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Software Review: Adobe Master Collection – Audition CS6 From Adobe Systems

This is the sixth of a series of reviews that will cover what is contained in the Adobe CS6 Master Collection. Adobe releases CS6 with four separate suites of products. They are Design Standard, Design & Web Premium, Production Premium, Master Collection. Add to that, they a have also have the Creative Cloud – a subscription based suite that gives you access to all of the individual products for a $49.99 per month subscription fee. 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 Audition CS6 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.

With this new version you get updated interface features, the ability to edit audio much more precisely and to import and play a much broader range of audio and video formats, as well as integrate into video and broadcast workflows using round trip editing with Adobe Premiere Pro and exchange projects with other NLEs and DAWS. And most of all, for Windows users, a number of features that had been in Audition prior to the CS5.5 release.

Prior to the CS5.5 release, Audition had been a Windows only product. CS5.5 brought the product to the Mac platform and in doing so Adobe had to do a complete rebuild. This left a number of features out that Windows users had become accustomed too. So now things like support for time stretching, clip grouping, control surfaces, and Redbook CD burning have returned. You can check out the Audition web page to see the system requirements to run Audition CS6.


So what is new with Adobe Audition CS6?

• Faster, more precise audio editing – with the addition of dozens of timesaving audio enhancements that include clip grouping with Group Suspend, preview edits with Skip Selection playback mode, new precise entry of envelope keyframe values, and fast clip spotting with start- or end-time entry.

• Real-time clip stretching – gives you the ability to drag clips to match the length you need instantly. With Stretch mode enabled, you can stretch or compress clips in real time during playback, and immediately hear the results. Three modes of stretch are available – Monophonic is for use with single-note melodies on isolated instruments or spoken word, Polyphonic is for material with multiple instruments or sound sources in it, and Varispeed allows you to adjust the pitch as you stretch or compress, this works just like speeding up or slowing down a tape player.

• Automatic speech alignment – is designed to align overdub dialogue quickly with existing production audio. This new automatic speech alignment feature does much more than merely align initial transients. When used on overdubbed dialogue, Adobe Audition
analyzes the frequency spectrum involved as well as the waveforms, so each word of a dialogue clip is matched to its counterpart in the production audio—even if the production audio is noisy.

• Control surface and app support – with parameter automation gives you the ability to mix audio interactively in Adobe Audition CS6 using a wide range of hardware and software controllers. Craft your mix using many of the most popular hardware control surfaces in the industry, including the Avid Artist series (formerly Euphonix), and the Mackie MCU series. Several third-party iOS and Android app controllers that utilize the Mackie MCU protocol are also available as well.

• Pitch controls – let you get precise control of pitch with the new automatic and manual pitch control features. You can manipulate audio in new ways for innovative sound design possibilities. Automatic Pitch Correction is a real-time effect in both Waveform and Multitrack views, and as a track effect, its parameters are automatable and controllable from external control surfaces. Manual Pitch Correction is available in Waveform Edit mode. Enabling it opens up the new Spectral Pitch Display, which automatically analyzes the fundamental frequency of all of the sounds in a clip, whether it’s a melody played on an instrument, a phrase sung by a voice, a percussion instrument, or spoken dialogue.

• Better asset management – gives you the ability to view files on your local and networked drives with the Media Browser panel. The new Quick Search field lets you find files fast just by typing in a portion of the filename. The preview lets you hear audio files before you edit them or insert them into your multitrack sessions. The loop playback gives you extended previewing. You can even create session templates that speed up recurring projects requiring similar settings and tasks. Save sessions with their source files, including video, markers, and metadata; or convert files to a different format upon save. Include full source files or the files trimmed to marker length.


• Expanded audio and video formats – now includes FLAC, Ogg, MPEG-1 Audio Layer II (MP2), and A-Law and ?-Law compressed files. Options for burning individual files to Redbook audio CDs help add to your production efficiency.

• Enhanced support for radio automation – now includes streamlined “Radio Industry” view of RIFF metadata, AES-46 Cart Chunk, and MPEG-1 Audio Layer II (MP2) support. Audition CS6 also includes many editing enhancements that make it easier to meet radio’s fast-turn deadlines, such as the ability to preview edits by skipping selections, new options for grouping clips, session templates, and more.

• Improved batch processing – now lets you streamline your workflow with an improved batch processing panel that provides you with new options and flexibility, such as the ability to convert files to new formats or sample rates and apply favorites at any time, not only at export. Create your own prefix and suffix naming tags or use name templates to quickly generate filenames that conform to your needs. Match Volume has been similarly upgraded, with file naming added to the options available in its convenient drag-and-drop operation.

• Metronome – ability has been added so that now you can just start it and you can configure it from the Multitrack menu or from the session’s Properties panel; change the sounds, change the pattern. The Metronome Accent Pattern dialog box gives you control over how the pattern sounds, and can also select different sounds for the pattern.


As I said before for Windows based users Adobe Audition CS6 is somewhat of returning features back into the system. For Mac users it will be the adding of features that will make it a much more compete audio editing product. To me this completes the rebuild of Audition and sets its foundation for future growth.

There is something for everyone here and to me, the addition of support for control surfaces, the return of group clips, and the ability to burn CDs that will be most appreciated from those who worked with Adobe Audition 3. But it doesn’t stop there the interface updates to add the media browser and all of the navigation improvements really make Adobe Audition CS6 a must have update for everyone and so I highly recommend Audition CS6.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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