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At the end of 2012, I shared 7 reasons why I was switching from Audacity to Adobe Audition. I don't regret that decision, but there are 7 more things that I miss now that I'm using Audition.
1. Multitrack Truncate Silence
Truncate Silence will find portions of audio that are quieter than a set level, and shorten those areas. This is an easy way to reduce awkward pauses. Audacity can do this across multiple tracks without causing insane overlaps.
Audition can only run its similar feature across a single track. So if you have multiple tracks for multiple voices, you'll end up with everyone talking at the same time.
2. Home and End jumps
Audacity makes it easy to jump to the beginning or end of a selection or of the audio. Just make a selection and press Home for the beginning, or End or the end.
Pressing End in Audition takes you to the end of the audio workspace, which is often far away from the end of the audio.
3. Combined wave and multitrack editors
Audacity has a single editor; it is both multitrack and a wave editor. You don't have to switch back and forth depending on the edits you want to do. It's all in one place.
Audition has a wave editor for modifying the actual audio, and a multitrack editor for mixing tracks and applying nondestructive effects and edits. Audition's multitrack editor is far more powerful, but you still can't actually edit your audio in the same editor.
4. Project-free editing
Want to make a quick audio edit? This is no problem in Audacity because you can launch, import your audio, edit, and export all without ever saving or creating a project file.
But Adobe Audition requires any multitrack project to be saved before you can even stick two tracks together.
5. Mute and Solo switching
I prefer Audacity's Mute/Solo switching over Audition's.
Imagine you have two audio tracks you're trying to compare. In Audacity, you can mute Track 1 and you'll hear Track 2. Then solo Track 1 (without unmuting it) and you'll hear just Track 1.
To do the same thing in Audition, you have to switch which tracks are muted. Mute Track 1 and you'll hear Track 2. But to switch back to just Track 1, you have to unmute it and then either solo it, or mute Track 2.
6. Playback speed
If you can listen to chipmunk Audio, Audacity has an easy playback speed adjustment that doesn't affect your actual audio [tap110], but it plays your audio back faster. This is a great time-saving trick in Audacity.
But Audition doesn't have any such feature. You would have to change the actual audio's speed, and then slow it down again, in order to get this effect.
7. “Ripple” paste
Pasting an audio clip into the middle of another is easy in Audacity. When you paste to an insertion point, Audacity shifts the remaining audio. If you have Sync-Lock Tracks enabled, it will even shift the other audio tracks, too.
But if you try this same procedure in Adobe Audition, it replaces any audio you're overlapping on that track in the multitrack editor. (Within the wave editor, the paste inserts and shifts. But this is only for a single track and you have to switch editors.)
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Great episode Daniel. As the Adobe fanboy here are my responses 😉
There may well be a better way to handle these ideas in Audition but here’s what I’ve come up with:
1. You’re right about this. The feature is under Diagnostics > Delete Silence in Audition but doesn’t appear to work in the multitrack in the present version. You could simply mixdown your podcast and then run the feature after your post podcast editing to tidy up any silences.
2. I can’t replicate this. When I try Home and End on my Mac it takes me to the very end of the audio not workspace. Also, if you want to jump between multiple waveforms in multitrack you can hit cmd and left or right to do so and the playhead will snap to start and finish until you reach the end.
4. This is true since CS 5.5 and at first I didn’t like that it forces you to create a session somewhere even if, like you say in the podcast, you’re just doing a few quick edits. Now I see an upside to this. A number of times I started a new multitrack session and got pretty far without (silly me) saving once. When I was on a PC crashes happened often and I would lose everything. Forcing me to create a session allows me to quickly hit cmd & S as I edit to make saves.
5. You’re right, sounds like an extra button push here. If you have a control surface like the AC-7 Core app for iOS (or a physical one) this process may be a little more fluid.
6. You can use the fast forward button in the playback button bar at the bottom for this but you need to keep it pressed down. If you right click the fast forward button you can choose different speeds (including up to x8) 😮
7. Interesting. You may be able to get around this by grouping waveforms together in the multitrack but I’ll need to investigate this one further.
I agree with you that overall Audition is far more powerful than Audacity but you’ve done a great job of highlighting feature differences podcasters my notice if they make the switch.
Thanks for responding, Mic!
On the Home/End keys, I’m using them in the multitrack editor, not the wave editor. Is that where you were using them, too?
Daniel J. Lewis
My pleasure, Daniel.
Yes, it’s multitrack. I put a quick screencast together of what happens for me:
I’m using fn & left key for HOME and fn & right key for END as I don’t have the extended keyboard for Mac but I understand they do the same thing?
Hi Daniel, just wanted to say hello. I first heard you on the Podcasters’ Roundtable. I’ve been meaning to learn Audacity, so I thought I’d give your show a listen. Helpful stuff. I’ve been a fan of Once Upon a Time for a while, so I’ll give the show a listen as well, and maybe I’ll check out some of your other shows at some point. Cheers!
Thank you for joining me here, Nick! As you’ll see, I’ve focused on podcasting since the first episode, but frequently feature Audacity.
Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to cover in future episodes!
Daniel J. Lewis
[…] 7 Audacity Features You’ll Miss in Adobe Audition […]
Hey Daniel, I’m speaking about this topic at Podcast Movement next month and thought I’d check out some other articles for anything I may have overlooked for my presentation. I am also a big fan of the playback speed tool on Audacity (No. 6 on your list). The similar feature on Audition is called the Shuttle feature. The default keyboard shortcuts are J to shuttle backward, K to stop the shuttle, and L to shuttle forward. Each key press will increase the speed of the shuttle.
Hi, Darrell! Thanks for stopping by!
The problem with that kind of playback is it starts at double speed. Audacity would let you set the playback speed to whatever you want.
I agree that the Audacity version is different (and better), which is why I said it was a similar feature and not the same feature. Still, I’d rather edit at 2x speed than 1x speed. However, you can adjust the shuttle speed in the Playback section of Preferences. I find that setting it to Half Speed gives me more comfortable play speeds when I’m using Shuttle.