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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Hobart

Rolling with the punches

Headphones open book audiobooks
Feeling the audiobook power

I can't have been alone in wishing upon wish that Adobe would finally introduce "Punch and Roll" to their Audition CC software. It was available as a third-party plugin coded by the redoubtable Travis Baldree: - but we have had to wait for Adobe themselves to finally offer it as an upgrade.

What's punch and roll? It gives narrators the chance to roll back and re-record a take in real time if you make a mistake, saving potentially hours in the final edit. I've lost count of the times I've had to sift through up to ten takes to find the one that finally overcame a pesky word or phrase I'd struggled with in the booth. Punch and roll would make that process so much simpler.

I have to confess, I thought it was an April Fools stunt when the latest upgrade to Audition offered punch and roll for the first time this week. I don't slavishly follow blogs about Adobe product upgrades and rumours, so it felt like an early Easter present to have this key function added to Audition.

I've only dabbled with it for a few minutes, but already I can feel its huge potential. I may have to redesign my studio space so I can have the laptop parked close to my mic set-up. I've resisted this in the past as the cooling fan can be quite disruptive, requiring a layer of audio repair I could well do without. But if the price of P and R is a little extra noise reduction in the mastering process, then it's worth paying.

Anything that speeds up the production process is to be welcomed. Narrators sometimes have a devil of a job explaining to their clients just how long the audiobook process takes - in terms of preparation, performance and post-production. If this new feature of Audition gives me even an hour back in the edit per finished hour, I shall be dancing round the somewhat limited space of my booth.

Now, if only ACX would restore the old bounty scheme I really would have something to celebrate.

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