Bitwig Studio Update – Release Date, Pricing & Why You Should Check It Out

At the 2014 NAMM Show, we got an update on the state of Bitwig Studio, from Bitwig’s Dominik Wilms. He also discusses some of the technologies that underly the new app, and why he thinks that they give it an advantage over current DAWs. 

The cross platform DAW (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) is created by some of the original developers of Ableton Live. It offers deep multi-core and multi-processor support, built-in 32/64-bit bridging, plugin-crash-protection, multi-display support, the ability to open multiple projects at once, 50 included devices, open controller API and more.

Bitwig Studio, long in beta, will launch on March 26th, 2014. It is priced at US $399/299 Euro for the download version. A boxed version will also be available. A free demo version will also be available.

75 thoughts on “Bitwig Studio Update – Release Date, Pricing & Why You Should Check It Out

        1. I think they confirmed that they wouldn’t use iLok (or similar) keys as they hate them as well. I’m not certain of this though, so take a grain of salt with this.

        2. The fact that it has Linux support means that there will be no iLok.

          Based on the attitude of the company that I’ve seen so far, I bet everything that the copy protection will be hand-rolled, just like everything else they’re doing.

  1. $299 maybe. For $399 it better do something extra special like the self mastering or Melodyne, or something like they pay users for reporting any bugs.

      1. Not really, all those features can be found in other daws. The question is how the workflow is gonna feel at the end. It looks quite complicated already, TBH.

        1. You would be more accurate to say that none of their unique features appeals to you and keep it at that. Saying that all of its features can be found in other DAWs just indicates that you either don’t understand Bitwig’s features or don’t have a very broad understanding of DAWs in general.

          Many of Bitwig’s features – like VST sandboxing – are either unique to it or very unusual to find in a DAW. Others – like Linux/Mac/Windows tri-platform support – are only found in a small number of DAWs.

          If Bitwig’s feature set isn’t useful to you, that’s fine, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing some unique and interesting things. And, if all Bitwig Studio does is give Live some competition, that’s OK with me.

    1. You know, I asked Dom at Bitwig that same question at NAMM. His response was that other companies have been making similar looking software for years (cubase, logic, protools, etc). The fact that no one has attempted to improve on the session and arrangement methodology in Ableton is surprising. He said the legality issue would only arise if they were using any Ableton code, and Bitwig was written from scratch. They feel very comfortable and have no legal concern. I honestly had been looking at the situation from a user-centric point of view rather than a developer. From a dev perspective, he’s spot on. Having spoken with him, I now feel confident that legal issues shouldn’t impede Bitwig’s success and there’s little cause for concern.

      1. Moreover, I’ve made some searches and I’m quite sure that Ableton has not patented the Live GUI..everyone can implement it in a DAW.

  2. Oops, now I’m already waiting for the 2.0 version – opening their plugin system to users could be cool.
    Hoping it will work like Creamware without the hardware!

    1. how many AU exclusives are there out there that are actually worth worrying about?
      i really hope this catches on. i feel the price is a bit steep too but if it actually lives up to hype, flows better than other daws, and builds a dedicated community, it’ll be well worth it.

      1. Price is fair compared to Live Studio, esp when it’s basically got a Max4L built in.

        Apple’s beating everybody with Logic Pro, but they’re trying to sell Macs.

  3. At first y’all was begging for a Release date and couldn’t wait. Now the hate is strong in this thread. Can’t make you ungrateful bastards happy at all. This is a true geeks DAW that even supports LINUX, so best believe AU support & more is coming with future update.

    1. well, i was interested in bitwig way back before Logic Pro X came out when there were rumors that Apple would stop developing Logic so Logic people were looking around at options, but now with Logic Pro X released and even getting a couple point release patches I think for Logic users Bitwig is less relevant. Also the first teaser they did of Bitwig seemed cool at but now that we know more it’s just Ableton with a few little usability tweaks. That’s nice but is it enough to switch DAWs? Not really.

      Also Ableton got big because Skrillex and Deadmau5 used it, the two biggest “EDM” stars in North America. Most kids will buy whatever their heroes use and at this point Bitwig doesn’t seem to have any celebrity endorsements.

        1. When I say “got big” I mean became the average kid on the street’s idea of what “the pros use”. I can certainly remember a time not so long ago when every forum had tons of kids who swore pro-tools was the only “serious” daw because this or that producer, studio or popstar made on album with it, then suddenly around the time “EDM” became a mainstream thing in america suddenly Ableton was “the one” and protools became a thing for old dads recording guitar music.l

  4. well that was last year,
    but now we’ve been teased to death for 2 years
    every other daw has been updated in the meantime
    and if you are a logic user no au support is a no go

    and wow great its crossplattform,
    i have to pay for 2 oses i dont use – great

  5. > that means: hey if you are on logic bitwig will tease you one more year
    that makes 3 year of teasing and 5 years or so of yada yada

    1. yeah, i dislike NIs politics as much as the next guy
      but they put some great stuff out
      and nobody has used bitwig until now who isnt under nda
      so more wait and see in the berlin theater

    1. Do you really want people to tell you how to think?

      Check out the demo when it comes out and decide for yourself if it will help you make music. Not many people look at Live and Logic as either/or, many people I know use both!

  6. Ghehe, so WHY they have no AU support? Because they ‘are still working on it’. Sure, and Jesus will resurrect tomorrow, folks!

  7. Dang, I’m kinda over this. Bitwig looks good and if stable should be interesting…but not at $400 when I’ve already invested in Ableton and Logic. I just don’t really need another DAW right now and I’m trying to justify the price tag when I could put that money towards some hardware I’d like to get. How many DAW’s does one need? Perhaps if I had more disposable income I’d grab it. I think there’s quite a few people in the same position who already have a DAW they are happy enough with. I assume Bitwig will sell OK but I think they got into this market at the wrong time. I doubt there’s a lot of people sitting around saying they need a DAW right now. Perhaps they’d attract first time DAW buyers but the level of complexity doesn’t scream ‘try me’ to a novice, IMO. Ableton doesn’t either, but they started at the right time. The only DAW I’d consider adding at this point is one that would be amazing on an iPad. Perhaps Cubasis? But what I’d like is to see an Ableton or Bitwig on an iPad that transfers projects to your main DAW. I’d also like to see Apple open up their iPad USB functionality to MIDI /audio pass through and ability to use ios apps as AU or VST in your DAW. I’ve always been annoyed that the iPad is ‘locked’ in this regard. I understand that iconnect gets very close to achieving this, but it should just be available on iPad itself. I’d be happy to pay for this direct functionality.

    I think that even if Bitwig is stable, user friendly, and somewhat innovative in wha it offers -it’s probably not going to make a major impact in areas that Ableton already has covered. But, Ableton does not currently have an ios DAW. Bitwig lost a big opportunity to grab new users this way. I think this is the ‘hole’ in Ableton’s armor. I’d probably spring $50 for a BItwig ios friendly app that wasn’t too fiddly. I’d probably have bought it out of intrigue. But, in the standard computer based DAW format, I pretty much have what I need. If anything, at least Ableton has some competition and that will keep them on their toes and competitive.

  8. Yeah…buy a DAW that looks almost exactly like the one you already own. Yawnnn. How can you truly be innovative if you’ve copied almost everything that already exists. I could see if they created the Anti-ableton and if Bitwig was everything Ableton wasn’t it might make sense. But this is kind of a ‘Day late’ scenario and I’m already a dollar short.

  9. This is a day late, and I’m a dollar short. Why would I buy something that looks nearly identical in every way to something I already purchased and use? I can think of better ways to blow my hard earned money. Had Bitwig created the anti-ableton and made me feel as though I needed it or was truly missing out I’d probably take the plunge.

    So yeah. Ableton called and they want their DAW back.

  10. Well, I own Ableton, and I will buy this. It has plenty of features that I’ve wanted in Live for years – multi events in a clip to allow complex arrangement restructuring and alternative arrangements, the native modularity (even in v1) allowing swift construction of complex sounds / effects without a weird overcomplex add-on, it has tabbed sets allowing me to work between several projects, and much more. Now other apps of course have these features, but Live doesn’t, and that my main DAW. For me this has all the benefits of Live with the addition of the features I’ve wanted for years. That means it’s got value for me, because it has features I want presented in a familiar package. So it will be quick for me to learn.

    As for the price? How much is the upgrade from L8 to L9 andwhat does it bring? Upgrading L8 to L9 in euros was €249
    The total price of Bitwig is €299
    That seems a very fair price in comparison

    1. I think it’s too expensive for what it is. It doesn’t really offer any innovation or new radical approach. It has some cool features but that’s not reason enough to invest.

  11. Ive been using Reaper a lot lately, and Live 9 as well… and comparatively there is a HUGE difference in performance regarding CPU usage.. Live uses at least 2x as much cpu, if not more in some cases with certain VSTs. Im able to use many more plugins, and also turn on the highest quality modes and oversampling when using Reaper. Its really put the nails in the coffin for Live in my book.

    If Bitwig has anywhere close to the same level of optimization, then it will probably destroy Live in the marketplace. Stability and performance will be the deciding factors, I bet. I think the extra features arent nearly as big a deal, although it is nice to have them.

    Im ready to see for myself.. I need live performance software environment

    1. I’m with you, I love able ton as an” instrument”, and a composing partner, but its CPU efficiency is horrendous , not to mention the pdc problems they fail to acknowledge… Bigwig looks extremely interesting, but I would really really like to hear from someone outside of its feature set, how it performs with efficiency and pdc….. And I have not heard anything from anyone on this… Anyone else know anything?

    2. “then it will probably destroy Live in the marketplace”.
      Haha. Ableton Live. Truly innovative and revolutionary. Almost a million users. Best artists in the world using it and investing for all these years and making songs with it. 10+ years of tested software. 10 times more manpower than Bitwig. Yeah, sure.

  12. As far as I can tell, the modulation possibilities(and the ease of applying modulation) in Bitwig alone will be a game changer. Sure, you can do this in Live 9 Suite with M4L, but that costs $749 by comparison.

    Beyond that, their controller mapping API is open, meaning that anyone with the skill can write their own controller mapping, while Live’s is closed and hard to use.

    Live is a great tool, but seeing another take on a similar workflow is certainly worth the time it’ll take to demo it.

    1. I don’t have any vsts and if they think i’m going to reinstall every au plugin as a vst to try a demo then they will have to think again.

  13. I’m looking forward to some serious competition between Bitwig and Ableton leading to much-needed improvements on both sides!!

  14. I think I had to pay a large upgrade fee to enable all of Live 8?s built-in instruments, but Bitwig seems to include them in the box, which is nice.

  15. I hoping ableton is taking notes on what bigwig is offering. If ableton doesn’t get some of these (what I would consider essential) features in by alive 10 I’m likely to switch. A simple thing like opening multiple projects or detaching the clip view and using the app multi screen should be a given by the 9th iteration. I think bitwigs automation is done really well. I also *love* how you can see all midi clips on one piano roll. I’ve been wanting something like that for a long time now. Hoping ableton answers back loud to this.

  16. All in all this first version of Bitwig looks like a nice DAW and I’m pleased that it is finally being released so at least that tired topic can end along with all of the speculation and hyperbole. However, being an Ableton Suite user, as it stands I’ve yet to see anything that has given me pause to consider switching from Live.

    It’s nice though that it runs on Linux but in a way that provides a good analogy, as with Ableton vs Bitwig, I’ll stick with the real Unix of OSX and it’s brilliant UI and not bother with the derivative, albeit a nice alternative to Windows which I suppose is analogous to Pro Tools in this comparison.

    1. Well, that’s not obvious. They took so much time (still not there) that they missed great opportunities. They should have released something to lock users into their platform. You simply don’t announce a beta 2 years before you know it’s gonna be ready. What it’s obvious is they are in trouble. Took way too long and revealed all their plans to the competition, which will catch up sooner or later. Ableton already released multimonitor support, as an example.

      1. No matter what their approach, people are going to bitch.

        Look at Ableton – they took the release early approach with Live 8 and they had to put development on hold for three (four?) years as a result because 8 was too buggy for many users.

        Or look at Apple – they didn’t say anything about Logic Pro for so long that people here were speculating that they were killing it off.

        The proof is in the pudding, though! Let’s see if Bitwig delivers when they release this in March!

        1. Some say that the reason why Live 8 was so buggy is precisely because these Bitwig guys left them shortly before the release, with millions of bugs to solve.

          1. actually, pretty much the opposite. a lot of live 8’s issues were because of the folks who left. the bitwig guys are (except for one) bad programmers

            1. Whoa dude… do you work at Ableton or…?

              Can’t think of any other reason why you would say something like this.

              Hearing from the guys at NAMM, the Bitwig developers are doing a pretty amazing thing.

              Consider how much they have been able to achieve for 1.0, with what… 10 people or less?

              Ableton has over 150 people.

              Puts things into perspective. Especially the skill of these developers.

              Personally, I can’t wait to see what these guys have been passionately working on the past few years. You have to be crazy to take on the establishment at this point, or truly believe you can offer something better.

              I don’t think these dudes are crazy 🙂

              1. Their achievement is yet to be seen. Nobody really tested the software yet as real users. After the demo and people really using it, we’ll see. I’m gonna check it out for sure.

              2. I don’t think they are doing a pretty amazing thing because they took way too long. And from I’ve read in beta testers forums, the program lacks lots of basic things as to be considered a professional daw. 5 years it’s a LOT of time. And if it’s true that Ableton has 150 employees, they can crash Bitwig with basically no effort by implementing features faster. How many developers Bitwig has? 4? Those poor guys are gonna sweat blood very soon.

  17. 5 years of development. No AU support. No track groups. No VST multiouts. No comping.
    And this guy trying to sell features coming in version 2.0 when there’s NOT YET a version one. LOL.

    1. Rewire blows.

      MIDI Pipe, MIDI Yoke, and IAC Bus Routing is way better if you learn how to use it.

      You don’t lose functionality of your plugins for either DAW you are syncing.

  18. Over the last moths these guys changed something about this software which I don’t like anymore. It got very complicated. Earlier videos were cleaner. What happened?

    1. They announced a beta which was bullshit. It was actually an alpha of 2 years and they kept adding more and more features. Dunno why they followed this route.

  19. One thing is liking it and another thing is buying it. We’ll see how many people will pay for it. Price is too expensive for a workflow that is more or less like other software. Logic offers lots of amazing stuff for half of that price. It’s not gonna be a easy business for Bitwig, they took way too much time to deliver a product (not yet there) and the competition is gonna catch up sooner or later.

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