My first introduction to a digital audio workstation was Adobe Audition. In the years that followed I was introduced to other DAWs. Therefore, Adobe Audition was my entry point to audio editing. From that time to date, I have largely focused on radio and podcast production while using some digital audio workstations.
Adobe Audition is popular with podcast producers, sound designers, and other audio-related professionals. So, if you walk up to me now and ask, is Adobe Audition a good DAW? I would say yes. Why? Because it has been nothing but efficient whenever I have used it.
But before you settle on a DAW, I would like to know from what point of view or situation you are asking that question. Are you a music producer? Have you factored in a budget? What PC specifications do you have among other queries? These are a few things that will help me give you a better answer.
But without narrowing it down to the specifics, I would say that generally Adobe Audition is really good. This opinion is based on my usage of the DAW over time and to the extent it has been able to help me. This article, therefore, explores its advantages, disadvantages, and alternatives.
Adobe Audition Pros
Organized and Intuitive Interface
You will find the interface pretty easy to understand and work with. It may come across as intimidating the first time you see it, but it really isn’t. Always start with the basics and progress from there.
The interface has different elements in their designated sections, once you get familiar with it, it will help in knowing where things are located. Sometimes you just need to make small changes to audio files and when you know where everything thing is, you can do the edits a lot quicker.
As you become more proficient with Adobe Audition you can further customize the workspace to your liking.
Multitrack Editing and Recording
Audition allows you to record different inputs in the multitrack view. It also allows you to edit in multitrack and apply individual changes to a track in a specific channel.
When editing the recorded session, changes can be made to tracks independently. The various tracks in the multitrack view are easy to see with the different color codes.
The only drawback is if you’re working on a smaller screened PC while editing a multitrack session with a lot of tracks, thing may become a bit laborious. (just like the image above) you’ll have to keep scrolling. To ease this editing process you will need a bigger screen.
While some of the plugins in Audition may not edge out the plugins of more advanced DAWs, you will find them useful. Other plugins such as the Multiband Compressor, DeNoise, and Parametric EQ are better than plugins from more professional tools that I have used.
If you are planning to be a regular user then it is convenient to merge multiple processes into one. This in turn saves time and helps you become more efficient.
One of the elements that I have found to be quite useful is Audition’s ability to process information and give optimum, industry-leading results. Among my favorites are effects such as DeNoise which provide smart solutions to the noise issue in your audio file. There are also other designated features that eliminate the tedious process of trying to do things manually.
Adobe Audition Cons
For the not-so-frequent users, a monthly charge may not make sense since you have a constant recurring payment even during periods when you’re not using the DAW. A one-off payment is usually better as it is cheaper. However, there is a silver lining to this! A subscription model serves as an incentive to the developer for keeping things up to date.
Music producers will not rely on Adobe Audition to make a song. You can record audio or apply effects to an already recorded file, however, Adobe Audition isn’t suited for other bits of the production process such as making beats (it is primarily an audio editing suite).
Audition is not a DAW in the same sense as FL, Ableton, or Logic. It works great in adding post-production effects. Therefore, for music producers, it is better to go for DAWs that would do a better job composing a song (FL Studio or Cubase).
Harder to Master
Understanding the basics is easier. But when it comes to intermediary usage, learning becomes a bit harder since things get more complex. Audition has a lot of different features that will take you some time to learn. The DAW is geared toward professionals in the audio editing space hence onboarding amateurs is often challenging.
Compared to other Adobe Programs such as Adobe Premiere,Audition requires relatively low specs to run. However, you may sometimes encounter difficulties running it. A few years back I was using a low-end pc and it was lagging and affecting my processor speed. This can also happen when listening to a recording that you have added effects to. Therefore, users who specifically do podcast production might be inclined towards Audacity as it is lightweight and relatively smaller in size.
For podcasters the rival is Audacity. Although this is sometimes not seen as providing a good challenge as Adobe Audition has a wide range of functionality, something Audacity lacks. The areas that Audacity beats Audition include:
- Pricing where Audacity is free to use while Adobe requires a monthly fee.
- Audacity is lightweight and relatively smaller in size.
- For beginners Audacity is much easier as compared to Adobe Audition which is largely geared towards professional audio producers.
Therefore, as you become more experienced in handling audio, your edits will become more and more sophisticated, and you will have to use Adobe Audition.
Another notable mention in the podcasting space is Descript. The DAW grew in popularity during the pandemic with remote podcast recording. Though Adobe still beats Descript with a ton of features, it has its cool features that I like.
Descript has a better way of editing podcasts and transcribing them. As you are doing a podcast recording it transcribes the words simultaneously and you can edit your audio file by editing this transcription. Everything (changes or recordings) is done online, hence issues to do with storage or editing are no longer a hindrance. Lastly, you can use it in your browser but with limited features. You can also download the app.
Although Wavepad does not edge out Adobe Audition in terms of features, it can be a nice alternative. The free plan has several useful features that are locked after some time unless you pay for the DAW.
For instance, after using the free version for a few days, you can no longer save files as mp3 or other file formats if you do not pay. The standard and Master editions have to be paid for. Other than that, Wavepad is quite easy to use.
Generally, when choosing a DAW, you should look at compatibility, features, price, resources, speed, and suitability. When gauging Adobe Audition using these standards you will find that it is a good DAW.
Over time I made it my primary go-to DAW which has made me highly dependent on it. Most people will find it incredibly useful in a case where it serves thei primary needs.
The developers behind it make sure the functionalities are calculated and serve you right. For instance, podcast producers or individuals who double as video and audio editors can attest to this with its integration with Adobe Premiere.
Overall, I would highly recommend Adobe Audition!