Ripping Audio Files off a Camcorder, onto a Mac, and Converting to Adobe Audition

I can see the frustration in your eyes, the stress starting to build. After hours of filming sounds for a project, you are finally ready to edit using Adobe Audition. You used a camcorder, and you followed the steps your instructor said about importing raw data into Audition, but the file format isn’t recognizable to Audition. You aren’t particularly interested in the video itself, but just the audio. Basically, you want to get all that raw footage into a format you can use and manipulate. You probably think this is near impossible, because camcorders are meant to capture video, right? But, alas, there is a way—and it’s even relatively easy! Let the fun begin…

The first thing you want to do is to download a file converting software to manipulate those files off your camcorder into a file type that Adobe Audition can use. When I did this for the first time, I simply Googled  “audio converter”. Because I’m using a Mac, it redirected me to the App Store where I downloaded a FREE app to convert the files. It’s called SmartConverter. You don’t need to download the ‘Pro’ version for $9.99 to get the application you need—in fact, the free ‘Lite’ version has better reviews anyway…

file converter

A view of the App Store and the program on a Mac

After you download it and install it, you’ll be directed to this interface screen after you launch the app:

app interface

The start screen for the application...

Now comes the harder part. Remove the SD card from your camcorder and plug it into the computer. Open the file to see all the raw footage. You’ll notice that you can’t just open these files. In fact, they’re mostly blocked until you ‘show all files’.  Here’s what mine looked like after I opened up the raw footage folder:

raw data

You want to navigate yourself to the point where you see a listing of all the raw footage you shot, in strange file forms. At this point, one at a time, drag the file into the SmartConverter application, and choose from the other menu ‘WAV audio’.


After you hit convert, you are going to see the converted file fly to iTunes (or your default media player). Before you move on, make sure you repeated this drag and convert process until all your files are in iTunes. It should make a list like this below all your songs:


Now and finally, you’re ready to import the data into Audition. In Audition, choose FILE, IMPORT, FILE:


Find your media in your Music folder:


And when you press OPEN, the files will import to Audition and you’re ready to start manipulating! Happy audio editing!

-Greg Drupp


~ by gdd7 on October 19, 2011.

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