MOTU Updates Digital Performer To Version 11

MOTU has released Digital Performer v11, a major update that adds Nanosampler 2.0, Articulation Maps, MPE support, Audio Retrospective Record, native Apple Silicon support and more.

Here’s what’s new in DP 11:

Articulation Maps

With DP’s new Articulation Maps feature, users can take full control of the expressive depth of today’s most advanced orchestral sound libraries, including VSL, East West, Spitfire, Cinesamples and many others. Users can create or import articulation maps to build dynamic instruments and ensembles, allowing them to play, record or program expressive performances with unprecedented realism and musical impact.

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, such as the VSL Synchron engine. 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 an MPE controller — such as a Roli Seaboard — as 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 each containing their own note-specific controllers (generated by the performance) superimposed on top of each note for easy and intuitive editing in DP’s familiar piano roll. Or users can view and edit each controller in a separate lane using DP’s familiar and powerful continuous controller (CC) editing tools.

A new Scale tool allows users to increase or reduce the amount of expression by dragging up or down. 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 audio to its Retrospective Recording capabilities. Now, DP always listens to both MIDI and audio input sources, capturing everything, even when not recording. Like magic, users can immediately recall any audio or MIDI material they’ve recently played. For both MIDI and audio input, Digital Performer ensures that you’ll never lose that precious, fleeting creative moment.

Nanosampler 2.0

This major upgrade of Nanosampler serves as every DP user’s go-to virtual instrument for creating unique beats, instruments and sounds. Drop in a sample and start stretching, slicing, randomizing and transforming audio into just about any sound or instrument you can imagine.

New features include: three playback modes (Classic, 1-shot and Slice), ZTX time stretching, beat slicing with Randomize and Auto Randomize, Repeat, Reverse, and a ground-up rewrite of the UI.

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

Gain complete hands-on control of DP’s extensive Clips window with popular pad controllers like the Novation Launchpad Pro mk3 or Akai APC-40. Trigger individual clips or entire scenes (sections of songs). Apply filter sweeps and other effects processing as you go: Digital Performer is now a powerhouse live performance platform that can take your shows wherever you can imagine.

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, including the M32, A-Series, and S-Series MK2 controller lines, plus hot new iCON Control mixing worksurfaces like the QCon Pro G2/EX, Pro X/XS, Platform Nano and Platform M/X series. These state-of-the-art control surfaces empower your DP workflow so you can work faster and more intuitively.

Enhanced Avid EuCon Support

DP’s EuCon plug-in has been substantially updated, including support for the Avid S6 console. In addition, you can now use a EuCon-compatible worksurface with DP running on Windows 10.

Other enhancements

  • Live Performance Mode — All effects processing is done in real time, rather than pre-generated, for instant responsiveness in critical performance situations.
  • Chunk Folders and Playlists — Organize sequences and songs into folders and playlists. Playlists are perfect for building 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 — You can now 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 — Includes improved automation toggling, scrub modes, send mode, loop toggle and much 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 — Optimized for the latest text rendering engine in Windows 10, DP’s text appears significantly crisper. DP 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 scales per-note expression data by simply dragging vertically.

Pricing and Availability:

Digital Performer 11 is available now, priced at $499 USD, with upgrade pricing also available.

5 thoughts on “MOTU Updates Digital Performer To Version 11

  1. DP has been my DAW of choice for 20-some years, and I used MOTU’s Performer before that. I have tried other DAWs, either as demos or as full purchases. DP has remained at center-stage, because it strikes the right balance for my preferred professional workflows and artistic needs.

    Recently, I tried a few demos of other DAWs. Pro Tools passed my quantization options requirements but was so laughably crashy that I had to purge it. A recent stint with the current version of Logic Pro showed the impressive strengths of that program, along with a few glaring weaknesses (especially: the documentation!) I will confess there were some features in there that I would have liked to see in some form in DP.

    DP has a few weak areas, but when it comes to sound quality, compositional tools, editing, video work, basic notation, basic plugins, it is fantastic. It is intuitive to use (even for features I don’t regularly use), and it has absolute fire-power when it comes to rhythmic flexibility and experimental tools. It also has best-in-class documentation, and, with MOTUnation, one of the best user-run forums in the industry.

    This update brings a few long-overdue features and tweaks. I’m overdue for a major DP upgrade, and I will definitely be getting this one.

  2. Now if only Motu would update some of their drivers. My 828 has never worked well on Windows. But I guess they’re probably past supporting those….

  3. The general buzz over on MOTUnation has been positive. There’ve been some long awaited, pleasant surprises, especially for video pros. There’ve been only a few hiccups, as can be expected with a major release like this. Mostly, people are raving about this as a big deal.

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