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Adobe Audition CC: solid upgrade hampered by subscription pricing

Christopher Breen | July 15, 2013
Adobe's audio editor, Audition CC, offers compelling new features making it a worthy update, but it should not be tied to Creative Cloud's subscription model.

With Audition CS6, Adobe busied itself adding back features that were available to Windows users in Audition 3. The result was a very fine audio editor aimed at sound designers, radio producers, audio and video editors, and podcasters. With Audition CC, Adobe has largely finished feature restoration (save for MIDI support) and instead focuses on adding new audio restoration and manipulation tools, and tweaking the interface to make the application easier to use. Its now a better audio editor; however, its target audience may look at alternatives solely because of Adobes subscription-only model. Before discussing the financial model, lets turn to features.

Twice the bits
Audition is now a 64-bit application, which, in some cases, translates into speedier operation. For instance, on my dual 2.26GHz Quad-Core Xeon Mac Pro, I bounced three effects-laden tracks of a 25-minute podcast to a single track in both Audition CS6 and Audition CC. The CS6 version took 3 minutes and 38 seconds, while the CC version did the job in 3 minutes and 12 seconds.

Those with 32-bit VST (Virtual Studio Technology) effects can continue to use them thanks to a €9.90 (about $13) application called jBridge. This program makes it possible to run 32-bit VST plug-ins in a 64-bit host. However, 32-bit Audio Units plug-ins are not compatible.

Excise errant sounds
If you've ever tried to remove an unanticipated sound from an otherwise clean track, youll be very happy with the new Sound Remover tool. When a phone rings unexpectedly or a siren sounds in the distance while youre recording a podcast, youll find it quite useful.

Audition has long included tools for removing constant noisesuch as an air conditioner or a hum in the audio linebut notching out these unpredictable noises is a much tougher task. Thats where the Sound Remover tool comes in. To use it, switch on the spectral frequency display, zoom in on the waveform, and look for your unwelcome sound. If it has a predictable wave like a siren, its pretty easy to spot. A ringing phone can be seen as a series of dashes, with each representing a brief tone within the ring. You then choose the Paintbrush Selection tool and simply paint over the offending portions of the sound (the brush size is adjustable for going after things like small overtones). You can then sample and store that sound, and ask Audition to remove any instances of it. If youve selected carefully and correctly, the annoying sound disappears, leaving the audio you want in place.

Audition's new Sound Remover tool allows you to remove unexpected audio.

I happened to have a podcast track in which a phone rang, so I used that as my test file. The most difficult thing about Sound Remover is identifying all portions of the unwanted sound. In my case, the dashes told me where the ringtones were, but the overtones were more difficult to spot. So it required going back in and painting a few other areas. Eventually I managed it and applied the effect, and the ring was gone. I was pleased to discover that the voice that was speaking when the phone rang still sounded natural after the effect was applied. When I listened in context, I didnt get the sense that something had been notched out.


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