Posts in Category "Adobe Soundbooth"

As I Was Saying . . .

When I last left off, before the holidays, I was strutting some of the great new stuff we’ve got for you to try out on Adobe Labs where you can visit “Tomorrow’s Adobe Today” (no, that isn’t an official company line, I just made that up, so don’t think we’ve gone all lame with slogans, OK?). Labs is a relatively new thing for Adobe – we haven’t exactly been known for public betas in the past – and it’s the way we’re getting new products in your hands when we’re still developing them so you can tell us how to make ‘em even better! We’ve already gotten tons of great feedback on Soundbooth — if you haven’t tried it yet (it’s free to download and use for the next few months so whattayouwaitingfor???) you can download it here.

After a restful holiday break (we pretty much hung the Gone Fishin’ sign on the door for the entire week) I’m geared up for what is going to be an incredible year at Adobe. It’s our 25th Anniversary, and some of the things we’ve got in the works are going to blow your mind. But before we even get there, check out this truly tasty snack on Adobe Labs.

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This is not your daddy’s Photoshop

That’s right, for the first time ever you can download the not-even-released-yet-brand-spanking-new version of Photoshop, use it while we’re still developing it, and give us feedback on the new features. It’s a great opportunity for you to influence the future of Photoshop, so go forth and download!

One thing though — unlike the Soundbooth beta (which anyone can download) you need to be a registered owner of Photoshop CS2 (or any suite that contains it, such as Production Studio or Creative Suite) to use the Photoshop CS3 Public Beta. All the details are here.

By the way, if you’re one of the cool folks currently using the Soundbooth Public Beta, we put a new build up on Labs recently which includes some new functionality, so please do check it out.

So . . . after a week of laying low for the holidays, I was happy to return to the office this morning to find a box full of my latest “product.”

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Clearly a guy not to be trusted . . .

Once again, I teamed up with Total Training – this time it’s a training series for the beginner/hobbyist crowd (unlike my last Total Training disc for Production Studio which we made for professional users). I’m quite proud of this one – Total Training for Adobe Premiere Elements 3. If you’re just getting into video for the first time, this disc is for you as I take you through the fundamentals of setting up your camcorder and computer, shooting footage, editing, creating effects & titles, recording narrations, creating DVDs with customized menus, exporting your movie for the web & mobile devices, and on and on . . .

Premiere Elements is based on Premiere Pro, so if you’re just starting out it’s easy to learn Elements and move up to Pro once you’ve got some skills.

Okay, enough shameless self-promotion. I’ll promote something else instead. The folks over at Future Media Concepts have put together quite a conference – the Editors’ Retreat – which will be in Miami at the end of this month. You need credits to get into this, and by credits I mean motion picture or television. This is a high-level conference for seasoned pros, and there is a crack lineup of presenters. I’ll be attending (not presenting), and if you’re a pro editor in TV or film you should consider joining us in Miami (hey, a week in Florida at the end of January can’t be all bad . . .)

Pet Sounds

“Audio is half the picture” is a filmmaking cliché that I have the tendency to overuse, but it’s not a bad mantra considering the fact that the way a viewer perceives the visual quality of a film or video is subconsciously influenced by the audio quality of said film or video. Having well recorded, noise-free, well mixed sound along with a music soundtrack and sound effects that reinforce what’s happening on screen is a key piece of the puzzle. For projects with big budgets & resources, an audio specialist (e.g. Sound Designer, Composer, Engineer) usually takes care of this end of things, but the rest of the time we’ve gotta do it ourselves.

Adobe Audition is the audio tool that we currently ship with Production Studio. Audition was formerly known as Cool Edit Pro — we changed the name when we acquired it and other technology from Syntrillium (along with some great people like Hart Shafer and Jason Levine). It’s widely used by audio engineers (particularly in radio) as it mimics the traditional audio production workflow, which is great if you happen to be an audio engineer. But if your specialty is film, video, or interactive design then you probably have no idea what to do with this:

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Audition 2.0’s realtime Mixing Engine.

What you’re looking at is a digital representation of an analog recording console. Everything is where you’d expect it to be if you’re used to working in the analog audio world, and you have everything you need at your fingers to do some serious aural surgery.

I show this to a group of videographers and their eyes glaze over.

The fact is that for those of us that do film, video, or Flash design, this is way overkill. Visually oriented people like ourselves need to work with audio, but the things we need to do on a day-to-day basis don’t require a tool as deep & complex as Audition. That depth & complexity comes with a learning curve, and if audio isn’t your main thing it probably doesn’t make sense for you to go that deep.

These were some of the things we were thinking about when Adobe Soundbooth was conceived. We decided to put the tools most relevant to visual pros right on the surface and make them easy-to-use, while leveraging the powerful technology behind Audition. Hart & crew logged countless hours visiting customers to see what the audio part of their workflow involved, and showing them early wireframes of Soundbooth to get their feedback.

But the best way for us to make sure Soundbooth will let you be more creative & work faster is to get it in your hands now, when it’s still in development. That’s the idea behind Adobe Labs, of which I’m a huge fan because it gives our customers a huge voice when it comes to how we develop new products. I really want as many of you as possible to go to Adobe Labs right now and download the Soundbooth Public Beta. More importantly, if you do download it, use it. Use it a lot and send us feedback, tell us what you like and don’t like, and give us your ideas on how to make it better.

Being that it’s a beta, not every feature works yet. But much of the meat & potatoes are in there today. Let’s have a look – first, here’s the Editor panel, which is the main panel of the interface (name of said panel and appearance subject to change before release, as is everything else in the beta).

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Soundbooth is designed to work with individual clips, be they audio only or video clips with an audio track. Once you import a clip, it appears in the Editor panel (above) where you have simple, draggable controls and buttons to do many basic tasks such as normalize the clip (which makes the volume consistent throughout).

To the left is the Tasks panel which currently contains 3 options. Clicking “Cleanup Audio” or “Remove a Sound “brings up some simple controls for removing noise, clicks & pops, and rumble from your clip, or for removing an individual sound by selecting it in the Spectral Frequency Display with either the Marquee or Lasso tool (just like selecting & modifying and image in Photoshop).

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The “Create Music” option brings up a wider set of controls which can be used to manipulate royalty-free soundtrack beds which will be a key component of the release version of Soundbooth.

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For now, you can download 3 sample soundtracks from the Soundbooth download page at Adobe Labs.

Those are some of the basics, and you can go deeper with the getting started documents included with the beta download. And no, we’re not discontinuing Audition, we’ll still be developing & marketing it for audio pros just as we have since we got it from Syntrillium.