MOTU (Mark Of The Unicorn) released Digital Performer version 11, a major upgrade to its long-standing flagship DAW. The focus is mainly on new features, although MOTU promises the software looks and feels as familiar as ever. Highlights include Articulation Maps, Audio Retrospective Record, support for MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE), a completely redesigned Nanosampler 2.0 instrument plug-in, support for macOS Big Sur and native compatibility with Apple silicon Macs, as well as additional user-requested enhancements.
MOTU Digital Performer 11
There is lots to go through, so please excuse me as I reach at my bullet points for this one:
- Articulation Maps – create and import articulation maps to harness the expression possibilities of today’s advanced orchestral sound libraries. Each articulation can be mapped to a symbol, stem ornament, alternate notehead, or custom text (such as con sordino) in DP’s QuickScribe notation editor. Symbols remain connected to their orchestra library sounds, so that what you see is what you hear. Because notes remember their symbol, users can instantly switch maps at any time (to a different sound library, for example). In addition, each articulation can trigger multiple forms of output, from on-velocity changes to note stacks, providing support for even the most advanced orchestra libraries. DP’s Graphic Editor provides clear, intuitive editing of articulations in separate lanes.
- Support for MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) and Per-Note CCs – in DP 11, users can record multi-channel output from MPE controllers and regular MIDI notes with encapsulated MPE expression data. After recording a range of gestures (strike, pressure, slide, glide, and lift), users see a single stream of normal MIDI notes with each having its own note-specific controllers superimposed on top of each note for editing in DP’s piano roll. Users can view and edit each controller in a separate lane using DP’s continuous controller (CC) editing tools. A new Scale tool lets users increase or reduce the amount of expression. MX4 and DP’s other included synth plug-ins are MPE-enabled, so users can get started with their MPE controller right away.
- Audio Retrospective Record – DP11 adds Retrospective Recording of audio. The software always listens to both MIDI and audio input sources, capturing everything even when not recording. This lets users immediately recall any audio or MIDI material they recently played.
- Nanosampler 2.0 – a major upgrade to the Nanosampler instrument which brings new features, such as three playback modes (Classic, 1-shot and Slice), ZTX time stretching, beat slicing with Randomize and Auto Randomize, Repeat, Reverse, and a complete rewrite of the user interface.
- Support for macOS Big Sur and Apple silicon Macs – DP11 is fully qualified for macOS Big Sur (11.x) and the latest generation Apple silicon Macs. No Rosetta required. Optimized for native multi-core performance, DP’s audio engine prioritizes audio threads on high-speed cores and reserves CPU bandwidth for critical, time-sensitive processing.
- Clip Triggering With Novation and Akai Pad Controllers – complete hands-on control of DP’s Clips window with popular pad controllers like the Novation Launchpad Pro mk3 or Akai APC-40. You can trigger individual clips, scenes (sections of songs), and effects – possibly among other stuff you’d like to tap into during live performances.
- New Control Surface plug-ins for Native Instruments and Icon – DP 11 includes new control surface plug-ins for the current Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol lineup and iCON Control mixing work surfaces.
- Enhanced Avid EuCon Support – DP’s EuCon plug-in has been updated with support for the Avid S6 console. In addition, you can now use a EuCon-compatible worksurface with DP on Windows 10.
- Live Performance Mode — all effects processing is done in real time for instant responsiveness in performance situations.
- Chunk Folders and Playlists — organize sequences and songs into folders and playlists to build set lists for live shows.
- Chunks List Split View — improves chunk list management. For example, search for a chunk in one list section and then drag it into a folder or playlist in the other.
- Multi-channel MIDI Tracks — record and play multiple channels of MIDI data in a single track. Channel info is stored with each MIDI event in the track.
- Enhanced View Filtering — quickly show/hide individual MIDI channel data and/or specific event types with the expanded Track Selector.
- Enhanced Support for MCU and HUI-compatible Control Surfaces — with improved automation toggling, scrub modes, send mode, loop toggle, and more.
- More Control Surface Enhancements — V-Racks can now be displayed on all control surfaces that support them. New track pinning modes ensure that you always see the tracks you need. New track indicator lights in the Sequence Editor and Mixing Board show which tracks are currently active on any control surface.
- Track and Clip Effects — every audio track, MIDI track and clip now has a transpose setting that leaves the original data unaffected. MIDI tracks and clips also have a quantize setting.
- Intelligent Audio Interface Selection — On macOS, if you haven’t yet selected the audio hardware you wish to use with DP, it finds the best option for you.
- Clips Window Enhancements — the ‘New Empty Clips Scene’ command fills empty cells with new empty clips. The ‘Double Clip Loop’ feature doubles the length of the looped portion in a clip.
- List Font Scaling — resize the text in DP’s list windows, independent of the scaling for the rest of the UI, with three independent controls for List windows, Project Notes and Lyrics.
- Text Rendering and dialog box scaling on Windows — DP’s text appears significantly crisper in Windows 10. The software also resizes system dialogs and menus appropriately for the size and resolution of your computer screen.
- Dynamically Resizable Channel Strips — DP’s faders resize when you make the Mixing Board and Channel Strip windows taller (or shorter).
- ‘Transpose Exclude’ option — a new track setting locks tracks from Transpose operations.
- New Scale Tool — quickly scale per-note expression data by simply dragging vertically.
Digital Performer 11 – Pricing and Availability
Digital Performer 11 is available now for macOS (10.13 through 11.x) and Windows 10 (64-bit), priced as follows:
- Full version: USD 499
- Competitive upgrade (cross-grade from other DAWs): USD 395
- Performer Lite upgrade: USD 395
- Upgrade from previous DP version: USD 195