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Using automation


Audition CS6 Essential Training

with Garrick Chow

Video: Using automation

So far, we've looked at how to adjust the volume level of individual tracks using the Volume Dial on each of the tracks here in the Multitrack View. And we also saw that you can do this by going to the Mixer, and adjusting the faders here. Both really do the same thing. But you're not always going to want to have certain tracks be the exact same level throughout the entire song or project you're working on. I'm still working in this Breakdown Mode song. So let's go to this Guitar 1 track here for this example. I'm just going to solo that up. Now, you have probably already noticed these horizontal lines that run across all the clips and the tracks.
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. What is Audition?
      1m 7s
  2. 1m 56s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 2s
  3. 21m 6s
    1. Understanding the Audition interface
      8m 49s
    2. Setting up input and output
      4m 7s
    3. Setting essential preferences
      8m 10s
  4. 25m 5s
    1. Importing audio files
      6m 39s
    2. Extracting audio from a CD
      4m 6s
    3. Importing video files
      2m 22s
    4. Recording audio
      4m 51s
    5. Creating a multitrack session
      7m 7s
  5. 8m 8s
    1. Understanding frequency
      1m 50s
    2. Understanding amplitude
      1m 40s
    3. Understanding sample rate
      2m 34s
    4. Understanding bit depth
      2m 4s
  6. 38m 0s
    1. Understanding the Waveform Editor interface
      6m 2s
    2. Making selections
      6m 5s
    3. Adjusting the clip amplitude
      2m 49s
    4. Fading clips
      4m 5s
    5. Normalizing
      5m 17s
    6. Copying, cutting, and pasting
      7m 41s
    7. Undoing, redoing, and using the History panel
      4m 5s
    8. Generating silence
      1m 56s
  7. 24m 1s
    1. Using the Spectral Frequency Display
      2m 53s
    2. Using the selection tools
      7m 18s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      6m 34s
    4. Removing background noises
      7m 16s
  8. 46m 31s
    1. Understanding destructive vs. nondestructive effects
      12m 35s
    2. Applying compression
      9m 20s
    3. Understanding reverb vs. delay
      4m 44s
    4. Working with filters and EQ effects
      6m 46s
    5. Using special effects
      4m 26s
    6. Isolating vocals in a stereo track
      4m 27s
    7. Working with time and pitch effects
      4m 13s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Creating a multitrack session
      6m 1s
    2. Recording and importing audio
      9m 42s
    3. Understanding the multitrack interface
      5m 20s
    4. Understanding the Mixer panel
      6m 14s
    5. Editing clips in Multitrack View
      9m 49s
    6. Grouping clips together
      2m 43s
    7. Creating bus groups
      7m 42s
    8. Routing and working with sends
      4m 7s
    9. Using automation
      12m 25s
    10. Pre-rendering tracks
      2m 19s
    11. Exporting the mix
      4m 13s
    12. Exporting the session
      3m 22s
    13. Burning the mix to a CD
      4m 45s
  10. 25m 17s
    1. Working with audio from video
      6m 23s
    2. Importing a sequence from Premiere Pro
      3m 59s
    3. Adding a soundtrack to a video
      3m 45s
    4. Exporting a session back to Premiere Pro
      3m 32s
    5. Using Automatic Speech Alignment
      7m 38s
  11. 9m 46s
    1. Understanding the interface
      6m 17s
    2. Using pan envelopes
      2m 44s
    3. Exporting a multichannel mix
  12. 52s
    1. Next steps

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Watch the Online Video Course Audition CS6 Essential Training
4h 40m Beginner May 06, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Audition CS6 Essential Training demonstrates all of the major features of Adobe Audition and prepares sound editors to start enhancing and correcting audio—whether it's music, dialogue, or other sound effects. Author and musician Garrick Chow begins by covering how to import, record, and manage media files, from extracting audio and importing video, to creating a new multitrack session from scratch. The course then dives deep into editing, repairing, and cleaning up audio files, using the Waveform and Multitrack Editors, and the Spectral Frequency Display. It also covers how to use built-in effects, how to mix both stereo and surround audio tracks, and how to work with video projects from Premiere Pro.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the interface
  • Setting up inputs and outputs
  • Importing audio and video
  • Understanding audio terminology, such as frequency and amplitude
  • Adjusting clips in the Waveform Editor
  • Cleaning and repairing audio
  • Applying effects
  • Working with tracks in the Multitrack Editor and Mixer panel
  • Editing the soundtrack of video
  • Performing surround mixing
Audio + Music Video
Garrick Chow

Using automation

So far, we've looked at how to adjust the volume level of individual tracks using the Volume Dial on each of the tracks here in the Multitrack View. And we also saw that you can do this by going to the Mixer, and adjusting the faders here. Both really do the same thing. But you're not always going to want to have certain tracks be the exact same level throughout the entire song or project you're working on. I'm still working in this Breakdown Mode song. So let's go to this Guitar 1 track here for this example. I'm just going to solo that up. Now, you have probably already noticed these horizontal lines that run across all the clips and the tracks.

These are called Automation Envelopes, and they allow you to make changes to the volume and if it's a stereo song the panning as well, and you're adjusting both over time. That's really very easy to do. First of all, if I want to bump the clip's volume up or down, I can click and grab this yellow line--that's the Volume Envelope--and drag it up or down. That increases or decreases the volume of the entire clip, but it doesn't alter the volume settings on the track controls. This might be useful if you have multiple clips that have different volume levels sitting on the same track. You can use the Volume Envelope to bring the level of the clips more in line with each other.

I am just going to drag this back until it snaps at 0 db again. Now, this is the default behavior and appearance of Automation Envelopes. But just in case you don't see this Yellow Line, click here where it says Volume on this clip and just make sure nothing here is checked. That will ensure that you see the Volume Envelope. Now, if you want to automate volume changes in a track, all it requires is for you to click the point on the line where you want the volume to change. Maybe right after the guitar starts playing in this track, I'd like it to gradually increase in volume. So I will click on the volume line at the point where I want the change to start happening. That's a little dot called a keyframe.

Now, I just click the point where I want the volume change to be complete, and drag it up to where I want the volume to be at that point. Let's give that a listen. (music playing) So you should have been able to hear the increase in volume there. Now, by looking at the Volume Line, I can also see that the volume will remain at this increased level throughout the rest of the clip. I want it to drop back down to its original level of 0 db after this first section is done.

So I'm just going to add another keyframe, and drag it down right there, and again, it snaps to 0 db. Now, this is a gradual decrease in volume as you can tell by looking at the Volume Envelope Line. If I wanted it to be more abrupt, I just, yup, add another keyframe. I'm going to drag that up and line with the other one, and now I will have a much faster drop in volume level. Let's listen again. (music playing) So, it increases there. I'll just jump ahead.

(music playing) And it drops back down here. (music playing) And you're free to move existing keyframes around to make adjustments. So if I want that to be a little bit more gradual, I can drag that left, or you can right-click on keyframes and delete them. Now, while you're in here, you'll also find Hold Keyframe. Let me actually show you what this looks like by clicking on this one. I'll choose Hold Keyframe. So, instead of a gradual change between keyframes, it keeps the volume level where it is until the next keyframe comes up, and then it immediately changes.

So, you can see it will come up to this level, stay at that level until the next keyframe and then immediately drop down. You'll also find Spline Curves which changes the transition to more of a gradual curve. I will just hit Undo a couple of times here. So that's one way of automating your volume to have a change at specific times during playback. Now, as I mentioned, the other line here is the Panning Envelope. There maybe times when you want some audio to travel from the left to right channel to the opposite side during playback. Again, you can just grab the line if you want to change the panning for the entire clip. Let's go ahead and play some of this for you again.

(music playing) That's panned left. (music playing) That's panned far right. But you can also click to add keyframes. So maybe I want to get this part of the track to bounce from side to side. I just add a bunch of points, and drag them up and down. Here, we'll go left, here we will go right, left, right, and so on. So if you're wearing headphones, you should really be able to hear the difference here.

(music playing) Moving from left to right, back to left. (music playing) And notice this is having no effect on the panning knob here. Again, this is a clip-specific change I've made. And this really only does work if you have this main Pan Knob centered. If I mute this track, and I solo up this other track beneath it, you can see this one is panned hard to the left. And notice you won't be able to hear anything when I drag the Pan Line down to the right channel. (music playing) So again, this Panning Envelope will really only do its job if you have the pan of the track set to center.

Let's go back to that main guitar track again. So these Envelope Lines you see in the clips are clip based changes. Audition does however give the ability to automate changes to volume, panning, and other settings to the track itself. This might be useful if you have multiple takes of the same performance, and you want to swap a few changes in and out to see which one you like better while maintaining the same volume and panning settings. If you set the volume or panning changes to the track, those changes will occur at exactly the same time to whatever clip you drag into the track. I'm just going to get rid of these keyframes right now by right-clicking on both envelope lines, choosing Select All Keyframes, and then Delete Selected Keyframes and I'll do the same thing with the Volume Envelope.

Now, I'm going to click this little Toggle Arrow here. It reveals this Show Envelopes menu and also displays another section of the track where you can see another Envelope Line. These work the exact same way as the clip-based envelopes, but these apply to the entire track. From the Show Envelopes menu, you can choose to show Volume and Panning like before to give us two lines. But you also have the ability to have Mute Envelope Lines, Track EQ from which you can have one of several preset EQ settings that you'll be able to bring up and down in the track, as well as Rack Input, Output, Mix, and Power.

Let's just keep Volume and Pan selected for now, so we can see how similar they are to their clip based counterparts. I'm also going to expand this track a little bit so I can reveal one more menu here. So we can choose which envelope we want to work with using this menu to select Volume or Pan or which other envelopes we have activated, but it also works if you just click and drag on the lines too. So there's Pan. Now, I added a keyframe there, so I'm just going to undo. But you can see I can switch to Volume and do the same thing. But again, that adds a keyframe, just undo that for now. So, if I want to automate the volume for this track, I just click to add keyframes like I did before and move them around.

So previously, I had something like this. Let me actually just shorten this a little bit so you can see it actually doing something, because notice when I play this now, you will actually see the Volume Knob moving as I play the track. (music playing) And there it's dropping again.

Now the same thing applies if I switch to the Mixer panel now. I'll find my guitar track, there it is. So watch the fader here! (music playing) Now, it starts to coming down. (music playing) And eventually, it will reach to 0 again.

Now, when working with track based envelopes, you get a couple of more tools down here as well. You can use these arrows to jump forward or back to the next or previous keyframes. This Keyframe button here in the middle allows you to add new keyframes wherever the playhead currently is, or if there's one already there, you can Click to remove it, like so, or I can click to add it back. Now, it doesn't add it in the same location because I just added a default keyframe there, but I'm free to move that anywhere I want to. We also have this button here to clear all the keyframes. Now, that only applies to the currently selected envelope.

Clicking that now will remove all keyframes from my volume envelope but not from say the pan envelope if I had already added keyframes to it. Now, there's also a Lock button to protect the parameter from being written to when recording automation. Now, what does that mean, Recording Automation? First, notice this menu here is set to Read. Every track has this Read menu. Read means this track is going to read and apply whatever automation has been specified. If you want to hear your track without the automation envelopes applied, just select off. Then when you play back, none of the envelopes will have any effect.

The track will then play whatever the current volume and pan settings are. Now, below Off and Read, we also have Write, Latch, and Touch. These are new capabilities to Audition CS6. These are options that let you create envelope points on the fly during playback. Sometimes you want your volume or pan changes to happen very precisely and clicking to add keyframes along the envelope isn't the most precise way of specifying changes. More often than not, you'll want to be actively adjusting the volume or pan or other envelope settings while you're actually listening to your song or project. Now, at first glance, it's hard to tell the difference between what Write, Latch, and Touch do. So here is the rundown.

They all work while playing the song, and they record what you're doing by adding the appropriate keyframes to the Volume or Pan envelopes. So Write overwrites all changes that have previously been made. So with the Volume envelope selected, I'll start playing the track over the part where I've already made some keyframes, and I'm going to move the Volume Knob around. (music playing) Now, as you can see, that adds a lot of keyframes because it's capturing each incremental change in volume.

Notice also that it overwrote the changes that I had there before. I didn't get as far as these last two keyframes, so it kept those there, but if I had allowed this to roll, it would have written over those keyframes. I'm going to undo that. Now, notice this has also switched to Touch. We'll come back to Touch in just a moment. We'll switch over to Latch for now. And I actually clipped it while I was playing with the volumes here. Let's undo that. Now, like Write, Latch also captures what I'm doing, but it doesn't change what's already there as long as I'm not making an active change over an existing keyframe. To demonstrate this, I'm going to move the playhead back to before that first keyframe again, and I'm not going to make any changes until after those first two keyframes.

(music playing) So you can actually see the dial continuing to move here. Still going down, and then we want to drop it down real fast, and then back up. And maybe there again, and notice it stays there with the last place I set it to. So you can see it kept my original keyframes in place until the point where I actually started making volume changes. If I've had this in Write mode, it would have overwritten those first two keyframes whether I had made any changes to that point or not.

So Latch adds on to the envelope without overwriting what's there unless you deliberately make a change over an existing keyframes. Again, let me undo that. The last selection we have here is Touch. It's good for adding finishing touches to the envelope if you just nudge things a little in one direction or another. It works by returning the Volume, Pan or whatever to what the line dictates as soon as you release the knob. Watch as I play this track. I'm going to nudge the volume and as soon as I release the knob, it will go back to where the envelope line specifies.

(music playing) So, this might be useful when you're mixing if there are certain parts of the recording that just need a slight and temporary boost. You could graph out the Volume Envelope for the overall track first, then switch to Touch to bring up specific parts at specific times, and whenever you release your mouse, it will jump back down to your original graph. But for now, I'm just going to clear all the keyframes, close that area, set it back to Read.

That's how to work with the new Automation Tools in Audition CS6.

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