All Audition's internal recording and processing is done as .wav files. When the recording is finished you can then do a Save As to save the file as a .mp3 to your requirements. Remember if you are editing the audio always use the .wav file as mp3 file format is lossy. If you save as mp3 and then reopen the file to edit it it will be opened as a wav file in Audition. If you then save again as mp3 you will lose even more quality each time you open and resave an mp3 file.
I don't think that's what the OP was referring to. I have the same question. When we bring up "Save As", the initial file type that Audition assumes we want to save to is WAV. How can we change it so that the initial file type it thinks we want to save to is MP3?
File > Save As will always default to the file format of the source file you are trying to save.
File > Export > File will remember the last-used file format and settings, no matter the format of the source file.
That seems to have changed, then, has it? We upgraded to CS6 from Audition 3.0, and as far as I can recall, if we started a new file in 3.0, and then clicked File > Save As, our default option was to save as an MP3. That's not what we see in CS6; in CS6 the default is WAV.
I see what you mean. New files without a source "format" did default to the last-used format under File > Save As... with Audition 3. This was changed in Audition CS since it was common for users to record and save to a compressed format accidentally. In order to minimize the risk of data or quality loss, new recordings or generated files default to WAV unless otherwise specified using File > Save As... The File > Export > File (CTRL+SHIFT+E) will retain the last used format no matter the source type.
I see. Thanks very much for the explanation (slightly astonishing to me though it may be). May I suggest that you folks simply supply a default setting that users can set? Most times people will be working with whatever format they use pretty exclusively; it would be nice to be able to simply set the default save format (to MP3, in my case) and just leave it alone).
Were there really that many people *accidentally* recording/saving to a compressed format? I find that hard to fathom. I mean, the save box shows the file format right there...?
I totally agree. Not only that, I've noticed that upon saving a Multitrack and its associated vo (.m3), it will ask if I want to save changes made to the .mp3 and if I answer, 'yes', it will bring up yet another dialog and again assume I am wanting to save the changed vo (.mp3) as a .wav when all I want it to do is save the changes made to the original file. It's as if it "thinks" I am Saving As, not simply Saving. Admittedly, we are upgrading from version 1.0 to CS5.5 and this techno leap includes some big improvements but some of the hoops you need to jump through in 5.5 really get in the way of any kind of smooth workflow. Let me know if there's anything I'm missing here.
May I respectfully suggest that, if you insist on "working" in MP3 you're likely using either the wrong format or the wrong software?
MP3--even at 320kbps--is a lossy compression format. Even worse, because of the way MP3 works (storage is in frames rather than individual samples) it's very difficult to do more than very basic editing a processing tasks.
This is why Audition--in common with most professional grade DAWs converts your samples to a form of wave file for editing then re-encodes it to MP3 when you save again. There ARE some basic MP3 editors out there, mainly aimed at the domestic market but they're pretty limited in the facilities they can offer--generally simple trimming and level adjustment. If you can live with the conversion to wave and re-encoding, fine--but the compression artefacts concatenate each time you open and re-save your file. I'd personally hate to use a DAW where I could accidentally have MP3 set as a default recording or Save format during the production process. MP3 is for distribution only and not suitable for any use I can think of during recording and mixing.
If your editing needs are simple, you may wish to consider one of the domestic MP3 editors. On the other hand, if you need the facilities of a programme like Audition, you should seriously re-think your policy of recording in MP3--even at high bit rates.
Bob Howes wrote:
May I respectfully suggest that, if you insist on "working" in MP3 you're likely using either the wrong format or the wrong software?
Absolutely agree. MP3 has only ever been intended to be used as a distribution format, not a production one. The whole purpose of working in multitrack, especially, is that you can revisit work so that you can reversion it, etc. and if you've only got material stored in a lossy format, then every time you do this, you lose even more quality as you keep uncompressing and recompressing.
Bottom line - there is no way that Audition should ever be capable of setting this sort of working as a default - that would be extremely bad practice.
I just stumbled across this thread since I too was having a problem with CS6 always defaulting to .wav and with all due respect to you Steve I strongly dissagree with Audition being capable of setting mp3 as a default save option would be extremely bad practice. In my world I save everything I do (voice) to MP3 256 and have done so for years for several radio and TV stations as the voiceover talent. (Including HBO and Cinemax) All producers and engineers love the sound and there has never been one inquiry regarding artifacts or loss of quality and dynamics. There is more of a reason to buy into your theory if we are talking about music, but with voice it's frequency range is much smaller and will not have the same issues as with something with greater frequency range like music. I would LOVE to have a default setting for saves. With all the bells and whistles that Adobe has, it's astonishing they now forbid the end user to choose this thinking that they will make a mistake. With all due respect, I need it, and several on this page need it, which is proof enough.
Let's be very clear to separate a distribution format from a production format here. Once you have your finished product, save it to whatever format your client needs.
But during production? Why on earth would you ever want to use lossy compression? I can only think it stems from some kind of idea that MP3 is some kind of standard or something. It most certainly isn't
Disk storage is dirt cheap nowadays. My most recent external HDD was under $100 Australian for a terrabyte. I see no reason to potentially mess up my work by using MP3 while I'm editing and mixing a project. Despite what you say, the loss of quality IS there and if you can't hear it I can only put it down to your monitoring set up. Even worse, the quality loss is cumulative--every time you open an MP3 file then save it again, the artefacts concatenate and, in my experience, you eventually hit a cliff face where quality suddenly moves from marginally acceptable to absolute rubbish.
I guess allowing users to preset what they want as a default save format is a different question. If there's enough demand, so be it--though I'd want some fail safe mechanisms to make sure I could NEVER accidentally save as MP3.
However, I ask again...what possible reason could anyone who cares about their work have to save as a lossy, compressed format during the production process? I see no advantages and a ton of disadvantages.
I agree with you Bob, and being in audio for nearly 34 years you would never want to save something in a lossy format during the production process. However, when a voiceover person records something it always is in the distribution phase. The client then imports it, does the production and saves it as a .wav or aiff and then when it reaches the final destination (95% of the time it's a server) it goes back into a compressed type of format not unlike mp3. (which is kind of funny, all that insistance on qualilty only to have it's final destination also be a compromised format) In the business I'm in over 90% of the voiceover people distribute their work as mp3's. I suppose it started with slow download speeds over the internet making .wav's too cumbersome to download (nothing like downloading a 30 meg file over a choked internet pipe) So the fact is, at least in the world I live, mp3 is the distribution format that we always arrive at. The v/o industry is measured in thousands, and it the majority use it, right wrong or otherwise, a default save would save the end user from taking an extra step.
So again, no dissagreement on what continuous mp3 saves will do to a piece of production and you are correct. That's a bad idea. But one take then saved to mp3 with voice only is accepted and preferrred by almost every broadcast outlet. So bring on the default save Adobe.
For the record the monitoring set up here is a PreSonus 24 channel board into Genelec speakers.
Trouble with that is that how does Audition know which "saves" are part of the production process and which is the final "for distribution" save? Everyone's work flow is different but I save many more times during the production process than I do with finished products.
For that matter, even when I think I'm finished, I save as a wave then take an MP3 copy, just in case the client comes back and asks for a change.
That's why, even if I could change the default save format, mine would stay firmly on wave with me manually changing to MP3 as a last stage. As an aside, at least in my work flow, the save location also changes--I have my own work space which is all wave and a separate place (actually even a different HDD) where the MP3 goes for emailing (or whatever) to the client. Actually, having said that, I'm more and more often being asked to put a wave file on Dropbox or similar and leave any compression up to the client.
I just stumbled across this thread since I too was having a problem with CS6 always defaulting to .wav and with all due respect to you Steve I strongly dissagree with Audition being capable of setting mp3 as a default save option would be extremely bad practice. In my world I save everything I do (voice) to MP3 256 and have done so for years for several radio and TV stations as the voiceover talent.
It's bad practice to record your voice-over and save the master copy in a compressed distribution format - period.
As far as I'm aware, this only started because V/O people working from home simply couldn't afford the time to send wav files via an internet link, as the line bandwidth was miniscule compared to what you can have into your home/workplace these days. That situation has altered completely now - there's no excuse for not being able to send wav files into a production company at all. 'We've always done it like that' isn't an excuse for not improving production practices as far as I'm concerned.
I don't argue with anyones quest for sonic purity, especially as the state of the art allows for better file extentions like .wav to be distributed. My point is that "it is what it is" and what the client wants is what the client gets. That is a fact that can't be changed. Discussions about what is sonically better or worse will rage on. (There are still those that belive vinyl records sound better for example) This thread was about the need for a default save for people that always want to save it the same way like me. The other side says there shouldn't be that default as the user might be unaware that they are saving it in a lossy format so to prevent that mistake you no longer have that ability to default it the same way. I see the reasoning for omiting it for those people, but I represent the other side. About 50 times a day many people just like me use Audition (I used it as Cool Edit back in the 90's so that shows you how long I've used this program) and have to take additional steps to our production. Right or wrong our revenue stream is always dependent upon the clients wants. If the client wants 8khz 8bit ulaw .wav files then so be it they get it albeit it sounds like it's recorded on a dishrag. I can recommend against it, but more importantly I need the check to clear.
I like many others use Adobe Audition to make money. I'm saturated in this business and heavily connected with others that do the same thing with the same program and they wish they could take less steps in their daily life too when they save. That's all I'm saying. It's not the end of the world if we can't, just something that would make our life a little better. I'll sleep ok tonight if I don't get it.
The public will continue to consume on air or off air media via various "compression" formats by the time it reaches their speakers. Just like the billions that are spent downloading and enjoying iTunes music. Those songs will never be downloaded in a full bandwith way, and the last time I checked iTunes is doing just fine.
Again, unless I misread you, this seems to confuse a production format with a distribution format.
Like you, I'll give my customers whatever they ask for (though I'll repeat that I'm being asked for wave more and more often).
However, this doesn't mean that I'll WORK in a compressed file format will putting a project together. For that I stick to wave and only convert to lossy formats after a final mix is done. This makes the ability to change the default save a bit pointless (at least to me) since I save (as wave) far more often during the editing than I do with a single copy at the end of the whole process.
...or am I mis-reading you?
I don't think you are misreading me Bob, and I think we can agree on these things:
1. .wav is better than mp3.
2. it is better to work with .wav in production then if needed export in the file the client wants (in my case mp3) They are happy, I am happy.
3. For people like me, a little box that can be checked in Audtion that says "always default to this format" would be helpful and not stir up trouble for people that never want to see something saved differently.
Wedding photographers shoot RAW and not JPG, and audio professionals rather use .WAV and not MP3.
I think, as someone above pointed out, the problem is we have two distinct types of audio professionals commenting here. No one is arguing the merits of mp3 over wav. The point is that we voice actors have clients who ONLY WANT AND WILL ACCEPT NOTHING OTHER THAN mp3 files. Whatever their reasons...whether this is horribly bad practice or not...whatever the price of hard drive storage or the price of tea in China is...it makes no difference, because we must provide what our client wants. Can you imagine the conversation with the electric company? "Sorry, I can't pay my bill this month because--well--on moral grounds, I refused to save my files as mp3s and lost a bunch of clients...but you understand, right?"
OK, so anyway, what we are talking about here is eliminating an extra step.
When I do an audiobook, for example, I always save each chapter as a full wav file and then "save as" a copy as an mp3 for upload to the client (????, but many want it that way) but if I'm doing e-learning, as I am right now, where I have 200 one-sentence files that all need to be saved as mp3's, it is a burden to change the file type each time I save...which when editing something like that is about every 45 seconds. Sometimes I will just save them as wavs and then do a batch process to mp3s...but again, that is counterproductive because for something like this, there's just no need for me to keep the original wav files.
Thanks for trying to understand that "correct" varies from application to application.
Well put Melissa! In fact, the conclusion to my story is that I've purchased another program to fullfill the need to always save as an mp3 instead of having to take that extra step perhaps 2 or 3 hundred times a day. So the conclusion to this story is that after purchasing Cool Edit, then Cool Edit pro (not part of the Adobe family then but that was Auditions pedigree), then Adobe Audition version 1, and upgrade to 1.5, then upgrade to 2.0, then upgrad to 3.0, then CS5 full version for Mac, then CS6 full version for another Mac.... last week I purchased another program to fullfill my needs and Adobe was not in the title of it. The love affair ends when the customer (whether it be our clients or ourselves) does not recieve the functions they want and need.
Audition can make an Earl Grey tea for you it has so many functions and power. A little box to "always save as a default" could have kept me in the family.
I would have no problem with a way to change the default save, especially if it including things like bit depth, sample rate, etc. for wave files and bit rate for MP3.
I'm also not arguing that you shouldn't give you client the format he wants--if that's MP3, so be it.
However, unless your workflow is hugely different to mine, I see a major problem here.
Before I get to the "save for the client" stage my work goes through a bunch of different saves and there's no way in hell I'd want to save my work in progress as an MP3. Every single time you open an MP3 file, work on it then save any changes made it goes through another MP3 coding--and the artefacts and faults quickly mount up. After two of three passes like this, my original file that sounded pristine sound like rubbish.
...and that's what I don't understand. Yes, your delivery may have to be in MP3 but do you really want each stage of your editing and mixing process to be lowering your quality? That's what defaulting to MP3 during the production process would do. I'd much rather stick to wave throughout the production process and even when saving the mix since it's not unusual to be asked to make a change that can be done on the mix rather than going back to the session. Only when I'm finished will I make an MP3 copy to send to the client.
So...explain to me...how is your workflow different that multiple layers of MP3 saves while editing and mixing don't matter...and why is it so hard to change manually to MP3 for one more copy after a few hours of work?
Your point is that we save multiple times as an mp3 and each time it gets saved introduces artifacts. Agreed.
Most straight voiceover people don't do that, it has no production to it and it's simply "dry voice" and it's one save, thus we are different users.
Exactly... we are not processing, adding music or effects...we are reading a script, elminating breaths and adjusting spacing on the original recorded wav file...saving ONCE and delivering to the client. That's it. Now let me add that this is not ALWAYS the case, but with the majority of my daily work...commercials that are not ISDN sessions, auditions, IVR, e-learning, etc...that is the process...
Are you actually doing any editing on these VO files before saving them as .mp3s ie. just using Audition as a recorder? If you aren't editing why not record them straight to .mp3 using something like a Zoom H4n.
Yes we edit. As Melissa said, we "eliminate breaths" or "adjust spacing" so a hand held recorder wouldn't work.
We are doing the same things you are, just not processing after the fact (we usually have our pre-amps set "once and done" or clients require a "no processing" completely dry read)...we also rarely add music or sound effects. This is why we are able to complete our edit in "one pass/one save." The editing we do is to eliminate second takes, remove breaths, adjust spacing, etc. In other words, we are only saving to a lossy format one time...and that is required by (most of) our clients.
Thanks for explaining.
Yup. That makes more sense. The work I do involves churning out the "finished product" rather than just a raw voice. I'm adding music, effects, etc. etc. in multiple stages.
The one comment I'd make is that, if there's ever a chance that you do several sequential recordings, save them, then go back and do your editing, I'd still not use MP3 for the initial recording. However, if you record, edit, then go back and save every time then your request makes total sense.
Still I would always keep a .wav safety copy for some time afterwards in case anybody came back wanting changes or lost their .mp3 copy.
Usually the way we work it is we save it to the cloud or server as an mp3 and the client downloads it. If they lose a copy they can simply go back to the cloud or server and download another mp3 copy. Again, no need to save as a .wav since that would be another step we don't have to take.
Hi - I appreciate the concerns about preserving audio fidelity and accidents, however..
My workflow has slowed down after "upgrading" from Audition 2 to the lastest CS5.5 due to the lack of presets - both for Save As as well as Export As...
Could you not at least provide us this option so that if we choose to use other formats, it doesn't slow us down..
Well, this is a bit heartbreaking. We're jumping from Aud 3.0 to Aud 6.0. I'm working with a test machine before rolling it out to staff, and was dumbfounded when I could see no apparent way to set a default save format. If I understand the discussion here, this was a design decision by Adobe.
Has anyone found a workaround? If you primarily save to one specific format, can you tell me how this has affected your workflow? Advice, anyone?
If Adobe is reading this, count me in with the many producers who are disappointed by the disappearance of the default format prefs screen. Here's why: Ordinarily, there are only two formats I use. One is a custom WAV format, 44.1kbps, 16 bits. It triggers a special plug-in that writes a custom header. When it was set as the default, then my Save operation involved a single keystroke.
But now it seems I have to run the gauntlet of a Save dialogue with multiple pull-down menus. Worse, I have to teach my staff, many of whom have very limited experience, to ALWAYS look at EVERY menu in that dialogue and select the same ones. A wrong setting in bit-depth, samplerate or channel number will NOT trigger a warning—but the exported file will later fail in our playback system. My one-click operation is now a several-click operation, with several areas for error to creep in. Adobe, really?
To my knowlege there has been no attempt to update CS6 to default to whatever standard you want it to be. Perhaps somebody here has learned of it, but I've contacted Adobe and nothing yet. I feel your pain. My workaround was to purchase another program, which I'm sure is not in Adobe's master plan. But you and I need to be productive and your 7 step scenario as opposed to 1 step sounds worse than cumbersome and more like impossible to translate to your staff. Especially since CS6 will do just about everything under the sun! Not having an opportunity to have a default save is like missing turn signals on a car for heavy producers.
I think a lot of the people in favor or the WAV setting are completely missing the point. The fact that it isn't an option is really annoying. I myself need to go through thousands of voice tracks that I'm sent on a regular basis, add a beds, SFX, and any other bells and whistles to make a spot. Once I'm done with this it is either dubbed straight into our audio server to be played on air or (and this is the key feature right here) saved as an MP3 to be given to the client through email. Every time I have to click through to get to the BOTTOM of the list to get to MP3, I'm wasting time that could be spent on the next element. Am I exporting the entire session to WAV? Nope, I just save the session. If there are changes because (and most people in spot production understand this) the client has a change, I just open the session. I am a very keyboard intensive worker and so far the only things that have helped me save time is tabbing to file type, hit "End", and then Up on the keyboard. HOWEVER, you can't just push "Enter" from there, you would then need to Shift+Tab up to the directory field or tab all the way to save on the bottom of the pop-up menu.
I don't care what the Pro-WAV format people have to say. It's not a matter of quality to some of us, it's a matter of time that we don't have.
I don't want to be contentious...I know everybody's needs are different. However, I have a question for all of you who record then save straight to MP3 for the client: why are you using a programme like Audition?
Audition is an extremely capable audio editor and comes into its own when you're editing together multiple takes, applying EQ, adding compression, limiting or any of hundreds of other processes. If doing any of that, you need to be in wave.
If you genuinely don't do any of that, then a bit of free ware like Audacity or even Windows recorder is completely capable of doing a recording and saving to MP3.
That's the bit I don't understand. I've recorded thousands of hours of voice overs in my day and never not needed to do at least some processing before it was finished.
I think a lot of the people in favor or the WAV setting are completely missing the point.
No, we heard the point, for what it's worth. Still don't want anything like MP3 as a default, but I think that some consideration might be given to an easy MP3 export option for those who claim to have zero time available for anything during their working day...
Actually Bob, it's not contentious and a good question. I can only speak for myself but I'm certain many have followed my footsteps. Being in radio and voiceovers for a long time, back in the 90's we looked for a program that could do production and v/o editing. The program was called "Cool Edit" by Syntrillium. I used that for years until finally Adobe purchased Syntrillium. Then I upgraded to Adobe Audition 1.0. Then 1.5. 2.0. Then 3.0. Then finally CS.5. Every time I bought the program it allowed me to have a default save until the latest version. What a company wants is a loyal customer that continues to open their wallet over and over again. That was me. Now, because a decision was made, for whatever reason, not to include a default save, Adobe has pushed me to, yes, get another program which is not Adobe. Now I am pleased with that program and while I still have CS.5 I probably won't consider a future program from Adobe. Perhaps a audio programmer said "hey, the end user should NEVER default to mp3, that's not good for them". I don't know if that's true or not, but the reality is it forces people like me to look elsewhere.
And that's not good for the people that make the software.
but I think that some consideration might be given to an easy MP3 export option for those who claim to have zero time available for anything during their working day...
You are correct Steve. Think of it this way. When you turn the wipers on in your car you twist the handle on the steering wheel. Now you buy the same type car, newer model, and you have to always open the glove box FIRST then twist the knob on the steering wheel to get the wipers to work. Nobody dies. It takes but just 3 seconds to open the glovebox. How much time does it take to do that really, and why lose sleep over it.
But then again, how would one feel having to go thru that hokey pokey motion just to do something each time? That's the rub. Which by the way, if my illustration with rain was like voiceovers, I would be turning my wipers on about 60 times in one day. That's a lot of glove compartment openings lol.
Or safely save them all as .wav by default and use the Batch Process to save them all out as .mp3. You then have a safety .wav uncompressed back up file should you need to go back to any of them in the future.
MP3's go out all day. Can't save morning mp3's to be batched in the afternoon. All time sensitive. When they are done, they need to get to their destination asap.