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MOTU Debuts Digital Performer 5 at NAMM 2006DP5 to include six new instrument plug-ins, track folders, meter bridge and more (January 26, 2006)
MOTU, Inc. (booth #6410) unveiled Digital Performer 5, a major upgrade that includes six new virtual instrument plug-ins, track folders, a flexible Meter Bridge feature, new audio editing tools, a multitude of new film scoring features, new input monitoring modes, clip-based volume automation and many other feature additions and enhancements.
"This major upgrade has incredible new features for beginner and veteran users alike, including several firsts never before seen in audio workstation software," said Jim Cooper, Director of Marketing for MOTU.
Six new included virtual instruments
DP5 includes six new, easy to use, CPU-efficient virtual instrument plug-ins.
BassLine is a one oscillator, two-waveform monophonic bass synth that lets users quickly dial up that perfect analog bass sound. With a streamlined design consisting of two waveforms (saw and square), one low-pass filter with cutoff and resonance, simple decay envelopes for the filter and amplifier and several additional classic analog synth features, BassLine is an easy and enjoyable instrument that delivers great analog bass sounds with just a few turns of its dials.
PolySynth is a polyphonic synth with a distinct look that harkens back to the classic Roland Juno 106. PolySynth is capable of a much wider variety of sounds than BassLine, thanks to its digital controlled oscillator (DCO), which can be adjusted with varying amounts of de-tune, triangle wave, sawtooth, rectangle (square) wave, sub-oscillator 1 & 2 and noise. 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.
Modulo significantly raises the subtractive synthesis stakes by providing two oscillators plus noise, 58 available digital waveforms for each oscillator (including sine, square, saw, rectangle, etc.), oscillator phase and symmetry modulation, two LFOs, a resonant multimode filter, three envelopes (for the amplifier, filter and general purpose modulation) and a 5x7 modulation matrix, which supplies five sources applied to up to seven possible destinations. With built-in bank and patch management features and dozens of clearly organized presets, Modulo provides users with accessible yet limitless possibilities for analog synth sounds.
Nanosynth allows users to drag and drop any sample (up to five seconds long) from anywhere in DP (or from the Mac OS X Finder) into its graphic sample display and then set a start time, end time, loop (if desired) and crossfade. A multimode filter, amplifier envelope, filter envelope and LFO provide all of the essential features needed for basic sampler programming. True to its name, Nanosynth is highly CPU-efficient and the user can open as many instances of it as they need during a project to play back an infinite variety of sampler sounds.
Model 12 is a twelve-part drum module. Hundreds of supplied drum sounds and dozens of drum kits can be quickly loaded into its twelve drum parts, which can be individually programmed with controls for pitch (formant corrected or conventional pitch shifting), time stretch, duration (decay or gate), volume & pan, two sends, and a resonant multimode filter with drive. Modulation of many of these controls is available by dragging controls in the virtual LCD display at the top of the window. Drum tracks are now easier to program than ever before.
Proton is the sixth and final instrument plug-in included with DP5. Proton is a 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. 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 a simple 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 shows the user 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.
In all windows that display tracks, such as the Sequence Editor, users can now organize their lengthy track lists into folders and sub-folders, much like the list view in the Mac OS X Finder. To expand or collapse a folder, the user clicks the disclosure triangle. Several modifier keys are provided for expanding and collapsing all folders, either at the same level of hierarchy or further down the hierarchy via enclosed, nested folders. Users can employ Digital Performer's existing track color management features together with track folders to further color-code and organize their projects.
The Meter Bridge is a new window (and central pane in the Consolidated Window) that is dedicated to monitoring all signal paths in the Digital Performer mixing environment. With a single click, users can independently show or hide available hardware inputs, available hardware outputs, busses, bundles and tracks as desired. The Meter Bridge provides long-throw, scalable meters with extremely fast, smooth and accurate ballistics. The user can quickly toggle between two different layouts: the linear layout shows all meters side by side in one row that scrolls left and right. The wrap-around layout displays all meters in multiple rows that fit in the space available in the window for an instant bird's-eye view of all signal paths currently being viewed.
New Trim, Slip, Slide and Roll tools
The tool bar now contains four new audio editing tools: Trim, Slip, Slide and Roll. Trim lets users drag the edge of an audio region. This feature was available in earlier versions of DP, but now it can be explicitly invoked with the new tool in the tool bar. This allows users to trim audio regions more quickly by clicking somewhere inside the audio region, rather than having to find and drag the edge, which may be offscreen. The Slip tool allows users to move the waveform inside an audio clip earlier or later without affecting the left or right edge of the audio region. The Slide tool does the converse: it allows users 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. The Roll tool allows users to drag the border between two adjacent audio regions in one operation, "covering up" a portion of one region while "uncovering" the other.
Streamers, punches and flutters
Building on an already strong feature set designed for film and TV composers, DP5 includes several major enhancements for music-for-picture workflows. Streamers, flutters and punches help composers, conductors and musicians to anticipate visual hits and, more generally, synchronize their music to what is happening on screen. DP5 can now superimpose streamers, punches and flutters directly on a QuickTime movie playing in Digital Performers movie window. This allows film and TV composers to collaborate more efficiently with music editors and better prepare for and conduct live orchestra sound stage scoring sessions. By bringing these visual cues to the native desktop, without expensive and cumbersome additional hardware, DP5 also paves the way for anyone to conduct small- to medium-scale scoring sessions in their personal and project studios. DP5's ability to trigger these visual cues has also been expanded to support the CueLine ProCue 1m1 and ClickStreamMachine, two third-party devices commonly used in the industry for live orchestra sound stage scoring sessions.
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