Adobe aimed to customize its Soundbooth CS4 audio editor for making round trips among projects throughout Creative Suite 4.

This application is supposed to be relatively simple for audio beginners to tweak speech, songs, and all sorts of sound effects. Its heat map-like editing view, for instance, appeared with Creative Suite 3. In Creative Suite 4, there are plenty of work space enhancements. The interface echoes that of other members of Creative Suite 4, with pull-down menus for flipping among various work spaces, and easily resizable, Flash-based panels.

We like Soundbooth's new Speech Search feature, also found in Adobe Premiere CS4. This translates spoken audio into text. When you click on the text transcript, Soundbooth jumps to its equivalent audio waveform. In our early tests of the rough-draft code, we found that Speech Search doesn't work perfectly on the first run, but wading through long projects full of dialog should be faster than ever. You can make translations in multiple languages, opening up the possibility for creating subtitles, or a karaoke-like effect for sing-a-long videos.

With CS4, Adobe is introducing to Soundbooth the ASND file format, which doesn't alter the original assets of projects as you make changes. Audition and other audio applications don't support ASND, at least for now, but you still can save work from Soundbooth in other formats.

Other updates to Soundbooth include the capability to take Snapshots of work in progress, so you can revert to earlier changes. With MP3 compression, you can play a sample before saving audio to a precise setting. There's now a panel of Scores, which you no longer need to open Bridge to see.

Soundbooth costs $199 or $79 to upgrade, and can be found bundled within CS4 suites shown in the chart below.

This application is set to hit stores in later this fall along with the rest of Adobe Creative Suite 4.

Adobe Creative Suite 4 packages with Soundbooth CS4
  Price: Full Price: Upgrade

Creative Suite 4 Master Collection
$2,499 $899 (from CS3); $1,599 from other CS3 suites; $1,199 from two older suites

Creative Suite 4 Web Premium
$1,699 $599 (from CS3); $599-$799 (from Studios or CS 1-2)

Creative Suite 4 Web Standard
$999 Special upgrade pricing available