Pros Impressive restorative capabilities. Cool spectral editing functions. Center Channel Extractor! Comprehensive package. Some great effects. Cons Some not so great effects. Fatally flawed MIDI implementation. Advanced features take time to master. Adobe Audition 3. The Spectral Frequency Display in the Edit view is useful.
Adobe Audition 3 The Spectral Pan display. Having made its name with applications such as Photoshop and InDesign, saw Adobe step into the computer music arena with Audition. This wasn't a new app, but a rebranded version of Cool Edit, which started life as a sample editor, and, by the time Adobe took it on, had sprouted multitrack audio capability. Now at version 3, is Audition ready to achieve the industry standard status that many of its stablemates enjoy?
Audition has two main views, Edit and Multitrack, while a third offers CD compiling and burning. Edit view In the Edit view, there are four ways to display and edit audio destructively, the default being the standard Waveform Display. Next is the colourful Spectral Frequency Display, with frequency represented on the Y axis and colour intensity indicating level. This can be used for restorative or creative work.
The Effects Paintbrush is new for v3, enabling you to brush over the audio to make a selection, with multiple brushstrokes increasing the opacity, determining the intensity of effects applied. Also new is the Spot Healing Brush: Next are two new - and very pretty - views for stereo material: Spectral Pan and Spectral Phase. These show the panning and phase of frequencies present, although it can be hard to make sense of them with more complex material.
Previewing selections can exhibit 'bubbly' FFT artifacts, as can brutal edits, but good results are possible with less severe processing. As the manual suggests, the Spectral Pan Display works well in conjunction with the excellent though not new Center Channel Extractor effect. Heard in isolation, artifacts were evident, but when recombined in the Multitrack view, these diminished rather than accumulated and it sounded surprisingly satisfactory.
We could then 'remix' the song! The results depend on the source material, but we had success in pulling out Sinead O'Connor's vocals on The Women Of Ireland; extracting gnarly synths from a Sub Focus track; and separating the music and vocals on Chas and Dave's seminal Snooker Loopy, so that we could add the 'snooker hall reverb' that we always felt was missing in the sing-along chorus.
Elsewhere, you can now convert image files to audio and vice versa, oddly , although an option to export the spectral displays in a high-res image format would be novel, as they make great abstract graphics. Multitrack view Onto the Multitrack view, and while this is no substitute for heavyweight DAWs like Cubase, Logic, Sonar, et al, it's capable nevertheless.
New features include automatic timestretching of clips to your project v3 has improved timestretching, courtesy of iZotope and auto-crossfading. Rather than having MIDI clips that you arrange and edit as you do with audio, say , MIDI Tracks appear as faceless blue bars in the arrangement view - basically one big, fat clip.
Other sticking points are that the tail of a reverb or delay applied in the Edit view doesn't extend past the selection. Additionally, there are now six delays and four reverbs, but some are outdated hangovers from the Cool Edit days, and should be relegated to a 'legacy' effects bin. Similar comments could be levelled at some of the other effects categories. The destructive nature of the Edit view can also be unwieldy if you're doing in-depth work - it'd be great if you could render edits to selected ranges, but be able to go back and tweak and re-render them later.
A bit like Photoshop's Layers and History functions, in fact. One bonus is Adobe's Loopology disc, which harbours over 5GB of samples. There's a disc of tutorial videos for Adobe products too, but alas, Audition isn't one of them. Summary There's a heck of a lot to Audition 3, and as a sample editor in particular, it's most impressive and comprehensive, with some unique features. As a multitrack audio application it's good too, but not as slick and feature-rich as the established DAWs.
Then again, those apps can't hold a candle to Audition when it comes to sample editing. Adobe has shot itself in the foot with the somewhat crippled MIDI implementation, though, which was potentially the most essential new feature for Audition 3.
This will surely come as disappointment all those who were looking forward to it. The best of MusicRadar in your inbox Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials No spam, we promise. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details without your permission. Most Popular.
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