That's 10 new modules — four filters and six waveshapers — with 10 new sonic personalities. Some emulate classic structures, but most achieve their own, unique sonic qualities. And thanks to our new semi-modular, Grid-powered audio FX containers Filter+ and Sweep, you can load these onto any device or track to immediately add flavor or movement without touching a patch cable.
The filters — plus a brand-new oscillator — are also part of Polymer, which means they're all accessible in every edition of Bitwig Studio. Additional voice stacking modulators have established their own category, and important workflow improvements make audio editing faster and our mixer smarter.
Sound Design Tools:
Filters & Waveshapers
5.1's filters and waveshapers give you more options for coloring your sounds. All are available both as Grid modules or housed within the new Filter+ and Sweep devices. A cast of three new Character filters bring distinct personalities that can make a simple waveform dynamic and fresh, and our new formant filter speaks for itself. The six shapers provide different flavors, with each changing at various intensities. Turns out a little high-order math can sound quite nice.
Fizz can sparkle, shimmer like a phaser, or vocalize like a formant filter. Two cutoffs give you control over the main filter and the filter inside the feedback circuit.
Rasp adds brightness — and resonate nodes — around its cutoff frequency. Additional modes and controls mean the filter can go from nasal to throaty, or take a scream down to a whimper.
Ripple is a hyper-resonant circuit allowing both playful feedback or elemental destruction, with three modes: Earth, Wind, and Fire. Tends to lock onto harmonics. Good for acid sounds — or acid rain.
Push is a soft clipper with a detailed curve. Push it lightly for juice and harder to elicit harshness.
Sweep and Filter+
Filter+ and Sweep bring The Grid's filters and waveshapers anywhere. These pre-patched audio FX combine modular slots, clear interfaces, and built-in modulators, bringing color and movement to any track. Each filter and shaper can be swapped out or bypassed to suit your needs, and when a new idea strikes, right-click either device to convert it into a fully-editable FX Grid patch.
Filter+ is your new go-to color box, letting you pair any of our 14 waveshapers with one of the 10 filters. It is ready for any track, channel, or nested chain and even has stereo modulation options.
Sweep is an expressive filter bank with two filter slots, one waveshaper, and a routing knob for smoothly blending through several configurations. With a joint frequency control for moving the filters together (or apart) and a one-knob stereo tilt, Sweep is good for detail work and great for performance.
Bitwig Studio 5.1 comes with a handful of carefully crafted Filter+ and Sweep presets to get you started.
Voice Stacking Tools
Bitwig’s unique voice stacking feature allows any polyphonic device (and even compatible plug-ins) to create multiple layers of sound. With 5.1, voice stacking is more powerful and easier to use.
Up to 16 voices can now be layered for each note played, and there are new ways to shape these stacks. Eight new modes can be found in the Stack Spread modulator, putting harmonic, rhythmic, and even randomized relationships onto any parameter.
Three new Grid modules make creating a spread mode easy and offer full mixer controls for each voice, anywhere you want it. And whether you are using spread modes or reaching for the individual Voice Control modulator, any voice can be soloed for easy sound programming.
And since Sweep and Filter+ are based on FX Grid, that makes three audio FX who can use voice stacking and polyphony. Sometimes the most creative sounds are elegant too.
And More Inside
A great DAW gives you inspiring creative tools and an environment that allows you to work on music easily and efficiently. 5.1's workflow improvements target fundamental tasks like audio editing and mixing so that you can complete tasks your way.
A smarter, more flexible mixer allows you to customize Bitwig Studio's GUI so you can reduce visual noise and focus on the task at hand.
Drag the track faders and meters taller to see levels in detail, or shrink track widths down to a sliver to see more at once. With multiple tracks selected, adjusting width, volume, panning of one track will adjust them all. And a tidier layout — with scrollable sections for sends, better placement of comments at bottom, and redesigned track headers — makes what you need clear and handsome.
Audio Quantize & Onset Threshold
v5.0’s new onset detector improved analysis of your audio, and the latest update brings improved audio functions. This starts with audio playback, now offering a threshold setting to control which transients affect stretching. This fine control is also built into our various Slice functions, with each visualizing its operation in their dialog and on the timeline display.
A new Quantize Audio function is now available as well. From that dialog, you select the beat interval to match, which onsets to move, and the amount they should slide. Make those musical choices and Bitwig will get your audio right in the pocket.
Speaking of character, Bite is a special dual oscillator now in The Grid and Polymer. By giving its two morphing oscillators good anti-aliasing and connecting them to each other with feedback, a wealth of analog techniques are unlocked. Crisper hard sync. Audio-rate pulse width modulation, and with some very custom shapes. And good old exponential FM can go from polite (thank you, Sync option) to wicked in no time. Finish it off with volume controls for each oscillator, one for ring modulation level, and some pleasant analog drift when settings change. So many ways to go wild.
Bitwig and Beyond
Finally, Bitwig probably isn’t the only program you use. So we spent development time creating DAWproject, an open file format for taking your projects between Bitwig and other programs, like Studio One. And we worked with our friends at Derivative to make a native TouchDesigner integration with Bitwig Studio. Because the best thing audio performance software can do is work well with video performance software.
By The Numbers
v5.1 is our 21st major release of Bitwig Studio, which now includes Sweep and Filter+ for 114 native devices. There are now 43 unique modulators, including two in the new Voice Stacking category. 218 modules are available in The Grid, with new filters and shapers, routers and math. And because modules can leave the Grid, Polymer now has 500 styles (10 oscillators × 10 filters × 5 envelopes), not to mention the 140 combinations of Filter+, and 1400 flavors of Sweep. New sounds, just waiting to be discovered.
Bitwig Studio 5.1 is a free upgrade for all Bitwig Studio license holders with an active Upgrade Plan as of announcement (18 October 2023), with 5.1 beta installers availaible in your Bitwig user profile now. While it's hard to say exactly how long a beta phase can take, we hope to release 5.1 before the end of the year.