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.
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.