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Integrated MIDI sequencing and audio recording with advanced features and intuitive, streamlined design for beginners and experts alike.
MOTU's Digital Performer is an integrated MIDI and audio sequencer for studio recording, film scoring, live performance, and remixing; and the choice of professionals worldwide. Digital Performer offers an easy-to-understand workflow and professional tools like unlimited tracks, unlimited undo, surround sound support, 64-bit mastering, sample-accurate MIDI and audio editing, automatic tempo calculation for film scoring, and lots more. Its simple and easy-to-use track layout, mixing board, and transport controls are all you need for the foundation of a powerful computer-based production system. With a flexible, customizable interface; loop-based production; linear sequencing and recording; and part and score notation-based composition you can work the way you want. Complete Mac OS X support takes full advantage of Core Audio and Core MIDI services so you get sample-accurate MIDI Time Stamping, Core MIDI patch list support, Audio Unit plug-ins and virtual instruments, support for multiple Core Audio interface drivers, and more. New features include 6 new instrument plug-ins, track folders, Meter Bridge level monitoring, 4 new editing tools, scoring enhancements; enhanced input monitoring; MIDI keys; and many productivity enhancements.
Six new virtual instruments
From classic FM to vintage analog, six intriguing virtual instruments will spark your creativity and get you making music in minutes. Browse the hundreds of supplied presets, choose a sound or drum kit, and then hit the record button. The rest is up to you. Load your own samples or program custom sounds. You get two one-oscillator subtractive synths, one two-oscillator subtractive synth, a sample player, a drum module and an FM synth. Get ready to crank out some serious sound from your Mac. All six instruments are designed for easy, streamlined operation and CPU-efficient performance. New instruments include: BassLine monophonic bass synth, PolySynth analog-style polyphonic pad synth, Modulo programmable 2-oscillator subtractive synth, NanoSampler easy software sample player, Model 12 programmable drum module, and Proton FM synthesizer.
BassLine monophonic bass synth
BassLine is an analog-style monophonic bass synth dedicated to the bass, the whole bass, and nothing but the bass. The result is monstrous low end and instant killer bass lines. BassLine has one oscillator that blends saw and square waveforms; a low-pass filter with cutoff and resonance; simple decay envelopes for the filter and amplifier; and several additional analog synth features.
PolySynth analog-style polyphonic pad synth
PolySynth is a retro analog-style polyphonic pad synth inspired by the Roland Juno 106 and other one-oscillator analog synths from the '80s. It is capable of a wide variety of sounds thanks to a digital control oscillator which can be adjusted with varying amounts of de-tune, triangle wave, sawtooth, rectangle (square) wave, sub-oscillator 1, sub-oscillator 2, and noise. Lush pads, rude squawks, twisting sweeps - just choose a preset and go.
The single LFO can modulate pitch (for vibrato), pulse width (for the square wave and sub-oscillators) or filter depth (for the classic "wah" effect, among others). The resonant low-pass filter is equipped with frequency and resonance controls, key tracking, velocity control and an ADSR envelope, which can also be applied as an overall envelope for each note. Chorus and distortion provide plenty of punch for the thickest of pads and searing lead lines. Classic filter and envelope design make for quick, intuitive programming.
Modulo programmable 2-oscillator subtractive synth
Modulo is a highly programmable 2-oscillator subtractive synth like BassLine and PolySynth combined with performance-enhancing drugs. Modulo is built on two independent oscillators each capable of producing 58 digital waveforms including basics such as sine, square, saw, and rectangle.
The oscillator waveforms can be adjusted with symmetry, tuning, and a unique phase shift that lets you split the oscillator, offset the resulting waveforms up to 180 degrees, then either subtract or multiply the two split waveforms to produce interesting timbral shifts. This effect can even be modulated with several possible modulation sources, such as one of the two LFOs. In fact, Modulo provides five different modulation sources and up to seven destinations. Sources include the two LFOs, modulation envelope, external mod wheel and note-on velocity, all of which can be assigned to filter frequency, oscillator pitch, oscillator phase shift, oscillator symmetry, and many other controls. The results produce living, breathing, dynamic, responsive sounds that you can mold in realtime as you write and mix your music.
A resonant multi-mode filter, three envelopes (for the amplifier, filter and general purpose modulation), detune, noise and modulation matrix provide plenty of additional sound shaping control. Modulo also has an easy bank and patch management system to keep you organized.
NanoSampler easy software sample player
Nanosampler is one of the easiest way to play samples ever devised. Load a sample and play it. Easy. You can drag and drop an audio file from any other DP window or your Mac desktop straight to the Nanosampler LCD display to instantly play it from your MIDI controller. It also puts all of the basic sampler features right at your fingertips: set a sample start/end time, set a crossfade loop, apply the multimode filter and automate cutoff frequency or other parameters, apply an envelope to the amplitude or filter and add some LFO effects.
Build your own personalized library of samples, organized as you wish in the Mac OS Finder and accessed instantly from Nanosampler sub-menus that reflect your customized folder organization. You can even collect the samples being used, regardless of their source location, into your DP project folder for easy archiving and session exchange with your colleagues. On top of it all, Nanosampler is very CPU efficient, so you can open as many Nanosamplers as you have samples to play.
Model 12 programmable drum module
Model 12 is a 12-part programmable drum module that delivers instant drums with hundreds of drum samples and dozens of kits ready to load and go. You can also build your own kits with surprisingly deep programming features. Each of Model 12's individual parts has two sends, allowing you to independently apply any effects or other external processing you wish to each part. If you have more extensive percussion parts, you can instantiate multiple instances of Model 12. One instance is your basic kit, while another is percussion.
Proton FM synthesizer
Proton™ is the sixth and final instrument plug-in included with DP5. Proton is an imaginative and provocative two-operator frequency modulation (FM) synthesizer that delivers classic, bright, shimmering and expressive FM synth sounds that serve as a perfect compliment to the rest of DP5's new instrument lineup. FM synthesis involves modulating one oscillator's frequency (the carrier) with another oscillator (the modulator) at rates in the audible range (i.e. not slow LFO rates). Different frequency ratios of modulator and carrier operators produce a world of interesting timbres. The pioneering Yamaha DX7 delivered a wide range of sounds using only sine waves with six operators. Proton delivers an equally broad palette of sounds with a streamlined 2-op architecture driven by its unique wavetable knob, instead of the added overhead and complexity of additional operators. As such, Proton may be the most easily programmable FM synth ever created. A real-time display in the center of the window display the spectral content or periodic waveform being generated by the current settings. Additional controls include an FM LFO, modulation pitch envelope, FM amount envelope and overall ADSR envelope.
Track folders let you organize your lengthy track lists into folders and sub-folders and show or hide track groups with a single click on the disclosure triangle. You can put folders within folders for as many levels as you need. Assign a unique color to the tracks in each folder to further enhance your project organization. Track folders appear throughout DP5 in all windows that show multiple tracks, including all track show/hide selectors. Option-click and command-click shortcuts help you quickly collapse and expand multiple folders, or even all folders.
The Meter Bridge is dedicated to monitoring all signal paths in the Digital Performer mixing environment. It is a new window and the central pane in the Consolidated Window. With a single click you can independently show or hide available hardware inputs, available hardware outputs, busses, bundles, and tracks as desired. The long-throw, scalable meters have extremely fast, smooth and accurate ballistics. You can easily toggle between a scalable linear layout and a wrap-around layout that displays all meters in multiple rows for an instant bird's-eye view of all signal paths.
DP5 has four new audio editing tools to speed up your edits: Trim, Slip, Slide, and Roll. Trim lets you trim audio regions more quickly with a dedicated tool. Slip allows you to move the waveform inside an audio clip earlier or later without affecting the left or right edge of the audio region. Slide allows you to move the edges of the audio region earlier or later by the same amount in one drag operation while the audio inside the clip remains anchored to its current position in time. Roll will let you drag the border between two adjacent audio regions in one operation.
Film and video scoring enhancements
Building on an already strong feature set designed for film and TV composers, DP5 includes several enhancements. Visual cues streamers, flutters, and punches are now available with extensive control over application. You can also now customize your own visual and audio click counts.
Enhanced input monitoring
Independent input monitoring on each audio track in Digital Performer 5 will allow you to listen to a live audio signal from the track's assigned input independent of the track's record-enable state. Four Audio Patch Thru modes (Auto, Blend, Input Only, Off) give you several options for input monitoring behavior in various situations. Blend mode lets you hear both the live input and the disk audio during playback before you punch in for recording.
Soundbite volume and gain
Draw a volume curve on an audio clip and it stays with all instances of the clip. Apply an overall, non-destructive amount of gain or attenuation to a soundbite. All instances of the soundbite are affected.
The new MIDI Keys window provides convenient, basic MIDI note entry so you can trigger synths, enter MIDI notes, and step record MIDI notes on your computer keyboard.
Digital Performer 5 introduces dozens of productivity enhancements. Some of the highlights are support for Pro Tools 7; track enable/disable; convenient MIDI device setup from within DP5; tabs in the Waveform Editor for direct access to embedded tempo; pitch and volume meta-data; and a quicker, more convenient process for adding virtual instruments.
Reviewed by 1 customer
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There really isn't anything that you can't do with Digital Performer. I've used it and Pro Tools and the differences in my opinion are simple Digital Performer is directed at the musican who needs a complete recording solution. Pro Tools is more orientated towards the pure recording tasks. Yeah they added MIDI support but it pales when compared to DP. As a musician MIDI support and ability to deal with complex arrangements is important. I've used this product since it was first introduced and for me it's the most intuitive. In all honesty I don't deal with very complex arrangements but it has everything that I would need should the need arise. As for the differences in Performer 5 I really like the new interface. The supplied plug-ins are much better although there is slightly more latency when using them. Overall I just don't think that you go wrong using this product.