Better than Bitwig?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Chingy
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:57 pm

Better than Bitwig?

Post by Chingy » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:06 am

Hi all,

I'm looking to purchase either Ableton Live or Bitwig, but am a bit stuck on which one. I have the demos of both, but it'll take a long time to go deep into both. I like the idea generation flow of both. I'm finding I'm leaning towards Bitwig, but before I do, I wanted to come ask the experts, what makes Ableton a better choice in your mind?

Cheers!

Machinesworking
Posts: 11105
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by Machinesworking » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:14 am

Chingy wrote:Hi all,

I'm looking to purchase either Ableton Live or Bitwig, but am a bit stuck on which one. I have the demos of both, but it'll take a long time to go deep into both. I like the idea generation flow of both. I'm finding I'm leaning towards Bitwig, but before I do, I wanted to come ask the experts, what makes Ableton a better choice in your mind?

Cheers!
Rewire, that's a big one. Sometimes I use other DAWs and Bitwig does not slave to other DAWs, Live does.

Controller support is still significantly better in Live. <-- The support Bitwig does have is good, but the whole making the user community add that support via javascript is pretty much my least favorite way a company can go about that.

Third party support in general is better for Live, plenty of companies have built in support AKAI, Mackie, Slate, Novation, Arturia etc.

Bitwig is a bit more processor hungry than Live, probably due to the sandboxed plug ins etc.

Live IMO has a slightly better GUI, why Bitwig thinks that you need to see the color palette all the time I'll never figure out.

There are numerous small features that Bitwig haven't implemented yet, some are pretty basic stuff. It will happen, but they're a relatively new company and Ableton have been developing Live for about 15 years now.

That's all I can think of.

Teenage Engineering OP-2
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Location: Inside the air ducts watching them design the OP-2

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by Teenage Engineering OP-2 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:45 am

Is Bitwig's Session view any better than Live's? And for context, is Live the first one to do something like Session view?

Syver
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 10:46 am

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by Syver » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:30 am

Bitwig Studio doesn't support AU or VST2 or 3,
Bitwig Studio does not have a dedicated controller,
Bitwig Studio does not slave to external midi ...

pencilrocket
Posts: 1718
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:46 am

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by pencilrocket » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:13 am

You can avoid ver.1 softwares. Potentially buggy.
Image

fisto
Posts: 354
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:06 pm

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by fisto » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:27 pm

not sure if it is a good idea to ask on the Live-Forum if Live or Bitwig is better.
Although Bitwig is much newer than live and has a few things to catch up, there are a lot of points where it is just ahead of Live.

So, if you wanna use the more modern DAW go with Bitwig definetely...It's much snappier than live and feels much more modern and future-oriented.
The new Browser and custom key-commads is great if you want to have a nice workflow. Also the native paramter modulation is great. In Live you have to use the annoying max for live and that is why i never modulate any parameters because I hate M4L like hell.

So, you're better off starting with bitwig as It has already promised to be a innovative and very forward-thinking Program, and all this in V1. One can only imagine what will happen further down the Road :)

EDIT: Bitwig is much faster with fixing things than Ableton. Not sure what the reason is for that, but with Live it takes ages for bugs to fix and user-requests are almost ignored all the time.

jlgrimes
Posts: 1277
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:55 am
Location: Atlanta, Ga

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by jlgrimes » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:10 pm

Chingy wrote:Hi all,

I'm looking to purchase either Ableton Live or Bitwig, but am a bit stuck on which one. I have the demos of both, but it'll take a long time to go deep into both. I like the idea generation flow of both. I'm finding I'm leaning towards Bitwig, but before I do, I wanted to come ask the experts, what makes Ableton a better choice in your mind?

Cheers!

Have never even tried the Bitwig demo but I use alot of other DAWS.

I use Live for most of my songwriting and I like it the best over Maschine, Reaper, Studio One, Logic, Reason. I'd guess that Bitwig has a similar workflow and I'd probably like creating songs on that as well compared to other DAWs.

But these are just my opinions and I haven't researched Bitwig enough to know the details. I do know that it does stuff Ableton can't do and that Ableton can do things that Bitwig can't.


I would imagine one benefit of Ableton would be a wider user base which should make it easier for tutorials, user groups, downloads of patches templates and such. This would also lead to more controller support and such.


Bitwig being a version 1 app is probably still wet behind the ears on some features (like Rewire) but from what I read they have made great strides this version to get up to par with more mature DAWS.


I'd imagine Ableton (especially the Suite version) having a more mature effects/plug-in line-up as well. Over the years Ableton continuously make refinements to their stock plug-ins namely the EQ and Compressor. They also have things like the Glue (which emulates an SSL mix bus compressor), and 9.5 revamped the filters in alot of the Samplers and other devices to make them sound more "Analog" and give the users more variety. Also the Simpler plug-in was modified to have Warping built- inside of it. Not sure if Bitwig has this type of stuff. Max4Live might be another benefit. It gives Ableton a huge number of devices that does various things from synths, effects, step sequencers, and utility stuff that even manipulates the GUI and helps with customizing 3rd party controllers. Max4Live might seem more for the technically minded user but most devices people create from them are available for free and can be used by anyone with Max4Live pretty much just like a regular Ableton device.


The only way to really tell the difference is to try both demos and see which one YOU like the best.

thedreampolice
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:39 pm

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by thedreampolice » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:40 pm

BitWig is better in a few ways

layered editing
plugin sandboxing
unified modulation system
open multiple projects
per note expression

I certainly hope Live add's at least a few of these in v10

Live is better in a lot of other ways, since it's been around a long time it simply has more features.

Live is better with

Groove Quantize
Much better devices, Sampler and Simpler for example
Rewire support
Video support
I personally like the UI of live SUBSTANTIALLY better than Bitwig
Huge amount of 3rd party content and packs
Much better controller support
Push 2 is amazing
Max4Live is awesome
and a million other little things that bitwig being a v1 product just hasn't had time to implement.


That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Both are amazing products but I am staying the Live camp for now.

Chingy
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:57 pm

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by Chingy » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:09 pm

Thank you all for your objective answers. The reason I asked in this forum is who knows Ableton better than you guys!

I ran across this video (somewhat old) that is also pretty insightful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg556_RCvxk

Interestingly, I find the browser in Ableton faster to use than Bitwig (which conceptually has some nice features, but in practice is a bit slower to use). There are a lot of great things in Bitwig and hopefully the competition spurs Ableton to continue to innovate quickly.

Given my experience with the demos and Ableton's polish compared to Bitwig right now (as you would expect), plus ReWire and native Push 2 support, I think I'll be joining the Ableton camp for now.

Sean_Clarke
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Location: U.K.

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by Sean_Clarke » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:12 pm

I use both, but to be honest now use BWS a lot more than Live due the the in clip editing, better audio editing and linier features and the fun modulation possibilities....but I expect Live to come back strong with 10....
To me MAX is the only killer feature of live over BWS

Second hand BWS licences go pretty cheap over at KVR....160-180 bucks....

Both have good demos, BWS is full for 30 days.....
DAW: Cubase 8 & Live 9 Suit + Push, Bitwig Studio. Desk: X32: Instruments: guitars, v-drums, bass and Electron A4 & RYTM.

Machinesworking
Posts: 11105
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Location: Seattle

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by Machinesworking » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:26 pm

Sean_Clarke wrote:I use both, but to be honest now use BWS a lot more than Live due the the in clip editing, better audio editing and linier features and the fun modulation possibilities....but I expect Live to come back strong with 10....
To me MAX is the only killer feature of live over BWS

Second hand BWS licences go pretty cheap over at KVR....160-180 bucks....

Both have good demos, BWS is full for 30 days.....
I think in some ways BWS is going in the right direction:

Their own modular system instead of a third party.

Modulation in general is a breeze in BWS.

Then losing it in other ways:

Piss poor integration with other DAWs.

Couple that with no advanced MIDI (SysEx, NRPN etc.), and it doesn't fulfill an established electronic musicians needs, it won't replace Cubase, Sonar, DP9, Logic etc. and it won't integrate with that DAW either.

Plus the only thing I see in BWS that might be better for live performance is the sandboxed plug ins. The song tabs in my test are no faster than switching to a new song in Live, it's slightly less to think about that way I suppose, but that's about it, no faster.

In general their whole market approach is laptop users, not studio musicians, which is IMO too narrow of a focus.
Live started off integrating well with other DAWs, because it lacked features that old school DAWs had, and it gained market share at first as much with people who loved using Logic, Cubase, DP etc. but it soon started losing focus as the emerging laptop, no hardware, no MIDI experience, no interest in any of that crowd became it's focal point. Bitwig has decided that's the market it wants to go for, it's not any better for live performance than Ableton Live, it has less controller support, no ReWire and poor sync to the outside world in general.

In my opinion they made a great DAW but they missed the boat entirely. Any really diligent company that mimicked what Live does but took it even further performance wise, and integration with other DAWs wise would dominate the market, and Bitwig decided instead to compete directly with Live's narrowing focus on laptop users who want a great UI experience and instant song writing gratification™.

Chingy
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:57 pm

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by Chingy » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:12 am

That is an interesting perspective and one I agree with to a certain extent. Bitwig is a bit like a jack of all trades, but master of none right now. Of course, still relatively new, but all the more reason to give it another year.

Tagor
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:18 am

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by Tagor » Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:07 am

the learning curve of live offers you a lot directions...

there are a lot of packs, presets ect.. ready for live

there are a lot of people with expierence with live, so to get help on a problem in live
is more possible because the time they are on the market...

maybe if you start from zero now, you can have something alike live on the longterm
but for use most power now you have just live and if it is not enough - hook it up with protools
cubase, reason ..what ever you think..

deva
Posts: 1685
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:32 pm

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by deva » Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:30 am

Overall, I would pick Live over Bitwig. However, I'm into the new MPE controllers and the support in Bitwig is good and in Live it doesn't exist.

So I have been using Bitwig more than Live lately. I miss a bunch of stuff in Live when I use Bitwig, but when I'm using Live I miss a bunch of stuff in Bitwig.

The modulation system in Bitwig is great. Live feels painful in comparison. I like groups better in Bitwig. It is so useful having the launcher (session view) visible in line with Arrange. They integrate better. I also like having a mixer with Arrange, and option of a full screen editor or editor with Arrange/Launcher that can edit multiple clips at once in either a clip or track configuration.

Live's racks are way better... but every Bitwig device has macros and they are easier to use.

Live has better controller support, but Bitwig is rather slick for creating custom parameter pages for your plugins to use with a controller.

I would have stuck with Live, except for the MPE (note expression/note per channel) support. There is no workaround for that. So at the moment I'm using Bitwig.

login
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:41 am

Re: Better than Bitwig?

Post by login » Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:14 am

BWS is still way too buggy, I would wait a couple of years.

You can also find Live in the second hand market at KVR for 2oo Standard and 400 for suite.

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