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Digital Performer
TM
6
Power!: The
Comprehensive
Guide
Don Barrett
Course Technology PTR
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Digital Performer 6 Power!: The
Comprehensive Guide
Don Barrett
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eISBN-10: 1-43545-451-0
I would like to dedicate this book to every current and
future user of Digital Performer; to my wonderful Nina
(the brightest light of my life); to all my family and
friends, whose unwavering support has helped me in
countless ways; and to my Grandmother Frances
(you are still with me every day).
Acknowledgments
I initially thought that Digital Performer 6 Power! would be a breeze after working on
Digital Performer 5 Power!. Let’s just say that I was in for a monumental reality check. As
before, it has been quite the educational and enlightening experience, to say the least. Incredibly,
each day with DP brings many new (and fortuitous) revelations.
First, I would like to recognize fellow author Steve Thomas for his significant and substantial
contribution. I would like to thank composer and friend Ron Jones, who originally guided me
into the land of DP and whose relentless drive to be the master of his craft is the ultimate stan-
dard to which I will continue to strive.
In addition, many colleagues have provided incredible insight and assistance over the years that
has helped make this book a possibility for me. I am exceedingly grateful to Scott Marcussen,
Lee Sanders, Josh Hetrick, Matt LaPoint, Gregg Manfredi, Armin Steiner at Fox, John Rodd,
Mass Giorginni and Fergus Daly at Sonic Iguana, Steve Hallmark, Ryan at Warner Brothers,
Charlie Largent, Ricardo Wilson, MOTU, everyone at the Fox Newman Stage, Jeff Cardoni,
Dallas Taylor, Laurence Sheldon at E!, Robert Drasnin, Hal Stephens at West L.A. Music,
Karen Takata at CBS, Steve Cooper at IRC Audio, Smart Post Sound, MOTUNATION,
Roger Hunt, Bryan Arata, the RJ Production team, and Mike Hooser (who gave me my first
break in this town).
Further, I would like to extend my appreciation to Dianne Hill, for creating this opportunity,
and to fellow composer Donald Hill, for being my sounding board during the writing process.
I must also recognize Wayne Downey, who inspired me to integrate all of my handwritten DP
cheat sheets into formal training lessons, all of which laid the groundwork for this project. Many
thanks to David Das for his technical expertise, to Orren Merton, and to the wonderfully
talented Cathleen Small (who provided invaluable guidance from the beginning).
Finally, for their dedicated support and encouragement, I wish to give special thanks to Nina,
my mom and dad, Nanette, my grandfather Dale, Tyler, Carole Roth, Matthew Ruth, Franziska
Thon, Uncle Syd, and, of course, Brenda Kay.
iv
About the Author
Don Barrett has been a musician since the age of 10. Upon graduating from Purdue University, his
training, performances, compositions, and recordings have included projects ranging from pro-
gressive rock (with veteran producers Mass Giorginni and Fergus Daly) to studying film scoring at
UCLA under the instruction of acclaimed composers Robert Drasnin (Mission Impossible) and
Lee Sanders (The Amazing Race). Don composed the original score for the popular series
Touched by an Angel in its final season on CBS and is currently assisting Emmy-nominated
and BMI award-winning composer Ron Jones (Fox’s Family Guy), where he serves as orchestra-
tor, composer assistant, and technical adviser. He recently completed original music for several
short films, numerous Smart Post Sound projects, and the award-winning television pilot “The
Real Life” by creator Krystal Jalene Thomas. Don has also composed nationally recognized con-
cert works and continues to compose and arrange for competitive marching bands and concert
percussion ensembles around the country.
Don resides in Los Angeles and continues to serve as a panelist at various technical seminars and
provides guest lectures at the Art Institute of L.A. Currently, Don can be found hard at work in
his private studio, promoting Don Barrett Music (www.donbarrettmusic.com) and Patio 7 Pro-
ductions (www.patio7productions.com).
v
Contents
Introduction . . ................................................. xv
Chapter 1
About Digital Performer and Your Mac 1
What Is a DAW? . . . . . . ........................................... 1
Nonlinear Editing ...............................................2
Host- and Non-Host-Based Systems . . . . . .............................2
Expansion Cards ...............................................2
MIDI Interfaces . ...............................................3
Audio Interfaces . ...............................................3
Digital Performer 6 Requirements . .................................... 4
The Mac and Your DP System. . . . .................................... 4
Hard Drives . . . . ...............................................4
Disk Maintenance...............................................6
SuperDrives . . . . ...............................................7
Summary . . . . . .................................................. 8
Chapter 2
Setting Up Digital Performer 6 9
Installing Digital Performer 6. . . . . .................................... 9
Installing Audio Hardware Drivers . . . . . . .............................9
Installing Core MIDI Drivers . . . ...................................11
Loading Digital Performer 6 on Your System . . . . . .....................11
Installing Third-Party Plug-Ins . . ...................................13
Launching Digital Performer for the First Time . . . .........................15
Audio Configuration . . . . ...........................................17
Audio System: Choosing MAS, DAE, or MIDI Only .....................17
The Configure Hardware Driver Window . ............................18
The Configure Studio Settings Window. . . ............................22
vi
The Input Monitoring Mode Window. . . . . ...........................23
The Bundles Window . . .........................................24
MIDI Configuration . . .............................................28
The Audio MIDI Setup Utility (AMS) . . . . . ...........................28
Synchronization . .................................................32
Syncing DP . . . . . .............................................32
Summary . . . . . . .................................................35
Chapter 3
Navigating Digital Performer 6 37
The Consolidated Window . . . . ......................................37
Control Panel. . . .................................................39
Transport . . . . . . .............................................40
Counter . ....................................................42
Status Strip with Tempo Control . ..................................43
Tracks Window . .................................................47
Information Bar . . .............................................48
Tracks List. . . . . . .............................................52
The Tracks Overview Section. . . . ..................................56
The Sequence Editor . . .............................................57
Sequence Editor Mini-Menu . . . . ..................................58
Track Settings Panel . . . .........................................60
Graphic Editing . . .............................................62
Grids, Time Rulers, and Zooming ..................................62
The Mixing Board . . . .............................................64
Window Target Menu and Mini-Menu . . . . ...........................64
Track Strips . . . . . .............................................67
Soundbites Window . . .............................................70
The Soundbites Mini-Menu . . . . . ..................................70
List . . . . ....................................................72
The Sound File Information Window . . . . . ...........................74
Summary . . . . . . .................................................77
Chapter 4
Setting Up a New Project 79
Project Basics . . . .................................................79
The Default Workspace.............................................81
Setting the Sample Rate.............................................83
Tracks in Digital Performer . . . . ......................................84
Contents vii
Deleting Tracks . ..............................................84
Adding Tracks . . ..............................................85
Renaming Tracks ..............................................86
Moving Tracks. . ..............................................87
Track Folders. . ..................................................89
Audio Tracks and Internal Busses. . ....................................91
Input and Output Assignments for Audio and Aux Tracks . . ..................92
Audio and Aux Track I/O . .......................................92
MIDI Track I/O . ..............................................95
Monitoring External MIDI Devices . . . . . ............................99
Monitoring MAS/AU Instruments..................................100
Monitoring ReWire Instruments. ..................................102
Tempo and Meter. . . . . . ..........................................104
Setting the Tempo . . . . . . ......................................104
Setting the Meter .............................................106
Setting Up a Click . . . . . ..........................................108
Creating a Click Default . ..........................................110
Pattern Clicks (the Ultimate in Clicks) . . . ...........................112
Defining the Countoff . . . ..........................................115
Summary . . . . . .................................................116
Chapter 5
Project Management: Part 1 117
The Digital Performer Project . . . . ...................................118
Opening an Existing Project......................................118
Opening Other File Types . ......................................119
Saving Your Project . . . . ..........................................121
The Save Command . . . . . ......................................121
The Save As Command . . . ......................................121
Save As Template .............................................125
Standard MIDI Files . . . . . ......................................129
OMF Interchange and AAF Interchange Files . . . . . ....................132
Final Cut Pro XML Interchange. ..................................132
Customizing Your Workspace . . . . ...................................134
The Consolidated Window ......................................135
The Preferences and Settings Command . . ...........................143
Window Sets . . . .............................................162
Track Colors . . . .............................................166
The Commands Window. . ......................................173
Summary . . . . . .................................................178
viii Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Chapter 6
Project Management: Part 2 179
The Undo History................................................179
The Project Undo History . . . . . . .................................179
Branching . . . . . . ............................................181
Managing the Undo History Windows . . . . ..........................187
Audio File Undo History Windows.................................190
Polar Undo History Window . . . . .................................192
Managing Audio Files and Soundbites . . . ..............................193
Changing the Location of Audio Files and Soundbites ...................193
Organizing Audio Files and Soundbites into Folders . . ...................195
Renaming Existing Audio Files or Soundbites . . . . . . ...................196
Deleting Audio Files and Soundbites. . . . . . ..........................196
“Removing” Audio Files and Soundbites. . . ..........................198
Compacting an Audio File . . . . . . .................................198
Compacting a Project . . ........................................200
Locating Missing Audio Files or Soundbites ..........................201
Backup and Project Archival . . . .....................................203
Backups. ...................................................203
Archiving...................................................205
External Hard Drives . . ........................................205
CD-R versus DVD-R. . . ........................................205
Rewritable Media . ............................................206
USB Flash Drives . ............................................206
Software Solutions ............................................206
Summary . . . . . . ................................................209
Chapter 7
Recording Audio 211
Input Assignments and the Audio Assignments Window . . ...................212
Monitoring Input Signals. . . . . . .....................................214
Audio Patch Thru . ............................................214
Monitoring with External Mixers. .................................215
Direct Hardware Playthrough . . . .................................216
Setting Input Levels . . ............................................216
Arming a Track . . ............................................216
Audio Monitor Window ........................................218
The Meter Bridge Window . . . . . .................................220
DP’s Trim Plug-In. ............................................223
Contents ix
Recording Audio . . . . . . ..........................................224
Recording and Managing Takes . ..................................226
Punching In and Out. . . . . ......................................231
Overdub Record Mode . . . ......................................233
Cycle Record Mode . . . . . ......................................233
Recording with Effects . . . ......................................235
Importing Audio.................................................238
Sound File Locations. . . . . ......................................238
Automatic Conversions Preferences. . . . . . ...........................239
The Import Audio Command versus Drag and Drop ....................240
Summary . . . . . .................................................242
Chapter 8
Recording MIDI 243
MIDI-Related Windows and Commands . ...............................243
The MIDI Monitor Window . . . ..................................243
The Set Input Filter Command. . ..................................244
The Input Quantize Command. . ..................................246
MIDI Device Groups . . . . ......................................247
MIDI Patch Lists .............................................251
Recording MIDI .................................................254
Summary . . . . . .................................................263
Chapter 9
MIDI: The Region Menu, Plug-Ins, and Virtual Instruments 265
Region Menu Commands ..........................................265
Region Commands Preferences and Settings . . . . . . ....................266
The Transpose Command . ......................................268
The Quantize Command . . ......................................272
The Change Velocity Command. ..................................275
The Split Notes Command ......................................278
MIDI Effects Plug-Ins . . . ..........................................280
Processing with the Region Menu’s MIDI Effects Plug-Ins. . . . .............280
Inserting Real-Time MIDI Plug-Ins . . . . . ...........................281
Virtual Instrument Plug-Ins . . . . . . ...................................282
Pre-Rendered Instrument Tracks (MOTU’s Pre-Gen) ....................282
Assigned Instrument Track ......................................284
xDigital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Unassigned Instrument Tracks . . . .................................285
Instrument Inserts and the Mixing Board . . ..........................286
The Freeze Selected Tracks Command . . . ..............................289
Summary . . . . . . ................................................291
Chapter 10
Editing 293
The Tool Palette. ................................................294
The Time Formats Window, Time Ruler, and Edit Grid . . ...................295
The Time Formats Window . . . . . .................................295
The Time Ruler . . ............................................298
The Edit Grid. . . . ............................................300
The View Filters . ................................................303
Zooming . . . . . . ................................................304
Selecting and Moving . ............................................305
Selecting and Moving Audio . . . . .................................306
Selecting and Moving MIDI Notes .................................309
Basic Edit Commands . ............................................312
The Erase Command. . . ........................................312
The Copy, Cut, Paste, Repeat, and Merge Commands ...................312
Editing Audio in the Sequence Editor . . . . ..............................315
Edge Editing Soundbites ........................................315
Soundbite Editing Shortcuts . . . . . .................................317
Fades and Crossfades . . ........................................318
MIDI Editing in the Graphic Editor . . . . . ..............................321
Inserting, Removing, and Modifying Notes in the Note Grid...............323
The Median Strip and Continuous Data Grid . . . . . . ...................324
The Event List . . ................................................332
Event List Basics. . ............................................332
Editing the Parameter of an Event .................................333
Summary . . . . . . ................................................333
Chapter 11
Arranging 335
The Conductor Track . ............................................335
Modify Conductor Track Menu . . .................................336
Editing Conductor Track Data. . . .................................338
Contents xi
Tempo........................................................343
Tempo Sources and the Tempo Control Menu. . . . . ....................343
Adjusting Tempo .............................................344
Audio Menu Tempo Commands ..................................353
Meter ........................................................357
The Change Meter Command . . ..................................357
Applying and Editing Meter Changes . . . . ...........................358
Partial Measures. .............................................359
Key..........................................................359
The Change Key Command ......................................360
Transposing Audio and MIDI Data . . . . . ...........................362
Chunks . . . . . . .................................................363
Sequences . . . . . .............................................363
The Chunks Window . . . . ......................................367
Controlling Chunks . . . . . ......................................370
Songs . ....................................................372
Looping. . . . . . .................................................377
Inserting a Loop Using the Region Menu . ...........................378
Inserting a Loop in the Event List . . . . . . ...........................379
The Loop Tool. . .............................................379
Clipping Windows . . . . . ..........................................381
Clipping Data Icons . . . . . ......................................382
Creating, Opening, and Managing Clippings . . . . . . ....................382
Where Clippings Are Stored......................................383
Adding Audio and MIDI Data . . ..................................384
Saving Plug-In Settings . . . ......................................384
Documents, Folders, and URLs . ..................................384
Markers. . . . . . .................................................385
Marker Basics . . .............................................385
Creating Markers on the Fly . . . ..................................386
Quantizing Markers . . . . . ......................................388
Recalling Markers . . . . . . ......................................388
Snapping and Shifting Data to a Marker Location . . ....................389
Selecting with Markers . . . ......................................390
Markers in Post-Production Work . . . . . . ...........................390
Summary . . . . . .................................................390
xii Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Chapter 12
Mixing 391
Mixing Board Setup . . ............................................391
Showing and Hiding Track Strip Sections . . ..........................391
The Board Layout Feature . . . . . . .................................393
Track Groups. . . . ............................................395
Alternate Mixes with Mix Mode . .................................400
Inserts and Plug-Ins. . . ............................................400
Signal Flow . . . . . ............................................401
Pre-/Post-Fader Divider . ........................................402
Dynamic versus Time-Based Effects . . . . . . ..........................402
Aux Tracks and Sends. ............................................403
Send and Returns . ............................................404
Submixing . . . . . . ............................................409
Automation . . . . . ............................................410
Summary . . . . . . ................................................424
Chapter 13
Processing and Mastering 427
Audio Processing ................................................428
Automatic Delay Compensation . . .................................428
Real-Time Effects . ............................................429
File-Based Processing. . . ........................................431
The Background Processing Window . . . . . ..........................436
The Audio Performance Window . .................................440
Plug-In Formats . . ............................................441
The Effects Window . . . ........................................443
Saving and Recalling Effect Presets .................................445
Pitch-Shifting Audio . . . ........................................447
Time-Stretching Audio . ........................................453
Mastering . . . . . ................................................456
The Master Fader . ............................................457
Mastering in DP . . ............................................458
Processing Your Final Mix . . . . . .................................459
Bouncing to Disk . ............................................465
Exporting Audio. . ............................................471
Exporting and Bouncing to the MP3 Format ..........................472
Summary . . . . . . ................................................472
Contents xiii
Chapter 14
Music Notation 473
The QuickScribe Editor. . ..........................................473
Customizing the Appearance of a Score . . ...........................475
Customizing the Appearance of an Individual Track. ....................482
Working with Measures . . ......................................485
Inserting Key, Meter, and Tempo Changes ...........................490
Inserting Dynamic Symbols ......................................492
Printing ....................................................493
Summary . . . . . .................................................494
Chapter 15
Scoring to Picture 497
Music Scoring . .................................................498
Movie Window . .............................................498
Cue Sheets . . . . . .............................................507
Viewing Film Cues . . . . . . ......................................508
Hit Points . . . . . .............................................510
Using Hit Points to Find Tempos ..................................510
Film Scoring Events . . . . . ......................................513
Summary . . . . . .................................................519
Index ......................................... 521
xiv Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Introduction
Mark of the Unicorn’s Digital Performer began as a MIDI-only application (Performer) back in
the mid-1980s. It was a great program that gave the Mac user an intuitive way to record, edit,
and play back MIDI performances. During the mid-1990s, MOTU added digital audio capabi-
lities to this already successful MIDI software application and took the music software industry
by storm. Since then, DP has undergone incredible upgrades and enhancements, allowing the
end user to manipulate MIDI and digital audio to a degree never before imagined.
This book offers a comprehensive overview of DP6’s features, system setup, and configurations
within the OS X environment, while also supplying useful engineering tips and shortcuts to help
you get the most out of Digital Performer.
How to Use This Book
In this book, I have tried to address the many different proficiency levels of the Digital Performer
user; I’ve attempted to jumpstart the newbie, take the intermediate user to the next level, and
show the power user an interesting trick or two.
I’ve organized the chapters and sections as they would appear within the context of the music
production process. Reading straight through from start to finish will provide the user who is
new to the program or unfamiliar with the audio production process with a solid grasp of how
Digital Performer integrates within the studio environment. Users with an understanding of
audio recording and mixing concepts may want to just skip to specific chapters.
For those who are already familiar with Digital Performer, Chapter 1 provides useful informa-
tion on setting up and optimizing your Mac, while Chapter 2 walks you step by step through the
DP6 setup and configuration process. If you’re new to the world of digital audio and MIDI or
multitrack recording in general, I suggest starting with Chapter 1.
How This Book Is Organized
Digital Performer 6 Power! is divided into 15 chapters.
nChapter 1, “About Digital Performer and Your Mac,” provides an overview of the basic
concepts of linear and nonlinear editing, digital audio workstations, hardware requirements
and recommendations for Digital Performer, and Mac OS X configuration and optimization.
xv
nChapter 2, “Setting Up Digital Performer 6,” covers software installation, audio and MIDI
configurations, and synchronization.
nChapter 3, “Navigating Digital Performer 6,” covers Digital Performer’s main windows: the
Consolidated Window, the Control Panel, the Tracks window, the Sequence Editor, the
Mixing Board, and the Soundbites window.
nChapter 4, “Setting Up a New Project,” provides a detailed step-by-step guide to creating
and preparing a project for recording.
nChapter 5, “Project Management: Part 1,” and Chapter 6, “Project Management: Part 2,”
cover the management of your project and media assets in order to help you streamline your
production workflow.
nChapter 7, “Recording Audio,” focuses on getting the most out of your audio recordings,
from proper gain staging and monitoring to working with alternate takes during the over-
dubbing process.
nChapter 8, “Recording MIDI,” focuses on the procedures involved with the recording and
monitoring of your MIDI tracks.
nChapter 9, “MIDI: The Region Menu, Plug-Ins, and Virtual Instruments,” provides an
overview of the Region menu commands, MIDI plug-ins, and virtual instrument tracks.
nChapter 10, “Editing,” provides an overview of the tools and procedures involved with
editing digital audio, MIDI, and automation data within DP6.
nChapter 11, “Arranging,” covers the use of Chunks and songs, as well as the detailed use of
markers and clippings within the recording and mixing process.
nChapter 12, “Mixing,” discusses the fundamentals of mixing within Digital Performer, from
setting up inserts and sends to creating submixes and using mix automation.
nChapter 13, “Processing and Mastering,” covers the use of audio effects processing, the
concepts of file-based and real-time processing, destructive Waveform Editor processing, as
well as the basics of the mastering process. Procedures for bouncing to disk and exporting
your mixes are also explained.
This chapter also familiarizes you with the basic concepts and technical procedures involved
with mastering music within the DP environment.
nChapter 14, “Music Notation,” shows you how to convert MIDI notes into printable music,
from individual parts to full-blown orchestral scores. You can take an existing MIDI track or
use the QuickScribe tools to prepare and manipulate printable scores and parts. This chapter
will take you through the process of transferring your music from computer screen to paper.
nChapter 15, “Scoring to Picture.” Because of its flexible architecture, Digital Performer is
also a popular scoring tool for many film composers and sound designers. This chapter takes
you through the basic setup process for scoring to picture within DP.
xvi Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
What’s Not in This Book
This book covers a lot of ground, but it doesn’t cover everything—I have assumed some basic
knowledge on your part, and I have had to leave out certain topics due to space constraints.
nComputer basics. In this book, I assume that you already know how to get around on your
Mac: how to make a new folder, empty the trash, install a program, or change the monitor
resolution. If you’re uncertain about some of these common procedures, seek out one of the
numerous learning resources for the Mac, available in both print and online forms. Keep in
mind that the Mac is the heart of your Digital Performer system, and being able to properly
navigate and maintain it is essential to the health of your studio environment.
nOlder versions of DP. It is assumed that most users have moved out of OS 9. However,
many DP features have remained unchanged in the transition to OS X, so users of previous
DP versions can still find Digital Performer 6 Power! a very useful resource.
nOther programs. If you’re like me, you probably have a number of other software appli-
cations that you incorporate into the production process. There isn’t enough space in this
book to include detailed explanations of all these other programs, but I will discuss some key
applications that I feel are important to the DP user, such as CD burning software and virtual
instruments.
Keeping It Current
The DAW-related software and hardware industry is in a constant state of change, ever evolving
with the addition of faster computers, improved operating systems, and enhanced feature sets.
Production cycles tend to run on a six-month schedule, so keeping the content of a book like this
current is a challenge in itself. Everyone involved with the creation of Digital Performer 6
Power! has made a concerted effort to include the most up-to-date information concerning Dig-
ital Performer, OS X, and the other applications mentioned within this book.
Introduction xvii
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1About Digital Performer
and Your Mac
What is Digital Performer? It is essentially a music studio in a box. Its comprehensive
tools allow you to record, edit, mix, and master music. Of course, this is a simplifi-
cation of a very deep program, but if you can keep yourself grounded in these basic
processes, it will keep you from getting overwhelmed by DP’s many complex feature sets.
This chapter will discuss:
nThe basics of digital audio workstations
nThe requirements for DP
nSuggestions for working with Mac OS X
What Is a DAW?
In case you’re wondering, DAW stands for digital audio workstation, which is usually made up
of compositional and recording tools centered on a computer configured specifically for music
production. The benefits of having all the necessary recording and mixing tools integrated in one
place and right at your fingertips are great, but I would argue that the most incredible feature of
any DAW—which many users often take for granted—is its nonlinearity.
Before the advent of programs such as MOTU’s Digital Performer and Digidesign’s Pro Tools,
modern audio was recorded in a linear fashion directly to tape. I won’t get into the age-old
argument of digital versus analog here, but suffice it to say that tape has many disadvantages
when it comes to the world of editing. With tape, audio (and video) is recorded in a linear fash-
ion, meaning from start to finish. When tape travels across the head stack of a multitrack
recorder, the audio is magnetically transferred in a continuous fashion until recording is stopped.
If you want to fix a part within the recording, you have to physically rewind the tape machine
and punch in, permanently erasing the previous material. If you blow the punch, or the musi-
cian’s performance isn’t ideal, there is no way to get back (or undo) the lost audio. Also, if you
want to rearrange the order of the recorded material (maybe you need the chorus to happen two
times instead of one, for example), you have to cut and splice the different sections together,
which involves making two physical copies of the tape in real time (one for each chorus), then
manually splicing it together with a razorblade!
1
Nonlinear Editing
What NLEs (or nonlinear editors) offer is the ability to change the order of recorded data in a
nondestructive way. The recorded audio is stored on the hard drive of the workstation’s com-
puter and can be instantaneously accessed (or read) from the hard drive in any specified order. It
is a simple matter of building a playlist within the particular music program. Going back to my
earlier example of creating two choruses for a song, if you’re working in a nonlinear editor, such
as Digital Performer, you can just tell it to play the chorus twice instead of once—it’s as easy
as that.
That sounds simple if you are thinking in terms of one audio file. However, multitrack sessions
normally consist of many tracks with multiple audio files—sometimes as many as 100-plus
tracks (a definite mixing challenge!). Audio recording and mixing can be a very taxing job for
your Mac.
Host- and Non-Host-Based Systems
Digital Performer is a host-based application, meaning that it relies on the CPU of the computer
for all of its audio needs. On top of crunching all those numbers for DP, the CPU also has to run
the Mac OS at the same time. This is why the quality and speed of your DAW components are so
important. Faster hard drives, for example, can access audio faster, resulting in higher track
counts and the ability to handle sessions that contain heavy edits. The amount of RAM available
to Digital Performer impacts the number of tracks you can record and play back simultaneously.
A high-performance video card will provide faster screen redraws, taking strain off the host
processor. (It takes a lot of power to display all of those bouncing level meters and various
windows in Digital Performer.) Audio cards with DSP (digital signal processing) can absorb
many of the CPU stresses of recording audio. Finally, the processor speed and amount of
RAM in your computer also directly impact the performance of virtual instruments and other
processor-intensive tasks, such as real-time effects plug-ins. Although modern computers typi-
cally contain more than one processor (or processing “cores”) and are packed with plenty of
power to handle the comprehensive duties of working with audio, it is always worth the time
and effort to investigate your system to see what lies under the hood!
Expansion Cards
In time, you may find that your audio production setup has evolved beyond your computer’s
“native” processing power. This can be a result of advanced processing plug-ins, extended vir-
tual instrument libraries, or advanced monitoring needs (a combination of which can push even
the latest Mac Pro’s limits!). Hardware peripherals dedicated to running plug-ins or software-
based synthesizers can also be integrated into a host-based system for additional horsepower,
and some DAWs come preconfigured with these devices. Digidesign’s top-of-the-line Pro Tools
systems fall into the latter category. Instead of relying on the host processor to do all the work,
PCI cards that contain dedicated processor chips are installed in your computer and supply the
muscle for any audio processing. The computer’s CPU only has to worry about running the
program and the Mac OS—the dedicated PCI card handles all of the audio tasks.
2Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Multiple cards can be used simultaneously, allowing you to create a very powerful and stable
workstation. The drawback for many is the high cost and proprietary nature of Pro Tools
and similar systems. Luckily, there are a few companies out there that offer expansion cards
or units that work with host-based audio applications, such as Digital Performer. TC Electronic
(www.tcelectronic.com), Universal Audio (www.uaudio.com), and Apogee Electronics (www
.apogeedigital.com) are three such companies. These expansion peripherals are fairly inexpen-
sive when compared to other integrated workstations, which can run into the tens or hundreds
of thousands of dollars.
MIDI Interfaces
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. MIDI is a language (or protocol) that allows
electronic devices to communicate with each other. A means for MIDI communication is necessary
to record MIDI data, whether it be an outboard unit (a MIDI interface) or a simple USB connec-
tion. The type of interface you choose usually depends on the number of external MIDI devices you
need to control. The most basic setup will have a keyboard MIDI controller and a MIDI interface
to get the data into your Mac. If you have just one MIDI keyboard, some models only require a USB
connection. Otherwise, a 11or22 MIDI interface, such as MOTU’s FastLane, would be appro-
priate. More elaborate setups requiring multiple MIDI I/O and sophisticated synchronization
capabilities will benefit from MOTU’s more advanced MIDI Timepiece AV.
MIDI without an Interface? If you have multiple computers and work mainly with virtual
instruments, the advent of MIDI Over LAN (Local Area Network), Network MIDI (avail-
able in later versions of the Mac OS), and MIDI Over IP (built into Apple’s Leopard OS)
allows you to use network connections to exchange MIDI data between your computers.
This is a relatively simple process that requires no extra hardware, and better yet, does not
limit you to a specific number of MIDI channels. For example, if you have two Macs, you
could create a main Mac and slave Mac setup where the main Mac drives the slave Mac
that serves as a virtual instrument host (much like a multi-timbral synth or hardware
sampler).
Audio Interfaces
One of the most important aspects of a DAW is the audio interface. Though you can rely on the
Mac’s audio interface (see System Preferences 4Sound to access the built-in audio options of
your computer), you’ll need a more “professional” device if you want to get the most out of your
recording and mixing. You should use a dedicated audio interface that can handle multiple
inputs of balanced audio. The audio interface is in charge of getting audio into and out of
your Mac. This process is done with analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) con-
verters. The analog signal is converted to digital on the way in, then converted back to analog on
the way out to your studio monitors. This is the most crucial point in the concept of digital
Chapter 1 About Digital Performer and Your Mac 3
audio, and the quality of the converter has a direct impact on the sound of your digital audio, as
well as on the price of the interface.
PCI-based systems are available to relieve the Mac’s processor of some of the stresses of record-
ing and converting audio. These systems include DSP microprocessors that can “do the math”
for the computer regarding audio signal conversion. MOTU offers its own version of a PCI-
based unit called the 2408mk3. This less-expensive unit integrates seamlessly into the DP
work environment and is a viable option for a mid-level interface.
Other popular options include FireWire (also know as IEEE 1394) and USB interfaces. Many of
these audio interfaces include DSP chips but rely on the respective FireWire or USB busses (con-
nections) for the recording and mixing duties. With ease of connectivity and expansion, inter-
faces such as MOTU’s Traveler and M-Audio’s ProFire series have become widely popular.
Digital Performer 6 Requirements
To run MOTU’s Digital Performer 6, a Power Mac (G4 or G5) with a 1-GHz processor and
1 GB of RAM running Mac OS X 10.4.7 or higher is required. These are just the minimum
requirements, however, and real-world experiences from DP users suggest a more powerful sys-
tem is needed. If you plan on working with a lot of tracks, numerous effect plug-ins, and an
array of virtual instruments, you’ll want at least 2 GB of RAM—4þGB will definitely provide
you with better and more responsive system performance. Also, DP 6 is compatible with Intel-
based Macs and takes full advantage of multi-core/multi-processor systems.
Is 1 GB of RAM Enough for My System? Even though some Macs ship with only 1 to 2 GB
of RAM, this may not be sufficient for extensively running media-based applications, such
as Digital Performer. In reality, having more RAM will help to provide you with a more
responsive overall system.
The Mac and Your DP System
The Mac, the OS, and its connected peripherals form the foundation for your Digital Performer
studio. Proper care and feeding of your Mac is critical to maintaining a healthy Digital Per-
former system. The ins and outs of Mac maintenance are beyond the scope of the book, so
investing in a Mac OS X–specific book is highly recommended. You can find out more about
the Mac on the web by visiting the support section of Apple’s website (www.apple.com). In
addition to the official Apple website, there are also various third-party sites that serve up a
wealth of information on all things Mac-related.
Hard Drives
The hard drive is the container for your OS, applications, and associated media files. When you
play back or record audio in Digital Performer, the OS must physically access the drive to
4Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
retrieve or write the file. The faster the drive, the faster it will read or write a file. If DP were only
reading or writing one file at a time, drive speed would not be a factor. But in actual use, the
drive is very busy simultaneously playing back and recording multiple tracks, accessing OS-
related files, streaming your large audio sample library, checking your e-mail, and so on.
To maximize your DP system’s resources, you may want to consider using two hard drives: one
drive for the Mac OS and another for your DP projects. Keep in mind that your DP system must
constantly access your hard drive when playing back and recording audio—the faster your hard
drive, the more tracks you will be able to play back and record. If your project resides on the
same drive as the Mac OS, the drive will have to split up its time between accessing OS-related
data and playing back/recording audio.
Most desktop Macs today come with multiple hard-drive bays, making it quite simple to install
and configure a separate internal “audio” drive. Another option, considering the growing size of
system hard drives (large-capacity single drives are typically included at purchase time), is to
partition the single hard drive. This is like creating two hard drives from one. Think of it like
organizing your garage—one side is for tools, one side is for your car. This can be done quickly
with Apple’s Disk Utility program or any other hard-drive maintenance software. In addition to
the performance boost, keeping the Mac OS drive separate from your audio drive(s) makes rou-
tine maintenance tasks much easier.
Can I Start Working in DP with only One Hard Drive? Of course you can run your projects
off your internal (or “boot”) drive, and it’s fine to get started that way. As your projects
begin to increase in size and complexity, you’ll start realizing the benefits of using addi-
tional drives.
If the idea of installing multiple internal hard drives is overwhelming, you might want to
consider connecting an external FireWire or eSATA drive instead. USB can be used for
smaller projects, though its performance is not as good as FireWire or eSATA for audio.
Before you begin installing DP on your Mac, you should think about how you plan to use Digital
Performer in your music production workflow. Will you be running virtual instruments that
contain large sample libraries? Will you be working on large projects that contain a lot of
audio tracks with effects processing? Or will your DP sessions be fairly small and consist of a
few tracks of audio and MIDI?
If you plan to use large audio sample libraries within Digital Performer, you should also consider
installing a separate hard drive dedicated to this purpose. Installing your audio sample libraries
on a separate drive will help alleviate the bottlenecks that can occur when DP is simultaneously
playing back (or recording) multiple tracks of audio, triggering audio sample libraries, and
so on.
Chapter 1 About Digital Performer and Your Mac 5
Multiple Hard Drives An ideal system might contain four separate hard drives: one for the
Mac OS, one for your Digital Performer audio files, another for backing up your DP proj-
ects, and a fourth that contains your audio sample libraries (virtual instruments). Of
course, you can take this setup even further by having multiple hard drives for your DP
audio files and sample libraries.
You could even install the Mac OS on another drive and use it specifically for your music
applications. (This means no web surfing, word processing, or game playing on your DP-
related system drive.) Having a duplicate “boot” drive is also a lifesaver for when disaster
strikes.
Back Up Your Data! Keep in mind that you may also need to reinstall the Mac OS when
reconfiguring or installing hard drives in your DP system. Make sure you fine-tune your
cloning strategy (using Leopard’s Time Machine, for example) or manually back up any
important data to another hard drive or optical media (such as CD-R and DVD-R) before
beginning any system reconstruction.
Disk Maintenance
Disk maintenance is another critical piece of the Mac OS maintenance puzzle. The two main
maintenance procedures you need to worry about for Mac OS X are repairing disk permissions
and the disk directory, if needed.
Repair Disk
The Repair Disk option, shown in Figure 1.1, in the Disk Utility window (OS Hard Drive 4
Applications 4Utilities 4Disk Utility) repairs (or corrects) the directory of any disks or disk
partitions within your system when needed. A disk directory is like the table of contents for a
book—it tells the OS where data is located on your hard drive(s). System crashes, hard restarts,
or loss of power can lead to the corruption of a disk directory. Use the Repair Disk option to
correct this kind of problem.
Repair Disk Permissions
The Repair Disk Permissions option (OS Hard Drive 4Applications 4Utilities 4Disk Utility)
repairs the permissions for a system-related folder or file. When a file or folder is installed on the
system, a file called a receipt is installed in the Receipts folder (OS Hard Drive 4Library 4
Receipts). When the current permissions for a file/folder do not match the permissions described
in its associated OS X receipt file, the Repair Disk Permissions option will reset (or correct) the
disk permissions for that file or folder. Problems with disk permissions generally occur after
the installation of new applications on your Mac, so be sure to repair disk permissions after
the installation of any software.
6Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
SuperDrives
With the continuous fall in the price of DVD burners, adding a DVD burner to your Mac is a
small investment (if you don’t have one already—SuperDrives are included in most Macs cur-
rently shipping). These multifunction optical drives are capable of reading and writing both CDs
and DVDs. Your DP projects can increase in size very quickly, so you’ll need a convenient and
inexpensive solution for your larger archiving needs; the DVD (although not as convenient and
cost effective as a secondary external hard drive) is an option that fills this function nicely. Stan-
dard DVDRs will hold approximately 4 GB worth of data, while dual-layer discs can hold
double that amount (though they are more expensive). In addition, most DVD burners will
also burn CDs, so you’ll be able to put your mixes on CD, also.
Many users underestimate the importance of backing up their material. Having a DVD burner
connected to your system can help to ensure that you don’t lose any important work. Refer to
Chapter 5, “Project Management: Part 1,” for a discussion of the backup and archival processes.
Figure 1.1 The Disk Utility window allows you to repair a disk and its permissions.
Chapter 1 About Digital Performer and Your Mac 7
Summary
Configuring your Mac to work with DP can be as comprehensive as you want it to be. Some
users will want to jump right in, install the program, and begin working in DP. Other users may
want to take a more planned approach to the configuration process. Exactly how you confront
the installation and configuration process is up to you; just remember to perform the basic main-
tenance procedures, such as repairing disk permissions.
If you do decide, however, to reconfigure your Mac with additional hard drives, more RAM,
and so on, be sure to back up any important files and follow the proper procedures for installing
each new device. I strongly recommend performing installations or upgrades only if you are not
in a deadline crunch with a project. If your DAW is running flawlessly and time is on your side,
however, there is a common two-part question worth asking yourself before adding anything to
your system: “Do I really need this right now, and how much will the added technology actually
help me?”
8Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
2Setting Up Digital
Performer 6
This chapter will focus on the setup procedures involved with Digital Performer, starting
with the installation process and moving to the audio and MIDI configuration processes.
I’ll also discuss how you can use DP’s Receive Sync and Transmit Sync commands to
synchronize DP with other devices and applications.
This chapter will cover the following topics:
nThe installation process
nHow to configure your audio hardware to work with DP
nHow to enable audio tracks and I/O routing assignments within a project
nHow to use the Audio MIDI Setup window to configure your MIDI devices
nHow to work with DP’s synchronization features
Installing Digital Performer 6
Once you have your Mac configured for your DP workflow (discussed in the previous chapter),
you’re ready to begin the installation process.
Installing Audio Hardware Drivers
Before installing the Digital Performer application, you should proceed with installing the nec-
essary hardware drivers for your audio interfaces. These Core Audio drivers (explained in “The
Configure Hardware Driver Window” section of this chapter) allow your audio interface to
communicate with Digital Performer and other Mac OS X Core Audio–compatible applications.
If you’re working with MOTU audio interfaces, you can visit the Download section of MOTU’s
website (www.motu.com). If you plan to use the Mac’s built-in audio, you can skip this process.
Updating Your Hardware Drivers Be aware that some manufacturers will update their
hardware drivers on a regular basis—some more often than others. You should take a
trip to the manufacturer’s website and check to make sure you have the most current
9
drivers available. Also, be sure to verify that the updated driver is compatible with your
current Mac OS!
Testing Your Audio Interface Once you have installed the necessary Core Audio driver for
your specific audio interface, you should test to make sure it is working properly.
Because you haven’t installed DP yet, you can use Mac OS X’s iTunes music player
instead. First, you’ll need to open the Audio MIDI Setup utility from the System Hard
Drive 4Application 4Utilities folder. Select the Audio Devices tab and choose your
audio interface from the Default Output pop-up menu, as shown in Figure 2.1. Your
Figure 2.1 The audio section of the Audio MIDI Setup window.
10 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
audio interface will appear in the list as long as its Core Audio driver is successfully
installed. Make sure your audio interface is connected to a set of speakers (or head-
phones) so that you can verify playback. Open iTunes, play a song from your iTunes
library, and you should hear the song play through your audio interface.
Installing Core MIDI Drivers
If you plan to connect any MIDI devices to your DP system, you may need to install the Core
MIDI drivers (or additional software) for your particular MIDI interface. Although many drivers
are built into the Mac’s OS, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation guidelines to ensure
that you install your MIDI drivers properly.
Use the Audio MIDI Setup utility (System Hard Drive 4Application 4Utilities folder) to con-
nect any additional MIDI devices to your MIDI controller; these will automatically appear in
Digital Performer when they are configured. Refer to the “MIDI Configuration” section of this
chapter for an explanation of the MIDI device setup process.
Loading Digital Performer 6 on Your System
When you have confirmed that your audio interface is working properly, begin installing DP
onto your system’s hard drive. Simply open up the installer disc and double-click the Install
Digital Performer icon, as shown in Figure 2.2, and then follow the installation process as
Figure 2.2 Click the DP installer icon to install Digital Performer on your Mac.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 11
directed. After the DP items have been installed, the installer will need to run an optimization;
click OK to proceed with the process. When the OS X optimization process is complete, click the
Quit button to exit the installer.
Registering Digital Performer 6 Be sure to promptly register your new copy of Digital Per-
former 6 at MOTU’s website. MOTU will ask you to create a free motu.com account,
which will provide you with members-only features, such as free updates, downloads,
and information regarding your registered MOTU products. This is a great time to see
whether there has been an update since you purchased your copy! If you are upgrading
a previous version of DP, no action is necessary (you are already registered).
When you have successfully completed the installation process, the MOTU DP 6 application
icon will be located in your Applications folder on your hard drive (see Figure 2.3). In addition,
a folder called Clicks and Grooves (containing DP’s audio click and preset Groove Quantize
files) will be placed in User 4Library 4Application Support 4Digital Performer.
Figure 2.3 The MOTU DP6 icon located in the Applications folder on the Mac’s main hard drive.
12 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Adding DP to the Dock For quick and easy access, try placing the DP application icon on
the Dock (if it doesn’t appear there automatically). The Dock is the small strip usually
located at the bottom of the screen. Think of the Dock as a container for your shortcuts;
it allows you to click on an application icon to launch the program without using the Mac’s
Finder.
Simply drag the icon onto the Dock and release the mouse button (see Figure 2.4). Once
the icon is placed on the Dock, you can launch Digital Performer by clicking on the DP
Dock icon. You may also consider placing other icons on the Dock to streamline your
access to specific DAW-related applications, such as the Audio MIDI Setup utility.
Digital Performer Extras Disc Don’t forget to take a look at the Digital Performer Extras
disc that comes bundled with DP; it is packed with more than 500 MB of royalty-free
audio loops and REX files.
Installing Third-Party Plug-Ins
In addition to audio hardware drivers, you may also have third-party plug-ins or virtual instru-
ments to install for use with DP. Before installing them, however, you may want to launch DP to
make sure the installation process was successful and that DP is functioning properly. When
you’re satisfied that DP is working correctly, quit the application and proceed with the instal-
lation of your third-party applications.
Figure 2.4 Drag the Digital Performer application icon onto the Dock for easy access to DP.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 13
Audio plug-ins should be placed in the Library 4Audio 4Plug-Ins folder. You can install them
in either the System Hard Drive 4Library folder, which will give all users on your Mac access
to these plug-ins, or the User 4Library folder, which will provide plug-in access only to a
specific user. If you’re the only person working on your system, it doesn’t really matter which
location you choose. Most third-party plug-in installers will automatically place the plug-ins in
the necessary folders, so you don’t have to worry about manually placing them in the correct
locations. MAS plug-ins (DP’s native audio plug-ins), for example, are automatically placed
in the Hard Drive 4Library 4Audio 4Plug-Ins 4MAS folder when DP6 is first installed.
There will be times, however, when you will need to manually place plug-ins in their correct
location.
If you take a look at the Plug-Ins folder, shown in Figure 2.5, you can see that there are sub-
folders for each different plug-in type supported by Mac OS X (such as MAS, VST, and Audio
Units). You’ll also notice that there is no Audio Units plug-in folder. This is because AU plug-ins
are actually stored in the Components folder. (Don’t ask me why.) If you run into a situation in
which a plug-in isn’t showing up in your Digital Performer project, check to make sure that it’s
in the proper plug-in folder.
Trial Versions If you install trial versions of plug-ins, be aware that most will expire after a
set period of time (typically 7 to 14 days). Once a plug-in has expired, DP will present you
with an Expired Plug-In dialog box, as shown in Figure 2.6. If you want to continue using
the plug-in, you can purchase it using the Buy button in the dialog box. If you don’t want
to purchase the plug-in, simply click the Quit button, and DP will not load it.
Keep in mind that this window will open every time you launch Digital Performer, which
can get very annoying. To stop this window from appearing, simply remove the plug-in
from the appropriate plug-in folder.
Figure 2.5 Audio plug-ins are located in the Library 4Audio 4Plug-Ins folder. Audio Unit plug-ins
can be found in the Components folder.
14 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Launching Digital Performer for the First Time
The first time you launch DP after installation, you will most likely be asked to keep the instal-
lation disk in your CD-ROM drive, and you will be presented with a Key Code dialog box, as
shown in Figure 2.7. Enter your name and the key code located on the inside cover of the DP
user’s guide (typically the back cover). Click OK to continue loading the DP application; you
should see DP loading available plug-ins, as shown in Figure 2.8. In addition, the first time DP is
opened, it will examine the Audio Plug-In 4Components folder for any Audio Unit plug-ins.
Each AU plug-in is examined once. If DP finds a problem with an AU plug-in, the plug-in will
not be loaded and will not be available in any of DP’s plug-in menus. The results of the AU
examination process are saved in a text file and placed on your hard drive.
Figure 2.6 In this example, the trial version of the Waves 5.0 plug-in has expired.
Figure 2.7 Your key code for DP is located inside the back cover of the user manual.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 15
DP will launch the Open dialog box by default, allowing you to open an existing project or
create a new one, as shown in Figure 2.9. If you do not want to create or open a project, simply
click the Cancel button. Keep in mind that you do not have to have a project open in order to
configure DP’s audio and MIDI settings. As long as Digital Performer is open, you will have
Figure 2.8 When Digital Performer is launched, it will load available plug-ins for use in your DP
projects.
Figure 2.9 By default, the Open dialog box will automatically open when you launch DP.
16 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
access to the necessary audio configuration windows and menus (explained in the next section).
MIDI device configurations are handled directly by OS X, so you don’t need DP to be open at all
when setting up your MIDI connections.
Creating and Opening a Project Procedures for creating, opening, and setting up a Digital
Performer project are discussed in Chapter 4, “Setting Up a New Project.” Be sure to
configure your audio and MIDI devices (explained in the next section) before proceeding
with the audio and MIDI recording processes.
Audio Configuration
Before you jump into the audio playback and recording side of Digital Performer, you will need
to configure any connected audio devices and their settings for your DP project. In addition, you
must determine the specific audio system (MAS, DAE, or MIDI Only), tracks and internal bus-
ses, available inputs and outputs, input recording mode, and sample rates for your project.
Audio System: Choosing MAS, DAE, or MIDI Only
The Audio System submenu (Setup 4Audio System), as shown in Figure 2.10, provides three
audio system options: DAE, MOTU Audio System, and MIDI Only. These options determine
how audio operations, if any, are handled within Digital Performer—or which audio engine will
perform DP’s audio-related tacks.
An audio engine basically provides or handles all of the audio-related processes (such as audio
playback, recording, internal bussing, effects processing, and so on) for an application. For
Figure 2.10 The Audio System submenu.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 17
example, Mac OS X’s built-in applications (such as iTunes) rely on Mac OS X’s Core Audio
engine to play back audio. Digital Performer has its own built-in audio engine called the MOTU
Audio System, or MAS. In addition to MAS, DP can also run under the Digidesign Audio
Engine, or DAE. Selecting DAE will allow you to use Digital Performer as a front end for Pro
Tools MIX and TDM systems. MIDI Only, however, will turn off DP’s audio playback and
recording capabilities all together—tremendously reducing the CPU consumption of your DP
project.
nDAE. Choose this option if you want to run DP under Digidesign’s audio engine, providing a
front end for your Pro Tools TDM or MIX system. Keep in mind that, even though you will
have access to TDM/HTDM and RTAS/AudioSuite plug-ins, you will not be able to use any
of DP’s native (built-in) plug-ins or any AU (Audio Unit) plug-ins when operating under
DAE.
nMOTU Audio System. Enabled by default, the MOTU Audio System (or MAS) is DP’s built-
in audio engine. When MAS is selected, you will have access to all of DP’s native effects,
along with any other third-party AU and MAS plug-ins installed within your system.
nMIDI Only. This option will turn off DP’s audio playback and recording capabilities all
together.
The rest of this section will assume that you are running DP under the MOTU Audio System. For
more information on DAE and using DP as a front end for Pro Tools TDM and MIX systems,
consult the “Using Digital Performer with Pro Tools” chapter of the Digital Performer user manual.
The Configure Hardware Driver Window
As discussed earlier, you will need to install the necessary Core Audio driver for your audio
hardware interface before DP will be able to start communicating with it. Consult the manual
(or installer disc) of your particular audio interface if you’re not sure how to complete this
process.
Core Audio Core Audio is a built-in technology that provides OS X with its comprehensive
audio capabilities. Mac OS X’s Audio MIDI Setup utility (System Hard Drive 4Applica-
tions 4Utilities 4Audio MIDI Setup) provides controls for managing Core Audio
(and Core MIDI) devices. For an audio interface to work with DP, it must be Core
Audio–compatible and have its Core Audio driver installed within your Mac.
The Configure Hardware Driver window (Setup 4Audio System 4Configure Hardware
Driver) allows you to control any Core Audio–compatible audio interfaces that are connected
to your computer, including the Mac’s built-in audio, as shown in Figure 2.11. Options for
controlling the master device clock, sample rate, and audio clock mode for a selected hardware
18 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
device are provided. In addition, global project settings for the buffer size, host buffer multiplier,
and work priority are also displayed.
The Hardware Driver List
The Configure Hardware Driver window allows you to control any Core Audio–compatible
audio interfaces that are connected to your computer, including the Mac’s built-in audio.
Installed hardware drivers will appear in the hardware driver list.
To enable an audio device for use with DP:
1. Open the Configure Hardware Driver by choosing Setup 4Audio System 4Configure
Hardware Driver.
2. Click on a hardware driver within the list to enable it. Once enabled, it will be high-
lighted in blue.
3. DP allows you to simultaneously use multiple audio devices. Simply Control-Command-
click on another driver to enable multiple audio devices in DP. Be aware that you will need
to resolve the audio clocks of each device when working with multiple drivers (explained
in the “Clock Modes” section later in this chapter).
Master Device
The Master Device setting only comes into play when you have multiple hardware drivers
enabled (explained in the previous section). Enabled digital devices will operate at the sample
rate that is designated in the Sample Rate drop-down menu (explained in the next section). To
keep their digital signals locked together, you must designate one of the devices as the master
clock source. Once a master clock is specified, the other digital devices in your system should be
set to listen to it (commonly referred to as being a slave to the master).
For the other devices to listen to the master clock, you must physically output the audio clock of
the master device to the other digital devices via a word clock, AES/EBU, or ADAT (9-pin) cable.
Figure 2.11 The Configure Hardware Driver window.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 19
The type of sync you choose will be determined by the specific devices with which you’re work-
ing. Resolving the audio clocks of multiple digital sources is essential when you are working with
multiple digital devices. Audio clocks that are not resolved can cause digital distortion, as well as
introduce digital pops and clicks in your audio signal.
Sample Rate
Choose the sample rate for the project from the Sample Rate drop-down menu. Only sample
rates supported by the selected hardware driver will appear in the list. Keep in mind that the
chosen setting will apply to all audio devices that are enabled in the hardware driver list.
Clock Modes
The Clock Modes section of the Configure Hardware Driver window contains two drop-down
menus—the device list (left) and the clock source (right). Only audio devices enabled in the
hardware list will appear in the device list. Once a device is selected, its clock source will appear
in the Clock Source menu. By default, the clock source for a device is set to Internal, which
means the selected device will listen to its own internal audio clock. Digital Performer will
also use this clock as its master clock source when playing back and recording audio. If you
have only one device enabled in the list, be sure to set its clock source to Internal—once it’s
set, you’ll never have to worry about it again.
When using multiple devices, however, you will need to resolve the audio clocks of each device.
Set the master device to Internal, and then choose the appropriate audio clock for the slaved
devices, as shown in Figure 2.12. As discussed earlier, the type of clock source you choose will be
determined by how each device is physically synced (or slaved) to the master device.
Buffer Size
Abuffer is basically a small chunk of memory. When you are working with digital audio, the buffer
temporarily holds onto the audio that is traveling between your Mac and your audio device. The
longer the buffer holds the audio, the more monitoring latency, or audible delay of the live signal,
that is introduced. Lower buffer settings reduce monitoring latency but put additional strain on
your Mac. The lower the buffer setting, the harder your computer must work to play back and
record audio; this forces your Mac to allocate more CPU processing power for playback and record-
ing functions, essentially reducing the number of effects plug-ins and processing that can be used in
Figure 2.12 The Clock Source menu.
20 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
a project. Higher buffer settings have the opposite effect—monitoring latency is increased, freeing
up your Mac’s CPU for other tasks, such as effects processing.
Buffer sizes are measured in samples and can be changed by clicking on the Buffer Size menu, as
shown in Figure 2.13.
When to Change the Buffer Size The general rule when working with buffer settings is
lower settings for recording (256 samples or lower) and higher settings for mixing (512
or 1,024þsamples). If you’re triggering virtual instruments within a project, however,
you’ll need to find a middle ground—lowering the buffer enough to reduce monitoring
latency, but not lowering it so much that you run out of CPU power for effects.
Keep in mind that the buffer setting can be changed at any point in your project and will
be dictated by the specific task at hand. Be sure to use the Audio Performance window
(explained in Chapter 13, “Processing and Mastering”) to monitor buffer activity.
Host Buffer Multiplier
The Host Buffer Multiplier menu, shown in Figure 2.14, helps to improve the performance of
Digital Performer. MOTU recommends the following Host Buffer Multiplier settings:
n1. Use this setting if you only have one audio device enabled in the hardware driver list.
n2. Choose 2 if you have two or more devices enabled.
n3–4. Choose 3 or 4 if you are experiencing audio performance problems.
Figure 2.13 The Buffer Size menu. The actual settings listed will be dictated by the selected hardware
device.
Figure 2.14 The Host Buffer Multiplier setting.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 21
Work Priority
The Work Priority setting, shown in Figure 2.15, determines the priority the MAS engine
receives from Mac OS X, so try to keep this setting as high as possible. MOTU audio devices
can be set to High, while other devices may require Medium or Low settings. If you are working
with third-party audio devices, you may need to experiment with this setting if you are experi-
encing performance problems.
Once you have enabled the necessary audio devices and properly configured their settings, click
OK to confirm the audio settings. Remember that you can change these settings at any time
during the music production process, allowing you to tailor the responsiveness of Digital Per-
former to work with your specific project needs.
The Configure Studio Settings Window
The Configure Studio Settings window, shown in Figure 2.16, allows you to adjust certain
parameters of Digital Performer’s audio engine. Here you can decide how many stereo busses
you need, as well as fine-tune settings that can make DP more responsive during playback.
Stereo Busses
The Stereo Busses setting determines how many internal audio busses will be provided by MAS
and will be seen within your Digital Performer work environment. The number of busses you
can create is limited to a total of 99. MOTU states that this number is arbitrary and will not
affect system performance. However, the actual number of busses simultaneously used in a proj-
ect could, and most likely will, have an impact on your system resources.
Figure 2.15 The Work Priority setting.
Figure 2.16 The Configure Studio Settings window.
22 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Prime Seconds
The Prime Seconds setting determines how far in advance Digital Performer pre-cues audio or pre-
renders any plug-in effects before playback begins. In other words, DP prepares (renders) audio in
advance before attempting to play it, and this setting defines how much time DP is given to do this.
If issues occur immediately after playback begins, try increasing this number. On the other hand, if
DP is not responding as quickly as you would like when you hit Play, try decreasing this number.
Work Quanta
The Work Quanta number controls the intervals at which the MAS audio engine makes its
calculations. Increasing this number can free up some processing power, allowing for more
real-time effects. A lower number will help smooth the graphic elements of Digital Performer,
such as the Playback Wiper.
Max Work Percent
Depending on the nature and size of your DP project, you can control the amount of processing
power or CPU that is allocated to the MAS engine as it pre-renders or cues audio tracks for
playback. Higher values in the Max Work Percent field benefit the audio engine, but at the
expense of graphics display and other tasks. Lower values reduce CPU for audio but increase
graphics performance (screen redraws and so on).
Automatic Plug-In Latency Compensation
The Automatic Plug-In Latency Compensation option will compensate for any delay that is
introduced to an audio track when you’re using real-time audio plug-ins. This option will
also compensate for virtual instruments being triggered by prerecorded MIDI tracks. Refer to
Chapter 13 for an explanation of the Automatic Plug-In Latency Compensation feature.
Pre-Fill File Buffers for Quick Start
The Pre-Fill File Buffers for Quick Start setting tells DP to pre-fill the play buffers before play-
back is initiated—essentially speeding up the responsiveness of DP when you hit the Play button.
DP fills this buffer anytime you move the Playback Wiper or perform any action that is playback
related.
The Input Monitoring Mode Window
The Input Monitoring Mode window, shown in Figure 2.17, determines how live audio signals
are monitored in Digital Performer. The settings you choose here will affect overall monitoring
latency and your ability to perform successful audio punches.
Monitoring Thru Effects versus Direct Hardware Playthrough
When the Monitor Record-Enabled Tracks Through Effects option is selected in the Input Mon-
itoring Mode window, live audio signals are routed through Digital Performer before going out
to your audio interface. This allows you to listen to the live signal through any effects plug-ins
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 23
inserted in DP. The tradeoff is increased monitoring latency, because the audio signal must travel
through Digital Performer and any plug-ins before you hear it.
Recording in Sync Regardless of which input monitoring mode setting you choose, live
audio will always be recorded in the proper location, without any latency and in perfect
sync with other tracks.
The Direct Hardware Playthrough option, however, introduces little (if any) delay to the live
signal because it bypasses Digital Performer all together. The disadvantage to this method is the
inability to process the input signal with DP’s cool effects plug-ins.
The Bundles Window
The Bundles window, shown in Figure 2.18, is a one-stop location for enabling (or disabling) the
routing assignments of the audio and MIDI gear that is connected to your system. Unlike the
Figure 2.17 The Input Monitoring Mode window.
Figure 2.18 The Bundles window.
24 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
other configuration windows I have discussed so far, settings for the Bundles window are project
specific, so you’ll need to have a DP project open before this window will be available.
The Bundles window is divided into five tabbed sections, labeled Inputs, Outputs, Busses, Instru-
ments, and MIDI Devices. Each section displays the name, channel format (or model), and rout-
ing assignments for each bundle. Buttons for adding, deleting, and editing bundles are located at
the bottom of the window. Changes made in the Bundles window will be reflected in the I/O
assignment menus and in the Meter Bridge (discussed in more detail in Chapter 7, “Recording
Audio”).
The five available tabbed sections are:
1. Inputs. This tab is where you can define and route all of the necessary audio inputs you
will be using for your project.
2. Outputs. Here you can specify the audio outputs for the project.
3. Busses. The Busses tab allows for the creation of multiple internal audio busses.
Remember, the number of busses you can add is limited to the number designated in the
Configure Studio Settings window (mentioned previously). Anything beyond this will
create a duplicate “shared” bus.
4. Instruments. In many Audio Unit (AU) plug-ins and ReWire-compatible applications,
multiple audio outputs are available. The Instruments tab is where you can route these
outputs to anywhere in the Digital Performer environment. Once the virtual instrument
is instantiated, simply click the Add button to create as many bundles as needed.
5. MIDI Devices. The MIDI Devices tab in the Bundles window provides access to the
same information regarding your MIDI setup as in the Audio MIDI Setup window
(discussed in “The Audio MIDI Setup Utility (AMS)” section of this chapter). The
presentation looks different, but all of your MIDI connections are represented, and any
changes made here will appear in the AMS Utility window as well. You can add a device
by simply clicking the Add button and define its properties by highlighting the new
device and clicking the Edit button.
What Are Bundles?
A bundle is basically a set of inputs, outputs, and internal busses for audio, routing paths for
virtual instruments, and I/O assignments for MIDI gear. Think of the Bundles window as a vir-
tual patch bay. Although you are not changing the physical connections of your equipment (as
most bundles are simply the physical inputs and outputs of your audio and MIDI interfaces),
there is much freedom in assigning DP’s internal busses. While it’s possible to create audio bun-
dles on the fly from DP’s I/O assignment menus, the Bundles window provides you with a
graphic interface allowing for the creation, removal, renaming, and rerouting of I/O assignments
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 25
between Digital Performer and your connected audio and MIDI interfaces (and third-party vir-
tual instruments, such as Stormdrum or Ableton Live).
First, I want to focus on creating audio bundles, and then we will look into MIDI connections
and virtual instrument paths.
To create an audio bundle in the Bundles window:
1. Select the desired Inputs, Outputs, or Busses tab and click the Add button.
2. Specify the channel format for the audio bundle by clicking on the Model menu, shown
in Figure 2.19.
To remove or delete an audio bundle:
1. Click on the name of an audio bundle to select it. Drag to select multiple audio bundles.
2. Click the Delete button. You can also press the Delete key on your computer keyboard.
Renaming Bundles Another benefit to using the Bundles window versus DP’s I/O assign-
ment menus is the ability to rename a specific input, output, or bus. You could, for exam-
ple, call Bus 1-2 “Reverb” if you were using it as an effects send, or you could customize
the input/output bundle names to correspond to any studio gear that’s physically con-
nected to your audio interface. Customizing your audio bundle names can help you per-
sonalize and possibly speed up your Digital Performer workflow.
To rename an audio bundle, Option-click the name of the bundle. Enter the new name
and press the Return key on your Mac’s keyboard to confirm the change.
Figure 2.19 Set an audio bundle’s channel format from the Model menu. Notice that you can also
choose surround configurations.
26 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Rerouting Input, Output, and Bussing Assignments for Audio and Virtual Instrument
Bundles
The Tile Grid of the Bundles window is where you can change the routing assignment for a
specific audio bundle. The selected audio hardware driver and third-party virtual instruments
you have installed determine the audio devices and virtual instrument I/O that appear above the
assignment grid in each tabbed section. The location of each tile determines the routing assign-
ment of an audio bundle. Each bundle tile basically opens the connection between a specific DP
input, output, or bus and a specific input, output, or bus on your connected audio device or
virtual instrument. For example, suppose you have an audio interface with four analog outputs
(two stereo pairs), and you have four speakers connected to these outputs (two for each pair).
The hardware driver for the interface would allow you to create an audio bundle with two sep-
arate stereo outputs—say, Analog 1-2 and Analog 3-4. Now, in the Tile Grid, you are free to
define the routing of audio (in DP) through these outputs.
nTo make a new I/O routing assignment, click and drag a bundle tile to a new assignment, as
shown in Figure 2.20.
nTo swap the left and right channels of a stereo bundle, drag the left or right bundle to the
opposite channel.
Sharing I/O Assignments DP allows you to create bundles that share the same assign-
ments as other bundles. This is especially handy when you are working with surround
bundles, because you can create dedicated bundles for panning to specific speakers in a
surround setup. This would allow you, for example, to pan specific “stems” to specific
combinations of speakers (such as dialogue in the center, the music score in the front
left/right and rear left/right channels, FX stems in 5.1, and so on).
Exchanging Bundles Between DP Projects You can exchange bundles between DP projects
simply by choosing the Export or Import Bundles option available in the Bundles window
mini-menu. Just click the mini-menu button (located in the upper-right corner of the
Figure 2.20 Click and drag a bundle tile to change the routing assignment for an audio bundle.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 27
Bundles window) and exp ort your bundles for use in another DP proje ct, or impo rt a saved
bundle into you r curren t proje ct.
MIDI Configuration
MIDI device configuration has been greatly simplified in Mac OS X—you no longer have to rely
on third-party applications (such as FreeMIDI or OMS) to connect Digital Performer with your
studio’s MIDI devices. Similar to how OS X handles audio (with Core Audio), Apple’s Core
MIDI technology connects your MIDI studio together at the system level, offering improved
speed and performance. In addition, once your MIDI devices have been configured, other
Core MIDI–compatible applications you may have installed on your Mac (such as Pro Tools,
Finale, GarageBand, and so on) will also have access to this global MIDI setup.
The Audio MIDI Setup window, shown in Figure 2.21, provides a virtual representation of your
MIDI studio’s physical setup. Use this window to connect your MIDI interface and MIDI devices
to DP (and other Core MIDI applications). As discussed earlier in this chapter, the MIDI Devices
tab in the Bundles window is also a place for you to configure your MIDI connections to DP via
a Tile Grid. I will focus on the Audio MIDI Setup window, although the results are the same.
The Audio MIDI Setup Utility (AMS)
The Audio MIDI Setup (AMS) window allows you to configure the routing assignments for all of
your connected MIDI devices. Once you install the Core MIDI drivers for your particular MIDI
interface, the drivers will automatically appear in the AMS window, as shown in Figure 2.22.
Figure 2.21 The MIDI Devices tab of the Audio MIDI Setup window shows your system’s MIDI routing
assignments.
28 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
You can access this window directly in Digital Performer by choosing Setup 4Open Audio
MIDI Setup or by using Mac OS X’s Finder.
Configuring Your MIDI Devices
Once your MIDI interface is visible in the MIDI Devices tab of the AMS window, it’s very easy
to add, configure, and connect your MIDI devices.
To add a new MIDI device:
1. Open the AMS window by choosing System Hard Drive 4Applications 4Utilities 4
AMS. You can also open the window from DP by choosing Setup 4Open Audio
MIDI Setup.
2. Once AMS is opened, click the MIDI Devices tab to display your MIDI configuration.
3. Click the Add Device button to add a new external MIDI device. You can also use the
default keyboard shortcut CommandþD. When you’ve created the new device, a device
called New External Device will appear in the AMS window, as shown in Figure 2.23.
The new external device that is created will be a generic MIDI device. You can specify the man-
ufacturer, model, and MIDI properties of the device from the Properties window. This allows
DP to recognize a particular device’s patch lists and so on.
To configure the new MIDI device:
1. Double-click the new external device you created in the previous section. The Properties
window will open, allowing you to change the generic device’s MIDI properties.
2. Specify the manufacturer and model name from the appropriate menus, as shown in
Figure 2.24.
Figure 2.22 Once you have installed the Core MIDI driver for your particular MIDI interface, it will
automatically appear in the AMS window.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 29
3. Once defined, the device’s properties will automatically be configured for the specific
device. To view the actual properties for the MIDI device, click the More Information
button (see Figure 2.25).
4. Make any necessary changes and then click the Apply button to confirm them.
5. Close the Properties window by clicking on the window’s red Close button (located at
the top-left corner of the window).
Figure 2.23 Click the Add Device button to add a new external MIDI device.
Figure 2.24 Double-click the device to define its properties.
30 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Once you have configured the properties for your new MIDI device, it will appear with the
model name you specified in the previous section (such as V Drums).
Next, you need to connect the device to your MIDI interface. Make sure the virtual connections
you are making in the AMS window match the physical connections of your MIDI studio.
To connect your MIDI device:
nClick and drag the device’s output/input arrows to the MIDI interface’s input/output arrows,
as shown in Figure 2.26.
Once you have configured your MIDI devices, made the appropriate connections, and so on, you
can use the Configuration drop-down menu to edit the configuration. Here, you can duplicate,
rename, or delete the current configuration, or you can create a new configuration. It is a good
idea to duplicate your main configuration for backup purposes.
To quit the Audio MIDI Setup utility, simply choose Quit from the Audio MIDI Setup
menu. You can also use the default keyboard shortcut CommandþQ. Devices configured in
AMS will automatically appear in Digital Performer and any other Core MIDI–compatible
application.
Figure 2.25 The Properties tab of the AMS window.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 31
AMS in the Dock For quick access to the Audio MIDI Setup utility when you are not in
Digital Performer, I suggest dragging the application icon onto your Dock. This eliminates
just a few screen clicks, but every second counts when you are in a crunch!
Synchronization
You can synchronize Digital Performer with other devices and applications. Digital Performer
supports all standard synchronization modes, including SMPTE, standard MIDI beat clocks,
and tap tempo sync. When receiving SMPTE time code, you can choose MIDI Time Code,
Direct Time Lock, or Indirect Time Lock for the SMPTE-to-MIDI conversion that is required
for SMPTE. Refer to the “Synchronization” chapter of the Digital Performer user manual for an
explanation of DP’s different sync modes.
Syncing DP
You can synchronize DP with other devices (and applications) using the Receive Sync and Trans-
mit Sync commands. Even though Digital Performer can receive sync from a wide variety of
synchronization modes, it can only transmit sync as MIDI beat clocks (a.k.a. standard beat
clocks) or MIDI time code.
To slave DP to another device or application:
1. Open the Receive Sync command by choosing Setup 4Receive Sync (or Receive Sync in
the Preferences and Settings window).
2. Click the Sync to Port menu and choose the sync source, as shown in Figure 2.27.
Selecting Any will enable DP to sync to any time code it receives.
Figure 2.26 Drag the input/output arrows to connect devices in the AMS window.
32 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
3. Choose the desired sync mode from the Type of Sync section.
4. Once you’ve specified the sync settings, click the Done button.
5. Next, select Slave to External Sync from the Setup menu. You can also use the default
keyboard shortcut Commandþ7. Once enabled, the Control Panel’s Slave to External
Sync button will become highlighted, as shown in Figure 2.28.
Figure 2.27 The Sync to Port menu allows you to set the sync source.
The Slave to External S
y
nc button
Figure 2.28 The Slave to External Sync button. In addition to the methods provided in Step 5, you can
also click on the Slave to External Sync button to toggle the Slave to External Sync feature on and off.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 33
6. Press the Control Panel’s Play or Record button. The Play button will flash, indicating
that DP is waiting to receive sync from the device specified in Step 2.
To slave another device or application to Digital Performer:
1. Open the Transmit Sync command by choosing Setup 4Transmit Sync (or Transmit
Sync in the Preferences and Settings window).
2. Decide which type of sync you wish to transmit (either MIDI beat clocks or MIDI time
code [MTC]) and then specify the sync destination from the appropriate Transmit
menu, as shown in Figure 2.29. Keep in mind that you can transmit both types of sync
simultaneously to multiple destinations, simply by making the desired assignments.
3. Once you have chosen the desired settings, click the Done button.
Figure 2.29 Use the Transmit MTC or Transmit Beat Clocks via Port(s) menus to send MIDI time code or
MIDI beat clock sync to another device or application.
34 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Keep in mind that the device (or application) to which you’re transmitting sync must be set to
receive sync in order for DP to control the device. See the specific device’s user manual for
instructions on how to slave the device or application to Digital Performer.
Summary
Once you have successfully installed DP and configured your audio and MIDI devices, you will
be ready to start working in Digital Performer. See Chapter 3, “Navigating Digital Performer 6,”
for an overview of the major windows in Digital Performer. If you want to go ahead and dive
into DP, refer to Chapter 4, “Setting Up a New Project,” for an explanation of how to set up a
project for recording.
Chapter 2 Setting Up Digital Performer 6 35
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3Navigating Digital
Performer 6
Digital Performer’s interface is composed of various information windows that allow you
to access its numerous tools and features sets. This chapter will provide an overview of
the most important windows, which serve as the backbone for Digital Performer (see
Figure 3.1). For information on DP’s other windows and important features, check the Table of
Contents of this book to find related chapters or appendixes.
A Modern User Interface? Yes, it’s true. Digital Performer 6 has a cleaner, more modern
(and manageable) look and feel. Historically referred to as having far too many windows,
menus, and so on, DP 6 is neater and more compact in its presentation of data. The nav-
igation controls have been unified throughout so you are less likely to miss “hidden” infor-
mation or be forced to tick through several windows just to make a simple adjustment.
Keep in mind that although many aesthetic changes have been made, DP maintains its
technical depth and magnitude of features. It’s just more efficient and easier to use!
Following is a list of the windows and features discussed in this chapter:
nConsolidated Window
nControl Panel
nTracks window
nSequence Editor
nMixing Board
nSoundbites window
The Consolidated Window
The Consolidated Window feature allows you to view and configure DP’s various windows in a
single consolidated window, as shown in Figure 3.2. The Consolidated Window is broken up
37
into different sections that can be added, subtracted, or resized to fit your specific production
needs. If you want to jump right into using this feature, you can access the provided default
Consolidated Window sets from the Window Sets menu (Window 4Window Sets).
The Consolidated Window preferences (Digital Performer 4Preferences 4Display 4Consoli-
dated Window) control the functionality of the Consolidated Window, as shown in Figure 3.3.
From here, you can decide which windows will automatically open in the Consolidated Win-
dow, how many rows will initially appear, how projects created in older versions of DP are
affected, and how the Mixing Board behaves when the Consolidated Window is turned on.
You can also select options for enabling or disabling the Consolidated Window altogether.
See the “Customizing Your Workspace” section of Chapter 5, “Project Management: Part 1,”
for an explanation of the Consolidated Window and the Consolidated Window preference
settings.
Figure 3.1 Digital Performer’s main windows: Control Panel, Tracks, Sequence Editor, Mixing Board,
Soundbites, and the new Track Inspector.
38 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Tabs in the Consolidated Window Digital Performer 6 offers a new approach for accessing
different windows within the Consolidated Window. Across the top of the main body
(center) section is a row of tabs, each representing a different editor or primary window.
For example, to access the Mixer window, simply click on its corresponding tab, and it will
appear in the main body of the Consolidated Window. Tabbed browsing is also available
in sidebars and cells (discussed in Chapter 5).
Control Panel
The Control Panel in Digital Performer 6 is divided into three main sections (see Figure 3.4).
This window is the central location from which you can access playback controls in the Trans-
port, view and adjust the Counter, and enable enhanced selection and tempo features in the
Figure 3.2 The Consolidated Window feature allows you to display DP’s various windows in a single
consolidated window. In this example, the default Tracking window set is displayed.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 39
Status Strip. You can also quickly adjust audio settings for your project or toggle the various
Transport buttons to access modes such as Overdub, Wait, and Solo. Unlike other DP windows,
the Control Panel cannot be closed and will automatically open anytime a new session is created
or opened.
Transport
The Control Panel’s Transport controls operate like those on any standard multitrack recorder.
The main transport, or “go,” functions (see Figure 3.5) are (from left to right):
Figure 3.3 The Consolidated Window preferences control the functionality of the Consolidated
Window.
Figure 3.4 The Control Panel consists of three main sections that make DP “go.”
40 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nFast Rewind. This button rewinds the sequence in fast motion.
nSlow Rewind/Forward. This combination button allows you to rewind or move forward in
slow motion.
nFast Forward. This button moves the sequence forward in fast motion.
nRewind. This button takes you to the beginning of the current sequence. If you have the
Memory Bar options enabled, the Transport will rewind to the Memory Start location. If
pressed during playback, there will be a momentary pause before DP resumes playback at
the proper location. Pressing this button during the record process will stop the recording
and begin the rewind normally. You can also press the number 1 key on the numeric keypad
to instantly locate to the beginning of your project or Memory Start location.
nStop. This button will halt playback and recording and will also turn off the Pause button, if
it is engaged. If the Memory Bar’s Auto-Rewind button is turned on, DP will automatically
rewind to the Memory Start location. You can also use the spacebar to stop or start
playback.
nPlay. This button begins playback. Use the spacebar to start or stop playback.
nPause.This button suspends playback and puts the Transport in standby. If this is pressed
during playback, DP will suspend playback without turning off any sounding MIDI notes. If
it is pressed while the Transport is stopped, playback will be suspended until the Transport is
“unpaused.”
nRecord. This button engages playback and begins recording from the playback cursor’s
current location. A track must be record-enabled for recording to begin. If you attempt to
start recording when no tracks are armed, you will be presented with a warning dialog box
(see Figure 3.6).
Rewind Stop Play Pause Record
Figure 3.5 The main “go” functions of the Control Panel.
Figure 3.6 A track must be record-enabled before you can begin recording.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 41
Counter
The Counter section of the Control Panel displays the current playback location for the enabled
sequence. The Main and Auxiliary Counters can display four different formats: measures, real-
time, SMPTE frames, and samples. Click on the time disclosure triangles located to the right of
each Counter to change the display. Be aware that you cannot display the same time format in
both Counters (see Figure 3.7).
The Large Counter Window In addition to the Control Panel’s Counter window, DP also
has a “large” Counter window (see Figure 3.8) that you can access from the Studio menu.
(The default keyboard shortcut is Shift+J.)
The large Counter consists of a Main Counter and one to three Auxiliary Counters,
depending on whether you enable all four time formats from the Set Display command
located in the mini-menu. This command also lets you specify the time format that will be
displayed in the Main Counter.
The mini-menu (see Figure 3.9) also provides a command for setting the Chunk Start
Time. (See Chapter 11, “Arranging.”)
Figure 3.7 The Control Panel’s Counter. In this example, the Main Counter is configured to display
measures/beats/ticks, while the Auxiliary Counter displays SMPTE frame time.
Figure 3.8 The large Counter window.
Figure 3.9 The Counter window mini-menu.
42 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Chunks Digital Performer refers to sequences as Chunks. DP projects can contain an
unlimited number of Chunks and are managed from the Chunks window (Projects 4
Chunks). See Chapter 11 for a full explanation of Chunks.
Status Strip with Tempo Control
The Status Strip is located at the very bottom of the Control Panel’s Counter (see Figure 3.10)
and presents a great deal of sequence information. On the left, the strip has fields to enter Mem-
ory Start and End times, access to the Set To drop-down menu (discussed later in this chapter),
the name of the project, and the sequence (Chunk) that is currently selected in the Sequence
drop-down menu. (See the “Sequence and Marker Menus” section later in this chapter.)
When Auto-Record mode is enabled, the project name and current Chunk fields will disappear
and be replaced by the Punch-In and Punch-Out fields, wherein you can specify the exact loca-
tions for punch-in and -out recording. (For more information, see the “Punching In and Out”
section of Chapter 7, “Recording Audio.”)
Located to the right of the Sequence menu (see Figure 3.11) are the current Meter, Tempo Con-
trol, Beat Value, and Tempo displays (from left to right). Last is a disclosure triangle that pro-
vides access to the Tempo Control drop-down menu.
nCurrent Meter. This displays the current time signature of the enabled sequence. This value
can only be changed by selecting Project 4Modify Conductor Track 4Change Meter. You
could also insert a meter event directly into the Conductor track. (See Chapter 4, “Setting Up
a New Project,” and Chapter 11 for details on working with meters within DP.)
nTempo Control. This displays the current tempo mode of the sequence.
nCurrent Beat Value. This value determines which note gets the “beat,” or subdivision, for
the current tempo, displayed in beats per minute (BPM). See Chapters 4 and 11 for details on
working with tempo within DP.
nCurrent Tempo. This displays the current tempo, or BPM, of the enabled sequence. You can
click and drag directly into the BPM window to change the tempo (even during playback), as
long as the tempo is not set to be controlled by the Conductor track (explained in the
“Conductor Track” section of Chapter 11).
nTempo Control menu. This menu allows you to select a specific tempo mode to control the
current sequence. You can choose Tempo Slider, Conductor Track, Tap Pad, or Remote
Control.
Figure 3.10 The Control Panel’s Status Strip.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 43
The Conductor Track The Conductor track (discussed further in Chapter 11) is a special
track that contains data related to tempo, meter, key signatures, and markers. Think of
this track as a roadmap for the sequence. Unlike other tracks, it cannot be deleted. How-
ever, its data can be viewed and edited in the Graphic Editor or Event List window. When
the tempo of a sequence is set to Conductor Track mode (discussed earlier), the data
entered or recorded into this track will control the tempo(s) for the current sequence.
You can even have separate takes for the Conductor track! (See Chapter 7 for information
regarding takes.)
Audio Settings
The Audio Settings section (see Figure 3.12) allows you to specify audio clock sources, the sam-
pling rate, bit depth, and the SMPTE frame rate without having to open their related windows.
Routine Transport Buttons
Located directly below the Transport controls and to the right of the Audio Settings section are
various routine buttons that can help significantly streamline your workflow and allow you to
concentrate more on the creative process (see Figures 3.13 and 3.14). For example, the Memory
buttons can help you automate routine Transport procedures by allowing you to program the
Transport controls to activate at specified times during playback or recording.
Meter Tempo
Control
Beat Value
Figure 3.11 The Control Panel’s current Meter, Tempo Control, Beat, and Value (from left to right).
Figure 3.12 The Audio Settings section of the Control Panel.
Figure 3.13 The routine Transport buttons can help you significantly streamline your workflow.
Figure 3.14 More routine Transport buttons are located to the far-right of the Control Panel.
44 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nAuto-Rewind. Use this feature to immediately rewind to the Memory Start Time when
playback is stopped.
nAuto Stop. This option causes playback and recording to stop at the Memory Stop Time.
nMemory Cycle. This button will force playback and recording to loop infinitely between the
designated Memory Start and Stop Times. Multiple consecutive playbacks will occur until
the Stop button is selected.
nLink Playback to Memory. This buttons functions just like the Memory Cycle button but
will stop at the specified Memory Stop Time rather than repeat over and over. Once enabled,
the Pre/Post Roll buttons become active (discussed later in this section).
nLink Selection to Memory. When this button is enabled, the Memory Start and Memory
Stop Times will always match (update to) the current selection.
nAuto-Record. Use this button to automate punches within DP. Once enabled, the Punch
Start and End times will become visible in the Status Strip. (See Chapter 7 for more
information.)
nOverdub Record. When engaged, this option will merge recorded MIDI data with any data
that already exists within a MIDI track. When Overdub mode is turned off, previously
recorded MIDI data will be replaced when recording starts.
However, audio tracks operate differently. With Overdub mode enabled, newly recorded
material will not be merged, but will be layered over existing soundbites. When Overdub
mode is off, previously recorded soundbites in that track are erased.
nCountoff. This button enables the countoff for the MIDI metronome. The number of
countoff measures can be set in the Countoff preferences, which you can quickly access by
double-clicking the Countoff button.
nWait. Click this button to place the Transport in standby mode. When playback or recording
is initiated, DP will “wait” for a MIDI message before beginning playback or recording. (See
Chapter 8, “Recording MIDI,” for more information.)
nSlave to External Sync. This button will turn on external sync. Double-clicking will open the
Receive Sync window, where you can set specific sync options. Use this option when you
wish to synchronize your Digital Performer system with another playback or recording
device/application. Review Chapter 2 for an explanation of synchronization.
nMetronome Click. This option will turn on DP’s Metronome. Double-clicking on this button
will open the Click preferences. See the “Setting Up a Click” section of Chapter 4 for an
explanation of Digital Performer’s click.
nAudible Mode. Click on the speaker icon to enable Audible mode so you can listen to MIDI
or audio data simply by clicking on notes or phrases in a track and holding down the mouse
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 45
button. Dragging the Playback Wiper with Audible mode turned on will also allow you to
“scrub” existing MIDI data.
nAuto Scroll. This enables auto scrolling for the Tracks window. Option-click to open the
Scroll preferences (explained in Chapter 5).
nSolo. Click on the S icon to turn on Solo mode. By default, the Tracks window’s Solo mode
button will mute all tracks when enabled. See the note entitled “The Control Panel’s Solo
Button” for a further explanation of the Tracks window’s Solo mode button.
nPre/Post Roll. When you select the Link Playback to Memory button (discussed earlier in
this chapter), these two buttons become active, allowing you to add “lead-in” or “lead-out”
preparation time to the cycle. Consult the Digital Performer User Guide for more detail
about Memory Cycle management.
The Control Panel’s Solo Button When enabled, the Solo button will temporarily mute all
tracks. This is a very handy way to mute multiple tracks and listen to others. However, this
can be confusing to users new to DP, because clicking on the Solo button does not nec-
essarily solo a specific track. If you click the Solo button on the Control Panel, you will need
to click on an individual track’s Play-Enable button to actually “solo” it. Think of it like this:
When you traditionally solo a track with a single click, say, in the Mixer window, all tracks
become muted apart from the soloed track. The Control Panel’s Solo button works in the
same manner except you must play-enable the track or tracks you want to listen to
(because a dedicated solo option is not available for each track in the Tracks window).
Remember, in order to solo an audio track, it must be “online” as well as play-enabled.
(Placing audio tracks online or offline is discussed later in Chapter 7.)
The Solo mode button is global and affects all windows in a DP project. A track’s Play-
Enable button changes color, depending on its current playback state. Orange indicates
that the track is muted when in Solo mode, but it will play back (and become blue) when
Solo mode is turned off. Blue means that the track will always play back, regardless of
whether it is soloed. When the Play-Enable button is gray, the track is muted and will not
play back even if it is soloed.
Tracks can, of course, be soloed or muted at any time during playback, and Digital
Performer will remember a track’s soloed and un-soloed play-enabled state.
Preferences for further controlling how soloing functions in DP operate can be found in
the MIDI Solo Setup and MIDI Patch Thru sections of the Preferences and Settings
window. See Chapter 5 for an explanation of the MIDI Solo Setup preferences.
46 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Control Panel Preferences Digital Performer 6 adds two new Control Panel settings. You
can specify the Control Panel as a floating window (meaning it will always “float” on top
of other windows), and you can calibrate the Control Panel’s transparency. Simply use
Digital Performer 4Preferences 4Control Panel to make these adjustments.
Tracks Window
The Tracks window is the central window in Digital Performer (see Figure 3.15). It provides an
overview of a project’s tracks, track data, and available sequences. This window is really divided
into three main sections: the Information Bar, the Tracks List, and the Tracks Overview. Choose
Project 4Tracks or use the default keyboard shortcut ShiftþT.
Is Your Tracks Window Too Small? New to Digital Performer 6 is the ability to vertically
resize the Tracks window. I am not sure why it took so long, but this new feature brings
much relief to users who have long been straining their eyes to view their track data in this
window. Look for the þand signs below the vertical scroll bar (at the right side of the
window) and use them to expand or shrink the graphic overview of the Tracks window.
Figure 3.15 The Tracks window is the central window in Digital Performer.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 47
Information Bar
Located in the Tracks window (just above the Tracks List and Tracks Overview sections) and in
each of the edit windows is the Information Bar (see Figure 3.16). This bar—or “strip”—
contains data fields representing some or all of the information provided in each of the Infor-
mation windows (discussed in the “Floating Information Windows” section later in this
chapter). You can select the data fields you want to make visible in the strip by selecting Digital
Performer 4Preferences 4Information Bar (see Figure 3.17).
Figure 3.16 The Information Bar contains a wealth of information regarding your sequence.
Figure 3.17 The Information Bar preferences allow you to select the data fields you want to see in the
“strip” of each window.
48 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
“Floating” Information Windows The information located in the Information Bar is also
available in separate “floating” windows. You can keep these windows open, and they
will continually update while you work. Each set of data fields is represented by a corre-
sponding letter in parentheses, such as (T) for Track Inspector (see Figure 3.18). Just
double-click on any letter in the strip, and the data will appear in its own floating window.
(You can also Option-click to open the window in configuration mode or Command-click
a letter for quick access to the Information Bar preferences.) Additionally, each separate
window is accessible in the Studio menu, such as Studio 4Track Inspector.
There is yet another window available in the Studio menu that does not appear in the
Information Bar. The Sound File Information window (discussed in the “Sound File
Information Window” section later in this chapter) provides details about currently
selected soundbites. (See Chapter 6, “Project Management: Part 2,” for more information
about soundbites and audio files.)
You can choose from the following options. (By default, the Tracks window only displays
Cursor and Selection information.)
nTrack Inspector (T). When a track (or a portion of a track) is highlighted, these data fields
show information regarding the selected track’s color, icon, name, play-enable status,
record-enable status, input monitor, input, output, take, automation, default patch/patch
(for MIDI tracks), lock, and solo exempt status.
Figure 3.18 The Track Inspector information in a separate floating window.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 49
nCursor Information (C). This field displays time and track name information relating to
the current location of the mouse cursor (pointer). It continually updates as you move the
mouse horizontally and/or vertically around the screen. In the Graphic Editor (discussed in
Chapter 10, “Editing”), the Cursor Information data field will also display MIDI pitch
information (see Figure 3.19).
nEvent Information (E). This field displays details about a single event that has been selected
(much like the Event List discussed later in Chapter 10). For example, if you highlight a
MIDI note, that note’s pitch, on velocity, off velocity, and duration data are presented in the
appropriate fields.
nSelection Information (S). These fields show the Selection Start and End times for a selected
(highlighted) region of a track or tracks. These times are used to define the in and out points
of the segment that you wish to edit. When clicked, the Selection Start and Selection End
arrows will place the current Counter location (position of the Playback Wiper) into the
corresponding start or end field. The “curved” arrow (located to the far left) is used to recall
a Remembered Time (discussed in the “Set to Remembered Times and New Saved Time
The Cursor Information Field
Figure 3.19 Cursor information is displayed in the Cursor Information data field of the Graphic Editor.
In this example, data represents a MIDI note’s measure and beat position, pitch value, and MIDI note
number.
50 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Commands” section later in this chapter), and the Smart Selections button (located to the
far right) is used to toggle the Smart Selections command on or off. Consult the Digital
Performer User Guide for more details about Smart Selections.
You can also use the Set To drop-down menu (discussed later in this chapter) to access
shortcuts for setting or loading times, as shown in Figure 3.20. New to version 6, the New
Saved Time and Set to Remembered Times options give you even quicker access to time
selections (discussed in the “Set to Remembered Times and New Saved Time Commands”
section of this chapter).
nGrid Snap Information (G). This data field contains “snapping” and “nudging” information
according to the Edit Grid settings (discussed in the “Grids, Time Rulers, and Zooming”
section later in this chapter and in Chapter 10).
The Set To Menu Shortcuts
The Set To menu provides the following options for quickly making time-range selections.
nSet to Selection Bounds. This shortcut will automatically set the Selection Start and End times
to the current time-range selection in the Time Ruler (located directly above the Tracks
Overview window). You can make a time-range selection by simply clicking and dragging in the
sequence timeline or anywhere in the Tracks Overview window. You will notice the Start and
End times will automatically update as you click and drag to make your time-range selection.
nSet to Chunk Bounds. This option will set the Start and End times to the entire range of the
current sequence.
nSet to Remembered Times. This option will set the Start and End times to any “remem-
bered” time-range selections made using the CommandþR shortcut (discussed in the “Set to
Remembered Times and New Saved Time Commands” section of this chapter).
nSet Start to Counter. This will set the Selection Start point to the time displayed within the
Control Panel’s Main Counter. You can also accomplish this by clicking the Sequence Start
button.
Figure 3.20 The Set To menu provides shortcuts for setting or loading time-range selections. Notice the
saved times listed in the center of the window.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 51
nSet End to Counter. This will set the Selection End time to the time displayed within the
Control Panel’s Main Counter. Clicking the Sequence End button will give the same results.
nNew Saved Time. This option will allow you to name and save a time-range selection for
Memory Cycle or Auto Record purposes.
nNew Saved Time for This Chunk. This option will allow you to name and save a time-range
selection that will only appear in this menu for the Chunk in which it was created.
nEdit Saved Times. Use this option to rename and delete saved time-range selections.
Remember Saved Times and New Saved Time Commands Digital Performer 6 adds a new
set of features that allow you to create “remembered” or “saved” times. These features
enable speedier recall of time-range selections and can significantly accelerate the editing
process. They both perform similar functions but are configured and recalled in different
ways. Consult the Digital Performer User Guide for more details regarding these new
features.
Mini-Menus Mini-menus appear in most of DP’s windows. In previous versions of DP,
these menus were located in the upper-left corner, but in version 6, they are located in
the upper-right corner and are represented by a small disclosure triangle, as shown in
Figure 3.21. Each one contains different options pertaining to the respective window.
Many of these menus also provide access to the Preferences and Settings window.
Tracks List
The Tracks List section, shown in Figure 3.22, displays various features that allow you to man-
age tracks within the Tracks window. The following subsections describe the features that you
will find in the Tracks List section.
The Mini-Menu Disclosure Triangle
Figure 3.21 Mini-menus appear in most of DP’s windows and are represented by a small
disclosure triangle.
52 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Sequence and Marker Menus
Located above the Track Columns (discussed in the “Track Columns” section of this chapter),
you will find two drop-down menus. In the Sequence menu, you can switch between sequences
(provided you have more than one sequence in your project), create a new sequence, rename or
delete the current sequence, or copy a selection to a new sequence.
In the Marker menu, you can quickly proceed to specific marker locations in the current
sequence. The Marker menu also provides other important timeline locations, such as the
Sequence Start and End times. See Chapter 11 for more information about the Sequence and
Marker menus.
Window Target Menus Be on the lookout for Window Target menus (new to version 6).
These menus are located in the upper-right corner (and to the immediate left of the mini-
menu’s disclosure triangle button) in the Tracks window and all editor windows. Basically,
Figure 3.22 The Tracks List.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 53
these menus provide efficient access to a list of “target” destinations, such as a different
track or sequence. For example, if you are editing a section of audio in the Waveform
Editor (discussed in Chapter 13, “Processing and Mastering”), and you want to make a
brief edit to a different audio track (using the current editor), simply use the Window Tar-
get menu to select the new “target” track, and the waveform of the new audio track will
promptly appear. This new feature saves only a few clicks, but it can be very beneficial in a
deadline crunch!
Beware, switching sequences using the Window Target menu in the Tracks window or
the Sequence Editor does not work like the conventional Sequence menu. It switches the
display to the new sequence but does not play-enable it.
Track Columns
Track Columns (see Figure 3.23) allow you to manage track I/O assignments, MIDI patches,
takes, track order, comments, and so on. Choose Track Columns Setup from the mini-menu to
show and hide specific columns within this list. You can even double-click on a column heading
Figure 3.23 Track Columns display the settings for each track within a sequence. Click and drag the
column heading to change the column order within the Tracks List.
54 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
to open the Track Columns Setup window without using the mini-menu. To change the order of
the columns within the list, click and drag on a column name. The various columns and their
associated controls are as follows (from the default left to right placement):
nMove. Click on the Move handle of a track and drag up or down to change the position of a
track within the Tracks List.
nLoop. A track’s Loop icon will be highlighted when a track contains a loop. Keep in mind
that you can’t click directly on a track’s Loop icon to insert a loop. Use the Region menu’s
Set Loop command or the Loop tool to loop a track. See Chapter 11 for an explanation of
looping in Digital Performer.
nLock. Click the Lock button to “lock” a track. Once a track is locked, all data within the
track will be locked to its current SMPTE frame location. Be aware that this feature does not
prevent or “lock” data from being edited within a track.
nRecord. Click the Record button to record-enable a track. Record-enabled tracks are des-
ignated with a red Record icon. An input and output assignment must be made before a
track can be armed for recording.
nMonitor. Once this is enabled, you can monitor an incoming signal of an audio track’s input.
nInput. This column provides the input assignment menu for each track.
nLevel. These activity meters display the output level of a track.
nPlay. Click the Play-Enable button to enable track playback. When the Play icon is blue,
tracks will play back. When it is dimmed, tracks will be muted. When in Solo mode, an
orange state indicates that the track is muted.
nXmpt. This is the Solo Exemption column. Enabling this feature will prevent a track from
being muted when other tracks are soloed. This is especially handy for tracks that are usually
never muted, such as aux and master tracks.
nOutput. This column provides the output assignment menu for each track.
nTake. Click on this column to access the Take menu for a track. See Chapter 7 for infor-
mation on recording and managing alternate takes.
nEnable. This button places an audio track online or offline in order to manage CPU
resources.
nCol. Click on a track’s Color column to change the color of a specific track. See Chapter 5
for an explanation of track colors.
nTrack Name. This column displays the name of a track. Option-click the track name to
rename a track.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 55
nPatch. This is the “current” patch setting for the selected MIDI track. If a patch is not
selected, the setting will be blank. (Think of patches as available sounds in your selected
MIDI device.)
nDefault Patch. This feature determines what MIDI patch the track will always start with.
This setting is saved with the project, allowing you to reopen a project and return to the
correct sound or patch for a track.
nAto. This is the automation menu for each track. See Chapter 12, “Mixing,” for an expla-
nation of DP’s track-automation features.
nCntrl. This feature lets you choose controller data to overlay on top of existing data within a
track.
nComments. This column displays comments that have been entered within a track. To enter
or change comments, simply click on a track’s Comments column.
The Disappearing Tracks List Perhaps you might like to gain more screen space. Digital
Performer 6 presents a new and nifty little feature that allows you to make the Tracks
List quickly disappear. Simply double-click on the divider (located between the Tracks
List and the Tracks Overview section) to hide or reveal the Tracks List.
The Tracks Overview Section
The Tracks Overview section displays the audio and MIDI data for all available tracks, as shown
in Figure 3.24. This is a global look at all the tracks within a sequence, including Conductor
The Tracks Overview section
Figure 3.24 The Tracks Overview section provides a global look at all audio and MIDI data within a
sequence’s tracks. Phrases of MIDI data are intuitively grouped into blocks. You must first select data
before you can edit it.
56 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
track data, such as meter, tempo, and marker events. Within the Tracks Overview section of the
Tracks window, you can view tracks, select tracks, make edits over entire sections of a sequence,
or add and delete tracks from a project. Unlike other tracks, however, the Conductor track can-
not be deleted from a sequence. See Chapter 11 for an explanation of the Conductor track
within Digital Performer.
MIDI and Audio Data
The Tracks Overview section displays MIDI and audio data in blocks. Phrases of MIDI data are
intuitively grouped into blocks by Digital Performer’s Dynamic Phrase Parsing feature. This fea-
ture looks at the amount of empty time between blocks, as well as density of the MIDI data.
Within a MIDI block, notes are displayed as purple bars, while controller data appears as green
bars. You can customize how MIDI data is phrased from the Tracks Overview section of the
Preferences and Settings window (Digital Performer 4Preferences and Settings) or by selecting
the Tracks Overview Preferences in the Tracks window’s mini-menu. See Chapter 5 for an expla-
nation of the Tracks Overview preferences.
Audio soundbites appear as entire blocks that contain the waveform display of the audio data
and are selected and edited as single objects. Although you can perform standard edits on audio
tracks within the Tracks window, the edges of soundbites cannot be trimmed in the Tracks
Overview. Use the Sequence or Waveform Editor to trim the edges of soundbites in DP (dis-
cussed in Chapter 10).
Time Rulers and Grids
The Time Ruler, located directly above the Tracks Overview section, is broken up into columns,
or grids. By default, one grid column is equal to one measure of music. You can use the hori-
zontal Zoom buttons (þand ), located at the bottom-right corner of the Tracks window, to
change the resolution of the grid. If you wish to display other time formats within the Time
Ruler, select Setup 4Time Format and choose the appropriate options (see Figure 3.25). Unlike
other editors within DP, the Snap to Grid feature within the Tracks window cannot be disabled.
However, it can be temporarily overridden by pressing the Command key while making an edit
selection.
The Sequence Editor
The Sequence Editor is very similar to the Tracks window in that it displays audio and MIDI
data, as well as Conductor track events (see Figure 3.26). Where it differs, however, is in its
ability to display a project’s QuickTime movie, show and hide specific tracks, reveal automation
data, display audio waveforms, and perform edits that are not constrained to a grid. In addition,
you can zoom horizontally and vertically in order to perform detailed edits, even down to the
sample level! This is a powerful, one-stop editing window for working with tracks in DP.
Choose Project 4Sequence Editor or use the default keyboard shortcut ShiftþS to open the
Sequence Editor window.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 57
The Sequence Editor Information Bar As discussed earlier in this chapter, the Information
Bar in the Sequence Editor (and all other editing windows) contains the same data as the
Information Bar in the Tracks window. Remember, you can use Digital Performer 4Pref-
erences 4Information Bar to customize this “strip” for each window.
Sequence Editor Mini-Menu
The mini-menu provides various items and commands for controlling the Sequence Editor and
accessing other important windows (see Figure 3.27). Some of these options were already cov-
ered in the “Tracks Window” section earlier in this chapter or are straightforward enough that
they don’t require an explanation. MIDI-related commands, such as the Continuous Data pref-
erences, can be found in the “MIDI Editing in the Graphic Editor” section of Chapter 10.
Figure 3.25 The Time Formats window provides options for controlling the display of time formats
within DP’s various windows. Choose the Custom option to simultaneously show different time formats
within a Time Ruler.
58 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Figure 3.26 The Sequence Editor is a one-stop window for your track editing needs.
Figure 3.27 The Sequence Editor’s mini-menu.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 59
The items that are important or unique to the Sequence Editor are as follows:
nSequences. This menu is a duplicate of the Sequence menu located in the Control Panel and
Tracks window.
nShow Active Layer Only. This option hides all data that is not chosen as the active layer for
each track (discussed in the “Track Settings Panel” section of this chapter).
nShow Times. This option will display the time stamp for soundbites within the Sequence
Editor. Choose the appropriate format from the Show Times submenu.
nEdge Edit Copy. When enabled (checked), this feature will create a new soundbite when the
edge of a soundbite is trimmed. This prevents the original soundbite from being modified,
which is handy when you have multiple instances of the same soundbite within a track, but
you only want to affect a single instance of that soundbite. Turning this feature off (leaving it
unchecked) will cause the original soundbite (plus any instances of that soundbite) to be
affected when trimmed. You can, however, Option-drag the edge of a soundbite to override
the current Edge Edit Copy setting.
Track Settings Panel
The Track Settings panel displays important information about a track, making it possible to
complete the majority of your track management without having to return to the Tracks win-
dow. This panel varies slightly, depending on whether you are working with an audio or a MIDI
track. The Settings panel for an audio track is shown in Figure 3.28.
Many of these features—such as the Play/Mute and Record Enable buttons, the Take menu,
automation settings, Lock, Solo Exempt, and Comments—are universal to other editors and
are covered in their respective chapters. The Track Settings panel’s important and unique fea-
tures are as follows (from top to bottom):
nTrack Type icon/Color Selector. This feature is located to the left of the track name. The
Track Type icon allows you to visually differentiate between track types. Clicking on this
icon will also allow you to change the track color.
Figure 3.28 The Sequence Editor’s Track Settings panel for an audio track.
60 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nTrack name. Click the name of a track to select it. Option-click to rename a track.
Commandþdouble-click to open the Mixing Board.
nTrack Settings menu. This menu provides a list of all of a track’s settings (see Figure 3.29).
This is useful because a track’s size can be minimized to conceal all of the track settings
contained within the Track Settings panel or increased to make it easier to edit a track’s
visible audio or MIDI data. You can access this menu by clicking on the small black triangle
located to the right of the track name.
nWaveform Vertical Zoom. Located to the right of the Track Settings menu, this button (the
magnifying glass icon) controls the vertical height of an audio track’s waveform display or a
MIDI track’s note data.
nActive Layer. This option allows you to choose the type of information or data that is dis-
played in the top layer of a track, such as automation data or loop information. Choosing
Volume for an audio track, for example, will overlay volume automation data over the
track’s waveform display (which will be dimmed).
nInsert menu. This menu allows you to insert certain types of data into a track. See the
“Inserting Automation Data” section of Chapter 12 for an explanation on inserting data
within a track.
nHorizontally Resize. Use the Resize handles (gray dots) to drag and resize the Track Settings
panel into a horizontal position.
The Track Settings panel for a MIDI track appears in Figure 3.30. Unique to a MIDI track’s
Settings panel are the following features:
The Track Settings menu
Figure 3.29 The Track Settings menu displays the track’s various settings as a list.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 61
nDefault Patch. This button determines the MIDI patch that the track will always start with.
You can clear this setting from the Tracks window’s mini-menu.
nNote Grid (piano roll) scroll bar. Use this slider to scroll the note grid up and down. The size
of the slider is determined by the overall height of the MIDI track.
Graphic Editing
You can perform comprehensive graphic editing of audio and MIDI tracks in the area located to
the right of each track’s Settings panel. See Chapter 10 for a detailed look into the editing
process.
Grids, Time Rulers, and Zooming
Like the Tracks window, you can configure the Sequence Editor to conform to a specific grid
value (see Figure 3.31). These values are displayed in the Grid Snap Information data fields
(usually located in the far-right corner of the Information Bar). Any edits and selections made
with the grid enabled will constrain the action(s) to the user-defined grid resolution.
Edit Grid, Beat Grid, and Snap to Markers
Grid Snap Information consists of three main sections; Edit Grit, Beat Grid, and Snap to
Markers.
The Horizontal Resize button
Figure 3.30 A MIDI track’s Settings panel with the Horizontal Resize button.
Figure 3.31 You can confine your edits to a specific grid setting. In this example, all edits will “snap” to
eighth-note values.
62 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nEdit Grid. The current grid resolution (a.k.a. measurement units you want to use while
editing) is determined by the Unit indicator icon, which by default is represented by a note
value. (Other values appear according to selections made in the Time Formats window
(Setup 4Time Formats). Click on the Note icon to change the resolution grid. (Matching
numeric values will update in the aligned data fields.) To turn the grid on or off, click the
Edit Grid button (to the left of the Unit indicator).
nBeat Grid. The Beat Grid toggle button (located to the left of the Beat Grid icon, a purple
chevron) determines whether specific editing actions will “snap” to beats within the actual
audio waveform (even if they don’t match up with “units” in the Edit Grid). Consult the
Digital Performer User Guide for more information about this advanced feature.
nSnap to Markers. The Snap to Markers section does exactly what the name implies. When its
toggle button is selected (located to the left of the Marker icon, a yellow chevron), editing
actions “snap” to marker locations in the current sequence. Using Snap to Markers and Edit
Grid features together providers an even greater editing flexibility, especially when marker
locations don’t “line up” perfectly with units in the edit grid.
Time Ruler
Below the Information Bar is the Time Ruler, which consists of a “main” ruler that measures the
time of a sequence horizontally. The time formats displayed are determined by the options set in
the Time Formats window (select Setup 4Time Formats). Making selections within the Time
Ruler allows you to make time-range selections that will include all visible tracks.
Zoom Buttons
Like the Tracks window, the Sequence Editor has zoom controls built directly into the window.
Located at the bottom-right corner are zoom control buttons that control the vertical and hor-
izontal zooming (see Figure 3.32). Click the horizontal plus and minus buttons on the left to
zoom horizontally. Click the vertical plus and minus buttons on the right to zoom vertically.
Option-click on a zoom button to instantly zoom to the minimum or maximum zoom resolu-
tion. These buttons are global controls and will affect all visible tracks. To affect the zoom res-
olution for a particular track, choose the Size option from the Track Settings menu discussed
earlier in this chapter.
Figure 3.32 The Sequence Editor’s horizontal and vertical zoom buttons.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 63
Track Selector
This button (located in the bottom-left corner of all editor windows) will reveal or hide the
Track Selector List as shown in Figure 3.33, from which you can choose to show or hide specific
tracks in the editor’s window. Tracks that are showing will be highlighted in blue (or your cus-
tom Mac OS highlight color). You can click on a specific track or drag over multiple tracks to
show or hide them. Option-clicking on the name of a track will hide all other tracks, while
Command-clicking will reveal all tracks except the one you click on.
Universal Track Selector Since many of DP’s windows contain a Track Selector List, it can
be fairly inconvenient to manage each one as you switch between windows. New to ver-
sion 6 is the Universal Track Selector (Studio 4Track Selector). Because it updates to the
current active window, this separate “floating” window makes it possible to use one Track
selector for all edit windows.
The Mixing Board
The Mixing Board provides a comprehensive environment for mixing audio, MIDI, and virtual
instrument tracks within Digital Performer. Modeled on traditional mixing consoles, the Mixing
Board, shown in Figure 3.34, also offers access to real-time plug-in inserts, sends, automation
modes, and helpful features for managing your mixes.
Window Target Menu and Mini-Menu
The Mixing Board’s Window Target menu is similar to other Window Target menus within DP.
(See the “Window Target Menus” note earlier in this chapter.) However, in addition to being
able to switch sequences, you can use this menu to create new V-Racks or switch between exist-
ing V-Racks. A V-Rack is a “virtual” rack used as a central location for effects processing or
virtual instruments. For more details regarding V-Racks, see the “V-Racks” note in Chapter 11.
The Mixing Board’s important mini-menu features, shown in Figure 3.35, are as follows (from
top to bottom):
nMixer Settings Show/Hide. The first section of the mini-menu (starting with Inserts and
ending with the Input/Output settings) provides a list of mixer settings that can be shown
(checked) or hidden from display (unchecked) within the Mixing Board. To show only one
item while hiding all other items, Option-click with the mouse. Command-clicking an item
Figure 3.33 The Track Selector button will reveal or hide the Track Selector List.
64 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
will have the opposite effect, hiding one track and showing all the others. In order for this
shortcut to work, be sure to press the Option or Command key before you access the mini-
menu items.
nAuto Resize. When this option is checked, the Mixing Board will automatically resize itself
when mix settings or tracks are shown or hidden.
nUse Narrow View. Turn this feature on to shrink tracks horizontally within the Mixing
Board. This will allow you to display more tracks within the same amount of space.
nV-Rack Edit. This item is used to toggle the Mixing Board to the last viewed V-Rack.
nSet Number of Effects Inserts. Choose this option to set the number of inserts that will be
displayed within the Mixing Board. The default number of effect inserts is five. A maximum
number of 20 effect inserts per audio/aux track can be made available for mixing!
Figure 3.34 Digital Performer’s Mixing Board offers a familiar environment for mixing audio and MIDI
tracks.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 65
nSet Number of Sends. Choose this option to set the number of sends that will be displayed
within the Mixing Board (see Figure 3.36). The default number of effect inserts is four. A
maximum number of 20 sends per audio/aux track is available in mono, stereo, and sur-
round formats.
nLoad/Save/Delete Board Layout. These options are used to manage board layouts within the
Mixing Board. See Chapter 12 for an explanation of these options.
nLock Layout to Track Order. Checking this option will force the horizontal track order
within the Mixing Board to adhere to the vertical track order within the Sequence Editor and
Tracks windows. Uncheck this option to make the track layout independent of these other
windows.
nCreate Group. This option will allow you to create track groups. See Chapter 12 for an
explanation of track groups.
Figure 3.35 The Mixing Board’s mini-menu provides options for managing track layouts, the number
of effect inserts and sends, mix groups, and surround features within DP’s Mix window.
Figure 3.36 Use the Mixing Board mini-menu’s Set Number of Sends option to specify the number of
sends that will be available in a project.
66 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nAttach/Clear MIDI Controller. The Attach feature lets you connect a fader or knob within
the Mixing Board to a MIDI controller. Use the Clear option to remove the connection.
nSet Default Surround Panners. This option lets you set the surround panner plug-in that will
be used when a surround track is first created.
nEnable/Configure Sound Panner Joystick. Use these features to enable and configure a
standard USB joystick to control surround panner plug-ins within DP.
nMin Time and Value Change. This control sets the minimum amount of time between a
volume or pan move that DP records when making changes with the Volume faders and
panners. You can use this to control the amount of data that is recorded when making
automation moves, for example. Using higher settings can reduce the amount of data but
may also introduce unwanted noise and artifacts.
Track Strips
The track strips (or channel strips) within the Mixing Board, shown in Figure 3.37, are broken into
sections that contain standard mixing options for inserting real-time plug-ins, controlling volume
and panning, enabling automation, and so on. Audio and MIDI tracks differ in that MIDI tracks do
not contain Sends sections. The various sections are as follows (from top to bottom):
nInserts. You can insert real-time audio and MIDI effects by clicking on the Insert menus
(located at the top of each track strip; they appear with small gray triangles). You can also
insert virtual instrument plug-ins into unassigned instrument tracks. See Chapters 9 and 13
for explanations of this feature.
nSends. Sends are used to send, or route, signals from audio and aux tracks to additional
sources within your system. See Chapter 12 for an explanation of this standard mixing
feature.
nSolo/Mute/Record/Input. Use these buttons to solo, mute, record-enable, or monitor the
input of a track. Only instrument, aux, and master tracks contain Mute buttons.
nAutomation. The Automation section provides buttons for turning on and record-enabling
automation on a track. You can access the different automation modes from the Automation
menu. See Chapter 12 for an explanation of Digital Performer’s automation features.
nPan knob and Pan Readout field. Click and drag a track’s Pan knob to pan a track. You can
also type a pan value directly into the Pan Readout field or use the left and right arrow
buttons, which will change the pan value by increments of 1 (see Chapter 12).
nVolume and Metering. The Volume fader controls the output (post–hard disk) level of a
signal, while the Level meters display the audio output levels or MIDI velocities of a track.
As with the Pan Readout controls, you can use the Volume Readout section to make level
adjustments to a track.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 67
Keep in mind that the level numbers to the left of the audio track faders appear to be rep-
resenting traditional analog values (or average volume levels of a track expressed), but this is
not actually the case. In DP, audio volume is expressed in decibels, where zero is unity gain.
These audio faders include an extra þ6 dB of boost (headroom). This is the case throughout
the program wherever audio volume values are displayed.
nInput/Output menus. These two menus display the current input and output assignments of
a track. Click on each menu to access track I/O assignments without returning to the Tracks
window or the Sequence Editor. You can hide the I/O menu from a channel strip all together
by unchecking it in the mini-menu.
nTrack Name. Option-click to rename a track. You can change the track order within the
Mix window by clicking and dragging on the name of a track. Double-clicking on a track
Figure 3.37 The track strips within the Mixing Board resemble traditional mixing console channel
strips. MIDI and master tracks do not contain Sends sections.
68 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
name will launch an editor window for the track. This setting can be specified in DP’s
Preferences window. (See the “Edit Windows” section of Chapter 5.)
nInput/Output Assignment menu. Located directly below the track name, you can access this
menu by clicking on the down arrow. Similar to the Input/Output menu, this menu lets you
configure input and output assignments without leaving the Mixing Board. Unlike the pre-
vious Input/Output menu, this menu cannot be hidden from the mini-menu, and it offers
additional options for solo exempting, deleting, or placing a track online or offline (see
Figure 3.38).
Figure 3.38 Hidden below the track name, the Input/Output Assignment menu lets you configure I/O
and voicing assignments without leaving the Mixing Board.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 69
Snapshot Camera Buttons You may have noticed the small camera icon (see Figure 3.39)
located in the bottom-left corner of the Mixing Board window (to the right of Track Selec-
tor button). This button is used to take an automation “snapshot” that subsequently
inserts automation data into a track (at a specified location and time). See the “Snapshot
Automation” section of Chapter 12 for more information.
Soundbites Window
The Soundbites window allows you to view and manage soundbites within Digital Performer.
This window is divided into three sections—List, Info, and Edit—as shown in Figure 3.40.
The Soundbites Mini-Menu
The Soundbites window mini-menu’s important options are explained in the following list (from
top to bottom). The mini-menu is shown in Figure 3.41.
nNew Sound File. This option creates a new empty audio file. Choose the file format (mono,
stereo, and so on) from the New Sound File submenu. Once created, the file will be a half-
second long and will only contain silence. You can use this file for anything you like, from
pasting audio data (of any length) into it, to using it like a “video slug.”
Figure 3.39 The Snapshot button (camera icon) is used to insert automation data into a track.
Figure 3.40 The Soundbites window.
70 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nNew Sound File from Selection. This option creates a new sound file based on the audio
selection within the Soundbites window Waveform Editor. Simply highlight a selection
within the Waveform Editor and choose this command to create a new soundbite from the
existing selection. You can also use this command to simply duplicate an entire sound file
that is highlighted in the Soundbite List.
nImport Audio. This option will open the Import Audio window. See Chapter 7 for a detailed
explanation of this feature.
nExport Selected Bites. Use this command to export a selected soundbite. See Chapter 13 for
an explanation of the Export command.
nEdit Audio Export Formats. Use this option to make changes to any saved export formats.
nColumns Setup. Choose this option to open the Soundbite List preferences in the Preferences
and Settings window, which allows you to configure the columns that are actually displayed
within the List section of the Soundbites window (see Figure 3.42).
nCreate New Folder. This option remains dimmed until Folders view is selected from the
View By menu. See Chapter 6 for an explanation of this feature.
nSelect Unused Soundbites. Use this command to select all the soundbites that are not being
used in any tracks in any sequences within a project.
nCompact. This command will compact a selected audio file. See Chapter 6 for an explana-
tion of the compacting process.
nConvert Sample Rate or Sample Format. Use these commands to convert a selected sound-
bite’s sampling rate or bit depth. See Chapter 13 for more information on sample rate and
sample format conversion. These options will remain dimmed until a soundbite is selected.
nAutomatic Conversions Settings. Select this option to open the Automatic Conversions
window. See Chapter 7 for an explanation of the automatic conversions process.
Figure 3.41 The Soundbites window mini-menu.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 71
nRemove from List. Use this option to remove selected soundbites from a project while
leaving any corresponding regions intact. (See the “Managing Audio Files and Soundbites”
section of Chapter 6.)
nDelete. This option removes selected soundbites from the Soundbite List and deletes any
reference to their parent audio files. Parent audio files will not actually be deleted until the
last referencing region is deleted. (See the “Managing Audio Files and Soundbites” section of
Chapter 6.)
List
The Soundbite List displays a complete list of all soundbites that are in a project (see Fig-
ure 3.43). The List columns provide detailed information on each soundbite and can be managed
from the Soundbites window mini-menu (explained earlier), while the View By menu lets you
sort the Soundbite List for easy viewing.
Figure 3.42 The Soundbite List preferences allow you to specify which columns to display in the List
section of the Soundbites window.
72 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
List Columns
The list columns are as follows (from left to right):
nMove. Click and drag on a soundbite to change its position in the list.
nName. This column displays the name of the soundbite. Option-click to rename a soundbite.
If Audible mode is engaged (the speaker icon is turned on), then clicking on the name of
soundbite will allow you to audition it. Double-clicking the name will open the soundbite in
a separate Waveform Editor or third-party software editor.
nOriginal Time. This is the time the soundbite was originally created, often referred to as the
original time stamp.
nUser Time. This is the user-defined time stamp. Choose Audio 4Time Stamps to apply a
user time stamp to a selected soundbite.
nDuration. This column displays the length of the soundbite in minutes, seconds, and
milliseconds.
nTicks. This column displays the length of a soundbite in quarter notes/ticks. The soundbite
must have a defined tempo map, or this column will be blank.
nTempo. This shows the soundbite’s tempo map. If the soundbite does not have a tempo map,
then this column will be blank. If the tempo varies, DP will display an average tempo. To
manually define the tempo map, choose Audio 4Set Soundbite Tempo.
nSampling Rate. This displays the soundbite’s sampling rate.
nFormat. This displays the sample format or bit depth of the soundbite.
nCreation Time. This column shows the date/time when the soundbite was created or
imported into DP.
nSource. This offers a description of how the soundbite was created.
Figure 3.43 The Soundbite List displays detailed information for every soundbite contained within a
project.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 73
nDSP. This column shows how a soundbite’s time scaling and transposing preferences are set.
(See Chapter 13 for an explanation of PureDSP and transposition in Digital Performer.)
nFile. This is the audio file that the soundbite is referencing. Option-click to rename the audio
file. Double-click on the filename to replace or relocate the soundbite.
nDisk. This displays the disk location of the soundbite.
nFile Type. This displays the type of soundfile.
nInterleaved Format. This shows whether the file is an interleaved (combined left and right
mono files) or non-interleaved file (separate left and right mono files—a.k.a. split stereo).
The View By Menu
The View By menu contains a list of sorting criteria (see Figure 3.44). Choose a specific criterion
by which to sort the Soundbite List. Once sorted, the soundbites will be displayed with disclo-
sure triangles that group soundbites into a specific hierarchy. Use this sorting feature to quickly
find specific soundbites.
The Sound File Information Window
The Sound File Information Window (Studio 4Sound File Information), shown in Figure 3.45,
displays important information about a selected soundbite. This window is divided into three
sections: the Sound File, Soundbite, and Audio Loop panes.
The Sound File Information Pane
The first pane displays information about the soundbite’s parent audio file. Click on the menu
located at the top of this section to choose another parent audio file. You can use the Comments
section to enter specific comments on the sound file. Comments are global and will be imported
with the file when it is used in other Digital Performer projects.
Figure 3.44 The View By menu allows you to sort the Soundbite List by specific criteria.
74 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Figure 3.45 The Information window is divided into three sections that display important information
about a selected soundbite.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 75
The Soundbite Information Pane
This pane displays information about the currently selected soundbite. Like the Sound File infor-
mation pane, there is a menu located at the top of this section that will allow you to select other
soundbites that exist within a project. The Transpose and Time Compression/Expansion menus
allow you to set the preferences for their respective process. (See Chapter 13 for information on
PureDSP and transposing a soundbite in DP.) You can also bypass any Bite Volume settings or
change the Bite Gain value of any selected soundbites from within this pane. (See Chapter 12 for
information regarding Bite Volume and Bite Gain settings.)
Figure 3.46 Use DP’s Shortcuts preferences to choose which buttons you would like to appear in the
Shortcuts window.
76 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
The Audio Loop Information Pane
The Audio Loop information pane allows you to view any loop points and settings that have
been created by a sampler. If no settings exist, this section will be blank. These loop settings have
no effect on the behavior of the file within DP.
DP’s Shortcuts I’d like to mention one more navigation feature in version 6 (included in the
6.02 update that was made available at the time of the writing of this book). DP’s Short-
cuts window (Studio 4Shortcuts) is a host for buttons that give you quick access to fre-
quently used windows and dialogs. You can choose which buttons you would like to
appear in the Shortcuts window by choosing Digital Performer 4Preferences 4Shortcuts
to toggle your selections (see Figure 3.46). This feature comes as a relief to many DP users
who yearned to have their “buttons” back (available in the form of Quick Access Drawers
in earlier versions).
Summary
This chapter has, I hope, provided you with a basic understanding of the way Digital Performer’s
main windows appear and function in version 6. It is important to take plenty of time to practice
navigating DP in order to establish an efficient strategy for your sessions. More detailed explan-
ations of these and other DP features are covered throughout the various chapters of this book.
Chapter 3 Navigating Digital Performer 6 77
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4Setting Up a New Project
Now that we’ve discussed the optimization process for your Mac, installed Digital Per-
former, connected and configured our audio and MIDI devices, and learned how to
navigate DP, we’re ready to create a new project. Digital Performer offers a number of
different ways to access its many comprehensive features: through the main application menus,
through various floating windows or a Consolidated Window, and by using extensive keyboard
shortcuts. Though this versatility allows you to really customize, it can be very overwhelming for
the novice (and even for the experienced) DP user. Instead of bombarding you with every option
and detailed function, this chapter will focus on helping you quickly and efficiently set up a
project for recording.
This chapter will cover the following topics:
nHow to create a new Digital Performer project
nHow to configure the project’s sample rate via the Control Panel
nHow to create Track Folders
nHow to manage busses with the Configure Studio Settings window
nHow to add, delete, rename, and move audio and MIDI tracks
nHow to configure input and output routing assignments for audio and MIDI tracks
nHow to set up the tempo and meter for a project
nHow to set up a click with internal and/or external MIDI sources
Project Basics
Unlike some applications, Digital Performer only allows one project to be open at a given time.
A project must be closed before you can open or create another one.
To create a new Digital Performer project:
1. Launch Digital Performer.
79
2. From the File menu, choose New. If you are prompted to open an existing project, click
on the New button instead (see Figure 4.1). You can change the Startup options from
the Preferences and Settings window (Digital Performer 4Preferences). See Chapter 5,
“Project Management: Part 1,” for an explanation of DP’s Startup preferences.
3. In the Save As field, name your new project (see Figure 4.2).
4. Select the destination hard drive and folder for the new project file. If you want to create
a new folder for the project, click on the New Folder button. Name the folder and click
OK.
5. Click on the Save button to save the new Digital Performer project.
Once the new project is saved, a new Digital Performer project folder will be created in the
designated folder and hard drive. This project folder will contain your new project document
and a folder called Audio Files (see Figure 4.3).
Periodically Saving Your Project Remember to periodically save your project (File 4Save).
How often you save really depends on your personal workflow habits. Keep in mind, how-
ever, that when you experience a crash (the endless spinning beach ball), any changes
made to the project since your last save will be lost forever. If speed is a priority, try incor-
porating the default keyboard shortcut Command+S to save your project without using
the mouse.
Figure 4.1 The Open dialog box prompts you to open an existing project file or create a new one.
80 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
The Default Workspace
The default workspace within Digital Performer consists of two windows: the Control Panel and
the Tracks window. The Control Panel (see Figure 4.4) operates much like the standard trans-
port of a multitrack recorder, with basic controls for playback, recording, and locating to spe-
cific points within your project. Buttons for customizing the project tempo and Metronome,
Figure 4.2 The Save As dialog. This window prompts you to create a name and destination for your
new project file.
Figure 4.3 The Digital Performer project folder. This is where you will find all files related to the newly
created project. (Analysis, Fades, and Undo folders only appear once the project contains these types of
files.)
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 81
setting memory locate points, auto recording, and controlling sequences can also be found here.
Positioned to the right of the Main Counter are additional buttons for quick access to audio
settings, tempo control, solo mode, and pre/post roll settings. Review Chapter 3 for a detailed
look at Digital Performer’s Control Panel.
Considered to be the “central” window by many DP users, the Tracks window (see Figure 4.5) is
basically a container for viewing and editing all tracks within your project. Corresponding infor-
mation, such as track name, I/O and voice assignments, playback level metering, play and record
enable buttons, as well as MIDI patch assignments, is located to the left of the window. Audio
and MIDI data are stored to the right within the actual track. Any selections or edits made to
audio or MIDI data in a track are conformed to a grid by default. The grid size is determined by
the current viewing resolution of the Tracks window. Click on the plus or minus icon located at
the bottom-right corner of the Tracks window to expand the grid horizontally or vertically.
Review Chapter 3 for a detailed look at the Tracks window.
Figure 4.4 The Control Panel.
Figure 4.5 The Tracks window provides an overview of all tracks within a Digital Performer project.
82 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Customizing Your DP Workspace By default, Digital Performer adds blank MIDI and audio
tracks to your new project. You can change this basic track configuration, along with any
other default parameter, by creating and configuring a project to your liking, then saving
the project as a template. You can create multiple templates for different project scenarios,
which greatly reduces project setup time. Digital Performer templates are discussed in
detail in Chapter 5.
Setting the Sample Rate
Asample rate is simply the number of times per second a signal is being “sampled” or recorded.
For example, a sample rate of 44.1 kHz results in a signal being sampled 44,100 times per sec-
ond during recording. Generally, the higher the sample rate, the better the sound quality. Bit
depth,orsample format, refers to the theoretical dynamic range of a recorded signal. The higher
the bit depth, the more accurately a signal’s dynamic range can be captured, especially the qui-
eter levels. However, higher sample rates and bit depths also result in larger audio files that take
up more disk space.
Even though you configured the sample rate in Chapter 2, every new project you create will have
its own specific setup needs and requirements. Just because you can record at 192 kHz doesn’t
mean you should. Intended playback medium, the artist’s budget, available hard drive space for
the project, DAW performance issues—these are just some of the things you will need to take
into consideration before your project begins. Careful planning in the early stages of a project
will save you many headaches later in the production process.
Bit Depth Historically, all audio files within a DP project had to match the designated set-
ting (16 bit or 24 bit) for proper playback. Now you can freely mix and match files of either
bit depth within the same project or sequence. You can still, however, change an audio
file’s bit depth in the Convert Sample Rate or Format command in the Soundbites window
mini-menu.
To quickly change the sample rate and bit depth of a project from the Control Panel,
simply select the desired rate and bit depth from the available drop-down menus (as shown in
Figure 4.6).
The Sample Rate and Bit Depth menus
Figure 4.6 The Control Panel’s Sample Rate and Bit Depth drop-down menus.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 83
Changing the Sample Rate or Bit Depth When Audio Data Already Exists within a Project
You can change the sample rate and bit depth at any time during a project, but be
aware that audio files not matching the project’s current sample rate will need to be con-
verted before becoming available for playback. You can perform this procedure manually
or configure DP to carry out the conversion automatically. Conversion options are located
within the Soundbites mini-menu and the Preferences and Settings windows. See Chapter
7, “Recording Audio,” for a detailed look into this process.
Tracks in Digital Performer
Tracks within Digital Performer (or any multitrack recorder or sequencer) are basically contain-
ers for storing audio and/or MIDI data. Different information is stored within different track
types, and you can employ several methods to add audio and MIDI data to a DP project, includ-
ing the following:
nAudio and MIDI data can be recorded directly to an audio or MIDI track, respectively.
nAudio and MIDI data can be loaded from another Digital Performer sequence.
nAudio and MIDI data can be “dragged” into a corresponding audio or MIDI track directly
from the desktop or other folder.
nAudio can be imported from another source, such as a CD or hard drive.
nMIDI sequences can be opened from a standard MIDI file.
nMIDI data/events can be manually inserted within a track.
Because tracks form the basic foundation of any multitrack recorder (digital or analog), famil-
iarity with them will greatly enhance your music production workflow, allowing you to move
between various music applications and/or platforms with greater ease.
Deleting Tracks
As noted earlier, Digital Performer defaults to adding basic MIDI and audio tracks to newly
created projects. If you would like to begin your project with a blank canvas, simply delete
the existing tracks.
To delete an existing track or tracks:
1. Select the track you want to delete by clicking on the name of the track within the
Tracks window’s Track Name column. To select multiple adjacent tracks, click and
drag with the mouse. Command-Shift-click to select multiple tracks that are not located
next to each other.
2. Once your tracks are selected, choose Delete Tracks from the Project menu.
84 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Adding Tracks
There are basically six types of tracks that can be created in Digital Performer (see Figure 4.7).
nMIDI tracks. See Chapter 8, “Recording MIDI,” for more information.
nInstrument tracks (for use with virtual instrument plug-ins). See Chapter 9, “MIDI: The
Region Menu, Plug-Ins, and Virtual Instruments,” for more information.
nAudio tracks (mono or stereo). See Chapter 7 for more information.
nSurround (multichannel audio tracks).
nAux tracks (stereo-only auxiliary tracks). See Chapter 12, “Mixing.”
nMaster fader tracks (can be used to control a subgroup or an entire mix). See Chapter 13,
“Processing and Mastering.”
To add a track or tracks:
1. Select Project 4Add Track and choose the type of track you want to create.
Figure 4.7 Tracks can be added from the Add Track submenu.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 85
2. To add multiple tracks at once, press and hold the Option key before selecting Add
Track from the Project menu. You’ll notice the Add MIDI and Audio Tracks commands
now appear with the word multiple preceding them (such as Add Track 4Multiple
MIDI Tracks). Once an Add Multiple Track command is selected, the Multiple Tracks
options window will open.
3. Enter the number of tracks you want to create in the pop-up window and click the OK
button (see Figure 4.8).
Adding Multiple Tracks and Default Positions Only multiple audio and MIDI tracks can be
created with the Option key method. Surround, aux, instrument, and master fader tracks
must be added individually.
Also, DP will add tracks to default positions in the Tracks List (usually below any
previously existing tracks). This can become problematic if you are adding tracks to a
project already containing a large number of tracks, or if you have groupings of similar
tracks in designated areas. (Scrolling to the bottom of a large project every time you add
tracks can be awkward and inefficient.) Simply highlight a track in the desired area of the
Tracks List before adding a track, and DP will place the new track just below the
highlighted track.
Renaming Tracks
It’s always a good idea to rename your tracks for easy identification. Audio files, in particular,
benefit from this because, by default, their filenames are based on their track names. Renaming
your audio tracks before you begin recording can save you headaches and prevent your Sound-
bites window from filling up with files generically named Audio-1, Audio-2, Audio-3, and so on.
To rename a track:
1. Hold the Option key and click on the name of the track. The name will appear
highlighted.
2. Type the desired name and press the down arrow key to proceed to the next track.
3. Once all of your tracks are renamed, press the Return key to confirm the last change.
Figure 4.8 The Multiple Tracks options window.
86 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Did You Forget to Name Your Audio Tracks Before Recording? If you forget to name your
audio tracks before you begin recording (as mentioned earlier), have no fear. Digital Per-
former offers several locations where you can rename the recorded soundbites. When you
change a soundbite’s name, all instances of that soundbite will reflect the change. See
“Renaming Existing Audio Files or Soundbites” in Chapter 6, “Project Management:
Part 2.”
Moving Tracks
Once you have renamed your tracks, you may want to change their order. Many engineers and
producers like to categorize their tracks by specific groups or instruments. This is a matter of
personal taste, of course, but keeping your tracks organized is another way to speed up your
production workflow. You can reorder tracks in several different locations, each of which causes
DP to update all relevant windows.
To move a track in the Tracks window:
nBy default, track Move handles are located to the far left of the Tracks columns. They
are represented by the up and down arrow icons within the MVE (Move) column (see
Figure 4.9).
nClick on the Move handle icon and drag the track to a new location. A solid outline will
allow you to preview the new location for the track.
Tracks Window Columns You can show or hide Tracks window columns from the Tracks
List preferences (see Figure 4.10) by selecting Tracks List Preferences from the mini-menu
in the Tracks window or by double-clicking directly on a column heading. Unchecked
items will not appear within the Tracks window.
Move Handles
Figure 4.9 Use the track Move handles to change the track order.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 87
To rearrange their order of appearance, click and drag the corresponding column
headings to a new location. A dotted outline will allow you to preview the new location
for the column.
To move a track in the Mixing Board:
1. In the Mixing Board, make sure the desired tracks appear by using the Track Selector
List (discussed earlier in Chapter 3).
2. In the track strip, click and hold in the blank gray area just below the track name so the
entire strip becomes highlighted.
3. Drag left or right to the new location.
Figure 4.10 Use the Tracks List preferences to show or hide specific columns in the Tracks window.
88 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
To move a track in the Sequence Editor:
1. In the Sequence Editor, make sure the desired tracks appear by using the Track Selector
List.
2. Click and hold in the blank gray area of the track’s Information panel (discussed in
Chapter 3), and the pointer arrow will become vertical arrows.
3. Drag up or down to the new location.
Track Folders
Track Folders are a great way to keep tracks organized and to save space or reduce clutter. Track
Folders will also appear in the Track Selector List, making it easier to navigate large multitrack
projects.
You can create a Track Folder and move tracks into it or create a Track Folder from selected
tracks (see Figure 4.11).
To create a Track Folder and move tracks into it:
1. In the Tracks Overview window, go to the Project menu, select Track Folders, and
select New Track Folder from the submenu. A new Track Folder will appear in the
Tracks List.
Figure 4.11 The Track Folders option from the Project menu.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 89
2. Option-click the untitled folder to name it (just as you would name other tracks).
3. Simply use the Move handles to drag tracks into the Track Folder.
To create a Track Folder from selected tracks:
1. In the Tracks Overview window, highlight a track or Shift-highlight several tracks.
Tracks do not have to be adjacent.
2. Go to the Project menu and select Track Folders 4New Track Folder from Selected
Tracks. A new Track Folder will appear in the Tracks List containing the selected tracks
(see Figure 4.12).
You can show or hide tracks within Track Folders by clicking on the disclosure triangle to the
left of each Track Folder name. Deleting Track Folders is simple. However, it is important to
distinguish between deleting and removing Track Folders. Deleting will delete a Track Folder
and all of its contents (tracks and track data). Removing will simply remove the Track Folder
and place all of its contents back in the Tracks List.
To delete or remove a Track Folder:
1. Go to the Project menu and select Track Folders 4Delete Track Folders.
2. A dialog will appear, asking you to choose the Track Folders from the list provided (see
Figure 4.13). You can highlight one Track Folder or Shift-click to highlight several
Track Folders at once.
Figure 4.12 A Track Folder for all of this project’s aux tracks was created using the New Track Folder
from Selected Tracks option.
90 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
3. Choose Delete or Remove. Track Folders will be deleted or removed as specified. If a
Track Folder is removed, all of its contents will be moved up one level in the Tracks
List.
Audio Tracks and Internal Busses
In Chapter 2, I explained how DP’s built-in audio engine, the MOTU Audio System (MAS),
works to provide the digital audio capabilities (such as playback, recording, internal bussing,
effects plug-ins, and so on) for Digital Performer. The number of available audio tracks is deter-
mined by the speed of your computer, your hard drive, and the amount of available RAM.
If you create aux tracks for your project, you must also make available the necessary number of
internal busses. The Stereo Busses setting controls the total number of internal busses that are
available within a project. Busses are internal signal paths where audio is routed from one place
to another or combined with other audio to create a submix (see Chaper 12). Digital Performer’s
virtual bussing system is much like the conventional mixing board. And with the MOTU Audio
System, you can create as many busses as you need (up to 99 total), as shown in Figure 4.14.
Figure 4.13 The Delete Track Folders dialog box.
Figure 4.14 The Configure Studio Settings dialog box.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 91
To define the number of internal stereo busses:
1. Go to Setup 4Configure Audio System 4Configure Studio Settings.
2. Within the Configure Studio Settings box, type in the desired number of stereo busses.
3. Once you have enabled the necessary stereo busses, click the OK button.
Input and Output Assignments for Audio and Aux Tracks
Tracks must be assigned or routed to the necessary inputs and outputs in order to record or play
back audio and MIDI data.
Audio tracks are assigned to either the Mac’s built-in audio or the inputs and outputs of a con-
nected audio hardware interface. MIDI tracks are assigned to MIDI devices, such as MIDI con-
trollers, external sound modules, or virtual instrument plug-ins.
Audio and Aux Track I/O
Following are a few things to keep in mind when working with audio and aux tracks within
Digital Performer:
nAudio and aux tracks cannot be assigned to multiple inputs or outputs.
nAudio cannot be recorded to or placed into an aux track.
To configure the I/O assignments for an audio or aux track:
1. Click on the track’s Input or Output menu, located within the Input or Output column
of the Tracks window. Unassigned tracks are designated by a dotted line, as shown in
Figure 4.15.
2. Currently enabled inputs and outputs (also called audio bundles) are listed below the
None assignment. If the necessary audio bundles are not enabled, you will need to create
a new bundle assignment from the New Mono or New Stereo Bundle drop-down menu.
Here you will find a list of available hardware I/O and internal busses. (The default
names for hardware I/O assignments are Analog 1, Analog 2, AES/EBU 1, AES/EBU 2,
and so on.)
3. Make the necessary routing assignment by selecting the I/O destination with the mouse.
Clicking again on the drop-down menu will reveal a check mark next to the track’s
current I/O assignment.
4. If you want to change the current routing assignment of a track, simply click on the
Input or Output menu and make a new selection.
92 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
5. Routing assignments can also be made or changed in the Mixing Board and Sequence
Editor windows. (Review Chapter 3 for more information regarding routing assign-
ments in these windows.)
Audio Bundles A bundle basically groups a set of inputs, outputs, internal busses, virtual
instrument routings, or MIDI connections. Bundles for audio can be mono, stereo, or mul-
tichannel I/O configurations. Although you can create a bundle on the fly from within any
assignment menu, the Bundles window (Studio 4Bundles, or Shift+U) provides you with
a graphical interface that allows for the creation, removal, and rerouting of I/O assign-
ments between DP and any connected audio hardware, MIDI interfaces, or installed vir-
tual instruments (see Figure 4.16).
When you’re working with internal busses, only busses that have been made available
from the Configure Studio Settings window (Setup 4Configure Audio System 4
Configure Studio Settings) will appear within the Audio Bundles window or in DP’s
various assignment menus. Review Chapter 2 for a detailed look at the Bundles window.
Figure 4.15 Tracks that are unassigned or set to None are designated by a dotted line. Enabled audio
bundles are listed directly below the None assignment in an Input or Output assignment’s pop-up
menu.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 93
Making Multiple I/O Assignments with the Audio Assignments Window The Audio Assign-
ments window (Studio 4Audio Assignments) offers a convenient way to reassign the
inputs and/or outputs for multiple tracks (see Figure 4.17).
Begin by selecting the tracks you want to affect by clicking on the name of the track.
(Shift-click to make multiple selections.) Then open the Audio Assignments window.
(The default keyboard shortcut is Option+A.) Make the appropriate reassignments and
choose OK.
Be aware that audio bundles must be enabled before they will become available within
the appropriate Audio Assignment drop-down menus. See Chapter 7 for an in-depth look
at the Audio Assignments window.
Figure 4.16 The Bundles window with various audio bundle configurations.
Figure 4.17 The Audio Assignments window lets you change the routing assignments of multiple
tracks.
94 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
MIDI Track I/O
Following are a few things to keep in mind when working with MIDI tracks in Digital
Performer:
nMIDI tracks can be assigned to either an external MIDI device or a virtual MIDI instrument.
nMulti Record mode is used to record from several MIDI devices at once. When you’re
working with MIDI tracks, only the output assignment needs to be configured if Multi
Record mode is turned off (the default setting in DP). Turn Multi Record mode on from the
Studio menu in order to specify input from a specific MIDI device.
nMIDI tracks can be assigned to multiple outputs through the use of MIDI device groups.
nYou must create an audio or aux track to monitor (hear) external MIDI devices or ReWire
synths within Digital Performer. However, if you are using an audio interface equipped with
DSP (Digital Signal Processor) hardware-based monitoring (such as MOTU’s CueMIX
DSP), this step is not necessary. Consult your interface manual for more information.
nA virtual AU or MAS instrument (or RTAS if you are working DAE mode) must be inserted
into an instrument track before the virtual instrument plug-in’s outputs will become avail-
able in the output menu of a MIDI track.
nAux/audio tracks are not needed to monitor AU/MAS virtual instruments, because the audio
output of the virtual instrument goes directly to the output of the associated instrument
track.
nBy default (when Multi Record mode is turned off), DP will not allow you to change the
input source of a MIDI track. When a MIDI track is record enabled, it will receive MIDI
data from any connected MIDI device and transmitting MIDI channel. If you do not need to
record MIDI data from a specific source, you can skip this process.
To set the input source for a MIDI track:
1. To record MIDI data from a specific MIDI device/channel, turn on Multi Record mode
from the Studio menu. Once enabled, it will appear with a check mark, as shown in
Figure 4.18.
2. Select the input source for the MIDI track. Only one MIDI device and MIDI channel
can be specified for a track (see Figure 4.19).
To output MIDI data to an external MIDI device:
1. Click on the Output menu for the MIDI track in the Output column of the Tracks
window. The default output for a MIDI track is MIDI channel 1 of your MIDI interface
(see Figure 4.20).
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 95
2. Connected external MIDI devices will be listed below the None assignment. Choose the
appropriate device and MIDI channel. If the MIDI channel for a specific device is not
listed, you will need to configure it from the Audio/MIDI Setup utility (Setup 4Open
Audio MIDI Setup). Review Chapter 2 for a detailed look into this procedure.
3. If you want to output your MIDI track to multiple MIDI devices, you will need to create
a MIDI device group.
Device Groups MIDI device groups allow you to assign the output of a MIDI track to mul-
tiple MIDI channels and/or devices. A maximum of 10 MIDI channels from any combi-
nation of devices can be used within a device group (see Figure 4.21).
Figure 4.18 Multi Record mode is enabled from the Studio menu and will appear with a check mark
when enabled.
96 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
To output to a device group, select the device group from the MIDI track’s Output menu.
If you need to create a new device group, choose New Device Group and add the
appropriate MIDI devices and/or MIDI channels. The newly added device groups will
appear near the bottom of the output assignments list. See Chapter 8 for a detailed look
at the process of creating and editing MIDI device groups in Digital Performer.
Figure 4.19 With Multi Record mode enabled, specific MIDI input sources can be assigned to a MIDI
track.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 97
Figure 4.20 Configuring the output assignment for a MIDI track from the Output menu.
Figure 4.21 The MIDI Device Groups window lets you assign the output of a MIDI track to multiple
MIDI channels/devices.
98 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Monitoring External MIDI Devices
If you have the audio output of your MIDI instrument connected to an audio input of your
audio hardware interface and you want to monitor the MIDI instrument in Digital Performer,
you’ll need to use an aux or audio track. The simplest setup, however, is through the use of aux
tracks.
DSP Monitoring As mentioned earlier in this chapter, if you are using an audio interface
equipped with DSP (Digital Signal Processor) hardware-based monitoring (such as
MOTU’s CueMIX DSP), creating aux tracks for monitoring MIDI devices is not necessary.
DSP monitoring is set up independently of Digital Performer and allows signals to be
routed directly to the main outputs (without having to internally pass through DP first).
Consult your audio interface manual for more information.
To monitor the audio output of an external MIDI device with an aux track:
1. Add an aux track. (The default keyboard shortcut is Control+Command+A.)
2. Assign the input of the aux track to the appropriate inputs of your connected audio
hardware interface.
3. Confirm the output routing assignment of the track. The output should be assigned to
the main outputs of your audio hardware interface in order for you to hear the audio
through your studio monitors.
4. Consider naming the aux track appropriately, such as MIDI Piano Monitor.
Connecting and Monitoring External MIDI Devices In my studio the physical outputs of my
MIDI piano are connected directly to analog inputs 3 and 4 of my MOTU 2408mk3 PCI-
424 audio interface. If I didn’t have CueMix DSP, in order to monitor (hear) my piano, I
would need to assign the input of an aux track to analog inputs 3 and 4.
Review Chapter 3 for additional info on the procedures for connecting external MIDI
devices to your Digital Performer system.
Monitoring MIDI Devices with an Audio Track The setup procedures for monitoring an
external MIDI device or virtual instrument with an audio track are similar to the procedures
for monitoring with an aux track, but with a few exceptions.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 99
nAudio tracks must have the Input button selected (Mixing Board), an Input Monitor icon
selected (Tracks or Sequence Editor window), as shown in Figure 4.22, or be record-enabled
when monitoring.
nRecord-enabling a track enables input monitoring automatically, even if the track’s Input
Monitor button or icon is not engaged.
nRemember, audio tracks must also be online when monitoring. (Refer to Chapter 3 for more
information regarding placing an audio track online or offline.)
The Pros and Cons of Monitoring MIDI Devices and Instruments with Audio Tracks The
advantage: When you are ready to record the output of the MIDI device or virtual instru-
ment as audio, you simply start recording on the configured audio track.
The disadvantage: A project with multiple audio tracks used for monitoring multiple MIDI
tracks or groups of MIDI tracks can rapidly deplete your CPU resources.
See Chapter 8 for a deeper look into this process.
Monitoring MAS/AU Instruments
When working with AU or MAS virtual instruments (or RTAS instruments if you are in DAE
mode), the new instrument track replaces the aux/audio track during the monitoring process.
Figure 4.22 The Input Monitor icon is enabled in the MON column of the Tracks List in order to mon-
itor a MIDI organ through an audio track.
100 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Keep in mind that you must first create an instrument track before the virtual instrument will
become available within the output menu of a MIDI track.
See Chapters 8 and 9 for an in-depth look at the process of working with virtual instruments
and instrument tracks in Digital Performer.
To set up an AU or MAS virtual instrument track:
1. Begin by creating a new instrument track for the specific instrument (Project 4Add
Track 4Instrument Track 4Virtual Instrument). Select Unassigned if you want to
create a blank instrument track.
2. Once the track is added, the virtual instrument will become available within the output
menu of any MIDI track (see Figure 4.23).
Figure 4.23 A MIDI track’s output menu.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 101
3. Assign the virtual instrument and its corresponding MIDI channel to the output of a
MIDI track.
Monitoring ReWire Instruments
When working with ReWire virtual instruments, Digital Performer must be opened before you
launch the ReWire synth. Then you must create the necessary virtual instruments in the ReWire
application before they will become published in the output menu of DP’s MIDI tracks. Once
published, they will appear as available busses.
To set up a ReWire instrument within DP:
1. Start by launching Digital Performer.
2. Create an aux or audio track to monitor the ReWire instrument and assign the audio
input to any available ReWire output, as shown in Figure 4.24. This is a crucial step
because you must have at least one DP input assigned to a ReWire instrument output in
order for the ReWire application to recognize DP as a valid audio output destination.
3. Launch the ReWire application and create the desired ReWire virtual instruments.
4. In Digital Performer, create a MIDI track and assign the MIDI output to the newly
created ReWire instrument, as shown in Figure 4.25. Once assigned, the MIDI track
will send MIDI data from DP to the ReWire synth. Then the ReWire instrument
will output its audio to the Digital Performer aux track you created and configured in
Step 2.
Figure 4.24 Digital Performer aux tracks that have been configured to monitor individual ReWire
instruments.
102 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Interapplication MIDI Many applications, such as Propellerhead’s Reason, publish their
own MIDI inputs and outputs that automatically appear within Digital Performer’s assign-
ment menus. There may be times, however, when you are working with programs (or
older versions of programs) that do not have this capability. You can use Digital Perform-
er’s Interapplication MIDI feature to publish DP’s MIDI inputs and outputs to these appli-
cations (see Figure 4.26). Think of Interapplication MIDI as “virtual” MIDI cables.
Figure 4.25 ReWire virtual instruments will appear as busses within a MIDI track’s output menu.
Figure 4.26 Digital Performer’s Interapplication MIDI window.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 103
Tempo and Meter
Another integral part of any session is the proper setup of a project’s tempo and meter. You can,
of course, begin recording MIDI and audio data without worrying about this process. But you
won’t be able to take full of advantage of DP’s nonlinear editing capabilities, utilize the built-in
Metronome, make use of MIDI processes such as quantization, or properly output MIDI data
within the QuickScribe Editor.
There are numerous ways to control tempo and meter within DP, but because this chapter is
aimed at quickly getting your project up and running, we will focus only on the most basic setup
procedures. See Chapter 11, “Arranging,” for additional information on tempo and meter in
Digital Performer.
Setting the Tempo
Digital Performer displays the currently enabled sequence’s (Chunk’s) meter, tempo beat value,
and tempo within the metronome section of the Control Panel, shown in Figure 4.27. The
Tempo Control menu, shown in Figure 4.28, determines how tempo will be controlled, provid-
ing you with five different ways of controlling tempo.
nTempo Slider. Use the Tempo slider when you want to change tempo simply by dragging the
slider with the mouse (see Figure 4.29). Dragging the slider to the left will decrease the
tempo, while dragging it to the right will increase the tempo. When Tempo slider is selected
as the tempo source, you can also quickly type new tempo values in the Tempo box.
nConductor Track. Use the Conductor track when you want your sequence to reflect tempo
information (also known as a tempo map) contained in the Conductor track.
Figure 4.27 The Control Panel displays the tempo, tempo beat value, and meter for the currently
enabled sequence.
Figure 4.28 The Control Panel’s Tempo Control menu determines the tempo source.
Figure 4.29 When the Tempo Control source is set to the Tempo slider, you can use the slider as well as
the Control Panel’s Tempo box to control tempo.
104 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nTap Pad. Use the Tap Pad when you want to manually “tap” in the desired tempo by
clicking repeatedly on the available Tap Pad. This feature is best used when your sequence is
stopped, as DP will not reflect your tempo tapping while the sequence is playing.
nRemote Control. Use the Remote Control feature when you want to control tempo from an
external MIDI source, such as a modulation wheel or a programmable dial on a MIDI
keyboard. The MIDI source can be defined using the Set Remote Source option (see
Figure 4.30).
nBackslash Key. Much like the Tap Pad button, press repeatedly on the backslash key of your
QWERTY keyboard to set your tempo, and the Tempo box will update accordingly. This
nifty shortcut works in all modes except Conductor Track mode.
Projects with a Constant Tempo The Tempo slider can be used for sequences that have a
constant tempo. Because you are not working with a set tempo map, you are free to make
changes to the tempo at any time, even on the fly, without affecting playback of MIDI
tracks. If your project requires tempo changes, however, you will need to program the
change and use another tempo source, such as the Conductor track. I recommend defin-
ing all tempo settings prior to recording audio, because any adjustments made later will
cause audio tracks to be shifted or moved in the timeline of your sequence.
Figure 4.30 The Remote Tempo Source window allows you to define a MIDI source to control tempo.
The Conductor Track The Conductor track in Digital Performer, shown in Figure 4.31, is a
container for tempo, meter, key change data, and markers. This information can be
inserted directly into the Conductor track and automated over time. (This is how you
can achieve variable clicks, such as tempo ritardandos and accelerandos, within DP.) See
Chapter 11 for more information on the Conductor track.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 105
Setting the Meter
Digital Performer sequences default to a meter of 4/4 (unless you are working with a Digital
Performer template whose meter has been set to a different value). Like tempo, meter has a
direct impact on event editing, click and countoff options, and the display of information within
the QuickScribe Editor. Unlike the Tempo slider, however, any meter changes made to a
sequence must be programmed with the Change Meter command.
To set the meter of a sequence:
1. Open the Change Meter window by choosing Project 4Modify Conductor Track 4
Change Meter.
2. Enter the new meter by clicking and typing directly in the Change Meter To field (see
Figure 4.32). You can also change the values by clicking and dragging up or down with
the mouse.
3. Next, you will need to specify the measure start and end locations for the change. If you
would like to change the meter for the entire project, enter a value of 1in the From
Measure location box. In the To location section, click on the End of Sequence button.
Figure 4.31 The Conductor track contains tempo, meter, markers, and key change information.
Figure 4.32 The Change Meter window.
106 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Multiple Meter Changes If you have many meter changes within a project that contain the
same beat value (the bottom number, or denominator), DP makes it very simple to quickly
create the different meters. As in Step 2, once you have entered the number of beats per
measure (the top number, or numerator) for Measure 1, select Next Measure from the To
column. You will notice the beats per measure value becomes highlighted automatically,
allowing you to simply use the number pad to change the value of each measure and hit
Enter consecutively until the meter map is completed. With this method, the From value
updates automatically as well.
4. In the Options section of the window, choose Only Move Barlines, which will leave any
existing data within the sequence unaffected.
5. Once the meter parameters have been adjusted, click on the Change button to set the
new meter for the sequence.
6. Close the window by clicking on the title bar’s Close button.
Metronome Click in the Change Meter Window Also appearing in the Change Meter win-
dow is a Metronome Click area (as shown in Figure 4.33). Here you can designate the type
of click you want for a specified time range. You can select and define the basic beat value
or even remove clicks for a measure or a range of measures. Default clicks and click pat-
terns can be accessed and created here as well. (See the section on “Creating a Click
Default” later in this chapter.)
Figure 4.33 The Metronome Click menu allows you to designate a click type for a specified time range.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 107
Setting Up a Click
Recording audio and MIDI data to a click has many benefits. Besides giving the performer a
stable timing reference, it also provides an easier recording and mixing environment for the
audio engineer, which allows him, for example, to take advantage of bar/beat editing, to quickly
create time-based effects that are synced to a project’s tempo, or to achieve better results when
working with Digital Performer’s Beat Detection Engine.
Before you can successfully begin using a click within Digital Performer, you will need to con-
figure it from the Click preferences in the Preferences and Settings window.
To set up the click from the Click preferences in the Preferences and Settings window:
1. Open the Click preferences by double-clicking on the Metronome button in the Control
Panel, as shown in Figure 4.34. You can also access the window by choosing Digital
Performer 4Preferences.
2. Select the Audition Click option to audition (hear) the current click settings. Once
enabled, parameter changes made in this window will be updated in real time.
3. Choose the source of the click (see Figure 4.35):
nThe Audio option will generate a click from a variety of preset click sounds that can
be assigned to any available audio outputs in your system.
nThe MIDI option will transmit a MIDI note (to a designated MIDI device/channel)
for each click sound.
nSelecting both options will produce click sounds from both the Audio and MIDI
designations.
nVisual Punches are flashes that appear onscreen with each click. The flashes become
visible once a movie has been imported into Digital Performer. They are closely
related to Streamers and Flutters and are commonly used as conducting tools when
scoring to picture. Visual Punches are triggered by tempo beats and can be used
without engaging an audible click. There are also options to output the punches to
other hardware devices so the punches can be visible on another screen. (Read more
about Visual Punches in Chapter 15, “Scoring to Picture.”)
The Metronome button
Figure 4.34 Double-click on the Control Panel’s Metronome button to quickly open the Click prefer-
ences located in the Preferences and Settings window.
108 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
4. If you selected MIDI as the click source, you will need to specify the MIDI instrument
that will be used to produce the accented and normal click sounds from the MIDI
Click section of the Click preferences. If you selected an audio click, you can proceed to
Step 7.
nThe accented click will be played on Beat 1 of a measure.
nThe normal click will be played on all other beats of a measure.
5. Choose the MIDI device and channel from the Accented and Normal pop-up menus.
Devices within this list are determined by the Mac’s Audio MIDI Setup utility (AMS).
Refer to Chapter 2 for information on configuring MIDI devices with AMS.
6. Specify the Pitch, Velocity, and Gate values for the accented and normal click sounds.
nPitch. This determines the MIDI note that will be played when the click sounds. The
letter represents the actual note within a scale, while the number represents the
Figure 4.35 Use the Click preferences located in the Preferences and Settings window to configure
Digital Performer’s click.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 109
octave of the note. A pitch of C3, for example, represents middle C. Use the number
sign (#) to designate a sharp and the letter b to designate a flat.
nVelocity. This sets the volume of the click sound. Values range from 0 to 127.
nGate. This determines the length of the note in milliseconds.
7. If you chose an audio click, you can set the overall volume of the click with the Master
Volume slider (located below the Audio Click section). Keep in mind, if you are using Built-
in Audio as your click output, that the Mac’s Sound Preference settings (Applications 4
System Preferences 4Sound) will also affect the overall volume of Digital Performer’s
click.
8. Next, specify when the click will sound with the Click options.
nAlways Click. This forces the click to sound during countoff, recording, and
playback.
nOnly during Countoff. This forces the click to sound only during countoff measures.
The click will stop once playback or recording actually begins.
nOnly When Recording. This forces the click to sound only during recording.
nNo Accent. This eliminates the accent on Beat 1 of a measure. This setting affects
both the internal and MIDI clicks.
9. Save your project (File 4Save)!
10. If you plan to reuse this specific project configuration or you want to base your future
Digital Performer projects on the one you just created, then choose File 4Save As
Template. Name the project and click OK. (See Chapter 5 for details on creating Digital
Performer templates.)
Creating a Click Default
This feature allows you to choose and/or create a specific click scheme for any meter or
tempo range (see Figure 4.36). You can choose between preset beat values or patterns, or
you can customize your own. DP will automatically use these default clicks when the Click
button is enabled and the sequence Conductor track matches the tempo range and meter of
the default click. It is important to keep in mind that in order to use a click default, you must
select Default in the Metronome Click drop-down menu in the Change Meter menu discussed
previously.
To set up a default click from the Click Defaults preferences in the Preferences and Settings
window:
1. Choose Digital Performer 4Preferences.
2. Select the Click Defaults option.
110 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
3. Choose a preset by clicking in the white space of the appropriate click, and the chosen
click default will become highlighted in blue. (You can audition the click at any time by
selecting Audition Click, located just below the Click Defaults list.)
4. In the Meter drop-down menu, select the desired meter.
5. In the Tempo Range section, choose the tempo’s beat value by clicking on the quarter-
note icon. Most tempos are based on the quarter note, but DP allows you to choose
among sixteenth notes, eighth notes, quarter notes, half notes, whole notes, and dotted
versions of all of these.
6. Next, choose a tempo range that will apply to the designated click default. When the
tempo of your sequence falls within this designated range, the current click default will
“activate.” Use the greater-than or less-than arrow to customize these parameters.
7. Just below is the Beat Value or Pattern drop-down-menu (for the sounding click). If you
select Beat Value, the click will be based on the meter (designated in Step 4). However,
Figure 4.36 The Click Defaults Preferences window.
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 111
you can change the beat value of the sounding click (it can be different than the tempo’s
beat value) by, again, clicking on the quarter-note icon located to the right of the Beat
Value drop-down menu. (DP defaults to quarter notes.) Skip to Step 9 if you will only be
using Beat Value default clicks.
8. Selecting Pattern in the drop-down menu allows you to choose between several preset
saved patterns, or you can create your own. (Unfortunately, DP’s preset saved patterns
only include 4/4 and 12/8.) If you want to create your own pattern, see “Pattern Clicks
(the Ultimate in Clicks)” in the next section.
9. Once you have selected the desired beat value or pattern, close the window by clicking
Done.
Pattern Clicks (the Ultimate in Clicks)
Sometimes projects require a sequence with many different meters and tempos. In the past, you
were limited to one or two types of clicks for the entire sequence, and if you needed a different
click for just one measure (or a subdivision of the click), you were out of luck. Not anymore!
DP’s pattern clicks involve exactly what the name implies—patterns (see Figure 4.37). For exam-
ple, suppose you have a sequence that involves a long, slow ritard at the end. A quarter-note
click can be very difficult for performers to follow, especially at very slow tempos. With a pat-
tern click, you can create a click that changes once the ritard begins. Depending on rhythms in
the music, the click could change on any part of the measure to, say, eighth notes or triplets, and
can even contain accents on beats other than count one. This is quite an effective tool for
recording.
Patterns in DP are created using an editable text code. This syntax can be somewhat confusing at
first and requires some practice. However, it is quite simple once you grasp the general idea.
Beware, though: A bit of math is involved!
Each pattern is based on a string of numbers and text (the letter dfor “dotted”). Just as in
normal rhythms, each type of note is given a numerical value, and the numerical values of the
pattern are determined by the last two numbers of the string (separated by the slash sign [/]). The
final number (to the right of the slash) is referred to as the indicator. Table 4.1 shows the indi-
cator values in DP.
The number after the slash (the indicator value) indicates the numeric value of the number
before the slash. Remember, indicator values from Table 4.1 refer only to the number after
the slash.
Figure 4.37 DP’s new pattern clicks are an effective tool for recording.
112 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
For example, a string ending with 2/8 means the pattern will be based on eighth notes (according
to Table 4.1, because 8 is an eighth note), and all 2s appearing in the string must be interpreted as
eighth notes (the 8 makes the 2 an eighth note). In this case (and here is where simple math comes
in), if 2 means an eighth note, then 4 (twice as large as 2) means a quarter note, and 1 (half the
value of 2) means a sixteenth note. So, a pattern of 442222/8will result in a sounding click of
two quarter notes (4 is twice as large as 2), followed by four eighth notes (the 8 makes the 2s
eighth notes). A pattern of 2 2 1111/4will result in a sounding click of two half notes (2 is
twice as large as 1), followed by four quarter notes (the 4 makes the 1 a quarter note).
To set up a custom click pattern:
1. Choose Digital Performer 4Preferences.
2. Select the Click Defaults option in the Preferences and Settings list.
3. Select the Add button in the bottom-right corner under the Click Defaults list. (I suggest
creating a new pattern rather than changing 1 of DP’s preset patterns.)
4. Scroll to the bottom of the Click Defaults list; DP will place a new generic click default
here.
5. In the Meter drop-down menu, select the desired meter.
6. In the Tempo Range section, choose the tempo’s beat value by clicking on the quarter-
note icon. Refer to the tempo beat values discussed in the previous section.
Table 4.1 Indicator Values in Digital Performer
Indicator Value
1 Whole note
2 Half note
2d Dotted half note
4 Quarter note
4d Dotted quarter note
8 Eighth note
8d Dotted eighth note
16 Sixteenth note
16d Dotted sixteenth note
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 113
7. Next, choose a tempo range that will apply to the designated click default. Again, use
the greater-than or less-than arrow to further adjust these parameters.
8. In the Beat Value drop-down menu, select Pattern.
9. In the Pattern (or string) window, enter your custom numerical pattern. Make sure to
leave a space between each entry.
10. To accent a click in the pattern, highlight the number you want to accent and enter
Command+B. This makes the number bold and red. Make sure No Accent is not
selected in the Click preferences window discussed earlier in this chapter.
11. Save the new custom pattern by selecting Save Pattern from the Pattern drop-down
menu (see Figure 4.38).
12. In the Save Click Pattern window, enter a name for the pattern and click OK. The newly
created pattern will appear in the Saved Patterns list.
13. You can also rename or delete patterns in the Pattern drop-down menu. These actions
apply to whatever pattern is present in the Pattern window.
14. To delete the entire click default, simply make sure it is highlighted in red and then
choose the Delete button located below the Click Defaults window.
Again, creating your own click patterns will take some practice, but with a little trial and error,
you can design what seems like limitless click opportunities.
The Indicator Value When creating a custom click pattern, I suggest starting with the indi-
cator value and working your way backward. Remember, the indicator value will be the
basis for the click pattern. In other words, if you know you want a click pattern that
includes sixteenth notes, use 16 as your indicator value. Once you establish this, it’s
much easier to do the math to create the remaining beats of the pattern.
Figure 4.38 The Save Pattern option.
114 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Defining the Countoff
Often a preparatory period is necessary before recording or playback begins. This allows per-
formers or engineers the opportunity to get ready or to become set for action. This is called the
countoff. The countoff is typically two bars of click based on the first measure of the sequence,
so if Measure 1 is a 4/4 bar, then the countoff is usually 8 counts long (two bars of 4/4).
However, Digital Performer provides an extensive array of customizable countoff features. In
the same manner as click defaults, you can construct your own countoff scheme, including its
beat value, pattern, number of measures, total number of beats, and whether you want to enable
it for recording purposes only. You can also assign various visual aspects of the countoff feature.
(See Chapter 15 for more information regarding these new countoff features.)
To specify the countoff preferences:
1. Choose Digital Performer 4Preferences (or double-click the Countoff or 2-Bars button
located to the right of the Metronome button in the Control Panel).
2. Select the Countoff option in the Preferences and Settings list. The Countoff window
will appear (see Figure 4.39).
3. Select the Click button to enable a sounding click for countoff. Leaving this button
unselected will result in a silent countoff.
4. In the drop-down menu located just below the Click button, select the type of countoff
click you want to use for your project. You can choose a default click, a beat value, or a
click pattern (all discussed at length earlier in this chapter). If you select Pattern, you
have another opportunity to design, save, delete, or rename a custom click pattern.
However, the pattern chosen or created here affects the countoff click only, not the
main sequence metronome click.
5. In the Options section of the Countoff window, enter the number of measures to deter-
mine the length of the countoff. You can also specify extra beats, which is especially
useful when the sequence starts with a pickup note or an odd meter. Any changes here
will automatically be updated in the Control Panel’s Countoff button.
6. Now select the Countoff Only When Recording option if you want the countoff to acti-
vate only for actual recording purposes.
7. Click the D1 button to exit the Countoff preferences.
Now that you have set up your countoff click, it is important to enable it by making sure the
Countoff button in the Control Panel is activated (darkened). You can easily toggle this button
on and off while you are working in your project. Also, it is not necessary to be at the beginning
of your sequence (Measure 1) for the countoff to work. You can be located anywhere in the
Chapter4 SettingUpaNewProject 115
timeline, and if activated, DP will provide the defined countoff before recording or playback
begins.
Summary
Obviously, there likely will be other parameters or features specific to your project that you’ll
need to set up before recording or mixing. The steps and procedures provided in this chapter are
meant to get you up and running quickly with Digital Performer 6. We’ll dive into the details of
DP’s tools and enhanced features in the upcoming chapters of this book.
Figure 4.39 The Countoff Preferences window.
116 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
5Project Management: Part 1
Project management is an extremely important, though often overlooked, part of the music
production process. Keeping audio files, multiple versions of a project, and your Digital
Performer workspace organized requires careful planning and consideration, but it
doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task.
One of the common misconceptions about project management is that only serious professionals
working on large projects need to worry about it. On the contrary, even the smallest of projects
and studio setups can benefit from some organization. Proper audio file management, for exam-
ple, can provide a more stable operating environment for Digital Performer by preventing
unneeded files from consuming precious disk space, which can negatively affect the performance
of the Mac OS.
Digital Performer contains a number of features to help you manage the various aspects of your
sessions, from customization of the DP workspace to the compacting and archiving of your
projects. I’ve chosen to break up this complex topic into two chapters. Part 1 will discuss
basic project management concepts, such as creating, saving, and opening projects and custom-
izing your DP workspace. Part 2 (Chapter 6) will discuss the project Undo History window,
audio file management, and backup solutions.
Here is a summary of topics discussed in this chapter:
nHow to open and save existing Digital Performer projects
nThe differences between Save and Save As
nHow to create and manage project templates
nHow to open and save standard MIDI and OMFI files
nHow to customize the Digital Performer workspace
nThe Consolidated Window
117
The Digital Performer Project
When you create a new Digital Performer project, a project file (document) is created and placed
in the new project’s folder. Within this document is all the information associated with the project,
from track layout and window placement to mix settings and recorded MIDI data. Everything that
is needed to re-create the project is saved in this document, with the exception of audio files, audio
file undo history information, fades, and analysis files. Remember, soundbites (audio files/regions)
in a DP project are only pointers that reference the actual audio files, which exist on a hard drive
within your system. This is why the project file is relatively small—the much larger audio files are
not actually contained in the Digital Performer document but in separate distinctive folders. DP
automatically links these separate folders to your main project file.
As noted in Chapter 4, Digital Performer will allow only one project to be open at a given time
(though an unlimited number of sequences, or Chunks, can exist within a given project). You
must close a project before you can open or create a new one. See Chapter 11, “Arranging,” for
a detailed look at Chunks within Digital Performer.
Opening an Existing Project
To open an existing Digital Performer project from the File menu:
1. Launch Digital Performer.
2. Choose File 4Open. The default keyboard shortcut is CommandþO.
3. Choose the project file from the appropriate folder or hard drive and click OK. If you
have an unsaved project currently open, you will be prompted to save the file before DP
closes it and opens the newly chosen one (see Figure 5.1). Choosing Don’t Save will
close the currently open project, discarding any changes made since your last save.
Other Methods for Opening a Project In addition to File 4Open, there are two other
methods for opening a Digital Performer project.
nDrag and drop. Drag the Digital Performer project you want to open directly onto the
DP application icon. This method will also work when the application icon resides in
the Dock.
Figure 5.1 The Save Changes before Closing dialog.
118 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nDouble-click. Double-click the Digital Performer document icon you want to open.
If DP is not currently running, this method will launch the program before opening
the project file.
Working with Multiple Versions of DP If you have multiple versions of Digital Performer
installed on your system, you may have experienced instances in which DP opened a proj-
ect in the “wrong” version of the application when you used the double-click method.
You can remedy this problem and force a file to open within a specific version of DP using
the Finder’s Get Info command (see Figure 5.2).
To force a project to open in a specific version of Digital Performer:
1. Select the Digital Performer project icon by clicking on it. Don’t double-click, or you
will accidentally launch the program and open the selected project.
2. From the Finder’s File menu, choose Get Info. The default keyboard shortcut is
CommandþI.
3. Click to display the Open With section pane of the Get Info window.
4. Click the disclosure triangle to access the Open With pop-up menu.
5. In the pull-down menu, select the specific version of the Digital Performer application in
which you would like the file to open.
6. If you would like all similar DP projects to open with the application version you just
selected, then click on the Change All button. An “Are You Sure” dialog will open,
asking you to cancel or continue with the change. Select Continue.
7. Close the Get Info window.
8. Now, when you double-click on the project file, it will open in the designated version of
DP.
Opening Other File Types
Digital Performer can also open the following types of files created in earlier versions of DP,
Performer, or other supported applications:
nProjects created in earlier versions of Digital Performer and Performer
nProjects created in AudioDesk
nStandard MIDI files
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 119
nOMF Interchange files (for transfer with other applications)
nAAF Interchange files (for transfer with other applications involving video)
nFinal Cut Pro XML files (for transfer with editing projects involving Apple’s Final Cut Pro)
Figure 5.2 The Finder’s Get Info command.
120 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Once opened, the file will be converted to a Digital Performer file. Choose the Save As command
to export a file back into its original format. Standard MIDI and OMF Interchange files are
discussed in further detail in the “Standard MIDI Files” and “OMF Interchange and AAF Inter-
change Files” sections later in this chapter.
Saving Your Project
Save! Save! Save! Why do we need to save? And why do we lose precious changes that haven’t
been saved, for example, when a program crashes? The answer is simple. When a project file is
opened, it is loaded into RAM. So you are actually working on a copy of the project and not the
original file, which is stored on your hard drive. Until you save, any modifications or changes
you make to a file exist only in RAM and are not updated in the original document.
Redundancy can rescue us many times over, so if you would like to save a different version of
your project for backup purposes or export it into a different file format, you’ll need to choose
the Save As command.
The Save Command
To save a Digital Performer project:
1. From Digital Performer’s File menu, choose Save. The universal keyboard shortcut for
saving on a Mac is CommandþS.
2. If you are saving a project for the first time, you will be prompted to name the file before
saving.
The Save As Command
The Save As command (File 4Save As) has multiple uses, including the following:
nCreating an alternate version of a project with a different file name
nExporting a project in a different file format
nSaving to create a backup or duplicate copy of a project
To save an alternate version of a project:
1. Choose Save As from Digital Performer’s File menu.
2. Name the project. Try to choose a descriptive name or devise a specific naming scheme
to keep your alternate project files organized.
3. If you need to make duplicate copies of your project audio files to include with this
alternate version, click the Duplicate Audio and Copy Shared Samples to Project option,
as shown in Figure 5.3.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 121
4. Select the destination for the new version and click OK.
5. Once saved, DP will automatically save and close the original file, and you will be
working on the new (alternate or backup) version of the project.
Saving a Copy As If you would like to save an alternate version of a project but continue
working on the current version, use the Save a Copy As command (File 4Save a Copy
As). Be aware that unlike the normal Save As command, Save a Copy As will not auto-
matically save the project you’re currently working with. You will need to manually save to
preserve any changes you have made since your last save.
Beware When Using the Save As Command Many users find out the hard way: A new and
separate Audio Files folder is not created when using the Save As command, unless you
enable the Duplicate Audio and Copy Shared Samples to Project option. When this option
is left unchecked, any alternate versions of a project you create will still refer to the original
Audio Files, Fades, Analysis, and Undo folders. If you delete an audio file in one version of
a project, for example, it will disappear from any and all alternate versions that may have
been created with the standard Save As command.
Figure 5.3 The Save As dialog with the Duplicate Audio and Copy Shared Samples to Project option
selected.
122 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
If you like to keep the alternate versions of a project organized by removing unused audio
files from the Soundbites window, be sure to use the Remove from List command.
(Choose Remove from List from the mini-menu in the Soundbites window.) This will
remove the audio from the specific document’s Soundbites window without actually
deleting the regions (soundbites) associated with the original audio files.
To export your project in a different file format:
1. Choose Save As from Digital Performer’s File menu.
2. Name the project.
3. Choose the destination folder and/or hard drive for the file.
4. Select the new format from the Format pop-up menu, as shown in Figure 5.4.
5. Click OK to save.
Figure 5.4 The Save dialog with supported file format options.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 123
See the “OMF Interchange and AAF Interchange Files” and “Final Cut Pro XML Interchange”
sections of this chapter for detailed information on exporting to these file formats.
Working with Previous Versions of DP Digital Performer projects are not backwards
compatible with earlier versions. You cannot, for example, open a project created in
DP 6.02 in version 5.13. If you need to open a project in an earlier version of Digital
Performer (perhaps you are collaborating with another musician who has an older version
of DP), then use the Save As command and simply select the desired version of DP in the
Format drop-down menu.
Ensuring Compatibility Be aware that certain features, such as virtual instrument tracks,
may not be successfully exported to previous versions. For example, exporting a DP 6.02
project containing an instrument track to an older version will result in the instrument track
appearing as an empty aux track.
Here are a few suggestions for ensuring compatibility with older versions of Digital
Performer and/or differently configured systems:
nPrint (record) any existing instrument tracks as audio files. The method you choose
(Freeze Tracks, Bounce to Disk, Real-Time Audio Bounce, and so on) will depend
on your particular setup and workflow. Each feature is discussed in detail in upcoming
chapters of this book.
nIf you are supplying a project for another musician to perform overdubs (and not
mix), for example, you may be able to get away with bouncing the entire project
to disk as a stereo file.
nFind out what audio interface the other DP user is working with. Can his system
handle your project’s sample rate, track, and plug-in count? If the answer is no,
you may be forced to bounce to disk, remove effects plug-ins, or convert the
project’s sample rate and/or bit depth.
nRemember, it’s a smart practice to supply the other user with only what he needs.
Don’t rely on him to figure it out when he receives your project! Besides being
courteous, you’ll be able to retain more control over how the project will return to
you when the user’s work is completed.
124 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Save As Template
A much-overlooked project management feature in Digital Performer is the project template. If
you constantly find yourself reinventing the wheel, so to speak, by devoting a lot of time to
setting up projects, creating new tracks, renaming those tracks, making specific I/O assignments,
arranging the workspace, and so on, you may want to incorporate templates into your produc-
tion workflow. In DP 6, you have the ability to save multiple project templates with the Save as
Template command (File 4Save as Template).
Saving a Template
You can create templates tailored to accommodate your specific recording, mixing, and/or com-
position needs. Prepare them ahead of time or save them as your projects are created.
To create a project template using the Save As Template command:
1. Begin by setting up your Digital Performer project. This may entail adding and
renaming specific tracks, configuring specific audio bundles, setting up the Mixing
Board with effects plug-ins inserted on your tracks, and so on.
2. Once you have configured your project, choose Save As Template (File 4Save As
Template).
3. Name the template (see Figure 5.5). Try to choose a descriptive name to help you easily
identify the nature of the template.
4. If you would like the template to become the default template, select the Use as Default
New Template option.
5. Click OK to save the template.
6. Once saved, the template will appear in the File 4New submenu, as shown in
Figure 5.6.
Figure 5.5 The Save As Template window.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 125
Preventing a Template in Previous Versions from Being Overwritten The greatest benefit to
DP’s New Template submenu is that you cannot accidentally overwrite a project template.
When you choose a template as the basis for a new project, you are not actually using the
original project used to create the template; you are simply creating a new project based
on the selected template.
When working with versions prior to DP 4.1, you are limited to the creation of one
template with the Save as New Template command. To work around this restriction, you
can use a normal DP project and choose Save As to create a pseudo template on which to
build other projects. In this scenario, however, it is very easy to accidentally overwrite
your makeshift template, or even worse, create “new” projects that share the same
Audio Files folder!
Thankfully, there is an easy way to prevent a project from being overwritten, and believe
it or not, it is a standard feature of the Mac OS—see the next set of steps.
To prevent a Digital Performer project from being overwritten:
1. Select the project’s document icon by clicking on it. Be careful not to double-click on the
document, or you will accidentally open the project.
2. From the Finder’s File menu, choose the Get Info command. The default keyboard
shortcut is CommandþI.
3. Click to show the General section pane of the Get Info window, shown in Figure 5.7.
Figure 5.6 The New submenu. Descriptive naming schemes allow for easy identification of project
templates.
126 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
4. Select the Stationery Pad option.
5. Close the Get Info window.
6. Now when you open this project (or template), you will be forced to Save As, creating a
new project (with its own Audio Files folder) that is entirely independent from the
original “template” (see Figure 5.8).
Figure 5.7 The General section pane of the Get Info window with the Stationery Pad option selected.
Figure 5.8 When attempting to open a project with the Stationery Pad feature enabled, you will be
forced to Save As, ensuring that the file is not overwritten. Choosing Cancel will automatically close the
file.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 127
Don’t Double-Click to Open a Project Template Be sure to use Digital Performer’s Open
command (File 4Open) when opening a project (or pseudo template) protected with the
Finder’s Stationery Pad feature. If you use the double-click method, only a copy of the
original file will be created and opened. This “copy” will be created in the project folder of
the protected document and, more importantly, will share the same Audio Files folder as
the original project!
Deleting, Moving, and Renaming Templates
Digital Performer templates are stored in the User 4Library 4Preferences 4Digital Performer 4
Document Templates folder (see Figure 5.9). Once a template is created in DP, it can be managed
only from the Finder menu. DP will automatically update to reflect any changes made to the Doc-
ument Templates folder.
To delete a project template:
1. Navigate to the User 4Library 4Preferences 4Digital Performer 4Document
Templates folder.
2. Drag the template document to the Trash, or use the keyboard shortcut
CommandþDelete.
To remove the project template without deleting it:
1. Create a new folder (File 4New Folder) outside the Document Templates folder in a
location of your choosing.
2. Navigate to the User 4Library 4Preferences 4Digital Performer 4Document
Templates folder.
3. Drag the template document to the folder you created in Step 1.
Figure 5.9 DP templates are stored in the Document Templates folder.
128 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
To rename a project template:
1. Navigate to the User 4Library 4Preferences 4Digital Performer 4Document
Templates folder.
2. Select the document template by clicking on it.
3. Click again, and the name will become highlighted.
4. Type the new name.
5. Press the Return key to confirm the change.
Opening Documents and Folders from Within DP Digital Performer’s Clippings feature
allows you to create shortcuts to documents, folders, and website links (almost anything
that resides outside of DP). This saves you the hassle of leaving the application and nav-
igating with the Mac OS Finder. See Chapter 11 for details on using Clippings.
Standard MIDI Files
The standard MIDI file format (SMF) was created to facilitate the transfer of MIDI data across
different applications and, most importantly, different computer platforms (see Figure 5.10).
Almost every music software sequencer can open and save MIDI data in the SMF format.
This allows a musician working in Digital Performer, for example, to save a MIDI sequence
as an SMF and exchange it with a PC user without the loss of any data.
There are basically two types of standard MIDI files that DP can work with, Type 1 and Type 0.
Digital Performer replaces the term type with format.
nFormat 1. This setting preserves the layout of individual MIDI tracks and includes
tempo and meter information.
nFormat 0. This setting includes tempo and meter information but merges all MIDI
tracks into a single multichannel track. DP also has the ability to save a format 0 SMF
that only includes tempo and meter map information.
In addition to this information, track names and other descriptive data will be stored when
opening and exporting standard MIDI files from Digital Performer.
Figure 5.10 The Standard MIDI File icon created in Digital Performer.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 129
Opening Standard MIDI Files
To open a SMF via the File menu:
1. In Digital Performer, choose File 4Open. The default keyboard shortcut is CommandþO.
2. Select the standard MIDI file and click the Open button.
3. If the MIDI assignments in the SMF do not match the MIDI configuration of Digital
Performer, then the Device Remap window will appear and attempt to make the
appropriate substitution (see Figure 5.11).
4. Click OK to confirm the recommended substitution. Choosing Cancel will ignore the
substitutions and assign the MIDI inputs or outputs to NONE.
To import a SMF into an existing project via the drag-and-drop method:
1. In Digital Performer, open the Chunks window (Project 4Chunks). The default key-
board shortcut is ShiftþC.
2. Within the Mac OS Finder, select the standard MIDI file and drag the SMF into DP’s
Chunks window. Once imported via drag and drop, the SMF will appear as a sequence
in Digital Performer’s Chunks window. MIDI assignments will not be substituted but
will default to an assignment of NONE. There is no need to Save As, because the SMF
will be copied directly into the existing project.
Figure 5.11 The Device Remap window.
130 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Exporting Standard MIDI Files
To export a standard MIDI file using the Save As command:
1. In Digital Performer choose File 4Save As.
2. Name the project and choose the destination folder and hard drive. Be aware that DP
doesn’t automatically add the standard .mid extension to the end of the file name. Be
sure to include this extension (.mid) when naming the standard MIDI file to ensure that
the destination program is able to read it correctly.
3. Select Standard MIDI File from the Format pop-up menu.
4. Click on the Save button.
5. Specify the SMF options in the MIDI File Options window, shown in Figure 5.12.
6. Select the options for the standard MIDI file. Keep in mind that MIDI effects and MIDI
loops cannot be exported with your SMF, so you will need to enable the Expand Loops
and Print Effects option, then use the End File at Time option to specify the end time of
the printed loop.
nFormat 1 - Separate Tracks. This setting will maintain the separation of MIDI tracks
and include the tempo and meter data as the first track. This standard exporting
option is enabled by default. It’s a good idea to use the Format 1 option if you’re
unsure of the standard MIDI file format you should be using.
nFormat 0 - One Multi-Channel Track. This option will create a multichannel MIDI
track with tempo and meter at the beginning.
nFormat 0 - Tempo/Meter Map Only. This option will export only the Conductor
track with tempo and meter data.
nSave Track Names as Plain Text. This option will only save plain text events, such as
track names, with the SMF. Track comments and other special text events will not be
Figure 5.12 The MIDI File Options window.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 131
saved with the file. Use this option to ensure compatibility with programs that do not
support special text.
nExpand Loops and Print Effects. Loops and real-time MIDI effects cannot be
included in standard MIDI files. This option will print any real-time MIDI effects
and convert any loops into a region of repeated MIDI data. Use the End File at Time
option to specify the end time of the printed loop.
7. Once you have specified the MIDI file options, choose OK to export the standard MIDI
file.
OMF Interchange and AAF Interchange Files
OMFI (Open Media Framework Interchange) and AAFI (Advanced Authoring Format Inter-
change) are industry-standard formats for exchanging digital files between applications, such
as Digidesign’s Pro Tools and Apple’s Final Cut Pro. These formats speed up the production
workflow by allowing media files and metadata created in one program to be made available
in another.
Digital Performer supports OMFI 1.0 and 2.0 formats, as well as AAFI 1.0 and 1.1, and can also
export OMFI files that are compatible with Digidesign’s DigiTranslator 2.0 (see Figure 5.13).
Final Cut Pro XML Interchange
There is nothing more frustrating when scoring to picture than being notified that new visual
edits have been made after the music track has been written and recorded. New to Digital
Figure 5.13 The OMF/AAF Export Options window.
132 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Performer 6 is the support of advanced session interchange features via the Final Cut Pro XML
Interchange protocol. This new method adds an entire new dimension of communication
between DP and Final Cut Pro. Gone are the days of a composer or songwriter having to
painstakingly scan through a newly edited piece of film or video to locate recent changes
that have been made by the Final Cut Pro editor. Basically, when an editor makes edits to a
project, he can then export an XML file that accounts for and itemizes the changes.
This XML file can be imported into DP, and all the new editorial changes will appear in
DP’s Import Final Cut Pro XML window. This window will provide a detailed list of the
changes where the composer or songwriter can simply double-click any edit to view a color-
coded comparison in DP’s Sequence Editor timeline. A blue border will represent the old
position, and a red border reveals the new position of the edit. This timesaving new feature
makes the process of adjusting music to new picture edits much more efficient and less
complicated.
Although the extent of the XML Interchange procedure is beyond the scope of this book, let’s
briefly discuss the simple process of importing and exporting Final Cut Pro XML files. The
importing and exporting options are located in a different place than the traditional Save As
location for OMF and AAF Interchange files (discussed earlier in this chapter).
XML Alerts When media files cannot be imported into DP, a warning dialog box will
appear. There are three reasons why this may occur: The file path for the media may
be incorrect on the host machine (DP can’t find the media), the media file is in an unsup-
ported format (a format that DP can’t play or convert), or the media is in a format that DP
understands but cannot play natively.
To import a Final Cut Pro XML Interchange file:
1. In Digital Performer, choose File 4Import Final Cut Pro XML Interchange (as shown
in Figure 5.14).
2. The Import Final Cut Pro XML window will appear. Simply double-click any edit in the
list, and DP will scroll to and highlight the location of the edit in the Sequence Editor
timeline.
To export a Final Cut Pro XML Interchange file:
1. In Digital Performer, choose File 4Export Final Cut Pro XML Interchange.
2. The Export Final Cut Pro XML window will appear (as shown in Figure 5.15). Choose
the desired options and click Export.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 133
DP and Final Cut Pro on the Same Machine? To further streamline the XML Interchange
process, in DP 6 you can import or export XML files directly to or from the Final Cut Pro
application using the Import Direct from Final Cut Pro or Export Directly to Final Cut Pro
command. For these features to work, however, Final Cut Pro must be running on the
same computer as DP 6. Consult the Digital Performer User Guide for more information.
Customizing Your Workspace
Organizing your Digital Performer workspace is much like organizing the desk in your office.
When working in a physical space, it is important to keep files, documents, pens and pencils, and
so on in logical locations that allow for easy access, storage, and management. These rules are
Figure 5.15 The Export Final Cut Pro XML window provides several options for creating an XML file
from all sequences in the currently open DP project.
Figure 5.14 The Import and Export Final Cut Pro XML options located in the File menu of Digital Per-
former 6.
134 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
just as applicable within the desktop environment. Digital Performer has many different win-
dows that you will need to access within the course of the music production process. Like phys-
ical office space, screen real estate is limited—unless you are lucky enough to have a 30-inch
Cinema display!
Digital Performer has a number of features that allow you to customize your DP workspace,
from project-specific window configurations and track colors for easy track identification, to
the customization of keyboard shortcut commands and preferences. Digital Performer’s
Consolidated Window feature provides additional control for managing the numerous
windows in DP.
The Consolidated Window
When enabled, the Consolidated Window feature allows you to view multiple windows in a
single, consolidated environment. The Consolidated Window, shown in Figure 5.16, displays
various tabs across the top of the window. These tabs provide quick access to many of DP’s
main windows—when clicked, the desired window will open in the main body or center of
the Consolidated Window. Sidebars are available for displaying other windows, such as the
Audio Monitor, Chunks, Markers, Event List, and Undo History windows.
The Title Bar
The Consolidated Window’s title bar closely resembles the title bars found in DP’s editors, but it
adds one extra feature: You can Command-click the name of the project file to reveal the path of
the file on your hard disk (as shown in Figure 5.17).
Figure 5.16 Click on a tab to open the desired window in the main body of the Consolidated Window.
In this example, the Tracks Overview window is revealed in the center section of the Consolidated
Window.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 135
Sidebars and Cells
Sidebars are additional sections that allow you to display other selected windows (cells) to the
left or right of the main body (center section) of the Consolidated Window (see Figure 5.18).
You can open and close several cells in each sidebar, and each contains the appropriate mini-
menu options associated with the selected cell. To open a sidebar simply double-click the
divider, as shown in Figure 5.19, or choose Windows 4Open/Close Left (or Right) Sidebar.
Once a sidebar is open, you can change what is displayed in each sidebar cell using the window
selector menu that becomes available when you click on the cell’s title (as shown in Figure 5.20).
Keep in mind that editor windows do not appear in this list and cannot be displayed in a sidebar.
In addition, a sidebar cell can be “popped” out of the sidebar and into its own separate window.
To “pop” a cell out of the sidebar and into its own separate window, simply double-click the
empty space in the Tab bar of the cell (see Figure 5.21). The cell will “pop” out in a separate
window. Double-click the empty space in the Tab bar again, and the window will return to the
sidebar of the Consolidated Window. To close a sidebar cell, just click the X next to its title (or
use the traditional Apple shortcut CommandþW).
Figure 5.17 Command-click the project name in the title bar of the Consolidated Window to reveal its
path on your hard disk.
Figure 5.18 Sidebars include additional windows (or cells) to the left and right of the Consolidated
Window’s main body section.
136 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Figure 5.20 You can change what is displayed in each sidebar cell by using the window selector menu.
Sidebar Divide
r
Figure 5.19 To open a sidebar, simply double-click the body/sidebar divider.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 137
Multiple Tabs in Sidebar Cells By default, each sidebar cell contains only one window
(cell). However, you can add multiple windows within a single cell (see Figure 5.22).
These windows will appear as tabs and are manipulated in the same manner as single
cells. To add a tab, choose the Add Tab option located in the window selector menu.
Figure 5.21 Sidebar cells can be “popped” out of the sidebar and into their own separate window by
double-clicking the empty space of the cell’s Tab bar.
Figure 5.22 A sidebar cell can have multiple windows as “tabs.”
138 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Cell Focus Cell focus is similar to the front-most window when working with multiple win-
dows. In DP, when a cell is currently selected, it has focus. And when a cell is in focus, its Tab
bar (title bar) has a slightly darker shade. Because certain operations in DP only pertain to a
cell that currently has the focus, it is important to become familiar with the “focus” concept
and how to direct it. To apply focus to a specific cell, simply click its Tab (title) bar.
Setting Up the Consolidated Window
The Consolidated Window feature can be enabled or disabled entirely from the Consolidated
Window preferences, as shown in Figure 5.23. The preferences listed are global and will affect
all of your Digital Performer projects. However, changes made to these preferences will not
affect previous projects. In other words, if you disable Consolidated Windows but open an
older project that used Consolidated Windows, Consolidated Windows will be active in the
project until you close and reopen the individual windows.
Figure 5.23 The Consolidated Window preferences allow you to enable or disable the Consolidated
Window all together.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 139
The Consolidated Window preferences are as follows:
nEnable Consolidated Editing. This button toggles the Consolidated Window on and off.
nOpen in Consolidated Window. This section contains a list of Digital Performer
windows that can be included in the Consolidated Window. Windows highlighted in
blue are included, while unhighlighted windows will open as separate windows.
nMaximum Rows to Add in the Body Area. This setting determines how many rows (or
windows from the tabbed selections) will be automatically added to the main body or
center section of the Consolidated Window when opened. To add or remove rows
manually, simply drag on the Consolidated Window’s horizontal divider.
nMaximum Event Lists to Add. This setting determines the maximum number of Event
Lists you can open in the Consolidated Window. If you attempt to exceed the specified
maximum number, DP will simply replace one of the Event Lists you have currently
open with the new Event List. Keep in mind that this setting does not prevent you from
manually opening an Event List from the sidebar cell menus.
nOpen Old Documents Using Consolidated Editing. Enable this option if you want to
have older DP projects (created in versions prior to 4.5) automatically open in the
Consolidated Window layout. Turn off this option if you wish to work with these older
documents in their original window layout. Keep in mind that you can always migrate
these older documents into the Consolidated Window layout at your own pace.
nOpen Old Window Sets Using Consolidated Editing. Enable this feature if you want
window sets created in older versions of DP (prior to DP 4.5) to open in a Consoli-
dated Window layout. Disable this option if you want to preserve the original layout of
the older window set. Refer to the “Window Sets” section of this chapter for an
explanation of window sets.
nBy Default, the Mixing Board Opens. Use this option to determine where the Mixing
Board will automatically open in the Consolidated Window if you have the Mixing
Board highlighted in the Open in Consolidated Window section.
nScroll the Mixing Board to the Selection. Turn on this option if you want the Mixing
Board to automatically scroll and display the channel strip for a selected track. This
option only applies when the Mixing Board appears in the Consolidated Window and is
especially handy when viewing the Mixing Board in a sidebar. This option is the same as
the Consolidated Window mini-menu’s Scroll Mixing Board to Selection option.
nUpdate the Sound File Editor to the Selection. Similar to the Scroll the Mixing Board to
the Selection option, this option causes a soundbite selected in a DP editor, such as the
Sequence Editor or the Tracks window, to always display in the Waveform Editor
140 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
(when the Waveform Editor is visible in the Consolidated Window). You can also
enable this setting from the Consolidated Window mini-menu.
nUpdate the Edit Windows to the Play Chunk. Use this option if you want DP’s various
editor windows to always display tracks from the currently play-enabled Chunk. You
can also enable this setting from the Consolidated Window mini-menu.
To enable or disable the Consolidated Window feature:
1. Open the Consolidated Window preferences by choosing Digital Performer 4
Preferences 4Consolidated Window Preferences.
2. Click the Enable Consolidated Editing button to toggle the Consolidated Window
feature on or off.
Once you have decided to work in the Consolidated Window, and you have enabled it from the
Preferences and Settings window, you will need to decide which particular windows will open in
the Consolidated Window. The Open in Consolidated Window section of the Consolidated Win-
dow preferences provides a list of windows that are to be included or excluded from the Consoli-
dated Window. Windows highlighted in blue will be included, whereas unhighlighted windows will
open independently. Keep in mind that you can “pop” windows in or out (explained earlier) to
manually separate a window or force it back into the Consolidated Window.
To determine which windows will open in the Consolidated Window:
1. Open the Consolidated Window preferences by choosing Digital Performer 4
Preferences 4Consolidated Window preferences.
2. In the Open in Consolidated Window section, click to highlight the window or windows
you want to have included. All the windows in the list should be highlighted (in blue) by
default. Windows that are not highlighted will automatically open in a separate
window.
The Main Body and Rows. The main body section is the center section of the Consolidated Win-
dow and is used to display the main windows in DP. Use the tabs located above the main body to
display a particular window. Drag the main body section’s horizontal divider to manually show or
hide additional sections (or rows), as shown in Figure 5.24. New rows will appear with their own
sets of tabs, allowing you to display multiple windows in this center section of the Consolidated
Window. Keep in mind that you can set the number of rows that are automatically opened in the
main body section from the Consolidated Window preferences (explained earlier).
The Sidebars and Cells. As discussed earlier in this chapter, the left and right sidebars of the
Consolidated Window are used to display DP’s secondary windows, such as the list windows,
and monitor windows (with the exception of the Mixing Board, which can be displayed in a
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 141
sidebar or main body section). If a sidebar is hidden, drag on its vertical sidebar divider (shown
in Figure 5.25). Similar to the main body section, which contains rows, the sidebars are divided
into individual cells. Drag on a sidebar’s horizontal divider to create additional cells or to hor-
izontally resize a cell or reveal more cells.
Figure 5.24 Drag on the main body section’s horizontal divider to add or remove rows from the Con-
solidated Window.
Vertical Divider
Figure 5.25 Drag on a sidebar’s vertical divider to reveal the sidebar.
142 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Working with Rows and Cells. Digital Performer provides various ways to control the Consoli-
dated Window’s rows and cells. Remember, rows or cells that are currently selected (also called
the focus) will appear with the title bar slightly darker.
nTo open a new row or cell: Drag upward on the main body section’s or the main side-
bar’s horizontal divider to create a new row or cell. As you locate your pointer on the
divider, an up and down arrow icon will appear, indicating a new row or cell is being
added. Keep in mind that to create a third row or cell (provided your preferences are set
to three or more), you must drag on the lowermost main body section’s or lowermost
sidebar’s horizontal divider to create the newest row or cell. Rows and cells, when
added by the dragging method, appear according to the order of the Tabbed Section
(from left to right) and the Window Selector List (from top to bottom).
nTo close an existing row or cell: Click on the desired window’s Close button, located at
the leftmost part of the title bar. If the particular row/cell is in focus, you can also use
the Close Cell command (choose Close Cell from the Windows menu) or the default
keyboard shortcut CommandþW. You can also simply drag the horizontal dividers of
any row or cell (except the uppermost row or cell) to the bottom of the main Con-
solidated Window or sidebar to delete.
nTo open/close the left or right sidebar: Double-click the sidebar’s vertical divider, drag
the divider away from the main body section, or choose Open/Close Left (or Right)
Sidebar from the Windows menu.
nTo vertically resize a sidebar: Vertically drag on the sidebar’s divider.
nTo focus a row or cell: Simply click on the title bar or any area within a particular row
or cell. A window that is in focus will appear with its title bar shaded darker.
nTo resize a row or cell: To horizontally resize a row or cell, drag on its horizontal
divider. To resize vertically, click and drag on the sidebar dividers.
nTo pop out a row or cell from the Consolidated Window: Double-click the empty space
in the Tab (title) bar of the cell or row. The cell or row will “pop” out in a separate
window. You can also use the default keyboard shortcut Controlþ1 to pop out a
focused row or cell.
nTo force a separate window back into the Consolidated Window: Double-click the
empty space in the Tab (title) bar, and the window will return to the sidebar or row
of the Consolidated Window.
The Preferences and Settings Command
Digital Performer’s Preferences and Settings window, shown in Figure 5.26, provides options for
customizing DP. Choose Digital Performer 4Preferences to open the Preferences and Settings
window. The settings found here are global and affect all DP files.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 143
Preferences are listed on the left side of the window. Once a preference option is selected (high-
lighted), its various settings will appear to the right (in the main section of the window). In this
section, you can position the cursor over a setting to see its description listed below, in the
Description area.
If you have made changes to the current preferences and you need to return to the previous
settings, click the Revert button. Keep in mind that once you click the Done button and close
the Preferences and Settings window, the Revert button will no longer remember the previous
settings and will not be able to undo or revert to the last changes made before the window was
closed. Use the Defaults button to restore the preferences to their factory default settings. Be
aware that this change is instantaneous and cannot be undone.
Preferences in Older Versions of DP DP has consolidated most of the preferences and set-
tings into the Preferences and Settings window, though many of these settings can still be
accessed via DP’s various menus. Users working with older versions of DP may find that
Figure 5.26 Digital Performer’s Preferences and Settings window.
144 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
many of the preferences discussed in this chapter do not apply to them, since they are new
additions introduced in version 6.
Display Preferences
The Display preferences provide options for controlling auto scrolling, colors, Consolidated
Windows, and data display settings.
Auto Scroll. The Auto Scroll preferences, shown in Figure 5.27, provide a centralized location
for controlling how and if DP’s various windows will scroll, whether a particular window’s
Playback Wiper will be visible, and what type of auto scrolling is used—paging or continuous
scrolling. Be aware that auto scrolling will only affect the windows that relate to the currently
play-enabled sequence or Chunk.
nAll Windows Follow the Counter and Stay Together When You Scroll Them Manually.
This option basically forces all windows to scroll together during playback and
recording, stopping, rewinding, fast-forwarding, or when performing any type of cueing
Figure 5.27 Digital Performer’s Auto Scroll preferences.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 145
function. Windows will also scroll together when dragging the Playback Wiper or
horizontal scroll bar to manually scroll a window.
nAll Windows Follow the Counter. This is the same as the first option, with the exception
that the windows will not scroll together when you are scrolling a window manually.
nOnly the Top Window Follows the Counter. This option will only scroll the topmost
window within a sequence, providing the extra benefit of reducing the amount of
processor load put on Digital Performer when scrolling. Depending on the speed of your
computer, you may find this option improves the responsiveness of DP when scrolling is
enabled.
nContinuous Scroll (Top Window Only). With this option turned off, DP will scroll win-
dows one “page” at a time. This feature is referred to as page scrolling or paging. When
the Playback Wiper reaches the last measure or event in a window, DP will automati-
cally jump to the next measure or data event and update the window display, sort of like
turning a page in a book.
When the Continuous Scroll option is enabled, DP will continuously scroll the topmost
window smoothly from left to right, with the Playback Wiper centered in the window. If
you want to move the Playback Wiper away from the center of the window when scrolling,
you can press the Option key while dragging the Playback Wiper to the left or right.
nWindow. Use the Window section to enable or disable auto scrolling for a specific win-
dow type.
nWiper. This option determines whether the Playback Wiper is visible in a particular window.
nSet All. Click this button to enable all the options in both the Window and Wiper
sections of the Preferences and Settings window.
nClear. Click this button to quickly disable auto scrolling and Playback Wiper
visibility for all windows.
Using a Window Title Bar’s Auto Scroll Button You can also click on the Auto Scroll button
located on the Control Panel within a window’s title bar, shown in Figure 5.28, to manually
turn off/on auto scrolling. This saves you the hassle of calling up the Preferences and Settings
window if you need to temporarily enable or disable auto scrolling.
Auto Scroll Button
Figure 5.28 Click on the Control Panel’s Auto Scroll button to quickly enable or disable auto scrolling.
146 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Colors. The Colors preferences are explained later, in the “Track Colors” section of this chapter.
Consolidated Windows. The Consolidated Windows preferences were explained earlier, in
“The Consolidated Window” section of this chapter.
Data Display. The Data Display preferences, shown in Figure 5.29, control how certain types of
data are displayed within Digital Performer.
nPitch Display. This option allows you to determine how octaves are numbered and
displayed in a project.
nTempo Display. This option determines whether tempo is displayed as beats per minute
(BPM) or as frame clicks.
nRectified Waveforms. This option will force DP to display only the positive arc of an
audio waveform, allowing the information to be shown in half of the vertical space
(see Figure 5.30). The Mini, Small, or Medium option will display waveforms rectified
Figure 5.29 The Data Display preferences.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 147
when a specific size of track is selected. Checking the Medium option, for example,
will display a track’s waveforms rectified when a vertical track size of medium or
smaller is selected. Separate options for displaying rectified waveforms within the
Tracks and Polar windows are also provided.
Editing Preferences
The Editing preferences provide options for controlling how the Automatic Conversions option
behaves, how information is displayed in DP’s various editor windows, how the Tool palette
functions, how to work with Undo Pruning settings, and so on.
Automatic Conversions. The Automatic Conversions preferences provide options for control-
ling how and if audio is automatically converted when the material in question does not conform
to the project’s current tempo or sample rate. See Chapter 7, “Recording Audio,” for an expla-
nation of the Automatic Conversions preferences in DP.
Continuous Data. The Continuous Data preferences control the display of continuous data
within DP’s various MIDI Graphic Editors. See the “MIDI Editing in the Graphic Editor” sec-
tion of Chapter 10, “Editing,” for an explanation of continuous MIDI data and the Continuous
Data preferences.
Edit Windows. The Edit Windows preferences, shown in Figure 5.31, control how DP handles
partial measures, the display of grid lines within an edit window, and which specific editor will
open by default when you are working with specific types of data.
nFix Partial Measures Automatically. Partial measures are bars that contain an incom-
plete number of beats. A partial measure is created when a meter change is inserted in
the middle of a bar. This happens because meter changes will always create a new
measure, essentially truncating the measure in the process.
When the Fix Partial Measures Automatically option is checked, DP will automatically
remove any partial measures by moving meter events as needed when a project is
opened. You may need to check any MIDI data to make sure it aligns with the read-
justed meters the way you want it to. Be sure to uncheck this option if you want to have
partial measures remain within a project.
Figure 5.30 Rectified waveform display.
148 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nTrack Selector Button. This setting determines how each edit window’s Track Selector
button will behave. For example, you can choose to have a separate Track Selector
window open rather than the traditional manner of being attached to the left side of the
edit window.
nEdit Window Guides. Enable these options to turn on marker and edit grid lines within
an edit window, or beat grid lines within an audio track that has been analyzed with
DP’s Beat Detection Engine (BDE). Grid lines can be useful for making precise edits or
moving around data that needs to conform to a specified grid. See Chapter 10 for an
explanation of grid lines within DP.
nDefault Edit Windows. This option determines which editor window opens when you
double-click on a track.
Figure 5.31 Digital Performer’s Edit Windows preferences.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 149
Information Bar. Discussed in Chapter 3, this preference window allows you to designate how
(or if) Cursor, Event, Selection, and Grid Snap information will appear in the information
“strip” of each edit window.
MIDI Editing. The MIDI Editing preferences determine what happens when you double-click on a
MIDI track for editing and how MIDI notes are displayed in a track, as shown in Figure 5.32.
nOpen One Graphic Editor for Each MIDI Track. This option will force a separate editor
window to open for each MIDI track that only displays the data for that track.
nOpen One Graphic Editor for Each Sequence with All MIDI Tracks. This option will
open a global editor window capable of displaying multiple MIDI tracks.
nShade Notes Using Velocity. Enable this option if you want MIDI notes to be shaded
according to their velocity. The higher the velocity, the darker the color will be, and vice
versa.
Figure 5.32 Digital Performer’s MIDI Editing preferences.
150 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nShow Notes When Scrolled Offscreen. When a MIDI note appears outside the currently
displayed pitch range of a MIDI track, DP will show a small bar at the top or bottom
border of a track, as shown in Figure 5.33.
Region Commands. This setting affects the behavior of Region menu command windows, such
as Quantize or Change Velocity. DP allows only one Region menu command window to be open
at a time, but you can decide how you want the windows to be presented. For example, if you
need to change the MIDI velocities of several different tracks, you can elect to have the Velocity
command window stay open. This eliminates the need to reopen the window as you change
velocities of each track.
nApply Closes Window. Choose this option if you want command windows to close
when you click the Apply button or press Enter.
nApply Sends Window to Back. Choose this option if you want to keep command win-
dows open when you click Apply or press Enter, but you would like to send them to the
back (of other windows).
nApply with Enter Key Sends Window to Back. Choose this option if you want command
windows to stay open when you click Apply or go to the back when you press Enter.
Soundbite List. The Soundbite List Columns Setup preferences determine which specific col-
umns will appear in the Soundbites window. Refer to Chapter 3 for an explanation of Digital
Performer’s Soundbites window.
Offscreen MIDI Notes
Figure 5.33 MIDI notes that appear outside the currently displayed pitch range of a MIDI track will
appear as a small bar when the Show Notes When Scrolled Offscreen option is enabled in the MIDI
Editing section of the Preferences and Settings window.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 151
Tools. The Tools preferences, shown in Figure 5.34, determine how Pointer tool selections are
executed and how the Tool palette functions in DP.
nCursor Selection Mode. This menu allows you to specify how Pointer tool selections
function within the Tracks Overview or the Sequence Editor. See Chapter 10 for an
explanation of the Pointer tool and Pointer tool selections in Digital Performer.
nVertical Tool Palette. Click this option to force the Tool palette into a vertical position
when opened. You can use the keyboard shortcut OptionþShiftþ’ to toggle between
vertical and horizontal positions. Once this shortcut is activated, the Tool palette will
automatically dock to the edge of the frontmost edit window.
nPosition Tool Palette Automatically. This option will force the Tool palette to automat-
ically dock with the frontmost edit window. When horizontal, it will snap to the bottom
or top edge of the window. A vertical position will force it to the left or right edge of the
window.
Figure 5.34 Digital Performer’s Tools preferences.
152 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nTool Palette List. This option lets you choose which tools are displayed in the Tool
palette. Keep in mind that the keyboard shortcuts used to select a specific tool will
continue to function even when they are hidden from the Tool palette.
Track Columns Setup. The Tracks List preferences are used to show or hide specific columns in
the Tracks window. Refer to Chapter 3 for an explanation of the Tracks window.
Tracks Overview. The Tracks Overview preferences (shown in Figure 5.35) provide options for
controlling MIDI level meters and the phrasing of MIDI data that appears in the Tracks Over-
view window. Refer to Chapter 3 for an explanation of MIDI phrasing in the Tracks Overview
section of the Tracks window.
nShow MIDI Activity or Velocity. MIDI level meters can display either MIDI data or
note-on velocity. Choose MIDI Activity to trigger the MIDI level meter every time a
MIDI event occurs. Choosing Velocity will trigger the MIDI level meter and display the
note-on velocity of each MIDI note that is played back.
Figure 5.35 Digital Performer’s Tracks Overview preferences.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 153
nMonitor during Playback or Recording. Use these two options to enable or disable
MIDI level metering during the playback and/or recording process. If you are work-
ing on a slower Mac, you may find that disabling the MIDI level meters will make your
DP system more responsive during playback and recording.
nDynamic Phrase Parsing. Click this option to turn on DP’s Dynamic Phrase Parsing
feature, which will automatically control how MIDI data is phrased and placed into
blocks in the Tracks window. Review Chapter 3 for an explanation of MIDI phrasing
and MIDI blocks.
nBreak Phrases After ____ Ticks. This option provides a simpler approach to MIDI
phrasing by allowing you to specify the amount of empty space (specified in MIDI ticks)
that must be present before a MIDI block ends and a new one begins.
nPhrase Detail. This option determines how much detail and priority is given to the data
that is displayed in a MIDI block. Operations such as scrolling and zooming, which
cause DP to redraw data in the Tracks Overview, are directly impacted by the Phrase
Detail setting, and vice versa. The Phrase Detail options are as follows:
nOn. This setting will give phrase detailing a high priority and will always be com-
puted before any screen redrawing occurs. This option produces the best visual
results but also results in the slowest screen redraws.
nOn Demand. This setting will cause DP to only display the outline of blocks when
screen redraws are occurring. Once they are completed, DP will fill in the detail of
the blocks. Though not as visually impressive, this option strikes a nice balance
between high detail and responsiveness.
nOff. Select this option to completely turn off phrase detailing. Blocks are instead
filled with a generic pattern. This setting provides the most responsiveness, though
it sacrifices all the detail within a block.
Undo Pruning. The Undo Pruning preferences provide controls for determining how Digital
Performer’s Undo History windows manage overall disk space and RAM consumption, as
well as the number of undoable actions that are remembered within a project. See Chapter 6,
“Project Management: Part 2,” for an explanation of the Undo History windows and their Undo
Pruning preferences.
Waveform Editor. The Waveform Editor preferences allow you to control how stereo audio
waveforms are displayed, whether edits will be automatically crossfaded, and whether
Stereo/Mono Conversion settings will be applied when mono material is pasted into a stereo
file and vice versa. See Chapter 13, “Processing and Mastering,” for an explanation of the Wave-
form Editor and the Waveform Editor preferences.
154 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
General Preferences
The General preferences contain options for controlling audio recording, the locations of
imported or processed audio files, background processing, and basic startup options.
Audio Files. These settings, as shown in Figure 5.36, affect how audio files are recorded and
managed and whether DP presents a warning when the processor overloads and playback is
interrupted.
nProject File Format and Default File Format. These determine a default sample format
(discussed later in this chapter) for new audio files created in Digital Performer projects
or a different sample format for the current project. Currently, DP works with 16-bit,
24-bit, and 32-bit floating-point sample formats.
Figure 5.36 Digital Performer’s Audio Files preferences.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 155
Bit-Depth Basics Let’s get slightly technical for a moment. Just as the frequency range of
recorded audio is determined by the sample rate (such as 44.1k), the dynamic range
(potential loudness or softness) of recorded audio is determined by the sample format,
otherwise known as bit depth. If you choose to record your audio at a higher sample
format, such as 24-bit, you are, in essence, increasing the dynamic range of the recorded
audio by a theoretically determined number of decibels (dBs) per sample. Unlike 16-bit
and 24-bit, however, 32-bit floating-point is not “fixed” to a theoretical maximum
dynamic range. Think of it as 24-bit plus a scaling factor that allows a much larger
range of values, from very small to very large. Many who work with digital audio prefer
higher bit depths because they can hear a larger dynamic spectrum of their recorded
tracks. Keep in mind that using higher bit depths (and sample rates) requires more hard
disk space for audio files!
nAudio File Defaults. Here is where you can define the default author, default copyright,
and Broadcast Wave Organization Code (if applicable) of all audio files created in your
projects.
nSoundfile Locations. These settings determine where imported, processed, and converted
audio will be stored in a project. See the “Importing Audio” section of Chapter 7 for an
explanation of the Soundfile Locations preferences.
Audio Options.
nShow Alert When Playback Overloads the Processor(s). Enabling this option will cause
a warning dialog box to appear when a lack of system resources interrupts playback.
nShow Alert When Disk(s) Can’t Keep Up with Record. Choosing this option will cause a
warning dialog to appear when a lack of system resources interrupts recording.
nMultiRecord Is Always On for Audio Tracks. When this option is checked, you can
simultaneously record-enable two or more audio tracks. Disabling this option, how-
ever, will allow only one track to be armed for recording at a time.
Audio Plug-Ins. This section of DP’s Preferences and Settings is where you can manage all of the
plug-ins installed in your system (see Figure 5.37). Remember, audio plug-ins are software units
that are installed separately and then “plugged in” to DP, such as processing effects or virtual
instruments (discussed in Chapter 9, “MIDI: The Region Menu, Plug-Ins, and Virtual Instru-
ments,” and Chapter 13). The settings in this window allow you to enable, disable, or reexamine
any or all of your plug-ins. You can create custom sets that include your favorite or most-used
plug-ins. This can be very helpful on projects where you want to save processing power or if you
have a lot of plug-ins and you don’t want to wait for all of the plug-ins to load. This window is
also the place to choose whether your plug-ins will run in real time or will be generated ahead of
156 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
time with DP’s Pre-Gen feature. Consult the Digital Performer User’s Guide for more details
regarding the Audio Plug-Ins preferences.
Background Processing. These settings affect how background processing occurs in Digital
Performer. See Chapter 13 for an explanation of DP’s Background Processing feature and the
Background Processing preferences.
Startup Options. The Startup Options preferences control what happens after Digital Performer
is launched, as shown in Figure 5.38.
nNone. Once Digital Performer is launched, no window or dialog box will appear and
prompt you to open or create a new project. Only DP’s menu bar will be visible at the
Figure 5.37 DP’s new Audio Plug-Ins preferences allow you to manage all of your audio plug-ins.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 157
top of the screen. Choose Open or New from the File menu to begin working on a
project.
nNew File. The New Project dialog will automatically open when DP is launched,
allowing you to create a new project.
nOpen Dialog. This setting will launch the Open dialog, allowing you to choose a DP
project to open.
nLast File Opened. This will automatically open the last DP project you had open.
nRecent Documents. For quicker access, this is the number of previous projects DP will
list in the Recent Files option in the File menu.
nDocument Templates. This option provides simpler access to your Document Templates
folder, stored in User 4Library 4Preferences 4Digital Performer 4Document
Templates, discussed earlier in this chapter.
Figure 5.38 Digital Performer’s Startup Options preferences.
158 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nUpgrading Command Bindings. This setting determines what happens to DP’s com-
mand key bindings (keyboard shortcuts) when you upgrade to a newer version of
Digital Performer.
Play and Record Preferences
The Play and Record preferences provide settings for controlling DP’s Click, Countoff, and Film
Scoring Events options, how MIDI Patch Thru and track soloing behaves, how DP’s synchro-
nization features operate, and how the Transport will respond in Wait mode.
Click. Click preferences allow you to configure Digital Performer’s click. Review the
“Setting Up a Click” section of Chapter 4 for an explanation of DP’s click options.
Click Defaults. This feature allows you to choose and/or create a specific click pattern for any
meter or tempo range. You can choose between beat values and beat patterns. In addition, you
can create your own customized beat patterns. DP will automatically use these default clicks
when the Click button is enabled and the sequence Conductor track matches the tempo range
and meter of the default click. Refer to the “Creating a Click Default” section of Chapter 4 for
more information regarding click default options.
Countoff. The Countoff preferences provide customizable settings for the countoff click, including
newly added visual aspects of the countoff. See the “Defining the Countoff” section of Chapter 4 or
see Chapter 15, “Scoring to Picture,” for more information regarding countoff options.
Film Scoring Events. Yet another new set of features (introduced in Digital Performer 5) is the
Film Scoring Events preferences (see Figure 5.39). Composers, conductors, and anyone working
with pictures generate streamers, punches, and flutters. These visual cues are superimposed on a
specified video screen and act as a reference to visual material. See Chapter 15 for more details
regarding Film Scoring Events.
MIDI Solo and Patch Thru. MIDI Patch Thru allows Digital Performer to “patch” or route
incoming MIDI data “thru” to any connected MIDI devices and/or virtual instruments. This
feature basically lets you hear your MIDI devices or instrument plug-ins when you play a
note on your MIDI controller. MIDI data will only be patched through to MIDI tracks that
have been record-enabled. The MIDI Solo preferences shown in Figure 5.40 determine how
soloed MIDI tracks function in DP.
nMIDI Patch Thru Mode - Off. This setting turns off MIDI Patch Thru all together.
nMIDI Patch Thru Mode - Direct Echo. Use this setting to echo incoming MIDI data on
the same channel it was received. So if DP is receiving MIDI data from Channel 16 of
your MIDI controller, for example, Digital Performer will echo or send that MIDI data
out on MIDI Channel 16. Data that is direct-echoed bypasses most of DP’s MIDI
processing and is unaffected by the Setup menu’s Input Filter settings. See Chapter 8,
“Recording MIDI,” for an explanation of the Input Filter window.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 159
nMIDI Patch Thru Mode - Auto Channelize. This option is enabled by default and will
route MIDI data from your MIDI controller to the currently record-enabled track,
regardless of the MIDI device or virtual instrument to which the MIDI track is assigned.
Simply arm a track and play a note on your MIDI controller, and the data will be routed
to the MIDI device assigned to the output of the record-enabled MIDI track. If the MIDI
output of a track is assigned to a device group, all devices in the group will sound.
Unlike the Direct Echo setting, auto channelizing is directly affected by the Setup menu’s
Input Filter settings. Any MIDI data options that are disabled in the Input Filter window will
not be passed through to connected MIDI devices, device groups, or virtual instruments.
nPatch Thru in Background. Turn this option on if you need to continue to patch
through MIDI data even when DP is in the background and is not the currently
active application. When working with ReWire synths—such as Propellerhead’s Rea-
son, for example—this option allows you to play a note on your MIDI controller and
trigger a Reason instrument—even when DP is operating in the background.
nSync Recorded MIDI to Patch Thru. This option compensates for the small millisecond
delay that occurs when you are recording MIDI tracks via DP’s MIDI Patch Thru
Figure 5.39 The Film Scoring Events preferences window.
160 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
option, ensuring what you hear when recording your MIDI tracks will be what is heard
during playback. This option is unavailable if you have the Use CoreMIDI Patch Thru
option turned on.
nSet the Non-Solo MIDI Tracks to % of Velocity. Also called Partial Solo, this option
lets muted MIDI tracks actually be heard at a reduced volume when other tracks are
soloed. Click the Partial Solo pop-up menu to set the reduced percentage value or to
turn off partial soloing all together.
nSolo Front-Most MIDI Edit Window. This option determines what is soloed when solo-
ing a track in an editor window, such as the Sequence or Graphic Editor. When this
option is enabled, the track you are soloing is soloed by itself. When this option is
turned off, the soloed tracks will be determined by what is soloed in the Mixing Board
and how Solo mode is configured in the Tracks Overview section of the Tracks window.
Refer to Chapter 3 for an explanation of the Tracks window’s Solo Mode feature.
Figure 5.40 Digital Performer’s MIDI Patch Thru and MIDI Solo preferences.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 161
Receive and Transmit Sync. The Receive Sync and Transmit Sync preferences, shown in
Figure 5.41, control how DP’s synchronization features operate—whether DP will be transmit-
ting or receiving sync, and what type of source clock will be used in the synchronization process.
Refer to Chapter 2 for an explanation of DP’s Receive Sync and Transmit Sync commands.
Transport. This setting determines how the Control Panel (or Transport bar) will respond when
the Wait button is activated. When in Wait mode, the Transport can wait for a MIDI note to be
played or a controller message to be received, or it can wait upon any MIDI activity before it
starts recording or playback.
Window Sets
An often-overlooked feature of Digital Performer is the ability to create window sets. One of the
most daunting and overwhelming obstacles for even the advanced DP user is managing the var-
ious windows. This becomes even more apparent if you are short on screen real estate. Window
sets enable you to name, capture, and save window layouts, allowing you to instantly reconfig-
ure your Digital Performer workspace to suit your specific music-production needs. Even though
the default window sets provided with Digital Performer are all based on a Consolidated Win-
dow layout, you can use the Window Sets feature regardless of whether the Consolidated Win-
dow feature is turned on or off.
Figure 5.41 Digital Performer’s Receive Sync and Transmit Sync preferences.
162 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
To recall an existing window set:
nChoose the desired preset from the Window Sets submenu (Windows 4Window Sets).
If you are working in the Consolidated Window, you can also access window sets from
the Consolidated Window mini-menu.
To save a window configuration layout:
1. Begin by arranging DP’s windows to your liking. Position them in the location that you
want them to appear when a window set is recalled.
2. Choose Windows 4Window Sets 4Capture Window Set.
3. Name the window set, as shown in Figure 5.42.
4. If you would like to assign your new window set to a desired hot key or custom key
binding (keyboard shortcut), click in the Key Binding input field and press a key on your
computer keyboard.
Figure 5.41 (Continued)
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 163
5. If the hot key is assigned to another command, a warning dialog will open, asking
whether you want to continue with the additional assignment (see Figure 5.43). Cus-
tom key bindings are explained later, in “The Commands Window” section of this
chapter.
6. Once named, click the OK button, and your window set will appear within the Window
Sets submenu, as shown in Figure 5.44.
To modify an existing window set:
1. Repeat the steps for creating a new window set.
2. When naming the set, however, choose the exact name of the window set you want to
modify.
Figure 5.43 When attempting to assign a key binding that is already in use by another command, DP
will present you with a warning dialog.
Figure 5.42 The Name Window Set window.
164 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
To delete or rename an existing window set:
1. Choose Windows 4Window Sets 4Edit Window Sets.
2. Select the window set you want to modify.
3. To rename the window set, click the Rename button and type the new name. Click OK
to confirm the change.
4. To delete the window set, click the Delete button. A warning dialog will open, asking
you to confirm the action. Click OK to delete the window set.
To change the order of window sets within the Window Sets menu:
1. Choose Windows 4Window Sets 4Edit Window Sets.
2. Click on the icon located to the left of the window set name and drag it up or down
within the menu.
Figure 5.44 The Window Sets submenu.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 165
To assign a keyboard shortcut (key binding) to an existing window set:
1. Choose Windows 4Window Sets 4Edit Window Sets.
2. Associated key bindings are listed to the right of each window set.
3. Click on the existing key binding or empty slot and enter the desired hot key (key
combination).
4. If the hot key is assigned to another command, a warning dialog will open, asking
whether you want to continue with the additional assignment. Click Yes to assign the
key binding.
Streamline the Window Sets Menu If the default window sets that appear in the Window
Sets menu don’t fit your production needs, you may want to think about deleting them all
together and starting from scratch. Having a menu that contains only window sets you
actually use will certainly be more helpful than a list full of window sets you never look at.
Of course, you don’t have to create your window sets in one sitting; simply create them
during the normal course of production, and you’ll have a menu full of useful window sets
in no time at all.
Track Colors
Another customization feature in DP is the ability to assign track colors. You can assign any
color you want to a single track, selected tracks, or tracks of the same type. This feature is just
another way to quickly distinguish between different tracks or track types within the various
editor windows. Colors within DP are grouped into color schemes (preset color groups), which
you can edit to suit your specific needs. You can also create your own color schemes by dupli-
cating and modifying existing ones.
Color Schemes
A color scheme is a set of colors that is displayed within Digital Performer’s Color palette pop-
up window. Stock color scheme presets are listed in the Colors submenu (in the Setup menu).
Simply choose a preset to change the color scheme for a project. You can also edit schemes by
choosing Setup 4Colors 4Edit Color Schemes. The Edit Color Schemes window provides you
with several options for customizing these presets (see Figure 5.45).
nEdit. Double-click on a color scheme, or select it and click the Edit button to modify
an existing preset. This will open the Color palette for the selected color scheme (see
Figure 5.46). Click to modify the color of a tile. This action will cause the Mac OS Color
Picker to open, allowing you to choose a specific color for the tile (see Figure 5.47). Only
the left- and right-most color tiles within the palette can be modified, however. You can
166 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
also change the position of these “heavy bordered” tiles by dragging with the mouse. DP
will automatically fill in the in-between tiles with a variable shade of the two colors.
nDuplicate. This option will duplicate the currently selected (highlighted) color scheme.
Once you choose a color scheme, you will be prompted to enter a new name for the
duplicated scheme (see Figure 5.48). Use this option when you want to create your own
preset. Once you have duplicated the scheme and given it a new name, select OK and
then click the Edit button to customize the preset.
Figure 5.46 Click the Edit Color Schemes dialog’s Edit button to modify the selected color scheme. Only
the left- and right-most color tiles (designated with a heavy border) can be modified.
Figure 5.45 The Edit Color Schemes window provides several options for modifying color schemes. The
currently selected scheme will be highlighted.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 167
nDelete. Click this button to delete a color scheme. A warning dialog will open, asking
you to confirm the action (see Figure 5.49).
Figure 5.49 The Delete Color Scheme warning dialog.
Figure 5.47 Double-clicking on the left or right (heavy bordered) color tiles within a color scheme will
launch the Mac OS Color Picker.
Figure 5.48 The Name Color Scheme window.
168 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
nRename. Click this button to rename a color scheme.
nDone. Click this button to close the Edit Color Schemes window.
Color Preferences
The Color preferences (Setup 4Colors 4Color Preferences or Digital Performer 4Preferences and
Settings) will affect how colors are used throughout DP’s various edit windows (see Figure 5.50).
nUse Custom Track Colors. These options allow you to specify whether custom colors
are used within Digital Performer’s various edit windows.
nAssign New Tracks. These options determine how custom colors are assigned to new
tracks. If you choose the To Different Shades of the Same Color or the To the Same
Figure 5.50 The Color preferences are located in the Preferences and Settings window.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 169
Color option, the Color preferences will update and display the Use Different Colors for
Different Track Types option.
nUse Different Colors for Different Track Types. When this option is unchecked, you
can change the specific color that will be assigned to a track by clicking on the Pick a
Color option. When this option is checked, however, DP will display multiple color
swatches, allowing you to choose a different color for each track type (see Figure 5.51).
Available colors will be determined by the currently selected color scheme.
nWaveform Colors. In Digital Performer 6, you can use these new options to designate
colors for audio waveforms, waveform backgrounds, or both. These color choices are
based on the colors you have chosen for each individual track.
Figure 5.51 The Use Different Colors for Different Track Types option. Once enabled, color swatches
for each track type will become available.
170 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Changing the Colors of Tracks in the Tracks Window
To set the color for a track:
1. In the Tracks window, click on the color swatch of the desired track within the Color
column. A Color palette pop-up window will appear, as shown in Figure 5.52.
2. Click on a tile within the Color palette to assign the new color to the track.
3. If the Color column isn’t visible, choose Digital Performer 4Preferences and Settings 4
Track Columns Setup List and enable the Color column (see Figure 5.53).
To set the color for multiple tracks:
1. Select the tracks you want to affect. Remember to Shift-click to make multiple selections
if the tracks are adjacent (or simply click and drag up or down). Command-Shift-click
to select nonadjacent tracks.
2. Choose Setup 4Colors 4Assign Colors to access the Assign Colors window, as shown
in Figure 5.54 (or simply hold down the T key while changing the color for one of the
tracks, and the others will automatically change to the newly chosen color).
Figure 5.52 Click on a color swatch within the Tracks window’s Color column to assign a color to a
specific track.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 171
Figure 5.54 The Assign Colors command determines how colors are assigned to multiple tracks.
Figure 5.53 Click the Color option to make the Color column visible within the Tracks window.
172 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
3. As you select an option, a color button will appear, providing access to the color
swatch. Choose the option you want from the following:
nAccording to Color Preferences. This option allows you to make color assignments
according to the settings within the Colors preferences.
nTo All Different Colors. This option automatically assigns a color to the selected
tracks. Colors are determined by the current color scheme, starting with the begin-
ning color of the palette. Enabling the Pick Colors Randomly option will force colors
to be assigned in a random order.
nTo Different Shades of the Same Color. This option allows you to designate a specific
color from the Color palette. Once more, a Color palette will appear when this
option is selected. When a color is chosen for the first track, only colors from the
same palette row will be used for the other tracks within the selection.
nTo Colors in a Range. This option lets you select a start and end color from the
current Color palette. Once start and end colors are chosen, DP will cycle through
the in-between colors when making color assignments to the selected tracks.
nTo the Same Color. This option assigns all selected tracks to the same color.
nPick Colors Randomly. Enabling this option makes many of the above color assign-
ments happen in a random order.
The Commands Window
The Commands window, shown in Figure 5.55, provides a central location for accessing and
customizing Digital Performer’s extensive keyboard shortcut commands. You can even assign
specific MIDI events to functions within DP, which allows you to trigger commands from your
MIDI controller in place of the computer keyboard. Keyboard shortcuts within DP are called
key bindings.
Navigating the Commands Window
All commands within the Commands window are organized into logical groups. Click on the
disclosure triangle located to the left of the group name to view the commands within that
group. Option-click on a triangle icon to show or hide all command groups.
To search for a specific command:
1. Choose Setup 4Commands or use the default keyboard shortcut ShiftþL.
2. In the search field located at the top of the window, type in the command (or text string)
you want to find.
3. Click the Search button or press the Return key to begin searching.
4. DP will return the results by highlighting the appropriate command (see Figure 5.56).
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 173
Figure 5.55 The Commands window provides a central location for accessing and customizing key
bindings in Digital Performer.
174 Digital Performer 6 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
Figure 5.56 DP will return search results by highlighting the appropriate command within the
Commands list. In this example, the Change Velocity command has been searched for and found.
Chapter 5 Project Management: Part 1 175
To assign a keyboard shortcut (key binding) to a specific command:
1. Find the command you want to modify.
2. Click in the Mac Key column.
3. Press the desired key combination. It will be entered into the Mac Key column.
4. If the key binding you entered is already assigned to another command, a warning dia-
log will open, asking whether you want to proceed with the assignment.
5. You can assign two key bindings to a command by using both the Mac Key 1 and Mac
Key 2 columns.
To assign a MIDI event to a specific command:
1. Find the command you want to modify.
2. Click with the mouse in the MIDI Event column (located to the right of the Mac Key
columns).
3. Enter the MIDI event by pressing the appropriate key on your MIDI controller.
4. For even further customization, specify the MIDI source by clicking in the Source col-
umn and choosing the specific MIDI device.
Numeric Base Note
When entering numeric values for certain commands (recalling markers, for example), DP will
allow you to use your MIDI controller in place of the numeric keypad on your keyboard. To
properly take advantage of this feature, you must set the numeric MIDI base note by choosing
Set Numeric MIDI Base Note from the Commands window’s mini-menu. This option sets the
value for the base MIDI note or basically tells DP which MIDI note will corre