Adobe Audition CS5.5

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Features and functions Audition has been a popular professional audio editing application for Windows for years. Like Soundbooth, Audition offers two primary work environments—waveform and multitrack, which you select via menu commands, keyboard shortcuts, or by clicking tabs in the main Audition window.

Surrounding the main panel you find smaller tabbed panels for file navigation, markers, effects, and video. You can call up additional panels for an audio mixer, amplitude statistics, and batch processor from the Window menu.

You can undock any panel so that it becomes a separate window. Selection and editing buttons appear at the top of the window and transport controls appear near the bottom. Within each track you find typical controls including volume, panning, mute, and solo. Also, unlike with Soundbooth, Audition allows you to assign markers in Multitrack view.

Choose the Waveform view and selection marquee, lasso, and paintbrush tools and a spot healing tool become available. As with Soundbooth, you can gang together groups of effects into an effects rack, save that rack, and then apply it to other tracks and within other projects. When working in Multitrack view you have access to non-destructive effects. When you switch to Waveform view you can work with these same effects as well as with destructive effects including DeClicker, DeClipper, Delete Silence, and Stretch and Pitch effects.

You can additionally select a consistent noise something like the constant hum of an air conditioner , sample it, and then ask Audition to remove that noise from the entire clip. Pleased as I was by the quality and number of useful effects included with Audition, I was less happy when I tried to locate some of them. While working through projects I found myself bouncing around from Multitrack to Waveform view, between the Effects Rack and Diagnostics tabs, and then up to the menu bar to ferret out exactly where a particular effect could be found.

As such, I used it to produce a couple of episodes of the Macworld podcast —cleaning and tweaking tracks recorded via Skype, filtering background noise, editing out breathiness from a too-close headset microphone, balancing volume between speakers and within individual tracks, and mixing in music. The Skype track presented a couple of issues.

The first was the typical-for-Skype tinniness of the track. A quick application of EQ settled that. I then had to filter out some background hiss, which I was able to do by sampling that sound and then applying the Noise Reduction effect.

However, with the use of the Hard Limiter effect set at -3db I kept the volume under control. This track also had a lot of breathy noises in sections that should have been silent. One of the trickier parts of mixing a multi-participant podcast is balancing the volume levels between the speakers.

Just drag the files you want to balance to the Match Volume panel, configure the settings you can match to total RMS, loudness, perceived volume, or peak volume as well as impose limiting , and click the Match Volume button. In short order, the volumes of the two tracks are matched. I just chose my background music tracks and dragged them into the Files window from the Finder. I then dragged them into position.

Some people used to this feature may regret its absence but I prefer to draw in my own volume curves, which I could easily do in Audition. On my 2. Audition does that work in a fraction of the time. Also, when applying a processor intensive effect—which, under Soundbooth, would completely tie up the application until the processing was done—you can continue to do other things in your project while Audition renders the effect. I found that opening a complex Audition project in Adobe Premier Pro can take several minutes, though all the elements eventually make their way to Premiere.

Stereo clips and tracks are converted to mono, overlapping clips are combined, no effects and EQ are exported, and you lose all your automation envelopes except clip volume and mono-to-stereo track panning. Missing While I produced a couple of good-sounding podcasts that could have been more troublesome with GarageBand, there were some features I missed. As I mentioned, it would be nice to have a window that contains frequently used clips—commercials or background music that you use time and again.

I also wish that I was able to preview clips within the Files panel. When you have a couple of dozen clips with names like Bumper01, Bumper02, and Bumper03, it would helpful to be able to quickly preview them in order to tell which is which. Audition offers no support for enhanced podcasts—podcasts that you add chapters, images, and links to—so I had to take my finished audio work and import it into GarageBand where I could add these elements.

I often move between these two views when editing and being able to keep an eye on one view while working in another is useful. And for them, this version of Audition is likely a dead end as it offers no support for such hardware. Adobe understands that this is a priority so it will undoubtedly come at some time, but for now, no.

And audio pros who depend on control surfaces will stick with what they have—perhaps returning to take a look at Audition when it supports their hardware. When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details. At a Glance.

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Many will be also aware that this program is now part of the wider Creative Suite of software, which includes digital illustration, video editing and compositing, web design, and even desktop publishing programs.

Now, Audition has incorporated elements of Soundbooth, and in the process become Adobe's sole audio editing package. As such, it's present in both the CS5. Between the consecutive releases of Audition 3 and version 5. It's not been possible to transfer every single feature in the time between the two releases particularly in the case of the Windows release, which I was testing , though this has meant that the OS X and Windows version of CS5.

So the question is: Every single panel can be docked in any position, and as you drag and drop the panels, coloured overlays appear representing the docking pattern. In fact, 'workspaces' are exactly what Adobe call these layout presets. Let The Data Flow Adobe have recently been focusing on the importance of some key aspects of digital media management: This is no bad thing for those who collaborate on projects, and shows Adobe's great confidence in their products: The mixer channels in Audition CS5.

Surround panners are also an option if you're working with multi-channel formats. The main panel can be switched between these two using buttons at the top left, or the '0' and '9' keys. Like the other screens, this monitor can be docked and resized anywhere you like. That said, envelopes, are handled very well. There's an amplitude statistics tool here too, which can measure dynamic range and RMS loudness: Audition's spectral editor is quick and easy to use.

Here I've simply deleted sections, but the Spot Healing Brush would sound more transparent. It's not just poor gear and technique that can lead to contaminated audio tracks in video post, as background sounds are sometimes unavoidable however good the crew are. Audition features the simplest and quickest spectral editor I've used to date, and it's recently been enhanced with tools borrowed from Photoshop.

Once you release your click, the offending audio is removed without leaving a gaping hole. Smaller sounds such as bird tweets can be removed with only minimal artifacts. Effects are either displayed in the Effects panel for the currently selected track, or in the track itself, depending on whether effects, routing, EQ or inputs and outputs view is selected.

Audition has some powerful effects that are designed for off-line use, but can nevertheless be plugged into the multitrack view in real time, if you have the processor power. These effects such as the Adaptive Noise Reduction described in the 'Noise Annoys' box appear in red, warning that you may experience the usual pops and dropouts associated with insufficient processing power. If you do experience problems with real-time playback, the freeze button performs as it does in other DAWs, bouncing the track in the background in order to reduce CPU load.

With CS5. Once you've clicked OK, the whole lot is sent to Audition using XML data, which tells the software which parts of the original files you were using and where.

The result? Impressive stuff. The only little niggle with this function is that video export for linked projects is currently fixed to standard definition interlaced DV: With many DAWs this is pretty easy: This is one of the features that was in Audition 3 for Windows, but has not yet been implemented now that Audition has been rewritten, blended with Soundbooth, and linked to the rest of the Creative Suite.

What's more, the Alt key is currently free in that context, so Reaper's shortcut is free to pinch! As it is, time-stretching is only available in Waveform view.

You pick either the licensed Izotope algorithm, or Audition's own algorithm. Conclusion When working on post-production sound projects, several issues are ubiquitous: Audition gives you nearly everything you need to deal with these problems in the box, and turn round audio post-production projects quickly.

Adobe are promising to listen to feedback when prioritisng the features that are migrated from Audition 3, and given their track record for responding to customers, I'm sure that they will. Spectral editing in the Waveform view is quick, slick and efficient, with plenty of tools to isolate problem artifacts without destroying the rest of the sound.

The introduction of Photoshop tools hopefully with more to follow — 'magic wand' anyone? While some of the specialist mastering functions are awaiting reintroduction since the v3 to CS5. For the most part, this is because my projects themselves especially video files transcoded into lossless formats are big enough, and I don't want to fill my drive with thousands of samples that I'll never use. As long as your computer is online don't tell me you're still using one computer for the Internet and one for working!

It can be used either in real time or as an off-line effect, with very high levels of processing available. As with all noise reduction, the 'watery' artifacts are there, but they're well controlled. What Next? Pros Full multitrack recording and mixing. VST effect support. Powerful waveform and spectral editor.

Link with Premiere saves stem rendering. Keen price for the features. Cons No folders for track and media management. Some good Audition 3 features have yet to be migrated to new engine. The spectral editor is incredibly quick and easy to use and combined with noise-reduction tools.

Audition has come into its own with CS5.


Adobe Audition vs. Adobe Sound Booth

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