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MOTU Digital Performer 8 (boxed) Reviews

4.0 stars based on 11 customer reviews
  • Customer
    from April 21, 2014

    A Powerful Performer

    A nice upgrade from the 4.0 version I was running. Only just begining to explore the vast capabilities of this software. Looking forward to learning more about it and having some fun recording some new songs. I wanted to note that I had no problem interfacing with my older MOTU 828 and Presonus Mic Pre's.
    Highly recommended!

  • Bernd Minde
    from Portland, OR September 6, 2013Music Background:
    Studio owner, 25 years, musician, 30+ years, listener, lifelong!

    My DAW is better than your DAW!!!

    I run a moderately busy small studio, recording anything from folk singers, death metal, choirs, orchestras, and ALL things in between, including foley and video production. DP has been my "go to' DAW since somewhere around version 2.3 (or around then). Never have I been shorted on quality work flow, quality sound and function, and above all, quality customer service. The DAW itself has every feature and more that a fully functioning professional studio could want - logical interface, intuitive usability, and features. (try the Masterworks Suite of effects!) I can easily import and export files to other DAWs without converting to other formats, allowing me to exchange files anywhere in the world with any DAW.
    Often overlooked is the importance of customer service. I can always reach an actual human being during the stated hours of MOTU office operations, and they are not only knowledgeable, they are downright friendly! Take that - PT!! When I asked about an update to DP 7.4 to which I may or may not have been entitled, I called the Massachusetts office, and within five minutes had the keycode and download working for DP8. They did not ask for the additional $195, and are even sending me the hard disc and HUGE paper manual (book) in the mail. These and other reasons - quality hardware, etc. - are among the myriad reasons i would greatly recommend this DAW to anyone serious about digital recording. MOTU - Mark of the Unicorn - Wizard's robes and Dungeons and Dragons or not - they are great! Buy it today!!!

  • Eric
    from DC August 23, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, Studio Owner, Engineer, producer

    This is a Monster DAW

    Ok, I have both Protools 9 & 10, & also I have Cubase 6.5 & 7 (I've been a Protools user since LE6 & Cubase user since SX3); now this is my first time ever using Digital Performer & a friend of mine had used it since DP5; I was fustrated with Protools 11 becuase of the discontinue of CPTK & Cubase 7 has been very buggy so I decided to get DP8 & all I can say is WOW; I was blown away at the layout, the audio engine is awesome & I'm using it on both Mac & PC 64bit systems.... I love how easy it is (for me) to get around & never skip a beat on how I love to work. DP8 is a REAL Professional DAW & it's on the same level as Protools & Cubase, so I'm glad to have 3 of the best DAW's to work with & be able to produce, record (studio & live), mix, master, & be able to work with anyone else that has either one of the 3... DP 8 is a monster of a DAW...

  • Pablo
    from Shaker Heights, OH August 5, 2013Music Background:
    Composer, Music Teacher, PhD student

    The Best User Guide

    Not only DP8 is off the charts as a DAW, but also MOTU provides the best user guide I have ever read (and I have read a lot of them...). A 995-pages book describes everything in detail so that you can get the most out of the product. From the most simple thing up to the tiny subtleties, it is very clear to read and entertaining at the same time. It happens the same with Audio Desk whose user guide looks like a reduced version of the DP's.

  • jordan
    from illinois May 24, 2013Music Background:

    keeps getting better

    MOTU, like Sweetwater, has excellent customer support. If you can't resolve via email (which is unlikely) you can call and talk to a real person who will get it right. Been with DP since version 2 and version 8 will blow you away. One of my favorite aspects of MOTU products is their backwards compatibility. I'm still using my 12 year-old 2408 interface with the new PCIe card and can open projects that I created back in the nineties with my new software. Good stuff.

  • Mike
    from Michigan April 3, 2013Music Background:

    Looking for a DAW - this is the one!

    The studio engineer I am working with has DP8 and since I wanted to be on the same page with him in moving files back and forth I decided to invest in my own copy for my Mac. I am so glad I did! It is a powerful program - comes with a 900-some page manual, but, hey, it actually comes with a printed manual - no online downloads you never end up printing out. The manual is very, very good and if you still get stuck, MOTU customer service is amazing! I have always been able to get someone on the line in seconds - they are just a great, great company. While the program is complex--in a good way, I mean--it is still intuitive. If all you want to do is start recording some audio tracks it pretty much works like any other DAW. There was a little learning curve for me to figure out midi recording and the virtual instruments, but again the paper and phone support was great and made it super easy. The plug-ins are very, very nice and also easy to use. One other thing I really liked is that DP8 will take multiple audio interfaces with no problem and no need to make some Mac aggregate console. And I love the customizability of the whole thing. I am happy, happy, happy with DP8. I can see why so many pros use it. It's great! Have no fear, don't be intimidated. Just buy it!

  • Ernest Buckley
    from Brooklyn, NY February 12, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    User since 2.7

    I originally purchased DP because it made collaboration with some friends easier. I`ve recorded all types of music with it from rap to classical. DP8 is the most powerful and the most fun to use. My frustrations with DP have remained the same over the years: too many windows, the text is too small, and it quits a lot. I also use Propellerhead REASON and Ableton LIVE which I have never had issues with. Granted, I prefer to work in DP but its not the end all be all… MOTU Customer service is awful and their manuals are as dry as Mix Magazine. Aside from that, you get a lot of bang for the buck. I do wish MOTU would work on making DP more stable though. The best part thing about DP8 are the plugs and the guitar simulations which I swore I would never use just 7 years ago. Technology has come a long way and now I find myself never turning my Vox amp on… strange… I`m hoping MOTU will make DP ever more customizable with future versions, add more stability, and simplify tools with less windows.

  • Customer
    from Brooklyn, NY September 8, 2014Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Amazing Software (that needs more User options)

    I`ve been using DP since version 2.7. I`ve done just about everything with it and I never understood the lure of a PT system when you could have this for so much less and still get the same results. What really blows me away about DP are all the quality plug ins it comes with. You can spend a lot of $$$ on 3rd party plugs (and believe I have), but there are enough plugs in DP8 to get you where you need to go. The guitar plugs have improved so much in the last decade, its no joke. Lets just say I hardly used an amp while tracking my latest record. My only gripe about DP and this has been a gripe for some time is that there are not enough user options to configure the screen. DP allows you to scroll in and make things larger but I still find myself squinting at the window. I prefer to focus on a few tracks (say 4-5) when I`m working and that its. The included skins are mostly useless. Some are nice to look at but some are just pure ugly so even though its nice to have that option, its not enough. With that said, its still a DAW that commands major respect.

  • Steve Wasko
    from Indian Land SC June 3, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Hobbyist

    Very comprehensive and full-featured DAW

    There's a lot to learn with this DAW. I was up and running in ProTools in an afternoon. This DAW takes a bit longer but I think the benefits will fully justify the learning curve. Pluses include a very comprehensive user manual, ability to load MIDI tracks without corresponding audio tracks and tons of shortcut keys. The velocity icons are small and hard to see on my system and I ran into a stubborn stuck note problem with EastWest, which I finally fixed but I'm not sure how. It's a little confusing writing and editing two MIDI tracks in the same window at the same time but I finally figured it out. I'm still learning so this is just an initial impression.

  • Jim Covington
    from Big Bear Lake, California October 10, 2013Music Background:
    over 48 yrs in the recording industry - studio owner, engineer, pro musician... etc.

    DP 8 confusing for those with less skull cap hair....

    ok.... if a person has been using digital recording products for quite some time, I am sure they would rave about the layout and convenience and logical placement of various knobs, buttons, etc.
    However, after staying with the same version of D.P. for over 7 years.... making the switch to DP 8, creates a daunting learning curve with music creation at -0- for the most part since the switch. "where is the formerly positioned toggle.... hmmmm, it used to be right here.... nope... let's look for info in the manual.... FORGET THAT !" Yes, my frustration caused me to pause and search out other possible DAW's.... futile. Back to what I bought... DP 8. Ahhhhhhhh, guess I will just have to age gracefully through the learning curve.
    Suggestions for others having difficulty: grab a DAW tech savvy friend (like Sweetwater techs) or some youngster whiz kid from the local school .... kick back with an ice tea, and watch them click through the process... while you "uh-huh, yup, ok" your way through the learning curve.

  • DB
    from January 12, 2014Music Background:
    Concert Performance Audio Recording and Production specialist

    Too much is not always a good thing

    I agree with the other reviews that claim this package has a lot to offer, no doubt. Indeed, there are many powerful plugins with great capabilities. But too much of a good thing is not always good.

    If you want straightforward, intuitive DAW software, this may not be the software for you (or me, in this case). Much time and 'ink' is spent introducing terms and logic that is not common with other DAWs, and they made it as difficult as learning a new language. Understand that I am no stranger to DAWs, so it should not have been so difficult to understand and could be much more simply explained.

    For my application, all I need is multitrack importing, recording, and mixing, add some notching EQs, compression, and reverb, run it all to a master stereo track and then have a file ready to burn to CD. The DP8 is so complicated with so many routing choices that I still have not figured out the basics after 8 hours of focused attention. When I follow the routing explained in the manual, I get no sound on my master track.

    Motu failed in creating a sequential, logical manual or videos that start simple and then add on the specifics. Instead, their tutorials are very specific without ever first building upon a foundation of basics.

    As another example, Mastering is on page ~900 of the owner's guide. Why should it take 900 pages to get you to a final mix? That should tell you something about the complexity.

    This software appears to be geared towards looping and constructing a recording in pieces and fragments, in which case the complexity might be halfway justified. For simple and straightforward realtime recording, it is not simple at all.

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