Marking up time in Audition CS6
Markers are the un-sung heroes of audio production. And Audition CS6 adds a bunch of new capabilities that make them even more useful in your day-to-day work. Rather than just focus on new features, we thought it would be helpful to recap a couple of the most common workflows for using markers.
But let’s start with the basics. In Audition CS6, the Markers panel is ganged with the Media Browser and Effects Rack by default, so it’s more visible and easier to get to. One of the new features we added in Audition CS6 is the ability to display markers for all open files. Audition 3 could do something similar (display markers for each file in the Files panel), but this is a much sleeker approach as it both displays the markers and enables you to work with them. In the screenshot below, we’ve opened a bunch of files with a variety of marker types.
Note that the new QuickSearch field in the Markers panel means you can search for markers by name, type, or other attribute.
Markers in Audition can specify a single point in time, or they can identify a range of time—the only difference between the two types is that range markers have a duration, and are particularly useful for identifying the parts of a longer clip that you want to use. When you add a maker, its start point is added at the current playhead position.
Audition supports four marker types; if you click the Add Marker icon on the Markers panel, you get a Cue marker by default—but the fastest way to add makers in either Waveform or Multitrack view is to use the keyboard shortcuts:
|CD Track markers||Shift + M|
|Subclip marker||No default shortcut|
We covered the new CD Burning feature and the role of Cart Timers in earlier blog posts. Subclip markers are similar to Cue markers, but are designed to enable Audition to make use of the subclips created when you log media in Adobe Prelude CS6 or Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Use them a lot? You can always customize your keyboard shortcuts.
One common task where markers can really help is taking a long recording (say, an interview, or a concert) and breaking it into smaller segments which would then either be added to a multitrack session or saved out as separate audio files. Since we know this is something a lot of folks do, we wanted to share some tips:
- Use the M keyboard shortcut to add markers as you listen to the recording in the Waveform view.
- To create range markers, use the I key to set an in point, and the O key to mark an out point, then press command + shift + M to turn each selection into a range marker.
- Convert your point markers into range markers: select the markers you want to create ranges for, then use the Merge Selected Markers option (third button from the left in the Markers panel) to turn the first of each adjacent pair of markers into a range marker with that duration.
- Tweak your markers: Adjust range durations as necessary, or give your markers more descriptive names.
- If you’re prepping a CD, convert Cue points to CD Track markers using the Type drop-down list; you should also consider naming each range marker with the track name.
Once you’ve got your file marked up, you can insert the ranges directly into the Multitrack, or you can export them as separate files. You can also save marker ranges to a Playlist, a topic we’ll cover in more detail in a future blog post.
- Export files from the Waveform view: Select the markers you want to export as files, then click the second button from the right (Export audio of selected range markers to separate files). This exports each range as its own file; you can specify whether to use the marker name, add prefixes or postfix numbers, where to save the file, and so on.
- Insert ranges into a multitrack session: If you select range markers and click the last button on the right (Insert into Multitrack), you’ll be prompted to either add the ranges to an existing session or to create a new one. If you’re in Multitrack view, you can drag and drop marker ranges directly into your session.
One last handy marker-related tip: you can quickly select the time specified by a range marker by hovering over either end of the marker range icon and double-clicking. Sweet! And thus concludes our whirlwind tour…. Comments? Questions? Let us know!
The Audition CS6 Help covers some marker-related features, and Colin Smith has posted a video tutorial that touches on markers as well as Skip Selection, which we covered in an earlier blog post.
Audition is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, so you can subscribe once and get access to Audition CS6, Photoshop CS6, and all of Adobe’s other creative tools.