By | November 3, 2007
Absolutely fantastic! That’s what I’ve got to say about Adobe’s latest version of Audition, Audition 3.0. I have not seen a beta yet, but from what I saw on their website, it is a fabulous looking tool and they’ve added a lot of things that I’ve been looking for for quite some time. I’m your host, Ken Walker, this week we’ll take a look at some of the new features in Audition and talk about why they’ll help you if you’re producing a podcast. I’m also gonna talk about what’s going on with podcasting and where I think things’ll be in the future.
OK, I was doing a little research on Adobe’s site and I ran across Hart Shafer’s blog and did some reading on Audition 3, I also checked out there promo stuff for it and let me tell you, I am totally ready to go with it. They’ve done a lot of great midi enhancements that I’m looking forward to checking out. You can now edit multiple tracks at the same time, inside of Multitrack view. They added auto-crossfade which has been missing since the days of Cool Edit Pro. They brought over the same type of behaviour that’s in Soundbooth, where you can click-n-drag your fades and get visual feedback, real-time, that’s a great addition. I didn’t see anything in there about auto-ducking which is something that Garageband does that I like. That way you can set a track up to duck, and anytime there is audio playing on another track, the ducked track will get much quieter, so like if you had your voice over on one track and a sound bed on a ducked track, the sound bed is at normal volume, when your voice over starts, the sound bed automatically gets quieter. If they didn’t add that, they really need to.
Now, they did add a Spot Healing brush. I use Photoshop and it has a tool that lets you blend in pixels based on the data of surrounding pixels and apparently, this is the audio version of that. They’ve also added some new effects, particularly some stuff geared towards guitar.
You can also record volume changes and pan in real-time, just by listening and adjusting. Other packages have been able to do that for a long time, so I’m glad to see Adobe finally get that in there. Basically, here’s how it work, you preview the file and make volume changes while the file is playing. You make the changes with an on-screen mixer. Those changes are entered in sort of a timeline and you can then look at Multitrack view and see the adjustments. You can even tweak ‘em after that. They call it Recordable Parameter Automation. Again, that’s been available for awhile in other apps like Cubase for example. Anyhow, it looks like the Audition team has been really listening to feedback and making some major fine tuning. It really looks like Audition is going to be a one stop shop for audio.
This won’t apply much to podcasting, but if you’re into surround sound stuff, they’ve now got a built-in surround encoder that is very visual and seems to be kinda neat.
It comes with 20 royalty free music beds too, which probably would appeal to podcasters. Considering what Garageband gives away, they might wanna pump that up a bit, but they do give you a good number of loops and for those of you that might not know what a loop is, it’s a segment of music by a particular instrument and you can use them to build a custom song. For example, you might find a drum groove that you can set to loop for a specified period of time, if you want it to run longer, you just streatch it out. But then you can find a Bass part and set that to loop. Then you can add an acoustic guitar, throw in a little lead, and you’ve got a full blown song that you can use for commercials or an intro, or whatever you want.
I am thrilled with all the new features, and I’m thrilled that I haven’t started my Audition training course yet because I’m gonna go ahead and wait a couple of weeks to do it with Audition 3. Hopefully, it’s gonna ship mid-November and you can be sure I’ll pick it up as soon as it’s available. Let’s go ahead and take a break, and I’ll be back with a little podcasting news.
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I was listening to Jason Van Orden’s podcast today and he talked about a lot of flap going around that podcasting is kinda dying and people are losing interest because the buzz has kinda faded away. He had a lot of good points though and he think what he was saying is a little bit more of an accurate representation of what’s going on, check is podcast out for the full scope, but basically he was saying that number one, more people are aware of what a podcast is now, so it’s not so much a ‘new thing’. Because it’s not so flashy now, some people are saying that it’s dying, but in reality what’s going on is that it’s being embraced as a standard tool. I think a lot of big media has jumped on the band wagon, lots of big companies use it for advertising and for promotion, and of course tons of Indy podcasters are out there, so it’s not the new thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s the ‘going out’ thing either. Jason mentioned that the Podcast and New Media Expo has officially changed its name, pretty much dropping the word ‘Podcast’ but like he says, what does that really matter? He devotes a good part of the show to talking about this and again, he makes some pretty good points, so check it out. I also like something he said about telling someone how to listen to your podcast. Why try to explain what a podcast is? Why try to tell them about RSS? Don’t, just say, ‘Do you use iTunes?, great, just do a search for, you know whatever your show is called.’ You don’t even have to call it a podcast anymore, call it Internet radio, call it a show, call it whatever makes it easy for people to understand. It’s not new anymore, but it’s not even close to dying out and people are always gonna need help with how to do it, and how to do it right.
Now, I tell people, anybody can podcast, and they can. By that though, I mean that anybody can learn about the equipment, they can decide to get cheap equipment and sound cheap, they can go all out and sound great, they can learn the tech side of it and be physically capable of podcasting, BUT, and this is a big but, producing a quality show has a lot more involved than just the knowledge of how to podcast. You’ve got to be entertaining, you’ve got to have personality, you’ve got to be creative. I think there’s always going to be a niche for people that can do that. For that reason, I think you’ll always have amatuers that are doing it for fun, and you’ll have pros that are doing it for money. You’ll have people try it for awhile and not get far with it because they just don’t have a great show, and you’ll have companies trying to make it work inhouse. I think that because podcasting is so simple, at its physical level, meaning you can spend a little bit of money and get a litte bit of training, and boom, you’re in business, but because of that, people try it and it doesn’t work for them because they don’t have the other key ingredients. Even on nationally syndicated TV, you can’t just have a studio, a camera man, and a producer. What’s on the show, the host, all that, has a big factor in whether it all works out. So, not to discourage anybody out there, but if you’re looking to start a podcast for fun, hey, great, check out our tutorials and post questions, I’m happy to help. But if you’re big business, think about having the podcast produced for you. Anyhow, that is my take on it, I wanna mention just one more thing I read today.
Here’s an interesting use of podcasting by what is typically a low-tech organization, not this one particularly, but for the most part small towns and villages are pretty low tech. But the Village of Riverside, Illinois is putting there board meetings online via podcast, and I just thought that was kinda interesting. They spent $1,250, I am assuming on equipment, and now they’re basically podcasting their meetings. Pretty neat, I’ve got a link to the whole article on my blog if you’d like to check it out. That’s it for this week, thanks for joining us. I’m Ken Walker, you’ve been listening to the Podcasting Blog. Have a great weekend.