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Adobe Audition 2.0 Workspaces

Flexible interface design can accomodate nearly any workflow By Frank Moldstad

Illustration from manual shows panel A being dragged to docking zone B.
Adobe Audition 2.0 is built around an extremely flexible interface, a design it shares with Adobe's Premiere Pro, Encore, and After Effects. Although each of these applications has different menus and tools, they are all designed with groups of movable panels that can be resized, docked nearly anywhere, or floated freely.

The result is that these interfaces can be customized to fit just about any workflow, with the most-needed tools immediately at hand. This is a welcome departure from standard interface designs that make users continually navigate back and forth between hidden windows during the course of an operation.

For instance, Audition 2.0 has three main components: Edit View, Multitrack View and CD View. The default screen for each of these includes the elements that are most likely to be used. In the Multitrack View, these include Transport, Time windows, Zoom tools, Master Levels, and Files -- all arranged around the edges of the Multitrack timeline (Fig.1). It's pretty standard, as you would expect from a default view.

Fig. 1: Default Multitrack View

But where it gets interesting is that each of these elements is contained in a panel, allowing you to customize the workspace in multiple ways. Each of these panels is tabbed, and by clicking on the left hand side of the tab, the panel can be positioned anywhere on the interface. A little row of dots on the tab indicates where to grab it. When dragging the panel around the interface, docking zones where it can be dropped are highlighted in purple.

In Figure 2 below, I've found a vertical docking zone for the Master Levels meter to the left of the track header. The new location is indicated by the purple outline. In Figure 3, you can see how the Levels meter looks after being dropped there.

Fig. 2: Vertical docking zone, highlighted in purple, is where Master Levels panel (black bar at bottom of screen) will be dropped.

Fig. 3: New Master Levels position

To reduce clutter, the panels can also be placed in a series of tabs. Figure 4 shows all the panels docked sequentially at the top of the interface to maximize screen real estate for the waveforms. This type of arrangement can be created by dropping a panel on top of another panel's tab.

Fig. 4: All panels have been docked as tabs at the very top of the interface in order to maximize the waveform display area. Currently selected tab is Master Levels.

I then saved this as a custom workspace by choosing New Workspace from the drop down menu at the top right, naming it Max Waveform (Fig. 5). After that, it appears in the menu for selection at any time.

Fig. 5: Saving workspace.

As Figure 6 shows, the menu displays a number of other options.

Fig. 6: Currently selected view is indicated by check mark.

These include specialized workspaces that Adobe has included, such as Frequency Space Editing, Mastering and Analysis, dual monitor views for both Editing and Multitracking, Session Mixing (Fig. 7), and Audio and Video. Any of these can be selected without closing an open project, and of course, they can be further customized and saved if need be. There is also a menu selection called Reset Current Workspace for returning a workspace to its saved state, which is handy if you've moved around a bunch of panels and don't like the result.

Fig. 7: One of the included workspaces, Session Mixing.

Facilities with multiple seats of Audition 2.0 (or Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc.) can duplicate custom workspaces on other machines. When a project is opened on another system, it looks for a workspace with a matching name. If it doesn't find one, the project is opened with the current workspace on the new system.

This kind of flexibility allows the Adobe applications to accomodate specific tasks with a minimum of hassle. It's an ingenious way of giving users control, freeing them from the confines of a rigid interface. They're able to focus more on the task at hand and less on navigating around the application. And the more transparent the application, the more productive users will be.

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Related Keywords:Audition 2.0, interface, Edit, Multitrack, View, Adobe, Premiere Pro 2.0, Encore 2.0, After Effects

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  • Adobe Audition 2.0 Workspaces by DMN Editorial at Jul. 05, 2006 7:21 pm gmt (Rec'd 3)

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