For years, many Mac-using audio creators have longed to get the beloved editor Sound Forge on the Mac. And when well-known audio editor BIAS Peak unexpectedly died, and we called for alternatives, various readers looked with envy back at Windows at the PC-only tool – among various other alternatives. Now, those prayers are answered. After a summer of teasers, Sony has now officially confirmed Sound Forge Pro will be available natively on OS X soon.

The final teaser video actually offers a fair amount of information. The best news is, from the quick shots we see of the UI, this looks like an elegant, native Mac application. (Steinberg’s rival WaveLab has much to recommend it, but a friendly, Mac-style UI is not one of them.) Despite the Apple-style makeover, Windows veterans will also spot some of the workflow design that has made this a favorite tool, including a waveform-centric view and fast editing. Those elements are absolutely essential, given there’s no reason you have to use a dedicated waveform editor alongside a DAW: it has to prove itself faster, more powerful, and more effective in some way.

The icing on the cake: Sony bundles in lots of their superb DSP for processing, mastering, and the like. You’ll see some of those UIs in the video.

No word yet on pricing or availability. But in a nice touch, Sony even grabs this domain, echoing the thoughts of a lot of audio producers:

Kudos to MacRumors, who caught this video and were among the first to work out that Sound Forge was coming.

Back in the troubled kingdom of Peak, worries persist. The issue is not only that BIAS is shuttering and ceasing with future updates, but that Peak itself uses a challenge/response system. Providing software as free and open source is not always practical, owing to licensing issues with dependencies and the like. But I would very much like to see a patched version of Peak that doesn’t require authorization servers to be running. Because Peak regularly checks authorization, any interruption in those servers could cause Peak to self-destruct in studios worldwide. That’s enough to worry academic institutions, among other users. For now, at least, despite an interruption earlier this summer, the servers are still operating. That includes support information and updates.

Read our article on BIAS’ demise for information on what happened and a wide variety of alternatives (not just Sound Forge) recommended by users. There’s also a vibrant conversation, sometimes not terribly diplomatic but well worth reading, in comments:
BIAS, Makers of Peak, Cease Operations; Mac Audio Editor Alternatives

BIAS founder Steve Berkeley even weighs in on comments. The key line here – personal reasons, not economic pressures, closed BIAS, so it’s best not to try to divine any grander implications for the software industry:


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

That’s, of course, why this is good news. When the gods of Mac production close a door, they also port something from Windows.

  • chaircrusher

    This was the other show dropping after Sony bought and marketed Spectral Layers. Spectral Layers was built using Qt, the Nokia-owned (late Trolltech) cross-platform GUI framework.

    Qt — despite being caught up in the ongoing travails of Nokia — is a brilliant piece of work. If you write your code to be cross-platform from the start, you really do get versions on other platforms for scratch, and they don’t look junky or act weird.

    I think when Sony bought Spectral Layers from DivideFrame, they were after DivideFrame’s cross-platform support.

    As someone who has worked on cross-platform portable software my entire career, I welcome Sony embracing the inevitable, finally. Now if only they were better about paying my mom’s publishing royalties on time, I’d think they were almost perfect.

    • allaudio78

      Actually, Adobe Audition CS6 already fills the void left by Peak:

      It’s actually been “filing the void” before this announcement was ever made 😉

    • Mike Shepherd

      Does not at all fill the void. Peak is unique. Unparalleled simplicity and interface, Functions that can be performed in a single step that require multiple steps in Audition and the rest….

      Audition technically speaking – obviously performs the functions that Peak does – only Peak does in a far straight-forward – no-needless-clutter environment that is a boon for fast-workflow broadcast production. The only reason it doesn’t kill Audition is that the multi-channel “Studio” version was on the verge of release when Bias went …away. THAT would have filled the void and marketed properly
      i could 100% prove by comparison to ANybody who wanted to set em up side by side, how superior Peak is to the likes of Audition – its chief limitation being 2-channels vs. multiple. So anyway, here’s hoping Sound Forge is at least somewhat as simple – and especially that it’ll be/is multitrack capable for mixdowns- or that Sony will roll out Vegas for Mac next.

      Why is the concept of simplicity so hard for people to “get.” ? Hell I still have to laugh at how many multitrack or even 2-track editors make me jump through hoops to HEAR the audio that I’m dragging a cursor across on a waveform to precisely mark a couple of edit points – sort of a fundamental feature to leave out for an AUDIO app, no? In Peak, there’s no “go into scrub” step required- it Just Does It – No extra bullshit required.

      I know it’s cool and all to have a cockpit looking layout… but for getting the job done, having to look at and go through layers of features that i don’t want or need – is in itself a huge advantage that Peak owns- and perhaps even Bias doesn’t/didn’t appreciate how much a Plus that to a lot of editors who need to work fast and do certain repetitive tasks like cut/copy/paste of an audio segment. Here too, even that basic task is made needlessly complex in other DAW/Editors. It doesn’t have to get named a ‘region’ or be ‘trimmed’ or ‘snapped together’ – With Peak, I mark two points, select the segment, and put it at the marker point i want it to be in – and i’m done. Kinda like Microsoft Word for Audio, y’know. (not that there aren’t more simple and user-friendly word-processing apps that i like better than Word too – but hey, you’re hearing from a Mac user from Day One – what more do i need to say : )

    • Phylum Sinter

      Mike, I cannot vouch for any of the hopes you’re having for Sound Forge to being similar to Peak, but as a Sound Forge power user (going on 12 years now) I can say that it is flexible and can be catered to a diverse set of uses. It leaves it up to you (in the windows version anyway, can’t speak for the the Mac) to add and set up the ui as you please. By default it is pretty clean, at its’ maximum it can be seen as cluttered perhaps… but that would be a user’s choice.

      What you mention about developers not getting simplicity may be a valid point – but you have to also consider that your type of use is not the only use most programs are made for. What you crave for in simplicity might be seen by others as barren or featureless. Sony’s (and quite a few other successful developers of audio and productivity software) stance on design is to have many menus optional and dockable in the UI to hopefully please the both of us.

      Let me know what you think about Sound Forge when you have a chance to try it it out. I’m always interested in how things get ported.

  • dustinw

    First=>A quick warning to all createdigitalmusic users: do not read the macrumours forum it will hurt your soul.

    Second=> Qt? Awesome: I’m a big Sony user–soundforge and vegas–if they could bring those and maybe even an update version of Acid to Linux I’d be very happy (assuming Jack compatibility).

  • Elburz Sorkhabi

    Im currently on the other side of this coin, I’m trying to fill the void I have in my workflow on Windows 7. I was extremely happy with Audiofile Engineering’s Wave Form Editor on my Mac, but can’t seem to find anything similar. Anyone have any Windows recommendations (I’m going to check out Sound Forge now)?

    • Phylum Sinter

      Sound Forge and WaveLab are the gold standard for windows. If you want something a little more affordable there is goldwave ($50 usd).

  • Durin Gleaves

    Adobe Audition has been on the Mac for a few years now. Where is this void you speak of?

  • allaudio78

    Actually, Adobe Audition CS6 already fills the void left by Peak:

    It’s actually been “filing the void” before this announcement was ever made 😉

  • Peter Kirn

    Okay, let me explain – even clarified the headline here.

    When we asked for Peak alternatives, we got a wealth of answers; hence the link to that story. But quite a few people singled out Sound Forge, which *wasn’t* a genuine alternative for Mac users since it was Windows-only.

    So, for some people, this will be an ideal solution. I think the reason the dedicated waveform editor even continues to exist is precisely because of people’s intensely-personal tastes.

    • Elburz Sorkhabi

      Got the trial and loving it so far (on W7), thanks for sharing!

  • Lee Faulkner

    I’m more concerned about the Soundsoap and SoundSoap Pro plug ins…

    The alternatives aren’t as good … and often don’t appear in all the plug in formats and/or aren’t 64 bit, which limits their usefulness. ( Soundsoap wasn’t 64 bit either, but I had received word it was in the pipeline before Peak closed ).

    It works right now … but for how long.

  • TheLone Roger

    Well aint that video a tease! Seriously though, I wish they would put a bit more info and bit less eye-candy in these ‘coming soon’ videos – looks great but tells us next to nothing!
    And a price would be good.
    As a long time Peak user I’m worried about the shelf life of the copy protection – I’m sure I’m not alone in having found the system a little flakey in the past, e.g. when trying to transfer a licence from one machine to another, ending up having to contact their Support dept. to get things sorted. I spent years trying to persuade my employers to get me a licence, and now i face the prospect that it could just all go horribly wrong one day…Audition just doesn’t do it for me, and that’s what my employers are pushing me towards because they have some kind of deal with Adobe. DSP Quattro looks promising – fond memories of D-SoundPRO… So as far as SoundForge for Mac is concerned, I’m all ears – I just wish they’d give us something more to go on. Let’s hope for a demo version soon.

  • Marco Raaphorst

    we want Vegas for OSX too :)

  • Phylum Sinter

    Hey all right! Now lets see some multi platform kindness in the other direction – I vote for a windows version of MetaSynth. If only the world worked that way.

  • Broohaha

    No spectral correction… really ?

  • jeffrey james

    People presenting the audition argument:
    Audition is not exactly a wave editor, it’s more of a DAW.
    What has been filling the void (imHo) is steinberg WaveLab…