In May 1997 I reviewed a then-new Macintosh two-track editing program called BIAS Peak (PAR, 5/97, p. 72). Peak has since grown into a sophisticated, full-featured software application. With the release of Version 2.03, BIAS has added a plethora of new features and functionality to Peak ($299). Let’s take a quick look.
BIAS Peak UpgradeAs we went to press, BIAS announced the release of Peak 2.1. The main feature in this upgrade is support for Audio Stream Input Output (ASIO). The ASIO standard enables audio manufacturers to write optimized drivers for their hardware. This in turn provides better communication with the audio software for increased system performance.
Another big feature in Peak 2.1 is 96 kHz sampling rates. Without question, 96k is quickly becoming an industry standard. Also new is a recording-timer. This function allows users to set a specific amount of recording time.
Other features in Peak 2.1 include the ability to record into an existing audio document, new batch file function, improvements to the loop tuner and the DSP window size may be changed. For users of Peak’s TDM edition, there is now lightning fast support for Apple’s G4 computer.
-J. Arif Verner
BIAS has redesigned Peak’s interface in this upgrade. Along the bottom of the screen is an Info Strip, which shows the numeric location of the cursor, a time display with elapsed time and a pair of level meters. On the top is a floating toolbar with small command icons. Customizing the toolbar is a simple process. For users who prefer keyboard shortcuts, these can be customized as well.
In the center of the screen is the main audio file window. This is where waveform editing takes place. Like previous versions of Peak, there are unlimited levels of undo and the program may contain multiple windows for each file opened. Why can’t all DAWs do this?
A small, floating cursor palette proves useful with four different cursor styles – in addition to the standard arrow, the magnifying glass zooms into the waveform. Once there, the hand tool nudges the waveform to the right or left. To redraw at the sample level, use the pencil tool. Two other controls on the cursor palette handle loop functions and blending crossfades.
Peak now supports playlists for CD burning. Once a region list is arranged, start and end times may be adjusted, regions crossfaded, gain settings adjusted and the amount of silence between regions designated. When the playlist is completed, bounce it to disk as a final mix. Adaptec’s CD burning program, Toast, comes bundled with Peak. By selecting ÎBurn to Disk’ from Peak’s menu, Toast is ready to turn the bounced file into a CD.
Keep in mind that Peak shines in the area of DSP processing. Included in the program is a broad range of built-in effects. In addition, Peak supports real-time preview and playback of Adobe Premiere and AudioSuite plug-ins. For Pro Tools users, BIAS has a TDM version ($499) of Peak that runs Digidesign’s TDM architecture. Very cool indeed.
Engineers working in film and multimedia will appreciate Peak’s ability to import QuickTime video for sound- track editing. Peak accurately synchronizes the audio to video with better-than-frame accuracy. Also new, Ensoniq PARIS files are supported in addition to MP3 and RealAudio files with the appropriate encoders.
There are too many other new features to go into detail here, but before I forget, there is additional SMDI sampler support, new DSP effects, support for 24- and 32-bit files and a new and improved Loop Surfer and Loop Tuner. Peak 2.03 is also rock-solid. No more bugs or crashes as in earlier versions. And best of all, BIAS has lowered the price several hundred dollars since my first review. What more can I say except, fire it up and get to work!
Contact BIAS at 800-775-2427.