Bitwig Studio News – This Video Reminds Us Why We Want A Release Date!

Bitwig has released a new ‘teaser’ video for their upcoming DAW, Bitwig Studio.

In our Winter NAMM Show coverage, we got a Bitwig Studio update, from company rep Dominik Wilms. Wilms gave us a brief overview of the new DAW, which we caught on video. But Wilms also shared with the us some of the concepts behind the Bitwig Studio design, which include baked in modularity.

This new video demo demonstrates the ‘unified modulation system’ in Bitwig Studio. Whether you’re working with macro controls, setting up modulation devices (such as LFOs or envelope followers controlling plug-ins), or just assigning velocity to the filter in our virtual analog synth, assignments are all made using the same approach.

The flexibility of creating patches in the app reminds why we want a Bitwig Studio release date; the new DAW looks deceptively familiar, but is surprisingly deep.

Unfortunately, Bitwig Studio is still in beta and no release date has been announced. At NAMM, they told us that they were aiming for a Summer release, but that they were definitely going to have a release by the end of 2013.

Check out the video demo and let us know what you think!


35 thoughts on “Bitwig Studio News – This Video Reminds Us Why We Want A Release Date!

  1. There’s usually a choice of two reasons why a piece of software is late…

    1. They are doing it right, it takes years of hard work, it then takes years of testing to work out all the bugs. Adding new features, innovating the DAW, etc… and all of it was started from scratch.

    a. Look how plagued with bugs Sonar and Ableton were when they were rushed to release.
    b. A great wine takes time.

    Resolution: Release the information of it’s existence closer to release to avoid stirring up the pot too much.

    2. Poor development team, poor planning and reworking old code to today’s standards.

    a. FL Studio 64 bit.
    b. FL Studio Mac version.

    Resolution: Demo software, study the products forum and research their customer service.

    1. The slow drip of sneak previews is a bit like ‘Chinese water torture’, but it looks like Bitwig is taking their time to release a product that will be solid right out of the gate.

      I’ve seen several comments complaining about ‘delays’ previously, but I don’t think that Bitwig has really ever announced a release date.

  2. Well, the underlying reason for your case (1) is misestimating how long the project will take.

    As a software developer, I’m not convinced this approach of building something very complete, as bitwig seems to be, for 1.0 is a good idea. I think it might be better to “release early, release often,” as each one of these bitwig news stories could have actually generated revenue for them. OTOH, being insulated from your users for a while does lower the stress level on the team. And if your objective is to play catch-up with another product (Ableton of course), then that might change the calculus as well.

    Regardless, good luck to the bitwig team!

  3. Meh, with Logic Pro X and Reason 7 I’m not really in the market for Yet Another DAW…but best of luck with the vaporware I guess…

  4. Great video. I am really looking forward to trying Bitwig out. I am still occassionally tempted to pick up Live 9, but I have held so far. Video’s like this make it easier!

  5. I’m one of developers of Ableton live and unfortunately we have taken these guys to court for plagiarism,so don’t expect Bitwig anytime soon..ableton 9.5 is right around the corner for 199.00 and will include a roland 303 emulator and 12 gigs of fresh drum samples..
    Also a new flanger made by a Chinese gay guy..

  6. plagiarism rofl – nice.

    if they want to do their product some good, they should stop promoting. alltogether. we know – you’ve told us.
    its quite apparent people don’t want more info on something they cant plan on acquiring – and seeing its capabilities is a bit like a car dealer giving you a interior tour of a lambo, then doing donuts around you in the lot. yeah, must be nice.

    its still in beta? thats the most concise update on its current state since it went into beta… the newsletter has been silent since registration – on multiple email accounts.
    makes me wonder if they will bother to announce a new release date before their original goal of summer is surpassed, then 2014.

  7. For me this is bar far the best ‘teaser’ I have seen, and I am beginning to get interested. Trouble is, I have recently updated Ableton Live and bought Pro Tools because I have become bored with Logic, so I can’t justify have another DAW.

    In other words…… this is all too late for me.

    1. Spot on. “Too late” is the key. I’m sure it will be cool software when it arrives, but jumping DAWs every few months isn’t realistic for most of us, especially when it is very similar to one we already have. Bitwig missed several crucial windows, namely the period of time before the upgrade to Live 9, Logic X, the arrival of the Push, and several other noticeable DAW version bumps. As someone mentioned earlier, if they had come out with a less complete option earlier that was priced low enough to be an easy barrier to entry, they would have collected a ton of users along the way, and had them in the upgrade cycle already. As it stands, it looks like they keep playing catch up with external developments, which is never a strong position. Even if they launch with a stunning product, it’s going to be a hard uphill road for them. Seems like their only real market at this point is people who are mad at Ableton (which is a much smaller group than you might think), and those who are interested in experimenting with the Ableton way of doing things but don’t want to spend the premium money. That means they need to be extremely affordable AND have outstanding customer support. Good luck with that. Or they could do something brilliant like offer a six month fully functional “open beta” period to everyone. That could build a ton of users, help squash bugs, and get some people hooked who otherwise might not try it.

      1. Xtopher

        If you watch closely the Bitwig demos, they are not playing catch up to Ableton at all, they are way ahead of Ableton – starting with multiple monitor support and going all the way to Bitwig being a UI for a completely modular system that’s much deeper than Max for Live.

        The app will live or die on its merits, but announcing it early, when there were a lot of people dissatisfied with Ableton, put Bitwig on people’s radar. That timing, and the strengths of the product, have earned the company buzz that would be hard to buy.

        1. The problem is Bitwig doesn’t really have those features either considering it’s just vaporware at this point. Anybody can make a mock-up of a UI and make a little youtube video of it claiming anything. Until it ships it doesn’t exist….and by then what’s to say Ableton doesn’t have all those features as well. Bitwig is bogus.

          1. Your statements make zero sense, because Bitwig has been in a public beta for a while.

            They don’t want to make the same mistake as Ableton,shipping a buggy product and then being forced to take three years to fix all the bugs.

            1. It’s in public beta but there aren’t any videos of it on youtube except from Bitwig themselves? iOS7 is in “public beta” and it’s all over youtube and blogs. Bitwig is nowhere except press releases. It may be in beta but it sure as hell ain’t “public”.

        2. @torgood

          “Bitwig being a UI for a completely modular system that’s much deeper than Max for Live.”

          I think you’re overlooking something important here. Although Max for Live (‘M4L’) provides some instruments and effects which you can use (and which have a distinctive GUI in comparison to Live’s native devices) there is much more to M4l than that.

          Don’t forget that in the end M4l is a complete /programming environment/ embedded within Live, not just a UI. Don’t like the UI of the standard M4l devices? There is nothing stopping you from changing that UI altogether.

          And of course M4l allows you to create instruments and effects which go down to the level of using single oscillator’s and having dozens of ways to modify the sound signal. From standard components such as a normalizer (‘normalize~’) or a compressor (‘omx.comp~’) right down to specific modifiers such as cos~, avg~ right down to bitshift~ (actually being able to modify your digital audio signal on a -binary- level).

          With all due respect but so far I’ve seen nothing which even slightly suggested that Bitwig supports this kind of modularity and flexibility.

          1. Max for Live is a scripting environment tacked onto live.

            Beiwig is built on a cross platform audio environment that’s completely modular.

            They really being pretty conservative in what they show in these videos.

            1. M4l is having years of experienced users and patches available for you to tweak within Live. Bitwig is an unknown system of unknown modularity of unknown capabilities.

  8. They have got to be the worst software company ever considering the way they contine to market their not-for-sale product. Empty promises is all they have to offer.

  9. I think Bitwig is a daughter company from Ableton and therefore this software will be released when LIVE will be considered a dead product ready to be replaced…..Push should be 100% compatible…no information…just personal thoughts….

      1. my 2x on Bitwig opening Ableton projects: IMHO it should.

        While I’d love to be able to seamlessly migrate all of my projects, I reckon that technically (and perhaps even legally) it is very unlikely.

    1. My thoughts too.. considering the original team is a breakaway of Ableton it would surprise if it’s brought into the fold.. Bitwig is likely on shaky legal ground if they standalone..

      The other thought I has is the NI might snap them up, it would compliment their current portfolio very nicely.

      1. “breakaway of Ableton” …it doesn’t mean much…we don’t know who is financing the project, who has big stock options in Ableton…..these informations are possibly public but more than likely are not….

  10. as before: wtf is the holdup?

    it was announced in Jan 2012.. we are coming up on 2 years in development

    the official line of “no release date” just doesnt inspire confidence.. i want to use this software but this makes me think they will take forever to release bug fixes as well, and thats not a good “promotional material”

  11. If the BitWig guys are reading this (and I am sure they are) then take as much time as you need. This video really impressed me as have your other videos. This looks like a great product and I am delighted to see features being added and the attention to detail you are putting in. As others have noted people already use their DAW of choice so it’s not like people are desperate for the release of BitWig so I think the most important thing is to make it stable and give it a new/enhanced workflow designed with openness and creativity in mind. Really looking forward to trying it out. I always felt that Ableton was a kind of semi modular DAW but BitWig looks like it will be even more modular. I hope you keep pushing things down that route. It already looks user friendly and now it is starting to look deep. Really looking forward to try it out – but I can wait 😉

  12. I have mixed feelings here.

    When I look at this trailer then the feeling of an overly-complicated interface comes to mind. First you click on the variable you want to change, then you change that specific variable on a dial? That looks overly complicated to me. Because if you can set 6 different modulation types on one dial; how do you keep track of them all? Click every option to see the value on the dials?

    Now, the next point of criticism is purely personal and is most definitely heavily influenced with my extensive use of both Ableton Live and Reason. But I really think all those “pop-up options” look annoying. Click to open a pop up window to select an effect to add? I’m more of a fan of the static list of effects (Live) or an extra window (Reason). Now, this is also assuming that the window disappears the very moment your mouse leaves the area. Of course I don’t know if that’s true.

    And well, when looking at that trailer I also tend to lose focus. I’m having an hard time trying to follow what they’re doing exactly. Pop up here, click there (thus selecting / activating a certain option) and then dragging a dial. Maybe I’m not paying enough attention, very well possible, but I don’t consider this interface to be very user friendly. Not at first sight anyway.

    Finally, they also show some features which are actually quite common. Not an issue perse; many DAW’s have those, but when you mention something as “Superior modulations” then I expect to see something interesting and somewhat new. With all due respect; I saw nothing which I couldn’t do already. Needless to say but I don’t really agree with the superior part when it comes to their modulation options.

    Now; I’m not saying the whole thing is bad. Nonsense. At the very least it’s good to have more competition in the DAW market; because competition is what keeps companies on their toes and on the edge.

    And perhaps being used to having the power of Max right within my DAW has also spoiled me a little, could be. But I don’t see anything breathtaking here. Most certainly not the “Ableton Live killer” people have been raving about. One of the key assets of Live is its simple interface. You don’t get dozens of hidden pop-up windows or config sections and such. What you see is what you get.

    And that’s something I’m sort of missing out on here. It looks a lot more abstract to me.

    So yeah, I do think that they’ve done a tremendous job so far. The project as a whole looks impressive, there’s no denying that I think. But I simply don’t see a DAW which any Live user would automatically love and embrace. Whether that’s good or bad is something we’ll find out when its finally released.

    But I do share the general opinion above; the longer they wait the harder it gets. Others aren’t sitting still either, and although it seems the market is a bit at rest at the moment I can’t help wonder how long it will take before the Propellerheads will come up with something new.

  13. that is simple

    now they have a solid beta(??) or whatever beta version, now that is the time to announce their product, not 2 years ago when they only had a mockup of the main GUI. That would avoid a lot of jokes and potential consumers frustrated before buy their product due to the missing release date

    (sorry if someone already mentioned that in their comments)

  14. It seems for the frustrated Ableton fans who are frustrated with the Ableton company for varying reasons get a new Bitwig company with their own quirkiness and unusual way of doing things. Seems as of this moment you will be trading weirdness for weirdness. If I’m wrong we win either way:)

    1. This is what I haven’t seen anybody mention yet. Ableton Live is the only reason I still use Windows. Maybe there’ll be more vst’s developed for other platforms too if bitwig takes off.

  15. I am going to boycot this software anyway. If…it ever’ll be released. The joke -as far as I am concerned- is upon them now. As a -possible- customer I’d like to take myself seriously FYI

  16. wow, this looks incredible. this video has me so inspired. I can’t wait to see all their innovations. this software is going to be really special, that much I’m sure of. whenever it comes out it will be a very interesting piece of software.

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