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Now let's take a look Audition's audio hardware settings to make sure you get sound into and out of it. Now Audition receives and sends audio from whichever you have selected under your Preferences. This could be your computer sound card, or it could be an external audio input device that connects via USB, or it could be any number of specialized audio input devices that are available. You can see these settings on the Mac by going to Audition > Preferences > Audio Hardware. On Windows you'll go to Edit > Preferences > Audio Hardware. Now I'd say in many cases you won't have to make any changes to these settings here, and you'll be able to record right away since Audition defaults to your system's audio input/output settings.
Well, let's take a look at what we have here. The Audio Hardware Preferences look a little different on Mac and PC, so I'm going to be showing you both, but on both systems the first item you see here is Device Class. The Mac uses Core Audio, which is OS X's built-in set of audio services, and that's the only option I have in this case. Let's switch over to Windows. And again, on Windows we go to Edit > Preferences > Audio Hardware, and for the Device Class, Windows uses ASIO and MME drivers. Now in my case, I only have the MME driver for this PC, but if you have the choice of ASIO--which stands for Audio Stream Input/Output--be sure to choose that one.
It's a much superior driver that lets Audition have direct access to your sound card, which in turn allows for much lower latency. Meaning you'll have less delay between your input and output. Core Audio allows for the same thing on the Mac side. Now depending on what you have chosen under Device Class, you may see different settings below it than what you see here. In some cases the default input and output settings may be set from here, but in other cases, like if you're using an ASIO sound card, you may just have a Settings button here which will open up your devices user interface. But since I have MME selected here on my PC, I can use my Default Input and Default Output menus here.
Now I'm currently using VMware to show you Windows, which is a Virtual Windows Platform for the Mac which is why I am seeing this here. But you'll see something similar. You'll see a Line In, or you might see a Microphone In option here as well, or you may see any USB device you have connected to your computer. Now with the MME driver and Core Audio on the Mac, you can also choose your Master Clock settings. And this is for when you may have other digital hardware connected to your system that you need to make sure stay synchronized with your computer's hardware. In this case, I can choose either the Input or the Output. Basically, you're choosing which device all the other devices are going to sync to.
I'll just leave mine set how it is. Now with the MME driver the next setting you'll find is the Latency menu. Probably you will often hear about when discussing digital audio recording is this concept of Latency. Latency is a slight or sometimes significant delay between input and output. For example, you might be recording a guitarist, but because of Latency, you hear what he's playing several milliseconds after he actually plays it, which can be annoying and also make it difficult to get a good performance. Ideally, you want as little Latency as possible, and a lot of that has to do with your sound card and the speed of your system.
If you're experiencing Latency while recording, you can come in here and try to reduce it using this menu here. The lower the number you can select, the better, but if you lower it too much for your system to handle, you'll start hearing clicks or audio dropouts. So it will most likely take some experimentation to find the right Latency settings for your particular system. Now on the Mac side of things--or if on Windows you're using an ASIO system-- instead of Latency you'll have I/O Buffer Size menu, but it essentially represents the same thing. If you're experiencing Latency on the Mac or in ASIO system, you can the I/O Buffer here to the lowest possible setting that doesn't result in clicking or audio dropouts.
Again, you'll have to experiment. Then you have the Sample Rate menu. We'll talk more about sample rate a little bit later. I'm just going to leave this the way it is for now. And lastly, I mentioned that you may have a Settings button if you're using a Mac or an ASIO driver, and clicking it opens the User Interface for that particular device. In this case, it opens the Audio MIDI Setup utility on my Mac where I can adjust other settings and configurations if necessary. Okay, so those are the Audio Hardware Settings in Audition Preferences. Again, you might not have to change anything in here, but if you do need to make an adjustment, like specify the device your microphone is plugged into or route your output to a different set of speakers, connect to your computer, now you know where to do it.
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