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Rick Reineke

Bias maker of Peak/Peak Pro, Sound Soap closes

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Bias - the maker of Peak and Peak Pro and the noise reduction plug-in 'Sound Soup' closed shop. Peak was a well regarded audio editing software for the Mac platform.

Apparently this just happened within the last couple of days. It can be confirmed by visiting the Bias website at: http://www.bias-inc.com. Which states:

"BIAS, Inc. has ceased operations. We would like to thank all the BIAS customers and friends for the opportunity to have served the audio community for over 16 amazing years.

The BIAS Authorization Manager Server is functioning for authorizing and de-authorizing BIAS products at this time."

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Jeepers. The Berkleys were good people, and their flagship - which I believe was the first editor to offer usable scrubbing and things like that - is still a powerful editor. They also were the ones who finally got the UI right on a multiband expansion noise reducer, with their SoundSoap Pro.

I wonder what happened?

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Maybe they were acquired by somebody and can't disclose it (yet). Short of something really bad, I would think they would at least sell the assets/products.

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This was Steve Berkley's (CEO and President, BIAS Inc.) comment in the Created Digtal Music forum on Thurs. June 7.

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2012/06/bias-makers-of-peak-cease-operations-mac-audio-editor-alternatives/

"Greetings:

We understand that many people are surprised at the closing of BIAS and have questions as to the reason why. Please understand that we are not at liberty to discuss those reasons in detail since they concern matters of individual privacy. However, the conduct of certain employees resulted in disruptive interpersonal relationships which damaged morale and interfered with high functioning at a time when market pressures required that the company perform at an optimum level.

Despite the high quality of our products and team, the disruption contributed to a lack of sales and marketing effectiveness that was fatal to the company. Our products remain among the best in the industry, and we are exploring various avenues that we hope will result in our customers still receiving the benefit of the products they have valued in the past. We appreciate your past patronage as well as your patience and support as we move through this difficult period."

Steve Berkley

CEO and President, BIAS Inc.

Member, Marin Audio Technology LLC

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Whoa! I just read this now. I'm a big fan of BIAS products. I used Sound Soap Pro and I used Peak a LOT in my last video game gig. Both were really quality products. This is really sad to hear. I hope they can regroup and come back from this.

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Whoa! I just read this now. I'm a big fan of BIAS products. I used Sound Soap Pro and I used Peak a LOT in my last video game gig. Both were really quality products. This is really sad to hear. I hope they can regroup and come back from this.

Buy the company... :-)

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I think they couldn't compete against Pro Tools dropping their prices, plus competition from companies like Adobe. Note that Avid (corporate owner of Pro Tools) has also posted some serious losses in the last couple of years.

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Buy the company... :-)

Ha! I don't think so. We stick with things that don't involve software, electrical components, or anything that requires a computer to operate. Makes service and customer support WAY easier.

I think people are/were getting tired of Pro Tools just costing so much, and I personally know a lot of people that moved from Pro Tools to other DAW's for their main work horse because of that, and lowering the cost on Pro Tools didn't bring them back. Yeah, the big post houses use Pro Tools, but lots of people in the video game industry have moved away from PT, and lots of freelance guys have moved away from PT. I sold off my PT rig a while ago before it became worthless. I've always used Pro Tools because that's what I've always known inside and out, but I'm not opposed to using something else. I used PEAK a lot for simpler things that didn't require a ton of tracks, plus its batch processing tool was great.

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I think people are/were getting tired of Pro Tools just costing so much

1) Go to your local Community College

2) Sign up for an interesting course for, say, $200 (I signed up for advanced ProTools)

3) Go online to the CC's preferred software reseller (probably eFollett)

4) Buy the student version of ProTools 10 (it's a full version with iLock and four, count 'em four, years of free upgrades included)...

FOR $299! (plus shipping)

(You can then cancel the class if you'd like and get a refund...)

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1) Go to your local Community College

2) Sign up for an interesting course for, say, $200 (I signed up for advanced ProTools)

3) Go online to the CC's preferred software reseller (probably eFollett)

4) Buy the student version of ProTools 10 (it's a full version with iLock and four, count 'em four, years of free upgrades included)...

FOR $299! (plus shipping)

(You can then cancel the class if you'd like and get a refund...)

Hmmm...I wonder if I can get a student discount on apple products if I do that same thing...

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Jim, does the Pro Tools Academic license allow you to use Pro Tools on commercial work? IIRC, at least some academic software does prohibit such use. Also, doesn't signing up for and then dropping a class...all so you can save money on software...feel cheesy?

Dave, these days the Apple student/education discount is pretty minimal. Like maybe $100 off a MacBook Pro and $80 off AppleCare. Having two daughters in college, I'm fairly familiar with the discount.

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/campaigns/education_pricing

Back to BIAS, here's a brief article from a blog associated with a local paper. Has a couple quotes from former BIAS employee, Jason Davies.

http://www.petaluma360.com/article/20120612/community/120619896

I was/am acquainted with several folks who were at BIAS. Have heard a couple rumors about the company's closing, but don't really know what went down. Hope everyone lands on their feet.

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I think people are/were getting tired of Pro Tools just costing so much, and I personally know a lot of people that moved from Pro Tools to other DAW's for their main work horse because of that, and lowering the cost on Pro Tools didn't bring them back.

I was trained and certified on Pro Tools in 2005, then after some research decided to go with Digital Performer when building my home studio (I felt it had the most comparable workflow to PT). At the time, a functioning version of Pro Tools LE for post purposes (yet still very limited and intentionally crippled) would cost you at least $2500-$3000 for the hardware, software and DV Toolkit. I went with Digital Performer and got unlimited tracks, full TC and OMF/AAF functionality, multiple quicktime movie support, auto delay compensation, punches and streamers, full surround support up to 10.2, best MIDI and scoring features in the business, no hardware lock or interface requirements, and loads more for $499 - I fell in love and never looked back. I've since completed many commercial projects using Digital Performer and none of my clients have ever cared what software I used. As is often repeated 'round these parts: it's not the gear, it's the ears! =)

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Hmmm...I wonder if I can get a student discount on apple products if I do that same thing...

Yup...

:)

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Jim, does the Pro Tools Academic license allow you to use Pro Tools on commercial work? IIRC, at least some academic software does prohibit such use. Also, doesn't signing up for and then dropping a class...all so you can save money on software...feel cheesy?

It might have if I wasn't taking the ProTools class but I can handle a little cheese to save a bunch of dollars. Consider that you could also get Avid Media Composer for $300-400 for a saving of about $1K.

There's nothing in the license that precludes using the software on commercial work. The logic behind it (and I have this from someone at Adobe many years ago) is that they might not make as much off you up front but you'll probably spend a boatload of money buying upgrades over the next couple of decades, and all that upgrade money goes right to them. I'm working off a Photoshop educational license that dates back to Version 3.0 so they've made a lot of upgrade money off me now that I'm on Version 12 (CS5) and soon to upgrade to Version 13 (CS6).

And Jim Feeley's right, the student discount from Apple isn't all that great, but if you buy a "refurbished" unit from them coupled with the student (or other type) discount it can be pretty good. Their refurb things are excellent and the two refurb units I bought from Apple (an iPad and a MacBook Pro) could not have been distinguished from new IMO, with full warranty. There might also be a business/association discount available to you from Apple depending on what you belong to.

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I used BIAS stuff for awhile. PEAK mostly for mastering or very minor editing and SoundSoap to clean. I found the iZotope restoration plugz blew SoundSoap out of the water (as well as most other restoration warez) and PEAK has been replaced by a couple of free progz for those rare easy edits.

Softwarez come and go especially by small companies and most especially if there's turmoil among the ranks. BIAS had a good run though. Hope they can all retire off of it :)

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For me, when I did game audio, I did LOTS of batch processing, and PEAK was the only program that could handle what I threw at it. I tried Sound Forge, but the plug-ins weren't as good, and it froze on me half the time.

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Buy the student version of ProTools 10 (it's a full version with iLock and four, count 'em four, years of free upgrades included)... FOR $299! (plus shipping)

Jim is right -- the student/educational version of Pro Tools 10 is only $299. I bought the legit one, but it was just an upgrade, so it was still around $299.

I see Dave's point: for too many years, Digi screwed everybody with weird upgrade paths and horrifically-expensive prices, but I think it's a new deal now. God help the people who hung on to the 1990s gear. That stuff is toast. The good news is, if you're starting over today, you could literally assemble a world-class Pro Tools system for about 25% as much as it did 5 years ago. And I think it actually does more and runs faster today. I'm so used to its quirks, it'd be too hard for me to change -- but I can and do use little utilities like Audiofile's Wave Editor or Courtney Goodin's BWF-Widget Pro once in awhile, when I need to get in and do something quick.

I've bought lots and lots of refurbed (and new) Macs over the years, and never had a problem with them. Some I got direct from Apple, some off eBay, some Craigslist. Often, the best time to buy is a month after the new models come out, and it's a way to get essentially a brand-new machine at a huge discount. Nothing wrong with owning last year's technology, provided it'll work with next year's software and do you what you need it to do.

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Courtney Goodin's BWF-Widget Pro once in awhile, when I need to get in and do something quick.

I was working at Coffey Sound when he first came out with that, and at that time, there was nothing that could do what that program did (I haven't had a need to use it in a long time, so I don't know if there is anything else like it out there). I remember being stunned at how cool that utility is. I remember at the time it was Windows only (don't know if it still is), and I'm a Mac user, and I remember saying "you know, I'd buy a windows machine just for this if I had to".

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I was working at Coffey Sound when he first came out with that, and at that time, there was nothing that could do what that program did (I haven't had a need to use it in a long time, so I don't know if there is anything else like it out there). I remember being stunned at how cool that utility is. I remember at the time it was Windows only (don't know if it still is), and I'm a Mac user, and I remember saying "you know, I'd buy a windows machine just for this if I had to".

It's still the only way I know of to get MP3s w/ TC metadata from BWFs. There are lots of other pgms that will convert WAV to MP3 but they lose the metadata, and Wave Agent doesn't make MP3s. It's also the only pgm I know of that will crack a poly bwav that is greater than 12 tracks wide (the limit of Wave Agent). I've cracked 24 channel polys in BWF Widget.

phil p

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Bummer. I just bought a new computer and tried to authorize Peak 7 and I can't do it. I used Peak for 7 years, and now I have to learn a completely new system.

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Aristotle, have you checked out Steinberg Wavelab? Seems very impressive, very seriously aimed at the pro doing file editing and manipulation Peak-style, rather than as an afterthought on a multitrack DAW like PT or Nuendo.

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FWIW, SCS (Sony Creative Software) is allegedly working on Mac version of Sound Forge. I don't know of any real or imagined release date thus far.

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I just downloaded a demo of Adobe Audition. It seems very good so far. I'm not really a fan of the Steinberg products.

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