Author Archive: Colin Stefani

What’s New in Adobe Audition CS6

Adobe Audition CS6 is on its way, and we are now revealing all of the new and changed features in Audition CS6 and other professional video and audio applications in Creative Suite 6 Production Premium, including Adobe Prelude and SpeedGrade. Go here for details. Information on pricing and availability is not yet available, but stay tuned here for updates.

Note that Audition CS6 and all of the other applications in CS6 Production Premium will also be available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud. Stay tuned here for additional details about Creative Cloud as they become available.

If you’re at the NAB tradeshow, come see us in the Adobe booth (SL2624) 16-19April2012. We’ll have live demonstrations and presentations by customers and Adobe personnel. We’ll also be participating in the keynote address along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Academy Award winner Rob Legato. Trainers will also be teaching CS6 versions of our professional video and audio applications at the Post|Production World Conference 14-18April2012.

Here’s a link to the summary of what’s new in CS6 professional video and audio applications, with short overview movies about some of the top features. These PDF documents are a much deeper look at what’s new, so be sure to check them out, too:

If you want to ask questions about these new and changed features, come on over to the Audition user-to-user forum. That’s the best place for questions. Questions left in comments on a blog post are much harder to work with; the blog comment system just isn’t set up for conversations.

Keep an eye on our Twitter feed (@audition) or this blog for regular updates. We will also be posting more in depth on some of the features below to help provide insight and details.

Audition CS6 Highlights:

Audition CS6 (nearly) Complete List of New Features:


  • Session templates
  • Automatic speech alignment
  • Clip grouping
    • Suspend mode
    • Focus clip actions
    • Trim/fade grouped clips
    • Time aligned stretching of groups
  • Clip spotting – Manual entry of clip start or end time
  • Clip stretching - Real-time and rendered mode using iZotope Radius
  • Vari-speed clip stretching
  • Skip selection play mode
  • Metronome
  • Save all open files with session preference
  • Select all clips from playhead to end of track
  • Sum to mono per track
  • Bounce selected track
  • Reveal clip in files panel
  • Trim to selection
  • Send clip to back
  • Preference to play/hide overlapped clips
  • Mixer enhancements
  • Snap volume and pan envelopes at 0dB
  • Drag and drop file marker range to multitrack (as clip)

Waveform (Editor)

  • Multiple clipboards
  • Skip selection play mode
  • Open append
  • Subclip marker support (Premiere and Prelude)
  • Improvements to spectral spot Healing
  • Pitch display



  • Media Browser
  • Preview in Media Browser and files panel
  • Search/filter in Media Browser and files panel
  • Display markers for all files in markers panel
  • Access and open order fields in files panel (sorting)
  • Keyboard shortcuts (shortcut editor enhancements, copy to clipboard)
  • Adobe Graphics Manager Implementation to improve UI drawing
  • DLMS Integration to support additional video and audio file format import/open
  • OpenGL display for video including improved video display for improved performance
  • New spectral display preferences
  • Support for additional frame rates (23.976, 59.94 ndf/df)
  • Machine-specific device preferences (optional common audio hardware settings for all users)
  • Import most preferences from CS5.5
  • Pinch-to-zoom, rotate to scrub Mac touchpad support (Mac only)
  • Improved properties panel UI layout

Broadcast Specific

  • ITU Loudness – Normalize files (batch) to ITU-BS.1770-2 (R128), view loudness level diagnostics
  • Native MPEG1-Layer 2 audio (MP2) import and export
  • Enhanced CART timer and metadata support

Control Surface/Automation

  • Mackie MCU, native Avid EUCON, other controller support
  • Recordable track automation (Full Write, Touch, Latch support with undo)

Format support

  • MPEG4, HD Video, and additional audio import (via DLMS)
  • Native MPEG1-Layer2 (MP2) audio import and export
  • Native APE, FLAC, OGG export and import
  • libsndfile export – export most formats supported by libsndfile
  • CD Import metadata support (via FreeDB)
  • Enhanced RAW format support





Get a sneak peek at Adobe Audition CS6!

The Audition team has been hard at work on upcoming Adobe Audition CS6 and we’re very happy to give you an early, first look!

We give you a glimpse at a couple of great new & improved features:

  • Automatic Speech Alignment:  Designed to align overdub dialogue quickly with existing production audio, the new automatic speech alignment feature does much more than merely align initial transients. When used on overdubbed dialogue, Adobe Audition analyzes the frequency spectrum involved as well as the waveforms, so each word of a dialogue clip is matched to its counterpart in the production audio—the real power is a new algorithm to provide alignment of noisy location audio to reduce mis-alignment. If you have ever worked with ADR or overdubbing, you know that this is a time consuming task and our goal was to provide a powerful tool to help make it a little easier. There’s no replacement for the skill and craft involved in professional ADR, but if you have an overdub performance which matches the location audio’s wording and phrasing, but the timing is off for lip sync, the new automatic speech alignment can help. Where you might normally perform a “stretch” on the audio to fit the timing, or be forced to do lots of editing/compositing to line up each word or phrase, automatic speech alignment can help you get good results quickly.
  • Clip Grouping:  Yes, it’s back and better than ever. Group contiguous or discontiguous clips in a single track, or across multiple tracks in the Multitrack Editor. Grouping is as easy as selecting all the clips you want; clips in the new group take on a new group color which is configurable in the properties panel. Of course, all of the shortcuts keys for grouping are back just as they were before. Perform a variety of operations on the clips in the group at one time. Easily suspend groupings to make edits to individual groups, and then quickly reapply the grouping without having to remember which clips were in the group, a very powerful editing feature. Also, easily remove or add clips without being forced ungroup and re-group operations. The new & improved clip grouping is more powerful than ever before.

Head to AdobeTV to get a first look at Adobe Audition CS6, automatic speech alignment and clip grouping:

Thanks and see you soon!


Export Keyboard Shortcuts in Audition CS5.5

Custom keyboard shortcuts are a powerful way to improve your workflow, put commands easily at your fingertips and avoid lots of point and click mousing/track-padding (I don’t know if that’s an actual word, but we’ll go with it here…). But once you go to the trouble of creating that custom keyboard layout, how do you move it to a new machine? or share it with someone else? Well this is easier than it may seem…

Adobe Audition CS5.5 will create an XML file of your custom keyboard layout when you save in the Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts dialog. You can then copy this file and take it with you to another workstation, give it to others or just save it for safe keeping.

Here’s how…

Step 1: Open the keyboard shortcuts dialog window (under the menu item “Edit” > “Keyboard Shorts…”)

Step 2: Customize (if you haven’t already) your keyboard commands and shortcuts

Step 3: Click the “Save As…” and name your newly minted custom keyboard set

Step 4: On your system, open up your explorer/finder window (depending on your OS) and navigate to the Audition preferences folder:

  • On Mac OSX:
    /Users/<your user name>/Library/Preferences/Adobe/Audition/4.0/
  • On Windows Vista/7:
  • On Windows XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Adobe\Audition\4.0\

NOTE: On OSX 10.7 (Lion) and Windows you may need to show hidden folders to see these locations above. Consult your OS help docs for directions on how to do this.

Step 5: Navigate inside the “4.0″ folder and look for a folder named “Shortcuts” (if this doesn’t exist, then you may need to go through steps 1 through 3 again). In this folder will be your custom keyboard shortcut XML settings file(s) with the same name you used in the “Save As…” dialog. Copy the file(s) you wish to take with you to the new system.

Step 6: On the new system, copy the XML file(s) to the same “Shortcuts” folder you find under the paths in Step #4. If this folder doesn’t exist, just simply create it and copy the XML files in. When you start Audition CS5.5, the sets of shortcuts will be listed in the keyboard shortcuts dialog for you to select.

Because these are plain text XML files, you can move them cross platform between Mac OSX and Windows systems. Also note, in this same preferences folder  you will find workspace settings, effect presets and other settings you may have customized and you will find they are all XML files as well and portable between systems just like these keyboard shortcuts. If you like to customize your setup, then the folders listed in Step #4 can be copied and moved around or just backed up.

Happy Customizing!


Want to talk with us about Audition?

The feature-request/bug-report form is the absolute best, most effective way to communicate with Adobe about feature requests and product bugs. The Audition team takes your feedback seriously and reads everything you submit there.

The Adobe Audition user-to-user forum is great for asking questions about how to use the software. Before posting a question, first do a search to confirm whether your question has been answered before—many have.

If you need one-on-one assistance, see this page to contact Adobe Technical Support. (Note that you must register your product before you can open a technical support case for it.)

To keep up with the latest Audition developments, follow our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Inside Sound blog.

Lastly, if you’re still running Audition 3.0, be sure to update to 3.0.1 to get the very best performance out of the app. This quick download fixes a wide range of issues that customers reported using the bug report form above. We’re listening to you!

Announcing Adobe Audition for the Mac public beta!

We are very pleased to announce that Adobe Audition for the Mac is now available for public beta (you can see the press release here). We encourage you to give it a try and provide us with feedback.

Audition will be shipped on both Windows and Mac OS when the time comes, but given that Mac OS is a new platform for Audition it is important we gather as much feedback and testing as possible in order to make this is a great product for all users.

Visit the Adobe Audition Labs page for download information and more details:

Following the Letter of the (Pan) Law

Have you ever moved an audio or video project from one application to another or performed a mix down of your tracks, only to have the volume be too loud or too quiet for no apparent reason?

Dan Ramirez from the After Effects team brought it to our attention that he has recently been fielding questions about differences in audio levels when moving a project from one NLE (or DAW) to another. We in the Audition team thought this was a very relevant and interesting topic as many of you may also encounter problems with your audio levels such as quiet/loud vocals/narration, possibly even clipping when you know the files are OK, all resulting in uneven audio mixes. These problems often arise because the new application uses a different “pan law” than the application you originally mixed your audio with.

The pan law (or sometimes called “pan rule” or “panning law”) simply determines how an audio signal is modified across the Left to Right stereo field. To illustrate, if you pan a track to the right, the sound comes out your right speaker only, then if you pan the track to the center, the sound comes out of both speakers. If the same volume level was used when panned right and also in the center, the center would be louder than the right because the same level is now coming out both speakers, not just one and yet you haven’t made any changes to your mix.

The pan law creates a consistent and smooth volume transition when panning from right or left to the center in a stereo field. This compensation is done by reducing the level of the audio channel the closer it’s panned to the center. Typically the signal is lowered as it approaches center using a sine/cosine curve ranging from -3 dB to -6 dB (this sometimes is done using a logarithmic curve as an alternative). There was research completed in the 1930’s by Disney which suggested that -3 dB was optimal for the listener, however a different study done by the BBC in the 1970’s suggest that -4.5 dB was better. What is “best” is up for debate and will depend largely on the listener, listening environment, speaker placement and the speakers themselves (including headphones). See the reference bullets at the end of the post for more detail on this.

I should note this does not just apply to software, but also to external mixing consoles (digital and analog) which have since the beginning of stereo audio employed the same pan law principals, for example SSL consoles use a -4.5 dB pan law and Yamaha digital consoles typically use a -3 dB pan law.

Applications like Adobe Audition, along with other NLE’s and DAW’s, allow you to change your pan law settings to resolve the differences and ensure you get quality mixes for your project. Getting familiar with these settings can help you get past the clipping audio channels and back onto making creative decisions.

Accessing and changing this option in Audition 3 is easy:

  1. Go to “View” on the top menu bar
  2. Choose “Advanced Session Properties…” (or you can get to this using the shortcut CTRL+P)
  3. Select the “Mixing” tab:
Audition 3 Advanaced Session Settings dialog

Audition 3 Advanaced Session Settings dialog

References for further reading…

  • Gerzon, Michael A. 1992. Panpot laws for multispeaker stereo. 92nd Convention of the Audio Eng. Soc., Vienna. Preprint 3309.
  • Holman, T. (2000) 5.1 Surround Sound Up and Running. Focal Press Rumsey, F. (2001) Spatial Audio. Focal Press.

Of course, surround sound mixing adds yet another dimension to this, but that’s a topic for another day…


Colin Stefani / Sr. Program Manager – Audio

The Adobe Audition Team