On this video, media creation expert Colin Smith from VideoRevealed talks about the uses of the source (and program) monitors in Premiere Pro, why each exists and what you can do with them.
If you are new to Premiere Pro (and even if not and you never stopped to think about that), you might be wondering why do you need two monitors. Well, it seems to go back to how traditional TV was edited in real time where you use to have the program monitor which showed the actual live feed that was broadcasted and a secondary monitor showing a second camera feed that you can switch to at any moment.
At this point you might be asking yourselves what that this have to do with Premiere Pro – a fair question since Premiere Pro is not used to edit or control live broadcast. The answer is that regardless of the historical reasons behind this source/program monitor division, Adobe actually found some interesting uses for the secondary monitor and while not all editors use them all the time (some don’t use them at all – so they can close them down) they can be very useful in certain situations.
The main use for the source monitor is to scrub through clips and set in and out points. While you can do all your cuts in the program monitor, when you are dealing with precision cuts it might be simpler to use a secondary or source monitor to do that as it lets you compare two images in order to better cut or connect them in your timeline.
It is easier to understand the real need for this precision editing if you look at Smith’s older video on 3-point and 4-point precision editing in Adobe Premiere Pro (see below):
Bonus video: 3-point and 4-point precision editing in Adobe Premiere Pro