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Help and hints for MOTU Digital Performer

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Using real-time mixdown instead of Bounce

Posted by on Dec 30, 2009 in mixing | 11 comments

All DAW programs have a ‘bounce’ feature available to create a stereo or multi-channel mix of your current multi-track project. In Digital Performer, this ‘bounce’ process occurs offline, and usually happens faster than real time. What this means is that if you have a 2 minute sequence, and you bounce to disk, it takes less than 2 minutes [usually] to create that bounce audio file. But many times the resulting ‘bounce’ file contains errors. It simply does not sound like the mix you’ve been working on for the past week! Automation nodes get cut off, or CC data curves controlling VI parameters get inaccurately rendered. Maybe it’s a midi data bottleneck somewhere, who knows. These errors do not happen all of the time, or even the majority of the time. But it happens enough that Bounce to Disk is not 100% reliable. And this is not unique to Digital Performer. Over the years I’ve experienced the same problems with Logic as well. So how can you get a bounce that truly sounds like your mix during playback? Simply do a ‘Real-Time Bounce to Disk’. This is nothing more than routing all of your audio/VI/aux tracks to a single bus output and then recording that bus output onto a new audio track. Here’s how it’s...

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Making DP stop at the end of your sequence

Posted by on Dec 30, 2009 in workflow | 0 comments

I was working on a cue recently and practicing a piano part when the phone rang. I forgot to stop playback before walking out of the room, and when I returned, the Playback Wiper was still chugging right along at measure #3575! Hmmm. I had the end-time of my sequence set at measure 74 in the Chunks window. I thought this would act as a brick wall and prevent any data entry or playback after measure #74. Not so. So what’s the big deal, you’re probably asking. Just tap the space bar and be done with it. But it would be nice to not have to babysit DP when I’m doing certain playback/record functions. Like when doing a real-time bounce of a 5 minute cue, for example. Instead of being stuck in my chair just so I can hit the stop button when the mixdown recording is done, I could be in the other room trying to keep my screaming kids from beating each other up, or returning some calls, or checking on the progress of my Crock Pot chili. [Pinto beans rule. Red Kidney beans are creepy looking–too anatomic]. The way to make this happen is by using Auto Stop on the Transport bar. After clicking on Auto Stop [or use the keyboard...

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Control DP Transport from a midi keyboard

Posted by on Oct 10, 2009 in workflow | 6 comments

DP 7 user manual reference: page 148 There are many ways to control the transport buttons [stop, play,pause, rec…] in DP. To speed up workflow, some users like to control DP from their midi keyboard–so their hands don’t need to lift off the keyboard to grab the mouse or QWERTY keyboard. The easiest way to do this is found in the Commands Window [Shift-L]. All the operations listed can be activated by either QWERTY keyboard or from a connected...

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Possible fix for missing DP plugins

Posted by on Oct 5, 2009 in troubleshooting | 0 comments

Did some of your Digital Performer plugins simply vanish from your dropdown list of effects?? [Proverb and Masterworks are commonly cited] If you’re using a non-english localization of OS X then this might help: Switch your localization to English, then back to your original language. For many users, this has fixed the...

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Can’t save presets? Check folder permissions!

Posted by on Oct 5, 2009 in troubleshooting | 2 comments

One week ago, for no reason at all, I suddenly could NOT save any presets from the drop-down box of the Effects window. For example, open up MOTU Dyamics. Choose any preset. Fiddle with the knobs. Try to save that as a new preset. [“Save Settings”] Normally a finder window opens, and you can enter a name for your new preset. But for me, NOTHING happened when I clicked on ‘Save Settings’. No error message. Simply no response. And...

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10 steps for basic DP Troubleshooting

Posted by on Oct 5, 2009 in troubleshooting | 0 comments

Whenever you experience weird behavior during DP use–for something that you know was working fine the day before–there are a few basic troubleshooting steps that I recommend before trying anything drastic. [I define something drastic as uninstalling/reinstalling DP, or re-installing OSX] Step 1: Save your project using ‘Save As’, then close DP. Restart DP and open up your Saved As project. Still the same problem? Step 2: Reboot the computer. It amazes me how often rebooting fixes things. [Like...

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How to find a key command-Quickly!

Posted by on Sep 24, 2009 in workflow | 0 comments

[DP7 Manual reference: Page 147] A thorough understanding and use of key commands [DP7’s Commands Window, Shift-L] is crucial to getting work done quickly in DP. Many commands are difficult to remember, so you will need to search for them. Let’s say you’re working in the Conductor Track, experimenting with tempo changes. You suspect that there must be┬ásome keyboard commands relating to tempo operations, but you don’t have those memorized. Open up the Commands Window, and type ‘tempo’ in...

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