Peak Rider - Overview

Peak Rider
A brand-new approach to dynamics processing! Peak Rider uses a sidechain signal to fluidly shape the envelope of the main input. Attenuation and boost are intelligently applied so that the main input "rides" the peaks and valleys of the sidechain. The creative possibilities are endless!


Peak Rider - Key Features
  • Novel new approach to dynamic processing
  • Wideband and multiband
  • Zero-latency analysis with linear phase option
  • Four processing modes available
  • Three analysis & detection modes
  • Fine control over envelope shaping
  • Left/right and mid/side stereo processing
  • Simple one-time serial number activation
  • PC VST (32/64bit), Mac VST / AU formats

All credit cards and PayPal accepted

Products are delivered digitally, shipping optional.


Bundles and Product Formats

Peak Rider Trial

Download a free trial of Peak Rider! This version is not feature-restricted; it mutes briefly every 15 seconds. We encourage you to watch the demo videos and read the manual to learn more about the many possibilities within the plugin.

Download - Windows
Download - Mac

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Peak Rider Concept
Peak Rider Explained

Peak Rider is a flexible dynamic processor that rides the output level of a track by an amount based on a sidechain input. Unlike a traditional compressor, limiter, or expander, the plugin smoothly applies boost and attenuation depending on the sidechain, opening up a whole new realm of creative mixing possibilities!

What are some possible applications of Peak Rider? At a basic level, any setup where you want the dynamics of one track to match the dynamics of another. Here are a few examples:

  • Matching an ambient room mic to a close mic, tightening the reverb tail.
  • Matching time-aligned harmony vocals to a main vocal, syncing the volume of all vocal tracks.
  • Matching saturated drums to the unprocessed track, preserving dynamics with even extreme processing.
  • Matching a static synth to any rhythmic track to create new life and motion.
  • Matching a live bass to the mid frequencies of a drum kit so the bass + snare always hit together.

Two of Peak Rider's three detection algorithms work in real-time with no latency, making it suitable for live uses as well as studio production. A Smooth windowed-average mode (described further below) and linear phase multi-band processing allow for highly surgical and precise editing.

Further opening up the creative possibilities, Peak Rider can also be used with an internal sidechain - instead of processing the main input based on a separate sidechain, the plugin can process dynamics based on a single input. In this mode, Peak Rider can become anything from a highly effective gate to a powerful three-band transient shaper.

We can't wait to hear how YOU use Peak Rider!

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Peak Rider - Interface
Peak Rider UI
For a complete overview of the UI, please check out the videos & manual below!

Peak Rider features four main processing modes.

Exact Mode: The plugin rides the main input signal up or down to match the sidechain's envelope to the main input's envelope. First, the levels of the main and sidechain inputs are analyzed. Then, gain is applied based on the difference, up to a maximum set by the range control.

Noboost Mode: Similar to Exact mode, but does not apply any boost. Instead, it only rides the main input downwards when the sidechain envelop drops below the main input's envelope.

Duck Mode: Rides the main input up or down depending on band gain and the ratio of sidechain envelope level to main input level.

Limit Mode: Similar to a standard mastering limiter, with a variable output ceiling based on the sidechain's envelope.

Additionally, there are three detection algorithms which impact how the envelope is generated and analyzed.

Peak: A real-time, fast peak-meter style envelop designed for controlling transient-heavy material.

RMS: A real-time smooth envelope designer that is ideal for tonal and elongated material, leaving transients less affected.

Smooth: A windowed-average envelope generator that uses a variable lookahead, introducing some latency but offering time-accurate detection. This algorithm is very effective on tonal instruments.

The Range knob controls the maximum amount of gain applied to the main input, while Mix blends between the processed and dry signals. The band view can be used in both wideband and multiband mode, with variable crossovers; by right-clicking on the visual display, the crossovers can be set from 6 dB/oct slope to 24 dB/oct, and from minimum phase to linear phase.

Stereo signals can be processed in left/right or mid/side configuration, and can be processed together or independently in Link mode. The bands themselves each have controls for Attack, Decay, and Transient timing. They can also be soloed, muted, or bypassed easily.

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Peak Rider - Videos

Drum Processing Overview with Peak Rider (ft. developer Zach Hughes)


Introduction to Peak Rider: Sidechain Dynamic Envelope Processor


Drum Fattening with Peak Rider (ft. developer Zach Hughes)


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Peak Rider - System Requirements

Download the Peak Rider product manual.
Below are required & recommended system specs for Peak Rider.

  • A DAW / host program that supports sidechaining
  • Windows 7 / Mac OSX 10.6 or higher
  • 2GB RAM
  • Core i3 Processor
  • VST or AU compatible DAW (32 & 64bit versions available)

Peak Rider v1.1.0 Changelog (March 4, 2016)

  • VST2 added (Mac)
  • VST3 added (Mac/Windows)
  • Apple Logic/Ableton Live: native DAW sidechain bus support
  • Mac Users: added Ctrl+Click to open filter settings window.
  • Fixed & Improved 6dB & 12dB crossovers
  • More compatible input-channel configurations across all DAWs
  • Changed unregistered limitation from periodic mute to periodic white noise
  • Changed Registration tool text ‘Username’ to ‘User ID’
  • Fixed grammatical errors and minor display issues with interface
  • Added ‘Check for Update’ button to the info box

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