Marking up time in Audition CS6

Markers are the un-sung heroes of audio production. And Audition CS6 adds a bunch of new capabilities that make them even more useful in your day-to-day work. Rather than just focus on new features, we thought it would be helpful to recap a couple of the most common workflows for using markers.

But let’s start with the basics. In Audition CS6, the Markers panel is ganged with the Media Browser and Effects Rack by default, so it’s more visible and easier to get to. One of the new features we added in Audition CS6 is the ability to display markers for all open files. Audition 3 could do something similar (display markers for each file in the Files panel), but this is a much sleeker approach as it both displays the markers and enables you to work with them. In the screenshot below, we’ve opened a bunch of files with a variety of marker types.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note that the new QuickSearch field in the Markers panel means you can search for markers by name, type, or other attribute.

Markers in Audition can specify a single point in time, or they can identify a range of time—the only difference between the two types is that range markers have a duration, and are particularly useful for identifying the parts of a longer clip that you want to use. When you add a maker, its start point is added at the current playhead position.

Audition supports four marker types; if you click the Add Marker icon on the Markers panel, you get a Cue marker by default—but the fastest way to add makers in either Waveform or Multitrack view is to use the keyboard shortcuts:

 Type  Shortcut
 Cue marker  M
 CD Track markers  Shift + M
 Cart Timer  C
 Subclip marker  No default shortcut

 

We covered the new CD Burning feature and the role of Cart Timers in earlier blog posts. Subclip markers are similar to Cue markers, but are designed to enable Audition to make use of the subclips created when you log media in Adobe Prelude CS6 or Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Use them a lot? You can always customize your keyboard shortcuts.

One common task where markers can really help is taking a long recording (say, an interview, or a concert) and breaking it into smaller segments which would then either be added to a multitrack session or saved out as separate audio files. Since we know this is something a lot of folks do, we wanted to share some tips:

  • Use the M keyboard shortcut to add markers as you listen to the recording in the Waveform view.
  • To create range markers, use the I key to set an in point, and the O key to mark an out point, then press command + shift + M to turn each selection into a range marker.
  • Convert your point markers into range markers: select the markers you want to create ranges for, then use the Merge Selected Markers option (third button from the left in the Markers panel) to turn the first of each adjacent pair of markers into a range marker with that duration.
  • Tweak your markers: Adjust range durations as necessary, or give your markers more descriptive names.
  • If you’re prepping a CD, convert Cue points to CD Track markers using the Type drop-down list; you should also consider naming each range marker with the track name.

Once you’ve got your file marked up, you can insert the ranges directly into the Multitrack, or you can export them as separate files. You can also save marker ranges to a Playlist, a topic we’ll cover in more detail in a future blog post.

  • Export files from the Waveform view: Select the markers you want to export as files, then click the second button from the right (Export audio of selected range markers to separate files). This exports each range as its own file; you can specify whether to use the marker name, add prefixes or postfix numbers, where to save the file, and so on.
  • Insert ranges into a multitrack session: If you select range markers and click the last button on the right (Insert into Multitrack), you’ll be prompted to either add the ranges to an existing session or to create a new one. If you’re in Multitrack view, you can drag and drop marker ranges directly into your session.

One last handy marker-related tip: you can quickly select the time specified by a range marker by hovering over either end of the marker range icon and double-clicking. Sweet! And thus concludes our whirlwind tour…. Comments? Questions? Let us know!

The Audition CS6 Help covers some marker-related features, and Colin Smith has posted a video tutorial that touches on markers as well as Skip Selection, which we covered in an earlier blog post.

Not using Audition CS6 yet? You can download a free 30 day trial or just go ahead and order a full copy or upgrade!

Audition is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, so you can subscribe once and get access to Audition CS6, Photoshop CS6, and all of Adobe’s other creative tools.

 

 

9 Responses to Marking up time in Audition CS6

  1. Would like to know how to get exact time. For example, have a :15 PSA — how do I mix it down to being exactly 15 seconds?

    • durin says:

      You can make a Time Selection in multitrack for the exact duration you require either by using the Time-Selection tool or by typing it into the Selection/View panel manually. Then select Multitrack > Mixdown Session to New File > Time Selection from the menu bar.

  2. Uwe says:

    I captured audio that will be burned to a CD and set a CD track marker at the start of each track. Now I need to convert those markers into range markers — but merging two markers effectively removes the second marker. I need a function to create a range from a selected marker to the next marker, and then I can find-tune the endpoint of the range if necessary without losing the start location of the next track. Please consider adding that.

    • durin says:

      If you select all of the markers in the Markers panel, there is a right-click option to “Merge Selected Markers. You will need to add markers at the beginning and end of your file to make it a little easier, but I believe this will do what you want.

  3. simon says:

    Hi, under previous editions of audition you could easily lay down a click track which you could snap tracks to by using clip duplicate. The powers that be have deleted this function – perhaps the one part of Audition I used most. It’s almost a money-back-please issue for me.
    Anyone know any way to get Audition back to useful?
    I used to set up a click track in a drum editor then import a bar length clip into Audition and duplicate it. I could then snap to the bars and make accurate cuts, groupings etc. Every pro studio I’ve been in sets up a snappable click track this or a similar way. Can’t understand why they deleted the function in CS6.
    Can’t see a way to do this in CS6. Looping a clip just DOESN’T do it and is a useless function for me.

    • durin says:

      Hi Simon,

      You have several timeline and snapping options which may be what you’re looking for. If I understand what you’re asking about, here’s how I would approach setting up a session:
      1. In the Properties panel for the session, set the desired tempo by exposing the Time Display group.
      2. Enable the Metronome track by clicking the Metronome button at the top of the track panel controls, or via the menu Multitrack > Metronome > Enable Metronome.
      3. Enable snapping to the ruler from the menu via Edit > Snapping > Snap to Ruler (coarse). (You may want to enable “fine” snapping if you’ll be snapping to subdivisions of beats.)
      4. Drag your loop clips in, enable Loop mode as desired, and drag the edges to loop the content. Near the top-right corner of each clip should be a white triangle which stretches the content if dragged. You can use this to quickly stretch clips to fit a specific length or snap to match other clips and content.

      I hope this helps. If I’ve misunderstood, please elaborate on your workflow and I’ll be happy to continue troubleshooting.

  4. Ben says:

    Is there a way to export a mixdown of a multitrack session to seperate files according to the range markers? The lack of it in CS5.5 is really bothering…

    • durin says:

      The Mixdown command always renders the entire project. However, markers will be preserved in the mixdown file, and you can select the markers in the Markers panel, right-click, and choose Export Audio of Selected Range Markers to write them to disk as individual files.

      • Ben says:

        Is it possible to copy the marker positions from the multitrack session to another file? I want to make the markers in the multitrack session, then transfer it inside one of the tracks, and then export it…