At last week’s AES (Audio Engineering Society) convention in New York,
announced and showed SoundSoap Pro and Peak 4 with Power Mac G5 DSP (Digital Signal Processing) optimizations.
SoundSoap Pro — due in early 2004 — is an audio restoration plug-in that’s Mac OS X compatible. Targeted to professional audio producers, engineers, musicians, sound designers, and forensic scientists, it lets you remove unwanted hiss, room noise, rumble, electrical hum and other background noise from most digital media files, including digital video (DV) soundtracks, PowerPoint soundtracks, Flash and other Web tool soundtracks.
Many broadband noise reduction solutions (including BIAS’ entry-level SoundSoap, which costs US$99) work by analyzing, or “learning,” a noise profile, which can then be suppressed using a pair of threshold and reduction controls that operate across the entire frequency band. This can achieve good results, but more challenging noise problems demand additional control, according to BIAS. Instead of splitting the restoration process into separate plug-ins, SoundSoap Pro uses an integrated interface that lets you access any tool from within a single plug-in window.
SoundSoap Pro groups 512 bands into 12 threshold and reduction sliders that can be grouped with a lock button. Also, 12 vibrant level meters assist in threshold adjustments. SoundSoap Pro’s tool area features a global, real-time spectrogram that provides constant visual monitoring of spectral noise that may be in need of treatment. With its color codes, the spectrogram lets you discern problem areas and make relevant tool adjustments, all while listening to, and watching, the results.
SoundSoap Pro is designed for every major plug-in host, including Peak 4 (VST/Audio Units), Pro Tools (RTAS), Logic Audio/Digital Performer (Audio Units), Nuendo/Cubase SX/Wavelab (VST), Sonar (DirectX) and many other compatible hosts. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced for the restoration plug-in.
Also at AES, BIAS announced that Peak 4, the latest version of the stereo waveform editing application for the Mac, is not only compatible with Apple’s new Power Mac G5, but several included DSP functions are actually optimized for the new ultra fast processor.
Peak 4 was
released in August. The new version of the $499 product adds new features such as support for Audio Unit plug-ins (Apple’s audio plug-in standard for Mac OS X), a sample-based reverb technology called ImpulseVerb, multi-processor support, Redbook CD burning from directly within the application, new DSP (Digital Signal Processing) tools, a mastering-quality compressor/limiter called Sqweez and more.