|Page (1) of 1 - 05/29/09||email article||print page|
Bias Peak Pro XT 6 for MacintoshPowerful set of audio production and mastering software
Bias Peak Pro XT 6 is a powerful set of audio production and mastering software applications for the Mac. You can create and master music, mix audio, fix bad sound, and so much more. This is unbelievably great software and should be a part of every Mac audio professional's digital toolbox.
When I installed Peak Pro XT 6 and began registering the software, I wasn't fully prepared for the sheer amount of software I had on my Mac! The applications include:
- Peak Pro 6: This powerful app allows you to edit, process and delivery stereo audio in a non-destructive environment. Tons of cool features to get your music or audio in shape and delivered.
- SoundSoap 2: This pretty much helps save bad audio; you can use it as a standalone app, VST plug-in, or RTAS. I bought SoundSoap 2 separately two years ago to clean up some audio, and I found the standalone application to be an excellent tool to help remove unwanted sound. In my case, it was to clean up background noise from a scene in a movie I directed.
- SoundSoap Pro: The functionality is the same, but you have much more power with SoundSoap Pro vs. SoundSoap 2. There are three tools to reduce and restore bad audio: Broadband, Click and Crackle, and Hum and Rumble. I felt a little bit more comfortable using this because I have more power. But SoundSoap 2 is also great!
- Master Perfection Suite: Six plug-ins to master your sound, or help with sound design. Great controls and really helps to sharpen or fix audio.
Working with Peak Pro XT 6 Pro
Since I'm a video guy first, audio guy second, I worked with some colleagues who use audio creation, editing, and mastering software every day. One of my friends brought some basic sound tracks he recorded a while ago, and we fired up Peak Pro 6. We did some editing and mixing, and we are impressed with the results. I also played around with some songs on my MacBook.
The Interface is fantastic and a lot easier to use that I had previously thought. It's loaded with great tools to edit, I can visually monitor the audio, mix my sound, and more. Then I can deliver in pretty much any digital format, or create and burn a simple CD.
For the heck of it, I plugged in a microphone into a special USB adapter and used Peak Pro 6 to record myself talking. Nothing spectacular, but it sounded better than some consumer and even pro apps I've used to record my voice in the past (usually for instructional videos, so the sound needs to be crisp).
I'm barely scratching the surface here, but Peak Pro 6 is definitely a must-have app for audio professionals. Get more details at http://bias-inc.com/products/peakPro6/.
SoundSoap 2 and SoundSoap Pro
You can open either of these apps in Peak Pro 6, or you can open SoundSoap 2 as a separate app. I also noticed SoundSoap Pro in Final Cut Pro 6 under Audio Filters, but it doesn't have the nice visual interface like it does in Peak Pro 6. But it's nice to know I don't have to export my bad audio and import it into SoundSoap 2.
Working with SoundSoap 2 is very easy. I launched the standalone app and then opened some bad audio. There's two windows, one that shows the bad audio and the other shows the good audio. Hit play and then press Learn Noise, and SoundSoap 2 will start to fix it. From there you can make other adjustments, whether it's to remove pops, hiss, hum, etc. Play around with the controls until you're satisfied, then export. I also recommend watching the instructional movie: http://bias-inc.com/downloads/videos/soundsoap2/movie.php.
Below are two examples of audio that was compromised due to a transformer whose hum was loud. Though I was able to correct it, the actor with the softer voice was lost, so I had him re-loop it. The echo is due to the fact that they were walking down an outdoor hallway in a business plaza. Lots of echo that day, along with the hum.
|The clip above is a raw clip. The clip below, the 'After' clip includes fixed sound, voice re-loop, cutaways, sound fx, and color correction. (c) MPS Digital Studios.|
Master Perfection Suite
These are very cool plug-ins for the Mac (and also Windows) that include:
- PitchCraft: Pitch correct and sound design for vocals. This is great fun, because you can make your voice sound like almost anything: robot, monster, etc.
- Reveal: Analyzes your mix to make sure everything is fine. It kind of reminds me of a video waveform monitor, which shows you potential problems you might not otherwise notice.
- SuperFreq: Paragraphic equalizer.
- GateEx: Gate/expander.
- Sqweez-3 and "5: Linear phase multi-band processor
- Repli-Q: Match spectral qualities of two different audio clips.
My colleagues enjoyed working with these plug-ins while I probably had too much fun with PitchCraft. These are important plug-ins to help edit, create, and analyze your music or audio.
Buying these apps separately will cost much more than the bundle found in Peak Pro XT 6, which has an SRP (suggested retail price) of $1199, though I've seen it for less. Even if you're not a full-time audio person and/or musician, but you're editing video, I highly recommend this bundle. Get more information at http://bias-inc.com/products/peakProXt6/.
Heath McKnight is a filmmaker and author who has produced and directed several independent feature and short films, including Hellevator, 9:04 AM and December. He is currently web content manager for doddleNEWS. Heath was also a contributor to VASST's best-selling book, "The FullHD," and has written for TopTenREVIEWS and Videomaker.
Related Keywords:Bias Peak Pro XT 6 review, audio editing, audio sweetening, audio professional