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Finding normal

Finding normal

Excerpted from “Adobe Audition 1.5 for Windows: Visual Quickstart Guide” by Jeff Partyka.

One hallmark of a poorly mastered CD is inappropriate matching of volume levels. When a subdued, acoustic song sounds louder than the full-tilt rock number that preceded it, you know the mastering engineer didn’t do a good job.

Adobe® Audition™ includes the Group Waveform Normalize tool to help you control the relative volume of CD tracks so that they add up to a cohesive listening experience. During normalization, the program finds the loudest part of each waveform and then adjusts the waveforms’ levels so that they all peak at the same amplitude. If the levels are raised, you can apply hard limiting during the process to avoid clipping.

Normalize settings

Settings in the Normalization pane include the following:

  • Normalization: You can choose between normalizing to an average level (which the program determined during analysis on the Analyze Loudness tab) or to a particular dB level.

  • Use Equal Loudness Contour: Checking this box helps ensure that all tracks are set to the same perceived amplitude.

  • Out of Band Peaks: You can specify whether you want to use hard limiting to avoid clipping.

  • Statistics RMS Width: This setting determines the length of an audio selection that Audition uses to determine Root-Mean-Square (RMS) values.

Normalize CD tracks

To normalize tracks in CD Project view:

  1. Select Edit > Group Waveform Normalize. The Choose Files tab of the Group Waveform Normalize window opens.


  2. Select the track or tracks that you want to normalize.

  3. Display the Analyze Loudness tab.


  4. Click the Scan for Statistical Information button.

    Audition analyzes tracks and displays amplitude information for each.

  5. Display the Normalize tab.


  6. Configure the settings.

  7. Click Run Normalize.

    Audition adjusts the amplitude of each waveform according to your specifications.


  • The human ear can be fooled into perceiving volume disparities if amplitude peaks occur at the same decibel level but at different frequencies. The Use Equal Loudness Contour setting is designed to help make up for this.

  • An RMS value tells you the average amplitude of an audio clip, and can be a better indication of perceived volume than a peak amplitude value.

Burn your CD

Once you’ve created your CD track list and tweaked normalization settings and track properties, you can burn your CD within Audition.

Set up a recorder

To set up a CD recorder:

  1. Choose Options > CD Device Properties. The CD Device Properties window opens.


  2. In the Device menu, select the recordable drive you want to use.

  3. Choose a buffer size and write speed.

  4. Select the Buffer Underrun Prevention box if your recorder supports that feature.

  5. Click OK. Your recorder is configured.

Write the CD

To write a CD:

  1. Place a blank CD into your recorder.

  2. Click the Write CD button, or choose File > Write CD. The Write CD window opens.


  3. In the Write Mode drop-down menu, choose Test, Write, or Test & Write. The Test procedure determines whether your burner can handle your project with the current settings without buffer underruns.

  4. If desired, select Eject CD When Complete.

  5. If you want to include CD-Text information such as artist name and album title or a UPC/EAN code (a 13-digit number used to identify commercial CDs), select Write CD-Text.

  6. Click Write CD. Disc writing begins. The Track and Disc bars indicate burning progress.