Audacity and Adobe Audition CC are very popular Digital Audio Workstations. In simple terms, they are software programs that could be used to record, edit, and mix audio. Both of them work on the same principles but still, a lot of factors make them different from each other.
If you have just started audio production and want to learn how to create a good quality episode, you should choose a Digital Audio Workstation or DAW. Try to master how to use it instead of flipping between a variety of programs.
However, you must remember that this isn’t necessary for podcasting. There are many tools that you can use to process and edit, for example, Alitu, the Podcast maker. In case you want to spend some time and learn how to do it yourself, then you should choose either Audacity or Audition.
Audacity Vs. Adobe Audition
In this comparison, we will tell you the significant differences between Audacity and Adobe Audition. This analysis will help you decide which one is a better choice for you and your podcast.
First, let us discuss the cost. Audacity is an open-source program which means it is free to download and use. But Adobe Audition is subscription-based, so you have to pay a monthly or annual fee.
The monthly cost of Adobe Audition CC comes around $29.99 or £30.34, and the Annual plan comes down to $19.99 or £19.97.
On the other hand, the annual cost of Adobe Audition CC prepaid is $239.88 or £238.42. Adobe comes with an ‘All Apps’ package where you get access to more than 20 apps which include Audition, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
The monthly pricing for the ‘All Apps’ package is $74.99 or £75.85. An annual plan that is paid on a monthly basis comes down to $49.99 or £49.94. The prepaid yearly price of Adobe’s All Apps package is $599.88 or £596.33.
Students and teachers get a discount with this All Apps package. The monthly cost here is $19.99 or £16.24, and the annual fee remains at $239.88 or £196.30.
Though both of them are similar in terms of functionality, their appearance is vastly different. Audition is slicker and may be more difficult for a beginner to understand. Audacity is more essential and dated and will be liked by newbies.
Since Audition is a ‘premium’ option, it offers you more details when you look at your waveforms.
Audacity Vs. Adobe Audition: Which One Is Easy To Use?
Audacity is very simple to start and record. You will find drop-down menus on the main window. Here, you can choose the mix you wish to record with, headphones or speakers you want to listen with, and if you want to record in mono or stereo.
There are sliders that help you in setting the recording and playback volumes. You can use the level meters to monitor the signals.
With the help of Audition, it is simple to select a mic and set your levels before you hit the record button. You will have to go to the Audio Hardware settings inside the Preferences menu to do so.
If you are working inside Audacity, your work is saved as a “project,” while if you work in Audition, it is known as a “session.”
If you stop the recording and restart, Audacity automatically enters it as a new track that shows beneath the original track. You can work with multiple tracks, and that is known as “multitrack” mode.
Audacity also functions in the same way. Suppose you import an existing audio file into the project. Audition, however, focuses only on one audio track at one time. But if you specifically select the Multitrack option underneath the main toolbar, then you can work on multiple tracks.
All the audios imported into the Audition software will not be automatically added to the session. They will all be listed in Files Window.
The multitrack function from Audition is powerful and intuitive. Using the correct mixer or preamp, you may record multiple microphones onto the individual tracks.
Editing & Mixing
Audition is far better at performance when we talk of building an episode. This is particularly useful when you are working with more than just a few files.
The editing tools that come with Audition’s multitrack will allow you to split, overlap, stretch and shuffle the clips in an intuitive way.
When we talk of editing, we use the terms “destructive” and “non-destructive.” These show whether or not the edits are happening into the source material or not.
Destructive changes can be reversed later on, while the non-destructive edits cannot help you in altering the source material at all. This implies it is a lesser disaster when you mess things up.
It may also refer to how simply you can modify or undo an edit once you have made it.
Though Audacity also offers options to create copies of the files before you start an editing project, it is tough to work in a non-destructive manner when compared to editing in Audition.
Limiting & Normalization
Limiting and normalization are functions that you can use to control and modify the audio volume level. Limiting is about putting an upper limit on how high you want your waveform can go. On the other hand, Normalization helps you in raising the level of your waveform without making any changes to its shape.
The Normalization functions of both Audition and Audacity are almost identical and therefore relatively easy to use. Audition’s Hard Limiter will help you in clipping off or flattening the peeks to nearly one-tenth of a decibel.
A similar tool is found in Audacity; however, it is tough to use. This is because there is less detail offered on the audio tracks dB scale.
In podcast editing, it is common to take out the ‘hiss’ or ‘noise floor’ from beneath the audio track. Noise reduction also works in the same way. You have to take a sample of ‘silence’ in the audio. Here, the software is able to find any background noise that should be removed without any damage to the audio parts you wish to keep.
The noise reduction processes are pretty similar for both Audition and Audacity. In Audition software, you can right-click on the area highlighted and select Capture Noise Print. In Audacity, however, you have to go through their Noise Reduction effect option and then click on the Get Noise option.
There is no one size that will fit all the answers when we talk of audio production. But we feel that you can get better noise reduction settings in Audacity.
Audition offers another benefit, though. When you get files in your multitrack, you could apply the Adaptive Noise Reduction effect. This will learn the noise and remove it as it continues to play.
Exporting an MP3
Once you have compiled your episode, you may want to export it in MP3 format before you upload it for others to hear. Doing that with Audition is quick and straightforward. You have to select a bitrate, name the file and then mix it down.
However, in Audacity, you might face some hurdles as you will have to download and install a program known as the LAME encoder. This is because of licensing and the fact that Audacity is open source. The fact that Audacity does not have MP3 exporting options should not deter you. It may change in the future because MP3 has lost its patent.
However, once you have installed the LAME encoder, the process of creating an MP3 in Audacity is simple, just like in Audition. But people say that the quality of a LAME encoded MP3 isn’t quite good. Audition has a highly powerful Fraunhofer encoder.
You could use this encoder freely through the iTunes desktop app. In case, you are using Audacity right now, export the mixdown as a WAV. Later, open it and then convert the file into an MP3.
Adobe Audition CC is definitely more powerful, flexible, and intuitive. But the subscription costs could be difficult for users to pay. Since Audacity is free, many beginners find it a better choice. If you are just a solo broadcaster who uses a USB mic setup, then Audacity will do the job for you.
But, if you want to use a mixer and many microphones, then you should not mind paying for an Audition.
Just remember that if you are building out a wider podcasting toolset, the process would not be easy with Audacity. The device compatible with the same is significantly less, and you will need to download an additional driver or soundcard for the same.
Their multitrack function can be used to mix the different elements of podcasts like music, clips, and interviews. All this can be done with extra detail using Audition. Audacity’s basic setup is entirely reasonable to create the first episode, though.
The decision on which of them to choose, therefore, depends on the purpose for which you want the software. Analyze all the aspects mentioned before you make the final call.