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Some thoughts on Audition from an audio guy

It’s been a busy time, and even though the launch of Production Premium was in July of ’07, we seem to only be busier than ever.  So it is with a certain amount of sheepishness that I confess that I haven’t spent as much time with Audition as I would like.

Audition shipped in the fall, but it is only recently that I started to truly sit down and spend some time with the new features. My impetus for doing this is that I am doing two sessions at the NRB show in early March and while I know the features of Audition 2 well, until recently I hadn’t had put Audition 3 through its paces.

So what follows below is my short list in no particular order of what I found nice about this latest version of Audition:

  1. Fade handles – this is a feature from Soundbooth that I really, REALLY like.  It’s so simple, so elegant, so profound, that a lot of average audio people will totally blow it off saying, "so what?"  But for the video person, an intuitive, click and drag kind of implementation with visual feedback is an absolute must when it comes to fading in and out
  2. Automatic fades between files – I’m tempted to do an all caps on this entire bit.  This was one thing that I as an audio person lamented that Audition didn’t have.  Everyone else had it and we didn’t.  It wasn’t a deal killer, but it certainly hurt!  Now if I want to create a fade between two files, I can simply drag one over the other and an automatic fade happens.  You can control both sides of the fade as well – its long overdue but thank goodness its finally here.
  3. CD Track names import – I haven’t actually configured this yet, but I will…you can hit a CD database and draw track names for the CD you’ve got in your computer. Hart Shafer from the Audition team mentioned that even SoundFX CDs have track names in these CD databases and so its a terrific time saver.
  4. Spot Healing Brush – I love how the audio team continually thinks about how we can edit audio like Photoshop. Adobe edits audio visually, and that is actually a profound concept. In any demo I do, I show the spectral editing tools of Soundbooth and Audition because they’re just too cool not to.  The Audition team had the marquee tool, then the lasso tool and now the spot healing brush tool.  It allows users to select sounds that are can’t be selected easily any other way and isolate them.  What you do with it then is completely up to you, but the point is that no other audio program has these very practical features.
  5. Adaptive Noise Reduction – The inner geek in me just loves this feature and the demo file that I’ve been given is a really great example of how to use this new feature.  Basically, it’s great for beat up, old recordings from vinyl or tape that have phase problems. We solve the problem with a visual approach, but what you hear is dramatic.
  6. MIDI too! – We’ve avoided the whole midi and VSTi thing for a while because many of our users simply don’t deal with that stuff.  However, we have added it this go around and its very good.  If you’re an music production person who also needs a little sequencing, well Adobe’s got game now. 
  7. Speed, Performance, Power – I take the engineers words on this one, but they say the new version is 5x faster and provide 3x more tracks than before.  That’s some serious coding magic.  Bravo.

Obviously I could go on, but suffice it to say that my first real experience with Audition has been a real good one.  I’ve included the basic product page and 30 day trial download page for you to check out.  Happy mixing!  

Audition product page

Audition Trial download

Comments

Hi Dennis. I was in one of your very helpful session at NRB, and wish I would have had time to stick around (but I had another appointment scheduled that I couldn’t get our of) As I mentioned breifly in our q & A session, we’ve develop a new broadcasting platform that natively uses .mp2 and cart chunk. I know Cool Edit 1.5 at one time supported .mp2 and I’m wondering if audition 3 might have a plug in to do so. I know we’re (ambassador) is looking at
migrating from DALET to something else, and if Audition 3 supported mp2s, we’d but put it in all our studios and on all our producer’s machines. All FOCUS and AMBASSADOR program delivery will be delivered in MP2 Format, and as a result, if Audition 3 couled support mp2, we could recommend it to all our content contributors as well.

[DR – Robert, thanks for taking the time to comment. I looked into this issue and there isn’t anything that is free from Adobe with regards to your specific situation. The former Audition product manager pointed me towards Q-Design. I did a google search for “audio mp2 codecs” and was rewarded with a long list of links to peruse. Bottom line – you’re going to probably have to pay something to get that .mp2 output codec. The good news is that Audition should be able to see it once it is loaded.

I think the final assessment of whether Audition is right for you is based on you finding an mp2 codec that is tested and working with Audition and if everything else (price, performance, etc.) fits your requirements.

You might start here: http://www.free-codecs.com/

Cheers – Dennis]

Hey Dennis,

I’ve been using this product since it was Cool Edit. Adobe has taken it and done great things, although I think the Loopology community should still exist.

Anyways, I’m loving Audition 3… but I do still wish that the CD View could export an ISO of a master. I’ve tried using virtual CDR drives and other things but they just don’t work like native support would.

I’ve also been seeking a way to export track marker ranges as individual files in batch.

Thanks for the post!

[DR – no thank YOU Nick for the comments. You should send your feature requests to Auditionwishlist@adobe.com and let them know.

As for the requests themselves, I’ve not come up with those ones in particular, but the last one I like a lot.

keep mixin’]

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