Digital Performer 4.0 Shipping

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Date: Wednesday, April 16th, 2003, 06:38
Category: Archive

The release of DP4 has been as eagerly-awaited in the Mac music community as Quark XPress has for publishers, so much so as many of us (still!) wait for our box to arrive that it even inspired a photo essay musing on its whereabouts. (Very funny, by the way.) But MOTU says DP4 hit the channel on April 2 and should be showing up with the Wells Fargo Man in your town any day now.

Yesterday MOTU also gave us a previously unannounced feature to get excited about: “Freeze Tracks,” which allows users to temporarily “print” audio tracks and virtual instrument tracks to disk to free up precious processing resources. That alone is reason to give DP4 serious consideration. MOTU seems to have gone all-out to provide Mac-only standards support, ironically outdoing Apple-owned Emagic. DP4 will support CoreMIDI XML MIDI instrument patch lists, publishing the hundreds of patch lists from previous DP versions to all OS X apps that support them, multiple CoreAudio devices (so you can use your 828 at the same time as your 2408!), full support for CoreAudio and CoreMIDI including support for OS X’s Audio MIDI Setup utility (yes, now you can do something useful with it!), easy remapping to new CoreMIDI setups from your old OS 9 FreeMIDI setup in previous DP projects, support for OS X device patch lists and drum note names, interapplication MIDI for full interoperability with other CoreMIDI software, OS X MIDI Time Stamping support for unprecedented timing accuracy, plus ReWire 2.0 Support (yes, Reason will work!). Regular readers have heard me gripe about OS X audio and MIDI for those two reasons: interoperability and ease of transition from OS 9. DP4 has the most compelling solutions yet.

But we’re not all the way there yet: a free upgrade will provide Audio Units support (for plug-ins and virtual instruments) and DAE capabilities for full Pro Tools HD and MIX TDM support. And for now, there’s only MAS plug-in support — not VST. So only Steinberg apparently wants to support VST and VSTi; MOTU is joining Emagic as being AU-only. But nonetheless, there’s plenty to play with in DP4, certainly enough for many to finally make the jump to X. Upgrade and crossgrades are available now. Stay tuned for a review.

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