MOTU Digital Performer

Rendering Virtual Instrument Tracks

By John Krogh
Objective: Render the output from virtual instruments as audio tracks within Digital Performer.

Background: Unlike some programs, rendering or "bouncing" multiple audio tracks down to a stereo or mono audio file in DP is an off-line process that happens faster than real time (i.e., less time than the actual length of your song). Virtual instrument (VI) tracks aren't automatically included along with a song's audio tracks, however. In DP version 3.x-4.0, you must first record the output signals from VIs to their own "regular" audio tracks via DP's mixer. [Note: The Freeze Tracks command (added in version 4.01) essentially handles all the track routing and recording for you.]

1. Start by adding an instrument track from the Project menu's Track submenu. An audio track with the software instrument you chose will be created and the plug-in will automatically be opened.

2. From the Tracks window, assign a MIDI track's output to whatever instrument you've instantiated. In order to play or trigger the instrument, record-enable its MIDI track.

3. Feel free to record some MIDI data. You should be able to hear your performance when you play back the sequence. (If not, check to make sure the audio instrument track's output is set properly.)

4. Next, assign the VI's audio output to a stereo bus - this will be the internal mixer path that we'll use to feed a "regular" audio track.

5. Route this bus to a stereo audio track's audio input, then record-enable the audio track.

6. Press the Transport's Record button. The VI's output will be recorded onto the audio track. At this point, you can mute or disable the VI, and then bounce the newly recorded audio track, along with the rest of the tracks in your session, to a stereo file.