Bitwig Studio – Ableton remixed?

News this week has come in about Bitwig Studio’s multi-platform sequencer hitting it’s Beta phase and opening up it’s testing rosta to those who wish to apply.

On first impressions its looking like Ableton has been given a booster shot (as indeed it appears to have a number of Ex Ableton coders on it’s development team) but then thrown in a blender with DUNE’s colour pallet and a few tasty Cubase features such as per note automation.

Bitwig Studio Key Features at Launch:

  •     Multitrack recording – Record and produce your music in a super-fast, intuitive workflow where Bitwig Studio’s arranger is a perfect mix of editing power, ease of use and flexibility.
  •     Arranger clip launcher – A non-linear environment that lets you trigger clips in real-time which is perfect for sketching your songs more spontaneously.
  •     Mixer clip launcher – An alternative view of the clip launcher aligned with the mixer, optimized for live performance and DJing.
  •     Generic tracks – Tracks accept any kind of material meaning audio and notes can live on the same track so you can bounce note clips to audio in place.
  •     Clip automation – In addition to traditional track automation, automation can also be recorded and packaged inside clips, both on the clip launcher and the arranger.
  •     Per-note automation – Pitch variations can be applied to individual notes directly in the piano roll meaning you can also edit a note’s panning, timbre and volume curves.
  •     Simultaneous multitrack editing – Edit contents of multiple tracks together so you can see them all juxtaposed and isolate only the ones you want to edit.
  •     Multiple audio events per clip – An audio clip can contain multiple audio events where you can chop and edit audio files inside a clip non-destructively and loop it all as a package.
  •     Real-time time stretching – Bitwig Studio’s proprietary technology lets you match any audio material to the document tempo and get everything in sync.
  •     Device nesting – Devices can contain other devices, and the whole package can be saved as a preset and many of the instruments and effects use nesting in new and powerful ways.
  •     32/64 bit VST support – Use your beloved VST plug-ins. In case of a plug-in crash, a protective mechanism prevents the application from crashing and you from losing your work.
  •     Open multiple documents – This enables the easy exchange of musical material between documents where you can drag and drop, copy and paste back and forth.
  •     Metadata-based browser – Find your musical material quickly by adding tags allowing you to search by content type.

So everything you’d expect from a sequencer is there, and a few interesting features suggest that this is going to be a very polished product from launch. In todays sequencer marketplace through that is expected and you can’t help but feel that they are going to have to do something very special in order to tempt users to jump ship from their current sequencer of choice. A few features are being touted for a post launch addition to the package and these include:

  •     LAN multi-user jamming – Multiple users can jam on the same document, and everything can be captured in the document’s arrangement.
  •     Multi-user music production over the internet – Multiple users can compose music on the same document from different locations and Bitwig Studio keeps everything in sync.
  •     Native modular system – Create your own instruments and effects or modify existing ones then design their appearance and share them with the world.

Many software firms over the years have attempted to build client functionality allowing for multi user sessions that can be accessed by people where ever they may be with various degrees of success. In this interconnected world where you may have a Facebook/MySpace full of potential collaboration partners all over the world this feature done well could be the one to make a lot of people sit up and take notice. We look forward to seeing what functionality the Bitwig Sudio team integrate into the software as it approaches it’s eventual release.


If however you would like to get in on the Bitwig Studio beta the sign ups are now open.

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