Bitwig Studio Update

At the 2013 NAMM Show, we got an update on the state of Bitwig Studio, from Bitwig’s Dominik Wilms.

Bitwig Studio is a new performance-oriented DAW, created by some of the original developers of Ableton Live.

Wilms gave us a quick tour of Bitwig Studio, which is currently in beta testing. While Bitwig Studio features some concepts that will be familiar to users of Ableton Live, it offers many unique features, too. These include:

  • a streamlined user interface
  • multi-screen support
  • an Arranger Clip Launcher
  • 64-bit support
  • multi-document support and
  • an open API for programming controller support.

In addition to the features discussed in the video, Bitwig Studio has many ‘under the hood’ features that could prove to be very interesting:

  • They aren’t coding three different versions of Bitwig. instead, they created a new audio programming platform that runs on Linux, Mac & Windows, and are programming it once, to run on all three platforms. 
  • All devices are modular. In version 1, this will mean that you can embed one device in another. in version 2, though, you will be able to edit any device or create your own devices.
  • It’s designed to be a multi-user, networked platform. This will allow things like multiple users jamming in one document, or collaborations over the Internet.

The release date for Bitwig Studio is set for Summer 2013.

31 thoughts on “Bitwig Studio Update

  1. This is the remedy for my insanity now how do I justify keeping Maschine and Live 9 with Push or even Tracktion? Gosh this going to be a tough summer

  2. I’m a live 8 suite and M4L user, currently testing live 9. There is no doubt hat BitWig will be a commercial challenge to Ableton, they have clearly taken the basic Live workflow and the added every singe user request for the last 5 years (we can’t even get them to add duel screen for 9!) – I think Ableton have been bogged down with rewriting legacy code to 64 bit (sometimes it really is easier to start from nothing!) and it may be very difficult for Live to match BitWig in terms of workflow- Live is what it is… That said, Live 9 is still great, it’s prett stable in beta 64 bit and I love Max (also 64bit) so wont be rushing to change, but like most people, I will be trying he BitWig demo when it comes out!!!

  3. Looking really good, and by the way I watched this presenter in other video and he was so uptight that the product itself looked not that good, but now he’s a little bit more relaxed and the explanation of bitwig is now much better.

  4. This is the successor to Ableton Live – as long as they can deliver on the promise of their plans.

    People are going to call it vaporware until it is released, but Bitwig is smart to not release it until it will wow people.

  5. It’s all going to come down to price. They missed the launch window to beat live 9, which will be a bigger deal than many people expect. Bigwig would need to be rock solid, over deliver, and still be around $200 to even stand a chance. Even then it will be an uphill climb. I wouldn’t expect any real traction until version 2.0.

  6. I love Ableton Live, I am beta testing 9, and I have already bought my upgrade to 9.
    I have been following the bitwig project for almost 3 years now.
    Bitwig keeps looking better and better, with every update.
    I love how they are into the little things workflow, and are not taking strange stands (i.e. single monitor)
    If they keep pushing forward in this way and prove that stability is valuable, it’s only a matter of time before they dominate the market.

    1. I think Ableton have pretty much made a stand on Live being a tool for a laptop (DJ, performer etc.) rather than a studio DAW. BITWIG Certtianly looks more like a DAW, more Live should stay in their niche….

        1. lolWAT
          if Live isn’t performance friendly to you… then what IS?
          Hell, it was built for performance first and production second. Certainly over the years it’s evolved to have strong production capability as well, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that it’s not performance friendly.
          It’s so open, there are so many ways to do any given thing, even really crazy shit with some creative work…
          So what do you find performance friendly, then?

  7. Interesting, but will the price be right, or will they get full of themselves and charge near the ridiculous asking price for Live?

  8. I’m a dedicated Live user, and all those features are pretty nice additions. However, the one that is huge, I think, is the open API. I’ve been a professional Maya user since 2000 in animation production, and the open API is one of the key features that has kept Maya at the forefront. A few studios I worked at considered switching to other packages, but always stuck with Maya due to it’s openness.

    I know it’s like comparing apples to oranges in this instance, but, uh, they’re like, uh, both fruit. Anyway, I think the future Bitwig community will be a rich one due to the open API. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on it.

    1. at least they are sharing their thoughts about an open API, instead of Live that treats Live API as a “hack” but probably the Push controller uses some aspects of the Live API (just a guess)

      1. …or use M4L as some sort of excuse/side-step to a real, open API. Don’t get me wrong, I think M4L is great, and there are things it (and regular Max) will always be good for. But whipping up your own control surfaces has been such a pain, I gave up on it. Last I bothered to check, sophisticated clip navigation and triggering still needs to be done by hacking together a control script, and M4L just doesn’t give you the same results.

        In the age of arduinos, raspberry pis, iPads, OSC, creative coding frameworks like Processing and openFrameworks, and on and on… that’s just not going to fly, plain and simple. The fact that they’ve gotten as far as they have is impressive. But it’s time to give up the closed, hacky, “APC40” approach to DAW design and customization. ESPECIALLY if you’re trying to get people to use it in a live performance scenario. People want a solution that works for their needs. Let them build it. Open the API and make it easy to work with!

  9. Thanks for the great update! I’m very psyched for this to be released!

    Also – I like that they didn’t have a slick presenter, but somebody that really knows the product inside and out. Geeks rule!

  10. $2.99 in the app store would make me definitely ignore the investment Ive made for ableton live already. New DAWs and new VSTs are not going to make me be more creative.. Ive switched to hardware only and can do the same thing as Ableton live for the most part.. and now I realize it doesnt matter how much better Bitwig will be… Cause it does have some workflow bonus features.. but its still making music with a mouse… which my EARS LOVE… but my soul does not.. Circklon now has 64 channels and unlimited bars.. so I hope Bitwig definitely makes it.. but I definitely wont be jumping onto that ship no matter how good it is

  11. Yeah yeah, great features and all… but the simple fact that Bitwig is not telling anyone a release date or price is just plain stupid business. Live is on sale right now making the upgrade from 7/8 to 9 worth while (although I do think it should be even cheaper for what we’re actually getting..) as well as new users getting a nice discount… so Bitwig is missing out on tens of thousands of customers (and actually pissing off a lot of people by offering beta test and then not giving any out and now keeping silent about release/price etc.). I know plenty of producers that stayed on Live 7 because 8 has had so many problems, so with this upgrade (which apparently fixes most/all those issues) and current sale they must decide to either wait for Bitwig to announce details (“sometime this summer” is the only information I have been able to find) or reinvest in Live for the next couple of years. Personally, as a “pro” producer regularly putting out songs on major labels, I’m too busy to bother with these games and/or learning a totally new DAW when THEY want me to… so if I buy Live now, I wont even consider Bitwig for at least another year or two at the earliest, if ever again. Not buying Live now and waiting until summer only to find out Bitwig release will be fall, winter or a NAMM 2014, could cost us a few hundred dollars. No matter how much, I don’t like people playing games with my money. Bitwig should (if they were smart about it) offer pre-release sales NOW so that people on the fence can make a better informed decision. Otherwise, piss off! Stop promising beta’s, or even talking about it and wait until its actually ready to release before saying one damn word!!!!!!

  12. beta testing is what, a year in? i saw full color ad’s for bitwig almost two years ago? all that money to hype up somthing that hasent changed or seem to developed any futher than the original demo vids from Jan 2012 ‘announcing’ its development. and their booth at namm ’12 that… hmm, had the same beta doing the same thing as this years. they have put original plans on hold, or straight to the chopping block (that could be considered development…)

    the newsletter has also been silent for the past year – completly. ive signed up on 3 different addresses thinking it was an error or a spam issue. no avail. dosent seem like they are doing much but hyping to those who possibly havent heard of it yet? toss an estimate out. are you guys after $1k for this? or more like $100? how is beta testing even going? one year in and not a peep? be honest, if you have a years worth of work (or more) then you can probably safely take down all the flashy “COMING SOON” banners (for your own good). very hard to try to keep interest with something that dosent seem to be changing or even like, happening – yet they sure can (and definatly do) advertise.

  13. i am very interested about this software, for several reasons, but the biggest one its
    the fact that for the first time it seems that an app apears to be solid into pattern sequencing and linear at same time…

    and they really did it with a small GUI trick, wich basicly splits the view into 2, instead of having 2 windows like ableton, this makes a huge diference on workflow, because you can build a destroy very fast, you can work on a track with a totaly diferent aproach

    i always were a fan of pattern sequencing, since i use mostly flstudio, i only own a live 7 license for gig´s, but this is indeed looking very good…

    the modular system seems really promission as long as the vst anti-crash… the only thing i am still not convinced because i never used it… and i will need to wait its about the engine quality…

    i am not at all a fan of the audio quality from ableton live, compared to other daw´s… it suites me for live performance, but it never makes me happy on my studio, reverb, delay tales always seem undetailed somehow, like the software had a filter or something in the processing in order to make it light being more into performance then for the quality

    i also now there is an “hi-quality” mode, but even on that i stilll notice a downgrade on detail, i hope bitwig came with better sound quality at least,

    1. Bitwig uses ‘sandboxing’ with VSTs. This means that if your VST crashes, your session will not crash, you will only loose that VST.

      1. This would all be great IF there was finally an actual product in the marketplace.

        Bitwig is gonna need to walk on water to overcome the cynicism that will greet its eventual (we hope) release.
        And how will potential buyers feel about the reliability in terms of product life and timely bug fixes/updates from a company who miscalculated its initial launch date so badly?

  14. With Push ableton has something huge now, the sound, the synths it is really hard to beat.

    Bitwig has to do something bigger than just come out of beta.

    1. How is Push something huge? It just looks like a controller to me. One with very tight DAW integration, but just a controller nonetheless. In fact, Bitwig’s open javascript API will allow tight integration with MANY of the controllers on the market, probably including Push, unless Ableton decide to be dicks about it and use some sort of encryption scheme. As for the sounds and the synths, anyone with experience will tell you that Ableton’s sound quality is at least slightly inferior to other DAW’s.

      Bitwig has to do something bigger than just come out of beta? Excuse me, but what about EVERYTHING that Bitwig has announced? Native modular system, arranger clip launcher, hybrid tracks, per note automation, layered editing, tabbed sessions, multi-monitor support, and nested devices with wet/feedback effect slots (which provide insane routing possibilities that a lot of people have been overlooking). All of these are things that I have wanted from Ableton for years. But who cares, Ableton has a glorified controller, a new compressor (which is already available as a VST), and curved automations that were so hard to code that it took them 10 years to do so (despite the fact that Bitwig will have them from the get go).

      I don’t need new marketing devices, I need improved workflow and the features that Ableton users have been asking for repeatedly for years. Ableton ignored those requests, Bitwig didn’t. For me, the winner is clear, and Ableton 8 will continue to barely work well enough for me until Bitwig is released.

      1. Toc 341305: Comeon, you can’t be serious. Announce just doesn’t mean this can be implemented in real world and without bugs. You can announce you can fly to Mars! So what?
        Bitwig will beat Ableton? We’ll see. Software programming of DAW is a huge challenge. Belive me, I’m a programmer for past 15 years. It’s too early and too naive to say that Bitwig is already a winner. Ableton had 10 year to refine product, support, development process etc. Yes, they didn’t implement everything they’ve been asked for. Having 130 employees! And what about Bitwig start up team? Do you really believe a small group can quickly react at all users requests and produce rock-solid code?

  15. Hi Musicians,

    not to mention the fundamental issues with live in terms of PDC, metering and automation Plugin Delay Compensation. This is my number1 issue here that is preventing me from using live as a DAW.
    It is also one of the Prio1 topics present on forums for 3 years now.
    While i got confirmation in 2009 from ableton that it should have been fixed with the next release, what they did is simply nothing, the explanation is that “it’s too complicated”… Well… Good reason…
    Also they claim it’s not a bug but a missing feature.
    After people found out about the issue before years and pushed ableton, it found a way into the manual. One of the few high price DAWs that cannot interact with Plugins correctly.

    I will be the N1 getting onto the bitwig train if the software works as promised. Selling Live and buying Bitwig should not be an expensive thing, unless the market is flooded by people that are unhappy using it as DAW. 😉

    Anybody interested in Live8 Suite incl. 50€ voucher?


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