Connect Your Controller

Bitwig Studio supports a variety of controllers right out of the box, with dedicated controller extensions and scripts. There are also generic extensions that can be used to connect any MIDI controller or keyboard.

 

Connect, Control

If there is a dedicated extension for your controller, simply start up Bitwig Studio and connect your controller.

Bitwig Studio will detect your controller and add it to your settings. And you are ready to play.

Visit here for a full list of controllers that are supported out of the box...

 

Community Controllers

Should your controller not be on the list—fear not! Thanks to our open scripting API there is a myriad of extensions and scripts developed by members of the Bitwig community.
(There are also easy ways to manually set up your mappings, more on that below.)

Read more about community extensions and scripts here...

 

Finding the Settings

Open Bitwig Studio's Dashboard by clicking the Bitwig logo in the middle of the application header. Navigate to the Settings tab, then locate the "Controllers" section. Here you'll see any added controllers, options to manually add extensions/scripts, and the controller Takeover mode setting.

If a controller is already added, you'll see a number of settings and options. Perhaps most important are the Input/Output choosers and the Help button (find the question mark (?), and click it to open the documentation for the controller extension/script).

To manually add an extension/script, click the "Add Controller" option, choose a vendor from the drop down list, then a product. Click Add.

 

A Generic Solution

The Generic controller extension is the go-to solution for controllers that may not have a dedicated extension/script.

With your controller connected, add the Generic extension from the controller settings.

Then choose your controller from the input chooser.

You are now ready to go. If it's a keyboard, hit a key, if it's a pad controller, hit a pad. Notes will play and music is about to happen.

(Remember to first load your favorite instrument in a Track in Bitwig Studio and arm the track.)

 

Create Mappings

Map any parameter in Bitwig Studio by right-clicking it, then choose "Map to Controller or Key."

Now move any knob or fader on your hardware controller. Voila! The parameter is now at your fingertip.

You'll see some settings for your parameter mapping in the Mappings Browser Panel to the right on your screen. Here you can set range, give your mapping a name, and more.

The Mappings Browser Panel is an excellent place to swiftly (and orderly) create mappings for parameters. When this panel is open, you'll notice all parameters in Bitwig Studio are given a green hue, showing you that they are mappable and that you can click them to select them. Click to select any parameter, then move any hardware knob, fader, key, pad, or button.

All mappings created via the Mappings Browser Panel are unique to and stored with your project.

 

Yes, there are global mappings.

Bitwig Studio allows you to create global mappings—i.e., controller and keyboard shortcuts that work globally, regardless of which project you have open. Find your way to the Dashboard, and navigate to Settings > Shortcuts.

With the Shortcuts list open, you can quickly find a parameter or program function that you'd like to map (hint: use the filter search fields), click the + to create a new mapping, and move your hardware gadget of choice, once Bitwig Studio is waiting for the hardware input. This works the same for your computer keyboard, by the way.
This window also allows you to remove any pre-existing mappings, and therefore completely customize your Bitwig Studio keyboard shortcut experience.

Published: May 1, 2020

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