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 through 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 throughout 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 v4.0

For those of you who are recent Bitwig users, hello! Here are some pointers to new and changed sections of this document:

  • Audio comping lives in the clip, for traditional uses and much more (see Comping in Bitwig Studio).

  • Operators change when and how events are triggered. Devices have modulators; now notes and audio events have Operators (see chapter 11: Operators, for Animating Musical Sequences).

    • Chances mode brings randomness , setting the likelihood that any event will occur (see Chance).

    • Repeats mode if for sound design and programming , causing retriggers within the original event (see Repeats).

    • Occurrence mode brings performance opportunities and lets notes share logic , setting conditions for each event (see Occurrence).

    • Recurrence turns a static clip into a long evolution , giving each event its own looping timeline (see Recurrence).

  • Every expression point has a randomized Spread value , allowing a range for velocity, pitch, panning, etc., that changes on each playback (see Expression Spread).

  • A Seed parameter makes randomized Operators and expression Spread repeatable (see Seed Section).

  • Native ARM support on Mac for Apple Silicon.

    • Intel VSTs can still be used alongside ARM VSTs, via Bitwig's unique plug-in hosting.

  • New modulator: Globals (Interface category) , providing project-wide modulator signals for the Fill mode setting, the Global Crossfader position, and the transport status (see Globals).

  • Bitwig Studio is now localized in Chinese, Japanese, and German.

    • Language is set in the Dashboard (see Other Settings).

    • This includes the Interactive Help for the 300+ devices and modules.

  • Audio export options have been expanded, with new output formats, sample rate selection, and cleaner workflow (see Exporting Audio).

  • Some project information from other programs can now be imported:

    • Information on importing FL Studio FLP files can be found here.

    • Information on importing Ableton Live ALS files can be found here.

    • Auxy can now export Bitwig Studio BWPROJECT files directly (see here).

  • A top-level snapping toggle is now available, directly on any timeline interface (see Moving Clips and Snap Settings).

  • An audio slide handle is now available when hovering over Audio Event expressions (see Event Expressions).

  • Monitoring has been improved and visually updated (see Track I/O Settings).

  • Audio is now shown on a Perceptual scale by default , making waveforms on the timeline easier to read (see Other Settings).

  • Various container devices can now be converted, such as switching Layer devices to Selector devices, etc. (see Container Devices).

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