Digital Performer — Audio workstation software with MIDI sequencing

What's New

Introducing Digital Performer 8

Indulge your creativity, then perfect your mix.
All in a singular workflow...

Left brain, right brain. Digital Performer 8 is designed equally for both, with insiprational features devised to ignite your creative muse, combined with state-of-the-art studio production technologies engineered for the most demanding, world-class recording and production environments. Make no mistake: beneath Digital Performer’s inspired user interface lies a refined audio recording and mixing engine with uncompromising devotion to the absolute highest standards in audio quality, down to the very last sample.

Want to try DP8? Download the 30-day demo

Windows support

Award-winning design and features for Windows

Version 8 brings Digital Performer’s award-winning design and features to Windows 7, Windows 8 and beyond. Operation is almost identical to the Mac version, making it easy to work on either platform.

MOTU Artist Spotlight

Chad Seiter on scoring Star Trek: The Video Game

Hollywood-based composer Chad Seiter shares insights into his scoring process for Star Trek: The Video Game, and explains the benefits of using the Windows version of Digital Performer for his high-end work.

“This DAW goes to 11”

Electronic Musician Editors' Choice Award for 2013

“This DAW goes to 11,” pronounced the editors at EM magazine, in reference to DP8's amazing arsenal of guitar tones. “Sure, there are lots of great DAWs. But DP8 gets the Editor’s Choice Award for the included guitar effects, with amp sims and processors that are not only the best you’ll find bundled in a DAW, but are also equal to or better than third-party amp sims. Of course, many types of musicians use DP… but who would have thought the video community’s favorite audio-for-video DAW was also a hardcore shredder?”

64-bit support

Enjoy 64-bit or 32-bit operation

Today’s plug-ins and virtual instruments are incredibly powerful, but they also require massive amounts of memory. Digital Performer’s 64-bit support ensures that you can take full advantage of all the memory space in your computer for optimum performance from your MOTU desktop studio.

17 new effects plug-ins

From creative musical effects to precision mastering

From meticulously modeled guitar tones to world-class mastering processors, Digital Performer’s 17 new plug-ins add to an astonishing array of over 80 included effects. You get everything from modeled analog EQ to stunningly realistic convolution reverb.

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15 new themes

Artistically crafted UI designs to titillate your muse

Other audio sequencer applications give you shades of gray. Digital Performer gives you dozens of artistically crafted user interface themes that completely transform the look of the app. From the whimsical “Hi Fi” to the sinister “None More Black”, you can instantly choose a style that fits your mood.

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Punch Guard™ confidence recording

Take the stress out of punch-ins

Never again worry about accidentally cutting off the head or tail of that perfect record pass. Digital Performer’s new Punch Guard features always captures extra time before and after punch points, so you can simply uncover any additional material with a simple edge edit.

Learn more

100% Cocoa UI for Mac OS X

Goodbye Carbon, Hello Cocoa

Many of the third-party plug-ins you’ll use everyday with Digital Performer are in the process of being converted from Carbon to Mac OS X’s ultra-modern Cocoa UI platform, and Digital Performer is 100% ready to host them. Cocoa is the future, and Digital Performer is there.

New video playback engine

Audio for picture as it’s meant to be

Enjoy full-screen viewing of 720 or 1080 HD video clips on a primary or secondary computer monitor, or on a conventional HDMI or SDI video monitor connected to a MOTU video interface like the HD Express or HDX-SDI.

In-line control panel

Conserve precious screen real estate

You can now embed the control panel in the consolidated window to conserve screen space. Customize what appears, including the shortcut buttons and editor tools. Pop it in or out at any time.

Plug-in management

Organize and manage all your plug-ins

Version 8’s new plug-in chooser lets you organize and quickly find the effect or preset you are looking for. You can also organize all your plug-ins, factory and third-party alike, just the way you prefer, regardless of format.

Rewire and VST plug-in support

Run third-party VSTs and Rewire clients

With support for VST plug-ins and Rewire on both Mac and Windows, you can easily move DP projects from one platform to the other seamlessly, with no additional steps required. Just open the project and go.

See Dynamic Equalizer in action

Dynamic Equalizer

Precise control of frequency,
volume and dynamics

Dynamic Equalizer combines multi-band EQ with dynamics processing and volume control. Three parametric bands and two shelving bands each provide both volume control and a full-featured compressor, complete with lookahead that can be set to different values for each frequency band. Use the realtime FFT display and solo each band as you perfect the balance and dynamic response across the frequency spectrum. The result? Clarity, balance, and punch, especially for broad-band audio material, such as a drum set or full mix.

Precision Delay

Correct delay and phasing issues with one click

Precision Delay's unique, breakthrough design helps you phase-align complex signals. For example, if you record a guitar amp or an acoustic instrument from two different mics placed at different distances, the time delay between them will likely cause phase issues that make the two channels sound hollow or affected by a comb-filter-like rasp when played together. The solution? Feed both signals into Precison Delay and click the ALIGN button. Precision Delay performs complex, real-time analysis on the signals to determine phase similarities, then instantly aligns the signals with sub-sample precision. You can further adjust the alignment manually to find the "sweet spot" to your ears.

Spatial Maximizer

Mid-side processing for vinyl mastering and beyond

Spatial Maximizer takes a stereo signal and gives you independent control over center (mid) content versus the panned (side) content. Applications go way beyond prepping final mixes for vinyl mastering with side band high-pass filtering and mid band bass enhancement. Each band can be independently processed with a full-featured, five-band dynamic equalizer, allowing you to mould and shape any stereo track or mix. Enjoy dramatic levels of control over the stereo spectrum and spatial impression of a complete stereo mix, or individual tracks within a stereo mix.


Precise removal of unwanted frequencies

De-essing is the process of removing unwanted sibilance from a vocal track. Based on a dynamic peaking EQ for adaptive de-essing, Digital Performer's De-Esser lets you quickly zero in on the offending frequencies and surgically reduce them. Work graphically with adjustable sensitivity and look-ahead, which effectively anticipates fast sibilance. De-Esser can also be useful for selectively gating narrow-band noise and smoothing high-gain guitar tracks in the 2k to 4k band.


Kick drum enhancer

Shake the walls, or simply add a little oomph to your kick drum track. Subkick produces synthesized sub-bass frequencies, triggered by a kick drum or similar transient-laden, rhythmic audio signal. How low can you go? That's up to you, but if there are plate glass windows around (or other breakables), use with caution! When you watch the Subkick movie, be sure to run the movie soundtrack through beefy speakers, preferably equipped with a decent sub-woofer.

Hear Springamabob used together with other DP8 effects.


Vintage spring tank reverb

Made popular by that twangy, 1960's surf rock guitar sound, spring reverb adds unmistakable flavor to any instrument or track. Springamabob provides authentic reproduction of three different spring tanks: long double, long triple, and short triple.

Ensemble Chorus

A unique twist
on the chorus effect

Looking like an alien spacecraft console, Ensemble Chorus subtly transforms vocal tracks or instruments into richly chorused multiple voices spread across the stereo soundstage. An ideal companion to ProVerb, it can also be used effectively as a stand-alone processor for thickening up a group of voices, making a guitar swirl, or other chorusing effects. Results range from subtle and refined to drastic and bizarre. With this processor, let your imagination go…


Legendary guitar amp

The Beatles. U2's The Edge. Ritchie Blackmore. Tom Petty. These are just some of the mega-artists who have made the Vox® AC30® an iconic guitar amplifier over the past half century. DP's ACE-30 faithfully models every nuance and quirk of both the vintage-style AC30/6 and the more modern AC30 CC2X, complete with three different preamps, two impedance levels, and a separate Tremolo circuit for independent control and versatility of tone. Vintage and Modern tone stacks faithfully model, down to the smallest details, the Gibson® and Fender® tone circuits employed by Vox. The result? Guitar tones that sound like the real thing.

Examples of iconic guitar tones faithfully reproduced with ACE30…


We Will Rock You

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Def Leppard


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Black Sabbath

The Mob Rules

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John Barry

Dr. No

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Bryan Adams

Run to You

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Rock and Roll All Night

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Epic Mesa Rectifier sound

The Soloist is a model of the epic two-channel Mesa™ Dual Rectifier Solo Head™ amplifier of the 1990’s, with the silicon diode rectifiers and bold power settings enabled. The result? A model that supplies full design voltage to all components for that classic Rectifier sound with tighter attacks, added brightness, and substantially more headroom. Choose between the Red or Orange channel, and use the distinctive Mesa channel cloning feature, just like the original. Get ready to spend hours basking in the glory of classic Mesa Rectifier guitar tones.

Stone Temple Pilots


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See the signal chain »

Performed by Fabrizio "Bicio" Leo
Engineered by Danilio Madonia

Live Room | B

Physically modeled bass guitar speaker cabinet

Live Room | B is all about bass guitar, with four separate mic channels (two mono and one stereo) modeled on world class microphones such as the AKG D 112, Sennheiser e602-II, Yamaha SubKick, and Shure SM7B. A matched pair of Schoeps small diaphragm condensers can be set to XY, ORTF, Blumlein, or Wide Omni positions. Modeled cabinets include the Ampeg SVT-810, a rear-ported SWT Goliath II with HF driver fully attenuated, the Ampeg SVT-15E, and the SWR Big Ben. Each mic channel has a sidechain output, which allows you to feed its signal independently to Digital Performer's full mixing environment, including any plug-in processing with automation. Live Room | B and Live Room | G can also be used creatively on other instruments besides guitar, even vocals.

It's a real speaker cabinet — at your fingertips

Bass cabs are a special breed, so Live Room | B supplies classics from Ampeg and others. From the 8x10 fridge (modeled on the Ampeg SVT-810) to the 1x18 Big Bear (modeled on the rear-ported SWR Big Ben), your bass sound will boom with authentic pow.

Multiple simultaneous mics

Placing mics on a bass cabinet can be elevated to an art form. Live Room | B gives you a variety of mics and positions, which you can artfully combine and mix using four separate mic channels (two mono and one stereo), each with their own fader channel.

Live Stage

CPU efficient cabinets for live performance

Live Stage is a CPU-efficient, single-mic version of its bigger cousins, Live Room | G and B. Simply choose a cabinet and a mic, adjust damping and decay, set your levels, and rock out! Live Stage is ideal for live performance situations in which you are using your laptop and Digital Performer as a guitar effects processor.

Hear Live Stage used together with other DP8 effects.

Analog Delay

Modeled vintage "bucket-brigade" delay pedal

Inspired by classic 1980s delay pedals from DOD™ and Electro-Harmonix™, Analog Delay faithfully models their compander and bucket brigade circuits for a truly authentic sound. Crank the REPEAT knob to make it self-oscillate, just like the original, but use caution! A unique 4x switch quadruples the effect. Click the stomp switch to smoothly enable or disable the effect, while the plug-in continues to process audio.

Analog Flanger

An old-school flanger reborn

Analog Flanger models the late 1970's Electro-Harmonix™ Deluxe Electric Mistress™, an effect pedal heard on countless recordings in the decades since.

Hi-Top Booster

The lead switch of all time

Hi-Top Booster models the Dallas Rangemaster™ treble booster used by Eric Clapton, Brian May and many others. Hardware clones of this classic include the Strangemaster™, Java Boost™, Brian May Treble Boost™, and several others. Use Hi-Top Booster to drive DP's Custom ’59 and Live Room | G (with the Vintage 4 x 12 cabinet enabled) to achieve that 1970s “glam” guitar tone.

Clear Pebble

Authentic model of an Electro-Harmonix classic pedal

Clear Pebble models the Electro-Harmonix™ Small Stone™ phaser with the Color switch set to the Off position. The color-off timbre produces the Stone's classic jazzy phase sound.


The ultimate guitar sustain switch

Modeled after the MXR “script-logo” Dyna-Comp™ compressor, Dyna-Squash features an infinity-ratio limiter with 60dB maximum gain, a 0.7v absolute hard-knee limit, sub-millisecond attack dynamics, and painfully slow (>1s) release dynamics. The original Dyna-Comp “script logo” was a staple in many famous guitar rigs, including those for Pete Townshend, David Gilmour and Eddie Van Halen, among others.The Dyna-Comp was originally marketed and used as a guitar sustain pedal. You can use the DP's Dyna-Squash on guitars, too, of course, but also check it out on snare drum, vocals, or any signal that needs squashing!

Analog Phaser

Set your phaser to Stun — or Kill

Analog Phaser is a model of the "script logo" MXR™ '74 Vintage Phase 90 phaser hand-produced from 1974 to 1977. This pedal model produces the “dirty phaser” sound popularized by Eddie Van Halen. For that unmistakable, silky-smooth analog phaser sound, Set it to Stun. For the full effect, turn it all the way up to set it to Kill.


Customizing your workspace never looked so good

Feeling fanciful? Release your mind with Zen. Need a boost? Energize your creativity with Plasma. Hosting a client? Impress them with Producer. Over a dozen presets are provided, and you can even customize your own look. Use the theme browser below to preview DP's preset themes.



Carbon Fiber

Carbon Fiber Red



Eight (Default)

Eight Bit



Ice Planet

Lattuga Gustosissima


None More Black



Round is Right


Technological Romance

The Nightman Cometh


Turkish Delight



Medium Light

Medium Dark




Punch Guard™

Peace of mind when recording

When recording audio tracks, Digital Performer always captures several extra seconds of audio before and after record passes. This new feature is called Punch Guard™, and it applies to both manual and automatic punch-ins (on audio tracks). Clicked the record button a little late? No problem. You can edge-edit the recorded audio clip to expose several extra seconds of audio before the beginning. The default pre- and post-roll times are 4 and 1 seconds, respectively, but you can customize these times as desired.

Watch an overview of DP8's new Punch Guard feature.

Re-engineered video engine

Film scoring and audio for picture as it's meant to be

Digital Performer 8's video engine has been completely re-engineered to take full advantage of the latest enhancements in Mac OS X and Windows 7. Combined with a host of additional updates to the Movie window, Digital Performer's film scoring feature set once again sets it apart as the leading application for sound for picture applications.

Watch an overview of DP8's new video features.

Support for HD video

You can now view full 720 or 1080 HD video material in a variety of ways. While editing, start with a thumbnail view in a sidebar cell. To "pop out" the Movie window and float it above all others, simply double-click. Click again for full-screen playback on a secondary monitor. When your client arrives, output your HD video stream to a conventional HDMI or SDI video monitor, such as a wall-mounted plasma or LCD monitor, connected to a MOTU video interface like the HD Express or HDX-SDI. You can even output to multiple monitors at once.

Movie window audio output

Movie audio routing

Extract a movie's audio track into your project to view and edit it side by side with your sequence audio tracks. To save time, in DP8 you can instead route the movie's audio track, without extracting it, directly into Digital Performer's mixing environment. For example, if you get cues from the director with dialog and foley split into the left and right channels, simply bus them to aux faders, where you can easily mix and process them within DP's full mixing environment, plug-ins and all.

In-line Control Panel

Gain access to more tools and save screen space

In version 8, Digital Performer's main control panel can now be "popped into" the Consolidated Window. Not only does this save precious screen real estate, it also gives you access to tools, shortcuts, and performance info across the top of the window. You can fully customize what appears in the control panel, down to individual window shortcuts. To save even more screen space, you can go from standard double-button height to single-button height.

Plug-in management

Manage, organize, and
quickly find plug-ins

Digital Performer's plug-in management features help you organize and manage large numbers of audio plug-ins — from the dozens of included plug-ins to hundreds of third-party plug-ins (sold separately). Organize them into folders, even folders within folders, by manufacturer, format (VST, AU or MAS), type, favorites, or any way you like. Search by name to quickly find the plug-in you want. Enable plug-ins you want, disable ones you don't, and create plug-in sets. Make plug-ins load even if they don't pass validation, or re-examine updated plug-ins for validation.

Preset management

Handle hundreds of presets
and channel strips with ease

Go beyond plug-ins, directly to their presets, including channel strip presets, which consist of an entire chain of plug-ins. All of the powerful tools available for organizing and managing plug-ins can also be applied to their presets as well. Just click the Presets tab in the plug-in Chooser, and you can search, create folders, and organize them just the way you want. Presets can be accessed across all projects.

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