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Peak 3.1

Running an audio editing, processing and mastering application designed from the ground up to utilize the Core Audio system within Apple's new Mac OS X operating system is like running an audio editing, processing and mastering application that works just the way you always wanted it to work, and Bias are leading the way yet again with version 3 of Peak.

Apart from being fully "aquafied" the look and feel is about the same, with added support for multiple window views, sizes and colors, and the way the application works seems much improved, we'll go into just how much across a couple of OS versions later, but if you want to see the real updates you have to go way beneath the surface, down to where it meets the operating system. That's where the ultimate enhancement resides, in the way it works with Apple's Core Audio, their replacement for Sound Manager and which provides support for multiple channels, multiple hardware clients and lets you run at 24-bit / 96 kHz, if your hardware supports it.

But what all your plug-in's, have they migrated to Apple's other new standard, Audio Units, leaving you with a pile of useless VST plug-ins? No way, the VST support is still there, and there's also support for their ASIO standard, and Sound Manager too, provided you're running Peak 3 on Mac OS 8.6 through Mac OS 9.2 which it does so quite happily, in fact this could well be the most sensible purchase you could make right now, an application that gives you a full upgrade while at the same time ready and waiting to supply the really cool stuff when you move on up to OS X.

So what about new features, well although most of them are dependant on Peak's relationship with Core Audio expect to see enhancements across OS versions. We installed it on a 400MHz G3 running OS 9 and an 866MHz G4 running OS X 10.2 and noticed that launch, response and processing times were much improved compared to the previous version of Peak on the G3. The G4 however, running OS X, was where the biggest differences were, with drastic improvements in response and processing times.

If for no other reason than to prepare for a move to OS X, Peak 3 should be up their on your list of required purchases, and for those of you already running OS X, get back to work.

Rating - 959,126 (out of a possible 1,000,000)

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