Customizing the Browsers

The browsers in Bitwig Studio endeavor to give you good starting points wherever they are invoked. But if you find that something else might suit you better, you should change it. This includes the idea of which Quick Sources you would like to have access to in different scenarios, as well as configuring a different default source, filters, and more for each context that Bitwig keeps track of. Additionally, snapshots offer a way to save and restore search sessions. And smart collections add a variation on that idea.

Let's look at these various ways of making the browsers your own.

Quick Sources

The one browser section that hasn't been mentioned so far is the row of miniature source icons that are across the top of the Browser Panel.

On the Pop-up Browser, they run along its left edge.

This group of icons represents the Quick Sources for your current context. By keeping them docked nearby, these sources are accessible with a single click.

On the first click to switch sources, we will try to preserve your search terms and filters. This is true both when you click on one of the Quick Sources, if you select a different source from the All Sources page, or when you follow an autocomplete suggestion to another source (see Search Field).

And if you are already on a Quick Source, clicking its icon again will clear all search criteria, letting you start cleanly from this source.

You can move between the Quick Sources with key commands as well. The always-first Everything source is mapped to F1, and the sources that follow take F2 thru up to F9.

Since the Pop-up Browser presents it Quick Sources in a vertical row, pressing CTRL+ALT+UP ARROW and CTRL+ALT+DOWN ARROW (CMD+ALT+UP ARROW and CMD+ALT+DOWN ARROW on Mac) will select the previous or next source. And as the Browser Panel has these in a horizontal row, CTRL+ALT+LEFT ARROW and CTRL+ALT+RIGHT ARROW (CMD+ALT+LEFT ARROW and CMD+ALT+RIGHT ARROW on Mac) will switch sources here.

To add a source to the current Quick Sources: drag a source between or beyond any source in the current Quick Sources palette. Any source icon can be dragged in, whether it is the current source on the regular browser view, or from the All Sources page.

You can also replace one source with another by dragging it on top of the old one.

To remove a source from the current Quick Sources: right-click the source and then select Remove from Quick Sources.

Also note the right-click option to Restore Quick Sources to Default, in case you want to return a context's Quick Sources to the program's default.


The word contexts has come up several times already. The browsers in Bitwig can appear when adding new content in various places, and several of these contexts can be saved to have their own:

  • Set of Quick Sources

  • Selected source

  • Settings for all filters, including which filter is visible (and what subfolders within it are unfolded)

  • Sort Order (see Results List)

The Quick Sources will be remembered instantly when changed (see Quick Sources). For the other settings, you have to actively re-save them.

To change the browser settings for this context: click on the magnifying glass icon, then go to the Browser Settings submenu and select Use current selections for this context.


When the Use current selections for this context function is not available, the context you are in either cannot save an independent default state, or you got here indirectly. For example, clicking the folder icon to swap content re-enters the previous search session so this is a local context.

Browser contexts that can have their own defaults include:

  • The Browser Panel in general (it has only one context; all others are for where the Pop-up Browser is invoked)

  • When inserting a new track

  • When adding to an empty instrument track

  • When adding to an empty audio track (including FX tracks)

  • When inserting a note FX (for example, clicking + between other note FXs, or between a note FX and instrument)

  • When inserting a note FX or instrument (for example, clicking + after a note FX with nothing following it)

  • When inserting an audio FX (for example, clicking + after an instrument, or between audio FX)

  • When inserting an audio FX or note detector (for example, clicking + before a note FX or instrument on an audio track)

  • When inserting a new note FX layer

  • When inserting a new instrument layer

  • When inserting a new audio FX layer

  • When inserting into a blank Drum Machine cell

  • When inserting/browsing content within a Sampler

  • When inserting into a Launcher clip on a note track

  • When inserting into a Launcher clip on an audio track

  • When inserting into a Launcher clip on a hybrid track

  • When inserting into a Periodic curve device (for example, browsing in Curves or Scrawl)

  • When inserting into an Envelope curve device (for example, browsing in Segments)

  • When inserting into a Sequence curve device (for example, browsing in Slopes)

  • When inserting into a Lookup curve device (for example, browsing in Transfer or Keytrack+)


It is possible to save your current search session as a snapshot. This will include:

  • The selected source

  • All selected filters, including which one is visible (and any subfolders that are unfolded there)

  • Any text search terms

  • The Sort Order setting

So in this example, I will start in the Synths source.

Additionally, the Location filter is set to Packages (so I will only see installed content instead of my local library); the Category filter is set to Synth; and for Creator, I have selected a few preset makers who I enjoy.

To save a snapshot of your search configuration: click the magnifying glass icon in the search bar, and then select Save Snapshot….

A dialog will appear so you can name your snapshot.

To recall a snapshot: click the magnifying glass icon in the search bar, and then click either the name of the snapshot or the play triangle icon beside it. Everything saved (that is available in the current search context) will be restored, allowing me to continue and modify my search.

To delete a snapshot: click the magnifying glass icon in the search bar, and then click x icon to the right of the particular snapshot's name.

Smart Collections

A smart collection is a saved set of filters that creates a dynamic collection. This is similar to snapshots, with a couple key difference.

While both snapshots and smart collections offer dynamic results, a smart collection is, well, a collection. This makes it a real entity and allows it to be a source of its own.

And while filters are completely editable after recalling a snapshot, smart collections preserve your selected filters, making the universe look like the limitations you requested.

As an example, I'll start with the exact same settings as we did with snapshots (see Snapshots).

To save a smart collection from your current search: click the magnifying glass icon in the search bar, and then select Save Smart Collection….

A dialog will appear so you can name and select a color for your smart collection.

Once you've selected OK from the dialog, the smart collection will be saved and also added to your current context's Quick Sources.

And if we select the new smart collection, we will see the difference between snapshots and smart collections.

From the Creator column, we can now clearly see that selecting Any Creator will be limited to only those that were selected when the smart collection was saved. And the source of Synths and the Category filter of Synth are now permanent as well.

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