BIAS Inc.is Peak 4, their flagship stereo waveform editing application for Macintosh, is now available. Peak 4 offers quite a few new features, including support for Audio Unit plug-ins, an sample-based reverb called ImpulseVerb, support for Multi-processor Macs, CD burning from directly within the application, new DSP tools, a new compressor/limiter called Sqweez; plus a new brushed metal look to their GUI. Additionally, Peak 4 is now a Mac OS X-only application, allowing BIAS to focus on streamlining it for Mac OS X instead of keeping an eye on backwards compatibility. According to BIAS:
Pricing and Availability
Brand New Look and Feel
- A very Mac-like brushed metal background texture permeates much of the user interface, and many interface elements have been modified and relocated for improved ergonomics.
- The elements of the Contents Window, which stores a library of markers, loops and regions associated with all open audio files, are now accessible within each audio document, offering an ergonomic alternative to the Contents Window.
- Specific libraries can now be accessed from an audio document drawer that can either be open or closed. Names and locations of markers, loops and regions from within the drawer will automatically update in the audio document when edited inside the drawer. Additionally, the playback head insertion point can be initiated from within the drawer, making Peak?s playback navigation ultra-fast. The drawer also includes live cursor location information, which users can opt to appear in a transparent cursor overlay if they wish.
- The contents of the Cursor Palette window have also been relocated. Cursor mode buttons such as the Selection Tool, Magnifying Glass, and Pencil Tool are now ergonomically located in the top right hand side of the audio document window.
- The Toolbar can be resized into a number of different shapes and orientations, and the toolbar buttons are resizable from anywhere between 16 x 16 to 64 x 64 pixels, making the Toolbar easily visible on monitors from 12 to 23 inches.
- The Overview window can conveniently be shown or hidden via a disclosure triangle, and the audio document window itself features live resizing.
Pumped Up DSP Tools
- ImpulseVerb is an extremely high-quality reverb processing tool, that utilizes actual reverb impulse responses recorded in real spaces, such as performance halls, cathedrals, caves, and other spaces that have various reverberation qualities.
- An altivec-based convolution technology allows these natural reverb impulses to be applied to dry audio signals, giving the impression that a file was actually recorded in a particular environment.
- ImpulseVerb offers real time preview, so that the ideal settings can be found before processing.
- In addition, ImpulseVerb offers an editable Space envelope, which controls reverb length, as well as attack and decay characteristics, plus a Wet/Dry slider to control the amount of reverb being applied. Peak 4 includes over 230 megabytes of high-quality impulse responses from more than 150 real and physically modeled room environments, plus special effects ? each easily accessible from within ImpulseVerb?s integrated library, and users can import their own as desired.
- Harmonic Rotate literally puts a twist on your signal?s harmonics by rotating the frequency spectrum. The results are truly ear bending!
Peak 4 also adds a whole new level of control to some of the existing DSP functions. Dynamic envelope control has been added to the Time Compression/Expansion, Add, and Mix functions, allowing users to control the effect of these processes over time. Finally, a ?Magic Pencil Tool? has been added, making sample-level editing easy and instantaneous.
- Squeez is a mastering-quality dynamic compressor/limiter VST plug-in.
- A new Bit Usage display reveals true bit-depth resolution, as well as identifies any bit quantization or bit saturation.
Audio Units, Multi-threaded/MP, CD Burning and More
- Peak 4 is now fully multi-threaded and multi-processor capable. This means more processing speed, and no need to wait for most processes to finish before continuing to edit the current file or work on new files, as well as the ability to utilize both processors on MP machines.
- In addition to VST plug-ins, Peak 4 now supports Audio Units plug-ins. Several Audio Units plug-ins are included as part of OS X Jaguar ? including Bandpass, Delay, and others ? and are fully accessible from within the Peak 4 Audio Units plug-in menu.
- Users can mix and match both VST and Audio Units plug-ins via the 5 available inserts.
- As with Peak 3, version 4 includes over 25 VST plug-ins including BIAS Freq (a professional 4-band paragraphic EQ) and Vbox SE (a powerful VST effects matrix that makes even the most complex effects chains easy to create and manage on the fly).
- Peak 4 now burns fully Redbook-compatible audio CDs directly from within the application. CDs can either be burned from the Playlist, or directly from the audio document window (Roxio Toast Lite? is also included for users with legacy SCSI CD burners).
- A number of other enhancements include importing and auditioning of sub-segments from audio CD tracks, QuickTime movie looping, QuickTime movie playback during recording for dialog replacement, a Markers From Tempo feature, an audition option in the Open File dialog, and much more.
Peak 4.0 is available now through the BIAS Worldwide Network of Dealers and Distributors for a SRP of US$499. Upgrades to Peak 4 are just US$149 from previous versions of Peak. Customers who purchased Peak/Peak LE/Peak DV 3 after 4/1/03 may be entitled to a free upgrade. Version 4 of Peak LE and Peak DV are also available, and special crossgrade pricing to the full version will be offered for a limited time. For additional product information and upgrade pricing, or to download screen shots, visit the BIAS Website at www.bias-inc.com.