While working on a project at Click Studio in Stowe, VT, I was introduced to MIDI sequencing through Mark of The Unicorn's Performer in 1991. Even then, the editing possibilities seemed overwhelming as I thought, "How are you supposed to learn all this stuff?" Over the years, many of us have evolved using MOTU's hardware and software products with the transition of the original MIDI-only Performer into their latest DAW incarnation, recently released as Digital Performer DP6. The functionalities of DP have grown significantly over the years, and a comprehensive working knowledge of the myriad menus, routing, recording, editing features-and much, much more-is no small task to learn on your own.
MacAudioLab has just released their latest in a series of Digital Performer Tutorial DVDs. Personally, this is the fourth generation of DP tutorials I own (one from another company) and certainly the best. The Ultimate Digital Performer Learning Series is just that. This tutorial encompasses 15 hours of QuickTime screen-shot videos, divided into 52 chapters, each ranging from 4-12 minutes. The content is laid out in a logical, easy-to-follow order and at just the right pace. I would suggest that you watch this
tutorial while next to your own DP rig or at the very least, while taking notes. This is not a technically wordy, over-the-top rocket-science type of tutorial, rather one you'll want to make notes on or have hands-on access at home because there is so much good information.
The 1100-page printed manual from MOTU is extensive and complete, and it should be an indispensible part of your studio reference materials. On the other hand, MacAudioLab's tutorial acts as an in-depth overview (if you will), explaining by showing and doing. A highlighted circle is used as a pointer on the screen to draw your attention to the task at hand.
Don't expect to breeze through this DVD in an afternoon. Though an easy to watch product, it is comprehensive and intended for those who are serious about getting the absolute most out of their DP system. Whether you're new to DP or a long-time power user, you'll find many secrets and shortcuts in this straight-ahead tutorial. Short of one-on-one instruction from someone like DP guru and MacAudioLab owner Michael Neal (a service which he does provide), Ultimate DP6 Learning DVD is by far the best instruction I've seen. It's even endorsed by MOTU. ($79.95 direct; www.macaudiolab.com)
Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.