Bitwig 4.0 announced

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
chapelier fou
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Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by chapelier fou » Thu May 27, 2021 2:43 pm

https://www.bitwig.com/whats-new/
I didn't watch all the videos neither read all the new features, but wow.
On the paper it seems like it does everything better than Live.
The "Operators" are just like they took the best part of Elektron "conditional trigs" and made a killer UI for them. It makes look the new probability + random of L11 like a joke.
I feel just stuck because of all the workflow and instruments (and also a little scared because when I bought Bitwig last year I got a refund because it was crashing all the time), but if I was starting electronic today, I would definitely go for Bitwig over Live.
The Grid is sexier, more direct than M4L synths of FX, Modulators are much more handy and stable than M4L LFOs, multiple projects, etc, etc....
MacBook Pro 13" Retina i7 2.8 GHz OS 10.13, L10.0.1, M4L.
iMac 27" Retina i5 3,2 GHz OS 10.11.3 L10.0.1 M4L.

Proxy-M
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by Proxy-M » Thu May 27, 2021 11:07 pm

Yes Bitwig is on a roll. I fully switched about a year ago (recreating many multi samples, device chains and templates (lots of hardware) I made for ableton, finding alternatives for all my devices and my custom device-chains and re adjusting all these years of Ableton muscle memory) after 15 years of live. It took me over a year to make the switch because I too was heavily invested in Ableton. I even recently still purchase live 11 but am sorry to say I havent used it more than a few days and will keep it around only for collabs. Maybe not even that because Bitwig will be able to import live projects.

For a while I switched back and forth, but lately I can't bare to work in Ableton anymore. It's great, don't get me wrong, and Bitwig is definitely not without its flaws. But there are a few things that make me work so much faster in Bitwig. The key commands, superior browser, multi projects (drag and drop anything between projects), hybrid tracks (so much simpler to work with e.g. Cthulhu or any other midi vst's), bouncing, disable (and hide!) tracks, mixer tab, combined clip/arranger, logic style track view and device list in the mixer and the modulator flexibility are the main reasons. I don't care for the Grid or actually many of the new 4.0 features besides comping. But it's mostly these workflow features that make all the difference. I used to miss freezing, or Ableton's drum rack flexibility but once you really get to know Bitwig if often realise their solutions are just that little smarter and easier to use eventually. There are still things missing in Bitwig like narrow track width, flexible track height and some of Ableton's excellent factory devices, better automation drawing and unique M4L devices, and Ableton is refined in many areas that shows the difference between a V11 vs V4. But the simple fact that in Bitwig I can work with a big template in which I can completely disable and hide tracks and groups at will is huge for me. The V4 update shows their intention: To add and refine the more basic functions like comping but to still come up with innovative ideas like the operators and import third party projects. And I recently created many complex dynamic multi sampled instruments I would normally only create in logic (because it was far to tedious to do in Ableton). And was pleasantly surprised how good that workflow was. With the geeky nature of Bitwig with it's grid and modulators II wasn't expecting such a robust sampler. So after missing a lot of Ableton in the transition process, I learned to embrace the new paradigms and now produce faster than ever before.

In short I would say give I another try (assuming you can get It crash free. It's been fare more stable than Ableton for me). You will long miss some of your favourite devices (and I needed to buy some alternatives) but in return you might find a workflow that more than compensates for that.

Angstrom
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by Angstrom » Fri May 28, 2021 12:02 am

Yeah Bitwig has a cool thing going on. I'll probably give the demo another go. I've got Live 11 but not used it due to various issues, I'm still on L10 which is mature and stable enough. My desktop is a Win7 machine and I spent a month trying to upgrade it to Win10 and failed for the whole month of December - so I've not even installed L11 on my desktop. And my Laptop is kept on the most stable version ... which certainly isn't L11.

I'm sort of looking around for my way out though. I think Ableton has run down a creative dead end. They seem bereft of energy and inspiration. The lacklustre launch of L11 really didn't grab me. They try to copy Apple's old walled garden aproach but they really lack that "vision thing" which they had in the early days.

As weird as it sounds: I think its a terrible idea to create feature additions from a "most upvoted" list on centercode. That just delivers bland middle of the road results. The AOR of features.

I understand that MPE and comping were big additions, the new effects are nice enough but .. it's so uninspired. Did Uli Behringer spec this build !!

Also the Ableton Live 11 GUI is looking terrible. I doubt the UX team read this so I'll say honestly ... it's bad work. Really fragmented, cramped, it's lost cohesion and simplicity. It's disjointed and unintuitive now. It's a Frankenstein's monster of a GUI.

Sure there's their love child. M4L. And M4L is powerful, but its a music development environment, it's a place where I go to type variables, not jam.

It's fine enough, of course. But all my scripts and setups work in L10 just fine.

Bitwigs grid is what I'd get it for as I just love patch creation and routing flexibility. I also want to see if they have any decent arrangement playlisting. That would seal the deal for me, but I don't think they have anything there.
The best DAW so far for arranging and alternative arrangements is Studio One for their arranger track. and their scratchpads. It's really powerful, and EXACTLY what I want ableton to do but they never will because they just move so slowly. My prediction for L11.2 is a Beatmaster J3ff fractalBeatz Analog Jampack!!! and an upgraded sad trombone sample.

I really should spend more time with Studio one, it's sleek and feels pretty solid.


Interestingly Version 4 of Bitwig can load .als files , I wonder how well that works!

pottering
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by pottering » Fri May 28, 2021 1:08 am

Those are things the are handled by M4L and even Remote Scripts in Live.

Ableton even released demo devices (just demos, not even a finished Pack) recently to show what is possible:

https://www.ableton.com/en/blog/live-11 ... e-devices/

Except "Envelope to MPE" all the other devices manipulate Clips, some like Mutator and Randomness Tweaker are quite similar to those "Operators".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiNXK_MWxYY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ih0TTubp4ZM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VII7WHUQVk

Plenty of cool stuff in Live.

Nestup

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeXziambsDY
https://gumroad.com/l/nestup

Mutateful

https://awesomeopensource.com/project/c ... /mutateful
https://github.com/carrierdown/mutateful
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGMBDap1-ko

Gibberwocky (doesn't really edit Cllps, but it is cool)

https://ask.video/article/ableton-live/ ... n-live-max
http://gibberwocky.cc/

Furthermore, all of the above are editable and copy-pastable, you can learn from them and reuse, they are not black boxes.

Personally I learned a lot from opening and checking the internals of M4L devices (Max by itself has a HUGE amount of knowledge embedded).

Chancery
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by Chancery » Fri May 28, 2021 6:49 am

These days I'm using Live pretty much as a multi-track recorder + FX for my modular/hardware, and while I'm not really taking advantage of the features that make Live such an amazing program (because it is), I'm still running into the few things I don't like, such as no time/bar counter, no proper shortcuts, too much reliance on menus (in full-screen mode?), no mono recording from External Instrument output (which I use to avoid latency), and a few others. So I may give Bitwig I try and by the time version 4.0 is released I'll have decided if it's worth the switch or not.

[jur]
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by [jur] » Fri May 28, 2021 9:00 am

Bitwig sure is copying Live's feature in an interesting way, probably because their code is fresher as someone said.
But this often looks way too much gimmicky imo. Live's strenght has always been to be "to the point", and I don't think Bitwig can compete in this area.
I don't even think, despite its Session view, that Bitwig is really meant to be used live (but I have no fact to prove this).
It's a bit like a home-studio version of Live.
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Angstrom
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by Angstrom » Fri May 28, 2021 9:59 am

[jur] wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 9:00 am
. Live's strenght has always been to be "to the point", and I don't think Bitwig can compete in this area.
To the point? I think that WAS the strength, but ever since a few versions back Live has looked like Frankensteins monster.
There's a legacy view of Live which really dates from around Live 7 .

I mean, for example, you say Live is for "performance." What would you say are the top three live performance features added in version L9, L10, L11 ?

chapelier fou
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by chapelier fou » Fri May 28, 2021 12:25 pm

[jur] wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 9:00 am
I don't even think, despite its Session view, that Bitwig is really meant to be used live (but I have no fact to prove this).
Speaking of that, is there any way to do live looping in Bitwig as you would in Live with 1 input track and several recorder tracks that you record clips into ? Couldn't find a way (missing the "global track play" button in the MIDI assign tab)
MacBook Pro 13" Retina i7 2.8 GHz OS 10.13, L10.0.1, M4L.
iMac 27" Retina i5 3,2 GHz OS 10.11.3 L10.0.1 M4L.

[jur]
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by [jur] » Fri May 28, 2021 5:20 pm

Angstrom wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 9:59 am
I mean, for example, you say Live is for "performance." What would you say are the top three live performance features added in version L9, L10, L11 ?
I'm immediately thinking about L11's Tempo Follower! Strangely we didn't hear a lot about this feature, maybe because of the pandemic and its impact on people playing together and/or live, but this is a mind-blowing feature to say the least.
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schlam
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by schlam » Sat May 29, 2021 7:24 am

[jur] wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 5:20 pm
Angstrom wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 9:59 am
I mean, for example, you say Live is for "performance." What would you say are the top three live performance features added in version L9, L10, L11 ?
I'm immediately thinking about L11's Tempo Follower! Strangely we didn't hear a lot about this feature, maybe because of the pandemic and its impact on people playing together and/or live, but this is a mind-blowing feature to say the least.
Ok 1 : tempo follower ;)
What would be the two other features of the top 3 ?

I was very surprised with the addition in Live 11 of comping....it was announced as the major update to live... maybe i am wrong but it seems to me as the less "performance tool" that we could expect in a performance daw like Live...

pottering
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by pottering » Sat May 29, 2021 8:45 am

schlam wrote:
Sat May 29, 2021 7:24 am
[jur] wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 5:20 pm
Angstrom wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 9:59 am
I mean, for example, you say Live is for "performance." What would you say are the top three live performance features added in version L9, L10, L11 ?
I'm immediately thinking about L11's Tempo Follower! Strangely we didn't hear a lot about this feature, maybe because of the pandemic and its impact on people playing together and/or live, but this is a mind-blowing feature to say the least.
Ok 1 : tempo follower ;)
What would be the two other features of the top 3 ?

I was very surprised with the addition in Live 11 of comping....it was announced as the major update to live... maybe i am wrong but it seems to me as the less "performance tool" that we could expect in a performance daw like Live...
For live performance:

Live 9 brought Push 1 and 2, Session View Automation and the 9.5 Simpler.

Live 10 brought vastly improved M4L (plus CV Tools and such), improved Push, I/O Renaming, Ableton Link and Capture.

Live 11 brought the already mentioned Tempo Follower, MPE, Scenes Follow Action, Jump and Linked Follow Actions , per Track CPU metering, Macro Snapshots plus extra macros.

Other stuff like nested Groups and VST3 may help with live performances, same for added new devices, extra options.

Though IMO what really makes the difference is the small tweaks, not big new features.

[jur]
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by [jur] » Sat May 29, 2021 11:51 am

L10 and L11 were definitely quite focused on improving the Arrangement side of Live, no doubt, but Pottering did fill up the performances gaps quite nicely :wink:
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pottering
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by pottering » Sat May 29, 2021 8:08 pm

I wonder if BW 4 is enough excuse for Ableton Live to add FLP import.

EDIT: I knew about one tool (Jukeblocks), but there are actually 2

https://convert.jukeblocks.io/

https://timestamps.me/

https://github.com/offlinemark/dawtool

jonljacobi
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by jonljacobi » Sat May 29, 2021 8:14 pm

Bitwig looks great, has many cutting edge features and is of great interest of those who like the press buttons and have sound emerge. For recording and time correction, it sucks. Maybe with comping you'll finally be able to delete just the last take rather than everything you've loop recorded. Live is much more focused and efficient, once you know it at any rate. Regardless, Bitwig ignored the recording basics and bugs I reported for so long that I lost interest in it. I have way too much time invested in Live to ever switch again.

Machinesworking
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Re: Bitwig 4.0 announced

Post by Machinesworking » Sun May 30, 2021 3:48 am

I bought a copy of Bitwig 3 about two years ago to check out MPE without ugly workarounds. I like it, there's a lot of misconception in this thread about Bitwig here, not really surprising or anything.

For live purposes, there are a few things I wanted in Live for the last 15+ years. Bitwigs Instrument Selector switches between VSTi's on the fly and relinquishes all CPU back to Bitwig. In general a single keyboard shortcut expands MIDI and audio editors to full size, most shortcuts are a single key, you have direct control over how VSTs are used in Bitwig, there are hundreds of shortcuts all user customizable etc. etc.

The new version looks really nice, comping is pretty unique the way they implemented it. I do really like Live's MIDI comping though, I think 11 was a great update, and I look forward to using it when it goes on sale again. In general though, I just feel like working in Bitwig is faster for me, so it's a hard call in general, Bitwig isn't near as popular as Live, I'm not collaborating with people using it, but I've banged my head against the UX issues I've had Live since I bought it, and the general consensus is I'm wrong, so maybe it's I'm using the wrong DAW?

I'm still keeping Live of course, makes no sense to get rid of a DAW with dozens of finished projects attached to it, but since Bitwig is M1 compatible, and I'm guaranteed to get an M1 laptop after WWDC on the 7nth, I know what I'll probably be using in the coming months.

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