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MOTU Digital Performer Exceeds 100 Tracks On New Apple G4 MP/800

(September 06, 2001)
MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn, Inc.) has just completed a preliminary round of performance bench tests running Digital Performer 3.0 (DP3) on Apple Computer's new 800 MHz dual-processor G4 Power Macintosh (G4 MP/800) equipped with a MOTU 2408mkII audio interface.

On this completely "native" system, where the computer handles all of the real-time mixing and effects processing, Digital Performer is able to play back 128 tracks of 16-bit 44.1 kHz audio with eight bands of parametric EQ and dynamics processing on each track.

This configuration breaks down as follows: 128 audio voices, 1024 bands of parametric EQ and 128 dynamics processors. All processing is calculated with 32-bit floating point precision. Digital Performer's included plug-ins were used for the tests.

"The 128 track count is my no means a ceiling," explains Jim Cooper, MOTU Marketing Director. "Even higher track counts are possible, depending on how much real-time effects processing one applies to the mix. But for bench-testing purposes, we chose 8 bands of parametric EQ plus a dynamics processor on each track as a way to get across the astonishing power of this system. I predict that soon, real-world Digital Performer projects with 72 to 100+ tracks and lots of plug-ins will be commonplace."

Several new features recently introduced in Digital Performer made these tests possible. Most importantly, DP3 supports the MP G4's multiprocessing, which gives users access to both CPUs in the machine. This effectively doubles the amount of real-time processing available in DP3 compared to the G4's single-CPU counterpart. In addition, the extremely high number of tracks and audio voices were made possible by DP3's new Automatic Voice Allocation feature, which allows the program to dynamically assign audio voices as needed from a pool of 96 mono voices and 64 stereo voices (224 voices total).

More information about Digital Performer can be found at Mark of the Unicorn, Inc. 1280 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02138 Phone: (617) 576-2760 Fax: (617) 576-3609 Email:; Web:

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Related Keywords:performance bench tests, Digital Performer 3.0, MOTU 2408mkII audio interface

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