Bitwig Studio 4.1 with 8 new inspiring note FX devices, color palettes, and more

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Bitwig Studio 4.1 is out now in beta and brings 8 new inspiring note FX devices that make your notes fly new fully-customizable color palettes and more. 

Started as an “inspired” Ableton Live clip-launching DAW, evolved in a short time into a modular platform on which you can experiment with notes, sounds and rhythms. A DAW with a modular mindset. The Berlin company announced version 4.1 today, a free update for all Update Plan owners.

Those who like to nerd around with notes should read on now. There are new tools with which you can make notes fly, move, add organic vibes… definitely a lot of fun.

Bitwig Studio 4.1

Bitwig Studio 4.1

The new Bitwig Studio 4.1 update has many powerful goodies for the community. It starts with eight new note FXs devices giving users plenty of new ways to interact with melodic content. Tools that give every sequence or track a certain organic touch

  • Ricochet, a bounce/collide processor based on physics with both panning and timbre control
  • Humanize randomize chance, timing, or velocity
  • Quantize holds notes until the next beat, with optional “Forgiveness”
  • Dribble is the second bouncing effect: it bounces each note until gravity wins. The additional damping function makes it smart.
  • Randomize is a device that adds chaos to any note expression including pitch and MPE
  • Strum fragments your chords, playing them one (or more) note at a time. Similar concept as in Keystep 37 where you can play chords like on a guitar.
  • Bend is a unique take on glide/portamento where you can slide to each note’s pitch.
  • Note Repeats is a smart retrigger device with Euclidean and Burst pattern modes.

They ship with 70 new factory presets showing a little of what is possible with each of them. And the devices are so coordinated with each other that you can also combine them giving even more musical possibilities. 8 super exciting Note FX that shows again how modular Bitwig thinks. Not to mention: known bugs have been fixed as well.

Color Palettes, Track MIDI Output…

The new 4.1 update also introduces color palettes for tracks, clips, and layers. The exciting thing here is that you can not only choose from the usual color spectrum. They allow you to make your own by dropping a JPG or PNG into the Bitwig Studio window. I’m sure that wild stuff will come out here. Bitwig Studio’s sampler device now has a release chain, where each note release triggers an instrument of your choice.

It now supports SFZ files with both press and releases samples. Nice addition. This new functionality is also available for the synths or any VST making them more responsive. Another addition is the track MIDI output that is directly available and/or via the HW Instrument device with delay compensation.

Other note FX processors also got a little update including the multi-note, note length, and note filter note fx devices. The Arpeggiator now has an update rate function at the next step which is pretty handy when switching rates. Other small goodies are VST3 IMidiLearn support, expanded feature set on the controller API…

I am currently not an active Bitwig user but the new features of the v4 and now the 4.1 update make me very curious. I really enjoy the unique way the developers are following here. The new 8 note FXs are super fun, they are not game changers because similar concepts are available in M4L and other platforms. But they show how modular Bitwig takes the expressiveness and its right baked in the DAW without extra addon purchase. That’s impressive. Bitwig is doing a lot right at the moment, yes a lot. Well done.

Bitwig Studio 4.1 beta is available for download today. Anyone with an active Bitwig Studio upgrade plan can download the installer from their account. The upgrade plan is available for 169€, the full version is for 398€. The official Bitwig Studio 4.1 release is planned for this year. The new Bend, Humanize, Quantize, and Randomize devices will be available in Bitwig Studio 16-Track.

More information here: Bitwig 

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  1. Something to keep in mind: BWS4 came out five months ago. As for M4L alternatives, that’d be in Live Suite, which is quite a bit more expensive than BWS.

    Personally, this update makes me wish for a MIDI Grid even more. Polarity has been doing crazy things with the Grid allowing it to do something similar to Note FX. The need is there.

    • While I mostly agree with you, Alex, I’m not sure a specific MIDI Grid is needed. What I think is certainly needed is a MIDI out module for the current Grid, one that would collect pitch, gate, velocity and performance data from the Grid and output them as standard MIDI data to the next device.

      Meanwhile, the Grid note out patch from Polarity is a good workaround, thanks to him.

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