We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Audio and music software Reviews
15,499 Reviews

Adobe Soundbooth CS4 beta review

£76 inc VAT for upgrade

Manufacturer: Adobe

Adobe Soundbooth CS4 beta is appropriate for content creators who have had little experience with audio editors, but has enough new features to entice those with more-advanced audio editing needs.

Adobe Soundbooth CS4 beta is appropriate for content creators who have had little experience with audio editors, but has enough new features to entice those with more-advanced audio editing needs.

Designed for those who didn't require (or wouldn't comprehend) a full-blown digital audio workstation (DAW) application, last year's Adobe Soundbooth CS3 erred on the side of ease-of-use. It offered an intuitive interface, solid noise filtering, and a handy AutoCompose feature for generating customised background music.

But Adobe Soundbooth CS3 lacked the kind of more-advanced features - multitrack editing and the ability to place more than one AutoComposed score in a project - that audio pros or even advanced dabblers would desire.

This week's release of the Adobe Soundbooth CS4 beta demonstrates that Adobe has its ears open to the needs of those who demand more from an audio editor. Not only does Soundbooth CS4 include multitrack editing and allow you to place multiple AutoComposed scores into a single project, it also offers some compelling new features. Highlights include non-destructive editing, the ability to create snapshots (restore points) that you can later return to, automatic volume matching, MP3 compressions preview, and a speech-to-text feature that attempts to transcribe the contents of an audio track (or a selection within it) and then lets you navigate that track by choosing words within the transcript.

Moving to multitrack

The inclusion of multitrack editing will make Adobe Soundbooth CS4 far more attractive to both video- and audio editors. And it works very much like multitrack editing in other audio editors.

From the File menu's New command, you now have the option to create not only a new empty audio file (which generates a mono or stereo document - you choose which - at the resolution of your choosing from 8- to 96Kbps) or a file from the contents of the clipboard, but also a new multitrack file.

The resulting workspace contains a single empty stereo track with a large expanse of space below. You can add more tracks simply by dragging them into the main Editor window or by choosing Add Audio Track or Add Video track from the Tracks pop-up menu at the top of the Editor. Once in the Editor, you can drag tracks around to move them ahead or back in time in relation to the other tracks in the Editor.

Each track has its own Volume, Pan, Mute, and Solo controls, much like you find in Apple's GarageBand. And, just like with GarageBand, you can insert volume keyframes - by inserting these keyframes and adjusting them up or down, you change the volume curve of each track individually. (Soundbooth doesn't support pan keyframes, as GarageBand does. Nor does it have an auto-ducking feature for dropping the volume of one track when the volume of another increases.) Each track within a multitrack file can have its own selection of up to five effects at once.

NEXT PAGE: AutoCompose, a new filtype and our expert verdict > >

Visit Digital World for the latest digital audio, games and home-entertainment news and reviews

INDIVIDUAL CS4 APPS REVIEWED IN DETAIL:

Adobe InDesign CS4 review

Adobe Photoshop CS4 review

Adobe Illustrator CS4 review

Adobe After Effects CS4 review

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 review

Adobe Flash Professional CS4 review

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 review

Adobe InCopy CS4 review

Adobe Version Cue CS4 review

Adobe Contribute CS4 review

Adobe Soundbooth CS4 review

Adobe Fireworks CS4 review

THE SIX ADOBE CS4 SUITES REVIEWED:

Adobe CS4 Master Collection review

Adobe CS4 Production Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Premium review

Adobe Soundbooth CS4 Expert Verdict »
1.4GHz or faster processor
Windows XP SP2/Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1
1GB of RAM
2GB for HDV and HD playback
10GB of available hard-disk space for installation
additional free space required during installation (cannot install on flash-based storage devices)
1,280x900 display with 32-bit video card that supports OpenGL 2.0
DVD-ROM drive
Microsoft DirectX– or ASIO-compatible sound card
QuickTime 7 software required to use QuickTime features
broadband internet connection required for online services

The Soundbooth beta is available now from Adobe Labs. There is both a Windows and a Mac OS X version - although for the latter you'll need an Intel-based Mac. The beta expires after two days unless you have an Adobe CS3 serial number. With that serial number the beta will remain unlocked until the next version of the beta becomes available. (Adobe hasn't said when that will be.) Although two days doesn't give you a lot of time to work with the program, it's definitely something those who have an interest in audio should explore. The new Soundbooth beta maintains the application's ease-of-use, making it appropriate for content creators who have had little experience with audio editors, while adding enough features to entice those with more-advanced audio editing needs.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Adobe Soundbooth CS4 review

    Adobe Soundbooth CS4

    Adobe Soundbooth CS4 is something more akin to a professional audio editor than its predecessor ever was.

  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 review

    Adobe Premiere Pro CS4

    Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 is the fourth incarnation of Adobe's professional video-editing software.

  • First look: Adobe Soundbooth CS3 audio editor

    First look: Adobe Soundbooth CS3 audio editor

    Among the many tools that make up Adobe CS3 is a new audio-editing addition - Adobe Soundbooth CS3. Unlike most audio editors, which are designed largely for audio professionals and enthusiasts, Adobe Soundbooth CS3 was created with video in mind.

  • Adobe InCopy CS4 review

    Adobe InCopy CS4

    Screen-sharing and table-editing support lead the additions Adobe's InCopy CS4, the latest upgrade to the professional writing and editing workflow program.

  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 review

    Adobe Photoshop CS4

    Adobe Photoshop CS4, the latest version of Adobe's flagship image-editing program, will hit the streets practically on the heels of Photoshop CS3, which debuted a little less than 18 months ago.


IDG UK Sites

Top 5 Android tips and tricks for smartphones and tablets

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program: Get OS X Yosemite on your Mac before public release

IDG UK Sites

Why the BBC iPlayer outage was caused by a DDoS attack: Topsy and Tim isn't *that* popular

IDG UK Sites

BBC using Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to trial 4K/UHD, pan-around video, augmented video and...