I've loaded the tracks into Audition and applied no effects or anything to them, just started playback before doing any editing. For some reason the slightest breathing noises are insanely amplified, as if Audition is trying to bring them up to the normal volume of the rest of the track. There's another instance where I have to jack the volume up very high in a regular media player to hear a tiny breath, but in Audition it comes through as a loud pop. None of this is happening in Audacity. I haven't had this happen before and have no idea what's causing it.
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This looks as though it's in Multitrack view. Are you by any chance using the Podcast template? If you are, then try starting again using no template at all. The Podcast one has a load of weird settings pre-applied to it which screw up everything that you put in the session. Yes of course it should be removed, but unfortunately it's beyond my power to do so...
Yes, correct on both counts. So basically just don't use that template? I didn't realize it applied any effects and thought it just organized the tracks for labeling ("Host", "Interview", etc). Shame it screws up the audio, any suggestions on a similar but functioning template?
You could try removing all of the presets from the Podcast template and resaving it... and yes that really is what you'd need to do. To find all of these effects, just click on Track effects in the Effects rack, and work your way through each of the five tracks - including the Master track. That's basically seven effects you have to remove to get it back to a level playing field.
I was going to post a converted template here, to make it a bit easier, but for some reason the site won't let me. It should. I will have to look into that...