it’s finally here, the new version of Adobe Audition CS5.5 for both the PC and
right, I said Mac. Adobe has really stepped up its game — not only to be
competitive with other editing software, but to beat other editing
made a huge leap when it released Audition 2.0. It was much more versatile and
sleek than previous releases. Now Adobe has gone back to the drawing board for
CS5.5 and made quite a powerful program that addresses many, though not all, shortcomings
of previous iterations.
long as I can remember, Cool Edit/Audition had dicey time compression plagued
with many artifacts. No more. In fact, Adobe gives you two algorithms to choose
from: Their own much-improved time compression or iZotope Radius’ algorithm.
To put these
to the test, I imported the toughest type of WAV file to time crunch/stretch, a
song. Due to the complexity of music it is inherently much harder to stretch or
crunch than spoken word and leads to more artifacts when time compression is
the iZotope Radius algorithm, I performed a five-second stretch on a dynamic
piece of music. This is a lot of time expansion. However, artifacts were
minimal. There were noticeable artifacts, however, when using Adobe’s algorithm.
The results were the same on both PC and Mac.
impressed with the iZotope Radius time stretch. Time expansion or compression
on spoken word performs better when “solo instrument/voice” is selected.
are cool new features in the history panel and effect rack. Let’s say I did
several edits on a waveform. I now have a history panel on the left of the
screen. This is a huge timesaver. If I wished to travel back to my first edit I
can simply select that particular edit on the history panel and I’m there,
without undoing anything.
I am unable to undo that particular edit without discarding all subsequent
edits. To undo one particular edit without disrupting subsequent edits would be
nice to see on future updates of the history panel.
the Effect rack in the edit view right above the history panel. This effects
rack emulates the one that can be found in the multitrack session. I can apply
a variety of effects and if I decide to eliminate one effect I simply uncheck
it. I can rearrange the order of effects that I place on a waveform with much
ease. For example, if I placed a compressor on a piece and then added reverb, I
could easily change the order to reverb first and then compression.
multitrack window has undergone the most notable change.
you must now name and save a multitrack session before you begin editing or
recording. While this is good practice in general, it is a little frustrating
to have to name and save a session if you just want to perform a quick and
might ask, “Can I import sessions from older version of Adobe Audition?”
CS5.5 only recognizes sessions saved in XML. It will not recognize sessions
that are saved in SES (the standard Audition session format). What does this
mean? If you’re running Audition 3.0 you can resave all sessions as XML and
then import them into CS5.5. However, if you are running older versions of
Audition, you may run into trouble.
Obviously for some legacy users this is not good. Also, since every
effect in Audition 3.0 did not make it into CS5.5, your newly imported session
may be missing some effects. It is my understanding that there is a third-party
conversion program that will take sessions from older versions of Audition and
convert them to work in CS5.5. I have not tried this program and find it
disappointing that I may have to incorporate another software program to
upgrade my older multitrack sessions. Having countless sessions in older
versions of Audition, I may be a little hesitant to migrate over to the newer
Adobe responds that the .SES translator tool can be
found at www.aatranslator.com.au/ses2sesx.html.
It’s free to download and use. Its author is accepting donations that will
unlock broader functionality, like CEP session conversion to new format and
third-party effects settings.]
groups appear to be a thing of the past. Adobe has eliminated locking waveforms
together in a static group in the multitrack session. This is a little
disappointing as having certain waveforms “permanently” locked together in a
session is a handy tool when you are working with a template for imaging or
long-awaited feature in the multitrack session is applying effects only to
certain clips on a track but not the entire track.
feature is a tremendous help as it avoids wasting a whole track because you
wish to have a high-pass filter on one little piece of your production. You
simply have to select the portion of the track that you desire to have an effect
and then choose your effect(s). Users will have an effect list for that
particular clip located on the left of the multitrack screen as you would for
the entire track.
Adobe Audition Digital Audio Workstation Software
+ Now available for Mac
+ Improved time compression
+ Effects can now be applied to specific
clips in the Multi-Track window
+ The ability to toggle to several
+ Improved noise reduction
+ Ability to change the order of effects
via the History Panel in the Edit Window
- Does not recognize .SES multitrack
- No more static groups in Multi-Track
- No longer has the capability to burn CDs
Price: $349; $99 as an
upgrade from Audition 1.5 and later, and Soundbooth CS3 and later
For information, contact Adobe at (800) 585-0774 or visit www.adobe.com/products/audition.
ever been working on a session, perhaps a piece of imaging, and your PD comes
in and asks you to play him/her a promo from another session? Previously you had
to save what you were doing, close that session, then open the promo session.
Not anymore. Adobe has allowed us to switch back and forth between many
sessions, just as we would switch between files in the Edit view. This save
mounds of time and makes workflow that much easier.
sound is another interesting addition to Audition CS5.5. Some radio users may
find a use for it; it does come in handy if you are designing audio for a film
project that you wish to have in surround sound.
noise reduction feature has always been one of my favorites in Audition. For
those of us who can’t afford a CEDAR system or Sonic Solutions, Audition has a
powerful audio forensics section.
been collecting and restoring jazz 78s and radio transcriptions from the 1920s
and early ’30s since I was eight years old. The object of the game is to
eliminate surface noise as much as you can without harming the musical information.
Audition has improved the controls on its noise reduction tool. I now have even
more control with the frequencies I attack and how much noise I wish to
your hands if you are familiar with a 60-cycle hum from a turntable that’s not
properly grounded.The new
de-hummer in Audition will tackle this issue with ease and few artifacts. With
a load of presets or the ability to customize the tool to your liking, the new
de-hummer is a welcome addition. How ’bout those sibilants? The newly
redesigned de-esser does a decent job of fixing this annoying phenomenon.
Burning: A feature to disappear is the ability to burn CDs. As there are
several programs that are able to burn CDs, the absence of this feature didn’t
really impact my particular situation.
this is a solid, well researched program that features an ergonomic design to
accommodate the rapid workflow of a production studio. While incorporating older
multitrack sessions into CS5.5 may be a little difficult, I think that the
improvements outweigh the shortcomings of the software. The introduction of Audition
to the Mac platform makes it easy to transition a Mac facility to this program.
Adobe seems to have listened to its customers and addressed many issues. I’m
excited to see what future releases of Adobe Audition will unveil.
David Plotkin is a production director
at a major New York City radio station and a long-time user of Adobe Audition.