Bitwig vs. Ableton

Official support for: bitwig.com
George Sigsally
KVRist
41 posts since 5 Feb, 2018

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:58 am

What features you like in Bitwig and you did not find them in Ableton/ and otherwise what cool features Ableton has and you miss them in Bitwig.

2017 similar thread (but with Ableton 9): - Bitwig vs Ableton 9 - viewtopic.php?p=6882559


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Continuously updated list:

I ve decided to make kind of pre-view list and continuously adding features you are mentiong, but feel absolutely free to skip this - add your features even tough they are here and make your toughs about that one.

I. Bitwig can (or Ableton can not):

A) Modulation- Automatiom
1) Bitwig can do SC without need to make bus for every routing:
-vst wrap can directly SC input from one track(group), you can then SC from other ones with SC-modulator (but you have to specify its parameters)
- if you want SC from more tracks as a plugin signal input say FabFilter Multiband compresor - if you have 4 bands with modulator you would have to specify each one, or you can/ need to make Bus, but this bus can (logically) have thanx to Audioreciever as many inputs/ outputs (thanx to SC in wrapper) as you want (in Ableton, bus was only one input to one output).
- buses are also titled in device wrap - no hunting/ fishing if you open project after some time.

2) Modulations are new level (Spencer Maddox; Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:46 pm)
- modulation are quickly accessible from device wrap.
- modulated parameters are not frozen/ hardwire (or unreadable-utouchable because of oscillation).
- you can map Macro on another Macro while mapped (slaved) Macros can still be adjusted and same can be adjusted parameter modulated by Macro or modulator.
- Modulation run even in sub rack: you get one final rack for all track - and you modulate anything anytime (in Ableton modulation run only inside one rack - not inside sub-rack (ridiculous)).
- Min and Max values of modulator(s) can be also modulated (by Math device). (one have to love this one)
- Modulator can be deactivated

3) Possibility of multiplied/ add automations (f. e. by Pressure you recorded automation with tons of points and add/ multiply can easily create automation over the recorded one).

3b) Latch, Touch, Write automation mode - (Cubase inspired md.): allow to set up that automation will start rec. when you tweak par., or-and stop/ pause rec. when you release parameter etc.

B) Midi editing
4) Have a hide/ deactivate tracks
-) Significantly more advance Multiple Editor: - option to choose visible tracks in editor.
- Mult. editor can be set up to "Track view" so it follows through all project-song (no need to constantly clicking on next clips to see midi editor while track is playing).
- Mult.midi editor can also display one audio clip on back-ground.
5 ) Midi editor has 4 expression - MPE support (pdxindy; Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:34 pm), two of them are free assign through expression modulators (f. e. allows specially set up multi-segmented envelop for each midi note) - quite game changer.
6) Copy notes between clips.
7) "MIDI doesn't disappear after leaving instrument to fx-chain - can be used by other devices further down the processing stream". (antic604 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:40 am:)
+) Thanx to "Note filter" and "Note pitch shifter" you can play all drums on keyboard with f. e. octave/ half octave range range and leave their Midi to their own frequencies (just shifted on keyboard) - in Ableton thats not possible. Also you can map on/ off of Note filter/ Note pitch shifter to midi controller.
For Keys/ Instrument these devices allows wider combinations of midi routing - Abletons allows to pick only one range of keyboard and transpozing, very limited for drum and also instruments and messing up track´s midi.


C) Editing audio
8) More audio tracks can be layered in Audio editior
audio has Events – they can be modulated through histogram in Inspector. (in Ableton you cant split audio inside audio editor - you can only crop it, or change start/ end position).
- Raw mode allows to hear audio before time-stretching, Speaker mode – makes louder Onsets (Warp markers) while rest of audio is plays lower in vol., etc.

D) Work-flow
8) To bounce midi with external LFO to audio you just alt/drag (or click Bounce) – no more fishy exporting (recording, resampling), or if the midi don’t have external LFO (which was in my case rare) you have to freeze (not always possible though), create new track, copy it, unfreeze.

10) It has hybrid tracks (how ever hybrid tracks don´t work for Vocoders, Stutters etc. - you still need to set up two tracks). (I think that Reason already have hybrid track in its full..)

11) You can work on multiple projects simultaneously and copy between them. (however switching between project requires re-load of vst - in advance project, it can be 5 second/while Ableton play other rewired project without waiting, but also w/out possibility of direct track copy)

12) Cue markers (Locators) can be hidden, their key-mapping is updating as you adds new of them, you can color them to make project more easy to work with, you can move more of them together, allowing you to have bunch cue markers on place you just working.

13) Clip/ track view: Arrangement v. has option to scroll between clips in Clip editor – and leave playback to follow it.

14) You can see Session and Arranger together – Session is then align with Arranger (Arrangement v.) – so if you playing from Session view, you still see playback of Arranger (in Ableton you have to have two monitors) and see session v. and arrangement v. align - easing the improvisation in larger projects.

15) Separate mixer, each track/ chain also shows in Inspector separate vol. meter.

16) Edit view: Device v. and Note editor/ Mixer can be seen together (impossible in Ableton unless you use two monitor).

17) Four options how 2 monitors will interact (Ableton has one default).

18) When you zooming in a clip to fit the screen, when either side reach the screen edge, Bitwig stop that side for while so you can make it fit to screen (Ableton do this only in bottom Clip selector).

19) Nested fxs inside Bitwig devices.

20) Special devices for routing audio, midi etc.

21) Clips can be offset, in Session view you can set clip´s start delay.

22) In master/ group tracks can be inserted clip.

21) Option to set up default channel volume - Ableton has always default 0.

22) Option to set % offset while moving more volume fader - pretty useful for mastering.

23) Racks have global Mix (Dry/Wet) and Gain.

24) Key-mapping is not that straight-forward but far more extensive: F. e. Ableton unchangeable short-cut for close Browser: ctr+alt+ B - is good for Chopin, but regular human being will do it faster by mouse... If you wanna key-map smt already key-mapped, Bitwig let you know..

25) Instrument/ Fx selector

antic604 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:40 am:
26) Bitwig can support 64 and 32 bit vst together.

27) "Ability to have Sends within groups."

28) Plugin sandbox - if plugin fails, Bitwig just “disable it”, Ableton crash and unsaved work may be lost, Live performance screwed-up.

29) Faders can be quickly done from clip handle (like in Logic etc.)

X) Personal feeling: Sound and visual playback are perfectly sync (Ableton - maybe due to prevent possible pop-up in live performance - has slight (sometimes significant) offsets: especially unpleasing while working with drums. But in 2018 this is becoming vanishing problem ..

———-

II. Ableton Can- have/ or Bitwig Can´t - have not

A) Modulation- Automation - no advantage found.
B) Midi editing
1) Capture, ie. retrospective recording of MIDI input.
2) Selected midi can be expand/ shrink fluently - not just 50%, 200% - You not always need to follow notation grid.
3) Velocity ramp-up

B-C) Audio editing - no advantage found.

4) Ableton feature Video editing, in Bitwig you have to rely on vst (VidPlayVST cost 20 usd and from time to time it freezes) - no big deal tough.

5) M4L: MaxScore - notation editor.

6) Bitiwig dont support rewire (machinesworking; Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:42 pm), but seem like there are quite work- arounds.

7) M4L Fabripoce Preset morphing device - allows to morph (like in RP or FM8 synths) between presets (maybe you can do it in Bitwig, but I did not figure it out).

8) Live has separate record buttons for Session and Arrangement v. rec.: you can do repetitive overdub rec. in Session v. and you see your midi here (all on one page view though - in Bitwig Session recording dont follow playback so you record “on blind”). But you can´t see Midi editor while recording in Arrangement v. (in Bitwig you can and it follows the playback).

9) Already (with 2.4) possible: Scenes can´t be widen (to show all title) -
10) M4l Isotronik Follow, Exclude, but since Bitwig has a Launcher one would probably barely use it.

pdxindy; Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:34 pm:
11 ) Vocoder - Something about it I really liked.
11a)Legato mode for clips ( + codec17; Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:01 pm) 10) Midi Step Input
11b) more comprehensive range of instruments (subtractive, wavetable, physical modelling), Silweri; Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:16 pm: better sampler.

12) Spencer Maddox; Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:46 pm: Push 2 works with Ableton better..


D) Workflow
-) In bitwig I cannot move clips in arrangement with arrows (M-Prod, Oct 17, 2018 1:33 am)
-Double click to set fader to 0db, move the fader with the arrows (course or fine with shift).
-In Ableton I can adjust any control with the keyboard arrows! (that's a BIG omission for me in bitwig)
( counter reaction (kpv, Oct 18, 2018): Moving the faders, and other parameters, with the arrow keys in Live is handy, but I much prefer Bitwigs way of pressing ctrl + / Instead, we get to move the automation points with alt/shift +)
-) in Ableton you can minimize single tracks or all (in BW only All)

antic604 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:40 am:
13) incremental saves (Live automatically keeps last 10 versions of the project),
14) Utility goes to -Inf vs. Bitwig's -24dB,

X) Personal feeling: Bitwig can be more sensitive for CPU peaking and and it take some time to figure it out – f. e. open/full stretch and minimize CPU intensity measurement win can help etc. But in 2018 this is becoming vanishing problem ..

A)B)C): 1) Bitwig does not show Timilene in seconds (seconds are only shown for playhead position in display) - it does not matter but make it harder for making sound in sync with video (Davinci or After Effect is not showing Time signature).

2) Beside Playhead (show actual playback position in timeline) Ableton show also: where you started, where you ended and where you click: ctrl+ spacebar - you play again from where you started last timeshift + spacebar - you play from where you ended.
Spacebar – you play from where you click
In BW this is much more limited (offseted by useable Marker tough): once you hit shift+space your last position disappear (remembered is only the one you are just shift+starting). When you zoom in the Timeline after stop playback your actual position disappear (shift+start is tough available).
Last edited by George Sigsally on Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:34 am, edited 64 times in total.

tenchudj
KVRist
46 posts since 3 Apr, 2012

Re: Bitwig 2 vs. Ableton 10 (2018 - facts only)

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:46 am

drag and drop insts and fx without stuttering

Spencer Maddox
KVRist
220 posts since 19 Oct, 2017

Re: Bitwig 2 vs. Ableton 10 (2018 - facts only)

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:46 pm

When I'm using bitwig the the thing I wish I had the most would be "Simpler" probably.
I also miss the push2
Yes bitwig can be used with the push2 of course but it's just not the same, nothing comes close to the level of connection you get with Ableton live.

Vice versa, when I'm using Ableton live I miss the modulators. Of course Ableton is making some max stuff like them but it's not as easy and intuitive and dare I say fun as it's bitwig counterparts.
I also suspect in the future I will miss the new bitwig Phase Modulation synth when using live. I'm on the beta and I really like that little thing, more so then live's new synth, that while cool, offers me nothing that I did not already have in Serum, ANA, or Falcon...
More Espresso Less Depresso

codec17
KVRAF
1514 posts since 14 Feb, 2010

Re: Bitwig 2 vs. Ableton 10 (2018 - facts only)

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:01 pm

Legato clips!
And yes!!! Simpler/sampler ,....

But im confident that will come some day....
Fot now i sort it all out with Geist-2. But all native would be insane!

machinesworking
KVRian
1306 posts since 15 Aug, 2003 from seattle

Re: Bitwig 2 vs. Ableton 10 (2018 - facts only)

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:42 pm

Ableton have gone the other way with rewire, Push 2 can be used with Ableton’s drum racks while in rewire mode, you get Live’s drum sequencer while Live is a rewire slave. As someone who own multiple DAWs I appreciate this and was supremely disappointed in Bitwig for ignoring the audio software ecosystem.

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Enrize
KVRist
238 posts since 18 Jan, 2017

Re: Bitwig 2 vs. Ableton 10 (2018 - facts only)

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:51 pm

1. Transpose +/- (in Repitch mode) right on the arrangement track.
2. Ableton GUI is fast as hell compared to Bitwig (but at the same time is ugly as hell lol)

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pdxindy
KVRAF
13988 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Bitwig 2 vs. Ableton 10 (2018 - facts only)

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:34 pm

What I like in Bitwig...
  • MPE support. This is the showstopper that made me stop using Live.

    The pop-up browser. I can add devices in seconds without even having to make a single mouse click and most of the time without even needing to look at the screen.

    The modulation system. And with 2.3 and the voice stacking, it is even better. Modulators for Bitwig synths can be per voice. This is huge now that Bitwig is starting to make synths of the quality of Phase-4. This means you have essentially, an unlimited mod matrix for Bitwig synths at the DAW level. Modulators can modulate other modulators. Select a device and you see all the modulation and modulated parameters in the inspector and can edit ranges there. The workflow is unmatched.

    Seeing the Clip Launcher and Arrange side by side.

    Mixer view

    Being able to open multiple projects at once

    The Inspector - and in particular the histograms. Want to add some random variation to the velocity of a bunch of selected notes? Easy

Things I miss from Live
  • Groove Tools

    Vocoder - Something about it I really liked.

    Legato mode for clips

    Midi Step Input

George Sigsally
KVRist
41 posts since 5 Feb, 2018

Re: Bitwig 2 vs. Ableton 10 (2018 - facts only)

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:40 pm

--

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mgw38
KVRian
1091 posts since 26 Jul, 2015 from Philadelphia

Re: Bitwig 2 vs. Ableton 10 (2018 - facts only)

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:15 pm

Both solid DAWs. What I miss most in Bitwig is Audio Unit support. There are a couple plugins I use frequently which are only available as audio units.

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antic604
KVRian
1325 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: Bitwig vs. Ableton

Post Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:40 am

(some things not mentioned yet, I think)

Advantages of Live 10 Suite vs. Bitwig 2.3:
- Capture, ie. retrospective recording of MIDI input,
- incremental saves (Live automatically keeps last 10 versions of the project),
- ability to directly map M4L devices (eg. LFO, Envelope, Env. Follower, Shaper) to parameters on other tracks,
- Utility goes to -Inf vs. Bitwig's -24dB :)
- stretching of audio clips by just CTRL+dragging the edge,
- I still prefer Racks vs. Layers, because of much easier control of which layer is playing,
- more comprehensive range of instruments (subtractive, FM, wavetable, physical modelling),
- Simpler/Sampler much, much better than Bitwig's Sampler

The other way around:
- support for VST3 & bit-bridging,
- dedicated touch profile with innovative input interface,
- MIDI doesn't disappear in the instrument and can be used by other devices further down the processing stream,
- ability to have clips on group tracks and master tracks,
- ability to have Sends within groups,
- much smoother scroll/zoom using touchpad gestures (which Live only introduced in 10...),
- automation in separate lanes, instead of completely separate mode (new in Live 10),
- Bitwig is a much better & fully-featured DAW than Live 10 Standard (comparable cost).
Live 10 // Bitwig 2 // Reason 10 // Studio One 4
Music: https://soundcloud.com/antic604

SLiC
KVRAF
2809 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Re: Bitwig vs. Ableton

Post Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:43 am

Always worth remembering when dong comparisons that Bitwig is half the price of Live Suite. You can buy Bitwig and Arturia Collection or Bitwig and AAS collection (to be like Suite instruments!) or even Bitwig + a good sampler of your choice (Halion is half price at the moment over at Steinberg!)

I wonder if Bitwig will ever do that 'Suite' version with extra plugs and Fx provided by UH-E (I am sure we tried to start that rumour before :hyper: )
Current Gear: i7 Win 10 + Surface, BWS, StudioOne 4, X32 Desk. Rubicon R8s, DM12, P8, Virus TI, System 1m, Korg ARP, P6, Eurorack, Elektron A4, RYTM, OT, MPC Live, OP-1, Mother 32, Dominion Club, Roland TD8 and HPD-20, Guitars, Basses and Amps

bolba
KVRist
110 posts since 12 Mar, 2017

Re: Bitwig vs. Ableton

Post Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:44 am

I'm hoping to get my hands on Surface Book 2 soon and, hopefully, Bitwig's touch support will be another huge + over Ableton :D
Will see...

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antic604
KVRian
1325 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: Bitwig vs. Ableton

Post Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:08 am

bolba wrote:I'm hoping to get my hands on Surface Book 2 soon and, hopefully, Bitwig's touch support will be another huge + over Ableton :D
Well, Bitwig definitely does it very well - I'd say better than most DAWs, due to the GUI layout being designed with touch in mind and the innovative radial menu. But - IMO, of course - don't get your hopes up. Touch is a great interface to play around or even sketch some ideas, but I don't think it's comfortable enough to make music start-to-finish.

And BTW touch works great on Surface Pro 4, so I'm sure it will be even better on Surface Book 2!
Live 10 // Bitwig 2 // Reason 10 // Studio One 4
Music: https://soundcloud.com/antic604

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pdxindy
KVRAF
13988 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Bitwig vs. Ableton

Post Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:15 am

Some other advantages of Bitwig:

Remote Controls. Easily create both Device Pages (work across all instances of the device) and Preset Pages (specific to the individual preset).
Every Device can have Macro controls without having to wrap the device in a Rack.
Bounce in Place
Customizable Key Commands
Various Devices can be nested. For example, you can put any device (including VST's) into the feedback path of the Delay devices.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
13988 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Bitwig vs. Ableton

Post Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:25 am

antic604 wrote:(some things not mentioned yet, I think)

Advantages of Live 10 Suite vs. Bitwig 2.3:

- more comprehensive range of instruments (subtractive, FM, wavetable, physical modelling),
For sure the Instruments in Live 10 are more in number and variety. However, the Bitwig Instruments are fundamentally more flexible because they are part of a powerful system. Ableton Operator is a useful synth, but modulation is fairly limited. You cannot just add an envelope and control any parameter.

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