A few months ago, I reviewed Audio Design Desk. At the time, I said: “Audio Design Desk is an amazing program. It creates sound environments faster and easier than anything I’ve ever seen. Its ability to replace sounds with similar sounds without messing up the timing is unique and stunning.”
But, I also said it was hard to learn.
NOTE: Here’s my initial review.
Last week, Gabe Cowan, CEO of SoundOn, the makers of Audio Design Desk, said they just released their latest version: 1.7.2 which is focused on helping new users learn the program. Let’s take a quick look.
Audio Design Desk won’t edit or mix your dialog. What this Mac application will do is make your dialog sound more powerful with perfectly timed sound effects, support your locations using tailored ambiences, and deliver an emotional punch using music that it selects for your project that you can alter, re-time or replace at will.
This software is designed to make sound design for dramatic projects much easier. While you can use it for any project, the heart of this app is creating audio environments for comedy or drama. Using simple keystrokes, you can add sound effects, ambience and music as you watch a video play. The artificial intelligence behind the app selects the sounds that are most appropriate, given conditions that you set. These clips are easy to change at the press of a single keystroke. Speed is at the heart of this app.
Since its debut in May 2020, Audio Design Desk has garnered an impressive number of accolades in both the pro audio and tech universes, including a Mix magazine Top 20 Products of the Year listing, a Macworld Editors’ Choice award, a Timmy Award for Best Tech Startup in Los Angeles, recognition as a SXSW 2020 Innovator, and Best in Show at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention.
This new version supports both Intel and M1 Macs and requires macOS 10.13 through Big Sur, as well as a host of new features and better tutorials detailed below.
Gabe said: “The idea is to make it easy for editors to have great sounding material right out of the box. And then, hopefully, they come into our application and get to experience all the fun new tools inside of our application.”
Product: Audio Design Desk
Developer: Audio Design Desk, LLC.
Price: $15 or $30/month, or $399 for a perpetual license
A 30-day free trial is available.
NEW FEATURES in v1.7.2
In Audio Design Desk 1.7, you can create music for your videos at the speed of thought using trigger pads and our Music Construction Kits. Whether you’re scoring a scene or writing a hip hop masterpiece, Audio Design Desk has the goods to get you started—and the ease of use to keep you in the flow.
New features include:
NOTE: Here’s a list and video showcasing the latest features.
Helping new users get started quickly, the new interactive tour walks you through the interface, key shortcuts and the operation of the program. One of the key benefits is that you can add a drone, or hit, or musical rise then, select it and type Cmd + R to instantly switch that musical cue out for something different.
This is a great way to experiment with different sounds without wading through laundry lists of clip names, trying to guess which one you should use.
We can also search for sounds, then audition the results to find the sound that best fits the action on screen.
Once you have a sound, rather than just randomly change it, you can swap one sound – a sword clash in the example used by the Tour – with a light saber. (Instantly switching from “The Mask of Zorro” to “Star Wars” with a mouse click.)
IMPROVED VIDEO TUTORIALS
ADD also improved the video tutorials illustrating how to use different sections of the program.
AN AUDIO MIX EXAMPLE
(Image courtesy of Audio Design Desk.)
Here’s a better example of the kinds of complex, multi-layer sonic environments you can create with Audio Design Desk. This includes a variety of sound sources, such as hits, drones, music stings and sound effects.
Sound design creates new worlds by combining a wide variety of small sonic elements. There are over 30,000 sounds in Audio Design Desk, from music and sound effects to ambience and foley.
If you need to work with music and sound effects for your own projects, your best option is to download the free trial and work with that for a month. The creative opportunities this provides are essentially unlimited.
Audio Design Desk simplifies the process of finding, placing and experimenting with audio cues for video projects. While ADD handles the basics of sound design, the creative inspiration still comes from you. The good news is that version 1.7 makes this creative process faster and easier than ever.