Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from Macworld UK.
MOTU offered NAMM a sneak preview of its soon to ship Digital Performer 6 audio sequencer software and introduced its powerful virtual instrument, Electric Keys, at the music and audio industry trade show.
Digital Performer 6 is a major upgrade to MOTU’s flagship audio sequencer software. New features include a complete user interface redesign, XML file interchange with Final Cut Pro, other industry-leading film scoring enhancements, track comping, support for interleaved broadcast WAVE audio files, enhanced support for operation as a software front end for Pro Tools HD systems, pre-rendering of virtual instruments, better support for third-party Audio Unit (AU) plug-ins, the ability to “bounce and burn” directly to an audio CD and many other productivity enhancements.
In addition to its updated “look and feel”, Digital Performer 6 has been further streamlined to allow existing users to work faster and new users to learn the program quickly and easily. The windows, track lists, inspector palettes and track selection interfaces have all been improved.
Previous versions of Digital Performer allowed users to record multiple takes into a track, and then choose one take in the track for playback and editing. Now users can choose “Show Takes” to view all takes side by side. Using the new Take Tool, users can easily make split points across all takes and then simply click the desired section from each take to quickly create a composite (comp) take consisting of the sections selected from each take. In the resulting comp take, crossfades can be applied, along with all standard operations for editing audio regions in a DP track. Users can then use the resulting comp track as yet another take itself, which allows users to “comp the comp” by incorporating any portion of an existing comp take into a new comp take.
Additional features include ProVerb, a processor-efficient convolution reverb plug-in that delivers the acoustic spatial sounds to any track or mix. A Dynamic Mix feature automatically “ducks” the wet signal as the dry input signal rises, then raises the wet mix as the dry signal level subsides. MasterWorks Leveler is an accurate model of the legendary Teletronix LA-2A optical leveling amplifier, known for its Automatic Gain Control (AGC) characteristics.
The Digital Performer engineering team works closely with Apple engineering on a on-going basis to continue improving Digital Performer on the Mac as an advanced platform for music and audio production. As a result, the Audio Unit (AU) plug-in specification continues to be improved with new host/plug-in API’s that add exciting new features and better performance.
This release includes many enhancements that are a result of this collaboration. For example, third-party AU virtual instrument plug-ins are now 100-percent sample accurate, providing the tightest possible timing between MIDI tracks in DP6 and their AU instrument output. DP6 also supports AU plug-in side chain inputs, Cocoa-based AU graphics and ramp-based automation for all automatable AU plug-ins. All AU plug-in parameters can be controlled with external control surfaces.
Digital Performer 6 will ship in the first quarter of 2008 for a list price of $795.
The $295 Electric Keys is a cross-platform virtual instrument that delivers the authentic sounds of 50 classic, vintage electric keyboard instruments from the last 40 years. The massive 40GB sound library includes over 20,000 meticulously crafted 24-bit 96 kHz multi-samples of legendary electric pianos, electric organs, clavinets, Wurlitzers, tape samplers, string machines, keyboard basses and other rare and exotic electric keyboard instruments.