Mark of the Unicorn Digital Performer 4.11 Reviews 4

I bought this unit from musicians friend website for approxiamately $500 a year and a half ago. I purchased DP because i love its midi capabilities and had been exposed to their potential while at Berklee College of Music. My major their was film scoring, so we sequenced a lot of our projects that we could not use live players on. I feel that live players are always better, that is if they can play, but if you can perform the parts yourself or use digital editing to give your notes that human feel, then you can save lots of time and money. Oh yeah, one has to have some sick samples as well. I am having trouble now because I do not want to buy a PC, but I need to have one to use Giga Studio. Kontakt just doesn't have enough orchestral samples yet, except for the David Fox stings, which sound great.

I like almost everything about DP's set up...the tracks window is a cool way to see all of your info on one screen, so if you need to copy a large section and paste it somewhere else I would use the tracks window. Also, the tracks window is the easiest place to make multiple changes on your input/output set up. This can be useful when you have a singer who will not stop complaining about her vocal mix saying that she cannot hear herself. An engineeer can do one of two things, First, he could send all of his outputs, except for the vocal track, through bus1-2 to an aux track so that he can get the entire mix onto one track. ( option A is the key to this trick on DP bacause you change all the outputs/inputs/voice assignments of the tracks you have selected in the tracks window.) He would then turn the aux track down and turn her track up, making her louder and the overall mix softer. Second, he could curse loudly and ask the singer why she is incaple of performing in adverse conditions. The latter does not always go so well with the more sensitive types.

I do not think that DP's layout is as friendly as say Pro Tools for audio editing. However, once you get used to making cross-fades with the mouse in DP, this process can be done faster here than in Pro Tools. Also, I like how Pro Tools has all of the raw disc files and their subgroups attached to the main tracks display window. In DP, one has to hit shift b to access the audio bundles window, but it is not really that big of a deal.

DP's set up is solid and I fell like I understand many of its capabilities. I know that Alf Clausen, music composer for the Simpsons, uses DP to do some of his scoring, and so does Danny Elfman, so it must be a good sequencer to help these guys in their success.

I feel like anyone who is interested in writing music for television, and doesn't mind working with midi instead of live players, will find Digital Performer to be an extremely useful sequencing tool. However if you are just working with live audio, then I wuold recommend software ike Pro Tools as a btter way to manipulate your wave files.

Martin Barnes rated this unit 4 on 2004-02-26.

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