What is it?

Long-time producers will probably be familiar with, or at least have heard of Adobe’s Audition software. Created following Adobe’s purchase of Syntrillium in 2003, Audition is the natural successor to the much-loved Cool Edit Pro. Broadcast producers loved Cool Edit Pro on account of its relative simplicity and broad feature set, making the task of producing, editing and exporting high-quality audio, ready for your TV or radio, a doddle.

Adobe relaunched Cool Edit Pro under its new name, Audition, in 2003 and started incorporating elements designed to make it play nicely with Adobe’s video editing application, Premiere. Gradually, over time, new features and functionality have been added to Audition, making it the pro-level audio editing and production tool we see today. But is it something musicians and music producers would consider using? 

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We’re all familiar with digital audio workstations (DAWs). From Ableton Live to Cubase, and from Pro Tools to Bitwig, each offers a broadly similar set of features allowing the recording, manipulation, editing and production of audio into a musical format. Here’s the thing though; Adobe Audition allows the user to do many of those same tasks, yet you’d struggle to find anyone who’d include it in a list of popular DAWs. Why is that? When is a DAW not a DAW? After all, Audition provides you with a multitrack recording environment, with insanely detailed tools for audio manipulation and enhancement, and still to this day has one of the fastest workflows we’ve come across. So why isn’t it more widely used by musicians?

Perhaps it comes down to that key word; musicality. Live, Bitwig and the others are each designed specifically with music production in mind. Whether that’s through MIDI integration, or simply in their visual stylings or interfaces, whereas Audition is geared more towards a different audience. No better or worse, just different. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the things Audition can do, some it can’t, and try to establish where it fits in the broader DAW ecosystem.

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(Picture credit score: Adobe)


It’s in all probability essential to level out at this stage that we’re not reviewing the present iteration of Adobe Audition compared to previous releases. Slightly, we’re specializing in the capabilities, performance and instruments Audition affords when pitted towards extra music-focused DAWs like these talked about above. 

First, the similarities. Like every DAW or enhancing software, Audition affords each single and multi-track enhancing, utilizing a well-recognized timeline structure. Audio recordsdata are imported – or dragged and dropped – into the timeline, both in isolation for enhancing, or into the multitrack space for association. The very first thing you’ll discover is how, when in comparison with Stay, for instance, the visible interface is much more severe and business-like. There are not any skins, or fancy visible interpretations of your plugins. It’s a easy, darkish shade of gray all through. From a usability perspective, this can be a clear alternative designed that can assist you concentrate on the duty at hand. Truthfully, we prefer it. It seems and seems like a correct, grown-up instrument and that’s no unhealthy factor. Transfer to the multitrack space and you’ll start so as to add color to your particular person audio recordsdata however once more, this can be a pragmatic resolution that can assist you navigate giant classes, versus aesthetic causes.

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(Picture credit score: Audacity)

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Connecting exterior tools, like audio interfaces or mixers, is identical as it could be in every other DAW, and the precise act of recording itself is not any completely different. The place issues do differ is in what is out there to you when you’ve gotten recorded a chunk of audio. Truthfully, that is the place the enjoying subject modifications considerably. Double-clicking an audio file within the multitrack surroundings takes you to a separate window, containing solely the waveform you’ve gotten chosen. From right here, you’ve gotten absolute, exact, granular management over the audio.

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The trick maybe most carefully related to Audition is available in its means to repair, restore or clear audio recordsdata. It possesses an arsenal of instruments which you merely don’t discover – or no less than to not the identical degree – within the music DAWs. Cleansing background noise like, for instance, a low-level hum is so easy. You spotlight a tiny part at a comparatively quiet level within the file, and Audition creates a ‘noise print’. Then, utilizing this print as a reference, it removes all corresponding frequencies from the remainder of the file. It’s easy, it really works, and it has real real-world utility. The latest model of Audition added a brand new plugin which might take away undesirable reverberation from an audio file. When you’ve ever recorded a vocal and located it has an undesirable echo, you’ll know the way irritating that may be. Now, you possibly can eliminate it by merely clicking a button.

The place Audition has received favour is with podcasters, videographers and content material creators

It’s in these specialist instruments that Audition really exhibits its value. Whereas it’s arduous to see how a music studio would base its whole workflow round Audition – the shortage of MIDI assist will see to that – you possibly can simply see the way it may play a worthwhile supporting function. A living proof can be for producers who depend on samples; we had nice outcomes recording vinyl into Audition and utilizing its instruments and results to take away artefacts, trim begin and finish factors, and usually tidy and improve the file earlier than transferring clear, optimised waveforms into Stay to be used in a extra musical method. Likewise, as a way of post-production, Audition has excellent instruments for mixing, mastering and exporting.


To sum up; Adobe is aware of Audition isn’t a music DAW. It tried to leap on that bandwagon in 2007 with the introduction of VSTi assist, and MIDI, however quickly realised that wasn’t its energy and dropped these options. As an alternative, Adobe accepted there’s a distinction – even symbolically – between music and audio, and opted to concentrate on audio. Because of this, it merely can’t do sure issues that even primary DAWs like Garageband can do. However, conversely, it’s succesful of a complete host of issues that even high-end music DAWs wouldn’t be capable of entertain. Evaluating the 2 kinds of DAW isn’t a degree enjoying subject. 

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The place Audition has received favour is with podcasters, videographers and content material creators. As a part of the Adobe Inventive Cloud suite of apps, it options deep integration with different Adobe apps like Premiere and After Results. Dynamic Hyperlink, the thread which ties all of them collectively, is a marvellous factor. It primarily provides videographers a devoted pro-grade audio enhancing instrument on faucet, with the 2 programmes working collectively in real-time. It suits in with Adobe’s whole ethos of giving artistic folks the best instruments for the job, no matter that job is. 

There may be, in fact, an elephant within the room associated to the Inventive Cloud, as a complete. That’s the method by which you, as the patron, accesses it. In contrast to Ableton Stay, or every other DAW, the place you pay your cash after which personal the licence, in an effort to entry Adobe Audition you’ll have to take out a subscription. Meaning every month, whether or not you employ it or not, Adobe takes a bit of money off you. Cease paying, and also you lose entry to all of it. For the skilled person, this is sensible as you’re all the time assured the hottest model of the software program, together with entry to the opposite Adobe apps. For the extra informal person, nevertheless, it turns into a more durable promote. That, finally, is a choice so that you can make. If audio – versus music – varieties a big a part of your work, be that podcasts or movies, then Audition is a top quality toolkit. For solely music-based pursuits, we’d in all probability look elsewhere.

Palms-on demos

Mike Russell


Spec listing

  • Worth: by way of an Adobe Cloud subscription, $20.99/£19.97 per 30 days, or $52.99/£49.94 per 30 days for all Adobe apps, together with Premiere Professional, After Results and Photoshop
  • System necessities: Home windows 10 (64 bit) or macOS 10.12 or greater, 4GB RAM (minimal), 4GB of obtainable area for set up

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