Two long-time favorite audio editors have gotten big updates recently. BIAS updated the Mac-only Peak Pro at the Messe show with an upgraded UI, ducking, mastering and playlist tools. And yesterday, Sony announced Sound Forge 9, with multichannel features, new mastering effects, and other features. That was quick: Sound Forge 8 and Peak Pro 5 only recently came out. Here are the quick highlights:

Peak Pro 6 top features:

  1. New fades, volume envelopes, and editing tools for playlists and mastering
  2. Faster, RAM-based editing
  3. Loop creation tools
  4. Ducking DSP for lowering music in voice overs (hello, podcasters)
  5. Cross-synthesis, for mixing, convolving, vocoding, and modulation
  6. Updated interface, with global contrast controls (hello, Adobe suite on Windows), magnetic windows, new high-res meters.
  7. Integrates with iTunes, direct podcast uploads, and advanced playlist PQ support for those of you too pro to touch either iTunes or podcasts.

Meanwhile, on PC, Sony has beefed up Sound Forge. (Note that Adobe Audition, meanwhile, didn’t get a refresh in the new CS3 suite — though I don’t care, because Audition does everything I need it to.) The big feature: multichannel.

  1. Multichannel editing, processing, and recording, with drag and drop between channels
  2. Channel conversion, multichannel spectrum analysis
  3. Hardware meters with output gain control. (Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they’re bundling lovely analog hardware meters in the package. You know what they mean.)
  4. New wet/dry mix and crossfade options for effects
  5. Channel Converter tool for multichannel files

  6. Upgraded UI and color customization. (Obviously something in the air.)
  7. Enhanced file support: multichannel, Windows Media File support, included MPEG-1, MPEG-2 QuickTime import, 5.1 Dolby Digital AC-3 export
  8. Bundled effects: noise reduction 2.0, mastering effects bundle from iZotope
  9. Vista-ready (though old versions I believe run just fine, too)

More commentary at

Decent stuff; mostly I think this comes down to which tool you prefer. There’s also new SWF file import in Sound Forge in an attempt to compete with Adobe, but since ActionScript and embedded video and audio are unsupported, that’s not much of an enhancement. The new Adobe suite will come with its own integrated audio tool which may do Flash audio design better.

The other question we’ve been asking around CDM is whether the increasingly complex wave editors out there are actually overkill, even for so-called “pro” work — many of us want a streamlined tool for wave editing; it’s why we go to the editor in the first place. We’ll be pulling apart some of these tools over the coming weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, what’s your waver of choice?