The February 2005 issue of Keyboard Magazine has just hit the streets with an extensive review of DP 4.5, providing in-depth analysis of all the new features and overall commentary about DP's position in today's competitive audio sequencer marketplace. And the verdict? DP once again wins Keyboard's coveted Key Buy award as "...overall the most balanced DAW on the Mac."
The Beat Detection Engine
Keyboard is most smitten by DP 4.5's Beat Detection Engine. "Integrated beat detection capabilities let you work with audio in a flexible way not possible in other programs, even those designed for looping." Keyboard goes on to say: "Aside from easier editing, beat detection opens up new synchronization and quantization possibilities. Want to match audio to a sequence? Now you can quantize beats inside audio as easily as MIDI notes. Fixing a drum track that's slightly behind is now a one-command affair instead of an afternoon of work. Like the rhythmic feel in the recording and want to keep it? You can create a groove quantization setting from any analyzed audio, quantizing other audio and MIDI to match it, even including the velocities of each beat."
"I found that any audio with clear transients works perfectly with beat detection."
"Latency compensation is good news for anyone working with plug-ins, regardless of hardware. While DP has long been sample-accurate for MIDI and audio, some plug-ins, including those dependent on hardware systems such as the TC Electronic PowerCore, can introduce latency. This delay is tiny, but it can cause audible effects like flamming. DP 4.5 compensates for this delay by feeding audio to plug-ins early, yielding sample-accurate results."
Notation and Film Scoring
"DP is the undisputed champ in film scoring. The Markers window has earned much of this loyalty: Lock markers you want to use as hit points, and a mini-menu command will automatically calculate tempos to match them. This functionality, simple as it is, doesn't have any direct equivalent in Cubase, Pro Tools, or Logic."
"Version 4.5 includes two features that could make it a perfect film scoring package. First, MOTU has added DV output, so if you own any fireWire video device - even a consumer-grade camera will do the trick - you can output DP's Quicktime window to an external TV monitor. Second, MOTU has added cue displays to its QuickScribe notation view. Any markers you've set appear automatically on top of the score, complete with customizable layout."
"If you're working with video or film, any one of these features is reason enough to upgrade. Combined with DP's already-significant scoring features, DP is the best package available for scoring, bar none."
Audio and MIDI Integration
"Side-by-side editing of audio and MIDI is more elegant in DP than any other traditional DAW."
The Acid Test
"I had a simple, selfish test: Regardless of whether DP could best its competitors in the retail market, could it survive the intense competition of my hard drive? Could it save me time? Could it still inspire me as a composer?
The answer was immediately yes, thanks to the precision of its editing tools, its reliability and compatibility with a wide range of plug-ins, and the ease of its interface. 4.5 may be evolutionary, not revolutionary, but its evolution has again made it my DAW of choice."
"Upgrading the DP 4.5 if you're a DP4 user is a no-brainer. For most, the upgrade will let you work faster and more creatively, often with little or no effort on your part."
The February 2005 issue of Keyboard features a fresh new look and editorial redesign, from top to bottom, making it more relevant to Digital Performer users than ever before. Pick up a copy today, or visit www.keyboardmag.com.