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As a songwriter and musician who has been recording original music for more than 20 years, I've worked with a number of editing, mixing, and recording tools. Like many musicians, I also have a treasured collection of vinyl records, and I've spent countless hours carefully archiving my LPs to CD.

I've been excited to add Adobe Audition to my arsenal of audio tools. It has a remarkably rich palette of features and functions for studio musicians and hobbyists with a variety of musical ambitions. We'll explore many of those features and functions in this book.

If you're new to Audition, it may make sense to go through this book sequentially, chapter by chapter, and follow along as we introduce you to Audition's many cool features. If you've used Audition or its predecessor, Cool Edit Pro, you may use this book as more of a reference, zeroing in on chapters or sections that are particularly applicable to your current project or interest. Either way, I hope you find the book informative, clear, and useful.

What Is Audition?

Adobe Audition is an audio recording, editing, and mixing application for Windows 2000 and XP. It's loaded with features designed to appeal to a variety of audio and video professionals. Typical users include staff in recording and mastering studios, broadcast and post-production facilities, and video production houses.

Audition began its life as Cool Edit Pro, which Syntrillium Software unveiled in 1997 as a step up from its popular Cool Edit shareware program. Adobe Systems acquired the product in May 2003. The company renamed it Audition and added it to its suite of digital video tools for Windows, which also includes Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Encore DVD. In doing so, Adobe aims to provide video studios with a smoother workflow and an easier way to develop high-quality soundtracks for their projects.

You can import video files (AVI, WMV, MPEG, and others) into Audition and watch them while you record, replace, enhance, or tweak the corresponding audio. In addition, if you bring a WAV audio file into Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects, you can use the Edit Original command to open the file in Audition and perform any of the wide variety of editing tasks the program offers.

With Audition, you can create, edit, loop, and add effects to individual sounds (including the more than 5,000 royalty-free loops included with the program); mix them together in a multitrack “recording” environment (using up to 128 tracks); and even prepare professional-quality masters. You can also choose between more than 50 digital signal processing (DSP) effects, filters, and restoration tools. You can use all your favorite third-party VST effects, too. ReWire support, new in version 1.5, allows you to stream high-resolution audio from other ReWire-enabled applications, including Propellerhead Reason and Ableton Live, directly into tracks in an Adobe Audition multitrack environment.

You can take advantage of 32-bit processing and sample rates up to 10 MHz. You can restore old recordings and improve their sound by manually or automatically removing clicks and pops from digital transfers of vinyl records and hiss from transfers of old tapes. Audition also lets you use equalization and effects to tweak the sound to suit your tastes and needs. You can mix and match disparate audio elements into one new composition, using volume, tempo, and key matching to blend them into a seamless whole.

What's New in Version 1.5?

Adobe didn't change much between Cool Edit Pro 2.5 (the latest revision when Adobe acquired the program) and Audition 1.0. But with the release of Audition 1.5, Adobe has introduced an impressive list of new features. They include the following:

  • Improved support for video, including the ability to watch video frames in the Audition Timeline.

  • Integrated, gap-free audio-CD burning for the creation of reference discs and replication-ready masters.

  • New manual and automatic pitch- correction effects.

  • Automatic click and pop removal for improved transfers from worn vinyl records and other flawed source material.

  • The ability to reduce or even remove vocal or instrumental content with the Center Channel Extractor tool, which allows you to create a cappella music or vocal-less tracks for your next karaoke party.

  • ReWire support for audio streaming to and from other ReWire-ready audio applications.

  • Integrated support for third-party VST effects.

  • Frequency space editing, which allows you to edit or add effects to frequency- or time-specific sounds as selected with a marquee selection tool.

  • Clip time-stretching, for lengthening the duration of a sound file without changing its pitch.

  • New sample sessions and hundreds of new royalty-free loops.

What's in This Book?

This book begins with two chapters on Audition and digital audio basics. You'll learn how to install Audition, configure it to suit your needs and your projects, and organize your files and scripts. These two chapters also introduce you to the fundamentals of digital audio, from sample rates and bit depths to MIDI.

Chapters 3-6 focus on the creation, capture, and manipulation of audio in preparation for larger projects. You'll learn how to record audio from external sources (including analog ones such as LPs and cassettes) and how to tweak it to make it sound the way you want. These chapters also cover the creation and management of audio files and introduces you to the basics of sound editing and the use of effects.

Chapters 7-10 walk you through Audition's multitrack capabilities. You'll learn how to loop sounds, import MIDI files, and mix disparate audio elements to create a satisfying and integrated whole. You'll also learn how Audition can help you create multichannel mixes of your work for use in high-resolution DVD projects, and you'll discover how Audition can help you create a professional-quality CD master.

The last two chapters cover some of the “extras” in Audition, including its ability to restore audio and work with video applications.

System Requirements

To use Audition and to perform the tasks in this book, your system should meet the following requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000, XP Home Edition, or XP Professional Edition

  • Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon 400 MHz or faster processor (2 GHz or faster recommended)

  • 64 MB of RAM (512 MB or more recommended)

  • 75 MB of available hard-disk space (700 MB recommended for CD premastering)

  • 800 × 600 color display (1024 × 768 display recommended)

  • Stereo sound card (multitrack sound card recommended)

  • CD-ROM drive

  • CD-RW drive for recording audio CDs

  • Microsoft DirectX 9.0 software for video import

  • Speakers or headphones (recommended)

  • Microphone (optional)

Additional requirements for use of Audition's multichannel encoder include the following:

  • Windows XP for multichannel Windows Media Audio (WMA) import

  • DirectX 8.0 and a multichannel sound card and DirectSound driver

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