everything worked fine. Thanks for setting me off in the right direction and for your help in responding.
and everything worked fine.
Really like to here those words!
Also, Colin offers some very useful info on the Tracks' channel-count. In the screen-caps, up-thread, you can see the little "speaker" icons in the Tracks' Headers. The source file channel-count must match that of the Track. If only dragging from the Project Panel, if your source channel-count does not match any proper Track, if you drag to the Master, PrPro will create a new Audio Track to match, say a 1-channel, if all you have is 2-channel, or 5.1-channel Tracks. Something good to tuck away.