Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

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Aiynzahev
KVRAF
3566 posts since 29 Jun, 2011 from USA

Post Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:44 pm

Hi guys

When it first came out I was quite excited about Bitwig, I tried it and I liked it. But it lacked some important stuff which it now has. So, now that it's had some time to mature, what are your thoughts specifically on Bitwig vs Ableton & also vs more conventional DAWs like, S1, Cubase & Logic?

I am still interested, but it takes time to invest in learning a DAW. Since some of you have been using it for a while I'd love your thoughts on it.

Thanks!

Sami
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frenchboy
KVRist
85 posts since 7 May, 2013

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:28 pm

on my computer I can run like 5 times more tracks and effects with Ableton than with Bitwig so that's the main reason I don't use it (CPU).

Also still lacks a lot of features compared to Ableton, S1 and Cubase. Never used Logic so couldn't tell you.

It's a cool DAW though. One could make music with it no problem. It has the same nested devices thing as Ableton which is great. If they keep improving it I'm sure it'll be just as good as all the others at some point.
Last edited by frenchboy on Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

obx777
KVRer
29 posts since 27 Aug, 2014

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:31 pm

Hi,

I'm still getting adjusted. I dumped Windows and moved to Linux (Ubuntu) and wanted to get a DAW up and running and get back to making music (I hope). The more I play with it the more it is starting to "fit". They are working on it based on feedback it seems. I asked for my soundcard's MIDI ports to work in Linux and in a matter of weeks they now have that going (1.0.15RC). It seems other people's wishes are being met as well from reading around here.

I have to say my perception always has been that there where people who track songs and then there were people who use the DAW as an instrument. I always thought of Ableton as more an instrument for creative on the fly performance (note I could be wrong here this was just my impression, probably due to marketing and Youtube videos). I was both afraid and excited that maybe Bitwig would be both. Really for me I'm just looking for the closest thing to Pro Tools for Linux. However, digging into a DAW as a creative tool just opens up some doors to new fun as well. I'm trying Tracktion for Linux as well right now. For me both are neck and neck at the moment. I am leaning toward Bitwig at the moment and there are only a few things I'd like to see work out for me to be "all in". Just this evening after working in the 1.0.15RC I was having fun and finally doing some recording. I still have some issues (see my stupid questions).

I have jumped from Guitar Tracks (Cakewalk guitar version of Sonar) to Sonar, to Reaper, to Pro Tools over the years. Each one had its hurdles. Though I never had my direct input listened to by the developers and implemented, let alone implemented in a few weeks! So far I think it is very user friendly and simple, it has a bit of a "kid friendly" feel for lack of a better term and I like that. The Cakewalk Guitar tracks was very user friendly it reminds me a bit of that verses the scientific feel of Pro Tools where you have settings for audio all over the place, Ardour being the similar. So yes I like Bitwig and I want it to work out for me and am going to put the effort in to give it a go. Great question and I bet the Bitwig team will enjoy everyones input.

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Ogopogo
KVRAF
2562 posts since 1 Oct, 2013

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:59 pm

I wouldn't say Bitwig is mature yet, and although there's been some good additions the main stuff people were lacking is yet to come pretty much. Still no vst multiout, sidechaining, midi routing (though those should be out within a few weeks to months), no group tracks, crossfades, groove pool, quick swap, au support, input quantize.

Bugs are greatly diminished but still popping up here and there.

But of course, it still has a bunch of stuff Ableton doesn't.

Comparing to other daws is sort of hard for me because they are different enough that the whole "philosophies" angle comes into play and it because hard to make a straight pros and cons list. But the reason I chose a Bitwig over daws like those is basically for the session view and the simplicity interface, including the device pane because dealing with pulling up plug windows all the time is a pain. Drum machines/racks are great, how you can use whatever sounds you want and you get channels that show up in the mixer instead of having to deal with mixing in a plug and multiouts. AFAIK If you want the session view style of working you really only have two choices, and the session view is great since it's basically the computer equivalent of being able to say "hey, keep playing that I think I've got an idea." You can move being parts in and out at will instead of starting and stopping and constantly dragging clips and loop points around in a timeline.

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Aiynzahev
KVRAF
3566 posts since 29 Jun, 2011 from USA

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:10 pm

Ogopogo wrote:I wouldn't say Bitwig is mature yet, and although there's been some good additions the main stuff people were lacking is yet to come pretty much. Still no vst multiout, sidechaining, midi routing (though those should be out within a few weeks to months), no group tracks, crossfades, groove pool, quick swap, au support, input quantize.
Oh I didn't realize that stuff wasn't actually out yet. Multi-out is a must, as is group tracks and crossfades. No AU support either? Well that's a big problem for MAC users surely?
Aiynzahev-sounds
Sound Designer - Soundsets for Repro, Diva, Virus TI, Nord Lead 4, Serum, DUNE2, Spire, and others

nechronics
KVRist
209 posts since 15 Oct, 2013 from Florida

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:28 pm

It's replaced Ableton as my new scratchpad, but Studio One remains my primary DAW. It's all about workflow for me. Routing capabilities, keyboard shortcuts, GUI cues, CPU consumption...little nuances that allow me to accomplish what I want to do in studio one infinitely faster than ableton, bigwig, or logic at the moment. Many small things which on the surface seem like nothing, but in the grand scheme of things add up to a lot. It still has a lot of potential and I keep coming back to it for the power of the modulation system and effects grouping, but it still just isn't ready for the big stage yet. Lack of features aside, I'm really hoping they open the keyboard shortcut layout. Studio one makes me feel like I'm in a sports car, because I can literally fly through production tasks. Bitwig makes me feel like I'm in big SUV...it gets me to some weird places and lets me do some interesting things, but getting from point A to point B takes much longer.

xbitz
KVRAF
2329 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:17 pm

especially if u check the remote scripting possibilities of AL, nativeKONTROL PXT (which uses Push) is a very good example what can be accomplished with it, so if u (would) like to work without monitor and mouse currently AL with Push and with nativeKONTROL PXT Live is a better choosing (before BWS 1.1), worth to the check the video series about it: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... yPwR4boy3d
"Where we're workarounding, we don't NEED features." - powermat

Eta Carinae
Banned
289 posts since 26 Sep, 2014

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:32 am

Bitwig has some ground breaking features that aren't available elsewhere. It's for this reason that I like it.

Cubase - tried and tested, but very dated now. The interface is old, and they haven't really added any new features in years. But the timing is rock solid, and it supports all VSTs nicely. But it uses a dongle, and I hate dongles.

Ableton - it was a new take on DAWs when it was released, and is still quite unique. Lots of fun to use and create your own instruments, max is quite deep. But the timing on Ableton lets it down, if you're programming tight automation and long fx chains it's a nightmare.

Once Bitwig adds in the basic features it's currently missing, I think it'll be the best DAW on the market. I'll finally have one DAW that does everything, which is how it should be.

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Aiynzahev
KVRAF
3566 posts since 29 Jun, 2011 from USA

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:23 pm

Ok so a little update from me.

Been trying out Ableton & Bitwig for a few days, but this time I've got a much better handle on the concept behind them.

My observations so far:

Ableton
  • -Bundled effects & instruments are plentiful and very good - Better than Bitwig IMO
    -Intuitive on many levels but somethings are not so intuitive
    -Some parts of the UI are very clean and make sense, other parts seem untidy or obscure
    -A lot of extra money for the suite to get the synths
    -Browser is good
    -PDC is still an issue in some cases
    -Tons upon tons of threads, videos & blogs. Tips, tricks, free stuff, tutorials galore.
Bitwig
  • -Not nearly as many included effects and the sound quality on some things is a little behind Ableton IMO - Reverb is not as good but it's still good. Things I miss most are beat repeat, filter delay, grain delay, the Glue, EQ 8 and some others - OTOH Blur is awesome.
    -UI is a lot tidier overall and makes more sense
    -Clips on the arranger page makes a lot of sense
    -Mixer is nicer to use
    - Browser IMO is better but somehow feels a little harder to follow/keep track of stuff. I like that I can search for everything, rather than have to first select a category.
    -Some of it is intuitive, some of it not so much
    -Overall layout of the clip launcher makes more sense and is cleaner IMO
    -Not as many creative tutorials & tips yet
    -Instruments are really good. Polysynth, FM, drum synths are great.
    -Cheaper than Ableton suite, but you get everything they have so far - plus what is planned (modular etc) - But you have to deal with whatever is missing until & if they update it further.
    -Histogram for randomization is great
    -Reverse pattern is a big PLUS
    -Great bouncing features
    -Pianoroll editor in general is smart and works really well for me.
    -Global shuffle is great
Conclusion so far: I really like the clip launcher concept. So far I've seen a whole new way of working that is appealing to me so I'm definitely interested in one of these DAWs. However I thought this would be an easier decision than it is. Ableton is actually very good and feels a lot more complete overall. Bitwig OTOH feels more streamlined, logical, easier on the eye and easier to keep actual projects organized.

Saving clips and loading them in other tracks is a big deal for me. Bitwig seems to make this process slightly easier and so has a slight edge but doesn't see custom folders in the clips directory.

For what it's worth, I've made more interesting projects in Ableton so far, but that may just be a combination of things unrelated to the bigger picture.
Last edited by Aiynzahev on Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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TeotiGraphix
KVRian
1372 posts since 28 Dec, 2012 from Meredith NH

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:42 pm

> But you have to deal with whatever is missing until & if they update it further.

If they update it further? there have been 5 betas in the last couple weeks.

This 1.1 version is more like a 1.5.

Mike
Michael Schmalle
http://www.teotigraphix.com
Surfing on sine waves

Maschine4Bitwig - Studio, MK2, MikroMK2, MK1
http://www.teotigraphix.com/bitwig/maschine

Eta Carinae
Banned
289 posts since 26 Sep, 2014

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:43 pm

Go for Bitwig man, it's the DAW of the future. I could never go back to Ableton now that I've gotten used to Bitwig. I'd miss all the crazy features way too much. Plus these guys actually listen to their users and add features in that are requested.

1.1 has added a ton of stuff, god only knows what 1.2, 1.3 etc will bring! Probably more goodies.

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Aiynzahev
KVRAF
3566 posts since 29 Jun, 2011 from USA

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:47 pm

Yeah I know they've been working a breakneck speed with updates. But you never know what might get passed over in favor of something else, or things could just generally slow down.

Still in my case I can't say I am missing much after the 1.1 update.
Aiynzahev-sounds
Sound Designer - Soundsets for Repro, Diva, Virus TI, Nord Lead 4, Serum, DUNE2, Spire, and others

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TeotiGraphix
KVRian
1372 posts since 28 Dec, 2012 from Meredith NH

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:52 pm

Aiynzahev wrote:Yeah I know they've been working a breakneck speed with updates. But you never know what might get passed over in favor of something else, or things could just generally slow down.

Still in my case I can't say I am missing much after the 1.1 update.
> things could just generally slow down.

Yeah, but if you are a developer and have met some of the developers of Bitwig, you know for a fact this is not the case, Bitwig is their dream and baby, good parents don't abandon a child they waited years to have. ;-)

Mike
Michael Schmalle
http://www.teotigraphix.com
Surfing on sine waves

Maschine4Bitwig - Studio, MK2, MikroMK2, MK1
http://www.teotigraphix.com/bitwig/maschine

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billcarroll
KVRAF
1841 posts since 9 Dec, 2011 from falling

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:58 pm

Bitwig has some effects Ableton does not. Blur comes to mind. I love Bitwig's Blur effect. Ableton is missing a transient designer, and Bitwig has a nice one. However, I really miss the M4L convolution reverb in Ableton. It goes back and forth, but I have 3rd party plugins I'm really happy with for almost all my needs.

Two other things I love about Bitwig are the kicka$$ meters for mixing, and the fact that multi-out instruments like drum racks can use the regular effect channels rather than the convoluted Ableton effect chain within the rack setup.

The PDC issue is a big negative for me with Ableton. I'd much prefer to use Pro-Q 2 as my EQ, EchoBoy as my main delay, etc., and as soon as you have external tools on an Ableton channel you end up with PDC issues. I just want to work and not deal with unreported latency issues. If you use Ableton you really need to stick with internal tools.

I'm a complete convert once Bitwig adds 32-bit recording and tightens up integration with external hardware. Hardware has become a must for me, so I really hope Bitwig nails tight integration with hardware. I'd also like to see hot-swap capability for samplers and audio on timeline, but I can work in Bitwig without that for a little while by using great 3rd party samplers like xfer Nerve.

I really like where Bitwig is going.

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Aiynzahev
KVRAF
3566 posts since 29 Jun, 2011 from USA

Re: Bitwig vs Ableton and other DAWs. User thoughts please!

Post Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:12 pm

I hear you. I think the two I liked most from Ableton were Grain Delay and Beat repeat. Just need to find substitutes that don't break the bank.
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