MOTU Digital Performer 9 Now Available


MOTU has announced that it’s now shipping version 9 of Digital Performer, the latest version of its DAW.

Digital Performer 9 includes MOTU’s MX4 MultiSynth, five new plug-ins, automation lanes and spectrogram display in the Sequence Editor, Retina display support, MusicXML notation export and other new features. And the new MegaSynth lets you turn your guitar into a synthesizer.

Here’s the official intro video:


Here’s what’s new in Digital Performer 9:

MX4 MultiSynth
Now included with DP, MX4 is a powerful 64-bit virtual instrument plug-in featuring a hybrid engine that combines several forms of synthesis, including subtractive, wavetable, frequency modulation (FM), amplitude modulation (AM) and analog emulation. Included is a new EDM-inspired soundbank with 120 new presets programmed by synth guru Erik Norlander.

Five new plug-ins
New version 9 plug-ins include the meticulously crafted MasterWorks™ FET-76™ emulation of the classic 1176 limiting amplifier (revisions D/E), MultiFuzz™ model of Craig Anderton’s seminal QuadraFuzz™ distortion kit from the 70’s, MicroG™ and MicroB™ polyphonic octave generators for guitar and bass, and the mind-blowing MegaSynth™ subtractive synth processor, which lets users turn their guitar into a synthesizer. MegaSynth combines polyphonic octave generation with flexible signal routing, envelopes, LFOS, a pattern generator and macros.

DP9 productivity enhancements
Automation lanes in the Sequence Editor — Display audio and MIDI automation data (volume, pan, plug-in settings, etc.) in separate lanes below each track for easier viewing and editing. Show and hide as many lanes as you wish.

Spectrogram display in the Sequence Editor — View the spectral content of each audio track, side by side with their waveforms, directly in the Sequence Editor timeline with a colorful, informative visual representation of the frequency content of your audio material.

Retina display support — View DP’s carefully crafted UI themes like Carbon Fiber, Producer and the all-new DP9 theme in stunning detail on the exceptionally high image resolution of your Mac’s Retina display.

MusicXML export — Export your DP QuickScribe notation scores as a MusicXML file, which can then be imported into popular music notation applications like Finale™ and Sibelius™. QuickScribe’s renowned notation transcription, along with dynamics and many other musical symbols, are preserved during the file transfer.

Create Tracks command — Add many tracks to your project in one step, even different types of tracks (MIDI, audio, aux, master faders, etc.) all at once.

Floating plug-in windows — Keep plug-in windows in front of all other DP windows. Set the floating preference globally or choose to float on a per-window basis.

MIDI Learn for audio plug-ins — Map knobs, faders and switches on your MIDI controller to audio plug-in parameters. Use Digital Performer’s powerful Custom Consoles feature to access advanced programming for the connection.

Mute MIDI Notes — Use the Mute Tool to temporarily silence both audio regions and MIDI notes, including multiple selected notes.

Project Notes — Save text notes in your DP project, rather than a separate text document. Log production info, keep a To Do list, build up liner notes.

More searching — Find Markers, Chunks and plug-in preferences faster with newly added search fields.

Here’s a playlist of the overview videos for DP9:

Digital Performer 9 for Windows and Mac is available now for US $499. Upgrades and competitive upgrades are available. See the MOTU site for details.

8 thoughts on “MOTU Digital Performer 9 Now Available

  1. If The Onion made a parody about DAW updates, this would be it.

    Been using DP since the 80s, before it had a “D” and was just “P.” Around version 4, DP started spiraling towards idiocy with each successive update. Spectrogram waveforms? Wow, how utilitarian! Meanwhile, actual innovations like POLAR are left to bit-rot into non-functionality and essential functions like quantizing soundbites become unreliable (noticeable on zoom-in; behavior confirmed by one of their own tech support agents in the latest iteration of version 8).

    1. You make a valid point that some features in this sprawling program have been neglected and need work. I think it is a fairly short list, but some of those items are pretty important. I’d much rather see 8.1 and 8.2 releases that get rid of known bugs and make all features very robust.

      But referencing an “onion parody” or “spiraling towards idiocy” is just wrong. We can find significant and stupid faults in most DAWs. PT and LP both have some serious weaknesses. I’ve been doing serious work in DP (as we’ve both chosen a similar phrase “since P”). And yes, there have been occasional changes that have bugged me. But it is still an incredible program. I tried switching to LP once, switched back pretty quickly.

  2. A great DAW gets some important new features.

    I’ve used DP since the days when it was just P. It is a great DAW for the power user, composer, and person who wants to really explore music. It does MANY things VERY well, especially customizable workflows.

    For folks who do lots of realtime & loop-based stuff, DP works differently than other apps. But for every feature it might lack in some area, it has others that I have found to be indispensable.

    This upgrade brings some new plugs: envelope followers, guitar/bass synths, and a nice 1176. I look forward to messing with the MX4, but that is not a category that I’m lacking in my VI list.

    There’s just enough to warrant my upgrading, but barely. This has more to do with what I specifically need & use.

  3. Many People don’t realise that when it comes to making music on the mac MOTU & Performer were the first. DP has been around longer than any of the others & its always been ahead in many ways because of this. Ive been using Performer 30 years this september i think ? MOTU marketing should get a video made explaining the whole story for its birthday, they are in every way an integral aspect of global audio production & music making. This DAW deserves more users.. My only wish is that MOTU made daw controllers similar to the s3 or artist, finding compatible expandable fader options for DP is not easy.

  4. Stub, we agree to disagree. My feelings are strong b/c it’s been my workplace for almost 30 (!) years. I, for one, got into electronic music in part because I never really give a fuck about guitars. Bearing this in mind, I have a right to make fun of them when the thing DOESN’T QUANTIZE RIGHT yet now we have a slap bass processor and a fuzz pedal and psychedelic waveforms. (I don’t even know why I’m setting up a Kraftwerk vs. guitar paradigm anyway, as it’s 2015 and even guitarists probably want quantizing to work.)

    Glad it’s working for you and you like the new upgrade.

  5. Every DAW and in fact, every piece of software is missing a thing or three that you or I want. As with a synth, you have to carefully weigh it all in a cost/benefit analysis. I have a committed DP user pal who swears by it, partly because he gets typically superior service in a pinch. I used one of their MIDI interfaces for years and it STILL works, even though I finally went all-USB within Logic. I have high praise for their service and rock-steady hardware. Ableton Live is SO not for me, but it grows like a champ at every iteration. Y’gotta weight it all for its pluses and minuses. The only real “problem” I see is that DP is $500 and so is their MachFive sampler, but hell, its close to being like Omnisphere and will convert a zillion formats old and new. You can build a huge library readily. It also has a filter array like that of an Xpander. You don’t get the great bundled synths of Logic, but with MachFive, you don’t really need them, as it has abundant goods, lacking only a physical modeling synth. Its also fully integrated in DP and DP is a killer choice due to a Mac’s system integration, so they go hand-in-glove-in-glove. IMO, DP is the only DAW so well-meshed with the Mac OS that if you are ready to get super-serious, its the only real competition for Logic. You would basically not send a MiniMoog to do a Nord Stage piano’s job and vice-versa. It depends on how focused you are and in what areas. My DP-committed friend was happy when they rebuilt the GUI earlier, making it much more easily navigated. Points to consider.

  6. For folks like me who still use MIDI sequencing pretty extensively, DP has unparalleled MIDI editing for composition.

  7. I am moved by so much passion among MOTU DP users. It shows how much we are all so deeply invested in this technology that has exploded since the days I ran Performer v2.4 with a Mac 56k computer. I’m currently producing music with the solid DP v7.24, a quad-core Mac Mini, and some of the latest third party plugins. Do I rush to upgrade now per MOTU, or wait for 9.1 or later?

    If DP9 is quantizing sound bites so badly that a user has to do constant manual fixes like the old days, then that’s an issue! If it’s just an occasional inconvenience, then the improvements and the tool in general well overshadow this drawback. As was mentioned above, all products have a history of ups and downs with individual features. IMO, there have been countless setbacks with Mac computers as well as the Mac OS. I threatened to go PC many times, yet here I am, still a MAC user, still a MOTU software-hardware user.

    In the 80s, I briefly jumped ship from what seemed to be a stiff and clunky Performer v2.x, to try Opcode’s Vision sequencer (the choice for many great composers of the day). The Vision UI in black and white was not as pretty as the in color UI for Performer, but something about Vision was so organic, and naturally tuned to human behavior that I fell in love immediately. Using Vision didn’t last though since I was financially vested in DP, and Opcode eventually went away. Admittedly, the very colorful graphical interfaces for DP over the years kept drawing me in as marketed. However, make no mistake, DP has become a formidable bad-ass tool for film scoring and music production.

    As for DP9, is this version just another example of software “rush-to-market” growing pains? Do we really think for a minute that for v9.1 and beyond, the MOTU business($) unit and developers would stand by and ignore mass user complaints over the loss of any key functionality?

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