Author Archive: Durin Gleaves

Announcing New Features and a New Blog

Get a sneak peek at the brand new features and enhanced workflows Adobe will showcase next week at NAB Show 2016: http://adobe.ly/1TGXQSQ

Probably the most exciting of these announcements is what’s coming to Adobe Audition CC in the next release: The new Essential Sound panel enables novices to mix audio content with professional results in a single panel. Modeled after the Lumetri Color panel in Premiere Pro, the Essential Sound panel provides simple controls to unify volume levels, repair sound, improve clarity, and help your video projects sound like they were mixed by an audio engineer. The upcoming update to Audition CC will support exporting with Adobe Media Encoder directly from the timeline. Get all the details here: http://adobe.ly/1Nl2uzu

Heading to NAB Show 2016? Swing by the Adobe booth: SL-SL3910 for demonstrations of these features and more. 

We’re also unveiling a new blog today. As workflows between products become more integrated, so too shall the blog spaces. We’re excited about a new section of the Creative Cloud blog dedicated to Video & Audio tools. Subscribe now to get updates on the latest news, interviews, and more about the Adobe Creative Cloud video and audio toolkit: http://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/dva/ For an audion-specific newsfeed (with lots more to come), bookmark: http://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/tag/audio-workflows/

Craig Windham, NPR journalist and newscaster, has passed away

Very saddened by the news today that Craig Windham died suddenly this weekend.  Craig was a consummate professional, and always one of my favorite NPR voices, and his presence will be sorely missed.  While reading about his passing, I learned how active he was in adolescent counseling outside of his work, which speaks well of his character.  Our condolences to his family and staff at NPR.

Adobe CEP Extensions, and developing add-ons for Audition

With the CC 2015.1 release of Audition, we implemented support for third-party integration via the Adobe Context Extensibility Platform (CEP).  This technology allows anyone with some HTML and JavaScript know-how to build integrated panels that extend or supplement the functionality of Adobe applications, offer access to third-party and web technologies without leaving the applications, and allow those services to share Application data and files back-and-forth.  There are already over 1600 addons available for Adobe desktop applications such as Premiere Pro and Photoshop.

Technology partners such as Pop Up Archive have already published extensions for Audition which can be easily installed by ensuring File Sync is enabled in your Creative Cloud Desktop application.  But I wanted to make sure something was available for everyone who downloaded the update of Audition, and so I spent some time working on a simple panel to help users find some of our favorite sites and tools.  The Adobe Audition Portal extension was born!

The Adobe Audition Portal extension can be found in the menu bar under Window > Extensions.

The Adobe Audition Portal extension can be found in the menu bar under Window > Extensions.

This portal provides fast links to our user forums, bug report form, blog, as well as downloadable content.  You folks sure like downloadable content!  By far the most visited link is to our library of over 10,000 high-quality, royalty-free sound effects, followed closely by visits to the Adobe Extensions marketplace.  If you have suggestions for additional links or updated content you’d like to see, please click the User Feedback button in the portal and send your comments!


 

If you’re not interested in what it might take to build a custom panel of your own, please feel free to quit reading and do something special just for you!  For the rest of y’all, I’ll share some of the journey and lessons I had building this panel.

A CEP Extension is essentially a native panel in an Adobe application which hosts an embedded Chromium browser which can host standard HTML 5, Javascript, and Node.js sites.  An additional JavaScript library enabled communication between the JavaScript code and the commands and metadata exposed by the host application, as well as issuing commands in Adobe’s native ExtendScript language.  ExtendScript is essentially JavaScript with a few additional commands.  I won’t go into details here, but for more information, please visit the Adobe CEP Getting Started Guide or start on the Audition Developers Network page, which includes resources for CEP development, as well as SDK’s for our file format, multitrack session, and control surface libraries.

Initially, I had hoped to build a navigation bar where each linked webpage would load in an iframe below.  This proved to be untenable as XSS (Cross-Site Security) issues prevented pages or elements from loading properly.  After trying many different approaches, I resigned to simply launching each link in the default browser.

I also wanted to be able to update the content of this panel as-needed, without requiring users to update.  In this case, I host the content on an internal Adobe server to which I have access and is secure and reliable, and the local files simply perform a JavaScript-redirect when loaded.  In case of network problems, there is an internal backup which can load, but overall the panel is of little value without connectivity.  As Audition ships in many languages, I needed to make certain the portal language reflected the installed settings.  All my strings are stored in a JSON object, with the localization for each language code wrapped inside an element ID.  Using ExtendScript, I am able to query Audition for the installed language and automatically display the correct text strings.

For users with existing web services who may wish to develop an in-app interface, it may be far simpler than you expect.  As above, a JavaScript-redirect to your own hosted server provides the ability to push changes quickly and easily, without the delays of updating to the extension marketplace and hoping users update when prompted.  The user of URL variable flags can be used to trigger the loading of additional libraries, including the necessary support libraries for CEP support, and add functionality only if the server detects the visitor is within a panel.

If you have any further questions about the Audition Portal extension, or developing your own extensions, please feel free to leave a comment on our blog, or visit our Audition Developers forum online.

Goodbye, Larry Jordan… For a little while.

Our friend and a prolific creator of post-production training content, Larry Jordan, has announced he’s shuttering LarryJordan.com and DigitalProductionBuzz.com.  For 15 years, Larry’s videos, blog articles, and podcasts have helped editors hone their skills, perfect their techniques, and bravely venture into new technologies that have made video production so exciting.  His Learn Adobe Audition CC video training series is one of the best packages available for video editors of any NLE wanting more control over the quality and mix of their audio content.

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Larry has been a long-time friend of Audition for years, sharing his experience and deep industry knowledge and making sure our development team was staying on target.  At trade shows, his team has always been incredibly professional and sharp, running a tight ship with little rest, and producing great results.  While he’ll still be around and building up a new enterprise, we’ll certainly miss his tutorials and his mainstay presence at shows like NAB and BVE.

Please visit his announcement page for more details or to share your wishes.  Browse the online store to pick up great tutorials on everything from Video Compression Basics to Professional Green Screen effects.

Quick note to those reaching out about industry rumors today…

We’ve had a few folks reach out to us today after reading rumors about layoffs at one of our competitors, and I wanted to share a quick note reassuring our users that Audition is in great shape.  We’re seeing great growth in active users, and customers are sharing some really exciting projects depending on Audition for their audio production and post-production needs.  Our product team is working on some fantastic new workflows and features, our research group is sharing some really innovative new ideas and approaches to audio analysis and production, and we’re still hearing daily how recent features like Remix are revolutionizing the way they work.  We’re also lining up some incredible speakers for NAB, professionals who couldn’t do the amazing work they do without Audition.  It’s looking to be a great year with some big surprises coming up!

Our condolences to any of our industry colleagues who may have received bad news today.  I hope you’re all commiserating over beers tonight, recuperate over the weekend, and have wonderful new opportunities come your way next week.

Watch: Jason Levine leads an Adobe Audition Masterclass

Happy new year!  It’s already well into 2016, and I’m halfway through my 5th David Bowie record of the mo(u)rning.  Only a dozen or so to go.  I know y’all could use some cheering up, so I’m really happy I get to share this video with you.  Almost a year ago, Jason Levine hosted several 90-minute classes on Audition for broadcasters at the BVE event in London, and with thanks to Matt Gyves, we were able to record one of those sessions.  I’ve finally gotten around to editing and posting the session on YouTube, so if you’re looking for a bit of training by one of the best in the business – and if you only know Jason as the extremely enthusiastic Adobe guy on stage, you’ll love this more subdued and embraceable Jason in educator mode – please set aside some time to learn and laugh as he covers everything from Premiere-Audition roundtrip, repairing distortion or “hot” recordings, mixing for surround, and more!

The whole enchilada can be viewed at http://adobe.ly/1mRf9DK

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Some highlights:

Popping up in Premiere Pro and Audition

An interview with the creators of Pop Up Archive, a cutting-edge solution that makes sound searchable
by Nakiesha Koss

In 2012, Pop Up Archive co-founders Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith set out to push media forward. As journalists they’d seen firsthand the challenges facing audio producers. While pursuing their Masters degrees at the UC Berkeley School of Information with a focus on uniting technology and media, they identified the need to search, organize, and archive audio. We sat down with Anne Wootton and software engineer Shindo Strzelczyk, to learn how the team developed an award-winning solution for this industry need.

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How did Pop Up Archive come to exist?

AW: Working with sound and video can be incredibly frustrating. Whether a file is born digital or gets digitized, the data has little value if you can’t find it. We saw the need for audio to be organized in a way that makes it accessible. It started out as simple forms for adding better metadata and we quickly began working with speech-to-text technology. We worked with the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) to develop the platform. They helped us with the initial infrastructure. Today, Pop Up Archive offers a lightweight, straightforward solution by automatically tagging, indexing, and transcribing audio files – allowing users to search for exact moments in a matter of seconds.

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Who uses Pop Up Archive?

AW: We built Pop Up Archive with producers in mind. They are focused on the business and the art of creating, and are not necessarily archivists or technologists. That being said, our customers range from individuals to large enterprise groups including radio stations, news rooms, podcasts, and archival collections. Anywhere there is audio, we are there to help. More details about our users can be found on our website.

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Where does Pop Up Archive intersect with Adobe video and audio tools?

AW: Ultimately we want data to be valuable in the act of editing and producing audio and video, which is the point where our technology dovetails nicely with Adobe tools. The people who are working with Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition are in many ways our ideal users as they understand the core fundamental reasons Pop Up Archive was created. We’re excited to get it in front of more people through plug-ins in these Adobe tools.

SS: When considering how to best develop for interoperability with Adobe applications, we realized our website was already really easy to navigate. So instead of creating something from scratch, we made a window to our site inside the software. Users can drag and drop from within their editing program. The scrubbers are synced, so in the Pop Up Archive extension you can click on the exact moment you want to edit and go directly there in Premiere Pro or Audition. With the “Import to Premiere Pro” button, users can import a transcript to the metadata of their project. All the code lives on our servers, so updates in our system are immediately reflected in the extension. It’s very intuitive for anyone who is familiar with the Pop Up Archive website.

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Now that it’s out there for people to use, what’s the best part?

AW: We are constantly thrilled to hear from reporters and radio hosts who are using Pop Up Archive to log and produce stories that might otherwise be impossible. We’ve also gotten to work with some really special collections. The day-to-day feedback is extremely fulfilling.

What’s next for Pop Up Archive?

AW: We are continually evaluating the best applications of this technology for the radio and audio industries. We will continue to innovate based on customer feedback, synthesizing what people want and what is working well to inform next steps.

Get the Pop Up Archive extension for Premiere Pro CC and Audition CC
Learn more about developing for and using third-party extensions in Premiere Pro and Audition

The latest update for Audition CC 2015 now available!

It’s my pleasure to announce that the latest release of Adobe Audition CC 2015 is now available for download!  I shared a sneak peek online in September, and in person at IBC, and today I’m happy to make it available to all Creative Cloud members.  Whether you’ll be using Remix to craft custom re-arrangements from your music library, downloading or developing integrated Creative Cloud Extension panels, synthesizing scratch voiceovers using Generate Speech, or using our updated Loudness tools to ensure broadcast regulation compatibility, this update is built to delight you.  Workspace bar and increased UI performance with large multitrack sessions round out the new improvements by helping you work faster than ever before.

Audition CC 2015.1

Watch for deep dives into each of these features over the next few weeks, where we’ll show you all the tips and tricks to getting the best results.  You can see Jason Levine presenting Audio Tools for Post at IBC, and be sure to let us know on Twitter and Facebook how you’re using #AdobeAudition in your projects.

You can install the latest update for Adobe Audition through Creative Cloud for desktop or from within Audition by selecting Help > Updates in the menu.

Find out what’s new in the rest of the Adobe video and audio tools lineup:

If you have a Creative Cloud membership, you always have access to the most up-to-date version of Audition. Go to the Creative Cloud site to download it and other Adobe applications. To try out the 2015 update for Adobe Audition CC, you can sign up for a free Creative Cloud trial membership.  For information about Creative Cloud memberships, visit this page.

Audition Deep Dive: Loudness Correction

Loudness has become one of the biggest topics in broadcast over the last few years, as most countries have introduced requirements to balance program volume across all content.  It’s not a guessing game, however, and standards have been clearly defined for the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia, and many other regions.  A few years ago, Audition first offered loudness correction for broadcast users within our Match Volume panel, later introducing the real-time Radar Loudness metering panel, licensed by our partners at TC Electronic.  Since then, many users requested Audition expand the loudness correction tool to support new and updated standards and additional features, as well as reduce the steps needed to ensure a project in Premiere was ready for broadcast.  I’m very happy to announce that our team responded, introducing new presets for ATSC and EBU, and adding True Peak Limiting.  We also put the exact same functionality into Adobe Media Encoder and Premiere Pro!

Find the new options and loudness features in the Match Loudness panel.

Find the new options and loudness features in the Match Loudness panel.

In the Match To dropdown, select the preset for your region or adjust the parameters to your custom settings, and we’ll remember them for next time.  ITU-R BS.1770-3 has been updated to meet the latest standards, and is the foundation upon which most other loudness legislation is based upon.  ATSC A/85 meets the U.S. regulations, and EBU R128 is calibrated for European distribution.

Match True Peak Level ensures your intra-sample signals will NEVER clip, which is not always the case with standard limiters.  A normal hard limiter limits sample values, preventing any single sample from exceeding the limit, however, there are situations as consecutive samples approach the limit where the signal can clip even though no sample has.  True Peak limiting looks ahead and calculates whether the signal will clip between samples, and will adjust accordingly.  (We also added True Peak limiting to our Hard Limiter effect, so you can use it with your existing, non-broadcast loudness workflows, too!)

As I mentioned, we also put these same world-class automated loudness correction tools in Premiere Pro and AME, so you don’t need to take a special trip to Audition if you’re not already mixing and mastering your audio there..  When you export a sequence, find the new Loudness section located in the export Effects group.  Same options, same results!  You can also choose to export a Loudness Report which is an XML-based document that contains the analysis and correction details, which is required for many locales or organizations.

Keep on scrolling, it's a ways down there!

Keep on scrolling, it’s a ways down the Effects column!

Audition Deep Dive: Generate Speech

Generate Speech

Modern operating systems come packed with features that are often hidden away or difficult to use.  Both OS X and Windows support speech synthesis using standardized voice libraries, but they are often exposed only through command-line operations or as an accessibility feature.  It’s been difficult for editors and producers to use these tools in their projects to generate scratch voiceovers, interesting transitions and narration, or for use in game design. Audition now offers an easy-to-use panel to access these voices to generate speech files for use in your recordings and multitrack projects.

To get started, select Effects > Generate > Speech… from the menu bar in either Waveform or Multitrack view.  You may be prompted to create a new file to store the synthesized speech track.  The interface is simple: Select the language, gender, and voice you wish to use, then type or paste the text you want to hear them say.

Use any SAPI5-compatible voice library for Windows or OS X and easily generate speech tracks in Waveform or Multitrack view

Use any SAPI5-compatible voice library for Windows or OS X and easily generate speech tracks in Waveform or Multitrack view 

You can preview different voices and make adjustments to the speaking rate, choosing a shorter or faster cadence.  If you’re creating scratch voiceovers that will be replaced later, choose a rate which closely matches the speaking rate of your talent or actors.             

Your OS probably has a few voices already installed for you, which are generally for personal use only and not licensed for use in commercial projects, but you can purchase and license hundreds of high-quality voices from many online companies.  For OS X users, many additional voices and languages may be available for download.  Click the Settingbutton to open the OS Speech preferences, then choose Customize… from the System Voice parameter.

 To preview and purchase voices which may be used commercially, visit the websites below.  There are also applications available which enable anyone to create their own voice libraries which can be installed and distributed.