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BIAS announces PitchCraft EZ

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BIAS has announced PitchCraft EZ, a powerful alternative to the popular pitch correction and special effects tool popularized by many of today’s leading musical artists.

BIAS PitchCraft EZ

“The popularity of automatic vocal tuning and processing software these days is undeniable”, said Jason E. Davies, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for BIAS. “Whether utilized in songs by leading music artists — or in various popular videos circulating the internet — pitch processing has evolved considerably from it’s original ‘behind-the-scenes’ application to compensate for an out of tune vocalist. By maximizing the correction values, or conforming spoken words to musical scales, the technology is often employed specifically for the special effect by which some artists are now defined. PitchCraft EZ employs state-of-the-art algorithms in an easy user interface to deliver this very effect at a breakthrough price.”

“Super-natural” sonic quality with ease

BIAS first developed advanced pitch correction and modification technologies for their highly acclaimed Master Perfection Suite — a professional plug-in suite for Mac and PC that includes PitchCraft (also available in the company’s flagship Peak Pro XT audio editing, processing, mastering, and delivery software application exclusive for Mac). Using essential algorithms from PitchCraft, PitchCraft EZ offers many core features while focusing on ease of use and quick, pro-quality results. The pitch, transposition, and formant preservation DSP algorithms employed ensure natural sounding pitch correction and transposition, while offering additional options not found in other low priced solutions.

Attractive and accessible user interface

True to it’s name, PitchCraft EZ minimizes the learning curve typically associated with advanced solutions at higher price points. Rather than dominating the user interface with analysis graphs and a plethora of parameters, PitchCraft EZ maximizes accessibility with a greatly streamlined — and highly attractive “sports car red” interface. That said, BIAS chose carefully to include important features normally reserved for solutions priced several times higher. In addition to pitch correction and scale conformation, PitchCraft EZ offers a variety of scale types with customization (via mouse or MIDI keyboard input), as well as independent formant and transposition control (offering control over the “cavity size” as well as pitch shifting intervals). The addition of independent transposition and formant control offers the ability to create both natural and “super-natural” effects such as “gender-changing” (transforming a male voice to female or vice versa) as well as “aging” (transforming an adult voice to a child or vice versa), and “resizing” (making a smaller person’s voice sound bigger or vice versa).

Applications beyond music

While many will acquire PitchCraft EZ for musical applications, the additional transposition and formant controls can be easily employed by sound designers for creating “alien” sounding voices, “chipmunks”, and other more bizarre sounding special effects. Video and film makers can also employ PitchCraft EZ to help disguise a subject’s voice in cases where anonymity is preferred.

PitchCraft EZ will be available in Q4 2009 as an audio plug-in for Mac and PC (VST/AU/RTAS). BIAS is now accepting pre-orders through the worldwide network of authorized BIAS resellers and distributors as well as directly from BIAS at an introductory suggested retail price of $99 USD. The standard edition of PitchCraft is currently available for $149 USD and is also included with the Master Perfection Suite ($599 USD).

More information: BIAS

BIAS releases SoundSoap Pro 2

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BIAS

BIAS has announced the release of SoundSoap Pro 2, a major upgrade to the award-winning professional audio noise reduction and restoration software suite for Mac and Windows.

SoundSoap Pro 2′s comprehensive approach provides four advanced restoration tools — Broadband noise reduction; Click and Crackle removal; Hum removal; and a Noise Gate. SoundSoap Pro 2′s super intelligent broadband noise reduction features new adaptive algorithms from BIAS — offering far more power than most competing solutions, while maintaining its relatively low cost and ease of use.

New in SoundSoap Pro 2

  • Adaptive Noise Reduction (ANR) and more — The addition of ANR to SoundSoap Pro 2 means users will have significantly greater power than ever before. Instead of navigating through a noisy file to find an area of isolated noise to learn, users can leverage the advanced algorithms of SoundSoap Pro 2 to automatically extract a noise profile where previously impossible. The fact that the noise profile can be automatically and dynamically re-learned is also a significant improvement over other solutions in cases where the broadband noise changes over time. With changes in background noise being a common problem – especially in audio for film and broadcast – SoundSoap Pro 2′s super intelligence should be a welcome addition to any media tool kit. With minimal input from the user, SoundSoap Pro 2′s new super-intelligent ANR offers results previously unattainable in lower cost software products, while in many cases providing comparable results to far more expensive hardware solutions. SoundSoap Pro 2 also includes new tool tips that make the user interface easier than ever, broadband parameter value display for improved precision, Pro Tools 8 support, and additional enhancements.
  • Audio Restoration, Archiving, & Delivery Applications — Whether transferring music or dialog from analog tape, vinyl LPs, wax cylinders, or other media, SoundSoap Pro 2′s comprehensive toolset offers excellent results while still being relatively affordable easy to use. Common problems such as “hum”, “tape hiss”, and “vinyl pops” can be easily resolved using SoundSoap Pro 2 – making it ideal for audio restoration and archiving. For music producers and mastering engineers, SoundSoap Pro 2 can help ensure higher quality productions – particularly for digital re-mastering of analog material. Film and video editors can take advantage of SoundSoap Pro 2 as well for reducing common background noise issues – particularly from location footage or when archiving vintage reels. With SoundSoap Pro 2, broadband noise issues associated with telephone and/or field interviews can also be easily remedied. Podcast producers and Internet content creators can also employ SoundSoap Pro 2 to greatly reduce distracting background noise and hum – often prevalent in podcasts and videos uploaded to popular sites such as YouTube.
  • Integrated Approach to Audio Restoration — Rather than splitting the restoration process into separate plug-ins, SoundSoap Pro uses a unique, integrated interface that allows the user to access any tool quickly and easily from within a single plug-in window. Tool navigation tabs are labeled (left to right) “Hum & Rumble”, “Click & Crackle”, “Broadband”, and “Noise Gate” – reflecting the suggested order in which the operations should be performed to obtain the best possible results. The tabs provide convenient parameter feedback, allowing the user to monitor the primary tool settings globally – regardless of which tool is currently selected.
  • Multi-band NR: Speed, Usability & Performance with a Minimized Chance of Artifacts — SoundSoap Pro’s approach to multi-band noise reduction focuses on speed, usability, and performance. SoundSoap Pro combines 512 frequency bands into 12 discrete threshold and reduction sliders – delivering dramatically enhanced efficiency, ease-of-use, and superb sonic results. The sliders are easily grouped, and 12 vibrant level meters assist in threshold adjustments. When used with SoundSoap Pro’s additional controls, even the toughest broadband noise can be easily and dramatically reduced, while greatly minimizing the chance of any inadvertent artifacts. With SoundSoap Pro 2, users can choose between two traditional noise profile learning options – snapshot and timed – plus new ANR options for automated dynamic noise profile analysis and noise floor extraction. Whether reducing broadband noise from air conditioners, fans, engines, or other sources, SoundSoap Pro 2 provides excellent results with minimal effort.
  • Enhanced Visual & Audio Monitoring Options — SoundSoap Pro’s tool area features a unique, global, real-time spectrogram – providing constant visual monitoring of spectral noise that may be in need of treatment. Furthermore, users can easily hear the noise they are reducing by selecting “Noise Only”. These two features help SoundSoap Pro 2 users ensure that undesired noise is effectively suppressed while desired signals are unaffected by the restoration process.
  • Major Plug-in Host Compatibility — SoundSoap Pro 2 is designed for every major plug-in host on Mac OS and Windows computing platforms. The roster includes Peak (VST / Audio Units), Pro Tools (RTAS / AS), Logic / SoundTrack / GarageBand / Digital Performer (Audio Units), Nuendo / Cubase / Sonar / SoundForge / Audition / Premiere / Vegas (VST), and many other compatible hosts.

BIAS SoundSoap Pro 2 is available for purchase for a suggested retail price of $599 USD. Existing SoundSoap Pro customers will be able to upgrade to SoundSoap Pro 2 at $99 USD.

More information: BIAS

Review: Ian Boddy Drumalogue

Ian Boddy Drumalogue

Ian Boddy is a sound synthesist. Don’t ask me what that means exactly, but what I do know is that Ian has been doing electronic music for almost 3 decades.

Besides being quite a prolific musician, Ian also has been working as a sound designer for some 25 years. His works include sample libraries like Zero-G’s Malice in Wonderland and Outer Limits, Transmission-X for Sample Magic, and patches and samples used in LinPlug, Camel Audio & Rob Papen products.

Last year his Something Else Music Limited label launched the Ian Boddy Waveforms, a series of tightly focused downloadable sample packs.

The third title in the Waveforms series is Drumalogue, a library of 1,000 analogue drum, percussion and one-shot hits.

However these are not taken from vintage drum machines (of which there is already plenty of content available elsewhere) but rather all the sounds are hand crafted by Boddy on vintage analogue synths and modular systems. They run the full gamut from thunderous bass drums, crisp snares & hats through to abstract synth hits & FX and even weird glitchy & industrial sounds.

Drumalogue features

  • 1,000 samples at 44.1Khz, 24 bit in WAV format (stereo & mono samples).
  • Raw audio recorded from the following analogue synthesisers: Roland System 100-M, Analogue Systems, Doepfer A-100, Analogue Solutions, Livewire AFG, VCS3, Minimoog, Metasonix TM-2 tube BP filter.
  • Recorded directly into Apple Mac using RME Fireface 400 audio interface, samples edited in Bias Peak Pro 5.
  • Native Instruments Kontakt 2 support provided.

The Kontakt 2 programs (with a basic envelope and low-pass filter) provide an easy way to access and use the samples.

Ian Boddy Drumalogue in Kontakt
Ian Boddy Drumalogue in Kontakt

The Kontakt folder is divided into three sections:

  1. Audition – All the sounds per category (20 categories) with one sound per key starting at C1.
  2. Kits – 18 patches follow as closely as possible the General MIDI Percussion Key Map from B0 (Key35) to B2 (Key59) and provide a convenient way of playing some of the sounds as “drum kits”.
  3. Patches – 34 sounds key-mapped out in patches.

Drumalogue is available as a download from various distributors for £24.95 GBP / $34.95 USD / 27.95 EUR.

So what do I think?

Drumalogue won’t replace the vintage synths, modular systems and analogue effect processors used to create this sample library. The hands-on experience of tweaking knobs and patching sounds just isn’t going to be available in a collection of samples.

What Drumalogue does provide is an excellent collection of samples for those of us who can’t afford this type of equipment, or perhaps don’t have the space to fit all that gear into our music studios. Either way, Ian Boddy delivers on quality and versatility with Drumalogue: Raw, glitchy, bleepy analogue goodness!

Just listen to the demo mp3s and you will know what I am talking about. If your drum sample library has room for something different, I can highly recommend Drumalogue.

Visit the Ian Boddy Waveforms website for more information.

Note: Time+Space has a great deal on the first two Waveforms libraries. Airwaves and Radiophonica are available in a special bundle for just £40 GBP until 31 May, 2009. Details here.

Ian Boddy releases Drumalogue

Ian Boddy Drumalogue

Ian Boddy has released Drumalogue, the third sample library in the Waveforms series from Something Else Music Limited.

This is a library of 1,000 analogue drum, percussion and one-shot hits. However these are not taken from vintage drum machines (of which there is already plenty of content available elsewhere) but rather all the sounds are hand crafted by Boddy on vintage analogue synths and modular systems.

They run the full gamut from thunderous bass drums, crisp snares & hats through to abstract synth hits & FX and even weird glitchy & industrial sounds.

The sounds are a mixture of mono and stereo samples and some have genuine analogue effects printed on them from spring reverbs, bucket brigade delays and phaser/flangers. This all adds up to a cornucopia of drum and percussion sounds that can be used in virtually any style of production.

Drumalogue features

  • 1,000 samples at 44.1Khz, 24 bit in WAV format.
  • Mixture of stereo & mono samples.
  • Raw audio recorded from the following analogue synthesisers: Roland System 100-M, Analogue Systems, Doepfer A-100, Analogue Solutions, Livewire AFG, VCS3, Minimoog, Metasonix TM-2 tube BP filter.
  • Recorded directly into Apple Mac using RME Fireface 400 audio interface.
  • Samples edited in Bias Peak Pro 5.
  • Native Instruments Kontakt 2 support provided.

Drumalogue is available for purchase from selected distributors for £24.95 GBP.

Visit the Ian Boddy Waveforms website for more information and audio demos.

BIAS announces separate editions of Master Perfection Suite plug-ins

BIAS Master Perfection Suite

BIAS has announced that all six professional audio processing plug-ins from the Master Perfection Suite, will also be available separately as retail editions.

The Master Perfection Suite is aimed at musicians, recording and mastering engineers, audio and video editors, sound designers and other audio professionals. These value packed plug-ins include: Repli-Q (spectral matching), PitchCraft (pitch correction/manipulation), Reveal (analysis), Sqweez-3 & -5 (multi-band dynamic processing), SuperFreq (paragraphic EQ), and GateEx (gate/expander).

Master Perfection Suite features

  • Repli-Q: Repli-Q is a linear phase spectral matching/balancing plug-in, which is designed to analyze, edit, and compare the spectral content of audio recordings. Once analysis has taken place, the spectral characteristics of one recording may be applied to another. Repli-Q can mimic or apply an artist’s spectral “style” to your own recordings, or use it in the mastering process to give a cohesive sound to a collection of songs that may have been recorded and mixed in different locations or environments.
  • Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5: 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 soloed 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.
  • 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 and with minimal artifacts, thanks to a powerful pitch-shifting algorithm.
  • Reveal: Reveal combines seven powerful 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.
  • SuperFreq: A powerful suite of mastering-quality 4, 6, 8 & 10-band parametric graphic equalizers with everything for professional caliber equalization, including -18dB to +18dB Gain Values; 0.1 to 30 “Q” (bandwidth) values; sweepable frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz, individual band bypass buttons; 24dB stereo input/output meters; and filters including Peak, Notch, High Shelf, Low Shelf, High Cut, and Low Cut.
  • GateEx: 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.

The Master Perfection single editions are available for download, ranging in price from $59 USD to $149 USD.

Visit BIAS for more information.

Alesis introduces TapeLink USB

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Alesis TapeLink USB

Alesis has introduced TapeLink USB, a dual-cassette tape digital archiver.

Ever wonder what you’re going to do with all your 80s and 90s music that’s currently trapped on cassette tape? Bring your favorite tunes back to life – and make them part of your iPod playlist – with the Alesis TapeLink USB. Whether you’re a budding musician or music junkie, with TapeLink USB you can upgrade your poor sounding cassette tapes to CD quality audio. This digital-archiving cassette tape deck enables you to store irreplaceable recordings on hard disk or flash, burn them to CD or upload them to an iPod.

TapeLink USB features

  • Dual-cassette dubbing and playback deck with digital-audio output.
  • Plug-and-play USB audio interface requires no drivers.
  • 16-bit, 44.1 kHz CD-quality audio output.
  • Normal and high-speed dubbing modes save you time.
  • Dynamic noise-reduction circuitry and software assist in cleaning up aging tapes.
  • Works with metal and CrO2 tapes.
  • LED level meters provide quick visual reference.
  • Full auto-stop saves older tapes from breaking.
  • Includes software suite with BIAS SoundSoap SE, Audacity, and EZ Tape Converter.

TapeLink USB is available now from musical instrument and pro audio retailers at an estimated street price of
$199.99 USD.

Visit Alesis for more information.

BIAS releases Peak Express 6

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BIAS Peak Express 6

BIAS has released Peak Express 6, a major upgrade to the streamlined edition of the award winning audio editor for Mac.

Previously only available as an OEM edition, Peak Express 6 adds significant features, including integration with the newly released BIAS iProRecorder — a high-quality and intuitive general purpose recording application for iPhone and iPod touch.

Peak Express 6 features

  • Ultra-fast integrated stereo/mono recording, editing & processing.
  • 24-bit/48 kHz audio recording/playback.
  • Uses built in Mac I/O & Core Audio compatible audio hardware.
  • Unlimited Undo/Redo.
  • High quality real-time and offline sample rate conversion.
  • Pencil tool sample editing — repair spikes and short clicks.
  • Sample accurate loop creation.
  • Trigger live playback of up to 10 documents using Mac keyboard number keys.
  • CD Import — import all or portions of CD tracks.
  • DSP toolset includes Fade In/Out, Normalize, Gain Envelope, Reverse, Convert Sample Rate, Mix, Invert.
  • Read/Write loop & reference markers.
  • Read/Write MP2, MP3, AAC, AIFF,.WAVE, SDII, QT, JAM, FLAC and more.
  • Customize audio document size/color.

Peak Express 6 is available now from the BIAS web site for the special introductory price of $39.95 USD. A free trial version can be found here.

Visit BIAS for more information.

BIAS announces Time-Limited Offers + free GateEx plug-in

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BIAS GateEx

BIAS has announced some time-limited offers on some of their products.

BIAS Time-limited offers

  1. BIAS Master Perfection Suite + SoundSoap Pro for $599 USD.
    A mastering and sound design suite of 6 professional plug-ins for virtually any host on Mac and Windows bundled with the highly-acclaimed audio restoration plug-in suite for Mac and Windows (regular price for the both is over $1100).
  2. Peak Pro + free DDP 2.0 (value of $199 USD)
    Peak Pro 6 features everything you need to ensure the highest quality mastering delivery on the Mac. DDP 2.0 authoring ensures your masters will be well received by major replication plants worldwide, with 100% accuracy ensured.
  3. Peak Pro XT for just $499 USD (over 50% off)
    peak Pro XT extends the technology of Peak Pro with a suite of eight uniquely powerful restoration, analysis, sound design, mastering, and delivery tools (includes Peak Pro 6, Master Perfection Suite, SoundSoap Pro, and DDP 2.0 Export Extension).
  4. Free copy of GateEx from the Master Perfection Suite ($59 value)
    A new pro-quality Gate/Expander plug-in with graphic displays, advanced parameter control, and downward expander — effectively removes signals below an assignable threshold and helps reduce audio noise.

All these offers are valid until September 30, 2008 (GateEx plugin must be downloaded and authorized before September 30).

Visit BIAS for more information.