No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

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thighpilot
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No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by thighpilot » 07 Jun 2012, 11:16

Now that BIAS has closed up shop, I'm wondering what are other Peak users going to switch to?

I've been a Peak user for a good many years. I'd invested in it so basically I stuck with it through Peak 7, which was kind of a mistake if you ask me. I was totally unimpressed with 7, but that's completely irrelevant now. I, like a few others I assume, am on the hunt for a new mastering suite.

I was a WaveLab user back in the 3.x days. Not necessarily thrilled with the thought of going back to it even with the Mac version. Also, the thought of an eLicenser dongle makes me want to puke since I just did a big push to remove everything iLok related from my studio. At least eLicenser is nowhere near the extortion level that the iLok is. I don't really care for WaveLab's new layout either, but if it's the best option I may just bite the bullet. I haven't decided yet.

I use a combination of software and analog hardware in my mastering chain so the ability to easily integrate with external hardware is a must for me.

I already have a good suite of DSP powered plugins as well as a good analysis suite so that isn't quite so important that it be part of the suite. But some of my requirements are:
  • DDP Export
    Easy plugin auditioning with global bypass
    Excellent dithering and sample rate conversion
    Audio restoration w/ noise reduction
    Intuitive playlist / montage creation
    Ability to save entire plugin chains
My Nice to haves would be:
  • global plugin bypass
    No USB dongle (almost a deal breaker for me)
    Support for Core Audio Format (CAF) files
    Hopefully doesn't look like crap
I've kinda written off SoundBlade as well as Audiofile Engineering's Wave Editor. Wave Editor didn't seem to have all the features or workflow that I was looking for. I downloaded a demo of DSP Quattro but the demo apparently has I/O restrictions so I can't properly test it with my analog hardware. WaveLab 7 requires an eLicenser for the demo, so obviously I can't properly demo that either (thumbs up Steinberg, way to go)

Are there any other options that people are looking at that I should look in to also? I'm pretty open at this point. Thanks.
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by G » 07 Jun 2012, 13:22

I was happy with Peak since 2.0. Luckily (now), I bailed on Bias after version 4, being equally unimpressed with several things about the software, the "support", and more recently, the company. I'd even been a "high roller" with the Peak TDM version, which never had an upgrade path to anywhere (except Crashtown).

I picked up Wave Editor in 2008. It's solid and clean for trims and quick changes, and it's definitely worth a try for those interested. But I'd agree about workflow issues. Great shortcuts for some things, strangely lacking for others. Not much change in 3 years (some would argue that's good). If you grab the demo, try doing something deeper like removing a long intro and extended bridge from a song. The playlist system had me cursing so much, I felt like I was using MS Word. Maybe that's just me coming from Soundesigner way back.

I'm giving DSP-Quattro another try right now with version 4. I don't know enough about it to recommend yet, but we are getting along very well so far.
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by gdoubleyou » 08 Jun 2012, 06:29

Recently I started using more of the features, of Iced Audio's Audiofinder.
Currently using it to work on some old sample CDs, converting to EXS instruments and Apple loops.

Still not sure if I need another app, but I'm giving it a try.

8)
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by thighpilot » 11 Jun 2012, 07:17

Looks like DSP Quattro is running a special through June for owners of Bias Peak.

http://www.dsp-quattro.com/dspquattro/Site/News.html

$49.00 is pretty much a no-brainer. I went ahead and took advantage of it. It's worth it to me to just have it as a secondary option if I decide on something else.
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by Loopy C » 11 Jun 2012, 21:03

Yep, at that price you can't possibly regret it...it does so many things you should at the very least get your money's worth!

I own Wave Editor, Wavelab, Audio Finder, Sample Manager, Sound Grinder Pro, and god know what else at this point and I still get continual daily use and value from DSPQ ;-)
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by thighpilot » 14 Jun 2012, 12:18

Just to give everyone an update, I decided to go with Wavelab 7. Not that I am overjoyed about it, but it just seemed to have the features I wanted and integration with my analog hardware that I was looking for. I'll probably just keep that on my studio machine and use DSP Quattro for misc editing and processing on my laptop. That way I don't need to carry that PoS eLicenser dongle around. I'll probably be ceremoniously smashing the disk on the ground in a month or two, we'll see ;)

A little note on DSP Quattro, it seems I found a bug with the way it processes audio coming back from an analog chain in to a plugin that induces latency. This means I can't use DSP Quattro in my current mastering workflow until it's fixed. On another note, I do have to say Stefano's responses to support requests are absolutely amazing. I'd even go so far as to say the best ever in my dealings. I wish every company was as good. I have every confidence that the issue will be fixed.

I am certainly happy with my purchase of DSP Quattro and have no problems recommending the product that's for sure. It'll find a nice spot in my studio toolkit for sure.
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by roman » 15 Jun 2012, 13:54

why do people always immediately stop using a software only because it is no longer sold?
steinberg ist heilbar.

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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by thighpilot » 15 Jun 2012, 22:23

roman wrote:why do people always immediately stop using a software only because it is no longer sold?
The company is no longer doing business which means there is no longer support. I think the answer to that question is why would you use a piece of software that you count on everyday that has no support? You are one issue away from having a non-functional piece of software. BIAS Peak has an authorization system that has crashed on me in the past in the middle of doing something, hence locking up my authorization. Without being able to contact support there is no resolution to that issue, which means you are down permanently.

On another note, I am absolutely not impressed with Wavelab 7. Within less than 15 minutes of use I have found a show stopping bug. Apparently using Wavelab 7 in combination with external analog gear works fine until you hit the bypass on the master section and try to switch to another wav file. You know, to do something common sense like a comparison. Basically it will lock of Wavelab and crash. Also, I've noticed that the Blue Cat Analysis suite that I use also does not work with Wavelab 7. It's apparently a known issue so I'm hoping that Blue Cat fixes the issue. I already sent an email to Blue Cat support and I am going to report the other bug to Steinberg tomorrow. So far Wavelab is totally not worth it.

It's absolutely insane that you can't just buy a product and have it function as advertised, especially something that's supposed to be mature like Wavelab.
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by stringtapper » 20 Jun 2012, 10:41

Dammit when did this happen?! Did Bias send out an email or anything?

I stuck with them versions 4-7, mostly out of comfort.

:(
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by thighpilot » 20 Jun 2012, 20:42

stringtapper wrote:Dammit when did this happen?! Did Bias send out an email or anything?
Nope, not a peep. I had to find out about it on Twitter then when I went to their page they had the nice "Thank you for giving us your money over the years, now you are screwed" message.
stringtapper wrote:I stuck with them versions 4-7, mostly out of comfort.

:(
Yeah, it wasn't as bad for me because on my end it was for was only version 6 and 7, but still enough to be irritating. I, like you, stuck with them out of comfort. Peak 7 was EXTREMELY buggy. I actually had Peak 7 crash on me in the middle of a mastering session and say it wasn't authorized and wouldn't run anymore. When I went to the Bias authorization manager it said everything was authorized including all of my plugins except for Peak 7. It was stupid. I was hoping they would release some updates to address the stability issues but obviously that didn't happen.

If anything this fiasco kicked me in to making a decision on looking for an alternative. Which will hopefully be a positive thing in the end. The jury is still out.
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by roman » 21 Jun 2012, 05:21

thighpilot wrote:I think the answer to that question is why would you use a piece of software that you count on everyday that has no support?
okay i understand the problem with re-authorisation as a fundamental form of support.

but i dont think that a company all of a sudden will stop helping you with this.

i could imagine that in the case of BIAS they will simply either make their product free
for all, or sell it to someone else who will continue with the support and/or development.
You are one issue away from having a non-functional piece of software.
this might be a radical example, but i still use OS9 sometimes in order to not
loose the functionality of certain legacy products which i like.

so that no support will immediately render to product to nonfunctional is just
not true, it is up to you if you buy new hardware every 3 months or not.

if you do not plan to upgrade from 10.7 to 10.8 you should be fine with your peak
app for quite a while, just like i am fine with developing custom pluggo plugins
10.4 and using them on 10.7 - or using my powercore PCI.
things which are no longer supported since 4 years, but still work if you dont change
other states in your setup. :)
On another note, I am absolutely not impressed with Wavelab 7.
yeah, i know what you mean. :)

but i havent beem very impressed with peak and many other editors either,
because i fail to see why such programs could be better than doing the same
in nuendo, cubase, or protools.

sure, if you need DDP export and things like that, you have a reason to get
panic attacks, because that wouldmean you have to buy one of the two
other alternatives.
otoh, if there is a market for it, there should be a solution soon.
steinberg ist heilbar.

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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by thighpilot » 21 Jun 2012, 10:59

roman wrote: okay i understand the problem with re-authorisation as a fundamental form of support.

but i dont think that a company all of a sudden will stop helping you with this.
Well, I don't know who would be around to give the support. When a company closes up shop there is nobody around to provide support. If a company isn't selling a product and making money they sure can't afford support personnel. To me that's a huge issue because I find bugs in audio software all of the time. Peak 7 was pretty buggy which means that nobody is around to fix the issues and there is no hope of future fixes. If you are invested in software you expect a certain level of service.
roman wrote: i could imagine that in the case of BIAS they will simply either make their product free
for all, or sell it to someone else who will continue with the support and/or development.
Let's hope so. They have given no indication that they plan on making the product free, which wouldn't help my situation anyway, or selling it off. Their new anti-clip technology was kind of cool, I'm surprised someone hasn't swallowed them up. We'll have to wait and see on that.
roman wrote: this might be a radical example, but i still use OS9 sometimes in order to not
loose the functionality of certain legacy products which i like.

so that no support will immediately render to product to nonfunctional is just
not true, it is up to you if you buy new hardware every 3 months or not.
You are misquoting me a bit, I never said that no support would render a product non-functional. What it is, is a ticking time bomb. Why would you wait until the last minute to address the obvious issue? It's fine if you have things that are non-critical, but if you count on a piece of software on a daily basis that's a different story. Telling your clients you have to cancel their sessions or letting deadlines slip isn't very professional. I just prefer to address things before they become issues ;)

In the end it's all what works best for you and how much risk you are willing to accept. I'd rather keep the risk to a minimum.
roman wrote: if you do not plan to upgrade from 10.7 to 10.8 you should be fine with your peak
app for quite a while, just like i am fine with developing custom pluggo plugins
10.4 and using them on 10.7 - or using my powercore PCI.
things which are no longer supported since 4 years, but still work if you dont change
other states in your setup. :)
I like to stay fairly cutting edge. If you aren't upgrading your system you aren't able to take advantage of things like increased memory and speed, 64bit processing, and even things as simple as better graphics. Not to mention, I am a big Logic user. Not sure what the requirements are going to be for the next version of Logic but it's important enough to me that if I had to upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion to use it I would. It isn't important or necessary for everyone, but it is for me. Everyone has a different setup so it's all what works best for you.
roman wrote: yeah, i know what you mean. :)

but i havent beem very impressed with peak and many other editors either,
because i fail to see why such programs could be better than doing the same
in nuendo, cubase, or protools.
I can certainly agree with the not being very impressed part, but maybe I can shed some light on why you would use a stereo wav editor vs your standard DAW.

If you are just talking about adding some final EQ and volume to a mix then a DAW is just fine. There are many more activities in the finalization of a group of tracks than just adding EQ and volume. You have track layouts and the delivery mechanisms as well. Many of them have audio analysis tools built right in that will analyze the audio for various audio problems and provide correction. They also have analysis features that can tell you average volume and other things that help when compiling a group of audio tracks.

Another thing is that the focused wav editors typically have many more features and focus than a full DAW. The typical wav editors in many DAW's are severely lacking at best.

I do some field recording as well and create samples for various synths and samplers. Trying to use a DAW to do all of the processing and editing for those samples would be extremely cumbersome at best. Also if you create loops for loop libraries or for your own songs nothing beats a stereo wav editor not to mention things like Wavelab and Peak have features built in just for this purpose.
roman wrote: sure, if you need DDP export and things like that, you have a reason to get
panic attacks, because that wouldmean you have to buy one of the two
other alternatives.
otoh, if there is a market for it, there should be a solution soon.
You'd think so and I hope you are right. The audio software market is a scary beast. Under the surface you find that instead of an entire team dedicated to working on the software there is one guy. What if he gets hit by a bus tomorrow? Would that be the end of the product? In many cases I am afraid the answer may be yes. My fingers are crossed. Until then gonna have to use workarounds in Wavelab :(
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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by Lustmord » 13 Jul 2012, 19:02

First I've heard of this.

Been using Peak for yeas as I'm quick and comfortable with it (Sound Designer II prior to Peak), but I stuck with v5 as later versions became unreliable and annoying. Been looking out for a replacement but nothing has really gotten my attention.

Anybody using Adobe's Audition ? And what are these supposed rumors (teasers ?) about Sound Forge ?

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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by G » 13 Jul 2012, 19:12

I'm actually excited about the Tuseday's announcement of Wave Editor 2.0, now renamed "Triumph" (because they can). No doubt that the features will rock. I just hope they come through with improved workflow.

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Re: No more BIAS Peak, Now what?

Post by glennfreeman » 03 Aug 2012, 10:43

I've been using Peak Pro exclusively (along with a few Waves plugins) since 1998, so this is a big shock. Will Logic, Nuendo, ProTools, Wavelab, etc. be able to offer ALL the features I need below?

1. stereo recording at 96khz|24bit (edirol ua-25ex to macbook pro)
2. advanced playlist editor (to seamlessly edit 100s of 96khz|24bit fragments into one track)
3. built-in advanced noise reduction (soundsoap pro)
4. waves au plugin compatibility (s1, l1, trueverb, etc.)
5. flexible mastering/editing (advanced pitch, speed, gain and layering) at 96kHz|24bit without a special interface
6. 10.8 compatibility

Let me know if anything can replace Peak Pro based on what is most important to me? If I need to use more than one piece of software what seems the best option in order to have ALL the above features I have come to expect with Peak Pro?

I'll use Peak Pro until it stops working but would love to explore an alternative.

Glenn Freeman
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