Audio / Hands-on Review

Unify Sound and Picture with Adobe Audition CS6


The worlds of audio and video remain separate entities in most stages of production, even though they eventually become one, and can only be judged as a whole in the final steps before completion. Post sound mixing is often handled by separate people, in separate facilities, sometimes in separate time zones. However, changing demands require new tools, and the old model of having multiple studios handle the cut and the mix isn’t always necessary, nor is it the best option. 

A cross-platform suite of media-production applications for seamlessly dealing with picture and sound has long been desired, and this link is exactly what Adobe has delivered with Audition CS6.

Designed for deep compatibility with Adobe Premier Pro, the company’s fully featured non-linear video editing software, Audition CS6 allows you to pass either individual clips or entire projects quickly between the two applications. There’s a dedicated option for exporting to Premiere Pro, and you can choose to send a mix down or individual tracks, or even export 5.1 surround mixes. This seamless integration greatly benefits both the individual who cuts video and mixes sound all by themselves, as well as larger studios and operations that need to trade projects back and forth with as few interruptions as possible.

Audition CS6 (separate versions are available for Windows and Mac) features a high-performance audio engine and includes many hotly requested features, such as control-surface support (Mackie Control, Mackie Logic and EUCON), Real-Time Clip Stretching and a preview feature for external media. Some old favorites have been reintroduced as well, such as CD burning and a metronome. Plus there are many features that will enhance the speed and quality of your work, such as the new Automatic Speech Alignment tool.

There are many factors that make ADR (Additional Dialog Recording) really tricky, but one of the most difficult aspects is lining up the dialog that you recorded in the studio with the location audio that’s tied to the video clip. Audiences are very sensitive to poorly synced sound. When the re-recorded dialog isn’t lined up perfectly with the on-screen subject’s lip movement, even the most well executed high-definition video will look like a sloppy Kung Fu flick. The new Automatic Speech Alignment tool in Audition CS6 makes it really easy to quickly align and replace dialog audio.

When you’re experimenting with the speed of a video clip in an edit (such as creating a slow-mo sequence), it’s nice to have the audio creatively support the speed alterations taking place on screen. The Real-Time Clip Stretching feature in Audition CS6 allows you to non-destructively adjust the duration of your audio clips. Audition will render a better-sounding version of the adjusted clip and replace the inferior sounding version seamlessly with it as you work.

There are also powerful pitch-correction tools in Audition CS6 that can fix pitch issues either automatically or manually (with a dedicated display view). You can make an audio clip longer or shorter without changing the pitch (this way a sped-up clip will still sound like a human—not a chipmunk). Clip stretching and pitch correction can also be used together in a “Varispeed” mode, so that changes in time in the moving image will be reflected in the pitch of the audio.

While Audition CS6 is right at home in the editing suite, it’s equally useful for radio production, podcasting, video game creation and editing audio for music production. It features a “Radio Industry” view, which displays RIFF metadata and AES Cart Chunk information, and it supports MPEG-1 Layer 2 audio. A nice selection of audio sweetening, restoration and effects are all included in Audition CS6, which benefit any kind of sound work.

The big story here is the tight integration that Audition CS6 offers visual media production software. Its close relationship with Premier Pro is a huge benefit for Adobe users. However, Audition CS6 also features strong OMF import and export capabilities, and the ability to import and play back HD video without transcoding. This makes it a formidable partner for any professional non-linear video editing application and digital audio workstation software as well. You can share files just as easily with Apple’s Final Cut Pro (via XML) and Avid’s Pro Tools (via OMF). 

Audition CS6 has been designed to allow you to work quickly, and has a range of features that can help speed things up. You can preview samples and audio clips before dropping them into your project (this way you don’t have to load them into a track just to hear them). You can choose to save a project so that the audio and video clips that you have pulled up in the “files panel” upon saving will be recalled upon opening. A Clip Spotting tool enables you to locate a clip by entering its start or end values. A Clip Grouping tool enables you to edit multiple groups of clips simultaneously. You can also utilize multiple clipboards for fast access to audio clips that you use frequently, and it’s easy to configure keyboard shortcuts to keep things zipping along.

When a project is finished, Audition CS6 gives you many options for exporting and sharing your work with the world. You can change the bit-depth and resolution of the files upon export, as well as choosing the file type of your liking (a range of different file types are supported). You can also export as stereo, mono or individual stems of a multi-track session.

Audition CS6 is a powerful post production sound editing application that’s available individually for Mac or Windows computers, or as a part of the Adobe Production Premium and Master Collection. There’s an undeniable value in separate tools that are designed to interface well with one another, and when it comes to multimedia production, you couldn’t ask for a better partner than Adobe to be at your side, whether you’re creating graphics, manipulating still images, or keeping sound and picture united as one. 

Number of Audio Tracks Unlimited (as many as your CPU can handle)
Audio Resolution 24- or 32-bit, sample rates up to 192 kHz
Sound Design Effects Generate Tones, Graphic Phase Shifter, Doppler Shifter, Notch Filter
Native Audio Effects DeHummer, DeEsser, Speech Volume Leveler, Surround Reverb 
Plug-In Support Audio Units and VST3 with extensive routing
Audio Sweetening Tools Yes
Plug-In Delay Compensation Yes
Metronome Yes
Real-time Clip Stretching Yes, nondestructively
Quick Punch On the fly, unlimited
OMF Import/Export Yes
MIDI No MIDI support
Multicore Support Optimized to work with current multicore CPUs
Frame Rate Support Broad support for video formats and frame rates, such as 23.976 and 59.94 fps
Surround Support Yes, edit and mix 5.1 surround projects
Dockable Video Display Yes
Metering Customize I/O, LED segments or continuous output, stereo and multichannel tracks
History Panel Yes, revert to previous states
Audio and Video Format Support FLAC, OGG, HE-AAC, WMA, MPEG-1 Layer 2 , RAW and more
Session Format Support SESX XML (.ses not supported)
System Requirements Windows: Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Phenom II, Microsoft Windows XP with SP3 or Windows 7 with SP1 (32 bit or 64 bit), 1GB of RAM; 2GB for HDV and HD playback, 2GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices), 1280 x 800 display, OpenGL 2.0-capable graphics card, sound card compatible with ASIO protocol or Microsoft WDM/MME, DVD-ROM drive for installation from DVD media, QuickTime 7.6.6 software required for QuickTime features, USB interface and/or MIDI interface may be required for external control surface support (see manfacturer's specifications for your device), optional optical drive for CD burning

Mac: Multicore Intel processor, Mac OS X 10.6.8 or 10.7, 1 GB of RAM; 2 GB for HDV and HD playback, 2 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices), 1280 x 800 display, OpenGL 2.0-capable system; optional GPU for optimal video playback performance, DVD-ROM drive for installation from DVD media, QuickTime 7.6.6 software required for QuickTime features, USB interface and/or MIDI interface may be required for external control surface support (see manfacturer's specifications for your device), optional optical drive for CD burning (SuperDrive recommended)

Thanks for checking out this B&H InDepth article. If you have any questions or comments about Adobe Audition CS6, we encourage you to submit a Comment below.

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I used CS6 with a Windows operating system at my old job.  I'm now a freelance radio producer, and have moved to a MacBook Pro. Is the CS6 still available, and will my files, particularly my multitrack sessions, work with my Mac? (Since my old computer crashed, I haven't been able to access my files, AND I don't personally own the license for the CS6 i was belonged to my workplace. So I need to purchase my own CS6).  Thanks.

In order to get Adobe Photoshop CS6, the only option is purchasing the Creative Cloud.  The files will be compatible, even though you will have worked both on MAC and Windows.

Dear Sirs,
Audition CS6 has a dedicated solution for working with Adobe Premiere Pro but I'm wondering if it's possible to have some dialogue between my CS6 and my video editing software Edius5 as for the moment I'm not thinking of shifting to Adobe premiere Pro (learning Edius being a laborious exercise). Many thanks in advance
Alain Sioen

If I am following the question correctly you are asking if Adobe Audition and Edius will interact together the way the Adobe suite does. Unfortunately it will not. Any audio work you need to do in Audition from Edius would need to be exported out to a file from Edius. You will then import that file into Audition. Once you have completed work on the audio file in Audition you would then export out a new file and import that file back into Edius.