It has been 2 years since a team of programmers, developers, and musicians known as Bitwig announced the development of what would be their groundbreaking music production software of the same name, Bitwig Studio. Since then, EDM, House, and Techno producers, along with DJs and performers, have been patiently waiting (some more patiently than others) for the software to leave the Beta stage and see its first full release, all eager to use the software’s promised features in their productions.
Record and produce your music in a super-fast, intuitive workflow. Bitwig Studio's arranger is a perfect mix of editing power, ease of use, and flexibility.
On March 26th, Bitwig will finally be available as a full release. Let’s take a look at some of what this software will let you do.
The Future with a Familiar Look
Looking at screenshots of Bitwig makes it clear that they have been somewhat influenced by Ableton Live, incorporating that DAW's clip-launching ability that electronic producers and DJs have come to love for the way its streamlined workflow allows for ease in spontaneous writing and editing, in addition to functioning as an ideal live-performance engine.
However, once you get past some initial visual similarities, you will quickly see that Bitwig is its own beast, and offers some innovative production features. The above-mentioned clip launcher is available on both the mixer and arranger pages, with the mixer clip launcher optimized for live performance. Within your clips, which as you might expect, can be either audio or virtual instruments, you can write automation in addition to your track automation, thereby rendering parameter tweaks, volume rides, and panning options really limitless. A clip can feature its own automated effects, while still being subject to track-based automation.
MIDI and Audio, One and the Same
One of Bitwig’s coolest (and most eagerly awaited) features is its Hybrid Tracks. Until now, regardless of what DAW you used to create, you had two classes of tracks: audio and MIDI/virtual instrument tracks. In Bitwig, you no longer have to segregate what you are working with in a given track. If you want to bounce a portion of a virtual instrument track to audio, you can do so, and keep that audio clip right where it is, in the middle of the virtual instrument track. You can now apply audio effects, warp, time, or pitch stretch the audio without creating another track just for a few seconds of audio.
Additionally, any section you bounce can just as easily be sliced to create a sampler instrument, giving you a wide range of pitch, time, and effect control over the elements in your audio. Having all this functionality within one track can streamline workflow and creativity. If you prefer to bounce audio to its own track, you can do that as well.
Integrated Instruments and VST Support
As you might expect, Bitwig brings numerous virtual instruments of its own design to the table, in addition to the previously mentioned sampler. Thanks to its unified modulation system, any macro control, LFO, or envelope can be used to modulate any other device parameter. This basically means almost any parameter can be used to effect any other parameter, a feature that will likely delight synth geeks and tweakers alike.
Bitwig also supports both 32- and 64-bit VST software (though the software itself is 64-bit), and does so in a way that if your VST plug-in crashes, your Bitwig session will not—a welcome change for the many editors who have lost session work due to an unstable third-party plug-in.
With More to Come…
Bitwig also has big promises for future updates and releases. Catering to musicians who wish to collaborate,the software will allow multiple musicians to work on the same piece with ease. The company has announced (for future releases) LAN multi-user jamming, which would let multiple users on different computers on the same network work on the same project, as well as production over the Internet capabilities, which means you would not have to be in the same room (or even country) as a collaborator.
Bitwig supports Mac and Windows as well as Linux.