Posts tagged "Audition"

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

Yes, Audition is coming to the Mac!!!

Today on Adobe Labs, we announced that Adobe® Audition®, the all-in-one professional audio toolset for recording, mixing, editing and mastering, is going to come to the Mac in a future release! Check out the labs page to see video of it in action. If you’re as excited as we are, please sign up to be notified when the beta is available so you can test some of the new features and provide us with your feedback:

Key innovations in the future release of Adobe Audition include native multi-channel support for 5.1 surround sound for professional results, noise reduction and restoration capabilities, significant performance and time-saving improvements, and new audio effects including de-hummer, de-esser, and volume leveler. All of these capabilities are planned to come to Mac users in the next release of Adobe’s comprehensive professional audio editing tool.

Using Audition to save sections of a long audio file into separate files

As anyone familiar with Audition already knows, its depth of features and functionality can sometimes be overwhelming. Because of this we often hear users explain how they stumble upon a time-saving feature they never realized had always been there in the application. One of these “hidden” features we hear of most often is the ability to batch export marker ranges as individual files.
This feature is most useful for splitting a long recording into several individual assets, but it can also be used to create unique copies of the sections of audio that are most important within any open audio file. Here’s an example of how this works.

  1. Open an audio file into the Edit view of Audition.
  2. Go to Window > Marker List to open the Markers Panel.
  3. Select a section of audio that you would like to export as its own file.
  4. Click the F8 key on your keyboard or click the “Add Marker” button in the Markers Panel.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each section of audio you wish to export as a new file.
  6. When you are done marking each section, go to the Markers Panel and give each marker its own name (Label) or leave them with the default generic marker labels.
  7. Select the marker ranges you wish to export (CTRL or SHIFT + click each marker).
  8. Click the “Batch Export Marker Regions” button which is at the bottom of the Markers Panel with a floppy disk icon. If this button is disabled it means you either do not have any markers selected or you have individual point markers chosen and not ranges (range markers will always have a begin and end time).
  9. When the Batch Process Marker Ranges dialog appears you can choose to either “Save to files”, or add a certain amount of silence to the start and end of each marker. For the purpose of this walk-through, choose “Save to files”.
  10. Next, you can choose if you want to use the Marker label as the filename, or set your own Prefix and Sequence Start number for all exported files.
  11. Once you have the naming convention chosen, choose the destination of where the individual files will be saved and set your export format and options.
  12. Click OK to export your new audio files.
  13. Browse to the folder you exported your new files to and take the next steps to burn them to CD, email them to clients, archive them for later or continue editing each asset in Audition.

This is a feature that has been around since the days of Cool Edit Pro and continues to be a hidden gem for many of our customers. Hopefully this post gets enough exposure to help more of you find and take advantage of this time saving batch export feature in Audition.
Ron Day
Quality Engineering Lead

Audition Special Promotions

We were able to secure some special promotions thanks to B&H Photo and Video. Check these out!

Adobe Adobe Audition 3/Blue Microphone kit for $599

  • Adobe Audition 3 Software
  • BlueBird Condenser Microphone
  • Blue Icicle USB Microphone Interface
  • Blueberry Microphone Cable

    Adobe Audition 3/ PreSonus kit for $479.95

  • Adobe Audition 3 Software
  • PreSonus – AudioBox USB – Audio Recording Interface
  • Audio-Technica – AT2020 – Condenser Microphone
  • Audio-Technica – 3-pin XLR Male to 3-pin XLR Female Balanced Cable – 15 ft

    Louise Ping

    Audition 3 for Broadcast Whitepaper

    Check out the whitepaper we had created on what tools Audition 3 has for broadcast audio engineers. The paper covers everything from audio restoration and clean-up to working with different audio formats, and mixing and mastering sound.

    Let us know what you think!


    Audition/Soundbooth Session at MAX 2009

    MAX 2009, Adobe’s largest designer and developer event is right around the corner. Coming quick on October 4-7, 2009, it will be located in Los Angeles this year. MAX tends to be jam-packed with Flash developers, motion graphics artists, and videographers, so not your typical audio event. However, we are going to have one audio session, and are working hard on what to focus on. Our comrade in audio, Jason Levine, will be the presenter for a 60 minute session dedicated to Soundbooth CS4 and Audition 3.

    Jason will kick-off the session with creating sound in Soundbooth CS4, and then go on to developing more advanced skills with Audition 3. He’ll help folks figure out I whether Soundbooth or Audition is best for them and focus on some key techniques to make audio engineering easier. Should be an interesting event with a lot of visually creative professionals looking to design audio for their projects.

    For more details, go to: