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Software Review – Adobe Audition 5.5

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Adobe Audition 5.5 is the latest release of the comprehensive Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) production solution from Adobe Systems. It features a multitrack, mix/edit environment that you can use to create your own music, record and mix a project, produce a radio spot, clean up audio for a movie, as well as compile and edit a soundtrack. In fact it is your own personal recording studio.

Now Adobe Audition is available on the Mac as well as the PC. With this new version you get a completely new, high-performance audio playback engine that now leverages multicore processors to dramatically increase speed. This new version also provides flexible round trip editing with Adobe Premiere Pro as well as integration with Adobe Flash Professional and Adobe After Effects. You can check out the Audition Web page to see the system requirements to run Audition 5.5

Adobe Audition 5.5

What is new with Adobe Audition 5.5?

• Native Mac support – as well as improvements for Windows users have been included into this release of Audition. This version has been updated to get the most out of the multicore processing, native audio, and DSP power of the Mac system. You can also take advantage updates to audio editing, mixing, sweetening, and restoration tools no matter the platform.

• New high-performance playback engine – has been completely rebuilt to dramatically improve the responsiveness on projects of all sizes. Your ability to open sessions and files has also been increased by as much as two to three times faster. You can work on multi track sessions and single file edits at the same time, all the while getting smoother performance when applying multiple effects to multiple tracks.

• Better workflow flexibility – with round trip editing and project exchange. This means that if you are a video editor and you are using Premiere Pro, you can quickly clean up your audio in Audition and they will instantly be updated in your Premiere project saving you processing time. Through the use of OMF and XML Interchange compatibility, you can work with tools like Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid Pro Tools as well.

• Native multichannel support – giving 5.1 surround sound capability. You now can create entirely new surround sound projects or add the finishing touches to existing 5.1 projects and then save to a full 5.1 surround master. You have true 5.1 metering and effects available on surround tracks and sessions in all modes including the Multitrack Editor, Waveform Editor, as well as in the Mixer.

Adobe Audition 5.5

• New effects – have been added to Audition including a DeHummer – which lets you locate and remove constant-level noise sources, SeEsser – removes vocal sibilance from interviews, dialogue, and voice-overs, Speech Volume Leveler – matches the volume of different actors recorded at different distances from a single microphone in the same audio clip, and Surround Reverb – lets you tailor levels for all channels in 5.1 files, including Center and LFE (Low Frequency Effect) channels, gives you a selection of room impulses, and offers precise control of reverb parameters and output balance controls.

• Expanded library – that includes more than 10,000 royalty-free sound effects that you can just drag and drop into your multitrack project to customize, combine, edit, and layer them. You can combine music and sound effects to get just the track the way you want it. When it is done you can send it into Premiere Pro or Flash Professional.

• Broadcast WAV support – and simplified XMP metadata panel lets you view and edit your XMP metadata through a simplified interface and the fact that the support for XMP metadata includes the Broadcast WAV (BWF) schema, means that automated workflows within Production Premium and other radio and TV production systems.

• Auto-saved XML file format – saves your sessions in the robust, flexible, and nondestructive XML format. XML is a human-readable standard for electronically encoding data in documents that can be used to reconstruct a file in the event it becomes corrupted, as well as to facilitate conversion to proprietary formats used by different manufacturers. You also can import Adobe Audition 3 sessions, and then save them as XML.

Adobe Audition 5.5

• New History panel – gives you the ability take waveform and multitrack mixes back to earlier states within the same session just like you can do with graphic edits in Photoshop. Experiment with signal flow though a series of audio effects, try out different surround mixes, or apply a variety of degrees of noise reduction to a track, with the assurance that you can recall your original settings with a single click in the History panel.

Adobe Audition 5.5 has been rewritten from the ground up – they would have had to for the port to the Mac, while retaining the graphics and most of the workflow. Because of this Adobe has been able to make it much more efficient and faster, especially through the use of multicore processors.

Adobe Audition 5.5

Audition is a very comprehensive product and is very ready for professional production work. Now with the ability to work with Adobe Premiere Pro and the fact that it works on the Mac, I think it is going to become the defacto standard for the film, web, and video production world.

Now this doesn’t come at some price. With this release, MIDI sequencing, CD burning, and Rewire are all not present. This doesn’t mean that some or all of these won’t appear in future updates – it just means that they do not exist in this version. It also means that those wanting to upgrade, may choose to wait, or keep version 3 on their systems.

I would have call Adobe Audition 5.5 a revolutionary release in that Adobe appears to be repositioning Audition to replace Soundbooth and take on a potentially larger market. In doing so, I suspect that the development efforts will be radically more frequent in the future. If you are a user of Audition 3, you may want to check out the free trial and also keep your existing copy of Audition installed. If you are a Premiere Pro user, this is a must have upgrade. If you are a new user, I very highly recommend Adobe Audition 5.5

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • guest4254

    I can’t believe that instead of improving their midi and VSTi compatibility, they ditched it instead….major bummer!!
    Will have to find another DAW now….

  • Disappointed

    Yes audition 5 is an improvement in speed on previous version. But at least audition 2 and 3 allows the use of essemtial plugins such as Waves Mercury, even when installed on 64 bit windows 7. Adobe also decided to dump the Doppler effect plugin which I used quite often. All in all I intend to stick with Audtion 3