0. Welcome to Bitwig Studio

Welcome to Bitwig Studio! We are glad you have joined us and are excited to help you create, compose, polish, and perform your music.

And welcome also to our Bitwig Studio 16-Track and Bitwig Studio 8-Track users! Most of Bitwig Studio's functions and resources are available in all of our products so this user guide applies equally to all programs.

If you are reading this user guide as a web page, the table of contents along with a search function and language selector is available either on the right of this text or at the bottom of this page (hello, mobile interface). And if you are viewing the PDF version, use your program's normal features for browsing sections, searching, etc.

The purpose of this document is to walk you thru most of Bitwig Studio's functions and show you how to operate the program. The chapters and topics are arranged progressively, with basic concepts appearing first and advanced ideas showing up later. And although this document does not attempt to explain fundamental audio and musical concepts, it is written for users of any stripe who want to use software to make music.

In addition to this document, other resources will be mentioned when appropriate, and you can always visit Bitwig's website for the latest information. And please share any feedback you have or issues you encounter by visiting our support portal.

In this chapter, we will begin with links to sections that have changed in this version. We will move on to the Dashboard, which is more or less the command center of Bitwig Studio. Finally, we outline a few conventions that will be used across this document. But you will not make sound in this chapter; that is what the rest of this document is for.

What's New in Bitwig Studio v4.2

For those of you who are recent Bitwig users, hello! Here are some pointers to new and changed sections of this document. The main focus of this update is a collection of eight new note processor devices and related improvements:

  • New device: Chorus+ (Audio FX), with four unique Character modes (see Chorus+).

    • New Grid module: Chorus+ (Delay/FX), a module version of the full device, that can also be polyphonic when used in a polyphonic patch (see Chorus+).

  • New device: Flanger+ (Audio FX), with four unique Character modes and the option to provide your own modulation signal (see Flanger+).

    • New Grid module: Flanger+ (Delay/FX), a module version of the full device, that can also be control with a stereo modulation signal, and be polyphonic when used in a polyphonic patch (see Flanger+).

  • New device: Phaser+ (Audio FX), with four unique Character modes, four different Modulation Curve choices, and the option to provide your own modulation signal (see Phaser+).

    • New Grid module: Phaser+ (Delay/FX), a module version of the full device, that can also be control with a stereo modulation signal, and be polyphonic when used in a polyphonic patch (see Phaser+).

  • New device: Note Grid (The Grid), a new realm of The Grid for creating note processing/generators/other things (see Note Grid).

    • Note Grid is a Note FX device that allows polyphony, with all standard voicing options available (see Voicing "Note Grid").

  • New Grid module: Note Out (I/O), creates output notes, with all expressions available (see Note Out).

  • New Grid module: Note In (I/O), provides all incoming note data, configured to match Not Out module (see Note In).

  • New Grid module: CC In (I/O), supplies a select MIDI control change signal, from any/all channels (see CC In).

  • New Grid module: CC Out (I/O), outputs a signal as a MIDI control change signal, to a specified channel (see CC Out).

  • New modulator: Channel-16 (Note-driven), providing 16 individual modulator signals that fire when notes are received on that particular MIDI channel. Good for turning MIDI channel information from Note Grid or wherever else into different sounds (see Channel-16).

  • New Grid module: Poly→Mono (Level), flattens any polyphonic signal, making it the same for all voices (see Poly→Mono).

  • New Grid module: Hard Clip (Shaper), for hard clipping with optional Anti-aliasing mode (see Hard Clip).

  • Updated Grid modules: various Shaper modules now have an optional Anti-aliasing mode, including Distortion, Quantize, Rectifier, and Wavefolder (see Shaper Category).

  • Updated Grid modules: various Data sequencer modules now have an option to Mute when stopped, setting output to 0 when the transport stops, which can be good for note generating patches and more. This includes Gates, Pitches, Probabilities, Steps, and Triggers modules (see Data Category).

  • Device updates: various Thru options are available on all Grid devices, for adjusting the signal flow of incoming note, control (such as CC and other MIDI-type messages), and audio signals (see Grid Devices and Thru Signals).

  • Device updates: Oscilloscope and Spectrum (Analysis) both have a Mini view option, which is the new default (see Analysis).

  • Added conversion option between Stereo Split and Mid/Side Split devices (just right-click in either device's header).

  • Grid module update: Probabilities (Data) now has a Confidence output, useful for velocities, etc. when randomly creating note patterns (see Probabilities).

  • Grid module update: Dice (Random) now has a Bipolar option, for any random use including generating a full panning or timbre signal with each note trigger (see Dice).

  • Most modulators now show user-provided names within the modulator panel, useful when using multiple envelopes, LFOs, etc. etc.

  • New mappable action to Insert Cue Marker Here, which creates an Arranger cue marker at playback position.

  • New option to Always send MIDI clock, even if the transport is stopped (see Synchronization Settings).

  • New context menu action for clearing the displayed expression (Timbre, Pressure, Gain, or Pan) of selected notes.

  • macOS: Improved Touchpad support for "Smart Zoom" gesture to:

    • In timeline editors, toggle between zoom-to-fit and zoom-to-selection

    • In the Grid editor, put zoom level back to 100%

  • macOS: Improved Touchpad support for "force click" gesture to:

    • Create a clip on the Arranger or in a Launcher slot

    • Add/remove notes, automation, or expression events

    • Insert devices in device chain

    • Play project/clips in ruler area

    • Open device chain (on track header)

    • Open clip in Detail Editor Panel

    • On device headers, opens the Pop-up Browser for presets

    • Commit browser choice (except for Samples tab)

    • Preview samples in browsers (and stop preview on release)

    • In empty track area of Arranger, opens up the Pop-up Browser

  • Bitwig Studio is now localized in French

    • Language is set under Settings > User Interface > Language in the Dashboard

    • Device and parameter names are the same, but most functions, labels, and in-app documentation (for the 300+ devices and modules) are translated

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