Introducing Adobe Soundbooth

It’s an exciting day for the audio team–we just posted a beta of a brand new application, Adobe Soundbooth, to Adobe Labs for everyone to check out! Soundbooth is built for creative pros and developers who don’t have a background in audio but need to get audio tasks done quickly anyway. When we went out and visited customers who are doing video and web (especially Flash) work we found that most of you needed to do your own audio work regularly, but were using a hodgepodge of tools to get the job done–and none of those tools felt comfortable.

Soundbooth is our answer for that. Pros that are familiar with other Adobe applications can get going quickly using new on-clip elements for editing as well as a task-based approach to organizing the tools for things like noise reduction and creating music. We’ve tried to make it as fast as possible to get in, get your work done, and get out while making sure the tools are powerful, intuitive and discoverable.

For a lot of you I can predict that the first question you have is, “Does this replace Audition?” and the answer is resounding NO. The team is at work on Audition right now and we have some great stuff planned. Audition will continue to be available for people who are more audio-centric and want a product focused on audio production.

Click through for my answers to a few more of the questions I bet you have…

Is Soundbooth “Audition Lite?”No. Soundbooth is a new app built from the ground up with a different customer in mind. Especially over time I think you’ll see the two products diverge more and more.Why a public beta?There are two main reasons: First, we want to share the technology and direction as soon as possible so you all can start using it right away. Second, we want to get your feedback so we can make Soundbooth as good as it can be. The beta we’ve posted is definitely not feature complete. We’re looking for feedback about what tasks we should build into the tasks panel, what effects you need, if there are presets for common activities you want us to cook up, or anything else that we can do to make the app better. We definitely won’t be able to get everything in (we have to ship sometime) but we want to make sure we’re concentrating on the right things. So please visit the Soundbooth forum and let us know what would make your audio life easier.Is there anything missing from the beta?Besides the features that are yet to be implemented, the public preview doesn’t include many of the codecs we plan to include in the final version (including MP3, FLV, MPEG-2, and H.264). Also missing is Bridge and some of the effects we’re working on.With all that said, go visit the Soundbooth page on Adobe Labs at and check out the product details, downloads, and forums.

16 Responses to Introducing Adobe Soundbooth

  1. oqmrk says:

    This reads like a product trying to fill the niche CoolEdit 2000 used to occupy. I never upgraded from CE2K to Audition when Adobe bought Syntrillium because I wanted to stay with a cheaper and simpler product. I think Adobe made a real mistake not having an upgrade from CE2K to an “Audition Lite” or something like this. CE2K was (and still is) a great program for simple audio tasks. Adobe lost the CE2K community. I suspect most of them are using Audacity now. That’s what we use now when we need to install a audio recording/editing program on a new machine. So what’s so compelling about this now? I bet it won’t be the price.

  2. Anil says:

    Congrats on the launch! Looks like a really interesting product, can’t wait for the download to finish so I can play wiht it.

  3. Skip Harris says:

    Loaded Soundbooth on my MAC and started to check it out. The interface immediately reminded me of Audition on my PC. I anticipate I will use Soundbooth as my “Audition Lite” app on the MAC. I use both MACs and PCs, but keep looking for ways to use the PC less. Audition is one of those apps that make me spend too much time on the PC. I know there are several audio apps for the MAC, but I think Adobe is missing it by not having Audition available for the MAC.

  4. Jan Peeters says:

    I was very happy to see that Adobe is making great steps towards further development of there audio-line. But I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that Adobe won’t support the PowerPC platform anymore. So here I am, stuck with my 2 x 2.3Ghz PPC G5 loaded with 2.5Gb RAM and 500Gb HD to work with audio.This machine is fast enough to work with every audio there will be for at least three years and Adobe shuts the possibility out for users like me. I’m utterly shocked. I also don’t understand it because the latest XTools are capable of making builds for both platforms. Hopefully the decision will be reversed.

  5. Hart Shafer says:

    Jan,I certainly understand your disappointment as an owner of a capable PPC machine. We very much wanted to make a Mac version on PPC as well as Intel, but that turned out to be much more difficult since we were not porting exisiting PPC code to Intel but rather making a new application from scratch. We have lots of low-level Intel code and concentrating on Intel processors was the only way we were going to be able to make Soundbooth for OS X.John Nack has a good summary in the PPC thread here:–Hart

  6. Soundbooth’s lack of multi-track recording is – quite honestly – astounding. There is absolutely no shortage of similar apps for both Mac and PC, and you have a tremendous potential to pick up some middle ground (especially in the Mac market) and offer multi-track capabilities. Right now it’s a bunch of OSS apps, Garageband… and then Logic/Express, and on up to Pro Tools. Garageband is cute and all, but cute only goes so far, and there’s a tremendous gap you could capitalize on.

  7. Mike says:

    Cool product.. I can’t really test it though as it doesn’t allow you to import MP3 files (well at least until the final version).. :'(

  8. Steve Eberbach says:

    This reminds me of Postscript and pdf formatting for reading publications.Adobe has a chance to succceed again by making a free product for audience of sound productions and professional product for producers and publishers, both of which set the best compatible set of format, (open format) standard in the industry. That means compatibility with as many plugins as possible, and no limitations on channels, codecs, platforms, operating systems, etc.

  9. pabst says:

    if someone at adobe is reading this. please make audition for mac. soundtrack just doesn’t do the job.

  10. Drew Miranda says:

    I’ve been using audition for years (cool edit 2000, and cool edit pro) and It’s been a vital tool for what I do. A couple month a go I started using a mac instead of a pc and I’ve been using virtualization software to run audtion.As soon as I heard adobe was releasing a mac verion I was thrilled. I quickly downloaded a trial and began my test run.But I was very, very disappointed. Simple, basic, and elementary features are no longer available, and I can’t figure out why.You can’t select zero crossing, you can’t select ranges, you can’t use markers to mark rangers, no multitrack, you can’t change the sample type without saving and reopening.Audition could do all of these things without a problem but now soundbooth is just a watered down useless version of something that was so great.Drew, Soundbooth was never intended to replace Audition and the users that love it find it far from “useless.” Soundbooth was built for folks who find Audition unaproachable and overkill. It’s no surprise a dedicated Audition user would find Soundbooth over-simple. It sounds like your real pain is that Audition isn’t on the Mac, and unfortunately there’s nothing I can give you there (except to say that in my experience Audition does run surprisingly well under Paralells, and obviously very well under Boot Camp.) I know it’s not ideal, but hopefully it’s something. –Hart

  11. Rob says:

    As a very long term user of Cool Edit (now Adobe Audition), I took a peek at Sound Booth on my new Mac.Very, very disappointing. I could live with “Audition Lite” but this is worse than the earliest versions of Cool Edit. I opened a CD-sized waveform. The user inteface became unbearably slow. On a Mac Pro with quad core Xeons, nothing should ever be that slow. If my old Pentium Pro could deal with a 1 hour wave file, so should Soundbooth. But it can’t.Adobe, do yourselves a favor, take the excellent, refined work that you bought in Audtion and just scale the features back instead of trying to “Ground up” and re-invent the wheel. And port it to Mac.

  12. randy robison says:

    I am baffled to find “professional” audio editing software with no multitrack capability! I just wish it was written clearly on the features or spec sheets so I would not have wasted my time downloading it and importing WAV files from my Mackie recorder. Guess it’s back to ProTools for me.Randy, it does sound like Soundbooth isn’t a great fit for you. It’s designed to sit next to Premiere Pro and Flash which both allow you to do the track arrangements there. You might consider Audition, which is our product geared for users like you. –Hart

  13. Andre says:

    You know what guys? All of you people complaining this is not “multi-track” should really get a grip. Yes, it’s being harsh, even rude of me, saying so.However, It’s not audition, it’s not logic, it’s not anything of the sort, because it’s not a _multitracker_, for crying out loud. I’m a journalist (non-english one, if you wonder about my language), working with radio, where I am sort of a reporter-cum-producer.My favourites apps for that kind of work are Bias Peak. Look it up – it’s a stereo editor. Not a multitracker. Bias also have a product for when multittracking is needed: Bias Deck, which – surprise – is a multitracker.This product isn’t for you, if you desire multitracking. I have to admit, though, that sometimes I do use a multitracker to do montages and the like, but that is very seldom these days to me.Now, I am telling you all this, because it’s obviously not for you, just like it’s not supposed to be sequenser either. It’s not garageband either. There are many, many apps for you guys out there. But really, really few apps for a guy like me.I have tried all the apps, you b*tch over this isn’t, and frankly, there’s not one of them, that I don’t spend a huge amount of time trying to simplify. I simply don’t need all those features. It’s a time robber.I prefer dedicated software, just like I prefer dedicated equipment, And growing tired of most of the other apps out there, I decided to do a search for a “Workflow audio editor”, since that is what I really miss. To make an analogy, I do not want to work with Photoshop, because I don’t need those features. I prefer lightroom (or aperture) instead. That is the kind of difference I am talking about.Sorry for the length of this post, but I’d hate to see the developers being pressed into adding fluff to this programme.Now, I just downloaded it, to do a testrun, and there might be some features I am missing, in order to do my work the best way possible, but if so, it’ll be something “specific”, not something like “why is this not a multitracker”. I will give it a try for the month, but by the looks of it, and from reading the pdf it seems like it might just fit. Like a glove, even.Anyway, thanks for launching this project, developers. It’s a niche very, very overlooked. I hope you will continue developing for “us” (i.e. “niche-people”).P.S. I’m running leopard 10.5.2, so I’m guessing I will have my share of shutdowns. But I can live with that for a while. As someone else mentioned, it does look a little PC-ish. Perhaps that might change in the future? Anyway, I will be return with some input after trying this out for a few days.

  14. Tom Fuldner says:

    Recently switched from PC and Audition to Mac and am considering purchasing SoundBooth. As much as I’ve read about the product, I’m still not certain about it’s non-destructive editing capabilities. Can you help?I understand that effects are non-destructive, but what about cuts/dissolves, etc.?Thanks,Tom F.Raleigh, NCAll edits are non-destructive until saved. Since Soundbooth is a wave editor, it creates new audio files when it saves (much like Photoshop) and so you can either overwrite your original files or save new ones. –Hart

  15. Paul says:

    Hi HartI’ve upgraded from CEP to Audition and enjoying using it – great for CD mastering. May I make a suggestion? Could a future version of Audition incorporate a playlist feature similar to Sound Designer II, which allowed quick and easy auditioning and adjustment (“nudging”) of region transitions? If you did that, you’d have the best software on the planet!Best wishesPaul

  16. Bob Edwards says:

    I was all stoked and jazzed about the cool new stuff that would come with my Adobe Master Collection CS3 – then I opened up SoundBooth…Seriously, is there ANY professional task that I might want to use an audio program that DIDN’T give me at least SOME multi-track capability? I could’ve even lived with 2-tracks (L-R) if I could’ve had separate access to them…Adobe, I love you guys and all, but I’m using Audacity right now and cursing you when I have to fight it’s “less than Adobe” interface… 🙂