So I've been using audition since it was CoolEdit back in the 90s, and nowadays I work in film. I was excited about the release of CS5 and downloaded a trial as soon as possible, but I'm quite disappointed. why? It's still impossible to move multitrack sessions around.
Quick recap of multitrack audio capabilities in Adobe products...
- Audition loads/saves .ses and XML files, with the latter recommended for future compatibility. It doesn't import other XML files.
- Soundbooth only saves stereo files, but can load/export the ASND format (new in CS3/4?) to embed multitrack info (which can then be reopened and edited in SB).
- Premiere exports OMF and its successor AAF (popular multitrack project exchange formats) and imports the ASND format. It imports and export final Cut XML files, but not Audition XML files.
- Premiere also lets you select any clip and open it for editing in Soundbooth or Audition. That's clip, singular. Select two audio clips and the option is greyed out.
- Neither Bridge nor Dynamic link allow multitrack audio sharing.
Do you see the problem here? If you have a pile of multitrack audio clips in Premiere (like you would after editing a film) there is no way to get your audio timeline information, with many tracks and many clips, from Premiere into Audition or its little brother, Soundbooth
This is, frankly, a disaster.
Think about it: audition has by far the best forensic, analysis and editing tools of any DAW. But anyone using Premiere who needs to do fine-grained audio editing - because although Premiere is audio-friendly, it has its limits - is forced to export to something like OMF or AAF and then bring into Pro Tools (spit). You can create audio in Premiere and export it as audio tracks (with blank space) to Soundbooth, from where you can throw it back and forth between SB and Premiere to your heart's content.
But if you're editing a film (not a music video) then there is no way you would want to put the audio together in Audition or Soundbooth first, because 90% of the time it will be following the picture. You can get individual clips out of Premiere and into the others...but only one at a time, which defeats the entire purpose of post sound editing, where you are trying to blend together multiple clips from different takes. And even though Premiere offers multiple options for exporting all the clip information and even volume/pan and plugin data to standard platform independent multitrack formats, Adobe's audio tools can't read any of those files.
When is Adobe going to fix this? I'm sorry to say that I'm becoming embarrassed to tell people I prefer Audition, because everyone in the business knows it's hopeless for multitrack portability.
And I'm not saying this to be selfish - this problem is really, really hurting Adobe's sales of both Audition and Premiere. Avid owns Digidesign, maker of Pro Tools. I hate both, but from a logistic standpoint they're a great combination, it's pretty easy to get stuff out of Avid into PT, and of course both of them have 'tradition' on their side. Apple has Final Cut, and Soundtrack Pro (rather like Soundbooth) or Logic, for those who want more. I don't care for this platform either, but it's a viable solution. And here's Adobe, with a decent lightweight audio editor in Soundbooth and the best analytical/forensic audio tool - which is exactly what's needed for film post - in Audition.
And yet there is no way to get your audio timeline out of Premiere and into either of these tools, nor do either of them load any industry-standard multitrack file formats, nor are they even compatible with each other. I was looking at an Adobe TV episode earlier today where they take a music project from Audition to Soundbooth...by exporting the tracks as individual audio files, which are then added to a brand new Soundbooth project. This is just ridiculous. I mean, if I'm consulting for someone about audio post for a film project or to outfit a studio, how can I possibly recommend Adobe's products? Individually they're great, but in workflow terms, forget it. Anyone who needs to get things done will probably go for Pro Tools, and since Avid and FCP are both more widely used than Premiere they'll probably go for one of those too.
I really can't understand why the audio tools aren't integrated to the same degree as, say, After Effects. Premiere + AE is a winning combo, and yet audio is arguably even more important than color correction or VFX, as almost every film has a soundtrack and audiences are far more intolerant of poor sound than they are of visual shortcomings. Please, please fix this. I live in San Francisco, so I'm not far from Adobe's offices: I will happily donate a day or two of my time, and even supply a waiver of any claim in intellectual property, to answer any and all questions about audio workflow. I think I've learned a few things worth sharing over the course of 10 features and about 50 shorts. It's not a big deal for Adobe to fix.
Message was edited by: Anig Browl to add the following: there is a LOT of stuff I do like about CS5 - Premiere has not gained a ton of new features, but it has had a massive performance overhaul, and the new features that do exist are very useful. The same is true of several other packages - I wouldn't want this to be seen as a 'nothing's ever any good' rant. The sad thing is that it won't reach its full audience because of the inexplicable barrier that remains in place between the NLE and the multitrack audio environment.