Field Report: Adobe Audition CS6

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There’s more from whence that came

Sometimes we never know where our audio production will land. While taking advantage of the stereo image is fun, taking mono radios into account is wise. Each multitrack channel and output bus in Audition CS6 can sum to mono. This feature is critically important in that it mono sums properly without introducing additional phase concerns. More importantly, it allows the user to preview his or her production in mono, which can reveal phase problems especially when audacious spatial effects are used (or misused).

Most NLE (non-linear editing) engineers have found themselves waist-deep in massive multitrack sessions with grouped clips. Selecting the clips is arduous, but more arduous is selecting one of the clips from the group for individual editing or repositioning. CS6 allows the user to suspend the focus clip of a group, without breaking the grouping. If an individual clip needs adjusting forward or backward in the session, it can be selected by itself and modified. Then, it can easily be regrouped.

Every imaginable pitch, EQ, reverb and dynamic effect is a part of the software’s ease of use. Some effects, however, standout as exceptional. Automatic and manual pitch correction very accurately allow the user to pinpoint pitch problems and correct via envelope control. In the case of music production, a vocalist’s pitch may have been inconsistent while holding a note. Simply transposing the entire note slightly by a few cents won’t correct the problem, but gradually adjusting the pitch over the length of the note will. Manual pitch correction allows for that, which can be handy as an effect for whacky pitch changes on a radio spot. In addition to powerful pitch correction, the tone generator has returned with CS6. Whether calibrating equipment or creating drones, tone generation is a valuable tool. The notch filter is back as well, allowing pinpoint handling of problem frequencies.

Any broadcaster will bear witness to the fact that metadata is critical to audio production. Familiar terms like RIFF, BWF, ID3 and Cart Chunk are all standard operating procedures. The metadata panel makes all (AES) metadata information available and editable in the workspace while the file is open. Cart timer markers, as an example, allow users to easily set EOMs on audio files that automation systems recognize during regular playout.

Plays well with others

Audition CS6 is designed to interface with most popular DAW control surfaces, including EUCON (from Euphonix) and Mackie MCU. MME/WDM, ASIO and CoreAudio (for Mac) audio drivers are supported. Nearly all audio file formats are supported as well, except when exporting WMA. Additionally, given the increase in in-house video production on the parts of radio production staff, CS6 supports practically all popular video formats. Round trip editing allows for smooth integration with video production workflows when using Adobe Premiere Pro. For CD production, the CD editor panel allows for quickly dragging and dropping files into the CD track layout from the media browser. The CD editor enforces Philips Red Book Standards on the disc, making it consistent with industry standards.

Adobe Systems

Have we even so much as scratched the surface of Audition CS6 in this brief review? Of course not. This release of Audition is crammed with unending features, each designed with specific roles and needs in mind. Every producer will find more than enough tools to complete complex or daily familiar tasks. CS6 is a welcomed breath of fresh air for Adobe customers, and it will be a brilliant introduction to professional NLE software for new users. With advancements in workflow and processing power built-in, and intuitive usability, the Adobe Audition name lives on as a standard in radio broadcast production.

Wygal is the programmer and engineer for Victory FM at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.

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