Field Report: Adobe Audition 2.0

May 1, 2006

I have been a user of Adobe Audition, and its predecessor, Cool Edit, since 1998 and am excited about the recent release of Audition 2.0. After hearing about the soon-to-be-released upgrade for several months, I made the decision to transition my studio in early February. Since then, it has been an interesting learning experience full of ups and downs.

Installation was simple and intuitive. If you have installed any Windows-based software you should not have a problem with Adobe Audition 2.0. Some of the minimum requirements for installation include an Intel Pentium III, 4 or Centrino, 512MB of Ram (1GB recommended), 700MB of available hard-disk space, and a sound card with Directsound or ASIO drivers.

The computer I initially installed this upgrade on is a 2.4GHz Celeron with 512MB of Ram, and one of the first things I noticed was how slow the program loaded, saved and applied effects. Personally, I wouldn't recommend editing audio on the Celeron platform. I have since migrated to a Dual Core 3GHz system with 2GB of Ram and the performance has certainly improved. This version uses the processing power, so the heftier processor is a preferred choice.

Performance at a glance
Unlimited tracks
ASIO support
Audible scrubbing
Analog-modeled multi-band compressor
Recordable parameter automation
Spectral frequency display tools

Adobe provides documentation in a hard copy manual that is informative with examples that are explained in careful detail, along with tutorials to help you replicate the lessons in the real world. As with most Adobe products, I've found the Audition 2.0 documentation fairly complete, although not as thoughtfully laid out as I had hoped. Generally, the basic instructions appear in one part of the book while specific use of that function is detailed in another part of the book. In addition, there are video tutorials that are nicely recorded and offer a great value to any sonic sculptor.

Get to work

The main edit window displays tracks and waveforms in a time-aligned grid.

The first project that I mixed in Adobe Audition 2.0 was a local car dealer commercial. I found the learning curve fairly easy in that the majority of the general functions that I am used to are the same. As with previous versions, I can layer, envelope, adjust volume and export (formerly mix-down) the files I have created.

After using this product version for several more days, however, my feelings about this product transitioned from thinking that the majority of changes were visually cosmetic to realizing that it had undergone a ground-up re-build offering new functionality in many areas.

Once you get under the hood there is a lot more than meets the eye. For instance, one of my favorite additions is the multi-band compressor. This function has brought a new level of professional processing to my production, which translates to new potential dollars. For the car dealer spot that I was producing, it helped me zero in on the voice-over and give it the extra punch that was needed in an already intense mix.

Even though I have had to relearn some of the functions I had grown familiar with, such as the absence of an “obvious” mix-down facility and preferences that are now in the edit menu such as audio hardware setup and keyboard shortcuts, the learning curve was not nearly as deep as it could have been had I moved to an entirely different editing platform. In addition, mix-down functions are easy to accomplish. I have renewed inspiration to create better vocals and hotter mixes for radio and TV.

Adobe Systems

Even though I will need to upgrade my processor and add Ram to realize the full-functionality of Audition 2.0, I have become an instant fan of this product release. The view menu allows users to easily choose the standard editing window and a maximum performance editing palette spanning twin monitors with the multi-track window on the left, and channel strips, VU and effects list on the right. I feel as if I am part of a much larger facility.

I am pleased with the enhanced multi-track capabilities along with channel strips that beg the user to experiment with sound, plus a configurable master effect rack and twin monitor setup that brings Adobe Audition 2.0 to a level of luxury that must be seen to be heard. The feared and more expensive takeover by Adobe has come and gone and with it Adobe Audition 2.0 has arrived and is changing the way I listen and produce.

Kaiser is director of operations/engineering at WGFA-AM/FM in Watseka, IL.

Editor's note: Field Reports are an exclusive Radio magazine feature for radio broadcasters. Each report is prepared by well-qualified staff at a radio station, production facility or consulting company.

These reports are performed by the industry, for the industry. Manufacturer support is limited to providing loan equipment and to aiding the author if requested.

It is the responsibility of Radio magazine to publish the results of any device tested, positive or negative. No report should be considered an endorsement or disapproval by Radio magazine.

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