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Summary: Adobe Audition 3 - 
    Professional Audio Production  (1/2008)

    by Douglas Dixon

Adobe Audition vs Adobe Soundbooth CS3
New Features
Features Summary

See also full article: Adobe Audition 3 -  Professional Audio Editing and Mixing

A summary of new enhancements and key features in Adobe Audition 3, released at the end of 2007 as Adobe's flagship stand-alone tool for professional audio production (www.adobe.com/products/audition). Audition was originally released as part of the Adobe Video Collection suite in May 2004, after Adobe acquired the former Cool Edit Pro application from Syntrillium Software in May 2003.

            Adobe Audition 3 and Adobe Soundbooth CS3

However, as Audition evolved as a tool for audio professionals it outgrew the needs of the video and creative professionals that were the focus of the Adobe Creative Suite 3 (www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite).  As a result, Adobe replaced Audition in the CS3 suite (released in mid-2007), with a new audio tool, Adobe Soundbooth, which provided task-based tools for everyday audio editing and cleanup, sound design, and music creation (www.adobe.com/products/soundbooth)..

Meanwhile, Adobe Audition continued as an independent high-end audio editing tool, as a all-in-one toolset for professional audio production -- record, mix, edit, and master.

Adobe Audition 3 is not a huge re-write or re-design of the product. Instead, it picks up some of the enhancements in Soundbooth, and provides a broad range of significant enhancements, both to individual features, and in enhanced performance and more efficient workflow.

In particular, Audition 3 provides faster editing with direct on-clip drag-and-drop editing as in Soundbooth. The amazing Frequency space / Spectral editing view now supports the Photoshop-like Effects Paintbrush and Spot Healing Brush.

It adds new effects including Convolution Reverb, Analog Delay, Mastering tool, and Tube-modeled Compressor, along with iZotope time stretching. Plus improved noise reduction and phase correction tools.

In addition, Audition now includes MIDI recording and mixing, with a piano roll editor for MIDI tracks, using industry-standard VSTi virtual instruments.

Audition is available for Windows XP and Vista for $349, or for a $99 upgrade from all past versions of Adobe Audition and Adobe Production Studio.

        Multitrack mixing

For more on Adobe Creative Suite 3 
- See Adobe Creative Suite 3: Summary for an overview of the CS3 applications, suites, and pricing
- See Adobe CS3 Production Suite: Summary  for more on the CS3 video and audio tools

For previous versions of Adobe Audition
- See Adobe Production Studio: First Look  for Audition 2.0
- See Audio Tools for Video Editors on Audition 1.0

For Soundbooth CS3
- See Adobe Soundbooth: Audio for Video

     Find Adobe Audition 3 on Amazon.com

     Find Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium on Amazon.com


Adobe Audition vs. Adobe Soundbooth CS3

Adobe Audition is a stand-alone full audio toolset for professional audio production. It's designed to take audio professionals through the full workflow of recording, mixing, editing, and mastering audio. It includes waveform editing of single clips, multi-track mixing, looping, MIDI, with extensive effects and tools for audio restoration and enhancement. Audition is available only for Windows (www.adobe.com/products/audition).

Adobe Soundbooth is part of the Adobe Creative Suite 3 family, and provides a subset of Audition's features, designed for the needs of video editors and creative professionals who are not audio professionals. It is focused on single-clip editing, with task-based tools for audio cleaning. It also includes the AutoComposer for automatically generating scores in selected styles to match existing clips. Soundbooth is available both for Windows and Intel-based Macs (www.adobe.com/products/soundbooth).

    See www.adobe.com/products/audition/compare

Adobe Soundbooth - Task-based audio enhancements for video editors

  • Designed for video editors, creative professionals (not audio pros)
  • Single-asset editing with on-clip controls (not mixing, not looping, no MIDI)
  • Cue-point support for Adobe Flash
  • AutoComposer for quickly customizing Soundbooth Scores
  • Windows XP / Vista -- and Intel based Mac with Mac OS X
  • Bundled with Adobe Creative Suite 3, or $199 stand-alone

Adobe Audition - Toolset for professional audio production

  • Designed for audiocentric professionals
        (e.g., sound designers, recording and mastering engineers, musicians)
  • Tool-based interface
  • Multitrack mixing
  • Music looping (but not AutoComposer / Soundbooth Scores)
  • MIDI track and VSTi virtual instruments
  • Recordable parameter automation
  • Batch processing and scripting
  • Audio CD burning and extraction
  • Windows XP / Vista only (not Mac)
  • Standalone $349 (not bundled), $99 upgrade

        Soundbooth: Wave editing & effects

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Audition 3 -- New Features

Improved Multitrack editing

  • Group clips for editing: Trim and delete, split, add fades across multiple tracks
  • Mix by dragging clips and controlling automatic crossfades with on-clip handles
  • Ripple delete on one or more tracks
  • Mix down multitrack files into a single file for use as a new single track.
  • Batch save all audio files, apply specific formats, locations, filename templates

Direct waveform editing tools - On-clip controls

  • Add fades with on-clip click-and-drag handles
  • Adjust volume with knob for selected portion of waveform

Top/Tail view

  • New view zooms into beginning and the end of loop or audio file
  • Quickly add precise fades while keeping the whole file in view

Enhanced Frequency space / Spectral editing

  • new Selection tools in the Spectral Pan and Spectral Phase displays
  • new Effects Paintbrush - Apply effects to selection
        Free-form selection in frequency space
  • new Spot Healing Brush - Smooth over region
        Automatically repair clicks, pops, other noises
  • Marquee Selection Tool in Spectral Phase and Spectral Pan displays
        Edit just highlighted area, or edit everything outside the area
  • Spectral Bitmap import/export - Edit audio in Adobe Photoshop

        MIDI piano roll editor

MIDI Editing / VSTi virtual instrument support

  • Add industry-standard VSTi virtual instruments
  • Record and edit MIDI in the piano roll editor
  • Add a MIDI host track to mix, choose instrument, record new audio in Sequencer
  • Edit note, velocity, and controller values in the piano roll editor.
  • Control and read from attached devices, including external MIDI synthesizers, keyboards

New effects - Convolution Reverb

  • More than 50 audio effects, can stack multiple effects
  • New Convolution Reverb, Analog Delay, Mastering tool, Tube-modeled Compressor

Radius time stretching from iZotope

  • Speed up or slow down
  • Alter tempo without changing pitch, or pitch without tempo distortion

Guitar Suite effects

  • Analog-modeled guitar effects, use with guitars or other instruments
  • Simple Compressor, Adjustment Filter, Distortion, Box Modeling modules
  • Shape by applying one effect, or stack many together

Noise reduction and phase correction tools

  • new Adaptive Noise Reduction removes noise that changes over time
  • Automatic Phase Correction applies optimal delay for aligning channels of stereo waveform
  • Graphic Panner corrects frequency-dependent phase differences between channels

Enhanced performance - Takes advantage of new, multi-core processors

  • Optimized mixing engine supports more tracks and effects on the same machine
  • Mixes with more options and increased complexity

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Audition 3 -- Features Summary

  • Compete audio toolset: 
        Record, mix, arrange, and edit audio in one comprehensive, easy-to-use application.
  • Produce high-resolution 24- or 32-bit files with sample rates up to 192kHz for HD- and DVD-quality audio.

        Multitrack mixing


Record and Mix, Apply Effects

            Complete professional toolset for recording, tracking and mixing high quality audio

Views

  • Multitrack View with unlimited stereo tracks - Record, edit, and mix
  • Wave Editing view - Record and edit individual audio files

 Recording

  • Improved recording performance - direct to final working file, save immediately
  • Up to 80 live inputs - simultaneously in multitrack session.
  • Real-time input monitoring - effects applied to input track
  • Quick punch - fix recording errors by punching in corrections on-the-fly as rerecord
        Toggle record button to punch in new take only where want to replace old one

 Editing

  • Improved multitrack editing and mixing - New automatic crossfade creation,
        clip fade handles, and automation lane editing improvements
  • On-track fast editing -Automatic cross-fade and click and drag fade handles
  • Smooth splined envelopes - Adjust volume, pan, effects for clips in a multitrack mix
        Alter curves and create gradual transitions; rescale all envelope points
  • Group and edit clips together - Including trims and fades in Multitrack View
  • Batch processing - convert multiple audio files, format, location, filename template

 Effects

  • Manipulate clips - with digital signal processing (DSP) tools,
        Mastering and analysis tools, audio restoration features
  • More than 50 audio effects and DSP tools - echo, flange, reverb

 Automation

  • Recordable parameter automation - Move volume, pan, and effects controls as you listen
        Changes appear as editable envelopes in timeline
  • Hardware controller automation - Adjust mix and effects parameters using external control devices, record all changes in real time
  • Improved I/O meter display - level meters for master track, multiple input and output devices

 Routing

  • Effects Rack - Automate and route in Multitrack view
  • Effects chain on all channels, buses, and master - hear results before mixing down
  • Routing flexibility - Audio mixing sends and inserts
        Create sends to duplicate signals routed to different effects
        Add send to create a separate mix for headphones during a recording session
  • Plug-in delay compensation - Add filters and effects to tracks and buses throughout signal chain without knocking tracks out of sync

 Standards

  • ASIO, VST, DirectX, ReWire support - industry formats and standards
  • MIDI timecode support - (SMPTE/MTC) master or slave
        synchronize audio playback with MTC computers, video decks, hardware devices
  • VST Plug-In Manager - Enable and disable VST plug-ins

 Export

  • Surround Encoder - transform any multitrack mix into a 5.1 surround sound experience
        Export as interleaved file that can be used in Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Mix down entire session - Selected clips, or range into a new file for use as single track

 Response

  • Realtime response - Modify volume, pan, effects controls as listen, record changes to mix
  • Low-latency mixing engine - Work with ASIO high-performance audio devices
        Mix tracks on the fly, hear changes as you record / mix
  • Multicore processor support - optimized mixing engine

        Multitrack view


Create and Arrange

            Creative sound production and arranging

 Multi-Track

  • Loop-based soundtrack creation - Included loops and ready-to-use music
        Construct high-quality music beds for songs or movie soundtracks
        Loops automatically match global session tempo and key
        Approximately 5,000 uncompressed, 32-bit, royalty-free loops included
  • VSTi virtual instrument support
  • Record and edit MIDI - piano roll editor
  • Playlist window - Play in any order, loop specified times
        Try different versions of an arrangement before commit to edits.
  • Royalty-free music beds - Includes 20 ready-to-play, 15- and 30-second lengths
  • CD extraction - Digitally extract tracks from audio CDs

 Effects

  • New effects - include Convolution Reverb, Analog Delay, and Guitar Suite
  • New Guitar Suite effects - analog-modeled guitar effects
  • iZotope Radius time stretch engine - Fit clip timing without pitch changes
        or adjust pitch without tempo changes
  • Add effects to bus, track, or master channel

Arrange

  • Automatic beat detection - Find and mark beats, create loops
  • Sync to video in Surround Encoder - Keyframe surround sound multitrack mix
        View video as scrub, keyframe, and edit surround sound
        Export as interleaved file for use in Adobe Premiere Pro

Export

  • Custom script recording - Automate repetitive tasks, apply as batch process
  • XML session format - import and export sessions as XML

        Spectral frequency view


Edit and Master

            Full set of editing, restoration, and mastering tools

Wave Edit

  • Integrated wave-editing view - with Mastering Rack
  • Mastering Rack - Apply and preview multiple effects simultaneously in Edit view
  • Top and tail views - Zoom into selected areas
        Quickly edit beginning or ending of audio file

Analysis

  • Audio analysis tools - Frequency, Phase, Spectral Frequency Display.
  • Spectral Pan and Phase displays - Visualize pan, phase, and frequency over time
  • Spectral Frequency Display - Visually isolate and select sounds in frequency and time
        Isolate specific sounds and increase visibility of lower frequencies (logarithmic)
        Clean up, modify, or apply effects to selected sound (lasso tool)
  • Edit in spectral / frequency space - new Effects Paintbrush and Spot Healing Brush.

Restoration

  • More than 50 DSP tools - Mastering and analysis tools, Audio restoration
        Supports third party VST and DirectX plug-ins.
  • Audio restoration tools - including frequency space editing
        Restore recordings from old vinyl, remove hisses and hums,
        fix clipped audio and phase problems, recover previously unusable recordings
  • Adaptive Noise Reduction - Removes unwanted noise that changes over time
  • New audio healing and selection tools - remove or edit specific sounds or certain frequencies
  • Automatic Phase Correction - Optimal delay to align channels of stereo waveform
  • Analog-modeled Multiband Compressor - Control dynamics, adjust loudness
  • Pitch correction - Correct off-pitch performances, automatic or manual
  • Vocal/instrumental extraction - Based on pan position or phase
        Create a cappella or karaoke-ready tracks

Mastering

  • Audio editing for video - Import and export video files, AVI, MPEG, DV, WMV
        Transfer between Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Mastering tools - Graphic and Parametric equalizers,
        punch with Dynamics Processor, Hard Limiter, Multiband Compressor.
  • Mastering effect - Sweeten sound, Reverb to Gains
  • High-quality sample rate conversions - customizable dither settings
         44.1kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz for CD, video, DVD
  • Support more than 20 file formats - Windows PCM (WAV), AIFF, MP3, WMA
        Import and export Ogg Vorbis (OGG)
  • Burn directly to gapless audio CDs - Create reference masters of compositions

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