I;m a lil new to audition, I've played with it before but am now considering it since I edit video in Premiere pro.
So, if I want to graduate from recording audio straight to cam and buy a firewire solution can I record to a laptop through audition ??? Is it going to be worth the effort ??? and if Audition can do field audio for film, is there a timecode feature for synching in the audio in post ???
If you are using the "OnLocation" product in CS3 to record direct from your camera to a laptop, you will not be able to record audio into Audition on the same laptop (at least not that I have found). OnLocation can record audio directly through the mic input on the laptop, but when it switches to the firewire port for the camera it appears to turn the other port off, so you can't use the line-in or mic input with something like a wireless mic.
I presume from your request that you've got a consumer or prosumer camera that doesn't allow you to mount an external mic. When we shoot, we have a Canon XL-1 with microphone inputs and a consumer JVC with the onboard microphone, and no way to attach another. When we can't shoot with the Canon due to scheduling conflicts, we use a second laptop running Audition 3, and send the input from our stage mic or wireless into it.
Audition thankfully does allow for SMPTE timecode, but because you are recording a separate audio track (and in our practice, it's also on a separate machine), you'd be wise to adopt that old Hollywood method of creating a sync sound of some kind. A simple slate clapped worked fine for ages, and with digital technology, it's a fairly easy matter to sync the sound from the audio track to the same sound on the camera. Once that is done, you can set an in-point on the clips and everything should sync 100%. If you simply rely on the timecode, you may get variances due to camera spin-up and operator error (i.e. the cameraman and the audio recorder don't hit the button at exactly the same time) and so there's going to be an offset.
Even though this sound like a great deal more complication, I've found that Audition recording just audio can run effectively on a less powerful (or older model) laptop, which doesn't need to be as expensive as something you'd use for live video capture. Additionally, with USB thumb drives in the 4GB and 8GB range reaching almost "disposable" prices you can record to these for hours, and easily swap them between takes if they start to fill up. They also are easily moved to the editing bay (whether it be desktop or the video laptop), rather than having to have a huge onboard drive or external mega-disk.
Note that we are a Windows based shop (CS3 OnLocation is, last I looked, only available on Windows) and doing this with a Mac will likely have some variances. In principal, however, the same rules for shooting and syncing the soundtrack ought to apply.
Larry S. Evans II
Digital I Productions