Sample Editing, Processing, and Mastering Software Soars to New Heights 07/04/05
BIAS has announced Peak Pro 5, the fifth generation of its award-winning professional stereo recording, editing, mastering and delivery software. On the Macintosh platform, Peak is the established leader for professional dedicated stereo recording, sample editing, processing, mastering and delivery, and version 5 adds a host of new high-end features to the already robust feature set.
Additionally, an Extended Technology edition, Peak Pro XT 5, will also be available which features five brand-new BIAS plug-ins and BIAS SuperFreq 4-, 6-, 8-, and 10-band paragraphic EQ, as well as BIAS' highly acclaimed SoundSoap and SoundSoap Pro audio restoration plug-ins.
PEAK PRO 5
A number of new features make Peak Pro 5 even more powerful than previous versions, especially in the areas of mastering and professional CD preparation. Peak's playlist has been substantially re-vamped. In addition to the list view window, the Playlist includes a graphic waveform view featuring optional staggered or linear views with optimized Quartz-2D drawing and transparency, allowing crossfades and tracks to be adjusted visually. The Playlist also features unlimited undo/redo, as well as support for keyboard triggerable controls for auditioning and nudging, as well as bounce to multiple word lengths via POW-r dithering.
Peak Pro 5 now offers 100% replication-ready CD burning with ISRC entry, writing CD track indexes, PQ subcode editing, CD-Text, and other advanced features conforming to the full Redbook specification. Users of Peak 5 Pro will also soon be able to purchase an optional extension for DDP file export - making BIAS the only company offering a cost effective non-hardware dependent DDP authoring solution for the Mac. Many major record labels require mastering engineers to deliver their pre-masters in DDP format and the DDP Extension for Peak Pro 5 should be well received by the professionals worldwide.
Peak Pro 5 also includes a number of other significant new features. Vbox, Peak's intuitive graphic effects routing window, now supports Audio Units plug-ins as well as VST plug-ins. As in previous editions, plug-ins can alternatively be instantiated via the 5 available inserts. Also new for version 5 is support for VST and Audio Units instruments within both Vbox, and the plug-in inserts. Peak Pro 5 also offers instrument playback
via a dedicated keyboard window or from an external MIDI keyboard. Many of Peak's on-board DSP algorithms have been improved, including Change Pitch, Change Duration and Sample Rate Conversion, and new DSP items have been added such as Auto-Define Regions, Strip Silence and Envelope From Audio. Peak's popular convolution-based sampling reverb DSP function, ImpulseVerb, has a new brushed-metal 'skin' and now offers gain control for both impulse response and source.
Peak Pro 5 includes additional new features and enhancements, including a new high-resolution Tape Style Scrubbing via CoreAudio. The Batch File Processor now enables the preservation of file resolution and type. A new Recover Audio File command enables users to recover some damaged files, and the New Region Split command makes the region creation process faster and easier than before. Peak Pro 5 now includes support for Unicode, allowing the use of non-English file names, and support for file names longer than 32 characters has been added. Peak Pro 5 enables recording of files up to 10 GB, and an improved sample rate conversion algorithm ensures higher quality audio playback than previous versions. A new waveform drawing algorithm enables more audio phase information to be seen in the audio waveform display, and SMPTE HD units have been added to the time display. And lastly, Multimedia developers will appreciate the addition of Snap to CD Frames, PS2, Xbox Units, or Custom Expression Evaluator in the Actions menu.
PEAK PRO XT 5
Peak Pro XT 5 is an extended technology power bundle which includes three highly acclaimed BIAS plug-ins: SuperFreq 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-band paragraphic EQ - now with improved GUI, metering, and text entry - in addition to both SoundSoap and SoundSoap Pro, BIAS' high quality noise reduction and audio restoration plug-ins. What makes this bundle even more exciting is the addition of five incredible new full-featured BIAS plug-ins: Repli-Q, Sqweez-3 and -5, PitchCraft, Reveal, and GateEx.
Power and Precision of Linear Phase
Several plug-ins included in Peak Pro XT 5 are based on advanced linear phase equalization algorithms. By retaining the relative phase of the frequency components (partials), waveforms are preserved with high precision - resulting in a much more transparent, and faithful reproduction of the original material. Linear Phase filtering is especially important for preserving the sharpness of attacks - typically present in percussive content - but all material benefits dramatically.
EQ Matching with Repli-Q
As the name implies, Repli-Q's primary function is to match the equalization of one source to another target signal, but the flexibility offered in the plug in allows even more. By learning the EQ profiles of the source and target signal, Repli-Q allows the degree of matching and smoothing to be manipulated. In addition, the EQ profiles may be edited with an unlimited number of breakpoints, allowing greater customization and flexibility. Repli-Q not only provides a spectral matching function, but also the ability to improve an improperly equalized track. Users can also rely on Repli-Q to assist with mastering for different delivery targets. With a stereo mix equalized for delivery in a compressed file format such as MP4 (AAC), Repli-Q can help repurpose it for CD or DVD and can also help ensure equally optimized playback in multiple listening environments. Other applications include voice-over matching where an original take recorded in one environment and an overdub recorded in a different environment need to match. Repli-Q employs a linear phase equalization algorithm to ensure optimum results. A gain compensation feature compensates for loudness variations through equalization, and a soft clip button offers limiting to avoid signal clipping.
Multiband Compression with Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5
Peak Pro 5 includes the same high quality compression/limiter plug-in from Peak 4 - Sqweez. With Peak Pro XT 5, two powerful multiband compression/limiter plug-ins are included - Sqweez-3 (3 band) and Sqweez-5 (5 band). Like Repli-Q, both Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5 incorporate advanced new linear phase equalization algorithms from BIAS. Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5 both offer graphic per-band viewing/editing of threshold and EQ. Each band may be solo'd and/or bypassed individually, and a convenient 'auto gain' button compensates for loudness variations due to compression. Additionally, a variable 'digital ceiling' slider controls the clipping headroom of the integrated soft clip function.
Advanced Pitch Correction and More with PitchCraft
PitchCraft is a real-time pitch correction/transposition plug-in that also offers the ability to manipulate the signal to achieve creative effects. Professionals can rely on PitchCraft to fix out-of-tune vocals or other single voice instruments easily and with minimal artifacts, thanks to a powerful new pitch-shifting algorithm. The user interface offers intuitive controls with a useful graph that displays the original pitch over time against the corrected signal. Tuning, scale, and key can be tailored for specific needs. Custom scales may be entered directly or via a MIDI controller keyboard, and a handy tuning meter helps provide feedback during parameter adjustment. Transposition can be made independently of correction, and an independent formant shifting slider is also included. Using a combination for transposition and pitch correction by scale type, users can create harmony parts from a single melody line, and independent formant shifting is offered to transform voice genders with or without pitch shifting. Using other combinations of controls, humorous, eerie, and even supernatural effects can be obtained, making PitchCraft a great sound design tool as well.
Professional Audio Analysis with Reveal
BIAS has significantly advanced the paradigm of audio analysis tools with Reveal, another new plug-in included with Peak Pro XT 5. Reveal combines seven powerful tools in a single plug-in interface - Oscilloscope, Peak and RMS Power History, Spectrogram, Pan Power, Spectral Analysis, Lissajous Phase Scope and Peak and RMS Level Meters. An 'all' view displays every tool in a single window. Additionally, users can select any tool as desired via a tab style interface, or simply click on a tool to expand its view. Users can enable or disable individual tools as desired, and a global freeze display feature is also included.
Gate and Downward Expand with GateEx
There is no denying the plethora of power offered in Peak Pro XT 5, but the package wouldn't be complete without a dedicated noise gate. Enter GateEx, a new professional quality Gate/Expander plug-in. Featuring waveform and graph displays and a suite of advanced parameter controls, GateEx effectively removes signals below an assignable threshold while the integrated downward expander helps reduce residual unwanted content. Used along with the included SoundSoap and SoundSoap Pro audio restoration tools, or by itself to gate snare drum hits or areas of near silence between vocal or instrument passages, GateEx is an excellent compliment to the high-end Peak Pro XT 5 plug-in toolset.
Pricing & Availability
Peak Pro 5, and Peak Pro XT 5 will be available Q2 2005 through the worldwide network of authorized BIAS dealers and distributors. Peak Pro 5 will have an SRP of $599 US and Peak Pro XT 5 will have a suggested retail price of $1199 US. Customers who purchased the full edition of Peak before April 1, 2005 can upgrade to Peak Pro 5 for $179 US. Customers who purchase the full version of Peak after April 1, 2005 can upgrade to Peak Pro 5 for a nominal fee of $39 US. Upgrade pricing from other editions of Peak and crossgrade pricing to Peak Pro XT 5 will be announced at a later date.