Adobe Creative Cloud

March 25, 2008 /

Soundbooth: In the Spirit of Cool Edit and SoundEdit 16

I often get asked the question “why did Adobe release Soundbooth when we already had Audition?” The other question I get a lot is “will Soundbooth replace Audition?” The answers to both of these questions are related.

First off, Soundbooth is not a replacement for Audition. While Audition and Soundbooth share some audio editing capabilities, they were built for different users. Audition is an all-in-one solution for recording, editing, mixing and mastering designed for audio engineers and musicians. It’s a tool that enables you to perform a wide range of audio tasks from producing an entire album to restoring audio recordings that have been sitting in a basement for many years. Soundbooth is designed for creative pros that aren’t experts in audio, but do periodically need to work with the audio associated with a visual project (e.g. a video in Premiere or a Flash project for the web).

To meet the needs of the user who doesn’t work with audio everyday, Soundbooth has as user experience designed for a non-audio pro. For example, Soundbooth has a task panel that includes a list of common tasks for doing things like cleaning up audio (e.g., removing background noises and pops) or removing a specific sound. While Audition also has these same audio editing capabilities (and more), it has a user experience tailored to the needs of audio professionals who live in audio tools all day and sometimes all night.

Another way to think about Soundbooth is as the next generation of Cool Edit and SoundEdit 16. Cool Edit was a shareware audio editor developed by Syntrillium that ran on Windows and SoundEdit 16 was a Mac-based audio editing tool from Macromedia. Like Soundbooth, these tools were for users who needed to occasionally work with audio. Both Cool Edit and SoundEdit 16 were very popular because of their ease of use and low cost. Macromedia discontinued SoundEdit 16 in 2004 and Cool Edit was discontinued after Syntrillium was acquired by Adobe in 2003. The pro version of Cool Edit, aptly named Cool Edit Pro, is what became Adobe Audition. Soundbooth is continuing the audio editing tradition of Cool Edit and SoundEdit 16 and it runs on both OSX and Windows.

So for those of you who are still using Cool Edit or SoundEdit 16, now is a good time to consider getting an audio tool that’s a bit more up to date. You can download the trial and give it a spin here.

For further reading, I’ve also posted some recent reviews of Soundbooth below:

I also want to hear from you on how Soundbooth measures up to its heritage, so if you have any specific comments or general feedback please post it here.


Join the discussion

  • By Carl Brent Ferguson - 8:42 AM on March 28, 2008  

    Soundbooth is way better than SoundEdit 16.

  • By SteveG - 3:46 PM on May 15, 2008  

    You said:”I also want to hear from you on how Soundbooth measures up to its heritage…”One thing that’s very significant about the Cool Edit heritage is the development that really made it stand out amongst radio users, and gain wide acceptance – and that wasn’t the transition to Cool Edit Pro, but the introduction of Cool Edit 2000. This was the tool that radio journalists liked and adopted, as it was relatively simple to use. But most significantly, they adopted it because it did the one thing that Soundbooth doesn’t do, which is limited multitracking. This is the key to acceptance that Syntrillium seemed to realise intuitively – it’s all very well having the best basic editor that there is, but if you can’t layer two or three tracks of what you’ve edited, it’s no better than a car without wheels – the engine makes a lovely noise, but it don’t go nowhere…And if there’s anything truly significant that Adobe needs to learn from the history of Syntrillium, it’s just that. You can add all the bells and whistles you like, but without a little basic multitrack and mixdown facility, even the low-end users aren’t going to be satisfied for long.

  • By Alan Whittle - 5:42 AM on July 10, 2008  

    Hello,I have lost my audition disc, and my computer died recently.However could you oblige me with a download of the old cool edit programme which would be fine for what I domy customer number was.Cool Edit 2000: GVAZABKCbest wishesal

  • By Lawson - 3:00 PM on July 17, 2008  

    Hi Steve,Thanks for the feedback. Please checkout the new release of Soundbooth which is in beta on Adobe Labs. It now has a limited multitrack.Cheers,Lawson

  • By Lawson - 3:04 PM on July 17, 2008  

    Hi Al,Adobe doesn’t distribute Cool Edit. I would suggest you take a look at Soundbooth. There is a public beta available on Adobe Labs.Cheers,Lawson

  • By dwight calloway - 12:44 PM on April 26, 2010  

    I have`nt used my copy of cool edit pro 2.0 in quite some time. and I would like to know if there`s an update for this particular program? and if so how can i get it ? please Reply to me at

  • By Lawson Hancock - 4:35 PM on April 27, 2010  

    Hi Dwight,Adobe acquired the engineers and technology behind Cool Edit/Cool Edit Pro 7 years ago this May. The last version of Cool Edit Pro (v2.1) was rebranded as Adobe Audition 1.0 at that time and Cool Edit was discontinued. Adobe has released several versions of Audition since then and the current version is 3.0.There is no update available for Cool Edit or Cool Edit Pro to Adobe Audition, since Syntrillium and the Cool Edit product line no longer exists. Certainly the audio editing heritage of Cool Edit lives on inside Audition, but the application has grown into a DAW for post production as well as music creation over the last several years.Regards,Lawson

  • By nocturnal YL - 7:12 PM on April 11, 2011  

    Three years later. Soundbooth finally had to meet its end.

    I’m actually supportive of this decision, since Soundbooth appeared to be quite lacking even for casual use. The good things about Soundbooth (mainly its interface) do end up in Audition CS5.5, so that is good news. Too bad Audition does not read ASND files.