Any Bitwig users out here?

Has anyone here been using Bitwig Studio? What are your thoughts in comparison with any DAWs you used previously in general, and Ableton Live in particular?

Hm, had a test some time ago and found it too “just another Ableton” for me. And i never found Ableton useful enough to replace Logic as DAW.
Both Bitwig and Ableton are awesome in regards of controller implementation (Push/Nektar stuff), but do not too well on standard controllers like MCU and AVID. And both have a MIDI implementation, which is not to my taste.
My personal conclusion (absolutely imho):
Bitwig is an outstanding sound design tool, but you’ll have to invest a decent amount of time - as it is complex.
Ableton is more or less the best software sampler you can get your hands on.
Both have a great crossover area.

Interesting to see Linux support in there.

Oh yes Linux…guess which Pro devices support it - none !
Metric Halo - nope.
Focusrite - nope.
Apogee - nope.
and so on…
Not too much of sense imho supporting an OS which does not really support any professional interface without the hassle of getting things somehow to work without native drivers. A neat idea, but unfortunately not more.

True. But someone has to take the lead.

When it comes to video and graphics it is widely used. So why audio is some special case I don’t know.

Because of realtime requirements and the complicated driver development

I listened to an interview with one of the Bitwig developers who shared that 5% of their customers are on Linux. He also mentioned a few plugin developers who have ported their commercial VST plugins to Linux as a direct result of Bitwig supporting Linux.

Personally I have no huge interest in running Linux for music software, but I still feel wider platform support is never a bad thing.

Linux could easily outplay Windows because there are real-time kernels available. A special linux distro could be tailored to the needs of studios (no internet background tasks, no power-saving, highest priority to audio drivers and the busses involved, ramdisks for certain parts of the audio software, etc.)

If only the software and hardware support was better. Its great that some are going forward.

If there’s too many different Windows configurations out there then there’s definitely even more Linux ones.

There are some audio focussed distros which should be pre-tuned.

I know, I actually meant that there’s great potential. Just imagine if all plugin and daw developers would stick to one “audio” distro and develop specifically for that. They could even only give support for this one platform. It could be soo good.

But its never gonna happen, I’m afraid.

The problem here is, that there are way too many distros. And the greatest disadvantage of Linux comes here: you won’t get people into an agreement which one it should be. One of the greatest “advantages” of OSX is the fact, that Apple simply decided which one to use and then hardenend the kernel into a stable release and then did the job. The bitter point here is the fact that without someone who takes the decision you will get no results. A community who is bound in endless wars and discussions (kernel, sysd, vice versa) paralyze themselves. And that is the problem with Linux now for some years. The bigger the community gets, the greater the struggle will be, too.

To me it seems that most commercial vendors who offer a Linux version of their product have settled on explicitly supporting Ubuntu as the de-facto standard for desktop Linux. Ubuntu has been an obvious choice for a lot of general users for a while now, so I don’t think this kind of platform fragmentation is a huge obstacle.

Anyway, would love to hear more from people who have actually used or are still using Bitwig Studio themselves regardless of the platform they’re running. Maybe we should start a separate Linux thread? :wink:

Having good Linux music software is kinda handy for those wanting to use a Pi.

Sure, but a fully-fledged DAW makes less sense to run an a Pi. The Pi is still a bit underpowered to make that practical.

Well they’re lagging behind phones a bit. But phones will do some pretty powerful stuff now.

The day Native Instruments and or UAD side with linux i will turn my back on the windows platform like i turned my back on the Apple platform. Happy ever since. With the only exception being UAD

But my forum research up to this point has shown that the linux field is also very unstable with its updates particularly because a lot of applications you would normally use would have to run under wine…

Unless software devs provide versions that can run on Ubuntu (or at least a common, maybe even primarily audio-focussed distro as f.e. BeOs was supposed to be) natively without being jeopardized by Ubuntus update-policy (which is also kinda murky) the same way as Apple OS-Updates jeopardize the stability of your outboard gear drivers, often leading to your new OS not supporting or disliking some gear for unknown reasons. Something i have up to this day not seen on my windows rig.

Also: I fear that a lot of companies do not want to enter the linux market because of the problem of their intellectual property being endangered when provided to a basically tech-savy open-source community (reverse engineering, probably a problem with all platforms but linux is where hackers feel at home).

I’ve been testing Bitwig for a few days now, and I have to say I really like what I’m seeing so far. Overall it feels like a more modern Live, but you can clearly see a lot of influences from other DAWs as well. It’s also obvious that the people who made this are musicians themselves who have used a lot of hardware and software and who have thought long and hard about the kind of tools they enjoy working with.

For me, the overall experience is much more consistent and feels more streamlined compared with Live. A lot of things are easier and faster to do, or just make more sense. It also just looks nicer visually.

The modulation system is absolutely brilliant. You can modulate pretty much everything from everything quickly and easily and the connections are always clear because of the smart way in which you get visual feedback of the modulations that are going on.

They also have clearly tried to give the included devices an appropriate level of modularity. With this I mean that the devices have a clear purpose, but can still be combined in interesting ways. You can for example easily put a resonant ladder filter inside a delay feedback chain, or a pitch shifter inside the reverb tank feedback path, or use an envelope follower to adjust the amount of bit crushings you want to mix in with your drum hits.

Automation also feels more integrated and less “bolt-on”. This is also the first time I’ve seen a DAW that makes it easy to choose between absolute and relative automation, and that makes it clear which one is being used at any given time.

Another thing I always wanted from Live was the ability to layer clips while editing. Bitwig makes this very easy and obvious to do.

To summarize, it’s the first DAW I’ve used that gives me the same feeling of fun and control as running a tracker on the Amiga did in the early 90s. Maybe that’s just for now, but I never had this feeling when I first started using Live.

I’ve been checking out Bitwig a bit… but haven’t really dug deep into it. I’ve spent a long time learning how Live works, and getting into the more “hidden secrets”… and I still find that I don’t know much of what it is capable of doing. This is probably one of the biggest challenges when working with DAWs and audio software… at what point do you justify a switch to another software? It takes a lot of time and effort to really be able to use one, and switching to a new system will take a lot of time again. Time which could be spent making music and having fun with it.
Then of course, it’s a challenge that can prove very interesting and exciting.
This said, @t2k: you made me want to try out the demo again. I get their newsletters and it seems like they have added a huge amount of new features since I last checked them out.
This is one thing Live is lagging a lot behind. They haven’t really introduced much innovation since years and their interface would probably need a big overhaul. I guess they’ll come out with a Live 10 that features a lot of new stuff and a new UI though.

@rumpelfilter I’d recommend spending some time with it. You might also want to invest some time into reading the manual. I didn’t do that the first time I looked at it, which resulted in me not really getting some of the core concepts.

I would also recommend not downloading the demo song as well as any of the bundled sounds after installation as playing with an empty project and being forced to create your own sounds using the built-in devices gives a better idea of what it can do for you.

For me, spending time playing around with new tools doesn’t feel like time wasted because even if you don’t end up using the tool you played around with, doing so still very often gives you new ideas on how you can use your primary ones.