There is an extremely helpful analytical tool in Adobe Audition CC that I find essential to all my important mixes: Amplitude Statistics.
HOW TO USE IT
Open any audio clip, or a video clip with an audio component, into Audition. Then, double-click the clip to open it in the Waveform Editor. (This tool doesn’t work in a multitrack mix and it only works for one clip at a time.)
NOTE: The way I use this for my mixes is that, when the mix is done and exported as a WAV file, I use this function to check the stats. If everything checks out, I then import it into Premier or Final Cut for final output.
Choose Window > Amplitude Statistics. (I use this so much I’ve assigned it a custom keyboard shortcut.)
Click Scan, or Scan Selection, at the bottom of the window.
HOW TO INTERPRET IT
There are 16 different measurements in this window, with four that are truly important.
For me, this is the most essential measurement. I don’t release any audio that has the potential to be distorted.
I used to look exclusively at this number, but I’ve learned that peak values are deceptive. I generally want my peaks between -6 and -3 dB. Also, click the small “home base” shaped icon to jump to that portion of your clip with the loudest peak. This simplifies fixing a problem.
For the web, I want this ±1 of -16 LUFS. Most of my mixes end up around -16.5 to -17 LUFS. (1 LUFS is, essentially, 1 dB.)
NOTE: Broadcast and cable require average levels closer to -24 LUFS. The web isn’t that restrictive.
I’ve used this measurement tool for years, but only recently started paying attention to the average levels (LUFS) rather than peaks. When I did, my mixes started sounding better.
While the Loudness Radar is also bundled with Adobe Premiere, Amplitude Statistics is only in Audition and, for me, this one tool makes using Audition essential for any mix that I care about.
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