Conform EDLs

Edit Decision Lists (EDLs) are metadata documents used to migrate project timelines from other editing tools.

Timelines created from EDLs in SpeedGrade adhere to the Sony CMX 3600 standard. SpeedGrade also supports the extended 16-digit EDL to work with ARRIRAW and Red R3D material.

The two most common scenarios for conforming EDLs are as follows:

  • You have an EDL and one long image sequence or movie file with all the edits baked in. You want to use the EDL to create keyframes to cut the clip into individual edits. See Master-clip workflow.
  • You have an EDL with online material in several folders or consisting of individual movie files. You want to associate the correct online clips according to the Reel ID/filename information available in the EDL. See Multiple-clip workflow.


Before working with EDLs, make sure to set the correct frame rate preset in SpeedGrade. For example, if your project is based on 24 fps, set both your preset for new timelines and your base fps to 24. For instructions, see Playback basics.

Master-clip workflow

Follow this workflow if you have one long clip of online material and want to use an EDL to cut it into individual edits.

  1. Locate the pre-conformed clip in the Desktop view and drop it on the Timeline.
  2. Locate the EDL in the Desktop view and drop it on the clip in the Timeline. 

    SpeedGrade cuts the clip into edits.

Multiple-clip workflow

  1. Locate the EDL in the Desktop view and drop it on the Timeline.

    SpeedGrade inserts placeholder clips on the Timeline representing all the edits. The clips are red because the reels are not loaded yet.

  2. Use the Desktop to locate the footage that represents the reels.

    Use the filter options to search subfolders or to treat folders as reels. For example, if all the material is in one folder structure, select the Sequences from Folder + Subtree filter option.

  3. Click Load from Desktop to connect the source clips to the placeholder clips.

    Load from Desktop


    To prevent reels on the Timeline from being replaced when adding new reels from other locations, select the Don’t Replace Loaded Reels checkbox.

  4. If your material is in several folders, repeat the process with the other folders.

About footage references

An EDL can reference footage with a clip name and reel ID. If the reel ID information is not present, SpeedGrade can use the clip name. If both are present, SpeedGrade references the reel ID first

Sometimes, the reel ID and clip name information don’t match and the footage can't be associated automatically. In this case, you can drop material manually from the Desktop on the placeholder reels.


Dissolves between clips according to an EDL are available as A and B layer with a dissolve layer in between. All three layers are generated automatically when conforming an EDL.

Supported EDL features

Reel ID

The CMX reel ID is the primary means of identification for a clip. If possible, place reel footage in subfolders with the Reel ID provided in the 3600 EDL.


SpeedGrade supports the FROM CLIP NAME syntax in a CMX comment. Clip name is the secondary means of identification for a clip. If the Reel ID provided is not found or the Reel ID is AX, the clip name is used.


The syntax REEL AX IS CLIP is supported.


Vertical and horizontal mirroring is supported. The FLIP, FLOP, and FLIP-FLOP comment keywords are evaluated.

M2 (Time Warp)

M2 speed change/time warp commands are supported. Reverse playback is supported.

K (Key)

Key commands are not supported and result in an error at load time.