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Does microphone preamplifier gain increase the proximity effect?
BIAS, Inc. has announced Peak Pro XT 5, an extended technology power bundle which includes three BIAS plug-ins: SuperFreq 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-band paragraphic EQ - now with improved GUI, metering, and text entry - in addition to both SoundSoap and SoundSoap Pro, BIAS' noise reduction and audio restoration plug-ins. What makes this bundle even more significant is the addition of five new full-featured BIAS plug-ins: Repli-Q, Sqweez-3 and -5, PitchCraft, Reveal, and GateEx.
Peak Pro XT 5 includes Peak Pro 5, a major upgrade to the stereo recording, editing, mastering and delivery software for the Macintosh platform. New features in Peak Pro 5 include a brand new playlist with graphic view, 100% replication-ready CD burning with ISRC entry, PQ subcode editing, track indexes and CD-Text, optional extension for DDP file export, Audio Units and VST instrument support, improved on-board DSP including Change Pitch, Change Duration, and Sample Rate Conversion, new features such as Auto-Define Regions and Strip Silence, and much more.
Power and Precision of Linear Phase
Several plug-ins included in Peak Pro XT 5 are based on advanced linear phase equalization algorithms. By retaining the relative phase of the frequency components (partials), waveforms are preserved with high precision - resulting in a much more transparent, and faithful reproduction of the original material. Linear Phase filtering is especially important for preserving the sharpness of attacks - typically present in percussive content - but all material benefits dramatically.
EQ Matching with Repli-Q
As the name implies, Repli-Q's primary function is to match the equalization of one source to another target signal, but the flexibility offered in the plug in allows even more. By learning the EQ profiles of the source and target signal, Repli-Q allows the degree of matching and smoothing to be manipulated. In addition, the EQ profiles may be edited with an unlimited number of breakpoints, allowing greater customization and flexibility. Repli-Q not only provides a spectral matching function, but also the ability to improve an improperly equalized track. Users can also rely on Repli-Q to assist with mastering for different delivery targets. With a stereo mix equalized for delivery in a compressed file format such as MP4 (AAC), Repli-Q can help repurpose it for CD or DVD and can also help ensure equally optimized playback in multiple listening environments. Other applications include voice-over matching where an original take recorded in one environment and an overdub recorded in a different environment need to match. Repli-Q employs a linear phase equalization algorithm to ensure optimum results. A gain compensation feature compensates for loudness variations through equalization, and a soft clip button offers limiting to avoid signal clipping.
Multiband Compression with Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5
Peak Pro 5 includes the same compression/limiter plug-in from Peak 4 - Sqweez. With Peak Pro XT 5, two powerful multiband compression/limiter plug-ins are included - Sqweez-3 (3 band) and Sqweez-5 (5 band). Like Repli-Q, both Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5 incorporate advanced new linear phase equalization algorithms from BIAS. Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5 both offer graphic per-band viewing/editing of threshold and EQ. Each band may be solo'd and/or bypassed individually, and a convenient "auto gain" button compensates for loudness variations due to compression. Additionally, a variable "digital ceiling" slider controls the clipping headroom of the integrated soft clip function.
Advanced Pitch Correction and More with PitchCraft
PitchCraft is a real-time pitch correction/transposition plug-in that also offers the ability to manipulate the signal to achieve creative effects. Professionals can rely on PitchCraft to fix out-of-tune vocals or other single voice instruments easily. The user interface offers intuitive controls with a useful graph that displays the original pitch over time against the corrected signal. Tuning, scale, and key can be tailored for specific needs. Custom scales may be entered directly or via a MIDI controller keyboard, and a handy tuning meter helps provide feedback during parameter adjustment. Transposition can be made independently of correction, and an independent formant shifting slider is also included. Using a combination for transposition and pitch correction by scale type, users can create harmony parts from a single melody line, and independent formant shifting is offered to transform voice genders with or without pitch shifting. Using other combinations of controls, humorous, eerie, and even supernatural effects can be obtained, making PitchCraft a great sound design tool as well.
Audio Analysis with Reveal
BIAS has significantly advanced the paradigm of audio analysis tools with Reveal, another new plug-in included with Peak Pro XT 5. Reveal combines seven tools in a single plug-in interface - Oscilloscope, Peak and RMS Power History, Spectrogram, Pan Power, Spectral Analysis, Lissajous Phase Scope and Peak and RMS Level Meters. An "all" view displays every tool in a single window. Additionally, users can select any tool as desired via a tab style interface, or simply click on a tool to expand its view. Users can enable or disable individual tools as desired, and a global freeze display feature is also included.
Gate and Downward Expand with GateEx
GateEx is a new Gate/Expander plug-in. Featuring waveform and graph displays and a suite of advanced parameter controls, GateEx effectively removes signals below an assignable threshold while the integrated downward expander helps reduce residual unwanted content. Used along with the included SoundSoap and SoundSoap Pro audio restoration tools, or by itself to gate snare drum hits or areas of near silence between vocal or instrument passages, GateEx is an excellent compliment to the high-end Peak Pro XT 5 plug-in toolset.
Pricing & Availability
Peak Pro XT 5 will be available Q2 2005 through the worldwide network of authorized BIAS dealers and distributors. Peak Pro 5 will have a SRP of $599 US and Peak Pro XT 5 will have a suggested retail price of $1199 US. Customers who purchased the full edition of Peak before April 1, 2005 can upgrade to Peak Pro 5 for $179 US. Customers who purchase the full version of Peak after April 1, 2005 can upgrade to Peak Pro 5 for $39 US. Upgrade pricing from other editions of Peak and crossgrade pricing to Peak Pro XT 5 will be announced at a later date.
For more information, visit their web site at www.bias-inc.com