Easily manage multichannel audio content in Adobe Audition, separating multiple audio channels from video formats like MXF that contain several audio streams. Modern cameras often capture several different microphones, storing each as a separate channel in a video file. Multichannel audio is also common for surround sound video formats, like 5.1.
Sepia-toned image of multichannel audio streams displayed in the air behind behind microphone and headset.

Separate all channels

While dragging a file or selection of clips onto an audio track in a multitrack session, hold down the Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) key to separate them into separate channels for nonstandardized formats or grouped channels for formats like 5.1. For example, with a 5.1 Surround file, the Left/Right and Left Surround/Right Surround channels are inserted as stereo pairs, while Center and LFE (low-frequency effects) channels are separated into mono clips.

A selection of clips is dragged onto an audio track in a multitrack session. Clips are placed onto separate channels.

Group channels based on track type

To group channels based on the track channel type the file is being dragged onto — mono clips on mono tracks and stereo clips on stereo tracks — press Control+Alt (Windows) or Command+Option (macOS) while dragging a file or selection of clips onto an audio track in a multitrack session. For example, a 5.1 Surround file will be separated into three stereo pairs on stereo tracks.

Clips grouped by mono or stereo appear after Control+Alt or Command+Option clicking and dragging to multitrack session

Reroute source file channels

Expand the files list in the Files panel to see each available channel. If your file has iXML metadata — from film or television workflows — then any channel names that were written to the file during shooting will appear in the Files panel. Select the channel or channels to add to a clip. Shift-click to select a range or press Control (Windows) or Command (macOS) to select individual channels in the list. Drag your selection to a track to create custom channelizations for clips — or drag that selection over as separated clips using the modifier keys mentioned in the previous sections. For example, selecting three channels and dragging them to a track will first create a three-channel clip. Pressing Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) will separate those as unique clips on different tracks.

Individual channels are selected and dragged to a track, creating a three-channel clip.

Note: The order in which you select channels determines the channel order in the multitrack session. For example, if you selected Channel 1 before selecting Channel 2, then Channel 1 would appear above Channel 2 in the multitrack — but if you selected Channel 2 first, then Channel 2 would appear above Channel 1.

Modify clip properties

You can easily modify channels after they are in a multitrack session by selecting the Properties panel and opening the Source Channel Routing settings. Reroute the source file channels to any of the audio channels in the original file. You’ll see the clip contents update immediately. For example, if you had an MXF file with three microphones recording an actor, you could switch a clip from the lavalier microphone to an overhead boom mic if it captured the speech better or if the actor bumped the body mic during the shoot.

Source Channel Routing settings are displayed.

Edit single channels

When viewing an audio file in the Waveform Editor, you can double-click a single channel in the Files panel to edit or process just that channel. Previously you had to manually deselect the other channels to isolate one channel for editing.

A channel is opened for editing by double-clicking its name.
10/07/2021
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