Bitwig has announced Bitwig Studio 4, a major update to their DAW for macOS & Windows.
Bitwig Studio 4 focuses on ‘new musical timelines’, including comping for audio clips, both in the Clip Launcher and the Arranger; a new set of Operators, for changing the chance, recurrence, and more of any note or audio event; Random Spread for any expression point (like per-note pitch, or audio panning); and Native Apple Silicon support on Mac, even allowing Intel and ARM plug-ins to work side-by-side.
Here’s what’s new in Bitwig Studio 4:
Each take is given its own color so from the first swipe of a take lane, the sources are clear. To swap in a different take, just tap it. Then press the up or down arrow to cycle thru the other takes. From the composite lane, move a boundary by clicking, adjust gain by dragging, or fix timing by sliding.
Operators include four modes, which can be used individually or in any combination:
Chance makes each event more or less likely.
Repeats allow each event to retrigger at a set rate, or just divide the note length into any number of pieces. Yes, you can ramp the timing of these (and the velocities for note repeats). And a Slice at Repeats option is available to print out the individual events.
Occurrence sets conditions for each event, like: Is this the first loop of the clip or not? Is the performance-control Fill button turned on? Or did the previous event play, or was it silent?
Recurrence thinks of each event as its own looping timeline. So pick a cycle length (say, every four loops of the clip), and then check-off whether the event plays on each of those four passes.
The combination lets you do things like create a steady stream of 16th notes, each with a 50% chance, or connecting two notes so that either the first one plays or the second, but never both.
Bitwig’s engine uniquely allows expression automation for notes and audio. You can give note velocities randomization, and you can also give each piece of a chord its own panning. Or create a note that starts in tune and then drifts to a random pitch. Or give each slice of an audio clip a slightly randomized gain.
Native on Apple Silicon
Bitwig Studio now runs natively on Apple Silicon, and your Intel and ARM VSTs can live alongside each other. Bitwig Studio has alway hosted plugins separately from the DAW. Now this means you can mix VST architectures as well, and just as safely.
- Bitwig Studio is now localized in Chinese, Japanese, and German. The interface remains the same, but functions, labels, and in-app documentation — including the Interactive Help for our 300+ devices and modules — can be displayed in any of these languages.
- Improved export options, including lossless formats (WAV & FLAC), familiar lossy options (OGG & MP3), and a new contender (OPUS).
- You can now import data from your FL Studio (FLP) and Ableton Live (ALS) files into Bitwig. Your clips and arrangements should make it over pretty cleanly, as well as VST plug-ins. If you are coming from Auxy, you can now export your work directly as a Bitwig Studio project.
- Content sliding (and gain handles for audio) is available directly at the clip and event level with visual handles that appear while you work.
- Waveforms are now shown in a Perceptual scale (or switch back to Linear in the Dashboard).
- Grid and Polymer filters have a smoother response now for extreme resonance and modulation cases.
Pricing and Availability
The Bitwig Studio 4 Beta is available now. Everyone with an active Bitwig Studio upgrade plan has access.
The official Bitwig Studio 4 release is planned for the end of Q2/early Q3. It is a free upgrade to everyone with an active Upgrade Plan for Bitwig Studio. All new features except comping are also part of Bitwig Studio 16-Track and 8-Track.