Audition is the Secret Weapon for Video Editors

Adobe Audition is a powerful but approachable audio tool that lets you quickly improve your audio.

In the days of shrinking budgets and expanding responsibilities, being able to do your own basic audio work like reducing noise is a plus.

If you have Adobe Production Premium or the Creative Cloud, you have Adobe Audition. In this article I look at exporting to Audition, approaching audio post, using plugins, and some resources to make the journey easier.

1. Exporting to Audition - 3 ways to get to Audition

* a) Edit in Audition as a Clip (Premiere Pro)* Right click on a clip and select “Edit in Adobe Audition”. Make your changes in Audition, pop back to Premiere Pro and the file is updated.

Edit Clip in Adobe Audition

* b) Edit in Audition as a Sequence (Premiere Pro)* Send the complete Sequence to Audition, make your changes and then export a mix back into Premiere Pro. (Multitrack > Export to Premiere Pro).

Edit in Adobe Audition as a Sequence

* c) In After Effects* From the Edit Menu select “Edit in Adobe Audition”. In Audition make your changes, then go to File >Export > Mixdown and export a mix to bring back into After Effects.

Edit in After Effects

2. Order of Operation

Just like Editing (assembly to rough cut to fine cut) & Color Correction (Primary & Secondary) there is an order of operation to Audio Post.

Noise Reduction > EQ > Dynamics

* a) Noise Reduction* Reduce the noise first, otherwise if you compress first you will make the noise louder. “Noise Reduction (process)" is helpful for cleaning up on camera audio and noisy environments.

Noise Reduction

“Dehummer” will remove power line hum, (the 60 Hz preset works well for the USA)


The Adobe Help site covers this in detail and I have an article here.

* b) EQ* EQ is used to shape the sound. I find a lot of parallels between color correction and EQ. Just like color correction lets you focus on specific colors, EQ lets you cut or boost a particular frequency.

Use to EQ to roll off low end rumble (high pass filter) and high end hiss (low pass filter). The Parametric EQ has presets to get you started, and the Effects Rack applies a series of Effects based on a Preset you pick like “DeEss & Limit Female Voice Over”.

Effects Rack Preset

Here is a great guide to frequencies and what they effect.

* c) Dynamics - Compression & Normalization* Compression reduces the Dynamic Range and is useful when you have levels that you want to even out. An example of this is when you watch commercials on TV. They seem louder than the shows because the dynamic range has been reduced, so everything seems louder.

Normalization - Sets where the loudest level is, but doesn't affect dynamic range. It is handy when someone is consistently quiet and you want them to be louder.

The Speech Volume Leveler is useful for leveling out dialogue, narration, and voice overs. Check out the Audition Help for more details.

Speech Leveler

3. Tips/Tutorials Websites

* a) Adobe Resources * Inside Sound is the official blog for Adobe Audition. You can find tips, updates, and on demand seminars there.

Adobe TV has a bunch of tutorials on Audition CS6.

If you have questions/issues you can post on the Adobe forum.

* b) ProAudio Coalition* Lot of practical tips on production and post production audio.

* c) Groove3* Audio only training site. You can buy individual training but they also offer monthly subscriptions. They offer training on popular third party plugins like Alloy 2 and Izotope RX 2 that work in Audition.

* d)* They offer Audition training as well as general training in EQ & mixing.

* e) Jay Rose Tutorials for DV Magazine* Older stuff here but is still applicable and Jay Rose knows his stuff. Also check out his book Audio Post Production for Film & Video, 2nd Edition.

4. Audio Plugins

You probably have a bunch of plugins for Premiere Pro, FCP, or MC. Just like Magic Bullet Colorista or Looks gives me options beyond the stock color correction effects in Premiere Pro, so does third party audio effects like compressors, eq, and noise reduction (the format you will want for Adobe Audition is VST/VST3/AU).

The advantage of Plugins is they tend to do the job quicker and sometimes better. An example is Izotope’s Alloy 2. It has presets for Post Production Podcasts & Dialogue. izotope also makes RX, which is a popular noise reduction suite. Waves also offers three noise reduction plugins that range from simple and affordable to more control and more expensive (NS1, W43 & WNS Noise Suppressor).

AudioDeluxe is a good place to buy plugins, as they often have bundles, specials and a “name your own price” deal.

Plugin Boutique has a list of top rated free as well as paid plugins.