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April 17, 2012 /Audition /CS6 /

Adobe Audition CS6 Effects: VST3, Side-chains, and more

Audition CS6 Preview – Effects: VST3, side-chains and much more

Audition CS6 brings significant improvements and new features to effects hosting and routing.


New to Audition CS6 – and, well. any Adobe product – is support for VST3 audio plug-ins. Steinberg has been at work updating the VST specification, and VST3 represents a stronger and more stable model for building and hosting plug-ins. For the user, this means both the application and the plug-in can be more stable and reliable because we’re able to communicate in a more consistent manner. VST2.4, while still dominant and pervasive for many audio plug-ins has certain limitations for developers. We believe the move to VST3 has started and expect to see many more plug-ins head this direction.  VST3 will be available on both Mac and Windows versions of Audition CS6.


Audition CS6 offers the ability to run a side-chain input to some of your plug-ins when used in a track effect. The routing engine in and out of the effects host [see below] has been dramatically improved from CS5.5 and previous versions, and this brings with it side-chaining: the ability to feed the signal from one audio source into the input of an effect on a different source.

Choose a specific channelization for your side-chain input, or determine it dynamically based on the source stream

Choose a specific channelization for your side-chain input, or determine it dynamically based on the source stream

Simply insert a plug-in that supports side-chain input to the desired track.  On the track that will act as your input signal, select the appropriate side-chain destination from your Sends view as you might any Bus.  The routing engine will take care of the rest, adjusting the effect dynamics on one track based on the signal from the other.

Use a Send to route your desired signal into the appropriate effect side-chain input.

Use a Send to route your desired signal into the appropriate effect side-chain input.

In Audition CS6, we enabled the Dynamics Processing effect to support side chaining, which will allow basic ducking and input driven compression. There are many 3rd party effects and plug-ins that also support side chains for other interesting creative uses.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of side chains in general, take a look here for some more info.

Effects Channel Routing – No More Restrictions!

Audition CS6 introduces an entirely new way to manage effect channel routing. The challenge we were faced with was how to manage the large variety of 3rd party plug-ins that all present their audio channels differently, and often for very legitimate reasons. Some say they’re mono and stereo in and out. Some present themselves as 3 channels (the assumption being mono and stereo) in and mono/stereo out and it gets even more complicated for up-mix and down-mix effects (2 channels-in to 6-out, for example).  The effects host in Audition CS5.5 was a good start, but this host required a matching presentation of channels by the plug-in.  By changing our method of handling plug-ins, we saw immediate gains in compatibility and stability.

What does this mean to you? Well, for most, you won’t ever need to touch this part of the application nor will you likely notice much change if you don’t use 3rd party plug-ins (and this is a good thing!).

This new approach introduces a new channel router to each effect, is configurable per-effect, and is accessible in the upper-right corner of the effect window:

This button toggles between the effect UI and channel mapping

This button toggles between the effect UI and channel mapping

Here’s an example of what a stereo effect looks like in the effect channel router in the Multiband Compressor when they exist on a 5.1 track:

Easily route any incoming signal to the desired effect output path

Easily route any incoming signal to the desired effect output path

Quickly, you’ll notice that the “input” and “output” line up 1:1 (Left In goes to Left Out, etc). If I wanted the “left” to go out the “center”, I would simply select that in the “effect output” column. It should be noted this is a router/mapper only and does not allow creation of new channels unless the effect being used does this (e.g. up-mix). We also provided a “Reset Routing” button to get you back…just in case.

It cannot be understated how powerful this is, and even if you never use it, it represents a huge shift in how effects are handled and work in the application.

Improved Effects Scanner

Audition CS6 now includes an improved effects scanner that will scan VST and AudioUnits effects “out of process”. What does this mean to you? More stable scanning and fewer crashes during scanning of 3rd party plug-ins.

Our goal here was simple: reduce crashes caused by incompatible, buggy, or poorly coded plug-ins. We separated the scan from the main application and saw our crashes caused by 3rd party plugs drop dramatically. Now, if the scanner crashes, it simply reports back that it crashed, blacklists the plug-in, and continues scanning without needing to restart the application.

New Effects Menu Sorting: VST and AU Plug-in Menu Changes

In Audition CS5.5 the only view order of your plug-ins  was “channel” type (e.g. mono, stereo, etc). Admittedly, this didn’t work as well as we’d hoped, so we changed it. If you just read above regarding channelization changes – you should if you haven’t – then you might have an idea of why we changed this behavior. Well to follow suit, we now allow you to sort effects by “vendor”, “category”, “vendor/category”, “category/vendor” or one giant list (no grouping at all). By default they will be organized by “category/vendor” as advertised by the plug-in developer.

In preferences you can select whichever grouping/sorting you like:

Save an Effects Rack as a Favorite

Audition CS6 introduces the ability to save any effects rack as a Favorite. This means you will now be able to recall that favorite and apply it immediately to a single file or use it in batch processing to change many files at once.


Audition, CS6

Join the discussion

  • By Robert McNicol - 8:52 PM on April 17, 2012  


    Dynamics Processing effect to support side chaining is going to be one of the most used features in radio production scenarios and I for one am looking forward to this feature along with the the vast array of additions included in this latest release of my favorite audio tool.

    Thanks for the preview and keep ’em coming.

  • By Door Knobs - 9:21 AM on April 18, 2012  

    You are right Audition CS6 does providethe ability to save any effects rack as a Favorite. Which means we will now be able to recall that favorite and apply it immediately to a single file or use it in batch processing to change many files at once.

    Just brings one question what about support with previous version?

  • By durin - 4:45 PM on April 18, 2012  

    SESX files from CS5.5 are full compatible and supported in CS6. On first launch, Audition will look for existing preferences from a CS5.5 installation and offer the ability to import the legacy preferences (Application settings, Effects Presets, Favorites, Keyboard Shortcuts, and Metadata Display Settings.) Both CS5.5 and CS6 may co-exist peacefully on the same system.

  • By personman - 12:10 AM on April 19, 2012  

    Great, now all we need are Spectral Pan and Phase back!

  • By JP Audition 3 fan - 11:47 PM on April 23, 2012  

    Are Scientific filters back?
    Can we have the former FFT Filter window?
    Also can the effects windows be resized with a corner pull tab?

    • By durin - 5:24 AM on May 9, 2012  

      JP –

      Scientific Filters are not in CS6.
      Can you tell me what you preferred about the FFT Filter effect from Au3?
      Resizable effect panels are something I’d love to get implemented for our native plug-ins. Right now, there are some UI engine limitations, as well as general UI limitations conforming to the VST specs. These have largely been resolved with VST3.

  • By Sam - 10:25 AM on May 8, 2012  

    Does this mean that it will work again with the guitar rig 5 VST plug in i had many issues with it working with cs5.5 but it still works perfectly with AA3 I use both all the time and i hope this issue has been resolved

    • By durin - 5:26 AM on May 9, 2012  

      Hi Sam,

      Guitar Rig was an example of effects that report non-symmetrical inputs and outputs, which was a problem we fixed in Audition CS6. I have tested Guitar Rig 5 VST personally with CS6 and it performed well.

      • By chris - 4:18 AM on May 6, 2013  

        I am just getting into doing this, but I have no idea how it works, could you maybe explain?

  • By MasterMind - 12:34 AM on May 11, 2012  

    Im having a problem that I cant seem to find out. How do I get the panning knobs to show up in the multitrack view panel next to the volume knob? i figured it should be there automatically but I don’t see it in mine and can not figure out how to make it show up.

    any help please I use this little panning knob on every project and its driving me crazy not having it there to pan tracks

    • By Colin Stefani - 4:52 PM on May 13, 2012  

      In some cases the separators can be moved around to hide buttons. this is to allow scaling the panels and windows to fit different desktop sizes. When you move your mouse over one of these movable separators it will change the cursor to a “grabber” and allow you to move the section to make it wider or smaller. The pan knobs maybe hidden, so try this first.

    • By durin - 5:42 PM on May 13, 2012  

      Colin is correct – it sounds as if the with of the track panel controls was reduced. To widen them and display additional parameters, position your cursor at the right edge of the track panel controls and when the cursor changes, click and drag to the right. This should stretch the control panels and display additional parameters.

  • By ben - 1:15 PM on July 11, 2012  

    I’m looking for the Dynamic Filter in vain..which was in previous versions such Audition 3? it was very very useful. unavailable in CS6? why? and is there any alternative?

    thanks a lot!

    • By durin - 3:50 PM on July 11, 2012  

      Are you referring to the Dynamic EQ filter? It remains in our feature backlog, though it’s a lower priority than many of our other features since most of its functionality can be automated using the Parametric EQ effect with Track or Clip Automation envelopes.

      I’ll add your comments to the feature request notes. The more support and demand for legacy tools, the higher they get prioritized. Thanks!

      • By Megan - 9:26 PM on April 1, 2013  

        I was also extremely disappointed that the Dynamic EQ Filter wasn’t included….

  • By ben - 3:53 PM on July 16, 2012  

    Hi Durin,

    yeah sorry, the Dynamic EQ (process),

    basically I didn’t try to do it by the Parametric EQ with automation at first because as long time user, the DynEQ was so quick an easier to manage for that pupose. that’s why I was wondering..

    As most of the time I have just a small portion to filter, to give place for a voice
    (low pass filter on music than progressively back to the original sound) this tool was really per-fect for a quick result.

    The reasons why I found Dyn EQ useful is precisely because it doesn’t need automation
    and can be applied to a sound right from the Wavefrom window, rather than in the Multitrack. anyway, I’ll try the other way, hoping it will be back again.

    thank you for the reply!

    (I’m sorry for the pretty bad english)

  • By ben - 8:42 PM on July 16, 2012  

    so, I’ve tried by using the Parametric EQ using automation, and’s way too much work compared to the “old” way, too much for something than can be done in 10sec with the Dynamic EQ from in previous Adobe versions. The result doesn’t sounds the same by the way.

    but! It could works if the “LP” envelope could be automated, which is unfortunately not the case for me. (possible that I’ve missed something?) I’ve tried every envelopes one by one though and all are ok for automation. except that one, unfortunately the one that would allows me to do it in less than 15sec. Also the graph in the Dynamic EQ was more easier.

    So for my job (I have to work fast) the only way for me to get the result quickly
    is -at least for now- to do that process by Audition3 as I don’t wanna use a vst and having to do automation too (it’s very nice to be able to use Au6 and Au3 on the same station).

    Audition is getting better and better anyway! I’ll keep an eye on the coming updates.

    thank you!

    • By durin - 9:33 PM on July 16, 2012  

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for the follow-up. I looked into why the LP and HP points can’t be automated and it appears the algorithm used performs a recalculation when the position is moved that would introduce artifacts to preview and rendered output. Obviously the Dynamic EQ is your preferred solution (and if we are able to implement the on-waveform envelopes in the same way we’ve done with effects like the Gain/Fade Envelopes and Manual Pitch Correction, it could be even more intuitive) I’m going to enter a feature request to investigate how the HP/LP filters might be made susceptible to automation.

      Thanks again.

      • By ben - 1:43 AM on July 18, 2012  

        Hi again Durin,

        nice, yeah I understand, nobody wants to hear artifact indeed.
        I agree 100% with you for the rest btw, “Intuitive” must be the Word.

        finally I did my LP filter automation in AU6, (my goal is to leave AU3 for AU6 at the end of the free trial) by chance in my !vst’s I have two different ones that need a minimum of clicks to be automated, using only one envelope, that dosen’t slow me down at all . (it that helps people here, I use One Knob Filter from Waves and/or WoW from Sugarbytes which brings more fonctions.

        but if the Dynamic Eq in it’s original form is back.. or a solution for the LP from Parametric EQ, I’ll use it of course, thanks you for taking my “request” in consideration hoping it’ll leads somewhere.

        oh, before boring you completely, just a last question, there any chance to see the pitch-bender (with the older graphic enveloppe) back again in the future? if I had the right for a second request it would be that one. 😉 I’ve tried the new one, but even with the presets, doing a nice power-stop using the old tool was more intuitive. I don’t know if I’m the only one (probably not), but I’ve always prefered to work on envelopes rather than, filling numbers in windows 😉 beside these small “details” I’ve got to say that AU6 rocks!

        now, I let you breath ..thank you!.

  • By ben - 2:36 AM on July 22, 2012  

    I can’t tell how amazing it is to be able to try AU6 30days free! really, it helps me to know almost perfectly what I’m gonna buy.

    I’m testing it since a couple of days, duing hours and I’m really impressed by how AU6 works, there’s some great and useful stuff, sometimes it’s just almost nothing, such being able to change from plugins to another while playing a sound in Wavefom. without having to stop. or having a loop fonction on plugin windows, dockable windows etc etc etc. This is what I call “small enhancement” but at the end of the day (year), all that earned time WOW..! thumbs up for that!

    Stability, flexibility, handy.. this is what I’m lookig for first.
    so, for now I can say I’m 98% futur purchaser of Au6.

    and till now, I have 3 questions I’d appreciate to get some answer:

    regarding Automation,

    1/ is it any chance to lock automation with a clip, its very very useful when you need to move a clip and keep the automation already done (some other audio softwares have this fonction) . when you move a selected clip,only it’s automation is moved, without chaging automation from other clips in the same I guess it would be possible.

    2/ in the Envelopes Automation menu I see a “Track EQ” but when I try to use it, It seems that it doesn’t affect the sound at all. I looked for what was automate.. but I haven’t found.
    Where is this EQ? at first, I thought on the Mixer, but nope.. there’ there’s only the Parametric EQ but not active btw as unsuded at this time.

    and something else,

    regading Legacy Import and Machine-Specific Preferences in Adobe Audition CS6 I saw on here : that you have a SETTINGS I don’t have? is it nomal?

    at first, I was a bit sad because I’ll have to forget all my DX plugins which AU6 doesn’t support, but by chance, I have found a very cool free tool that allows to use DX as VSTs without having stability issue. so I’m pretty happy about that!

    well I know that I’m convinced now, but I still continue to test till the end of my Trial version.

    • By durin - 4:13 PM on July 30, 2012  

      Thanks for the kind words, Ben! I’d love to know with DX/VST bridge you’re using so we can share it with our other users!

      For your questions:
      1. Track automation is a track-level parameter and isn’t attached to a clip. The request has come up in the past to move track automation, and while I’m not sure if it’s in the database at this time, I’ll go search for and add/update it. Clip automation exists on the clip and is attached to the clip itself, so if you have automation that you want to move with the clip, I highly suggest using Clip effects and automation for those clips at this time.

      2. Every track in Multitrack has a Parametric EQ attached that can be enabled and automated. While you can edit its automation, you’ll need to turn on the power to pass your track audio through. The “Track EQ” envelopes control this EQ component. You can enable/modify this from either the Mixer (by pressing the power button for the EQ on your desired track – it’s located just above the panner and volume fader components) or in Multitrack by selecting the EQ track mode button (the rightmost of the 4 buttons located above the track control panels – it displays 3 vertical lines of different heights.)

      As for Settings you don’t have, can you elaborate? The screenshots at that link is of the Preferences panel in CS6 for Mac OS X. It may look a little different if you’re running Windows. Windows also offers two driver types: MME and ASIO, and you’ll see different settings depending on which driver type is selected.

  • By ben - 5:26 PM on August 2, 2012  

    sure, it’s a tool made by a company called VB-Audio,

    there’s two versions available:

    -FFX-4 (freeware – fully functional version downloadable right from their website!) where you can load 4 DX plugins.

    -FFX-16 (regular purchase) which allows 16 DX plugins.( hum.. I don’t really need so much DX running at the same time but some people might be interrested)

    the way it works is so easy, just load FFX- on a track as normal FX (insert)
    then open and choose the wanted plugin et voilà! (DX plugins seem to be automatically scanned during installation process because I didn’t have to browse a specific folder to scan we usually do with other Vst-Dx wrappers such Cakewalk,FxPansion etc..)

    now I can use all my plugins in AU6 no matter what they are!, I’m a happy man!
    (another good reason for me to purchase an AU6 btw)

    regarding #1: nice, I feel stupid..I didn’t tried that way indeed, I’ll try and let you know.

    #2 : yup I saw the parametric EQ on each track and it was enabled though.. so yeah I’ve missed something, I’ll retry when I’ll get back home, if it’s there I’ll find it.

    #3. ok, mistery solved, I didn’t noticed that the screenshot was from the Mac version;)

    Thank you!

  • By Chris Johns - 12:49 AM on August 4, 2012  

    Here’s a video tutorial that covers some of the functionality of side-chain, presented by InfiniteSkills author Jeff Sengstack:

  • By Chris Johns - 12:50 AM on August 4, 2012  

    Thanks for the blog, durin.

    For anyone interested, here’s a short video tutorial on the side-chain feature from InfiniteSkills:

  • By Paul Coppens - 2:53 AM on December 18, 2012  

    Is there anyway to connect all volume-out levels in tandem. I use Audition in live performances to give me (at present) 8 channels (8 separate speakers) of different orchestral instruments to represent live instruments. I have balanced the original tracks, now all I need is one control to vary the volume of all tracks simultaneously (to ensure the balance between the backing tracks and singers). I can’t rout all tracks through the master as it will negate the individual track’s unique instrumental mix.
    Kind regards.

  • By zach - 3:56 PM on January 19, 2013  

    BUMP-re-Scientific Filter….Can we expect you to guys to provide us with a plug-in for Scientific Filters? I miss my bessel….Or can you post how to get the same effect by using the current CS6 filters?

    Please….pretty please…

    • By durin - 4:24 PM on January 29, 2013  

      While I can’t go into detail yet about what features will be in the next release, Scientific Filter has been one of the most-requested tools lacking in CS6.