A long, long time ago, we used CoolEdit Pro to record and mix our music. This would have been around 2001, on an ancient desktop running a processor at 300 MHz, in our mockup home "studio." At that time, CoolEdit was impressive. I can rant about how great it was for a long time, but here is the important stuff.
- It was a very intuitive piece of software. Session tracks were available immediately upon startup. The most important mixing controls where there next to the tracks. The effects were all organized. Learning how to record and mix music took seconds. No other software even came close to being as intuitive.
- It was precise. You could basically zoom to the sample, beyond milliseconds, and cut, move, adjust envelopes, and so on.
- It worked. You have to understand that, in those times, processing power was not what it is now. Effects could not process sound data during playing, but had to be pre-processed and stored in temporary sound files. The simple fact that CoolEdit successfully managed all these sound data was amazing. In fact, its version 2.0 from those times continued to work flawlessly at least through Windows 8.
Alas, CoolEdit is no more. Its maker – Syntrillium Software – was bought by Adobe in 2003 and rebranded as Adobe Audition. I checked Adobe Audition CC recently. Likely, I will not be using it, simply because of its price. It is subscription based, where you can pay $19.99 per month or $239.88 per year. The subscription scheme makes sense perhaps. In addition to the application itself, you get 20 GB or cloud storage and a portfolio website. It is linked with Adobe's Creative Cloud, which is meant to help you create (whatever it is that you want to create) and share it.
Adobe Audition CC is a different animal. It seems to target primarily those, who want to engineer sound for video (CoolEdit did not handle video). Its latest version, for example, supports dual display full screen video, Dolby digital sound, and iXML.
And yet, just looking at screenshots, it looks like a lot of the same functionality is still there – just with a lot more bells and whistles. Do I need those? I have no idea. I suppose at some point I will want to figure out what to do with my existing recordings.