Adobe acquired Syntrillium Software in May 2003 and morphed its flagship Cool Edit Pro product into Adobe Audition. Version 1.5, which is fairly priced at $299, results in a dynamic yet accessible audio-editing powerhouse, now better integrated into the Adobe video-editing product suite. Although experienced audio editors will get the best use out of this program, several useful features are simple enough for beginners.
Audition installs cleanly as a standalone product or as part of the Adobe Video Collection suite. Along with the installation CD, you get a second disc with "loopology" content. This includes more than 5,000 high-quality royalty-free music loops, organized in 21 major categories from Classical and Blues to Techno and World, and also "moods" from Ambient to Lounge to Weddings. We appreciate the separate disc, since installing all these loops with the app takes up roughly 700MB of space.
Audition's interface, which has arbitrarily resizable and dockable windows, is a bit idiosyncratic, especially for users who are accustomed to other Adobe tools. However, compared to the previous iteration, version 1.5 is more accessible to novice users. You can mix up to 128 stereo tracks in Multitrack view and apply more than 50 audio tools and DSP effects. You can even import video clips and display thumbnails to help synchronize music and voice-overs.
Beat detection, tempo and pitch shifting, and vocal/instrumental channel extraction (for a cappella and karaoke) are just a sampling of the powerful audio-manipulation tools you'll find within Audition. You can also restore and sweeten individual tracks with filters and effects such as high-quality click/pop eliminators, noise and hiss reduction, time stretching, sample rate conversion, and even pitch correction (for fixing off-key notes). We're particularly impressed with the app's Spectral view, which isolates individual instruments and transients and permits full editing in the frequency space. All audio is processed internally in high-fidelity 32-bit and sample rates up to 10MHz.