dp 4 tips, tricks and other info.
dp 4 tips and tricks - With the help of some friends at unicornation.com, I hope to provide a wealth of information about making your life easier while using dp 4. There will also likely be Reason tips here as well.
dp 4.0 (first release)
Tip # 1 - During the installation of dp 4, you can opt to import your old dp 3.X settings. Something gets lost in the translation here and you can end up getting an error message each time you launch dp complaining about your audio hardware. Choose not to import your old settings and just set things up from scratch after the install has finished. If it's too late and you've already done the install, see Tip #3
Tip # 2 - During the installation of dp 4, you can opt to import your old custom key bindings. Similar to the above problem, this does not work correctly and you may end up with an error message each time you launch dp complaining about conflicting key bindings. Choose not to import your key bindings and either (A) Import them after the install has completed (not yet tested) or (B) rebuild them from scratch. If it's too late and you've already done the install, see Tip #3
Tip # 3 - Things are screwed up beyond belief and you are ready to reinstall dp 4. WAIT! Before you do this, try trashing dp 4's prefs files. You can find them under /users/your user name/library/preferences/Digital Performer
Tip # 4 - Freezing more than one, stupid track at a time. MOTU forgot to mention that if you would like to use the nifty new Freeze Selected Tracks, and actually be able to freeze more than one track at a time, you need to enable Multirecord (found under the nifty new Studio menu).
Tip # 5 - My *^$%@ Reason (or other softsynth) tracks won't freeze! You need to select not only the AUX tracks for your softsynth, but also the Midi tracks as well. Remember to disengage the play enable button on the Midi tracks after freezing, or you'll end up hearing two versions of your softsynth tracks.
Tip # 6 - I can't select more than one audio I/O source in the Configure Hardware Driver dialog. Shift + Click is your friend. You can select multiple I/O if you use Shift + Click.
Tip # 7 - Collapse windows to the OS X Dock. There's a little down-facing arrow located in the title bar of most dp 4 windows. Click it, and your window collapses to the OS X Dock.
Tip # 8 - I tried to use a window set imported from my old DP 3 settings and dp 4 quits unexpectedly. Well... don't do that. Delete your old window sets and recreate them from scratch. Probably linked to the issues described in Tips # 1 & 2.
Tip # 9 *Reason & DP* - I want to audition things like REX or wav files in Reason, while using dp 4, but I can't hear anything. When you go to load a sample or REX file in Reason, you have the option of auditioning the file before you select it. You can manually PLAY the file or have AutoPlay selected in the Reason Open dialog. Reason's audition feature uses the ReWire Mix L & R pair to play the audio. If you do not have these active in dp 4, you won't hear a thing.
Tip # 10 Midi Server crashing - I sometimes get an error along the lines of "Sorry, can't open DP because the Midi Sever has crashed." This can happen at any time, but more than likely, it will surface after you've quit dp 4, and come back later to launch it (without rebooting). If this happens, reboot and all should be fine. Something that may prevent problems with the Midi Server to begin with - If you are using a USB Midi Interface, be sure you plug it directly into one of the Mac's USB ports. This is not a "Works 100% of the time" fix, but since I moved my Fastlane from a hub to a direct port, it's stopped.
Tip # 11 *Reason & DP* - The timing of my midi tracks, sent from DP to Reason, sounds off. What can I do? Well, there's two possible workarounds for the sloppy midi timing. (1) If you can set your audio hardware's buffer to 128k Samples or lower, you'll likely be satisfied with the timing. (2) If you can't go that low (too much CPU activity at that setting), or you still feel the timing is too messy, you'll have to sequence your midi tracks in Reason's sequencer. Yes, that sucks but that's life..
Tip # 12 - Avoid Classic Mode like the plague. If you've been running Classic mode and later try to run dp 4 (even after quitting out of Classic) you may experience poor performance or CPU spikes. Why??? Who the heck knows, but I noticed dp 4 struggled to play back small projects after I'd been running Classic mode. Reboot and all should be fine.
Tip # 13 *Reason & DP* - How can I improve the timing of dp 4 and Reason when using dp 4's sequencer to drive Reason as a rack of gear? You can use dp 4's Interapplication Midi to improve timing. It won't line up the audio and Reason tracks perfectly, but it will cure the jitters associated with ReWire. Heres how to do it:
<> In dp 4, go to menu item Setup/Interapplication Midi. Create an OUTPUT. I named mine DP Reason Bus.
<> In Reason, go to Prefs/Advanced Midi and select the above interapp port you just created.
<> Be sure nothing is selected under "Midi" in the Reason Prefs.
<> In the Reason Rack, add a module and at the top of the rack (Hardware Interface) choose the module from the popup under Channel 1.
<> Back in dp 4, create a midi track (if you don't have one) and set it's output to the above interapp bus-channel number.
<> Set up an AUX or audio track to recieve audio from Reason.
That's it! The only difference from OS 9/DP 3 is the setting up of the interapp output port. Everything else is the same.
*Special thanks to coltell @ Unicornation for finding this*
------> dp 4.01 has been released
Tip # 14 - I'm getting massive CPU spikes in dp 4.01. Some folks at UN have reported this problem. I was doing fine in dp 4.01, until I started working on a series of different projects, one after another. After about 4 projects had been editied, I noticed serious slowdown of dp as well as CPU spikes. This may not be the same issue as other folks, but I thought I should mention it. Rebooting cleared up the problems.
Tip # 15 *Reason & dp 4.01* - Midi timing via ReWire seems to have been fixed. I've seen a few posts at UN where folks are still not happy with the timing, but for myself and a few others, things are smooth as silk. Try it - You may be able to do away with Tip number 13.
------> dp 4.1 has been released
Tip # 16 RTFPDF - I can't stress just how important it is to read the PDF that comes with the DP 4.1 update. Things have changed since version 4.0. The recommended memory requirements are up to 1GB now, buffer settings should be changed, etc... Rather than me typing it all out here, just take 5 minutes and read it. You'll thank me later.
General dp 4 and OS X tips and tricks.
Rule # 1 for good OS X hygiene - Repair permissions on your OS X disk using Apples Disk Utility BEFORE you install anything.
Wakey wakey, drop your snakey - Turn off sleep mode in OS X if you plan on leaving dp 4 (or any DAW type app) running overnight. When you wake up the next morning, things may not be as you left them.
Er... I came back to dp 4 after lunch and it's FUBAR. What happened? I had sleep mode disabled dammit! Well kiddies, seems that OS X's screen saver (A.K.A. Screen Effects) also screws up dp 4. You may come back to the Spinning Beachball from Hell or possibly just a frozen dp. Disable Screen Effects and use the power manager to sleep your monitor (but not the computer or drives) if you want to conserve energy. Damn tree huggers :)
Background tasks affect dp 4's performance This may seem obvious, but people can overlook it. OS X does a pretty good job of juggling CPU time, but when you are running a timing critical app like a DAW, you want the CPU's undivided attention. To see an example of how other things running in the background can hurt dp performance, try this simple test - Launch dp 4 and open a simple project. You don't need to play the project back, just make sure the Performance Meter is visible. Now open a web browser (Safari, Explorer, etc...) and make sure you can still see dp's performance meter. Start surfing and keep an eye on the meter. Notice anything? When your browser is hitting the CPU, it registers in dp. Keep those background tasks to a minimum or you may experience poor performance and even CPU spikes.
I just upgraded to dp 4.01 and now my performance is horrible!! There could be several reasons why this happens. One of which can be linked to Powerlogix Upgrade cards (CPU upgrades). Not saying that all of their cards cause problems in all machines, but if you have a performance downgrade with dp 4.01 and a Powerlogix card in your Mac, try removing it temporarily and running with the stock CPU.