Adobe Creative Cloud

July 10, 2016 /

Deep Dive: Export to Media Encoder from Audition

While Adobe Audition and Premiere Pro are non-linear editing platforms, many organizations still follow a very linear workflow.  The video editor aligns the content on a timeline, then hands the project off to the color correction expert and the audio expert, who perform their respective tasks.  Their final audio and video is merged, then exported to the final destination formats and sent to broadcast, the web, or wherever it’s destined to end up.  Right now, the task of merging the various elements often falls back upon the original video editor, who may already have moved onto the next project.  While this workflow generally made sense years ago, technologies like Adobe’s Dynamic Link and Direct Link can offer significant improvements to make organizations far more efficient.  The new functionality to export to Adobe Media Encoder directly from Audition will help our customers save time and money.

First, if you’re not using Dynamic Link when sending your sequences from Premiere Pro to Audition for sound mixing, you’re missing out!  This allows you to send a sequence to Audition without rendering a reference video.  Premiere Pro effectively operates as a frame server, sending full resolution, full framerate video to Audition, synchronized with the timeline and audio elements, and with full effects, titling, and more.  Additionally, changes made to the picture in the Premiere project are immediately updated in Audition.  This means that while the audio engineer is mixing and finalizing the sound mix for a project, the color correction expert can be creating and applying color looks to the original timeline in Premiere and the audio mixer sees them right away!  No maintaining or synchronizing changed reference videos, no thumb drives!

When the audio mix and color correction is done, typically the audio engineer would render an audio mixdown, consisting of one or more WAV files that must be sent back to Premiere Pro and imported into the timeline, mute the original audio channels, and just generally introduce a lot of busy work before the sequence could be exported to AME.  Now, those changes stream through Audition via Dynamic Link directly into Adobe Media Encoder!  Perfect video, perfect sound, and perfect color!

Exporting to Media Encoder

From your Audition Mulitrack timeline, select File > Export > Export with Adobe Media Encoder…

Choose File > Export > Export with Adobe Media Encoder to get started

Choose File > Export > Export with Adobe Media Encoder to get started

AME export dialog

AME will open in the background and Audition will offer all formats that AME supports. Select the Media Encoder Format to choose the destination format you would like, then choose from any format-specific preset based on your deliverable requirements, or leave the default Match Source to keep the same settings as your Premiere Sequence.  Many formats support Re-Wrap which simply copies the video stream without any re-encoding, preserving the quality and fidelity of your original video.  Audition also supports comprehensive channel assignment, especially for formats like MXF which can support literally dozens of embedded audio streams.  As an example, please take a look at the screenshot below, showing my track configuration in Audition.

My Audition session contains audio tracks, and a number of buses (or submix tracks, for you Premiere editors.)

My Audition session contains both audio tracks and a number of buses (or submix tracks, for you Premiere editors.)

In this case, I have my standard audio tracks, but have also routed them through separate Dialogue, Music, and FX buses.  This not only allows me to toggle specific elements of my production on and off while working, but I can assign the output of each bus to various channels in the AME export.  Why dos this matter?  Because many broadcast organizations use formats like MXF for more than simple playback videos.  They may hold different language tracks, such as Spanish or French, in addition to the sound effects, music, and full English mixdown audio, and their playback systems know which channels to stream for which broadcast destination.  Audition makes it easy to create channel assignment presets and configurations so that projects can always conform to consistent assignments.  In the image below, I’ve assigned my master stereo output to channels 1 & 2, but broke out the dialog, music, and effects buses to separate stereo pairs in case changes need to be made at a later time.  For instance, if the music needs to be replaced due to an expired license, we can drop a new music bed into the video file without needing to re-render the entire project.

Easily assign audio tracks, mixdowns, and buses to destination channels

Easily assign audio tracks, mixdowns, and buses to destination channels

Once everything is setup as I need, I click OK and the project is built and sent to AME.  I can then continue working on a new assignment while AME renders quietly in the background.

AME progress

New presets created or imported into AME will be available in Audition, so if your organization or project has a consistent deliverable format, you can quite literally set it once and forget it.  That preset will be the default format for each new export.

Alright!  How do I get started?

Download the latest version of Adobe Audition CC!  Open a video file in Audition, or send a sequence from Premiere Pro.  Once you’re work is finished, click File > Export > Export with Adobe Media Encoder… to get started!