Ahead of the 2018 NAMM Show, Bitwig has announced Bitwig Studio 2.3, an update that brings a new phase manipulation synthesizer, time signature changes, expanded device view, and much more.
Here’s an overview of the key new features in version 2.3:
Phase-4 – a four-oscillator synthesizer, powered by phase modulation and phase distortion. Drawing inspiration from legendary digital synths like Yamaha’s DX7 and Casio’s CZ series, Phase-4 is capable of vintage sounds, but it goes further, greatly expanding these phase manipulation concepts. At the heart of the stereo oscillators in Phase-4 is a sine wave that can be shaped by five different phase distortion algorithms. Each oscillator can also be phase-modulated, by itself and by the other three oscillators, producing a vast range of possible sounds and timbres. This combination of phase distortion and phase modulation – phase manipulation – brings Phase-4. The oscillators can also manipulate the built-in filter section, for ‘crisp and edgy textures’.
Expanded Device View – Panoramic view and controls are now available for seven devices: EQ-5, FM-4, Phase-4, Polysynth, Resonator Bank, Sampler, and Spectrum Analyzer. Also available as a detached floating window, the Expanded Device View enhances the connection, understanding, and control of each device.
Time Signature Changes – With Bitwig Studio 2.3, you can now add time signature markers in your arranger timeline, and the timeline grid will be updated accordingly. Time signature changes will be included when exporting or importing MIDI files. You can now also set time signature properties for clips, offering a flexible note grid to satisfy your musical needs. You can even set a time signature for a master clip in the clip launcher, using it to change or record time signature changes on the fly.
New and Improved Time-stretching – Bitwig Studio has received a generous boost in the time-stretching department, by licensing the Elastique algorithms from zplane. Bitwig’s own Stretch and Stretch HD algorithms have also been improved, and there are two new ones: Slice, which slices audio at onsets, and Cyclic, a touch of retro-stretching inspired by early hardware samplers.
Instrument & Effect Selectors – The Instrument Selector and Effect Selector are exclusive layer devices. Only one layer can be played at a time, and the other layers are inactive to both your ears and your processor’s load. These devices are excellent for live use, particularly for swapping between patches and sounds — and not overloading your system in the act. They can also be used as multi-effects, permitting modulation and automated switching between layers.
You can freely switch between layers without hard breaks or clicks, and your sustained notes and reverb tails will fade away naturally. Furthermore, the Remote Controls follow your selection in a dynamic and predictable way.
Voice Stacking – The update introduces voice stacking for a selection of internal instruments, opening up new sound design possibilities.
New Modulator: Voice Stack – The Voice Stack modulator can be used in conjunction with voice stacking for detailed mapping control of each voice in the stack.
Sound Content Update – This preset collection covers the new synthesizer, Phase-4, and voice stacks but also includes new sounds and presets for existing instruments and effects.
Pricing and Availability
Bitwig says that Bitwig Studio 2.3 will start beta testing ‘soon’. All owners of Bitwig Studio 2 will have access to the Bitwig Studio 2.3 Beta in their user account. The release of Bitwig Studio 2.3 is planned for End of February, 2018. Bitwig Studio is available for US $399/379 EUR.