This document can help you resolve problems that occur while you record, playback, or monitor in Adobe Audition CS5.5, CS6, or CC. 

Recording problems can manifest themselves in many different ways, including (but not limited to) the following: 

  • Quality of recorded audio is poor. 
  • Audio is monitored through the system but the recorded audio file is empty. 
  • Delay in playback while monitoring audio inputs or recording. 
  • Skips or drop-outs in the recording.

Different factors can cause recording or playback problems, including conflicts among device drivers, software, and hardware, and corrupt elements in specific files. Although some problems occur only when you work with Adobe Audition, Adobe Audition isn't necessarily the cause-. It's possible that it's the only application that is memory-intensive or processor-intensive enough to expose the problem. 

To benefit most from this document, perform the tasks in order. Record the tasks you perform and the results of each, including errors or other problems. Adobe Technical Support can use this information to better assist you, if you call. 


If you are looking for information about previous versions of Audition, click here.


Audio latency 

Audio Latency is the time that an audio signal takes to pass from the sound card input to the sound cards output. The audio signal is digitized, routed through Adobe Audition then any effects applied processes it. Then, it's converted back to analog form so it can be heard (monitored) at the sound card outputs. Each of these steps contributes to the audio latency which is measured in milliseconds (ms). Existing audio (that is, audio files on a track in the Multitrack) doesn't exhibit the same amount of latency since the tracks are already digitized. In Adobe Audition, this discrepancy in playback delay, between existing tracks and monitoring inputs, is where latency is most noticeable. 

Generally, latency over 10 milliseconds can produce an audible delay between playback of existing tracks and monitoring. Buffer settings (see step 6 below) can help reduce latency. However, the design of the hardware device driver and the amount of effects processing can potentially make monitoring difficult (or unusable). If the device driver for your sound card doesn't allow a low enough latency, then it's possible you can't monitor while recording. Try a new sound card with low latency device drivers (for example, an ASIO sound card). 

General guidelines that apply to latency times. 

  • Less than 10 ms - allows real-time monitoring of incoming tracks including effects. 
  • At 10 ms - latency can be detected but can still sound natural and is usable for monitoring. 
  • 11-20 ms - monitoring starts to become unusable, smearing of the actual sound source, and the monitored output is apparent. 
  • 20-30 ms - delayed sound starts to sound like an actual delay rather than a component of the original signal. 

Note: The human ear is accustomed to latency because it occurs naturally in the world around us. The frequency of a sound, distance from the sound's source, and the physical properties of the human ear all play a part in hearing. The latency introduced in the recording and monitoring process is due to the physical properties and limitations of the sound card, device drivers, and processing power of the computer CPU. 


1. Make sure that the system meets the minimum requirements for Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition can't run correctly on a system that doesn't meet the following requirements: 

Audition CC

Audition CS6

Audition CS5.5

2. Verify that the correct driver is selected for Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition CS5.5, and later use ASIO and MME/WDM drivers on Windows and Core Audio on Mac OS. ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) is a multichannel transfer protocol that allows compatible software to have direct access to the multichannel capabilities of ASIO sound cards. Direct access to the sound card allows for much lower latency (delay between the input and output) than other driver types (for example, WDM or MME). ASIO provides no limitation on the sample rate or sample format and isn't bound to a fixed number of input and output audio channels. With ASIO, you can map the available sound card I/O ports as needed for playback and recording, and record more than two tracks simultaneously. ASIO drivers address areas of efficient audio processing, high data throughput, synchronization, low signal latency, and extensibility of audio hardware.

Core Audio (introduced in Mac OS 10.3) is similar to ASIO. Like ASIO, it allows software to directly access the audio hardware at a low-level, reducing overhead and latency. 

To verify that the correct driver is selected for Adobe Audition (Windows): 

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Audio Hardware
  2. Choose the setting under Device Class that corresponds to your audio device. Make sure that the installed sound card driver is selected in the Audio Driver menu. 
  • If an ASIO device driver is available, then be sure to select it. 
  • If an ASIO device driver is NOT available, then select MME under Device Class

Note: Adobe recommends that you choose the ASIO driver that is installed with your sound device instead of the MME driver. Only use the MME driver  in a situation where the system audio device does not have its own ASIO driver. 

To verify that the correct driver is selected for Adobe Audition (Mac OS):

  1. Choose Audition > Preferences > Audio Hardware
  2. Choose your audio device from the Default Input and Default Output pop-up menus. (Core Audio is automatically selected under Device Class on Mac OS.)

Note: If your device is not listed, check the Mac OS Audio MIDI Setup utility. Make sure that the device is installed and listed among the available audio devices. (Choose Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup to access the utility.)

3. Update the sound card driver

Many sound card manufacturers frequently update their software drivers. If you haven't recently updated the sound card driver, contact the sound card manufacturer for an updated driver. Or, download one from the manufacturer's website. 

4. Set Adobe Audition temporary folders to high-performance drives that have adequate free disk space

When you record in Edit View, Adobe Audition stores temporary files in its Primary Temp Directory. Make sure that the Primary Temp Directory is set to the fastest drive (7200 rpm and above) and that has the most free space. Create a folder just for Adobe Audition temporary files. By creating a folder for the temporary files, you can find the files easily if it's necessary to delete them. 

To create and set the location of the Primary Temp Directory: 

  1. Create a folder at the root of the hard drive where you want the Primary Temp Directory (for example, AuditionTemp).
  2. In Adobe Audition, choose Preferences > Media & Disk Cache.
  3. In the Temporary Folders section, enter the path (or browse) to the folder you created in step 1. 

When you record in Multitrack View, Adobe Audition stores files directly into a subfolder within the folder of the current session. (For example, with a session called MySession.sesx a folder called MySession_Recorded contains all the files recorded for that session.) Make sure that the session files (and this associated folder) are stored on the fastest drive (7200 rpm and above) with the most free space. 

Putting the Adobe Audition temporary directories or session folders on separate hard drives can improve performance. If you have multiple hard drives, put the Primary Temp Folder and the session folders on the hard drive that doesn't contain the Adobe Audition program files. 

5. Run Adobe Audition while no other applications are running

Some applications can cause system errors or freezes when running concurrently with Adobe Audition. Before starting Adobe Audition, disable other applications, including startup items (items that start automatically when you start up or log in). 

To disable startup items on Windows, do the following: 

  1. Quit all applications. 
  2. Choose Start > Run, and type msconfig in the Open box. Click OK. 

  3. Click the Startup tab, and click Disable All. 
  4. Select any startup items that are essential for testing the problem (for example, a driver control panel for the installed sound device). If you are unsure whether an item is essential, leave it selected (enabled). 
  5. Click OK, and restart Windows. 
  6. Right-click icons in the Notification Area (called the System Tray in earlier versions of Windows) to close or disable any startup items that are still active. 

Then, try to re-create the problem: 

  • If the problem doesn't occur, then one of the disabled startup items conflicts with Adobe Audition. Re-enable startup items one at a time, testing each time until you determine which item conflicts with Adobe Audition. Then contact that item's developer for an update, if available. 
  • If the problem does occur, then startup items aren't the cause and you can re-enable them.
    1. Choose Start > Run, and type msconfig in the Open box. Click OK. 
    2. Click the Startup tab, and click Enable All. 
    3. Click OK, and restart Windows. 

To disable startup items on Mac OS, do the following:

  1. Choose Apple Menu > Log Out [User Name].
  2. In the confirmation dialog, click Log Out. After a few moments, the login window appears.
  3. In the login window, select the name of the user account that you are troubleshooting.
  4. Type the user account's password in the Password field; but do not press Return, and do not click Log In yet.
  5. Hold down the Shift key and click Log In. Release the Shift key when the Dock appears. Login items are disabled until you log out (or restart the computer).

Then, try to re-create the problem: 

  • If the problem doesn't occur, then one of the disabled startup items conflicts with Adobe Audition. Re-enable startup items one at a time, testing each time until you determine which item conflicts with Adobe Audition. Then contact that item's developer for an update, if available. 
  • If the problem does occur, then startup items aren't the cause and you can re-enable them. 
    • Reenable the login items by logging out (via Apple Menu > Log Out [User Name]). Then log back in to the same account without holding down the Shift key.

6. Change the buffer size (Core Audio or ASIO) or latency (MME) settings

Lowering the buffer size setting can lower latency, and help eliminate clicks, pops, dropouts, and other distortions that can occur in recording or playback. Before you adjust the buffer settings, note the current buffer settings so that you can restore them if necessary. If you use the MME driver, the buffer size is controlled by adjusting the Latency settings within Adobe Audition. 

To change the MME Latency settings on Windows, do the following: 

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Audio Hardware. 
  2. Select the MME from the Device Class pop-up menu.
  3. Choose the appropriate latency from the Latency pop-up menu.

Note: Choose the lowest available latency setting that gives acceptable playback/recording performance.

If you use an ASIO sound card, then see the manufacturer's documentation for details on setting the buffer size. Depending on your particular ASIO driver, buffer size settings are sometimes available by clicking the Settings button next to the Device pop-up menu in the Audio Hardware preferences window.

To change the buffer size on Mac OS, do the following:

  1. Choose Audition > Preferences > Audio Hardware.
  2. Select the appropriate buffer size from the I/O Buffer Size pop-up menu.

Note the following Buffer Size guidelines: 

  • To improve recording performance, lower the buffer size (from 32 through 256 Samples); this setting lowers the latency. 
  • To improve playback and mixing performance (with effects), increase the buffer size (from 512 through 2048 samples); this setting increases latency.

7. Update the Video Display driver

Adobe Audition CS5.5, and later, are more graphically intense than earlier versions and can take advantage of more video RAM as well as most recent driver updates. If you haven't recently updated the video card driver, contact the video card manufacturer for an updated driver. Or, download one from the manufacturer's website. 

8. Reduce Monitoring/Metering overhead

By default, when a track is armed for record in multitrack, Adobe Audition automatically shows the input levels for the incoming signal on the armed track. This display is a visual metering, and does not pass the incoming signal to the outputs. To monitor (listen to) the incoming signal, press the "I" button to the right of the record arm button for the track. This button enables metering AND monitors the incoming signal for that track.

Disabling input metering can help to reduce overhead and, therefore, reduce latency in sessions that contain latent effects. 

To disable input metering, do the following: 

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Multitrack on Windows, choose Audition > Preferences > Multitrack for Mac OS.

  2. Deselect "Enable input metering when arming tracks for record." 

9. Disarm tracks for recording

Having tracks armed for recording when they aren't in use adds additional overhead to the system. This additional overhead can contribute to play back problems in sessions with latent effects. Armed tracks display the Arm for Record (R) button in red. Disarm these tracks by clicking the R button.

10. Record at the sample rate of the selected hardware

To ensure the highest quality, lowest latency recordings, record at the same sample rate as the chosen hardware in the Audition Preferences.

You can determine the device sample rate by going to Preferences > Audio Hardware. The sample rate can be chosen for the device when using the MME driver on Windows or the Core Audio driver on Mac.

If you are using an ASIO device, set the sample rate through the preferences console that the device manufacturer provides.

When creating new audio files or multitrack sessions in Audition, always choose the sample rate of the device for the best results.

11. Disable the Adobe Graphics Manager (AGM) (Audition CS6, and later)

AGM is a great feature for improving the display of text and fonts throughout the Audition application.  It is also useful for improving the responsiveness of live graph controls, user interface-heavy panels that update often (like frequency analysis) and scrolling for the waveform. At the same time, AGM also uses more resources that can sometimes increase dropouts or negatively impact recordings. Adobe doesn't expect this issue to be common. However, it can occur on lower-end machines or systems that are overloaded by other processes running in the background.

If you are experiencing dropouts in your recordings, you can disable AGM by going to Preferences > Appearance.

Deselect the option for “Use Adobe Graphics Manager for user interface” and restart Audition.

You could notice some appearance changes in the user interface (and differences between the font on Mac and Windows). However, this step decreases the overhead needed for displaying graphics and improves recording results by decreasing the chance for dropouts.