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An Ultimate Guide to Edit a Music Video: Aspect Ratio and First Cut

Marion Dubois
Marion Dubois Originally published Apr 11, 23, updated Dec 05, 23

Are you planning to edit your music video? Do you need on out how to edit your first music video draft? Editing a music video is a creative task but can be challenging.

One of the key elements of this process is selecting the aspect ratio and making the first cut. In this blog, we will explore these steps in detail, providing important tips and tricks. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced editor, get ready to take your music video to the next level. Let's get started.

In this article
  1. Which software will you need?
  2. Adjust the aspect ratio
  3. Assembly
  4. Send your first draft

Which software will you need?

As we have a lot of software in the market, we must select the right software for high-quality editing. Wondershare Filmora is an amazing video editing software. It offers a ton of video editing tools. You can add special effects, transitions, and more to make your music video captivating.

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Note: Before you start editing your project, make sure that you have a backup. You can copy the project to an external USB or hard drive for a backup.

Adjust the aspect ratio

The aspect ratio is known as the size of the video frame. For example, the most common aspect ratios are 16:9 and 4:3. The first number represents the width, and the second represents the height.

You should always ask your cinematographer about the aspect ratio. There are chances when cameras won't shoot at the intended aspect ratio they were framed for. In that case, you'll need to crop or letterbox them when editing.

some common aspect ratios

How to find the width/height of the frame?

Most of the frames that are being shot on the camera are 3424 pixels wide, which is a little under 4k. If you have a measurement of one side of the frame, you can find the other by using some math. Let's suppose your frame is 3424 pixels wide. You can use this formula to find the height.

Formula: 3424 pixels wide x 1 high / 2.35 wide (or whatever your aspect ratio)

1st step of the formula

Now you can cancel out the width from the multiplier and the denominator.

= 3424 pixels wide x 1 high / 2.35 wide

2nd step of the formula

Now you are left with the equation:

= 3424 pixels high / 2.35

After solving this equation, you will get the answer which is: 1457 pixels high. Let's adjust it on the music video as well, follow the steps given below:

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Step1Open the aspect ratio setting tab

Open your music video project in Filmora and click on the screen icon, as shown in the picture.

clicking on the screen icon

Then select the Change Project Aspect Ratio.

clicking on the change project aspect ratio
Step2Add values

Now set the project Width to 3424 pixels and its Height to 1457 pixels. You can also adjust the frame rate by selecting the one in which you shot the video. Then click OK.

changing the width and the height


The next step is assembly. You will arrange the shots, clips, and elements in this process and get everything in order. It can be daunting and inspiring for you, as it's a blank canvas you are going to start with. Before editing, you can also get some guidance from your art director.

If your music video has shots of the band performing, drop them off first and sync them with the audio. On the contrary, if you are doing a narrative style, you can arrange the shots according to the story you want to portray.

graphical text of assembly
Step1Drop the media

You can start by dragging and dropping the music onto the audio timeline. Then you can add the shots of your music video.

dropping the media onto the timeline
Step2Arrange the shots

Arrange the shots according to the storyboard you created and sync them with the audio.

arranging the shots in order
Step3Add the title

Once you arrange all shots in order, you can add the title of your music video. Click on the Titles, then choose your desired style and add the name of your music video in the title box. You can also change the text's size, font, and color.

adding the title of the music video
Step4Flip the clip

One last thing is, if you shot any scene in mirror-image format, you can flip it. Click on the clip you want to flip and select the flip icon in the video properties.

flipping the clip

Send your first draft

The first draft is the video in which you added audio and re-ordered the shots. You decided on the pace and flow of the video to create a basic structure. You made changes to make it interesting and captivating.

Before you put too much effort into editing your video, send it to your director, producer, or client for review. It will help ensure that any big changes can be made before you invest too much time in the edit.

For first drafts, you don't need anything fancy. A lower-resolution and more compressed file can make sending it to a director or client much easier. You can also add a timer on the music video, so the person reviewing it can give you accurate timing on where he wants any revision.

How to add the timer in the music video?

  1. Click on Effects and search for Timecode in the search bar.
  2. Choose the timer style you like and drop it onto the new timeline.
  3. Extend the timer to the end of the video.
  4. Adjust the position and add the duration of your music video.
adding timer

Now you are all set to export the first draft of your music video. You can also adjust the video format on the export option, but MP4 is recommended.


We hope this blog has helped you edit the initials of your music video. By adjusting the aspect ratio to fit the desired screen size and properly planning the first cut, you can lay a solid foundation for the rest of the editing process.

These two steps can greatly impact the overall look and feel of the final product. Remember to communicate with your director, producer, or client throughout the process to ensure that the final product meets their expectations.

Marion Dubois
Marion Dubois Dec 05, 23
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