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Peak


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Overview

Peak is an award-winning digital audio editing application for the Macintosh platform.  Peak is installed on all the Macintosh computers in the Fine Arts Lab (Fine Arts 102) and the Instructional Technology Center (Chafee 217 complex). program designed for the Macintosh computer.  Peak creates mono and stereo documents that can be saved in a variety of file formats including wav, .aif, and .mov.  Peak features an unlimited undo-redo capability and user defined display (including size, colors and tool bars). 
Peak has 25 special effect plug-ins that provide sound processing without additional digital signal processing hardware. You can repair clicks and remove DC offset to produce clearer files with less noise.

Peak exports to QuickTime and automatically self-contains files saving you an extra step in the creation to web process.

Peak System Requirements:

•PowerPC, G3, or G4desktop Apple Macintosh or PowerBook (>200MHz processor recommended)
•Macintosh OS 8.6 minimum
•64 MB RAM minimum
•20 MB available disk space
•18 ms hard drive (average seek time) or faster
•QuickTime 4.0 or later

IMPORTANT

These directions are for Macintosh computers only.  Peak is not currently available for Windows-machines. You will need an external microphone if you will be recording your voice or a stereo mini-jack cable if you are importing audio from an external source (such as a cassette player).

 

 

 

The Macintosh Sound Control Panel

 

 

1. Connect your player (cassette, minidisk, etc.) to the sound in/microphone jack of your computer.

 

2. Open the Sound control panel. You can find it under the Apple pull-down menu (in the upper left corner of the desktop).  

Apple > Control Panels > Sound

Choose the Input tab.  Decide if you want to hear the sound played through the computer as you record.  If so put a check in the Play sound through output device box.  

If you are recording from CD, choose the CD icon in the sound input area.  If you are recording from a microphone or cassette tape player, choose Sound In. 

If you are importing from CD you can skip this next step (checking the sound level).

You should also check your signal level by playing a snippet from a tape or your voice (depending on whether you have a microphone or cassette player jacked into the sound in port on the back of your computer).  

Caution: if you are using speakers on the cassette or minidisk player you will be hearing the sound from two sources --I don't recommend this.) 

 

Setting Preferences in Peak

 

Pull down the Preferences menu and select the following

Time units: seconds
Sample units: decimal
Scroll during play (so you can move the cursor beyond the area being played)
Show overview (so you see the entire file when editing)

Click on Scratch disk and set the folder/partitioned space/external drive for your temp files.  I highly recommend using an external drive for audio and video.  This can be defragmented on a regular basis and you won't drop frames on video.

Click on Audio info.  

 

       The sample rate should be 44100.0000

The audio document length will vary.

When you save the document you can change the bit-depth (but 16 Bit should be the minimum you use).  24 and 32-bit depth is excellent but produces large file sizes. In addition, some file types do not accommodate 24 and 32-bit sound.

 

 

The Peak ToolBar

Open the Bias Peak software. If the toolbar below does not open, you can open it under the Window menu.  Select Toolbar. 

The first three icons  in the Toolbar are:

New
Open 
Import From CD

The next five icons are:

Undo
Redo
Cut
Copy
Paste

 


The next set of icons (seven in this set) are:

Zoom out
Zoom in
Zoom to the beginning
Zoom to the end
Zoom at Sample level
New marker
New Region

 

The next set of icons are pivotal in recording from an analog source or external microphone. These are

Rewind
Play
Stop
Record
Record Settings

 

If you forget what any of the icons are, you can turn on the Help balloons  under the Help pull-down menu.  The Help balloons show the icon names when you mouse over them.

Importing Analog Sound from an External Source

First, make sure your analog source is jacked in and 
check the sound level in the Macintosh Sound control 
panel (see directions above).

If your sound is functioning properly, open Peak.  Click 
on the Record icon (the round button located in the 
ToolBar beneath the Help pull-down menu.

 

This will open a new recording window.

At the bottom of this new window, you will see four
 icons.  These are (from left to right) Record Settings
Pause, Stop and Record.

Click on Record Settings. The Record Settings window
will open.

 

 

 

 

 

In the Record Settings window, you can pre-select the 
file format, where the file will be recorded to and 
hardware options if you have any special hardware 
installed in your computer.

If you want to record to other than .aif format, you 
should first click on Device and Sample Format on 
the left side of this window.

 

 

 A new window will open.  The top-left pull-down menu should be set to Source.  The device should be built-in. 
 The input should be Sound In

You should now test your sound again and determine if 
you need to change the Gain (if the recording
level is too low or there is too much distortion).

Once you have set these options Click OK.  This will 
take you back to the Record Settings Window. 
Click OK.

  

Click on the Record icon to start recording your analog 
source.  Now start your tape.  It is important to start the 
recording prior to playing your source so that you are 
sure you have everything.  You can always edit out any 
extra sounds at the start of the recording session.

Click on the square Stop button when your source has 
completed playing.  Your sound file will now open as 
a Peak document that can be edited, transformed and 
saved in a variety of formats.

 

 

 

 

To edit a track:  Removing a section:

Highlight the section to be removed by 
clicking at the start of the edit and dragging the cursor to the end of the portion to be deleted.  Select
Cut under the Edit pull-down menu or use the scissors icon in the ToolBar.

Moving a section:

Highlight the section to be moved by 
clicking at the start of the edit and dragging the cursor to the end of the portion to be moved.  Select
Cut under the Edit pull-down menu or use the scissors icon in the ToolBar. Put the cursor at the exact point where you want to insert the clip.  Select Paste under the Edit pull-down menu or use the Paste icon in the ToolBar.

Copying a section:

Highlight the section to be copied.  Select Copy under the Edit pull-down menu or use the Copy (pages) icon in the ToolBar. Put the cursor at the exact point where you want to insert the clip.  Select Paste under the Edit pull-down menu or use the Paste icon in the ToolBar.

 

Saving the File

 

Once the editing process is done, save the file as a 
QuickTime Movie. To do this, select
Save As in the 
File pull-down menu.  When the Save As dialog box 
opens, choose
QuickTime Movie as the file format 
(one of the choices in the
file format pull-down menu 
in the dialog box).  Choose a title for your audio file.
If you will be digitizing many files, you should develop a naming system before you start so you can remember  the names easily when you need to insert them in your web pages.  Pick a structure and stick to it--i.e., no capital letters, no spaces, sequentially numbered.

 

 

 

 

Recording Through a Microphone 

 
Connect a microphone to the sound in/microphone jack of your computer.

Open the Sound control panel (Apple pull-down menu > Control Panels> Sound). Select Input in the left window.  Select Built-in in the top right window. Select External Mic as the Input Source (in the pull-down menu on the lower right). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your sound is functioning properly, open Peak.  Click on the Record icon (the round button located in the ToolBar beneath the Help pull-down menu.

 

 

This will open a new recording window.

At the bottom of this new window, you will see four icons.  These are (from left to right) Record Settings, Pause, Stop and Record.

Click on Record Settings. The Record Settings window will open.

 

In the Record Settings window, you can pre-select the file format, where the file will be recorded to and hardware options if you have any special hardware installed in your computer.

If you want to record to other than .aif format, you should first click on Device and Sample Format on the left side of this window.

 

 

 

A new window will open.  The top-left pill-down menu should be set to Source.  The device should be built-in. The input should be Sound In. 

You should now test your sound again and determine if  you need to change the Gain (if the recording level is too low or there is too much distortion).

Once you have set these options Click OK.  This will take you back to the Record Settings Window. Click OK.

 

Click on the Record icon to start recording your voice.  If you don't begin talking right away, remember you can always edit out any 
extra sounds at the start of the recording session.

Click on the square Stop button when you have finished your script.   Your sound file will now open as a Peak document that can be edited, transformed and saved in a variety of formats.

 

Converting a Track From a CD 

 

Open Peak.

Pull-down the b menu and select Import CD Track.

The Import CD Audio window will open.

Select the track you want to convert by double-clicking on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will open the Audio CD Import Options window.

Choose 44.100 kHz, 16-bit Stereo sound for files being converted from .aif (CD audio).  Click OK.

DON'T FORGET THIS STEP!  If you do not double-click on the file and set these options, you will not successfully convert the file.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you have entered the settings for the file, click Import.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose a folder to store the temporary file while the CD is being converted. (To keep your hard drive relatively clear, you should delete this file once the CD conversion process is completed).

Click Save.

The audio file will now open on the desktop.

 

 

 

   

 

http://www.uri.edu/artsci/langlab/documentation/peak.html

University of Rhode Island


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Page last revised on Friday, September 27, 2002.