NAMM: MOTU Digital Performer 5

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MOTU's Digital Performer 5 includes six new virtual instrument plug-ins, track folders, a flexible Meter Bridge feature, new audio editing tools, new film scoring features, new input monitoring modes, clip-based volume automation and many other additions and enhancements.

The six new virtual instrument plug-ins include BassLine, a one-oscillator, two-waveform monophonic bass synth that lets users quickly dial up a perfect analog bass sound). PolySynth™ is a polyphonic synth with a distinct look that harkens back to the classic Roland Juno 106. PolySynth offers a digitally controlled oscillator that can be adjusted with varying amounts of de-tune, triangle wave, sawtooth, rectangle (square) wave, sub-oscillator 1 and 2, and noise. The single LFO can modulate pitch (for vibrato), pulse width (for the square wave and sub-oscillators) or filter depth (for the classic "wah" effect, among others). The resonant lowpass filter is equipped with frequency and resonance controls, key tracking, velocity control and an ADSR envelope, which can also be applied as an overall envelope for each note. Chorus and distortion provide plenty of punch for the thickest of pads and searing lead lines.

Modulo™ provides two oscillators and noise, 58 available digital waveforms for each oscillator (including sine, square, saw, rectangle, etc.), oscillator phase and symmetry modulation, two LFOs, a resonant multimode filter, three envelopes (for the amplifier, filter and general-purpose modulation) and a 5x7 modulation matrix, which supplies five sources applied to up to seven possible destinations. It also features a built-in bank and patch-management features and dozens of clearly organized presets.

Nanosynth™ allows users to drag and drop any sample (up to five seconds long) from anywhere in DP (or from the Mac OS X Finder) into its graphic sample display and then set a start time, end time, loop (if desired) and crossfade. A multimode filter, amplifier envelope, filter envelope and LFO provide all of the features needed for basic sampler programming.

Model 12™, a 12-part drum module, offers hundreds of supplied drum sounds and dozens of drum kits that can be quickly loaded into its 12th drum parts, which can be individually programmed with controls for pitch (formant-corrected or conventional pitch shifting), time stretch, duration (decay or gate), volume and pan, two sends and a resonant multimode filter with drive. Modulation of many of these controls is available by dragging controls in the virtual LCD at the top of the window.

Proton™ is a two-operator frequency modulation synthesizer that delivers classic, bright, shimmering and expressive FM synth sounds. Proton delivers a broad palette of sounds with a streamlined 2-op architecture driven by a simple wavetable knob. A real-time display in the center of the window shows the spectral content or periodic waveform being generated by the current settings. Additional controls include an FM LFO, modulation pitch envelope, FM amount envelope and overall ADSR envelope.

Digital Performer 5 will ship in Q1 2006, for a list price of $795. Existing registered DP users will be offered an upgrade path. For additional features, visit www.motu.com.