A Tutorial for Mixing & Mastering Adobe Audition
By Seamus Islwyn
Updated September 22, 2017
Once you've recorded all the parts of a song, you'll need to mix and master them before you can distribute it. Mixing combines all of the disparate tracks into one audio file. Mastering applies a set of effects to the mixed audio, making it sound sonically coherent. Adobe Audition includes a built-in multitrack mixer and a mastering effects rack. Use these tools to turn your song into a professional-sounding recording.
Double-click the Audition desktop icon to launch the program. Click the "Multitrack" button to switch to multitrack view.
Right-click inside the track labeled "Track 1," hover the cursor over "Insert" and select "Audio." Navigate to the first audio file you want to include in the mix and double-click it. Right-click inside "Track 2" and repeat the process. Add as many tracks as you want in the same way.
Click the "Mixer" tab at the top of the multitrack window to switch to the audio mixer. Click the "Play" button to start playing the tracks. Adjust the volume sliders for each track to the desired level. Turn the "Stereo Pan" knob above each volume slider to pan a track left or right.
Click the power button next to "EQ" on each track, then adjust the equalization settings by clicking and dragging the "dB" and "Hz" values. Ideally, each track in the mixing section should occupy its own "space" in terms of both volume and equalization.
Add effects to each track, if desired, by clicking the arrow next to the first field under "FX" and selecting an effect from the context menu. Experiment with different effects; adjust each effect's "Wet/Dry" slider to control how much of the effect Audition applies to the specific track.
Click the "Main" tab to switch back to the initial multitrack view. Press "Ctrl" and "A" at the same time to select all of the tracks. Right-click one of the tracks. Hover the cursor over "Mixdown to New File" and choose "Master output in session (Stereo)" in the context menu that appears. Audition mixes the tracks together into a new file, which you can master.
Click "Effects," then "Mastering Rack." Audition opens a new effects rack and applies it to the entire audio waveform. Click the arrow next to the first field under "FX." Select "Filter and EQ," then "Parametric Equalizer." Check the boxes next to each of the five frequency bands, then click and drag the control points in the equalizer window to highlight desirable frequencies and remove undesirable ones.
Click the arrow next to the second field under "FX," hover the cursor over "Amplitude and Compression" and select "Multiband Compressor." Click the "Play" button to preview the audio; adjust the threshold, ratio attack and release settings for each band to bring out the best in the audio.
Click the third "FX" box and select "Amplitude and Compression," then "Hard Limiting." Adjust the "Limit MaxAmplitude to:" and "Boost Input by:" sliders until the meter at the bottom of the screen turns yellow when the volume is at its highest. If the meter turns red, move the sliders to the left until it stays in the yellow.
Click "OK" when you're satisfied with the way the audio sounds. Audition applies the mastering effects to the audio, which may take several minutes. Double-click the audio waveform to select it, then click "Effects," "Amplitude and Compression" and "Normalize (process)." Click "OK."
Click "File," then "Save As." Type in a file name for the mixed and mastered audio and select an audio format from the "Save as Type" drop-down menu. Click "Save" to save the mastered audio.
Save mastered audio in the same format in which you recorded it.
Seamus Islwyn has been writing for radio, print and online publications since 2003, covering subjects from independent Canadian music to automobile smuggling in the Balkans. His work has appeared in the "Tirana Times" in Albania, and he also composes and produces electronic music. Islwyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from McGill University and a certificate in radio broadcasting from Humber College.