Getting to Know Adobe Audition

Bring stories to life with sound.

This image uses artwork from Adobe Stock / Teera Pittayanurak.
Getting to Know Adobe Audition
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Whatever your content, Adobe Audition helps you bring stories to life with sound. 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of Adobe Audition, an app that practically defined the concept of the digital audio workstation (DAW) when it started out as Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro, and the team who built it, were acquired by Adobe in 2003. Rebranded as Adobe Audition, the main focus of development shifted to video workflows. Today Audition offers the tightest nonlinear editing (NLE) integration available with its sibling Premiere Pro. But that’s not all it can do.

What makes Audition stand out?

Whatever kind of storytelling you do, no other audio application offers all of the tools that Audition does in one package: multitrack mixing, audio effects, audio waveform editing, a Spectral Frequency editor, and AI-based automation with Adobe Sensei. Instead of switching between applications for different tasks, or buying expensive plugins to add missing functionality, Audition users have everything they need for working with audio right from the get-go. And if there’s something specific you really want or need, you can also use third-party plugins with Audition.

This comprehensive feature set makes Audition a great choice for a wide range of audio production work, like video, radio, podcasting, sound design, audio restoration, music recording, and more.

Let’s take a look at Audition and some of the people who use it.

Adobe Audition in video production

Deep integration with Premiere Pro means Audition is the best app available for connected video production workflows. Sharing the same underlying audio and effects platform means that audio content and metadata move between Audition and Premiere Pro with full fidelity.

Video source: Christine Steele, filmmaker.

Audition tools to support audio workflows in video production include Automatic Speech Alignment, Remix, Auto-Ducking, full support for video formats, and more.

Remix analyzes and rearranges music to fit the duration of your video without manual editing or complicated cross-fading to get the parts of the song you want, thanks to advanced Adobe Sensei machine-learning technology. Automatic Speech Alignment lets you warp and stretch ADR recordings to precisely match on-camera performance with sample accurate lip sync so you can fix dialog easily and turn around projects faster.

Auto-Ducking automatically adjusts soundtrack music around dialog and sound effects to quickly achieve a professional quality mix. Adobe Sensei machine-learning technology scans audio tracks and applies keyframed volume envelopes to normalize audio for clips or projects.

Dual display full-screen video gives you a full-screen display of video content on a secondary monitor while you edit the audio. This is great for editing Foley and sound effects in videos, recording Automatic Dialog Replacement (ADR) or voiceovers.

Podcasting with Adobe Audition

With the growth of podcasting, and the advent of smart speakers, the market for audio content is expanding rapidly. Audition is the perfect place to assemble, polish, and mix stories for these platforms.

Video source: Emma Houlton, podcast creator.

Multitrack mixing provides a timeline-based workspace for crafting audio stories. Emma also mentions effects for improving the sound of voices, overall audio quality, and making clips from different sources sound better together.

There’s a really fast way to apply effects through the Essential Sound panel, which gives you easy access to advanced audio engineering with simple slider adjustments for dialog, music, sound effects, and ambience.

Clean-up tools like the Click/Pop Eliminator and DeClicker effects let you remove microphone pops, clicks, light hiss, and crackle.

Audition also supports image files so you can store JPEGs of your artwork with your project metadata.  This also gives you a visual reference when searching through archived projects.

Adobe Audition for radio

Adobe Audition has long been a staple for radio production with integrated support for radio-specific metadata and markers, and most radio automation and scheduling services.

Video source: Matt Ogaz, production engineer at KEXP.

Matt uses Audition for cleaning up dialog, multitrack mixing, and the Spectral Display editor for noise reduction. Other tools that radio broadcasters use include Automatic Loudness correction, which lets you match loudness in audio clips so that your content meets broadcast loudness standards.

Audition works with most radio automation and playback systems thanks to support for CART metadata. Timed recordings let broadcasters schedule recordings in advance for automatic capture or timed durations for recordings.

Sound design with Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition comes packed with effects, sound manipulation and repair tools — everything you need for creating and refining sound elements. The multitrack mixer lets sound designers complete their sonic compositions with absolute precision.

Video source: Frank Serafine, Hollywood sound designer.

Along with the mixing and restoration tools that Frank mentions, Audition has a whole bunch of sound design tools, including sound generators and a center channel extractor. The Pitch Bender effect changes tempo over time to vary the pitch. Pitch Shifter is a real-time effect that adjusts the musical pitch of a tone and can be combined with other tools in the effects rack.

Custom channelization lets you design your own channel configurations for any audio mix to shape specific sonic environments for video games, installations, or cinema. With Synthesized speech you can type or paste-in text to generate a voiceover or narration track. Use the  Frequency Band Splitter to generate copies of an audio clip, each with a different frequency range. The crossover frequencies determine the split points and you can then edit or apply effects to each band separately.

Audio restoration and Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition originally introduced the concept of Spectral Frequency Editing, which transforms audio restoration into a kind of visual image editing. Together with industrial-strength noise reduction, sound removal, and effects, Audition is a perfect workspace for audio restoration and sound archive work.

Video source: Jason Levine, Adobe evangelist and audio nerd.

Spectral Frequency Editing lets you visualize sound and zoom in on the details for incredibly precise audio editing using familiar Photoshop tools like lasso, marquee selections, and opacity-based paintbrush. Find and remove unwanted sounds and repair or refine audio clips. With Auto Healing, you can paint away clicks, pops, RF hits, mouth sounds, mobile phone rings, and more without affecting other elements in the same audio clip. The Audition Auto-Healing tool provides content-aware super powers for fast audio spot repairs.

The Sound Remover effect removes unwanted audio sources from a recording. This effect uses source separation to analyze a selected portion of the recording and build a sound model, which is used to find and remove the sound.

Manual and automatic pitch controls allow you to visually adjust pitch with the Spectral Pitch Display in both the Waveform and Multitrack editors.

Music recording with Adobe Audition

Born as Cool Edit Pro, one of the first digital audio workstation applications, Adobe Audition is still one of the best tools anywhere for capturing, mixing, and mastering musical performances.

Video source: Jason Levine, Adobe evangelist and recording artist.

Control surface support and parameter automation lets you mix audio interactively with control surfaces using the Avid EUCON, Mackie MCU and HUI, or Logic Control protocols — or use third-party, tablet-based controllers that support these protocols.

Audition offers music-focused tools, such as guitar suite effect, a variety of detailed reverb controls, and support for VST audio plugins, as well as Audio Units on macOS.

That’s just a taste of what Audition can do. Think of Audition as a soundstage for storytelling, an Adobe design app for audio with all of the tools you need for telling stories with audio of any kind.

Sound good? Try Adobe Audition now.

Watch Jason Levine’s livestreamsFive Things Every Video Editor Should Know about Adobe Audition.”

Our good friend Mike Russell hosts the fantastic Adobe Audition podcast series.

Learn how to use Adobe Audition.

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