Take our tour of the new features in DP10.
Digital Performer 10 is a significant update, with a huge list of useful new features. The biggest news is the addition of the Clips window, which gives you real-time MIDI and audio clip launching, but we'll cover that in depth in another column. This time around, we'll look at the rest of the new features.
Audio beat detection and time stretching have been improved in a number of ways. In addition to a revamped Beat Detection engine, the new Stretch option in the Track Settings Menu and the Audio Stretch Edit Layer in the Sequence Editor are extremely useful.
Let's start with the Stretch option. Open the Sequence Editor, open the Track Settings Menu and select Stretch. Now, any audio on that track will automatically be time-stretched to match the Sequence tempo. This can be helpful in a number of important ways. Drag in a loop and it will instantly change to the correct tempo; or imagine you're working on a new songwriting project and aren't quite sure what the tempo should be. You can go ahead and record, say, a scratch vocal or keyboard or guitar track and set them (and any other tracks) to Stretch. Then you can try different Sequence tempos and the tracks will change along with them, so you can see what works best.
Another handy benefit of the Stretch option is that if your tracks are all Stretch-enabled, you can now draw in a tempo change in the Conductor track and your tracks will follow it correctly. You could add a ritardando after the fact, or add a very subtle speed-up toward the end of a song to bring more energy to the arrangement. In DP10, audio tracks are as flexible as MIDI ones.