Adding Punch & Roll to Adobe Audition

Just like my scripts that add this functionality to both TwistedWave and Audacity, it is possible to get Audition to do a basic Punch & Roll.

My script is written for Mac OSX, it should be possible to implement a similar script on Windows using a program called Auto HotKey.

1. On your Mac, please click here to download my script.

2. Once that is complete, double click to open the file. It should open on your computer using AppleScript Editor.

3. When opening, it will probably ask you to locate the Adobe Audition program. Browse through your Applications Folder and find the right executable. (NOTE: This will change “Adobe Audition” listed below to reflect the exact name of your file. example: “Adobe Audition CC 2014”)

The AppleScript Editor window should show you the following code:

tell application "Adobe Audition"
   activate
   tell application "System Events"
      keystroke "m" -- add a marker
      keystroke "m" using {option down} -- custom keystroke to toggle Mute
      keystroke "j" -- scrub backward
      delay 5 -- wait 5 seconds
      keystroke "k" -- stop scrub
      keystroke "m" using {option down} -- custom keystroke to toggle Mute
      keystroke " " -- play audio
      delay 5 -- wait 5 seconds
      keystroke " " using {shift down} -- start recording
   end tell
end tell

You can see that I added a Custom Keystroke to toggle Mute. This is to prevent you from hearing Audition scrub during its rewind. If you would like to add this custom shortcut, please follow instructions from Adobe found here. If you don’t mind hearing the scrub, leaving this code in has no negative effects.

4. At this point, open Adobe Audition and create a new session.

5. Record about 30 seconds of audio into your new session.

6. Place the cursor at the point that you’d like to do a pickup.

7. Press the Run button on the AppleScript Editor window.

Audition will now rewind 5 seconds, playback the 5 seconds of Pre-Roll audio, then start recording from where you placed the cursor.

To modify the length of the Pre-Roll feel free to change “delay 5” to your desired value. Remember to make both values identical, or the script will no longer work as designed.

Congratulations! You’ve just done Punch & Roll in Adobe Audition! πŸ˜‰

If you would like to assign a Keyboard Shortcut to the script, use this same script and follow the directions given here for TwistedWave.

Please note that this script is leveraging functions that are already built into Audition. I am not adding any new functionality. And, be aware that scripts like these will never be as smooth as native functionality within an application.

Feel free to post your questions or improvements below.

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24 Replies to “Adding Punch & Roll to Adobe Audition”

  1. Great addition but I have a problem. Using Audition 6 CC on mac mini. I place cursor at point for punch in, hit run, scrubs back 5 sec., plays ahead 5 sec but when it hits the marker for punch in, it returns to the 5 second point and starts to record from that position instead of the point marked for the punch in. Any suggestions on how I can rectify this issue?

    1. Gary, it sounds like you have Return playhead to start position on stop enabled. You’ll find that under Preferences > Playback. Please disable it and try again πŸ™‚

  2. This is awesome Steven – thanks for this! I had worked out how to do this with AHK on 3.0, but this has been the barrier to me upgrading to CC (and the fact I don’t want to pay $20 a month for eternity). I hadn’t thought of using scrubbing.

    One question though – if I’m understanding correctly the user has to wait for the 5 seconds scrub back, in addition to the 5 seconds of pre roll?

    1. Hi Adam. There is a way to scrub at faster than the normal speed (High Speed Scrubbing), but it involved activating some other settings that seemed to overcomplicate the script. I wanted to keep it simple enough for everyone to understand. If you locate those settings, you can speed up the process.

      1. Ah, interesting…I may have to download the AA CC trial and play with it. I just wish Adobe hadn’t went to this stupid #$%$! monthly subscription model πŸ™

        I never use scrubbing, so setting it to scrub faster shouldn’t be an issue…

  3. Hey Steven, I’m using AA CS6 on Mac OS 10.7.5. For me, it scrubs back 10 sec, then starts recording after 5 seconds, making it 5 seconds earlier than what I want. Can I change it to scrub back only the 5?

    1. Hi Teri! I am guessing that at some point you may have adjusted the scrubbing speed. See this link. People change this setting so they can speed up the review process. Change the first “delay 5” to read “delay 2.5”. If you are scrubbing at twice the normal speed, a delay of 2.5 seconds will scrub back across 5 seconds of audio.

  4. Thanks so much for this! It’s so much nicer and quicker than marking the recording and getting rid of all of those stumbles in editing.

    I’m running this on OS X 10.10.2 and Audition CC 2014.

    For some reason, the scrub-back portion of the script works only sporadically β€” occasionally (usually though not always just after opening the app) it works fine, but most often, the cursor just stays put and then β€” after ten seconds β€” starts recording from where it is. This is fine, but the whole point is to get that run-up. If I wanted simply to start recording over from a certain point I wouldn’t need the script.

    I’ve experimented using the script as a service (thanks for that tip as well!) as well as running it directly from Automator. The same problem pops up.

    Do you have any thoughts on why it isn’t working consistently?

    1. There must be some difference within Audition (since the behavior of the script itself is constant). Could another track hav focus at the times when it doesn’t work? Does it fail when there are less than X seconds of audio?

      The fact that the failure is intermittent is why I am leaning toward believing that it is something else within Audition.

      1. Hmm. No, it was definitely on the correct track β€” I was placing the playhead before trying to run the macro. You are almost certainly correct, in any case: it’s got to be something with Audition.

        The funny thing is,

        In any case, now the script doesn’t do the same thing twice in a row. Sometimes it lays down a marker; sometimes it goes through five seconds of playback; sometimes it records β€”Β often only one or two of those. But it never shuttles back.

        The keyboard shortcuts all work β€” I tested them out. It might be something about the key combo (I went with CMD-CTL-SHIFT-OPTION-LEFT ARROW) or something weird about my Mac (though I can’t think what), but it hasn’t worked since my very first test, which went perfectly.

        To be honest, I may switch back to recording in Twisted Wave just for this.

        1. You might want to try something with native Punch & Roll functionality, like Reaper. No matter how well the scripts work, native functionality will always be smoother. That said, I think my Audacity script is probably the most robust of the bunch.

          1. Yeah, I played around with Reaper β€” the learning curve is not inconsiderable, and I’m a book editor as well as an audiobook producer, so I had Audition anyway. Perhaps at this point my skills will have caught up with Reaper’s feature set. πŸ™‚

            In any case, thanks. I’ll keep trying. It’s weird; the script runs fine, but Audition seems not to be listening. Not sure what that’s about.

          2. Sometimes other apps can get in the way. I have a few small utilities that I need to deactivate before recording because they hijack shortcuts and other functionality from the front application.

  5. Does anyone have an equivalent script working with Windows 10 and Audition CC 2015? If so, please share. I haven’t even managed to discern the unscripted shortcut keys to press to set the location to start recording, move play head back X seconds, play until previously set location is reached, and commence recording. With those steps, I should be able to script or macro or something. Help, please! — Cat

  6. Hi Steven,
    Thanks so much for this. I have a basic question as I’m not use to adding scripts. I got the script working and that is great. How do I access this script when I’m working? Does that make sense, I’m not sure how else to say that :-).

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