Good morning Audition fans.
As promised, I wanted to share the news and state of Adobe Audition as well as answer your questions about the new release and what the future holds.
First, Adobe announced the release of CS 5.5 Monday morning to coincide with our presence at the NAB convention in Las Vegas, NV. Among the updates to the other applications in the Production Premium suite, the big news from my perspective was the inclusion of Audition into the Production Premium and Master Collection suites. Soundbooth, the previous audio tool offered in the Suite, has been discontinued.
Next, a little bit of history: Adobe purchased Syntrillium 8 years ago in order to provide an audio solution to their video and broadcast production users. At the time, Premiere Pro was a Windows-only NLE and Cool Edit, now Audition, was a great fit in the original Video Suite. However, as Adobe recognized the value in the Suite model for users and the bottom-line, the other applications were updated to support Apple and Windows users. The Audition team looked at the 15 years of legacy Windows code and were not confident the application could be ported quickly enough to satisfy the CS release schedule. As an audio editor was necessary in the suite package, we created Soundbooth which was a simple audio editor built on top of Premiere Pro's media playback engine. This enabled the team to provide value to the Suite, but the limitations of a playback engine crafted to handle large video files was not ideal for detailed audio production. As a tool to assist with basic audio editing and restoration needs for a primarily video and motion graphics audience, it did find a userbase who appreciated the simplicity and ease of use, although leaving audio professionals and more savvy users wanting more.
Immediately after each release of Soundbooth, the team continued working on Audition but it was apparent that Adobe did not need two audio tools in production and the more popular application was absolutely Audition. We made the commitment to build Audition as a fully cross-platform solution and replace Soundbooth in the line-up, offering the power and fidelity of Audition without making the transition for Soundbooth fans too jarring. For at least the past 7 years that I've been with the team, the most-requested feature has unequivocably been "Bring Audition to the Mac!" There are numerous on-line petitions and forum threads demanding this happen.
So we've spent the past two years re-writing Audition from the ground-up, preserving or updating our core DSP, modernizing the code to take advantage of current hardware and operating system technology, and emphasizing increased productivity and speed with every feature. Updating or completely rewriting 15 years of C++ code takes time, and we recognized rather quickly that we were not going to reach feature parity with Audition 3.01 with this release. We continuously prioritized our feature database based on our visits with customers big and small, and our awesome, secret, pre-release team. Our core userbase has always been broadcast - radio, podcast, and video - and our focus for the CS 5.5 release was to build a platform that supported those workflows but remained open and flexible enough that expanding the application to support other audio users would be simple and straightforward. As we approached the end of our development cycle, I think everyone on the team and in our pre-release program recognized how strong this application is and will be moving forward, even if some of our pet features did not make it into this release yet.
In the next post, I'll describe what's new in Audition CS 5.5, what didn't make it into the application yet, and what we hope to accomplish in the next release. As I mentioned before, Adobe has publicly committed to a more open release schedule with a major release approximately every 24 months with an additional mid-cycle release. Not only will this allow us to bring more features to you more quickly, but will help with any hardware updates and purchasing decisions our users may encounter. Additionally, and currently Audition is not part of this program yet, Adobe is offering installations on a subscription model with all upgrades rolled into the cost. It will be interesting to hear feedback from our users how this solution works for their needs.