Review: Bitwig Studio Digital Audio Workstation software

After much anticipation, Bitwig Studio, the DAW software that takes Ableton Live’s ball and runs with it, has arrived to reinvigorate your music-making life. This comprehensive music production and performance platform goes heavy on user-friendly workflow features and light on clutter. The whole point is to unleash your musical creativity. But can it hang with the veterans of the industry? Is it just a re-designed Ableton Live copycat? We’ve sweated the details to let you know.

Reviewed: Bitwig Studio 1.0
$399 (free demo available here)   
Available: Now
Supported Audio Formats: WAV, MP3, Ogg, AAC, WMA, FLAC (audio export is WAV-only).
Minimum System Requirements:
Windows: Windows 7 or later, multi-core CPU, 2 GB RAM (8 GB recommended), 5 GB free hard disk space.
Mac: OS 10.7 or later; multi-core, 64-bit CPU; 2 GB RAM (8 GB recommended); 5 GB free hard disk space.
Linux: Ubuntu 12.04 or later; multi-core, 64-bit CPU; 2 GB RAM (8 GB recommended); 5 GB free hard disk space.

The Good: An intelligently flexible user interface built from the ground up for a speedy workflow, intuitiveness, and customization. Integrated clip launcher and arrangement view. Eight mappable Macro controls per device. Unified Modulation System and incredibly powerful nested device chains. Drag-and-drop between open projects. Great bouncing to audio and audio-slicing features. Accurate and simplified audio stretching. Layered editing. Absolute and relative automation. Well-rounded starter set of instruments, effects, and sound material. VST crashes don’t crash the software.

The Bad: Very limited MIDI controller support for users without one of the 18 natively supported controllers or Javascript skills for writing a controller API script. The included sound material collection weighs in on the small side compared to many other DAWs.

The Bottom Line: Bitwig Studio 1.0.5 storms out of the gate to immediately become a heavyweight contender in the crowded DAW space. It looks at Ableton Live and says “anything you can do, I can do better.” Aimed squarely at electronic music producers, performers, and sound designers, it’s a one-stop shop for production that helps you create your musical ideas fast.


After a couple of years of steady teasing, Bitwig Studio, the latest digital audio workstation (DAW) to hit the scene, is now for sale. With a couple key members of the eight-person Bitwig staff having worked at Ableton, and with much of the software’s look and feel noticeably reminiscent of Ableton Live, it’s reasonable to wonder: Is Bitwig Studio just a glorified Live clone? It takes some amount of substantial firsthand experience, but after a few solid days of straight Bitwigging, I can answer with a definitive “not quite.”

Bitwig Studio with the Central Panel in Arrange view.

All DAWs share an enormous amount of common characteristics and workflow conventions, and Bitwig Studio is the first one to successfully borrow heavily from Live’s Session & Arrangement view/clips & tracks/linear & non-linear composition paradigm. However, Bitwig’s creators started from scratch with the goal of creating a program that got out of your way so you could make music as painlessly as possible. It’s the many tangible and not-so-tangible workflow improvements and interface strategies that make working with Bitwig a unique and gratifying experience.

Bitwig borrows many conventions of the Ableton Live style:

  • clip launcher with Scenes
  • its way of handling audio material to Stretch (not Warp) to tempo
  • flexible one-window layout
  • nested devices such as the Drum Machine (not Drum Rack)
  • overall selection and design of instruments and effects.

If that seems like a lot of aping, there’s a lot more going on that helps make Bitwig Studio one of the most exciting new DAWs in a long time, and an extremely robust and full-featured one for a v1.0 product.


The Inspector shows vital info and function shortcuts for the selected element(s)

Like its spiritual predecessor, Bitwig Studio was made for you to record, arrange, improvise, and perform music in any combination, and all at once if you prefer. It accomplishes that with an intelligent, extremely flexible design.

The Header at the top holds your transport controls, timeline display, tool selections, menus, and other options that stay constant regardless of how you modify the remaining space. The Central Panel is always open, but you can toggle it between the three main views – the Arrange Panel (timeline), Mix Panel (mixer and vertical clip launcher), and the Edit Panel for detailed editing of audio, MIDI notes, and automation.

There’s also the Inspector Panel on the left, which holds many functions and details of any selected element in Bitwig; the Access Panel on the right, which includes the Browser, Project management panel, and the Studio I/O setup panel; and the Secondary Panel at the bottom, which toggles between the Device Panel and miniature versions of the Mixer, Automation Editor, and Note Editor.

The main Central Panel has its own viewing options, so you can economize screen space by toggling send effect tracks and track I/O options on and off, and by halving the size of tracks. But it also lets you open a horizontal version of the clip launcher, where clips’ Scenes are launched from the top of columns rather than from the sides of rows. This is to help you quickly drag and drop material to and from the clip launcher to the arrangement timeline, and during composition or performance, let you easily jump from a track playing in the arrangement to a group of clips, and then back to the arrangement tracks at your discretion.

Bitwig with the clip launcher, arrangement and mixer showing.

Those used to the Ableton Live workflow may find it odd at first to have a horizontal clip launcher (remember, a vertical clip launcher also lives in the Mix window), but I found it to be a welcome and useful innovation. I quickly found myself working more than ever in a collaborative fashion between the arrangement and clip launcher, often recording clips in the arrangement and then dragging them to the launcher.

The other bit of simple genius stemming from Bitwig’s layout is that you can have the arrangement and clip launcher viewable in the Central Panel, while the Mixer is in the Secondary Panel. For me, it’s a great ergonomic development over having to tab back and forth from the Arrange View to the mixer in Ableton Live.

For the producers doing it big with dual- or triple-monitor setups, Bitwig has different Display Profiles in its Preferences for dedicating monitors to different combos of the Arrange, Mix, and Edit panels – or one each, if you have three monitors.

As one last note, you can have multiple projects open in Bitwig at once, and even better, you can drag and drop or copy and paste audio and note clips, as well as Devices, from one open project to another.


Browser (split horizontally to show here) with samples and preview on the right column

When doing almost any task in Bitwig, it feels like a small-to-medium-sized burden has been lifted off the work it takes to accomplish the same things in most other DAWs, not just Ableton Live. The Bitwig Browser provides one case in point. It has seven tabs across the top:

  • Devices and Presets: holds the 54 included Bitwig Devices broken into folders for Audio FX, Instruments, Container instruments, etc. Open one, and you’ll see all the available Devices, along with a number of the presets that are available. Then when you click on a Device, you’ll see all the presets in the panel below. Bitwig comes with a wealth of instruments and presets to get you started: 200+ presets for its flagship Polysynth subtractive synthesizer; 100+ drum kits for the Drum Machine; 100+ presets for the Sampler and FM-4 FM synth; and 200+ total presets for the 25 Audio FX Devices. Drag a preset to the Arrange Panel, and Bitwig will set up a new audio or instrument track with the associated device ready to go.
  • Sample: Upon launching Bitwig for the first time, you can download a healthy supply of Bitwig and third-party sample content – almost 5,000 total samples – that the Browser holds under the Samples tab. Drill down to a root folder to see all the samples displayed in the bottom panel; you can preview the samples – either synced to the project tempo or not – straight from the Browser.
  • Multisamples and Clips tabs: show the multisample packages (75) and instrument clips (260) that come with Bitwig’s downloadable content.
  • Files: shows various folders from your computer’s desktop, letting you search your entire file directory for content to import.
  • Configuration: lets you choose locations from your computer’s directory that will show up under the Browser’s Devices, Samples, Multisamples, Music, and/or Clips tabs, making it easy to set up shortcuts in the Browser to any locations where you have VST plug-ins, samples, MIDI clips, etc.


In many ways, Bitwig treats audio and MIDI note material similarly, and makes it so you can almost fluidly move back and forth from both. For starters, you can import both note clips and audio material to the same track, making it a Hybrid track.

You may also end up with a Hybrid track by bouncing a note clip to audio. If you select a note clip, you can convert it to audio by selecting Bounce either from the inspector or from a contextual menu. In the menu, you can bounce it to a new track, or bounce it in place, so it stays in its same location.

Audio files can also be effectively converted to notes. If you right-click an audio clip, you can choose Slice to Drum Machine or Slice to Multisample from the contextual menu. Both functions create slices from the audio file’s Onsets (like transient markers) and load them up into slots of a Drum Machine device or assign them to keyboard notes in a Sampler. The big difference is that in the Sampler, all the slices will go through the same signal chain, whereas every slot in the Drum Machine has its own signal chain.

Whether it’s audio or MIDI notes, all tracks and clips are subject to a similar set of extensive editing features and subject to a robust set of automation features as well.


With either an audio or note clip or track selected, tabbing over to the Edit Panel will show you the full suite of editing features: the Detail Editor Panel, audio or note “expression” values, and the automation section. The audio event and note expression values are parameters that can be set for each individual audio event or note. These include gain, pan, pitch, onsets, and Stretch for audio, and velocity, gain, pan, and timbre for notes.

Bitwig with the Central Panel in Edit view.

You can also make these edits from Secondary Panel Views, or do automation for tracks from the Arrange Panel, but the main Edit Panel is the place to get all those features in one place. Having the Inspector open also helps edit, because it gives you shortcuts to editing functions like duplicate, quantize, legato, reverse, transposition, and halving or doubling clip or note lengths.

Some Bitwig instruments use note velocity and timbre as modulation sources assignable to any parameters within the instrument. Timbre, for example, is a modulation source in the FM-4, Organ, Sampler, and Polysynth instruments.

The Bitwig Histogram editing multiple audio events randomly.

You can get very cool and random variations to timbre and other expression parameters using Bitwig’s Histogram. It can lead to some controlled chaotic results that can be great to spice up a part or to provide modulation for an instrument. With the Inspector open, select multiple notes or audio events in the editor. (For audio, use the Split at Onsets function in the Inspector to generate multiple audio events.) Then, various parameters in the Inspector, such as velocity, pan, pitch, or timbre, will have arrow buttons next to them that open the Histogram. Entering a value for Chaos will randomly vary the expression values for a parameter, and you can then play with the Mean and Spread values while monitoring the results in the Editor panel.

Another awesome twist to note editing in Bitwig comes in the form of Layered Editing. This feature lets you edit the notes of multiple Instrument tracks at once in the same window. That’s very cool for seeing how the tracks relate to each other. You can also show an audio track in the background of the window – not to edit, but as a helpful visual reference.

Bitwig’s layered editing with an audio track as reference.

If you need to Stretch a piece of audio so it plays back in the project’s tempo, the onsets help you place Beat Markers, which then tie the audio to the grid for stretching. The process works very similarly to Warping audio in Ableton Live. When you bring audio into Bitwig, it will either analyze it for tempo or recognize the tempo from the file name if it includes something like “133bpm” in the name. If you know the audio’s tempo, you can input it as well.

There are only three Stretch modes: Stretch and Stretch HD, which both preserve the audio’s original pitch, and Repitch, which treats the audio’s pitch like a vinyl record that’s sped up or slowed down. In my tests, stretched audio that retained the pitch sounded amazing when sped up to 165% of the original tempo and higher. The sound was good when slowed down by a modest amount, but started to introduce some artifacts at about 80% of the original tempo.


Bitwig Studio offers up all the standard automation features you’d expect in a high-level DAW, as well as a couple of nice surprises. You can create automation curves for Mixer functions, any MIDI CC, and for pretty much any parameter for any device placed on the track. You can edit automation from lanes nested under the track in the Arrange Panel, in the Automation Editor secondary panel, or in the Edit Panel. You can draw in automation curves with the Pen tool, create and move curve points with the main Object Selection tool, or record automation by tweaking parameters while recording.

An absolute automation curve modulating a relative automation curve.

One cool feature lets you attach automation to a clip, so that the automation repeats every time you use that clip. But Bitwig’s big automation coup is relative automation. Its two relative automation modes – additive automation and multiplicative automation – respectively move a parameter ±50% of its total range or scales a parameter toward zero. But best of all, you can use all three types of automation on a single parameter. To illustrate an example of what can be done with automation combinations, see this screenshot, where an additive automation curve had a repeating triangle wave shape until it was modulated by a long arcing absolute curve. The result is that the repeating triangle wave now has a slope to it. You can imagine the effect that would have over something like a long filter sweep.


Bitwig Studio makes liberal use of nested devices to become something of a sound designer’s dream. Each one can combine Bitwig’s 9 Instruments and 25 Audio FX with any third-party VST plug-in you have. The most common nested devices in Bitwig Studio, Containers, are utility devices with the primary function of hosting other devices. The various Containers include:

A Drum Machine with a nested Post FX chain.


  • Drum Machine: There are 128 possible device chains in the Drum Machine, one for each MIDI note, each one of which holds a drum synth or sampler, as well as any effects added to them. Sixteen drum slots, or pads, are displayed at a time. In addition, the Drum Machine’s FX button opens up a Post FX device chain, where you can add devices that will affect the summed output of the Drum Machine. In the Mixer, you can unfold a Drum Machine to show sub-mixer channels for each instrument within.
  • FX Layer and Instrument Layer: These devices contains “stacks” of instruments that will be triggered at the same time, or layers of effects that are processed in parallel. Like all other Bitwig devices, these can also be a part of a larger device chain.
  • FX Chain: Similar to an FX Layer, except that the effects are processed in serial.


An XY Instrument followed by and XY Effect and Post FX chain.
  • XY Effect and XY Instrument: These containers load up to four effects or instruments in parallel and let you crossfade their outputs from an XY axis.
  • Mid-Side Split: Splits a stereo signal into its center (mid) and L/R panned (side) components and sends them to an independent signal chain.
  • Multiband FX-2: Splits incoming audio at a definable frequency and sends the signals above and below that frequency to independent signal chains.


The Polysynth with its 7th Macro being assigned.

All of Bitwig’s effect and instrument devices have eight Macro knobs, which use a system for assigning one or more of the device’s parameters to that knob for a specified level of control. The same system is used to assign parameters to the many modulation sources in the Polysynth, FM-4 synth, Sampler, and Organ.

Clicking an arrow button above any Macro knob highlights in blue any parameter that can be assigned to a Macro. From there, you click and drag on any of those parameters to designate the range that the Macro can move the parameter (this way you can confine the Macro to editing the “sweet spot” of any parameter). When finished, click the arrow button again, rename the Macro if you like, and you’re off.

In the same fashion, you can assign any number of internal modulation parameters to the sources of an instrument like the Polysynth, which uses its envelopes, LFOs, Note expressions like velocity and timbre, and incoming mod wheel and aftertouch info from a MIDI keyboard as modulation sources.

As part of its 2.0 update, Bitwig promises to open up its modulation architecture even further to create a native modular device-creation system similar to NI Reaktor or Max MSP.


Bitwig Studio 1.0 natively supports some MIDI controllers with integrated functionality, and it has an open controller scripting API for creating custom mappings. However, you must know Javascript to use the API, and the number of controllers supported natively at launch was only 18, meaning that many users will be confined to Bitwig’s generic MIDI support. With that, you can set eight knobs or sliders on your controller to send MIDI CC# 20-27 to control Macros or other mappable controls. But MIDI support is very basic if you don’t have a supported controller or the know-how to write a controller script.

Supported controllers can make use of Bitwig’s smart adaptable controls: eight color-coded controls that dynamically shift as you move about the program. Certain controllers, like the Nektar Panarama line and some Livid Instruments boxes, offer much deeper integration.


Bitwig recommends some fairly high system requirements, although most computers bought over the last two years should be able to run it. The Linux support should also make that tight-knit and slowly growing community very happy. I tested Bitwig Studio on a nearly two-year-old Apple MacBook Pro with 8 GB RAM, and for the most part, everything went swimmingly. I did experience a couple of instances in which the audio playback got a bit clicky, but admittedly, the CPU was bogged down with many other programs running at the time. The overall sound of the output left nothing to be desired and compared very well against programs like Propellerhead Reason 7, Ableton Live, and Native Instruments Maschine and Traktor.

Bitwig with the Central Panel in Mix view and the Drum Machine track unfolded.

A high-profile innovation, Bitwig’s “sandboxing” feature separates the handling of outside VST plug-ins from the rest of the program’s processes, so that if one of the plug-ins crashes, it doesn’t crash Bitwig or interrupt its flow. Of the dozen or so VST plug-ins I tried inside Bitwig, only one of them crashed, and it did so several times. Happily, the sandboxing feature worked as advertised. When the plug-in crashed, the only effect on the audio or the program itself was as if I simply turned off the plug-in in the device chain. The shell of the crashed plug-in showed an alert that it had crashed, with an option button to reload the plug-in.


For a v1.0 DAW, Bitwig Studio offers one of the most impressive combinations of mature features, innovation, user friendliness, and stability that I’ve seen in 15 years. It really does offer that elusive middle ground between high-level professional features for music production and sound design and an environment in which a novice could catch the music-making bug without being too intimidated.

There are polished touches in Bitwig Studio 1.0.5 that other similar programs don’t have or are just now adding. For example, Bitwig’s Hardware FX and Hardware Instrument Router devices facilitate hooking up external gear through your MIDI and audio interfaces so you can incorporate them in Bitwig device chains. Propellerhead Reason didn’t add that equivalent feature until last year’s v7 update.

There’s definitely more that Bitwig Studio could do to compare to some of the flashiest features in the world of DAWs, and the company has already promised some interesting additions for v2, including:

  • online collaborations
  • a native modular-device creation system similar to Reaktor or Max MSP
  • and network jamming, where several computers can all use Bitwig together over the same network, with a single computer sending the summed audio to a set of speakers.

However, there’s no open-and-shut case as to whether Ableton Live or other DAW users should immediately switch to Bitwig Studio. If you’re happy with what you’ve got, there’s always something to be said for knowing your system so well that it becomes an extension of your own body and mind. And your current software may only be a version away from incorporating features that you want. When considering cost, Bitwig Studio’s $399 is less than Ableton Live 9 Suite ($749), more than Apple Logic Pro X ($199), and it includes an excellent array of devices and sound materials, but still less than either of those other two programs.

Personally, if I could only use Bitwig Studio as my DAW from here on, I’d be happy, but I’d also want to buy a new MIDI controller with deep Bitwig integration and an additional collection of compatible soundware to round out what I would be missing from Live 9 Suite, which is a big overall expenditure. Because Bitwig Studio is so new, it doesn’t have the same MIDI controller support or giant user community that other established DAWs have yet. But for new or experienced producers who don’t mind those caveats, I’d recommend Bitwig Studio in a heartbeat.

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Comments (56)
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  • ???? ????

    I’m not jumping off the Logic wagon yet. Bigwig looks promising, but it has also just been released to the public. I don’t expect magical things..

    It looks to me like a combination of Traktor Pro (dark grey with orange), Cubase and Logic for the browser and other functions, and Ableton for the arrangement. It could use some visual refinements, and support for more controllers and maybe plugins. That’s of course usually what happens when your programme is in its infancy stages. I think they’re personally charging double of what they should.

    I like the Linux integration, and it’s a great thing for someone with limited financial resources because your DAW is going to be the least expensive piece of software in your production toolbox most of the time. I on the other hand am using all Apple stuff now and since OSX is free bsd, I feel no need to download Ubuntu or some other distro (even though the idea sounds amasing because audacity to me is audacious) simply to see how this works on it.

    It’s a good thing there’s a demo version.

  • adomb

    when you start using it after ableton is a pleasure and the workflow is faster!it doesen,t suport au BUT it support 32 bit vst! my old keyboard with knob work just perfect and even the mapping is faster!

    and can apply th effect only at the effect is soooo crazy!we gonna hear some crazy thing from people using it!if you are happy ableton user switch now and you gonna be an in love bitwig user!

  • Stormshadow

    Does anybody know how the audio engines of these 2 DAWs compare? I mean as much as I use and love Live, there seems to be a slight “coloring” when recording outboard audio signal. Is Bitwig’s sound rendering more transparent or about the same?

  • Anselm

    The upcoming features of something like Reaktor/Max4Live and features for co-producing make it worth considering to support the company with a purchase now.
    The attention to stability, better latency compensation, overall attention to detail and many smart ideas already present in Bitwig 1.0 should give you an idea that the upcomming features will be as useful.

    • Juicy Jane

      i’m not gonna give em money for a 50% product so they have extra money to make it better… lets assume Bitwig is a car would you still buy a half finished car ? with a promise that it will be better soon but when this is you dont know.

  • J Williams

    Downloading the demo today, I will give it a try. But I will not buy it until some of those important features are added(Rewire, AU support etc.). Never buy the first version. You are paying Bitwig to be a beta testers. Hopefully it can take off to give Ableton/ FL studios some more competition which equals wins for the consumers.

  • RDiiO

    Another overhyped review attempting to sell people on the overhyped Bitwig, it’s amazing how now all of a sudden Ableton is so limited and the DAW of the future is here in Bitwig, PLEASE STOP….Even with all the bells and whistles of Bitwig, Ableton is still light years ahead of Bitwig and it would be foolish to switch to a DAW that’s still in beta testing and releasing updates to fix things that should have been fixed over the two years that had to develop.

    Bottom line it’s over hyped and over priced, don’t waste your money.

    Here is a honest review of Bitwig Studio

    • Perla

      Agree. Only and idiot with no idea about music software could buy a software that doesn’t even work as expected.

      • J Williams

        I like and use Ableton on some projects but its not the best and most useful DAW in world. Still in its 9th incarnation, its still has bugs. Ableton is great for EDM, b/c a lot of its users also use it for performances. But, if you are creating music using all generes, I think DAWs like FL Studios, Logic and Cubase are more useful than Ableton

    • pickmynose

      it doesn’t matter what you think… who gives a s_&!!! to each his own… you like ableton, then stick with it… I like Bitwig – thats what I will stick with… idiot!

      • RDiiO

        If what I said didn’t matter to you then you wouldn’t have responded sounding like a idiot on a opinion based board full of comments of duh OPINIONS…..Now go “pickyournose” and go make some music indicative of your troll comments

  • Juicy Jane

    I think the price is way 2 high… why should i buy this “beta” product if i can get Ableton Live for the same price. if it was like 50% off i would think about it but now i just see a ableton live clone that cost the same 😀 not that im not downloading the demo. coz i give everyone a fair change 😀

  • Delia

    It looks pretty great but it has serious workflow showstoppers. I would wait at least a year to see if they can catch up with the missing stuff. Considering that they had a beta phase of 2 years and then released the product full of serious bugs, I can only assume they were in trouble and had to release it as it is. This market is a bitch and buzz doesn’t cut it. I’m not investing in their software until it’s pretty sure they can stay in business.

  • Theo

    Great review, but you forgot to mention that the program’s quality is pretty horrible. It’s not a full version yet, it’s still beta.

    • Theo

      It’s already 1.0.6 and it’s still broken everywhere.

      • Markkus Rovito

        I take your word for it. I used it for about 4 days straight for this review, and more after that, and I haven’t experienced any bugs. Of course it sounds like many people are having problems. If you want to give any details, and what system you’re using, I think the readers would be interested. Many thanks.

  • NKT

    Layered Editing has been a feature in FL Studio for a while now. It’s called Ghost Notes, you can also put an audio file behind your midi piano roll to assist with lining up notes with audio events. Seems like the Bitwig team took a little bit of everything lol

    • Markkus Rovito

      You’re absolutely right, but everyone borrows things in the software business.

  • Roguesy

    The big question is, What is this adding? What is the point of copying Ableton Live, when you’re not adding any extra value as an alternative, especially when this also lacks key features?

    • Jack g

      You can find out what Bitwig is adding by reading the article above!

      • Juicy Jane

        Jack you can still be nice and just answer the question! you don’t need to be a dick about it.

      • Roguesy

        I read the article above and it doesn’t seem to be adding anything dooosh.

  • calgarc

    linux version 0_0… this will not get to leave ableton, seeing as it already does what i need, no point fixing what ain’t broken. but i would still try it on linux 😀

  • Josie

    It’s definitely great but no rewire, no midi export, no AU usage, note
    expression only works with it’s instruments, midi controllers as you
    said (JAVA not) and some of the tools look cartoonish but I have to say
    it’s workflow is fantastic and the DAW is lots of fun to use if all
    those other things are implemented I can see it winning faster.

    • Dan White

      Yeah, it’s still missing a few key features – but for 1.0 release, not bad!

      • Rolex

        It’s not only missing features and very obvious stuff. The program is BETA and they are selling as a full release. It has loads of problems everywhere after 2 years of beta test (???)

          • Rolex

            Yes, I read it and it’s bollocks. Now they have all that amount of people flooding them with reports because the software is still beta. What you see today is nothing but a paid public beta testing. Not even the audio, a crucial part of the software, seems to work properly.

          • Markkus Rovito

            I haven’t had any audio problems; sorry to hear that you and others are. If you care to share some of the problems you’re having and whether you’re on Mac, PC or Linux, I and I think the readers would appreciate it.

  • Sin Sentido Comun

    This review is quite biased since it fails to adress big shortcomings: lack of midi routing, unable to resize mixer, no midi export, demo very limited, no multi audio outs for multi timbral VST, …

    • sammsousa

      no multi audio outs?? lol that is bad hahah
      i think bitwig is just way too overhyped at the moment, because nobody was shure if it would even come out… it might be a great software, and specially good for somebody starting out who wont miss any of those things, but for anybody that is not starting out, it seems like there are just still too many things missing…

      just like any other brand new software…give it some time! nerds will try it out anyway, give improvement tips, then they still gotta program everything in…release an update…im shure most of the readers use cracked software anyway, so until it gets cracked will also take more time…so basicly yeah, ppl should just wait (!!!)

  • midiman

    i thought bitwig was something simple to use like ableton with more advanced features but its not. after trying the demo i am a little bit confused. lots of nice features for sure but not easy to use. in ableton everything is one click away and everything is build logicaly. bitwig trys everything but in my opinion it fails..

    • Markkus Rovito

      That’s a totally valid opinion, but I actually did find it to be easier than Ableton, and I’ve been using Live on and off since version 1.

      • mandel

        It can’t be easier that Ableton because the workflow is carbon-copied from Ableton. And here’s the problem: they didn’t copy it 100%, so there are obvious things that were seriously overlooked.

    • retro

      midiman, I fully agree. Live design is excellent, it has a very clear vision. Bitwig tries to integrate lots of different things but it’s not very well curated and unified. They advertise a superior workflow but it actually has a lot of conceptual holes and inconsistencies. As an example, you don’t have swap buttons for sampler and drum machine, which means you have to drag miles every time you need to replace a sample. It’s annoying as hell and it slows you down. That’s a workflow step back and a clear show stopper. And there are more things that are really not well thought. small details that make a huge difference when you use the software.

  • Alex V

    Great review, I see some features in there that I didn’t even know about (like modulating a modulator). And the interface looks amazing. The upcoming native modular system looks really useful too, I have always felt that Max4Live is not well integrated. I have a feeling that these guys are going to eat Ableton’s lunch in the near future.

    • lorelei

      “I have a feeling that these guys are going to eat Ableton’s lunch in the near future”. Haha. Bitwig: 5 years of work and unable to deliver a finished software to the market (No undos for VSTs!!!!!!!!! along many other design flaws). Ableton is full of really smart people who knows how to design software and have 5 times more developers. Haha, keep dreaming.

      • Rocket lord

        ^ ableton no. 1 fan.

  • VSTL

    I’m aware that Bitwig may fall short of many things, MIDI, Rewire, AU, etc… However it’s done so many things right. I really appreciate that they took the time to code a new software from scratch that may be a better fit for some people like myself. Sure, I’d love all the bells and whistles, but they really accomplished something and created a real contender in the market. It changes the way I make music. I find myself laying down more tracks than normal and working on longer sessions because it is intuitive and it is quick. It’s something they done right. And I’m one happy camper. I know it may not be for everyone, but it is surely for me. It’s such a fresh breath of air to the stagnant DAW market. Maybe slim on features, but what’s there is done right.

  • David Schroeter

    Anyone know if MP3s are decoded to .wav in the background like Live or are they decoded on the fly?

      • David Schroeter

        Thanks, yeah, I asked about a week ago, no response. Someone smarter than me could probably monitor their system when they load an mp3 and see if a new temp file pops up. I checked by name and there’s no wav file named the same … would make Bitwig a more viable DJ setup for me than Live due to space issues.

        • Markkus Rovito

          Paging someone smarter than us!

          • Juicy Jane


        • Lobie

          Couldn’t you just load up a bunch of MP3s (like a few DJ sets maybe) and see if the amount of free space you have available on your HDD/SSD changes? Finding the decoded file itself shouldn’t be necessary if space if your concern.

          • David Schroeter

            Hey, thanks for bringing this back up – I got a response from Bitwig that they do decompress to wav, but unlike Ableton the files are in a randomly named file/folder structure, so they are tough to find. Hope this helps someone!

  • ? ??

    fuck this shit … give me another ableton Live!

  • killmedj

    No rewire is my biggest bugbear. it’s an essential part of my work flow, and it feels a bit arrogant of them to just leave it off, not to mention the lack of AU support. I was really looking forward to Bitwig but those 2 omissions really sucked my enthusiasm for it.

    • Markkus Rovito

      It’s true, those omissions will really stymie you if you rely on them, but I don’t think there’s ever been a 1.0 DAW that included the kitchen sink. Bitwig is a tiny company, and it will probably start out as a niche product until it has time to develop.

      • killmedj

        Yeah that a really good point. It is very early days.
        I think as far as rewire is concerned they have made the point that they have “no intention” to include it. I realise there’s other ways of doing it with jack connector etc bit it’s really not the same deal.
        But…. Like you say this is a 1.0 DAW. and I get the feeling I may be missing the point of Bitwig by trying to use it as new version Ableton.
        It’s definitely it’s own animal.

        • Markkus Rovito

          “No intention” for ReWire? That does suck, especially because the Nektar Panarama line of controllers are some of the only ones with deep integration for both Bitwig and Reason right now. Bitwig ReWired with Reason using a Panarama would be a killer setup. I hope they change their minds; basically everyone supports ReWire.

      • Juicy Jane

        The problem with this is it feels like the game industry. asking full prices for a beta product. ill wait till it is in sale 😉

  • Thomas Bekaert

    What about create groups of tracks? This is the feature I miss the most.

    • killmedj

      I think all audio can be routed to any track, meaning any track can be a bus or an aux.

      • Markkus Rovito

        You are correct, sir.