Bitwig are back with their excellent music production software with a feature-laden sequel to their popular DAW.
Released back in 2014, Bitwig Studio 1 was the first music production software to combine linear and non-linear sequencing on Windows, macOS and Linux. With cutting edge technologies like plug-in crash protection and a highly flexible user interface, alongside a lightning fast workflow experience for keyboard, mouse and touch screens, Bitwig Studio has attracted a large and steadily growing user base all over the world. With Bitwig’s second iteration, everything gets even better.
For those of you who might be intimidated by the massive new feature-set of Bitwig, here’s a quick overview as to what’s new:
- A re-conceptualized modulation system with 25 brand new Modulators
- Numerous device updates, including remote controls, dynamic displays and spectrum analyzers
- 17 entirely new devices
- Better hardware integration, with improved MIDI handling and several dedicated MIDI and CV devices
- Fades and crossfades
- VST3 support
- …and much more!
Now for those of you who want to take in all that Bitwig Studio 2 introduces in all it’s glory, here is a detailed list of features:
A UNIVERSE OF MODULATORS
The current version of Bitwig Studio already offers one of the industry’s most flexible and powerful modulation systems, and with Bitwig Studio 2 we’re taking things even further. We’ve reworked the entire modulation system and it now offers nearly endless possibilities;
this is a big step towards a fully modular device architecture.
Each device in Bitwig Studio 2 (internal devices and external plug-ins) have modulation slots where you can load individual modulators. Bitwig Studio 2 comes with 24 brand new modulators; from standard modulators like envelopes and LFOs – to more unique modulator types like Random, Select-4 and Math.
An unlimited number of modulators can be added to a device by simply clicking an empty Modulator slot and choosing a specific Modulator from the pop-up browser. Assign the modulator to any number of parameters, with ease and flexibility. Modulators can also be interconnected for truly dynamic and expressive sound design possibilities.
When using internal Bitwig instruments, many modulators can be set to polyphonic mode – enabling per-voice modulation – something previously only seen in closed systems.
Apart from totally re-conceptualizing the modulation system and introducing an entire new class of Modulator devices, we’re also expanding the standard device collection. Here’s a list of the new additions, which we hope you’ll love as much as we do.
This is an essential tool for many producers. Simply put, it gives you a visual representation of the audio material you feed it. The new Spectrum Analyzer allows for a freely selectable secondary input, so you can directly compare the frequency graph of two separate audio sources.
* DUAL PAN *
With this device you can control panning for individual channels of a stereo signal.
* DC OFFSET *
A utility device to add DC offset to an audio signal, for instance to generate audio signals from modulation.
You asked for a phaser, we built a phaser – and a very capable one at that. Happy phasing!
This pitch shifter shifts your pitch up or down one octave, with precise fine-tune and grain control.
Organic zero-crossing amplitude controlled ring modulator with a life of its own. That’s honestly the most accurate description we can give you.
This chorder device will generate up to 7 notes based on the note you send into it, with pitch and velocity settings.
This device will transform all notes to a defined length and velocity. In its second mode it can generate a fixed-length note when the key is released.
So much more than a standard echo, this seemingly simple device allows you to get creative with note echoes and loops.
The Note Latch device will simply hold any note you send into it until it receives the next note – or until you click its stop button.
With this device you can transform velocity on incoming notes using a curve – or go ahead and use modulators for some dynamic velocity effects.
Note harmonizer will transpose your notes in real-time to harmonize with a chord playing on another track.
BETTER HARDWARE INTEGRATION
We’ve done a lot of work under the hood to revamp MIDI handling in Bitwig Studio; improving sync and note timing. We are also introducing a set of devices that will allow you to seamlessly integrate hardware machines into your workflow via MIDI and CV/Gate.
This device can be used to send CC data to external hardware or plug-ins. Add it to a HW Instrument device to get instant access to your hardware’s parameters.
MIDI PROGRAM CHANGE
As the name implies, this device allows you to control program changes of your hardware or VST plug-ins from Bitwig Studio.
HW CLOCK OUT
Using the HW CV Clock device you can send CV clock to audio outputs, with individual time settings.
* MIDI SONG SELECT *
A device used to send MIDI song select messages to external devices, for instance to change patterns on a drum machine.
HW CV INSTRUMENT
Use this device to send notes as CV and gate to an output on your audio interface, to control analog synths, eurorack modules and other hardware.
HW CV OUT
This is a simple device to send a CV signal to an output on your audio interface.
Bitwig Studio 2 can send out MIDI timecode (MTC). In Settings, you can choose to send out MTC through any connected MIDI device, and configure its rate.
* CONTROLLER API IMPROVEMENTS *
We’ve worked on the open controller API to make it more consistent. A new scripting engine gives better performance, and you now get improved and immediate feedback while scripting.
We’ve made lots of enhancements to our existing devices, improving both sound quality and usability. Several devices now include a spectrum analyzer and dynamic display panels. In many devices, we’ve re-organized, re-designed and added new features. With Bitwig Studio 2 we’ve also improved visualization of parameters, movement and signal flow. We invite you to explore the device collection for yourself. Read about some of the highlights below.
Since Bitwig Studio first came out, Polysynth has been our go-to synth for musicians and sound designers. With Bitwig Studio 2, we’ve expanded our Polysynth’s feature set further, by adding several oscillator mix and filter waveshaping modes. These new modes open up new possibilities for sound exploration; adding complex overtones and frequency modulation options to your sound palette.
Furthermore, with improved unison capabilities you can now control the stereo width of the oscillators – and place them individually in the stereo field. We’ve also equipped Polysynth with a sweepable high-pass filter to quickly get rid of unwanted low frequency content and a feedback loop around the filter and amplifier section.
With the new modulation system there’s no need for the three LFOs or expression choosers, you can simply add all the modulators you like.
Now every device now has a Remote Controls panel, where you can assign remote control access to any parameter in the device (or nested in the device chain).
Navigate existing pages or freely set up your own, using different control elements (e.g. knobs, buttons, choosers).
Mappings can now be saved with presets or devices, allowing on-the-fly access to your favorite parameters directly from your hardware controller, when browsing through your library or swapping between devices and tracks.
This powerful and flexible new feature refines and improves the Device Mappings and Macro pages from Bitwig Studio 1.
DYNAMIC DISPLAYS EVERYWHERE
With the overhaul of our device collection, we’ve equipped several devices with spectrum analyzers and dynamic display panels.
FADES AND CROSSFADES
You can now create fades and crossfades for audio clips in the arranger timeline or audio editor. Additionally, you can create fades for audio events inside clips – for truly fast yet flexible editing. Naturally, the curve slopes of all fades can be adjusted.
Easily edit fades by hovering the mouse cursor over clip or event boundaries, and then drag the fade handle when it appears. Crossfades are automatically created when you move clips so they overlap.
In Bitwig Studio 2 you can freely adjust the height of individual tracks in the arranger timeline.
We are happy to announce that we now support the VST3 plug-in standard, including per-note expression and sample accurate automation.
SMART TOOL SWITCHING AND IMPROVED EDITOR WORKFLOW
With Bitwig Studio 2, we’ve improved the efficiency of our tools. You can now achieve many standard tasks without having to swap tools: depending on where you click, you can select multiple objects or time segments, edit fades or zoom and scroll.
Furthermore, the arranger and detail editors now have their own tool selector – enabling you to work with separate tools in the two editors.
Oh, and a small nugget for the note editor aficionados: when using the pen tool, right-clicking a note now deletes it. You’re welcome.
We’re introducing a new notification system, showing different types of messages in a clear, streamlined and non-intrusive format.
The notifications system will tell you when the application is scanning plug-ins or files, if there are problems with your project or if there’s a new version of Bitwig Studio available for download.
You can select to show or hide different types of notifications.
The Dashboard, likely the first new feature you’ll bump into, handles many tasks that were previously available only in menus and other windows – such as locating and opening projects, configuring settings, installing packages and accessing help resources. The Dashboard allows a more sophisticated and user-friendly approach, informed by modern software design paradigms.
Furthermore, we’ve consolidated most configuration settings and included them under the Settings tab in the Dashboard.
NEW MENU SYSTEM
We’ve reworked the menu system extensively. Bitwig Studio 2 now features a context-aware menu system to keep you focused on the task at hand. Depending on your selection, different menus and options will be shown. For instance, when selecting a track, a menu will be shown with all available related actions.
To speed up your workflow even further, you can pin actions so they are always visible in the menu bar.
We’ve also reworked all context menus, to give you quicker access to your favorite commands. All commands are now collected in the menus, and removed from the Inspector to make it less cluttered visually.
Bitwig Studio 2 is available for $399 or for existing customers a discounted $169. Find out more and purchase it here: www.bitwig.com/en/bitwig-studio/bitwig-studio-2.html