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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.

Before and after
In past versions of Audition, you could hear what an effect or process did to your sound before you applied it. With Audition CC, you see the results of your work before theyre applied thanks to the Preview Editor. This comes in the form of a split-screen view. The waveform for the original file appears at the top of the window. When you assign effects to that audio, you can see what will happen to the waveform once those effects are applied. If youve amplified a track, for example, you can get a better idea in the Preview Editor of whether applying the effect will distort the sound (and if so, where that distortion will take place). This is helpful for those who assign an effect, listen to the first couple of seconds of the track, figure everythings fine, and click Apply. Preview Editor lets you see the entire track so that you can spy any problems ahead of time.

The Preview Editor allows you to see how your sound will be altered before you commit to an effect.

Pitching your audio
The latest version of Audition offers two features for changing pitchPitch Bender and Pitch Shifter. Pitch Bender allows you to dramatically ramp a tracks pitch up or down over time, and it sounds remarkably smooth. However, when you change pitch, you also change the tracks duration. Sound designers interested in a put your hand on a turntable effect (and there is such a preset) will find that Pitch Bender fills the bill. It can create some pretty great monster sounds as well.

Pitch Shifter is a time-compression/expansion effect that allows you to change pitch (up or down, with a total range of one octave) while maintaining the tracks original duration (or tempo). Judging by Adobes presets (Angry Gerbil, Deathly Ill, Stretch, and The Dark Lord), you can understand that such an effect could be put to frightening or humorous use (perhaps with your next Alvin and the Chipmunks project?). But you could also use it to raise a songs pitch by a half step to give it a bit more brightness and punch.

More from multitrack
I've long felt that Adobe should allow you to do more in the multitrack view rather than shuttling you off to the waveform view to perform one task or another. And more is what Audition CC provides. Because I requested the feature in my review of Audition CS6 (and described how it would work in that reviews comments), Ill first call out the new Silence Selected Clips in Time Selection effect. To use it, select a portion of a track in multitrack view that youd like to be silenta flub or unintended curse, say. Impose the effect, and Audition draws steep volume curves that silence the selection and then return the tracks volume to its previous state after the selection. In the past youd have to jump to waveform view, destructively apply the Silence effect or remain in multitrack view, split the clip, and delete the portion of the audio you didnt want. This is far faster. Thanks for listening, Adobe.


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