Author Archive: durin

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.

Audition Deep Dive: REMIX – Automatically rearrange any song to fit any duration

Music is a crucial element for most video productions, supporting the visuals and providing the perfect mood. But our favorite musicians rarely consider the length of our video projects when composing and producing their songs. This means we often need to pay a remix engineer to create a new version of a song, try to tackle it ourselves by finding loopable clips and aligning beats, or giving up and just creating an abrupt fade out at the end of our project. None of these solutions help with budgets, deadlines, or artistic integrity, which is where a new feature in Adobe Audition steps in to save the day.

Audition’s new REMIX tool analyzes your song files, identifying hundreds of loops, transitions, and important segments, and then allows you to quickly remix to any duration. While it’s default settings are often nothing short of miraculous, several parameters allow editors to dial in an ideal new arrangement.

The song file is much longer than the video, but I don't want to just fade out in the middle of a verse.

This song file is much longer than the video, but I don’t want to just fade out in the middle of a verse. Remix will analyze the song and find dozens of potential transitions, then put the pieces together to create a new shorter or longer song to match my desired duration as closely as possible.

To use Remix in your own projects, drop a song clip into an empty track in your multitrack session. Open the Properties panel and click Enable Remix <replace with image of button> in the Remix group. Audition will analyze the recording using a combination of beat detection and source-separation for harmonic identification. This process usually takes around 4 seconds per minute of source music, so it should be very fast. Once analyzed, you can type a specific Target Duration in the panel, or simply drag the zig-zag Remix Clip Handles to adjust the length of your clip and snap to length of your video file.

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Drag the Remix clip handles, or type an exact duration to create a remix.

Drag the Remix clip handles, or type an exact duration to create a remix.

Almost instantaneously, your clip will be remixed with each transition between two segments of the original song indicated by vertical zig-zags, which resemble splices on old tape or film recordings.  Move the playhead a few seconds before one of these transitions and hit play, listening closely as Audition crossfades over the beat.

In green is the Remix clip, while the pink track represents the individual clips and crossfades used to compose the remix.

In green is the Remix clip, while the pink track exposes the individual clips and crossfades used to compose the remix.  Note that the crossfades are represented by white zig-zags in the Remix clip. You will likely work completely with the single Remix clip, but if you right-click and choose Remix > Split Remixed Clip into Segments, you can access each segment or adjust crossfades as you like.

For a lot of music, the default results will sound great and be unnoticeable by listeners. But for well-known or dynamic songs, you may want to try a different arrangement. Open the Remix Properties Advanced section and you’ll see a small selection of options that will adjust your remix.

 

Depending on the tempo and specific nature of the song you used, the duration may not be exactly precise. You could enable the Stretch to exact duration parameter, applying a real-time stretch to the clip for sample-perfect timing.

Edit Length

Edit Length tells the algorithm to favor shorter segments with more transitions, or longer segments with fewer transitions. If your original song changes fairly dramatically from start to finish, shorter segments and more transitions will allow your remix to flow more naturally. Songs with a consistent structure and style may benefit from fewer transitions, keeping any changes to a minimum.

Features:

Features instructs the algorithm to favor Timbre (rhythmic elements) or Harmonic structure when making transitions and crossfades. For electronic or pop music, Timbre will make sure the beat stays locked in place. For choral or softer tracks, Harmonic emphasis will help create smooth blends.

Minimum Loop:

Minimum Loop tells Audition the shortest segment you will permit, in number of beats, and can be useful if the algorithm makes short transitions which might be mathematically ideal, but which sound unnatural to our subjective ears.

Maximum Slack:

Finally, Maximum Slack constrains the remix duration to as close to your target duration as possible. If an exact duration is not necessary, adjusting this parameter can make for better-sounding remixes.

 

We hope Audition’s Remix tool helps you work faster and generate better results for less effort. It might not put remix professionals out of work just yet, but several DJ’s have already told me they’ll be using it as part of their own workflows. I feel confident you’ll make it part of yours as well.

Notification: Audition CC 2015.1 to remove “Upload to Soundcloud” support

Our upcoming update for Audition CC 2015 will remove the export command “Upload to Soundcloud” and its related functionality.  The Soundcloud Desktop Sharing Kit (Mac Windows) was the integration method recommended when this feature was first introduced, but has been discontinued by Soundcloud for several years, and their server-side implementation has changed such that the tool is now nonfunctional on most platforms.

While we will investigate an update integration for the future, independent developers may be interested in building an Adobe CEP Extension panel and using Soundcloud’s HTTP API to integrate support for Audition.

Audition Basics: Multitrack vs. Waveform editing. What is “Destructive” editing, anyway?

I’ve been meaning to start a blog series covering basic Audition workflows and tools for some time now.  Our documentation and promotional teams do a great job showing off what’s new in each release, but we don’t offer a lot of in-depth training material for Creative Cloud members just getting started.  It is my goal with this ongoing series to cover the topics that help our readers become masters with Audition and audio editing.

Audition is a deep application with a long history and a wide variety of users, so it’s no surprise that its terminology and interface can feel intimidating to artists and professionals from other disciplines.  But apart from a few new words and slight conceptual differences with other production tools, crafting incredible-sounding audio with Adobe Audition can be a simple and fun experience!


WAVEFORM vs. MULTITRACK
Waveform vs. Multitrack

Audition has two primary editing environments.  Multitrack offers a non-destructive clip-based workspace, where you arrange new or imported audio files on a timeline, blending and fading between tracks, and adding real-time processing effects like Reverb or Compression to your clips.  (We’ll cover Compression in another post, so don’t worry about it yet.)  Multitrack editors re-arrange pieces, modify timing, and adjust loudness levels for each piece until perfect, then render their project into a final audio file – often WAV or MP3.  This workflow only uses existing media or creates new media, but never makes changes to the original files.  Multitrack view is often the workspace of choice for video post-production, podcast and radio show creation, and musical composition.

A multitrack session consists of audio clips on a timeline. The clips reference files on disk, but changes made in this workspace are non-destructive and never change files on disk.

A multitrack session consists of audio clips on a timeline. The clips reference files on disk, but changes made in this workspace are non-destructive and never change files on disk.

Waveform view, on the other hand, is a destructive waveform editing workspace capable of in-depth analysis and sample-accurate selections and processing.  Many effects and tools available in this workspace require multiple passes or are not real-time compatible, and result in changes to the actual data recorded in an audio file.  This means that if you make a change to a file in Waveform view and click Save, you are usually overwriting the contents of the file you edited.  This distinction can be tricky for users used to non-destructive NLE or DAW applications to wrap their heads around.

Waveform view offers extensive editing and analysis tools, but any changes made may overwrite the original file.

Waveform view offers extensive editing and analysis tools, but any changes made may overwrite the original file.

Now, why on earth would Audition support modifying your files?  Surely someone must be off their medication to allow such a tool!  Not really.  One of earliest adopters of Audition (and its predecessor, Cool Edit Pro) were radio journalists under exceptionally tight deadlines.  These folks had no time for creating multitrack projects, importing assets, or rendering a mixdown before exporting to the particular flavor of MP2 or WAV their playback automation system supports!  Recording a single report quickly, deleting the “umm”s as fast as possible, and exporting directly to disk enabled them to work as fast as the news happened.  In forensics and archival industries, Audition’s Spectral Frequency Editing environment allows selecting specific sounds and manipulating recordings as easily as using Windows Paint.  Restoring bad recordings into usable or even good, clear audio files can mean proving an alibi in court, understanding Edison’s voice, or hearing a whale’s song.


These two worlds collide when double-clicking a clip in Multitrack opens it in Waveform view.  You can make destructive edits to your assets in Waveform view, that directly change the content in Multitrack view.  In most cases, this is good!  Perhaps there’s a bad hum or background noise, or a production assistant’s cell phone chime occurred during the best take of a scene.  Maybe you want to create an effect where a sound effect speeds up and slows down.  Or you might need to remove some or all of the clicks and pops from a drum loop captured from an old vinyl record.  If you make a change to an original file used in a Multitrack session, Audition will ask if you wish to save the edited file the next time you save your session.i

But if you want to avoid any possibility of destructively modifying your media files, consider working from backup copies of your assets, keeping the originals on a separate storage device. Then you can always restore the file and revert any changes made to an audio file.  Also, before double-clicking a clip to open in Waveform view, right-click and choose Convert to Unique Copy.  This will render the contents of the clip to a new file and relink the clip.  (Similar to Render and Replace in Premiere Pro.)  Any edits performed in Waveform view will only be applied to the copy.


Have a question about editing or mixing audio?  Share it in the comments or via email to audbugs@adobe.com and we’ll try to answer it in an upcoming Audition Basics article.

 

 

Audition CC and OSX 10.11 (El Capitan)

UPDATE: We have confirmed that the latest beta release of 10.11.1 fixes this issue and allows Audition to run all its plugin effects without any additional problem.  This update also appears to resolve the similar issues found in Audition CS6.  This update should be available to all users Wednesday, Oct 21, 2015.

Attention Mac users:

We recommend users refrain from upgrading to OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) at this time.  Due to changes in application signing, users report crashing with many plugins and native effects.  Additionally, there are many audio devices that will not function without updated drivers, and support has been dropped for many legacy devices by their manufacturers.  Users may also not see the splash screen on launch.

As with most OS upgrades, you may wish to abstain from updating until your applications are confirmed to work correctly, or after any ongoing projects are complete.

The effects that may cause a crash when the UI is displayed are:

  • Analog Delay
  • Chorus/Flanger
  • Convolution Reverb
  • DeEsser
  • DeHummer
  • Distortion
  • Guitar Suite
  • Multiband Compressor
  • Phaser
  • Mastering
  • Single Band Compressor
  • Surround Reverb
  • Tube-Modeled Compressor
  • Vocal Enhancer

 

MacRumors forums have been maintaining a list of additional software that may not function under El Capitan without developer updates at http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/os-x-el-capitan-working-not-working-apps.1890772/

Additional links:
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/support/knowledge-base/show/4431/os-x-10.11-el-capitan-compatibility-news/
http://www.pro-tools-expert.com/home-page/2015/9/30/apogee-mac-os-x-el-capitan-compatibility
https://www.izotope.com/en/community/blog/product-news/2015/09/el-capitan-compatibility/