Test Drive: Adobe Audition 2.0

by Craig Jackman

Adobe Audition, grown from its roots as Cool Edit and Cool Edit Pro, has become one of the most trusted digital audio workstations in radio production. Combining a wide user base with an exceedingly generous amount of standard features for a modest price, for a number of stations and individual producers wanting high performance and good value, it is the only choice. The newest incarnation, Audition 2.0, has been released, and it is arguably the most different since the original CEP 1.0. What is it, and is it better than version 1.5 that preceded it?

Audition 2.0 should really be considered Adobe’s first version of the software. Audition 1.0 was essentially CEP 2.1 with a different splash screen, and while Audition 1.5 added a number of new and interesting features, it was all based on the original Syntrillium computer code. Like any good company, Adobe listens closely to what their customers and users want in the software. The loudest clamoring over the years has been for ASIO support to get the most out of an increasing number of low latency ASIO sound cards. This required that whole sections of the source code for the program to be completely rewritten. At the same time, almost all the included effects in Audition were rewritten into VST effect format, allowing faster processing. Basically any effect that is available for real-time processing is now VST, but effects that process off-line (FFT filter for example) remain in their original format. This leads to the first difference in the program, installation size. 1.5 would install to a 40MB file, but 2.0 installs to a 336MB file, plus 76MB for the Adobe Bridge (more on this later), and 44MB for the Help Center. As long as you have the hard drive space, this isn’t an operational issue, just something you have to be aware of. In conjunction with new versions of its existing video production software, Audition 2.0 is part of the Adobe Production Suite, and was designed to integrate easily with those programs.

During this rewrite, MIDI functionality wasn’t expanded. Audition remains Rewire compatible so you can tie your MIDI sequencer tracks to your audio recordings for mixing in Audition, but no MIDI recording or editing. If an all-in-one audio production program, including features for all your MIDI music creation is what you are looking for, keep looking.