Bitwig Studio takes the next big step in version 4 with audio comping, fully-customizable audio & midi events (operators), native M1 support & more.
A long time passed between the announcement and the first release of Bitwig Studio 1.0. I can remember well, some have already written about vaporware. But a lot has happened since this release and Bitwig Studio has escaped from the Ableton Live shadow. The DAW has meanwhile developed into a very independent DAW with many great features.
The long-awaited modular update happens with version 3.0 where the developers implanted the Grid, a complete modular Synthesizer inside Biwig Studio. With this, you process signals as deeply and versatile as in no DAW before. Try it, it’s super impressive. On top, very creative features for composing, sequencing, wild modulators, etc, making BS a powerful DAW. And now the DAW is taking its next big step with the upcoming version 4.
Bitwig Studio 4
Bitwig 4 is currently still in development, a beta version is already available for testing. What only some of the users are interested in right away. The new version ships with native Apple Silicon support on mac giving your smooth operation of Intel and ARM VST plugins at the same time and in the same project.
Also new is the option to display the functions, labels, and in-app documentation in different languages (English, German, Japanese, and Chinese). Thus the developer can reach more international people who are not so familiar with English, for example. But now to the big highlights.
BS4 welcomes audio comping. It will be available in both launcher and arrangement views. A technique with which you take the best out of every loop and incorporate it into new ideas. This can be applied to one loop or several at the same time. A very creative tool for musicians who work with samples/loop content.
Operators & Expression Spread
Version 4 of Bitwig also brings Operators developed to program unique sequenced notes and audio events. It expands the sequencer engine significantly, comparable to what Ableton did in Live 11 but even deeper. It includes four modes that can be used individually or in any combination you like.
- chance makes each event more or less likely.
- repeats allow each event to retrigger at a set rate, or just divide the note length into any number of pieces. Similar to ratecheting.
- occurrence sets conditions for each event,
- recurrence thinks of each event as its own looping timeline.
The possibility to use these not only individually but in combination makes the whole thing very exciting.
Bitwig Studio was very early on in the expression game. This with full MPE support, and other unique ways of adding expression automation to notes and audio. In version 4.0, the developers add a visualized expression spread to any expression point.
More precisely, each point now hosts an impressive amount of additional shaping tools. This could be randomization of the note velocity, different panning for the chords, drifting note pitches, and others. Clever, the new values always appear when the next loop cycle begins. You can even cast the dice yourself by click the seed field of any clip. This opens up new levels of expression and creativity.
New Import & Export Options
Bitwig Studio 4 will also include new import & export options. On the import side, you can now import data from FL Studio (FLP), and Ableton Live (ALS) project files as well as from the Auxy app. Here you can now export your work directly as a Bitwig Studio project. Further, you can now export your track in new formats including lossless formats (WAV & FLAC), lossy options (OGG & MP3), and a new contender (OPUS).
On top, it comes with other good improvements. Content sliding (and gain handles for audio) are available directly at the clip and event level. Waveforms are now shown on a Perceptual scale (switching offer to linear in the Dashboard). Most of the Grid and Polymer filters also got a little update. They now have a smooth response if you use them with extreme resonance and modulations.
There will be no new instruments or effects in update 4.0, which is a shame, but the number of new features is already very dense and impressive
Bitwig is now going into the fourth version. How the time flies. The newcomer software from Berlin has grown into a very exciting DAW in recent years. Ableton style, no no, it’s the Bitwig style. It’s exciting, very different, and unique in many ways. Congrats.
Bitwig Studio 4 Beta is available for download as of today. Everyone with an active Bitwig Studio upgrade plan has access and is invited to download the installer from their account. The official release is planned for the end of Q2/early Q3. It will be a free upgrade to everyone with an active Upgrade Plan at that time. All new features except comping are also part of Bitwig Studio 16-Track and 8-Track.
More information here: Bitwig
Available at our partnerPlugin B.
Typically, Anglophones shorten the DAW’s name to “BWS”… for reasons which should be obvious.