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April 19, 2012 /Audition /CS6 /

Legacy Import and Machine-Specific Preferences in Adobe Audition CS6

The team is making their way back from the NAB show in Las Vegas, so our posts might be a bit brief over the next few days while we unpack and recover.  We wanted to touch on some new functionality in Audition CS6 that isn’t glamorous nor based on patented DSP algorithms, but has the potential to reduce setup time and minimize user confusion on shared workstations.

Audition CS6 supports importing preferences, keyboard shortcuts, favorites, effect presets, and metadata display settings from an existing installation of Audition CS5.5.  Some of you may remember a function in Cool Edit Pro and early versions of Audition whereby you would drag-and-drop an old settings file onto Audition and it would import the preferences.  This “secret” feature remained but went largely unsupported in later releases of Audition, and was not re-implemented for CS5.5.

CS6 removes the need to discover arcane secrets and hidden files, and simply asks permission to import legacy prefs on first launch if it detects and existing installation of Audition CS5.5.

(Note: The dire warning about never having another opportunity to import is a bit of bluster.  If you hit cancel or decide later that you’d like to import the legacy preferences, you can delete your existing CS6 preference directory and launch Audition to be prompted once again.)

A brand new feature for CS6, and one that came directly from user requests, enables IT admins to configure shared systems on managed networks to override roaming user hardware settings with appropriate settings for each machine.  Historically, Audition saves the last used hardware device in the user preferences.  Typically, these will be local and only used by the machine in question, but for users in some larger environments, their Windows user profiles are roaming which means they can logon to any computer on the network and their application settings data will follow them.  This works great when a user wants their preferred desktop layout or effect presets wherever they work, but starts to introduce problems when the last system they used had an RME audio interface, but the workstation they just logged into has an M-Audio FastTrack, for example.  Audition can’t find the RME device and prompts the user to reconfigure which for many users might as well be a pop quiz on quantum mechanics.

Now, administrators setting up a shared machine may install a pre-defined hardware configuration on a per-machine basis and override any existing user preferences.  Savvy users may ignore the pre-defined configuration or change their device as before, if necessary.  This bit of trickery is accomplished in a very simple manner: The Audio Hardware, Audio Channel Mapping, and Control Surface preferences have been broken out into a separate file, MachineSpecificSettings.xml.  When an admin has properly configured an installation of Audition on a new workstation, they can locate this file in the default user preferences folder and copy it to a shared location:

Mac OS X: /Library/Preferences/Adobe/Audition/5.0/
       Windows 7/XP (32-bit): /Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/Audition/5.0/
       Windows 7/XP (64-bit):  /Program Files (x86)/Common Files/Adobe/Audition/5.0/

This feature is enabled by default, but if Audition does not find the global preference file, it falls back to the user preference.

 Please feel free to ask questions in the comments, or visit our User Forum discussion at

Audition, CS6

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  • By Justin James - 5:40 PM on July 19, 2012  

    The folders referenced here for Windows 64bit do not actually exist for us and had to be created manually. We copied the MachineSpecificSettings.xml into this location but it is not being used. In fact, it doesn’t appear that roaming profile settings are used either. For some reason with our ASI cards a different device is chosen as default so each user is having to change this manually. Any clues why this might be the case?

    • By durin - 3:58 PM on July 30, 2012  

      Hi Justin,

      Are your Windows systems on a managed network? By default, the User Prefs folder where the MachineSpecificSettings.xml file is generated by Audition is typically located at C:UsersAppDataRoamingAdobeAudition5.0 This path is a standard Windows OS directory where installed applications store their settings. The shared files location, /Program Files (x86)/Common Files/Adobe/Audition/5.0/ can be created if it’s not already there, but based on your comments it sounds like you may have a network profile that overrides local settings and is pulling your Windows profile from an external location. Do you know if this is the case?

  • By Sigmund Kramer - 4:59 PM on September 21, 2012  

    Hi there. Is it possible to get the color scheme from an earlier version of Audition imported to CS6? We had been running earlier versions, some as antiquated as Audition 1.5, and our Operations Manager really preferred the color scheme Fire & Brick. I could not find that option or anything comparable in the Preferences section of Audition 6.0. Is there a way to import the Appearance color scheme settings from 1.5, or any other way of getting the appearance to mimic that of the Fire & Brick setting? Thanks for your help.

    • By durin - 7:56 PM on September 26, 2012  

      Hi Sigmund,

      The color schemes from Audition 3 and earlier and compatible as Audition has integrated the standard Adobe UI libraries. The Audition team loves color, however, and are continuing to drive integration of color into the interface where we can. At this time, the primary UI background is limited to grayscale with user-defined color elements for waveform, backgrounds, markers, selections, etc and you can probably define a colorset for these elements that is close to the Fire & Brick preset, but not exactly the same.

  • By Lee Kabilyo - 11:13 AM on February 27, 2013  

    I cannot for the life of me find where you can can import the preferences for effects. I went to the /Library/Preferences/Adobe/Audition/5.0/ folder and it was empty.

    Please advise. Trying to be consistent with previously created (CS5) Audition files and need the effects rack I created and saved.

    • By durin - 10:50 PM on February 27, 2013  

      Hi Lee,

      It appears that you’re looking in the system-level Library folder, while Audition stores its preferences in the user-level folder. Try the following steps:
      1. Open Finder
      2. Click Go > Go to Folder… in the menu bar (or press SHIFT+COMMAND+G for short)
      3. Type: ~/Library/Preferences/Adobe/Audition/5.0/ and press enter

      The ~ indicates you are looking in the current users home directory, rather than the root directory of the hard drive.