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Adobe Audition CC (2015.2) review: Audio editing becomes more user-friendly

J.R. Bookwalter | Oct. 13, 2016
The new Essential Sound panel makes it more user-friendly for those getting started with Audition.

Although most video editing software does a decent job with audio, there’s nothing like using a tool dedicated to manipulating sound. Back in the day, one of my favorites was Soundtrack Pro, which Apple initially offered as a standalone product as well as part of the Final Cut Studio bundle.

It was a great match—if a particular piece of audio in a timeline needed more finesse than Final Cut Pro was capable of, you could send a clip to Soundtrack Pro, make edits, then round-trip it right back. Unfortunately, Apple decommissioned Soundtrack Pro with the 2011 debut of Final Cut Pro X.

Perhaps not-so coincidentally, that same year Adobe introduced Creative Cloud, taking the first baby steps away from individually packaged software in favor of effectively renting a suite of productivity applications for one monthly price. But coming on the heels of filling the Soundtrack Pro gap with a port of its own popular Windows audio editing software, it was double blow for Mac video enthusiasts.

adobe audition cc 2015.2 ui with effects rack

Adobe Audition CC packs a ton of audio editing expertise into a single application, and now it’s easier for first-time users.

Audition time

Several years later, the furor over subscription-based software has mostly died down now that Microsoft and others have joined the fray, but there’s still no sign Apple ever intends to make good on a replacement for Soundtrack Pro.

Instead, we have Logic Pro X ($200 on the Mac App Store), which is geared more to musicians than post-production, or Adobe Audition CC, which costs $20 per month as a single-app subscription, or $50 monthly as part of a bundle with other pro video and creative apps. (There are alternatives including free, open-source software like Audacity, but I’m strictly focusing on commercially-available products.)

Former Macworld editor Christopher Breen expertly detailed the first iteration of Adobe Audition CC in his exhaustive review three years ago, which praised the exhaustive depth of features while lamenting the then-controversial subscription pricing.

Since then, Adobe has been steadily improving the application with annual updates and frequent bug fixes, adding Dolby Digital import/export and dialogue normalization in 2014, along with remix, text-to-speech, and match loudness tools last year. Earlier this year, Adobe debuted the awkwardly-named “2015.2” update with two major new features, which I’ll be focusing on in this review.

adobe audition cc 2015.2 ui with essential sound

The Spring 2016 update to Adobe Audition CC includes a new panel called Essential Sound, which provides an easier way for novices to get acclimated to the software.

 

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