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Software Review – Adobe Master Collection – Adobe Soundbooth CS3 From Adobe Systems

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This is the eighth part of a series of reviews that will cover what is contained in the Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3) Master Collection. When Adobe released CS3 in 2007, they not only released single version products, but also six separate suites of products. They are Design Premium, Design Standard, Web Premium, Standard, Production Premium, and Master Collection. You can go online to compare what is contained in each version. The goal of this series it to define what each product does and provide information of what the new version brings to the table.

Adobe Soundbooth is a digital audio editor from Adobe Systems. It is a product for creative professionals who do not specialize in audio. It is a program where you can create any kind of audio for video. It has a simple work flow that is very easy to use.

What do you need to run Adobe Soundbooth CS3? On Windows, you need an Intel® Pentium® 4 1.4 GHz of DV, 3.8GHz for HDV, Intel Centrino®, Intel Xeon® dual 2.6GHz for HD, or Intel Core™ Duo (or compatible) processor, Windows XP SP2 or Vista.

On Mac, a PowerPC™ G4 or G5 or multicore Intel processor, Mac OS X 10.4.8 – 10.5 (Leopard), 1GB RAM for DV, 2GB for HDV or HD, 64 MB Video RAM, 1024×768 monitor resolution with 16-bit video card, 10GB hard drive space and DVD-ROM Drive.

So what is new with Adobe Soundbooth CS3?

• Intuitive audio editing with on-clip controls – allows you to improve your audio as simply as clicking on an audio asset. Soundbooth now features instant cut, copy, and paste functions, and on-clip editing tools such as trim, fade, and volume control. Now you can modify your audio assets to better meet the needs of your production.

• Fast Audio Cleanup – will rescue audio assets that otherwise might need to be re-recorded. The audio cleanup tools will help remove rumbling noise coming from the tape in a video camera, click and pops from a wireless microphone, the background hum from the sound of an air conditioner, as well as other unwanted background artifacts.

• AutoComposer with customizable Soundbooth scores – will let you easily customize the length and mood of music to best suit your production. Just open and edit any of the dozens of included Soundbooth scores and use keyframes to quickly modify or customize a score’s length, intensity, and tone. It will even let you change the instrumentation and arrangement of your music to modulate the intensity of your scene.

• Fast mastering and vocal improvement – by applying any of the high quality mastering effects in Soundbooth and the tweaking the setting to achieve the sound you are looking for, you will easily polish the overall sound on your mix.

• More than 15 high-quality audio filters – will allow you to add noise to a track with distortion, or create room ambiance with reverb, and even enhance the sound of footsteps with an echo.

• Visual tools for healing sounds – by using the spectral analysis and on-clip editing tools you will be able to identify and remove noise and sound artifacts in your audio visually.

• Convenient recording features – lets you record original sounds and audio assets for use in Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 or Adobe Flash CS3 Professional software as well as other audio and visual environments. You will be able to easily record voiceovers for animation or replace dialog to enhance the mood of your video.

As with most of the Adobe products, Soundbooth CS3 has received the interface makeover to make interactions between the products easier to use. It has an organized workflow that makes it much easier for inexperienced audio editors to get work done without getting lost in the vast amount of technical features that are available. There is also a history panel that makes it easy to fix problems that you may make.

I really like the two methods of cleaning noise. You have the wave form view and the spectral view what is known as the 2D and 3D audio editing methods. The only real problem I had is that you can only edit single tracks at a time.

I think that Adobe has really taken Soundbooth CS3 and made it simple to use. It provides the necessary tools to get a quality audio editing job done without intimidating the user. It makes it simple for the non-audio person who wants to focus more on the video to produce quality results. For those multimedia producers who are unfamiliar with sound editing or intimidated by it, Soundbooth CS3 is a must-have.

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About T. Michael Testi

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