The Audition Workspace
Audition provides two main workspaces: Edit View and Multitrack View. Edit view works with a single waveform. In edit view you can edit one waveform at a time. You provide your digital alterations to one track and then you can view the track in multitrack view and mix it with other tracks. For example, you might have a music track and a voice over track.
Each file is edited separately, but when the complete file needs to be output, both tracks are mixed down into one file. Let’s take a look at some basic editing features in Audition. First, you need to open the existing waveform residing on your computer in Audition. In Audition go to File>Open Waveform to open a digital audio file from your hard drive.
Choose the file, I used an .AIF that I transferred from my Macintosh computer to my Windows computer. The file will open in Multitrack View and reside on the left side in the organizer window (See Figure 8.4a). To edit the waveform, you must view it in Edit View.
To do this, simply double click on the waveform. In edit view, you might need to delete a portion of the audio. Or maybe you want to add a fade in effect or fade out effect to the audio clip. Most importantly, Audition allows you to optimize and compress the audio to help determine the maximum quality in proportion to the smallest file size.
There is always a trade off between performance, quality, and operability in digital media. The obstacles are decreasing with the influx of broadband into society, but there still must be serious considerations made when placing audio into your Web portfolio. We are striving for positive user experience, so we cannot make Adobe Audition multitrack view (Multitrack view is where you can mix and assemble multiple waveforms on individual tracks in Audition.
An example would be a voice track and a music track overlapped.) the audio we use overwhelming or annoying. If we do not meet the particular tastes of the user, that is fine, we will provide an on/off switch that will kill the audio or start it up. Ideally, we would provide the user with a choice of audio clips that fit several different tastes. But we do not have the space or the need to go that far here.
So we will concentrate on using one carefully chosen audio clip. Grabbing chunks of waveforms is easy in Audition. It requires some mouse skills and remembering a few things:
- The yellow line is the insertion point. All pasted data is inserted at the insertion point or selected data portion.
- To select a portion of a waveform, simply hold the right mouse button down and drag across the portion you want to select. You can use the transport buttons (controller) to play the portion of the clip to insure it is what you want to select. If you want to add to the selection, hold the shift key and drag some more. If you don’t hold shift, Audition will start another drag from that point.
- There are many editing functions that can be performed in Edit view. To access them, go to the Edit Menu. In this menu, you will find basic waveform editing options that will give you common items such as copy, paste, redo and undo, as well as advanced features like Mix Paste which allows you to perform a quick and dirty mix on a pasted section of another waveform. Let us explore several important functions from the Edit Menu.
- Copy allows you to copy a selected portion or all of a waveform form the edit view or multitrack view.
- Paste allows you to paste the data from the clipboard at the insertion point or it replaces the highlighted waveform data. If the formats are different, Audition performs a conversion to the format of the receptacle document.
- Paste to new creates a new file from the copied selection. It maintains the original file data information.
- Mix Paste allows for better pasting of waveform clips because it enables a small level of user control beyond the plain old paste. Mix paste lets you control the volume level of the pasted clip and insert or overlap the clip. Insert pushes the existing audio back to make room for the pasted clip.
- Overlap allows a mix of the pasted clip with the existing selected clip. With overlap, you can copy voice files and paste them directly into a single waveform with music to eliminate having to work in the more advanced multitrack mode. Replace, replaces the same time portion of the pasted clip in the edited clip.
- Modulate will modulate the clipboard data with an interesting effect that multiplies the waveforms. It is not a great effect for clarity of a clip, but is good for creating intro or exit effects.
- Crossfade applies a fade consisting of a set number of milliseconds to the beginning and the end of a clip
- Loop Paste will paste the clipboard data a number of times in the inserted or selected area.
- The Delete Selection command will delete the highlighted selection from the wave from. Use this when you wan to chop off the end of clip to shorten the clip. The opposite command to delete selection is the Trim command. This command allows you to select a piece of the waveform and then trim away any data that is not selected.
- The basic functions discussed in the previous paragraph will give you a start to editing audio in Audition. Once the audio is edited, you should Edit>Convert Sample Type to determine the best quality for the lowest file size. Converting the sample will allow you to optimize the waveform at a lower sample rate and determine if stereo or mono output is needed. Here is some information on sample rates and data resolution sizes.
The following Web sample rates are acceptable for Flash on low to medium bandwidth connections:
- 22,050 Hz — great for voice-overs and monotone clips. Music can be optimized at this rate but it should be used for shorter clips if performance is an issue, which it is in a portfolio. (High end multimedia).
- 11,025 Hz — great for smaller audio clips, music, and stereo. (Low end multimedia).
- For the Web, we can’t go beyond here. These rates need very high bandwidth or dedicated devices such as your DVD player
- 96,000 Hz — DVD quality
- 48,100 Hz — DAT (Digital Audio Tape) quality
- 44,100 Hz — Cd quality
- 32,000 Hz — Broadcast quality Data Resolution sizes:
- 8 bit used for simple music, monotone or voice data.
- 16 bit used for music
- 32 bit used for CD quality music For Flash output, 11025 kHz and 8 bit resolution would perform best and sound the worst.
22,050 with 16 bit resolution would sound the best. You need to find a happy medium that sounds good and is relatively small in file size (under 1 MB, hopefully). Try 22,050 and 8 bit to accommodate clips that need quality. Use dither to reduce noise created by low resolution. Lower sample rate results in a lower pitch for the sound clip.
Experiment with different combinations of sample rate and bit depth to explore the outcomes. For our portfolio, let’s shoot for a small clip with high quality (22/ 16). The small size will help performance. We can loop the clip in Flash if needed. In the Edit > Convert Sample Type dialog box, choose 22,050 for sample rate and 16 bit resolution.
Set to Mono for voice files and Stereo for music files. You may be worried that this may lag when loading Flash objects with the audio embedded in the file. Howe ver, Flash has easy compression options that allow us to change the sample rate and bit depth as well as the export format of the audio file before using it in a Flash movie.
Then go to File>Save As and save the file as a WAV or an AIF within your RAW folder in the root directory. MP3 file format can also be used when saving audio for Flash. For most Web projects, WAV and AIF work best. You can optimize the sound file to MP3 after the file is imported into Flash if additional compression is needed.