Bitwig Studio 1 was hello, world! Version 2 brought program-wide modulators and CV integration. Version 3 saw the birth of The Grid, our modular sound-design environment. And for version 4, new musical timelines have arrived.
This means comping for audio clips, both in the Clip Launcher and the Arranger. A new set of Operators, for changing the chance, recurrence, and more of any note or audio event. Random Spread for any expression point (like per-note pitch, or audio panning) with perfect control. And Native Apple Silicon support on Mac, even allowing Intel and ARM plug-ins to work side-by-side.
Welcome to Bitwig Studio 4.
Audio Comping, Anywhere the Clip Goes
Since the invention of studio recording, our task has been to create the perfect performance. Comping allows you to combine the best parts of many takes, and Bitwig Studio provides this and more.
Operators: Maybe the Best Loops Don’t
Modulation has always been a centerpiece of Bitwig Studio. Modulators have been there all along, putting device parameters into motion. And now with Operators, sequenced note and audio events can become electric too. This leads to clips that go to different possibilities and timelines, either by programming, by performance control, or by destiny.
Operators include four modes, which can be used individually or in any combination:
Add it all up and what do you get? How about a steady stream of 16th notes each with a 50% chance, producing a consistently different rhythm each time. Or a cymbal on beat 1 that plays every fourth clip repeat and never on the first trigger. Maybe connecting two notes so that either the first one plays or the second, but never both. Or maybe you use repeats to create audio polyrhythms, or to simply "ratchet" a single note into dozens of retriggered events with a timing ramp.
And when you need to take your chances on something certain, you can Expand a clip, printing out two, twenty, or however many cycles of the original as a new clip. This lets you see all the nested patterns and relationships that Operators can bring to a "simple" loop, or even start a precise edit without the randomness. Putting down the dice is an equally valid choice.
Expression Spread, with a Splash of Total Control
Bitwig's engine uniquely allows expression automation for notes and audio.
And since randomness was in the air, we brought a visualized Spread range to any expression point. Yes, you can give note velocities randomization, but you could also give each piece of a chord its own panning. Or create a note that starts in tune and then drifts to a random pitch. Or give each slice of an audio clip a slightly randomized gain.
We trust you'll find the right use(s) for it.
Native on Apple Silicon, and your VSTs can come
When new computers arrive, software must follow. Apple is making their own M1 processors, so now Bitwig Studio runs natively on Apple Silicon.
Some more good news is that your Intel and ARM VSTs can live alongside each other. Bitwig has always handled plug-ins differently, hosting them separately from the DAW. Because if a plug-in has to crash, it is better that Bitwig keeps playing. And now this means mixing VST architectures as well, and just as safely.
Each platform is different, and we support three of them (greetings, Linux penguins!). So whether it is Apple Silicon, a full multitouch interface for Windows and Linux, or native CV and MPE support for everyone, Bitwig is the DAW that connects all these technologies as soon as you have them.
And Then Some
Bitwig Studio is now localized in Chinese, Japanese, and German. The interface remains the same, but functions, labels, and in-app documentation — including the Interactive Help for our 300+ devices and modules — can be displayed in any of these languages.
No matter which editing tools and devices you use, it all becomes audio in the end. With version 4, our export options have improved, allowing you to select from lossless formats (WAV & FLAC), familiar lossy options (OGG & MP3), and a new contender (OPUS). So select part of your arrangement and bounce it to one or more formats. Or pick your top-level group tracks to export stems in a flash. No reason to complicate it.
Chances are you have more than one music program on your computer. (We do.) So on the import side, you can now import data from your FL Studio (FLP) and Ableton Live (ALS) files into Bitwig. Your clips and arrangements should make it over pretty cleanly, as well as VST plug-ins. And if you are coming from Auxy, you can now export your work directly as a Bitwig Studio project. Because maybe the best demo song is one you already made.
And some other improvements have come along too. Content sliding (and gain handles for audio) is available directly at the clip and event level with visual handles that appear while you work. To make audio easier to read, waveforms are now shown in a Perceptual scale (or switch back to Linear in the Dashboard). And most of our Grid and Polymer filters have a smoother response now for extreme resonance and modulation cases.
The Bitwig Studio 4 Beta is available for download as of today. Everyone with an active Bitwig Studio upgrade plan has access and is invited to download the installer from their account.
The official Bitwig Studio 4 release is planned for the end of Q2/early Q3. It will be a free upgrade to everyone with an active Upgrade Plan at that time. All new features except comping are also part of Bitwig Studio 16-Track and 8-Track.
The changelog and release notes are available here.