I recently previewed a beta version of Adobe Audition for the Mac. What I didn’t know, at the time, was that Audition was replacing Soundbooth, a digital audio workstation long used by voice actors. And while that might be disappointing to Soundbooth fans, Audition does pack quite a punch.

Some of the features Audition has that Soundbooth didn’t have are: project exchange with third-party DAWs, native 5.1 multichannel support, more native audio effects and new royalty-free sound effects, loops, and music beds.

Officially, it’s being called Audition CS5.5 – part of Adobe’s mid-cycle release of its Creative Suite series. Adobe is billing it as a “modern audio post-production toolset.” That means it’s powerful enough to be used for big budget audio and video productions. I got my hands on the final release and found it simple enough to use as a voice actor.

From the moment you launch Audition it has a familiar look and feel to it. The interface is clean and easy to understand. Once you click record you’re presented with the option to name your file, choose your sample rate, select your channels and bit depth. Click okay after choosing these settings and the recording begins.

Editing in Audition is as straightforward as it gets. Just click and select the portion of a waveform you need to edit and copy, cut and paste to your heart’s content. If you’ve ever used the free DAW Audacity, you can use Audition with no problem.

Adobe has upped the ante on audio effects this time around in Audition. Some of the native audio effects you may find useful are noise reduction, de-hummer, de-esser and speech volume leveler. The noise reduction effect can be very effective if, like me, you have less than perfect soundproofing in your studio. I was able to remove street-level traffic noise from a recording without much degradation to the recording. I had to tweak the sliders a bit, but it worked remarkably well.

Audition is included as part of Adobe’s Production Premium package. You can buy it separately for $349. But if you’re looking to upgrade, there are some generous options. For $99 you can upgrade from some previous versions of both Audition and Soundbooth. You can even cross-grade from one format to another (PC to Mac). Not a bad deal if you just have to have the latest and greatest from Adobe.

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