Downloads: SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS The system requirements for Digital Performer 4.12 are the same as for Version 4.0, which are described in the Digital Performer Getting Started book. Please note that for optimum performance, 1 GB or more of RAM is highly recommended. PANTHER COMPATIBILITY. MOTU - Digital Performer 10.11 x86 x64. Description: MOTU has released version 10 of Digital Performer, a major update to its flagship audio software. New features include a Clips window for live triggering and looping of audio and MIDI clips, Stretch Audio powered by industry-leading ZTX PRO technology, VCA faders, a new user-friendly content. Hollin Jones finds out in our Digital Performer 8 Review. Upgrade from previous version of DP £150. There are a fair few DAWs around these days, the vast majority of which are supremely capable, handling every aspect of the music production process. MOTU’s Digital Performer hasn’t always grabbed the lion’s share of headlines.

We test Melodyne regularly with the latest version of each DAW but only, of course, with versions of each operating system that have been cleared for use by the DAW manufacturer in question. If you wish to use some other configuration, please check with the manufacturer of your DAW whether it is compatible with your operating system.

You could equally well use the trial version of Melodyne to test this. With it, you can use all the functions of the program without any limitations, free of charge, for 30 days with no obligation. If Melodyne runs well on your system during the trial phase, it will continue to do so once purchased.

See also the tips and information on DAWs in the Help Center as well as in the FAQ.

A note on ARA-compatible DAWs: Since the manufacturers of the various DAWs support ARA Audio Random Access in different ways, the range of ARA functions offered varies from DAW to DAW. You will find details of the ARA support offered in each case in the documentation of the DAW in question.

  • Pros

    • Interface makes excellent use of smaller laptop screens.
    • Phenomenal built-in pitch correction.
    • Excellent guitar amplifier plug-ins.
    • Comprehensive MIDI, notation, and film scoring tools.
    • Finally a 64-bit program.
  • Cons

    • Virtual instrument tracks require separate MIDI tracks.
    • Weak instrument plug-in bundle.
    • Inferior audio-stretching tools.

If there's a single digital audio workstation package that's more closely associated with the Mac than any other, it's MOTU's Digital Performer. In the digital audio-enabled version's eighth iteration ($499 list), MOTU's flagship DAW remains a premier tool for MIDI composition and film scoring, and it contains enough audio-editing tools to serve as a solid all-around multitrack recorder. When MOTU introduced version 8 last October, the company announced a PC version for the first time, and it's now finally becoming available. On the Mac, at least, I've been using Digital Performer on and off for over 20 years, with my first experience being with the MIDI-only Performer in a college music lab on a Mac IIsi; this latest version is a true pleasure to work with.

System Requirements and Plug-in Formats
For this review, I tested Digital Performer 8 on two machines: a quad-core Mac Pro (2009) running OS X Lion, and a quad-core MacBook Pro 15-inch (2012) running OS X Mountain Lion. Digital Performer installs very quickly, as it takes up just 1.7GB of hard disk space. Part of the reason for that is that the program still lacks key virtual instrument plug-ins (more on that later).

The big news is that Digital Performer is now 64-bit for the first time, which means it can address more than 4GB of memory—a huge boon for anyone working with large virtual instrument samples. As long as your third-party plug-ins are also 64-bit, you can get a lot more out of the program than you could before. The UI is also 100 percent Cocoa this time around; performance seemed snappy on both test machines.

Motu Digital Performer 11

Fortunately, there's no hardware-based copy protection. On the software side, MOTU gives you two activations, so you can use the program on, say, a desktop and a laptop. Install and activate DP8 on a third machine, and it doesn't fight you; it just deactivates the first one. This is far preferable to Steinberg's copy protection scheme for Cubase 7, which uses a proprietary eLicenser dongle, or Avid's for Pro Tools 10, which relies on the more common but still frustrating iLok key—both of which take up one of the two precious USB ports on all Mac laptops. Apple Logic Pro and the PC-based Cakewalk SONAR still lead in that they don't require copy protection at all. But I personally have no problem with software activations as long as they work reliably and are easy to perform.


User Interface and Recording

If you've used Digital Performer before, you'll find the main user interface environment instantly familiar. The consolidated interface lets you display multiple views simultaneously. I found that I liked working with the Tracks view to the top left, audio or MIDI editing in the bottom left, and the mixing board to the right, but you can create just about any setup using the horizontal and vertical drawbars in each window.

The UI works particularly well on lower-resolution MacBooks and MacBook Pros. I could fit a ton of data on-screen, including 24 track lanes, a score or piano roll editor, and eight mixer channels off to the right. New themes give you an additional 15 options for the look of the program, but it's not just about color—the look of the sliders, pan pots, and meters also changes with each theme.

For recording audio, a new Punch Guard mode is one of those forehead-slapping obvious features that should have been there from the beginning. It always ensures you don't lose the front or tail of a good take, because the feature is constantly capturing extra time before and after your punch points. One of my favorite features is DP's free companion iPhone app, which I tested on an iPhone 5. The app gave me instantaneous, reliable control of the transport, take management, and even mixing board faders, which freed me up to sit in front of actual instruments instead of the computer while recording.

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