Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting essential preferences, part of Audition CS6 Essential Training.
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Audition pretty much works right out of the box. As soon this has been installed, you can just start using it. But as you get more familiar with it and figure out how it falls into your own workflows, you might want to go into its Preferences and adjust some of them to better suit the way you use Audition. Now, I touch more on specific Preference Settings throughout this course, but in this movie I'd like to take a look at some of the Preferences you might be aware of right off the bat. I just have this "interviewmono.wav" file open for this example. It really doesn't matter what file you're using. So as we've seen, to get to the Preferences on the Mac, you go to Audition > Preferences, on Windows it will be Edit > Preferences, and like other Adobe products, you can see the Preferences are organized into different categories that you can jump to right from this menu.
I'm just going to select General, which opens the Preferences window. As you can see, it's easy to get to the other Preferences from here as well. Again, with most of these Settings, you're going to be fine leaving things the way they are by default. But let's take a look at a few of them now. Here in the General category, one option you might want to adjust is the Zoom Factor Time. This controls how much you zoom in to a file when using either the scroll wheel on your mouse, if your mouse has one, or the zoom buttons that you see here. For example, if I drag this to a large number, say 80%, and I Click OK, notice when I Click the Zoom In button, it zooms way in.
Look at the Navigator up here. And each time I Click, it zooms in that much again. The same goes if I use the scroll wheel on my mouse. You can see I'm zooming in and out very quickly there. Let's go back to Preferences. And I'll just set it back to about 10%. So now, when I zoom in you can see it's doing so a lot less drastically. I would say your Zoom options really depends on how you like to work or the job you're working on. If it calls for you to works for very precisely with small sections of audio, you might want to be able to zoom in very quickly, or you might want to dial it back if you don't need extreme zooming.
Let's go back to Preferences, and I'll leave mine set to 10%. Another option worth mentioning here in the General category is the Reset All Warnings Dialog button. As you use Audition, from time to time you'll get messages that pop up that warn you of the effects at certain Settings or provide you with information about an action you're performing. You will usually have a chance to tick a box that says something like "Don't Show this Message Again." If later you change your mind, or you want to review what a Warning Box said, you can come in here and click Reset All Warning Dialogs. You'll then see all the default warning messages start appearing again when you trigger them.
All right, let's go to the Appearance Category next. Here you can select different color schemes for the Audition interface. Under the Color Section here, you can see the current default color scheme. waveforms are this greenish color on the black background. When you make a selection, those selections are highlighted in white, the playhead is red, and so on and so on. You're free to click on any of these individual colors and change them to any other color you might like. This might be useful if you have color blindness issues or just don't like the default scheme.
I'm just going to cancel that. You can also select preset schemes from this menu. And as you can see, any changes you make in here are applied right away. This Brightness slider affects the brightness of the entire interface. I'll set that back to 25%. And the Use Gradients Checkbox is returning the subtle gradient effect that you see in Menus and Panels. I don't know if you can see that there's a slight gradient in this menu here, but if I check this on and off, you should be able to see it.
You can also change what's happening in the work area here too. Now, if you come up with the color scheme that works for you, you can Click the Save button here to save it as a preset. I'm just going to skip that for now and set that back to default. Okay, moving on. Let's look at the Audio Channel Mapping section. This is where you specify which device channels your audio inputs and outputs are sent through. What you see here is going to vary greatly, depending on which and how many audio input devices you have connected to your computer. For example, if you have an audio device that supports 5.1 surround sound, you can map your outputs to the left, right, center, rear, left and right in subwoofers.
So right now, I'm seeing the default left and right channel audio being input through my default Built-in Lines. The Audio Channel Mapping Preferences are tied into the Audio Hardware Preferences, and we looked at those Settings in the previous movie. Let's turn to Media & Disk Cache. When you work with audio files in Audition, it creates temporary versions of the files, so you can work on them without damaging or altering your original file until you're safe. Here you'll see the default location that stores these files. There's generally no need to change this location unless you have a second hard drive connected to your computer.
In that case, it's a good idea to change that temporary folder to a location other than the drive your computer's operating system stored on. Working with audio requires a lot of hard drive access, and you probably don't want to abuse the hard drive that makes your computer run if you can avoid it. If you have an external or extra drive connected, you just Click the Browse button, find your drive, and you will probably want to create a folder--something like Audition Temp files--and choose that. That can take a lot of stress off your main hard drive.
And if you have a third drive, you can select a second temporary folder as well, but it's not really necessary. And the last Preference I want to look at here is Playback. The default Setting here at the top is Auto-Scroll During Playback and Recording, and you can see that's checked. I'm going to close Preferences for a moment. And now I'm seeing a message telling me the changes to the disk cache won't take effect until the next time Audition is restarted. That's fine. I'll just Click Okay. Now, I'm going to zoom in using my mouse here. I'm just going to zoom in at the section of audio here, and I'm going to start it playing by using the spacebar on my keyboard.
You'll notice that when the playhead reaches the far right of this area, the view is going to jump to the next section of the waveform and the playhead will continue to move across the screen. (male speaker: Well, we have one farm in Ojai, where we've been since 1998, and that is, really, an urban farm.) So this way, you always see the waveform of the selection you're currently hearing. Let's go back to Preferences > Playback, and if for some reason you don't want the playback to scroll like that, you can just uncheck this box, and when you play your file...
(male speaker: We are in the city limits-- the last property in city limits--and we're...) ...you can see that the waveform stays exactly where it is. You can actually see where the playhead is up here in the Navigator. (male speaker: And we're about one minute from a giant shopping center.) But my view here stays the same. I'm going to leave that checked though. Now, there's also the option to center auto scrolling in both the waveform and Multitrack Editors. What this means is that instead of jumping to each section of the waveform, the waveform will scroll smoothly and the playhead stays in one location.
So, for example. (male speaker: --the city limits-- the last property in city limits--) You can see once the playhead reaches the center there, it stays in one place and the waveform moves. (male speaker: --about one minute from a giant shopping center.) Some people find that easier to follow than seeing the screen jump each time the playhead reaches the right-hand side. I'm going to leave the default Settings there, though. Now, there's also the option here to return playhead to start position on stop, and all this does is return the playhead back to where it was when you first hit play. So, for example, if you started playing 10 seconds into your file and played it up to 45 seconds, when you stop playback the playhead will then jump back to the 10-second mark.
This can be useful if you're focused on working on a specific section and need to keep playing it from the same place. But I find, in most cases, it's more of an annoyance for the playhead to jump back. I prefer it to stay where it was when I stopped playback. So I'm going to leave that unchecked. I'm just going to close this. But there's actually a shortcut to that option anyway. If you're working on Audition and you need to play it to come back to where it started from as you work, you can right-click the Play button here and choose Return Playhead to Start Position on Stop. So now, if I play a bit of my file. (male speaker: --and you would never even know that it was here.
Once you're out on the farm, you just feel like you're in some rural--) When I stop, it jumps the playhead back to where it started from. I just need to remember to turn that off when I don't need it. So those are just some of the Preferences you might find useful to be aware of. Again, we'll be getting into details with other Preferences throughout this course, but you will also find that many of them are self-explanatory if you take some time to explore the different categories on your own.
- 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