Remember me? Peak in its last release had a cleaner look, but I imagine something like this is what popped to mind when you heard Peak. Photo (CC-BY) Chas Redmond.

Peak is dead; long live Peak.

Small music tool makers don’t always last forever, the victim of any number of circumstances that can cause them to fold. There do seem to be a lot of casualties of favorite Mac waveform editors over the years, however. To that group, you can add perhaps the most famous and long-lasting Mac audio editor of them all: BIAS’ Peak. BIAS’ site now redirects to a short message:

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.

Follow these links to access the FAQ and updates areas of the BIAS site.

Peak joins Apple’s own Soundtrack Pro and (arguably) WaveBurner and, once upon a time, Macromedia SoundEdit, along with tools like Digi’s Sound Designer II and TC Electronic’s Spark. (While not ever officially discontinued, Apple first moved Soundtrack Pro to the Logic suite, then quietly eliminated it entirely when Logic Studio moved to the App Store; it can be considered “missing and presumed deceased.” Macromedia SoundEdit 16 can be traced back to the first popular tool in this category).

Oh, yeah, and perhaps because it was so unsurprising as news, I missed the fact that Adobe killed its little-used, generally-disliked (ahem) Soundbooth editor at the end of April. (I do have a soft spot for Soundbooth; it had some great ideas, but after an initial release seemed unsure of what its direction and audience were.)

For old time’s sake, here are the two most recent reviews in Macworld, written by me:
Review: Peak Pro 6 [2009]
Review: Peak Pro XT 5 [2006]
Side note: time flies.

That’s the bad news. The good news is, the waveform editor is still very much alive on the Mac. And there’s still something to be said for dedicated waveform editors, even when multi-purpose DAWs share some of the same functionality. If you’re just editing individual audio files, if you’re batch processing, if you’re working with complex asset management, if you’re performing tasks like CD mastering, very often these tools provide unmatched capabilities or simply speed up workflows.

Here are some of the tools still at your disposal on the Mac (to say nothing of Windows and Linux):

  • Audacity, which recently got some major updates [free, open source]
  • Felt Tip Sound Studio. This is literally the first tool (alongside SoundHack) I ever used on Mac OS X, back when … it didn’t run anything else. Today, it’s a remarkably mature, elegant, and easy-to-use audio tool, and it’s just US$29.99 on the Mac App Store.
  • Amadeus Pro II is $59.99, also on the Mac App Store. If you haven’t used it lately, it’s gotten a complete overhaul and cleaner, prettier, more usable UI. With multitrack editing, batch processing, and repair, it does what Peak did but often more easily and at a fraction of the price. It also admirably handles just about any file you can throw at it.
  • Audiofile Engineering Wave Editor: $79 buys you some seriously-powerful features, from iZotope sound engine and advanced sample rate conversion to mastering features, unique “smart edit” and layer-based editing, and others.
  • Adobe Audition survives even as Soundbooth is gone. It brings the best-loved editing power of the Windows version, at last, to the Mac. And true to its lineage with sibling Premiere, there’s lots of video-style editing and post-production power. You can even play HD video right in the editor without transcoding, and you get session management, broadcast-compliance, and speech alignment features that will appeal to video workflows. There’s quite a lot more in Audition, too, making it practically a DAW. And you can pick it up as part of a CS suite, including Adobe’s recently-introduced subscription-based pricing.
  • Updated – Twisted Wave. Reader Daniel Courville suggests this wave editor, with its own lovely features like automatic silence detection, effects stacks, metadata editing, high-quality DIRAC stretching, clip lists, and more. And very cool: it runs not only on Mac desktop, but on an iPad or in your browser, too. $79, with a trial available.
  • Steinberg WaveLab I nearly forgot about, as its entrance on the Mac is fairly recent. Its interface is easily the least-friendly of any of the options here, but some swear by its industrial-strength mastering capabilities.
  • DSP-Quattro is almost a full-fledged DAW, but focused on audio editing features, and several readers recommend it. With lots of editing tools, live recording functionality, and CD mastering, it puts the waveform front and center in a way a DAW might not.

Audition and Wave Editor also have free trials if you want to, um, audition them first.

There are times when editing and batch views like the ones above are just the right tool for the job for many users. Pictured: Amadeus Pro II.

In fact, for all the recent losses, I don’t think there’s ever been a time at which the Mac had this many choices, software this mature, or wave editors this affordable. So, while I’m sure some Peak lovers will miss this tool, I think the platform looks bright. If users of any of these tools would like to talk about your workflows or other tips or impressions, please get in touch.

Thanks to Øivind Idsø [SoundCloud] for both the heads-up and the idea for this story.

  • Brian Naas

    Maybe I’m missing something here, buts what’s the point of waveform editors nowadays anyway? You can do 99% of what Peak does inside Logic.

    • Peter Kirn

      Maybe you’re missing the part where I explained what I thought the answer to that was? 😉 

      Logic (or another DAW) isn’t useful for batch processing and conversion. There are many file formats it simply can’t read – including ones you might gather when doing field recording. It typically omits certain mastering features. It isn’t as useful as, say, Audition is above when it comes to broadcast features or matching dialog to video or HD video playback. It has an interface that’s designed to do other, unrelated things that don’t match many asset management, editing, import, and cleanup workflows. It doesn’t have a lot of critical audio cleanup tools. File management in larger projects is a chore or … well, means turning to a wave editor.

      I don’t know what percentage that is, but it isn’t 1%. It’s not essential to all users, but it’s very essential to some. In brief:
      * People doing final mastering for CD distribution
      * Broadcast workflows, from field import to mastering
      * ADR and other post-production video workflows (possible in a tool like Logic, but not always ideal)
      * People with batch conversion needs (everyone from sample editors to game audio producers, among others… or, well, anyone with lots of files)
      * People producing podcasts and other spoken word editing (augh… imagine podcasting in Logic…)

      The hardest part of all of this is that there isn’t a way to brand all of these things. But there isn’t an easy way to do that with the DAW, either. And that could explain why you have a dozen major choices in each category.

    • Jeff Cross

      I still think that you should add Quattro Pro and Wavelab to this list of alternatives. Wavelab at least is a big player -and- cross platform as of last year.

    • Brian Naas

      Yeah, that’s all certainly true. You could use AudioFinder for asset management and batch processing. I guess it depends on the project, but I don’t think Podcasting is all that difficult in Logic. It doesn’t have automatic ducking or uploading features, but doing those tasks in Logic doesn’t seem clumsy enough to warrant a different tool. 

      What mastering features are enhanced by a waveform editor that can’t be done in Pro Tools or Logic?

    • Jack Menhorn

      Open Sound Forge once and you will see.

    • Peter Kirn

      Technically speaking, of course, you can use a DAW. It really comes down to convenience and workflow — and preference.

    • Mike Shepherd

      B umping this up because i NEVER get an answer on any forum that addresses this key point………..

          Question about Adobe Audition. When you drag a cursor to mark edit points on a waveform, can you HEAR it as you are dragging it – like, in Peak, with the control-key down, you could/can scrub PRECISELY to the edit mark as fast and audibly hear it as well as see it.  I’ll say again, Peak is the ONLY app that does this – and the only app that allows as simple a process for cut/paste editing – that is, One Step…none of this dragging of “regions” nonsense – just zero in on Point A, zero in on Point B.  Cut (command-C)  move cursor to new location you want to insert the audio at and Paste (command-V ; )  –  Done.   No “going into edit mode” crap…The thing is just as simple an interface as it needs to be.. and that’s the beauty of it.  I don’t see how this ability to hear vs.”approximate” an edit point by sight – is a better way.  It’s Audio! I need to hear AND see what i’m editing.  Peak does this. Others don’t.  Peak gives you an edit marker on the waveform – not this “tab” up ABOVE the waveform…  Basic small things, some might say but it makes my workflow a breeze and i do a ton of editing with it.  Nothin else comes close.  Prove me wrong. Please!!! I’m all ears ; )

    • Durin Gleaves

      Hi Mike,

      I’m not sure if you ever received a response anywhere else, but I’m the Product Owner for Adobe Audition and I just saw your question in this thread.

      Audition provides a “playhead” which, when dragged or when using the Left/Right arrow keys to adjust its position, audibly scrubs the audio underneath. To make a waveform selection to copy/cut/etc.. you can either click and drag a region, or use the [i]n-point and [o]ut-point shortcut keys to mark the current playhead position as one end of a selection. In addition, Audition provides a split-screen view of the waveform and spectral frequency views of an audio file so you can select specific frequencies or create opacity-sensitive paintbrush selections.

      It’s been awhile since I used Peak, and it looks like our copies no longer work now that the license servers are down, or I’d provide a better comparison between the two for you. I’ll say that you can download a free 30-day trial of Audition from and judge for yourself. I’d be interested in your comments and suggestions as to what you feel Peak did better for your particular style of editing. Feel free to share on the user forums or directly at


    • Jory Prum

      Try editing 10,000 already-named dialogue files in a non-Destructive DAW.  It’s far less efficient than in a waveform editor.

  • Cory O’Brien

    Very sad, but Bias lingered without major updates for quite a while. Peak was one of the first major software purchases I made; still have a copy of Peak 4 running on the G5. 

    There is a glaring omission to your alternatives list, and that is DSP-Quatro ( Version 4 was recently released with a ton of new features, and the $99 price tag has always been hard to beat. It is by far the most modern and feature-complete editor around. 

    I would also contest the inclusion of Audacity. Sure it’s free, and it’s gone very far on the merit of being open source, but as a professional tool.. not so good. 

  • Daniel Courville

    I would add TwistedWave as an alternative

    I ceased using Peak a long time ago because it never supported multitrack.

    @Brian Nass: destructive editing is still very useful. 

    • Peter Kirn

      Wow, excellent tip!

  • Eric Sheffield

    I used to make fun of a friend of mine for using Peak until I needed to do a lot of sample editing.

    Specifically, in case it isn’t totally apparent what I mean by that, I’m talking about the kind of sample editing where you walk around gathering found sounds, then need to quickly look through what is likely a long audio file, isolate the interesting sounds, make any necessary adjustments (i.e. normalize), and then give it a tight fade in and out to make a self-contained sound appropriate for plugging in to a sampler instrument or simply layering manually in a DAW. No question, Peak does that kind of thing better (or at least easier) than Logic.

    Also, at work, training students to record rehearsals of the ensemble they’re in (when they’re not very audio savvy) is much easier in Peak than in a full DAW, assuming you’re only doing a stereo recording. I myself enjoyed using Peak for some of these sessions because the workflow involved chopping a very long audio file up into about a dozen individual pieces. Sooooo easy in Peak when all you have to do is highlight a section in the main file, “new document from selection”, apply fade-in and -out, save. Is that considerably harder in Logic? No, but when you do it 12-20 times in a row, it sure is nice to have something slightly simpler.

    For my first example, perhaps Apple’s purchase of Redmatica will prove fruitful for Logic users.

    Anyway, Sound Forge still seems to be the dominating editor for this kind of stuff. Why don’t we have that on macs already?
    Also, what about Wavelab? Seemed like a big deal last year when version 7 was mac compatible, but now I never hear about it.

    • Cory O’Brien

      Thanks for reminding me of this long forgotten task; sample editing, and sending samples back and forth to the Emu via SCSI! Kids these days don’t know how good they have it…

    • David Prouty

       Well Sony has not updated Acid forever and Soundforge does get more love but the only thing Sony is interested in is Vegas.

  • Tomáš Bílek

    And there is also Steinberg Wavelab (Not so good as Nuendo DAW but is there…)

    • Peter Kirn

      Yes, WaveLab has some very powerful mastering features. It does not have a very friendly or Mac-like user interface, however, which could explain – in answer to Eric’s question below – why it may not be popular with everyone.

    • Lee Faulkner

      Yeah, Wavelab went through a V6 Interface overhaul, at the same time it came out for the Mac. Those folks who knew it well from the PC were thrown for a loop with the changes … and for new Mac users I can’t imagine the experience. It got much harder to ‘get’ the workflow and IMO isn’t much fun to use anymore … though it’s tool set, transparency and CD/DVD-A era feature set are second to none.

      It’s a serious mastering app that can be brought to bear on doing soundscape work, radio shows, (no video … they took it *out* of V6!!!) and editing. I couldn’t see as a multitrack recorder … though it can do it.

      It breaks my heart to say that unless you want to Master full time, or they friendly-up the UI, Wavelab will drive you crazy. 

    • Peter Kirn

      Precisely, and I’d like to see them pay attention to that UI for all the reasons you mention – because there’s some good stuff there. And of course “friendly” doesn’t mean “for beginners.” Time spent hunting around a UI because things are conveniently organized is productive time lost, and that’s a big deal for anyone. More so, in fact, for pros. But I do agree, the mastering stuff is powerful enough that it’s still well worth a look if you come from that background.

      And I should hasten to add, for all these UI changes, I still know WaveLab Windows users who are happy to use the new WaveLab on the Mac, even though it doesn’t exactly look like what they’re used to. But then again, that’s all the more reason to see some UI love in the next release.

  • Rodrigo

    Strange that I’ve got an email from Peak offering to upgrade until May 31st for only $79. I’ve even tried to purchase and got an order number, but my card wasn’t charged and they didn’t send the S/N. Tried to email them a few times and got no answer, think that now I know why… thanks.

  • Jeremy Van Buskirk

    I will miss Peak.  I used it a great deal a few years ago.  I switched over to Audiofile Engineering Wave Editor and never really looked back.  

    I use a Wave Editor as much as a use my DAW.  I need to edit single files regularly.  Loading them into my DAW takes too much time.

  • Bjorn Roche

    I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that soundtrack pro was part of the final cut pro suite.

    • Jory Prum

      Soundtrack Pro was indeed part of Final Cut Studio.

    • Peter Kirn

      *Was* … past tense. It’s now unbundled from both Final Cut and Logic as available in the Mac App Store. I think it can be safely considered discontinued.

    • Lee Faulkner

      Yeah … Soundtrack Pro had *a lot* of potential.  I used it to make a radio series … if only it didn’t crash so much… sigh.

      That’s the trouble being with being absorbed by a big corporation. When they’re done with you there’s no hope of being let go or sold to morph into something else. It’s done. (though components of it do exist in FCP X package … not useful however!)

  • guest

    This is rough news for me.  Is there anybody out there who has a similar list of replacements for Soundsoap other than the super-expensive Waves plug-ins?

    • Peter Kirn

      iZotope, for one. And some of these editors (notably Amadeus) have repair tools built in.

    • Peter Kirn

      sorry, iZotope RX. Superb product. 

    • guest

      Thanks, Peter.

    • Graham

      Also for real cheap from izotope is their Music and Speech Cleaner which works as a standalone product (not a plugin) – $39:

    • Graham

       Also not so cheap but works well without all the Soundsoap issues (ie coloring your audio too much) is the Mater Restoration suite from WaveArts.

  • a_w_young

    DSP Quattro, although I haven’t used it in a few years, always seemed really intuitive. I didn’t like any of the other wave editors on OS X very much. They were all clunky and not very intuitive at all.

  • slabman

    I miss Alberto Ricci’s SoundMagic and SoundEdit from OS9! Two of the plugins together formed one of my secret weapons for years. One plugin let you completely strip the envelope from a sample, so that the volume all through hit 100%, but without clipping. The other plugin let you then apply another sound’s envelope. Great for apply a drum loop envelope to a guitar break…

  • fillspace

    Another good choice for quick edits is Audio Ease Snapper.  It’s not as powerful as many of the high end editors have been but not having to actually “load” the audio file makes sifting through folders full of recordings much faster.  In a way it reminds me a bit of using the file list function in TC Spark (man I miss Spark…).

  • Oivind Idso

    Three things:

    1) Excellent article!

    2) The ethics of what Bias did a month before going bust is terrible. I was one of the people who jumped on the Bias Peak 6 to Peak 7 upgrade offer recently, and was under the impression Bias working fine – in fact, they told me so just a couple of weeks ago, when I requested info on multitrack availability, and, not least, cocoa compatibility.

    3) This raises some serious issues on the issue of copyright control. Peak uses challenge/response to protect it from being copied, so what happens the day their – for now! – running challenge/response servers stop running? I’ll tell you what happens: Software worth a hundred, and for some thousands, will become completely useless the day their harddisk dies, the day they upgrade to a different machine etc. etc. Horrible stuff (and perhaps material for another article).

    • Jory Prum

      There’s a very serious issue regarding copy protection here.  Peak phones home to check its license nearly every time you launch it.  For now, the authorization servers are still running.  But for how long?  When they go offline, every legit Peak user will suddenly be unable to run the software they shelled out a lot of money for.  The software pirates, however, will be fine.

  • sierko

    Yes to DSP-Quattro! Something about it I always liked, which could be because I miss GoldWave. 

    Also, if you have Audition in there, why not add Reaper? I’ve read a lot of comments of people using Reaper instead of a traditional audio editor.

    • Peter Kirn

      Ha – because then I’d have to add every DAW. I mean, in truth, I want to be clear – I’m not saying you shouldn’t edit in a DAW. I’m saying there’s probably a rationale for a dedicated editor as a solution to a problem. Like any multi-dimensional solution, it won’t be entirely mutually exclusive of other solutions, and it won’t be for everyone.

    • Jory Prum

      The primary rationale for using a waveform editor is when you need to make destructive edits to files.  DAWs are by their very purpose non-destructive.

      Take as an example the process of editing 10,000 lines of dialogue for a video game.  The files are already named and simply have to be trimmed and possibly adjusted for timing and any clicks and pops.  Doing this in a DAW takes radically longer and requires that the files be named again after the work is finished.  A waveform editor allows an editor to work very precisely (at the sample level, if necessary) to ensure their files are exactly as they need them.

    • sierko

      yeah, I agree with that. just throwing it out there since I’ve seen it mentioned as an alternative. 

  • simulated

    Although I made the switch from Windows to OSX happily 7 or 8 years ago, I still have yet to find a Mac Audio Editor that worked as well with my personal workflow as SoundForge did on XP..  Any recommendations with SF as a point of reference, either of the applications listed above, or others?  

  • Michael Andrews

    It’s worth noting that Adobe bought Cool Edit Pro from Syntrillium Software (renaming it Adobe Audition) and ported it to the Mac recently.  I loved Cool Edit Pro when I was a Windows user and was the only thing missing that almost kept me from switching to Macs full-time a few years ago.  Now that Adobe Audition exists my life is complete once again.  Latest version (CS6) came out last month and it’s awesome.

    I used Peak for a little while and didn’t like it, then was using DSP-Quattro.  It’s OK, but seemed harder to use (zooming and mouse controls are weird).  It’s also limited in audio export options (c’mon, MP3 export is needed nowadays if just for quick proofing) and sample rate changes.

    Anyways, super-happy about Audition and the new version is great.  It makes hard things easy and easy things mindless.  Thats my $0.02.

    • Dj dubsparkle

      the only problem is it comes from adobe and as a company they are terrible. all this CS crap, bundling and expensive updates. they are also just as happy to I’ll off products. I really liked GoLive, the killed that long ago.

    • Mikes425

      Question about Adobe Audition. When you drag a cursor to mark edit points on a waveform, can you HEAR it as you are dragging it – like, in Peak, with the control-key down, you could scrub PRECISELY to the edit mark as fast and audibly hear it as well as see it.  I’ll say again, Peak is the ONLY app that does this – and the only app that allows as simple a process for cut/paste editing – that is, One Step…none of this dragging of “regions” nonsense – just zero in on Point A, zero in on Point B.  Cut (command-C)  move cursor to new location you want to insert the audio at and Paste (command-V ; )  –  Done.   No “going into edit mode” crap…The thing is just as simple an interface as it needs to be.. and that’s the beauty of it.  I don’t see how this ability to hear vs.”approximate” an edit point by sight – is a better way.  It’s Audio! I need to hear AND see what i’m editing.  Peak does this. Others don’t.  Peak gives you an edit marker on the waveform – not this “tab” up ABOVE the waveform…  Basic small things, some might say but it makes my workflow a breeze and i do a ton of editing with it.  Nothin else comes close.  Prove me wrong. Please!!! I’m all ears ; )

    • Mike Shepherd

      Correcting my own typos ‘cuz i can’t go back in and edit.  I meant to say, i don’t see how the ability to just SEE and approximate an edit point by looking at the waveform is possibly b etter than being  able to audibly scrub the cursor i.e., position it – by ear AND sight – precisely where i want it.   Show me another app that offers this!  It’s mind-blowing that nobody wants that capability or that no app considers that an imperative for rapid-workflow audio editing

  • amundsen

    Sound Edit from Alberto Ricci was the best editor ever. Many effects, easy track addition and removal (no limitation to stereo). I’d love to see them back. Good non-realtime tools have become rare these days.

    • Peter Kirn


      Here’s one that’s intriguing that I didn’t include on the list partly because I’ve never really sat down with it. This all reminds me that I really, really should. Based on SuperCollider, of all things. Completely open source.

  • Chris R Gibson

    Another big +1 for DSP Quattro…I was also a former SoundForge user and Quattro filled the bill for me. Just got a major update too. Aside from fulfilling most needs you might have given it’s extensive feature list (batch processor, CD editor, definable key commands, live plug-in host, etc), it simply (and subjectively) ‘feels’ right…solid and quick like I remember SoundForge.

  • Graham Spice

    Although it is more of a DAW than the stereo wave editor like many of the apps listed here, REAPER is very full featured software for Mac and Windows.

    I have been using Amadeus for 6 years and still like it. I don’t need all the multi-track features they’ve added so I still use Amadeus Pro (not II). Some of their features are really nice for editing and converting to various formats (like split at markers). I have been maintaining a large MP3 archive of events that I record in Pro Tools using Amadeus Pro in conjunction with an app called “ID3 Editor” to control metadata:

    I plan on checking out a few new ones this year just to see how Amadeus is stacking up. I’m especially interested in the deep editing/cleanup tools included with iZotope RX and the mastering features of WaveLab. Maybe I should stop using the master fader channel in my DAW as a mini-mastering suite. :) 

    Good article, thanks for the headsup about BIAS. They have been in the game a long time and I recently invested in SoundSoap Pro. Oh well. :( I also appreciated the shoutout in this comment section to Syntrillium’s Cool Edit Pro, the first great editor that I ever used.

  • Mr. Freeze

    So, when does peak become free?

    • Peter Kirn

      My sense is that Peak will simply cease to be available – not for anyone, not for free, love, or money.

  • Mike Shepherd

    Not to evangelize, but many are too quick to overlook the strikingly simple but unique advantages that Peak offers with a feature set and simple interface that no other editor comes close to matching.The most absurd and deal-breaking defects of other editors for me are: that missing ability to audibly drag a (large, visible, full-waveform-height) cursor across a visual waveform for positioning edit marks, and the simple one-step cut/move/paste commands- which Peak makes so elegantly simple. It always amazed me that something this vital — the capability to HEAR AND see an edit point for precise edit marking would be left out of an audio editor’s design — i mean – we /are/ editing audio, not text or graphics.As another Beta-Group member aptly put it:  “editing audio by sight is like editing video by smell.”This *audible* scrub/cut-paste edit capability alone and clutter-free ease of use has kept me on Peak as my studio’s primary edit/record platform for…well basicallyfrom the beginning and nothing I’ve seen has ever come along that compares for rapid workflow broadcast and general production.As longtime Peak users recognize, most other apps are needlessly complex requiring multiple steps to perform actions you can do in a single keystroke in Peak.There is alot more- or should i say, LESS, that’s truly great about the user interface and i know many seasoned producers who’ve been in this business since the analog editing era relate to what I mean.For any producer who needs rapid straightforward workflow editing that responds as fast as they think..Peak was – and is – really it. Sad too that the multi-channel version of Peak won’t see In theory this would have been unparalleled inthe marketplace and a major boon to broadcast producers who by default have had to settle for far more complex music-oriented DAW apps like PT.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has specific alternative recommendations – so far I haven’t seen
    anything that truly ‘gets it.’  If I’m wrong, great – fill me in.  Otherwise, if anyone wants to mod some shareware, i’d honestly love to hear from you and collaborate on keeping a great idea alive.

    • PaulDavisTheFirst

       Mike – Ardour isn’t shareware (its open source, and so will not die the way that Bias and others have), and its also a DAW rather than an editor, and it isn’t available for Windows (yet), but I’d love to hear more detail about the specific editing workflow in Bias that you found so valuable. Email me at paul at so that we don’t have to clutter up this forum. I’d be very interested in drawing up a roadmap of Bias-style editing workflow for the post-3.0 phase of Ardour’s life.

    • Dj dubsparkle

      open source does die or change in horrible ways, just look at what happens with Ubuntu and Gnome3

    • Joel Sampson

       True, but Ubuntu Studio is a GREAT replacement and had a pull down menu – like a real computer. I’m running it on two PC’s and it’s very nice.

    • Peter Kirn

      Paul is the developer of Ardour, and tends not to make the kinds of radical decisions that led to GNOME3, just FYI. 😉 I mean… open source or not… software is made by humans; sometimes those humans do things we don’t like.

    • Lee Faulkner


      Wavelab is a great pro audio-only app which doesn’t focus on music production on the Mac.  You can edit individual files, process them, batch process etc …. then work with them in a multitrack environment ( called a ‘montage’) with both track and clip FX in real time. Awesome playback modes, all sorts of marker functionality, CD and DVD-A burning, 

      But the workspace, layout and workflow will take a bit of acclimatization. At its heart it all the same stuff as you would get in any pro audio app … but the names of things are odd, and there’s a lot of menus (though it’s context menu system… right clicking … is awesome!)

      I think there’s a Wavelab elements too… a bit cut down.

      Despite my reservations … if you want to work seriously with audio in a non musical environment ( theres no mixer!! ) Wavelab can’t be beat.

    • Farkas

      I’m not familiar with Peak but the inexpensive Fission from Rogue Amoeba seems to have many of the features you are saying you use/need.

    • Gabbagabbahey58

      Easy sound scrubbing was a natural for Peak because Sound Designer II also had a very natural scrubbing feature.  It was necessary since we all moved over from analog tape. I miss the simplicity of SD2.

      I’ve used Peak since v1.0 because I could see Sound Designer disappearing. Steve Berkley was always available by email (even responding by at 3 am CST). However, I needed help because his copy protection nuked my Peak install when it found an application on my HD it did not like.  

    • Mike Shepherd

      Hi Gabba G , yeah it’s remarkable how hard it is for some people to appreciate how “easy” something is – which – to me – is the ultimate standard of excellence for  technology – making otherwise complex functions simpler.  Some of these users are gloating about DSP Quattro and completely glossing over the fundamentals about fundamentals that you and I have appreciated from the Sound Designer era.  

      It really is astonishing  how many users seem not to recognize the value of something as fundamental as that natural and straightforward scrubbing feature – which Steve was perceptive to appreciate, and carry forward, from SD to subsequent iterations of Peak.

      This alone is a feature that NO OTHER APP TO-DATE matches.  And I challenge anyone to refute this but nobody takes me up on that, let alone seems to recognize what you, or I do.  I routinely cite the analogy of Windows v. Mac.  Those who started on Windows never knew they “didn’t” need to know all this crap about how to “do” something until Apple/Mac made complex functions so transparent and simple that one didn’t have to ‘think’ about the details of how to accomplish a task. The Mac OS  just ‘Does it.”   I keep pointing out that Peak performs many common editing functions in a single keystroke while the same task requires 4 or more “steps” in far more expensive hype-driven apps like ProTools and Audition 

      Sorry “experts” –  but given a choice between one step and five steps – I’ll go with the one that allows the most rapid workflow possible.  I don’t need to impress clients with an array of needless complexity when the actual function can be accomplished in a fraction of the time as Pro Tools…but of course, if you spend money on bells and whistles that look impresssive users will justify the needless nonsense of all this layered crap because they simply have never known any other platform exists.  It’s a marketing thing.  Peak is a killer.  Too bad it couldn’t be marketed more effectively. 

      What’s more, the mutli-channel version that I contributed development input on – would have been killer for broadcast producers.  Let’s face it, PT and Audition are music tools, not production room applications – never were designed for that – they were just adopted by default because nobody other than Bob Orban (Audicy) and a few other DAW standalone designers recognized the market for a straightforward app that met the specific rapid-workflow needs of commercial production.  Thus, by default, these music DAWs were the choices that had to be settled for, MIDI features and all, LOL.

      My invitation stands, for any developer (including BIAS designers) who’d like to  modify some exisitng shareware apps to emulate or duplicate  the unique Peak features that are not available in any other existing app. There are distinct and unique feature advantages in Peak, whether Bias even recognizes it or not – that are
      a boon to a large segment of end-users in the production marketplace.  I can guarantee a target market that would embrace it –  particularly in a multi-channel DAW format – and with effective martketing and promotion, profitability would be a no-brainer.  

      But what do i know, i’ve just been doing production for 3 decades.

    • CJ

      Most of the features cited here about the advantages of working in Peak are the same things I was enjoying in Spark XL, which was discontinued years ago. I keep a PPC Mac for running this and a few other faves. On my more modern box I use Amadeus, which is pretty solid. But yes, it’s tough when you find the perfect workflow, and the rug gets pulled out.

  • Eric Carl

    I’ve been using Amadeus for a few months and have been pretty into it. I work mainly in Live which I don’t find to be a great environment for waveform editing. I mainly use it for trimming samples so I don’t need a lot of features, but I find the workflow quick and painless. My only complaint is that navigating the waveform, for example, zooming in and out or panning around, can feel sluggish. This actually really irks me because it seems like it should be a really snappy, lightweight interaction. 

    • Jimlette

      The noise reduction feature in Amadeus alone is worth the price; can’t count the number of times it has saved older, trashed recordings. It’s also great for converting Live loops to mono.

  • PlugInGuru

    DSP Quattro is a great alternative. It’s also one of the few (other than ofPeak) that allows the bouncing of Audio Unit effects back into the original file (or a new file). It’s interface is still a bit off (they are Italians, of course) but it’s far better and very affordable for the power it can yield…..

    • Franco

      Don’t get the “(they are Italians, of course)”, I like DSP-Quattro interface. And it derives from old TC Electronic’s Spark, which was transformed by its developer – Stefano Daino – into the current software. By the way, DSP-Quattro is currently available with a limited 50% off for Bias Peak owners.

  • Glomag

    Thanks Peter. I’ve used Peak sine the big Sound Edit/ Deck combination was ditched by Macromedia. Anyone remember codename “Babaloo” ?

  • dj dubsparkle

    Peak was a great app and a lot of us have built workflows around it. My problem is with their damn authorization server! I just bought the update to 7 a month ago!!! Now when I buy a new machine will I be able use what I paid for? I’m sorry to hear his company could not survive, but I’m disappointed at the collateral damage he is causing. Will people continue to buy software if they dont trust the companies will support them. At this point, being a pirate of Peak pays off because you didn’t loose your money and you app has all the copy protection removed.

    I think if you make a product and just can’t keep it going you have to strip out the copy protection for your paying customers. It’s the only moral thing to do.

  • ZenPunkHippy

    You might want to add the relatively new Ocenaudio to your list:

    An excellent audio editor that’s also cross-platform (including Linux), currently free.  Native Mac UI so it’s comfortable to use as well.  A few bugs with VST support, but it’s shaping up well so far.

    • Øivind Idsø

      That app looks very, very basic, to be honest. Perhaps Ardour would be better for the free-seeking users.

    • Nik Reiman

      Ocen is far more advanced than meets the eye. It has a number of great built-in effects and support for VST plugins, and is also quite superior at bread-and-butter waveform editing. IMO it’s the best freeware wave editor on the market, hands down.

    • Luna-C

      This probably isnt the place to ask, but as I have no other options…I have Peak Pro 6, and it has stopped working properly. It opens, but then the wheel of infinity shows up for 20-30 seconds. Then I can work for maybe a minute, then its back to the wheel. My guess is that the program is trying to find the website, but cant, then thinks about it for ages. 
      Anyone know how to stop this?

  • Ryan P. Taylor

    Man I miss SoundEdit 16. I actually like Soundbooth for tweaking audio for video projects, and I love the way it integrates with Premiere Pro.

  • Ollie

    I feel sad for everyone whoe invested into their products and will someday have to buy and learn an alternative software package, but also for the company that got into trouble…I wonder what the guys are doing now.
    I have both Wavelab 7 and Twisted Wave and depending on what it is you want to do bot programmes are working great. WL’s user interface has recently (v7 update) turned into a complete nightmare, though.

  • Roger Carruthers

    Sad. I’ve always liked Peak, and the copy protection issue worries me too. Maybe it’s time for them to just give up and go open source with it 😉
    In direct contrast to a comment below, one editor I never liked was Goldwave/Cool Edit/Audition – just goes to show how preferences differ.
    I also find Peak a really intuitive and quick editor to use, but I guess a lot of it is down to what you started out with.
    If the Ardour developers are going to look at incorporating some Peak-like ideas, then I’ll be checking out Ardour again in a few months!

  • Roger Carruthers

    Sad. I’ve always liked Peak, and the copy protection issue worries me too. Maybe it’s time for them to just give up and go open source with it 😉
    In direct contrast to a comment below, one editor I never liked was Goldwave/Cool Edit/Audition – just goes to show how preferences differ.
    I also find Peak a really intuitive and quick editor to use, but I guess a lot of it is down to what you started out with.
    If the Ardour developers are going to look at incorporating some Peak-like ideas, then I’ll be checking out Ardour again in a few months!

  • John

    Funny, last month I was thinking what to buy and decided to buy WaveLab 7 after having used the 30-days trial version… Phew!

  • odditonic

    Sadness. I still find myself missing Spark, I never found a truly adequate replacement. Wavelab won my heart in the end, but Peak was always around. 

  • Karst

    Does anybody here use Reaper?

  • Nyquistic

    On the bright side, perhaps we’ll see the source code appear … a Linux version would be nice.  Luckily WaveLab is now available on Mac, even if it is a bit of a culture shock.

  • Steve Berkley


    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 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

    • Ed

      Hey Steve! You suck if the Peak that I paid for STOPS working when your servers go offline. What the HELL are you going to do about that? You had better do something, cause the repercussions against you will be severe if we all get SCREWED! It’s a small world and your future in business will be impacted as we will never forget this. Nobody will ever trust you again, no matter what business you try to get into. How could you let this happen?! What an IDOIT you are! Hang your head in shame. I should have been a pirate. I’ve learned my lesson.

    • Breathe

      Grow up Ed.

    • Disappointed!

      I’m with him. I’m just grateful I bought my Retina MBP and transferred my 7 install BEFORE the authorization server disappeared.

    • Mike Shepherd

      Still seeking software developers interested in replicating Peak – contact me @ to discuss possibilities.


    • PlSSED

      Great, so the $500 I JUST SPENT on this software is down the drain because you people couldn’t get along with each other? Thanks a lot!

    • Jason Fryer

      Hey Steve, I just want to say that in my opinion, Bias Peak wasn’t among the best, it WAS the best. I for one wish you could find a way to bring it back.

    • Jason Fryer

      And for you people throwing tantrums, stomping your feet & calling names… That’s hardly productive or helpful. You guys have no idea what went down, so you should cut the guy some slack. If losing 500 bucks is that big of a deal to you, you’ve got WAY bigger problems to figure out.

  • SZsw

    Why not just open the source?

  • dan


  • Manix24

    am one of those “Bias is going over the Jordan Victims”, updated to Peak 72 Weeks ago(79 Bugs), then my Machine broke down(Main Board pass away), when I get the new Computer and wanted to update Peak the Company was gone, and it was impossible to register the Software on the new Machine!I don’t know why, maybe they close the servers,or I had to many licenses!I had to manage a mastering projekt on the weekend!(I broke out in cold sweat)Then I stumbled over the cross grade for peak users, and Stefano was so kind that he managed everything at 12 o’clock in the night!I started with DSP Quattro in the Night, and finished the CD till Sunday!I must say that the learning curve coming from 10 Years of peak was pretty low!The app even feels quicker, and fluffier then peak! Thank you StefanoManix  

  • CProth

    Another +1 for DSP Quattro! Been using it for years. And…it ‘sounds’ good too!

  • anechoic

    ReZound — old but still very usable on Linux – might not be pretty but it’s powerful

  • Dan Nigrin

    Just want to add one bit of interesting historical info – before Peak, Steve Berkley built some cool tools for the Ensoniq samplers of the day:  ASR_SCSI and scEPSi.  Really useful stuff at the time!

  • Sunpacy

    Hi everyone:

    I am a user of DECK from Bias DECK stop to be develop after Apple move to intel chips I was doing good with Rosetta but from now on LION OSX do not support Rosetta any longer and DECK wont be functional anymore.
    Does anyone here is familiar with DECK interface? if you are can you tell me which audio editing software multitrack with similar features can I buy, I tried many different like Audacity, Amadeus, DSP Quattro and are not as easy like DECK in Deck you can select the tracks in the editor move them easily edit cd tracks cross fade or not you can make sharp changes, you can run sound effects with music create CD track add multiple effects you can have different cross fades and just with the use of the mouse 

    • niclet

      The best of all, PropellerHeads Reason (6.x & +). You will be surprise how easy audio multi tracks is and how solid your mix will sound.

  • TLMuse

    Here’s one you’re missing from your list of options, which I learned of from another demise-of-BIAS discussion:  Sonic Studio soundBlade.  They are offering a crossgrade for BIAS Peak users:

    • Mike Shepherd

      When you drag a cursor across a waveform in this app, can you HEAR it?

  • Luna-c

    This probably isnt the place to ask, but as I have no other options…I have Peak Pro 6, and it has stopped working properly. It opens, but then the wheel of infinity shows up for 20-30 seconds. Then I can work for maybe a minute, then its back to the wheel. My guess is that the program is trying to find the website, but cant, then thinks about it for ages. Anyone know how to stop this?

  • jduesenb

    Really too bad about this. I’ve used PEAK since 1.0, and also the ancient DECK Sound Designer. I wish Bias could have at least notified their user base – I just found out about it sort of randomly. And as others have said, I wish they could provide a way to un-protect it, for those of us who might like to keep using Peak 7. 

    My favorite editor of this type was SPARK, however.  The market for such waveform editors is probably pretty small, compared to the market for ProTools… 

    I’d love to hear about any alternatives or advice for finding a replacement for PEAK. 

    • Mike Shepherd

      Sadly, any alternative for Peak would have to be Invented because there is truly none. 

      I still haven’t gotten a straight answer from anyone on the planet as to how the concept of being able to AUDIBLY scrub a visual waveform to mark an edit point, would be overlooked by EVERY  OTHER DAW OR EDITOR.  Uh, hello?  We’re not editing words, we’re editing  AUDIO, no?  That in itself has kept me on Peak from the beginning and I have no choice because I work too fast to have to go through the absurd multiple steps EVERY other editor requires for a simple cut/copy/paste function that i can do in a SINGLE keystroke in Peak (and again, no other editor rivals it for this simplicity). 

      Seriously, I don’t evangelize about this so much out of respect for Peak but more out of the sheer amazement that NO one thinks this is absolutely vital for audio editing and the astonishment that there is no other app that matches Peak.  Quite bizarre.  If anyone can
      address this or change my world with an alternative, by all means educate me with  the secret and let me in on what i’m missing in the marketplace ‘cuz I’ve searched for decades and nothing else but the old standalone DAW’s like Audicy even comes close to Peak’s ease of interface. 

      I for one don’t want a cluttered screen of crap standing between my creative thought and editing action.  All I can hope is that Steve and Bias will resurface with a newly branded incarnation of Peak Multi-Track – which in fact would be a Pro Tools/Audition KILLER if it would’ve been allowed to make it through Beta – which we were literally months away from.  If I had the development skills I’d try and emulate this app as shareware just for my own professional needs – don’t even give a damn about the profit potential-  though it’s definitely there if someone who understands broadcast production is smart enough to pick up up this and run with it.

      Very simple model already exists.  Take Peak and its layout/features exactly as they are,  multiply it into a multitrack platform. Market it to production people and point out what it does better than any other existing app including – actually “especially” Audition and Pro Tools can.


    • Sergio

      Sony Sound Forge is coming to mac, it is a great alternative, true!

    • Mike Shepherd

      Awesome ! Just out of curiosity, since i’ve never worked with it — Does Sound Forge give you a multitrack/multi-channel platform – i.e., what Peak Studio was going to be — (I’m totally Mac so i’ve never tested most of the Sony stuff). I realize it’s branded as an editor but the site description for the Windows version seems to suggest it allows stacking more than one stereo track in a single window… does this mean it can act like a mixdown app as well?



    • Mick McClain

      Sony SF is now here, but doesn’t burn red book, so what the hell good is it? Gotta use Toast too? Really?

  • Akira

    …I can’t get SoundEdit16  to work on my iPad!!!
    and Adobe Audition can’t seem to make random edits.

    too bad about Peak, sorry Steve :(

    • Mike Shepherd

      I don’t get the joke if it is one… I do know that a multitrack version of Peak (Peak Studio) would make Adobe Audition look like an even bigger piece of crap than it is.  And funny thing is SoundEdit16 was a more intelligent editing interface than anything that’s come along since. That’s not funny, it’s amazing.

  • Mikes425

    Well from the ‘keep hope alive’ camp…and knowing of no other forum where Bias Peak users still keep in touch …got a question for ya.  Ran into the whole Authorization issue in trying to open Peak 7 on a computer with a new OS install… So, just to be clear here, I am /we are  effectively prohibited from ever reinstalling the Peak app.?  That’s just flat out spiteful. And whatever the cause for the spitefulness, it shouldn’t be inflicted on the innnocent user-base who are caught in the middle and have nothing to do with the politics.

    That said, seriously, does anyone have a practical workaround that might work for those of us who still need to run Peak and obviously have periodic need to reinstall — without encountering the whole Authorization roadblock?  All I want to do is get my work done… Please Steve or somebody – cut me a little slack –  ANY ideas at all, seriously and sincerely appreciated.


    Mike Shepherd

  • Mike Shepherd

    About this Bias Authorization set up… It virtually borders on fraud that a company can market a product up to a point and upon abruptly ” ceasing operations” not give existing product owners- most of whom paid hundreds of dollars for the product – the ability to even continue to use the product (i.e. taking away this ‘Re-Authorization” capability for anyone who must reinstall the application). 

    That said is there any sort of hack or workaround that would bypass this ridiculous scheme so owners can at least keep using what they paid for?  Yeah, I get it, you closed.  Why are the users disallowed from using the app at a certain point?  At least other “orphanware” by other manufacturers who go out of business isn’t rendered unusable due to a Protection policy AFTER they have abandoned their products.  Regardless of the internals behind the company’s closing,You aren’t abandoning products, you’re effectively telling users to go fuck themselves.   What did customers do to you to effectively ‘take it out’ on them?  Just curious…well, more like furious.

    if ANYbody can give us a hack of some kind to get around this authorization bullshit, please post.

  • Russell Arteaga

    As a long time Peak user the feature I’m going to miss the most besides the great UI and work flow is VBOX. I use it for mastering and sound design. I can’t think of anything else out that that does AU’s and VST’s in a matrix like way. Using T-Racks is great if you only want to use their plugs. And mastering in Pro Tools / Logic is a pain. Anyway thanks for the article and I would love others thoughts on a VBOX replacement.

  • John McLachlan

    Wow. just finding out about this. I started using Peak after finding them in a booth at Macworld Boston – tells you how long I’d been using it. Thanks CDM for listing some alternatives, but reading the comments I’m sad (and impressed) that Peak seems to have been one of the better products out there – guess I picked well the first time.

    Thanks Steve B for chiming in on Peak/Bias demise. Hopefully the can be sold as an asset and maybe continue under another umbrella. For now it’s a lot of time on my part to test all these other tools :(

    Anyone try Peak 7 on Snow Leopard to see if it works there??

  • edsurf3

    Are the BIAS products for sale – source code, IP rights etc, etc?

  • xbj

    Sony Soundforge is a BUST for me and most audio pros… no snow leopard version. Only Lion. Kiss of death. I too will miss Peak, still use it every day.

  • baruchzed

    I would very much appreciate any help getting an activation code for Peak Pro 6. How can one contact the folks who own the rights? I have been looking unsuccessfully.

  • Ruud

    Where can I buy illegale version 7.0, because Bias stopped and have vacations with the money

    • Mike Shepherd

      Better yet, find a developer to legally produce an app that replaces Peak in a multitrack format…. ie. what BIAS was just about to roll out when they suddenly ceased operation…
      Ironically, what they were about to offer would have blown Audition and ProTools away if
      they would’ve just brought the thing to fruition and target-marketed to broadcast production professionals. What a major F—ing waste – and slap in the face to loyalists who contributed the right ideas for them to make it happen. Hopefully another developer with a real understanding of the real world production workflow will pick up where this was left off and run with it for all it’s worth… if Steve really has no intention of carrying it forward….

      Still running with it on OS 8+ and nothing has matched its features to-date. I have challenged PT and other editor-app users with side-by-side comparisons of Peak’s interface and functions and they simply flat out can’t match key functions that Peak performs in a fraction of the time as it takes in far more needlessly complex apps. Super-intuitive – whether by accident or not – and nothing on the market has audible real time waveform scrub & editing like Peak offers.
      Hit me up if you’re a development guy or think you know betterl I’ll be glad to show you what i mean. It’s not a hobby for me, it’s my living and I’ve worked with everything on the market for decades. An old stanalone DAW – Orban Audicy is about the closest thing and Peak is/was even faster than that architecture for rapid cut/paste record and edit. Speed is important in commercial production. Contrary to opinions of those who’ve only ever used one or two apps, Peak – and “Deck” ‘s concept didn’t suck at all – it just wasn’t – hasn’t –
      been marketed effectively and with a few more refinements in a multi-channel format, would make the most die-hard ProToolers wonder why the hell PT can’t be as simple and fast as ‘that…’

      Meantime, glad at least somebody with a conscience had the courtesy to leave the Authorization site up for all the loyal existing users who were blindsided by this.

      Now, how ’bout just bringing it back, Steve…Anybody. Please?

  • peter

    Thanks for the Felt Tip tip. It’s like Audacity but works the way I want it to. That’s worth $30!

  • Mick McClain

    To all BIAS Peak users….check out this link!
    Go to the bottom of the article, you’ll find two links for BIAS homepage and BIAS user forum. Clicked on them and guess what? They routed me to a site called Soundness. On that page, click on the link for the July 2013 press release, and it turns out that Soundness is a product of Steve Berkley! So now we know where he turned up! There is an email address and a phone and if I were you, I’d CALL AND DEMAND A PERMANENT AUTHORIZATION METHOD FOR THE SOFTWARE WE PAID HUNDREDS FOR!!!!!!! Frankly, I think he’s got alot of nerve now selling an app on the Apple Store, and my next action is to call Apple and inform them this guy is a crook!

  • problemsolver

    Don’t worry all that much currently developing a patch to bypass the whole authorization server problem that way you can install w/o registering.. I just wish Bias would come back Its the only good AIO software out there for audio it just BLOWS!!!!

  • dickie pride

    I too discovered recently that Peak is no longer. Such a shame. IMHO it was the best of all the editing/mastering software for the Mac. If you’re reading this Steve Berkeley please get in touch with me. I have access to a couple of investors/developers whom might be interested taking Peak.

  • Ras

    Well, my copy of Peak Pro 7 is still running, but i have had to not
    upgrade my mac OS to keep it functioning. I have version 6 running on a
    Macbook pro, but that isa going to be replaced soon, so bye bye Peak
    6! I’ve bitten the bullet and bought Wavelab 8, and have started using
    it – by i really liked Peak for the job In used it for – stereo radio
    production. What stuns me is that after all these years no one has
    “cracked” the software security!

    • Mike Shepherd

      Still nothing that compares to Peak – unfortunately.

      Actually, Peak Beta user group members have reported no major issues moving forward with Peak 7 on Mountain Lion and beyond… I wouldn’t rule out your Peak 6 and 7 app on a newer OS (have you tested it?) … Peak is unmatched by all these apps that people have settled for as alternatives but none come close.

      When I am able to demo to other studio engineers, specific edit functions of Peak in direct comparision to other apps, these other users are humbled- or simply were ignorant that a program could “do” those things as simply and directly in a single step – that the other apps require multiple steps/ layers of activity to accomplish the same basic action. Mind boggling no one has stepped up and moved ahead with what was to be the multitrack version – ideally, Steve will not abandon it — or someone will stumble upon the sense of it. In any event it would be a ProTools killer if it was brought to market.