Rather than just do a summary of DP5's main features we've reproduced MOTU's press release below as it goes into into great depth about the new version...
Six new included virtual instruments
DP5 includes six new, easy to use, CPU-efficient virtual instrument plug-insâ€¦
In all windows that display tracks, such as the Sequence Editor, users can now organize their lengthy track lists into folders and sub-folders, much like the list view in the Mac OS X Finder. To expand or collapse a folder, the user clicks the disclosure triangle. Several modifier keys are provided for expanding and collapsing all folders, either at the same level of hierarchy or further down the hierarchy via enclosed, nested folders. Users can employ Digital Performer's existing track color management features together with track folders to further color-code and organize their projects.
The Meter Bridge is a new window (and central pane in the Consolidated Window) that is dedicated to monitoring all signal paths in the Digital Performer mixing environment. With a single click, users can independently show or hide available hardware inputs, available hardware outputs, busses, bundles and tracks as desired. The Meter Bridge provides long-throw, scalable meters with extremely fast, smooth and accurate ballistics. The user can quickly toggle between two different layouts: the linear layout shows all meters side by side in one row that scrolls left and right. The wrap-around layout displays all meters in multiple rows that fit in the space available in the window for an instant bird's-eye view of all signal paths currently being viewed.
New Trim, Slip, Slide and Roll tools
The tool bar now contains four new audio editing tools: Trim, Slip, Slide and Roll. Trim lets users drag the edge of an audio region. This feature was available in earlier versions of DP, but now it can be explicitly invoked with the new tool in the tool bar. This allows users to trim audio regions more quickly by clicking somewhere inside the audio region, rather than having to find and drag the edge, which may be offscreen. The Slip tool allows users to move the waveform inside an audio clip earlier or later without affecting the left or right edge of the audio region. The Slide tool does the converse: it allows users to move the edges of the audio region earlier or later by the same amount in one drag operation while the audio inside the clip remains anchored to its current position in time. The Roll tool allows users to drag the border between two adjacent audio regions in one operation, "covering up" a portion of one region while "uncovering" the other.
Streamers, punches and flutters
Building on an already strong feature set designed for film and TV composers, DP5 includes several major enhancements for music-for-picture workflows. Streamers, flutters and punches help composers, conductors and musicians to anticipate visual hits and, more generally, synchronize their music to what is happening on screen. DP5 can now superimpose streamers, punches and flutters directly on a QuickTime movie playing in Digital Performerâ€™s movie window. This allows film and TV composers to collaborate more efficiently with music editors and better prepare for and conduct live orchestra sound stage scoring sessions. By bringing these visual cues to the native desktop, without expensive and cumbersome additional hardware, DP5 also paves the way for anyone to conduct small- to medium-scale scoring sessions in their personal and project studios. DP5's ability to trigger these visual cues has also been expanded to support the CueLine ProCue 1m1 and ClickStreamMachine, two third-party devices commonly used in the industry for live orchestra sound stage scoring sessions.
To complement DP5's new visual cueing features, a visual click has been added. Users can choose the size and color of the visual click, which then flashes - in tempo - as a large circle on the QuickTime movie window or video screen. The visual click, together with the audio and MIDI click, can be programmed with unlimited flexibility with DP5's new click programming features.
Click track programming
In past versions, Digital Performer's click feature was tied to meter change events in the conductor track. In DP5, users can also insert click change events wherever they like in the conductor track, independent of meter changes. This allows users to quickly and easily program customized audio, MIDI and visual click tracks for a wide range of situations. Three types of click change events are provided: beat click, tacet click and pattern click. The beat click makes clicks on regular beats or beat sub-divisions, as specified by the user. The tacet click silences clicking until the next click change event (or meter). The pattern click allows users to program any imaginable click pattern they wish. The new Click Defaults feature allows the user to program any type of click pattern they wish for any meter within a specified tempo range. These default preferences can go far beyond the convention of clicking once per beat, thanks to DP5's new click programming features. At any time, users can export the current click track as note events in a MIDI track for export via standard MIDI file to any other MIDI-compatible software.
A count-off can be crucial for establishing tempo and timing for musicians. Several enhancements have been made to Digital Performer's count-off feature. First, the count-off can now be specified as a number of beats and measures, rather than just measures, allowing for any number of pickup beats to be included during count-off. In addition, the count-off now occurs at the tempo and meter at which playback (or recording) begins (rather than the tempo and meter leading up to that point). A custom click can be quickly and easily programmed for the countoff. For film scoring, the movie window now plays during the count-off, as does the main counter. Visual count-off options have been added, similar to the visual cueing features mentioned earlier, where the user can program streamers and punches during the countoff to visually cue the beginning of playback or recording.
Input monitoring modes
To monitor the live input of an audio track in previous versions of Digital Performer, users would need to record-enable the track. DP5 provides a separate input monitoring button which allows users to monitor inputs, independently of the record-enable state. Among other things, this allows the user to create a single disk track for external instrument inputs, which can then be used to monitor the live input from the instrument and subsequently to bounce the live instrument part to disk. Four different monitoring modes can be chosen: Off, Input Only, Blend and Auto. These modes provide users with a variety of input monitoring behaviors, including several that will be familiar to users of conventional analog mixers as well as users of advanced large-format mixing consoles. For example, Blend mode allows users to hear both the live input and any existing material in a disk track at the same time during playback. Monitoring automatically switches to input only as soon as the user punches in to record.
Clip-based volume automation and gain
In addition to track-based automation data that can be used to control the overall volume of audio in a track, specific audio regions (soundbites) can now have their own non-destructive volume automation curve. By choosing the "Bite volume" layer for an audio track in the Sequence Editor, users can draw a volume curve "inside" a soundbite with the pencil tool (or other automation tools). The bite volume curve is now part of the soundbite and remains with it (and all instances of it) when moved, trimmed, copied or otherwise manipulated. Similarly, users can now assign a global amount of non-destructive boost or cut (in hundredths of a dB) to any soundbite.
The new MIDI Keys utility allows users to play MIDI data from their computer keyboard, without the need for a MIDI keyboard or other separate hardware controller. This can be useful for basic auditioning of instrument sounds, step recording and other basic MIDI entry tasks in situations where MIDI controller hardware is not available, such as on plane flights, during bus rides, in the back of the limousine, etc. The A-S-D-F row of keys represents the white keys on the keyboard, with buttons in the row above representing black keys. The bottom row (Z through forward slash) sets note-on velocity. The +/- buttons serve as octave up/down buttons. The number keys (1-9) provide pitch bend and mod wheel.
Audio voice allocation
In DP5, voice allocation is handled automatically. Audio engine resources are efficiently and dynamically allocated to audio tracks as needed to play and record, as called upon by the user.
Waveform Editor enhancements
In DP5's full-featured waveform editor, users can now lock playback in the waveform editor to DP's main transports to use all of the familiar transport and selection features in the control panel, including DP's playback wiper. Building on the advanced Beat Detection Engine and audio file tempo map features introduced in Version 4, DP5 now allows users to directly edit the embedded tempo maps in audio files with a unique "rubber-banding" interface that allows the user to make adjustments to individual tempo events while the tempos before and after remain anchored. For example, users can simply grab a tempo event at the downbeat of a measure and drag it earlier or later to perfectly match the downbeat in the audio file. Edits can also snap to detected beats in the audio for quick and easy tempo map adjustments.
MIDI Device Setup
In recent versions of Digital Performer, MIDI device setup tasks have been conducted in the Mac OS X Audio MIDI Setup utility. In DP5, they can also be conducted directly in the Bundles window under the new MIDI Devices tab, which allows users to create MIDI devices that represent their hardware and map them to the MIDI ins and outs on their MIDI interface.
Price and Availability
Digital Performer 5 will ship in Q1, 2006 for a list price of $795. Existing registered DP users will be offered an upgrade path.