Bitwig - Up Close and Personal

We chat to one of the development team      20/07/12

VST Only

Right now, alongside the internal effects and instruments, the only supported plug-in format is VST,  which is 64 bit from the get-go by the way with internal 32-bit bridging for full compatibility. VST’s are also run in a sandboxed memory which means any VST plug-in crashes will not take down the whole session. While this single format support may sound like a limitation, it makes quite a lot of sense. Bitiwg is written using a system which allows the codebase to compile for Windows, OS X and Linux from a single build. The idea behind this is that by eliminating the need to create platform specific applications, eating into valuable development resources,  Bitwig can be at parity across all platforms simultaneously. Most plugins are available in VST format so it was decided to support that and focus resources on the workflow - this is the driving force of the entire team - workflow is everything.

Collaboration
Coming in version 2.0 also are the collaborative features. Working on peer to peer technology, it is possible for people to work on the same document, edit and record  (MIDI and audio) with near real-time updates. This could be over the internet for long distance work, or locally over LAN for people in the same room who want to jam and work together. People who’ve checked out Ohm Studio will be familiar with this setup, though there are still some issues with version control to be ironed out. But seeing it in action, gave me a few lightbulb idea moments - education, competitions as well as collaboration of course.  In LAN mode, you can switch off the audio engine of one machine and all work through the audio engine of a single machine, whilst allowing freedom to remotely edit and tweak.

Linux
One of the things that really excites me about Bitwig is that it runs on native Linux. This makes it the first (as far as I am aware) fully functional DAW to support all three major platforms. The possibilities are prettyinteresting here, Linux is a free OS and can require significantly less CPU drain as the OS layer, so you should be able to get good performance out of older hardware. Obviously, at the OS level, there is still work to be done on drivers for audio and MIDI but resources such as FFADO (Firewire), Linux-Drivers.org and  the ALSA project will give you access to supported devices.

End Game
Bitwig is still being optimised and tweaked, there are still areas that require attention - custom key commands being one,  but from what I’ve seen there’s a great set of core features that will be very familiar to both linear user (Logic, Cubase, Reaper, Pro Tools) and  clip based (Ableton Live) users. It is an exciting prospect, though it's becoming a crowded market, and people tend to be evangelical about their DAWs, it's not going to be easy.

What is clear is that a lot of careful thought and work has gone into it's creation. We’re are waiting to get an idea of how much it's final price will be and when exactly it will be released, but I do know the team are working hard to get to that point.

For more details see Bitwig.com




More From: BITWIG
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16 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Dr. Feelgood    Said...

Wow - it's basically a not-broken Ableton Live. I like it!

20-Jul-12 11:12 AM


nativeVS    Said...

Wasn't C-Lsb's creator/notator based on patterns and so like a basis for live?

20-Jul-12 04:28 PM


bassbeats    Said...

Looks great, but how does it SOUND? Ableton sound terrible and is one reason I stay way from it? Does it sound at least as good as Logic (hopefully as good as Pro Tools)? If it does, you can have my money right now!

21-Jul-12 08:02 PM


Sam Mallery    Said...

Ableton Live sounds amazing.

22-Jul-12 11:55 AM


loneraver    Said...

Ableton Live is a sequencer! It only sounds as good as your synths, you samples, and your talent.

22-Jul-12 03:07 PM


Producer    Said...

exactly. ableton live. lets see what bitwig brings to the table.

05-Aug-12 10:39 PM


NAME    Said...

I think people are saying that ableton's native effects are terrible. If you use third party stuff and don't auto warp everything then you don't get the "ableton" crap sound that so many people are stuck with

06-Aug-12 09:41 PM


Eu    Said...

bassbeats dont be ignorant! all DAWs sound the same! An audio signal is an audio signal and it sounds the same in every DAW... if you think i'm wrong test it!

If you sound design a bassline in your favorite vst it will sound exactly the same whether you play it Cubase, Logic, Ableton, Protools, etc... if you think i'm wrong you better start studing!

21-Aug-12 01:28 PM


lu    Said...

Well, dont be ignorant yourself... An audio engine is always different from another audio engine. Try Mixing 30 tracks in ableton live, then try to mix the same 30 tracks in Reaper... and you'll hear big differences (stereo width, dynamic, phase...)

06-Sep-12 08:10 PM


Tim    Said...

"Looks great, but how does it SOUND? ...."

Uhhh I can't read such a shit. I'M working with many different DAWs and they Sound the same! The only thing is that you handle the Audio on different ways so you get different results based on the DAWs natural workflow. But if you compare the Audio from different DAWs with the same settings you'll get the same results - here is an example: http://tarekith.com/sound-quality-live-versus-logic/

09-Sep-12 03:11 PM


Tim    Said...

"Looks great, but how does it SOUND? ...."

Uhhh I can't read such a shit. I'M working with many different DAWs and they Sound the same! The only thing is that you handle the Audio on different ways so you get different results based on the DAWs natural workflow. But if you compare the Audio from different DAWs with the same settings you'll get the same results - here is an example: http://tarekith.com/sound-quality-live-versus-logic/

09-Sep-12 03:12 PM


StreetWizard    Said...

Yeah, these guys are mostly correct. Pretty much all DAW's use the same audio technology. 16/24 bit PCM (depending on settings) with 32 bit floating point operations. The only real difference a DAW can make is the algorithm they use for dither. I really doubt you could ever really hear a discernible difference in that though.

17-Oct-12 10:31 AM


StreetWizard    Said...

Yeah, these guys are mostly correct. Pretty much all DAW's use the same audio technology. 16/24 bit PCM (depending on settings) with 32 bit floating point operations. The only real difference a DAW can make is the algorithm they use for dither. I really doubt you could ever really hear a discernible difference in that though.

17-Oct-12 10:31 AM


Wiseman    Said...

I love Ableton Live but of course each DAW has its own "sound", this is a fact. Try this: listen to a bassdrum sample in your library, drag this sample in your live set. You'll hear what Live does to audio.. This is also what's great about it, it's its sound but you can create your own sound gear wise as well (converters etc) they will bypass your DAW audio engine. Peace

11-Nov-12 07:21 PM


Scott    Said...

The thing you people saying all DAWs sound the same are not getting is Ableton is different than ALL other DAWs. What makes Live sound like crap is its PDC. It introduces latency when using 3rd party plugs like halls/delays etc. This creates a smearing effect and when tracks add up it gets phasey and doesn't sound as crisp as other DAWs. The reason Live does this is because it puts Live performance above sounding good. So the PDC takes a back seat along with sound quality to Live not crashing in front of 5,000 people while doing a show. This information has been well documented on Ableton Live forums even by the developers themselves.

24-Dec-13 06:49 AM


Lu    Said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one having difficulty changing my workflow from linear to clip based, I find it very hard to 'get' and then translate to my actions.

Also really pleased to hear that it's all about workflow for these guys. That puts them at the top of my list instantly.

25-Jan-14 03:58 AM


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