Adobe’s new audio application, compatible with Intel Macs and Windows PCs, has been formally announced today. CDM was one of the first sites to look in-depth at Soundbooth CS3 back in the fall, and we broke the story that the software would be available as a standalone. Now we have a little bit more in the way of details: Soundbooth will ship in “third quarter” or “summer” (depending on which language you read), and it’ll ship with the CS3 Production Suite. I’m a little disappointed that Adobe chose not to ship it as part of the Design suite, since part of the product’s vision was to help people using tools like Flash get into audio, but then again, I think Adobe retained something to “upsell” to.

The good news is, you’ll be able to buy Soundbooth standalone for US$199. And that sets Adobe apart from Apple’s Soundtrack Pro, which requires you buy Final Cut Studio.

Interestingly, this leaves Audition Pro as exclusively a standalone app. Adobe has promised it isn’t abandoning Audition, though. I think this makes some sense: Audition is really geared at the audio production market. The people who are experts in Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, and so on are more likely to want a streamlined tool like Soundbooth, and hire someone else to do audio production. Well, unless they’re one of the multi-disciplinary creatives who read this site, of course, in which case they may go all-out.

Adobe has put together a product comparison with Audition. It basically breaks down to this:

  1. Soundbooth: Streamlined “task-based” interface (meaning it’s friendlier to non-audio people), Flash cue point support, nifty non-destructive editing. Automatic scoring (yes, we hate that at CDM because we’d rather you hire a real composer, but whatever) Mac (Intel), PC. Summer. Summary: The app you’d use for quick, one-audio tool edits, like to a Flash soundtrack with cue points or some adjustments to an audio clip.
  2. Audition: Multi-channel mixing and automation, batch processing, “tools-based interface” (read, more “pro”-style, traditional audio app), looping. PC. Now. Summary: The big guns, for multi-track mixing and batch-processing a whole bunch of files.

What I notice is, for audio mavens, the two tools compliment each other. On PC, I could easily see using the two: quick edits in Soundbooth, bigger projects and batches in Audition, or some Flash file edits in Soundbooth and multi-channel Premiere soundtrack edits in Audition.

Still too early to call how useful Soundbooth CS will be until it ships this summer, and there’s plenty of competition (Audition, Peak, WaveLab, etc., etc.) Stay tuned.

Soundbooth CS3 Product Page


Adobe Soundbooth Beta 2: Now Easier, More Photoshop-y
Adobe Soundbooth Coming in Standalone, CS Bundle Versions; Lasso Tool History
Adobe Soundbooth Beta First Look: Simplified Audio Editor for Quick Sound Editing (Windows, Mac)
Adobe Defends Intel-Only Mac Release for Soundbooth

More on today’s CS3 suite announcement on Create Digital Motion:
Adobe Creative Suite 3: Highlights for Visualists, Simplified