Last week we had the news that Redmatica has been bought by Apple and is closing down. Now, it seems Bias, the company that makes the highly regarded audio editing programme, Peak, is going out of business. The two stories may be entirely unrelated, as there is no indication that Apple have bought Bias. But, this still represents a big shake-up in the digital audio world.
Why Bias Is Going Out Of Business
The CEO of Bias chimed in some blogposts and forum discussions to offer a perspective on what happened to his company.
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 are 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 LL”
Comment And Discussion
As you can imagine, this news has created a lot of discussion online. Michael Bierylo posted an excellent eulogy for Peak, reminding us all how innovative and important Peak, which was first released in 1996, had once been. Peak certainly was a go-to programme for a lot of sound designers and mastering engineers. Peter Kirn also has an excellent commentary as well, highlighting some viable alternatives to Peak that are still available on the market.
The Changing Audio Market
Twice, I nearly bit the bullet and bought Peak. Early on I was frustrated with Apple’s (now discontinued) mastering application, Waveburner. Then, a few years back, I had some batch processing jobs for a client that needed to be done in a hurry.
But, both times, I stalled on Peak’s price, which was fairly high and settled instead on tweaking programmes I already had on my drives.
In recent years it’s become harder to justify buying into Peak. Logic Pro was more expensive than Peak a few years ago, but now retails for U$199 (compared to U$499 for Bias Peak Studio). And, there are a lot of programmes that do much of what Peak did for less than U$100; not to mention freeware like Audacity, which even exceeds Peak in some regards.
Although Bias offered a more affordable, cut-down version of Peak, along with other innovative products (like SoundSoap), they clearly were not able to compete in the current market.
“One of the realities of working with a digital toolset is that, unlike a wrench or a hammer, nothing lasts for ever. There’s no hammer version 2.0 that requires an update, you don’t have to discard the old one when a new one comes out, and it will always be there. In a box somewhere I have many of the carpentry tools I watched my grandfather use as a child. What do I hand down to my son? A box of floppy disks…” Michael Bierylo