Cue The Karaoke !

In Japanese, “Kara” = Empty & “Oke” = Orchestra. That’s what you get in certain bars if you happen to be there on the wrong night. That’s what you are occasionally obligated to partake in when socializing with colleagues in Japan. And that’s one way of describing the Looping functionality of Adobe Audition 2.0.

If you’re a video or Flash person, you’re going to want to use Audition’s Looping features to create soundtrack elements & music beds for your productions. We include thousands of uncompressed, royalty-free sound loops with both Audition and Production Studio, and there’s a huge degree of control over things like tempo, key, and the overall sound of whatever it is you want to create. So here are the basic steps for creating a musical piece in Audition and exporting it for use in Premiere Pro, After Effects, Flash, or Encore DVD:

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First, make sure you’re in Multitrack mode by clicking on the Multitrack button at the top of the Audition 2.0 UI (see top of figure above). Then make sure the Main tab is selected. Right-mouse-click on any of the empty space in Track 1 and select Insert > Audio . . .

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The Insert Audio dialog (above) appears. Navigate to Loopology (Audition’s library of loops), which is located at C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Audition 2.0\Content\Loopology — note: this file path assumes Audition is installed on your “C” drive, if it isn’t substitute the correct drive letter for the “C” in the above path.

The loops are sorted by musical genre, and then by instrument. In the Insert Audio dialog, make sure “Auto Play” and “Loop” are checked, so when you click on a loop file, it will preview. When you find the file you’d like to insert (it’s good to start with drums, for example) double-click it and it will be inserted into your audio track in Audition.

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Hit the spacebar on your keyboard to play back your loop. To extend its duration, simply grab the right end of the loop (making sure not to grab one of the little white squares) and drag it to the right (example above). To change the tempo or key of your session, go to the Session Properties tab (above) and enter a new tempo and/or key.

Repeat the steps above to add additional loops to additional tracks (making sure to put each loop on its own track). Once you’re satisfied with your “empty orchestra,” it’s time to mix. Click on the Mixer tab to bring the Mixer panel to the front.

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Hit the Spacebar to play back again — you’ll see the meters in each of the channels of the mixer start moving. Your audio tracks, which were viewed from top-to-bottom in the Main panel are now viewed from left-to-right. To adjust the volume of any of your tracks, simply move the fader of that track up or down (example above). Once you’re happy with the mix, it’s time to mixdown to a file that can be imported into the application of your choice.

Select File > Export > Audio Mix Down. Give your file a name, and accept the default setting (Windows PCM). This gives you an uncompressed stereo WAV file.

So get to it, unsung Leonard Bernsteins of the world . . .