Test Drive: Adobe Audition 3

AutoXFadeNEW EFFECTS

Audition 3 comes with a few new effects as well. There’s a nice-sounding Convolution Reverb, which simulates actual physical spaces using impulse response files recorded in those actual spaces. It has a much more interesting sound than the other reverbs that come with Audition, although the “interesting” part is dependent on the impulse response files you use with it. It’s not Altiverb, but it is a definite improvement.

There’s also a new Mastering plug, which includes a three-band EQ, a reverb, an audio exciter and a stereo “widener”, along with a loudness maximizer and output gain control. I’m gonna try using this thing to simulate an FM processing chain so I can get a real feel for how my spots will sound while I’m editing them, and I’ll let you know how that experiment works out.

Adobe has again teamed up with software plug developer iZotope, and this time the company has licensed iZotope’s Radius time-stretching technology for Audition 3. In my opinion the Radius algorithms create the best-sounding and least obtrusive time-stretching available anywhere... they really are good, and generate few artifacts even at extreme amounts of stretch or shrink. Believe me, if you do old-school car commercials you’ll be happy with Audition’s time-stretch. In addition, several of iZotope’s compressors that were part of Audition 2 remain in version 3. These are far more musical-sounding than the native Adobe compressors to my ear. Combined with Radius time-stretch, Audition 3 will produce blather-filled car spots quicker — all that’s missing is the sales blather (as we know, the client provides that).

mastering

WORTH THE BUCKS?

Okay, so here’s the sixty-four-dollar question: is this upgrade worth the money?

Yes, I think so. The new stuff is remarkably useful... there’s little fluff here. The basics are unchanged, and I promise that if you’re an Audition user you will have no trouble getting around on version 3. And while Audition 3 is certainly not any snappier in performance than Audition 2, its overall performance seems unchanged, and the new goodies haven’t slowed it down.

There are a few new features that I didn’t bother to mention because the production community will seldom use ‘em — VSTi software instruments, enhanced MIDI functions, and that sort. But there are enough useful tools here to make this a worthwhile upgrade, particularly at the $99 upgrade price. C’mon, you can get that much out of your Sales Manager’s petty cash box, can’t ya?

Adobe Audition 3 carries a suggested retail price of $349 in the US; upgrades from previous versions retail at $99. For more information worldwide, visit www.adobe.com/products/audition.

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