Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

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Gomjab
KVRer
12 posts since 12 Jul, 2018

Post Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:45 am

I saw that Bitwig announced version 2.4

One of the updates is:

“CHANNEL SUPPORT, PROGRAM-WIDE
Layers of sound with plenty of options.
MIDI coming into Bitwig Studio now preserves its channel data by default. Layered editing can now work by channel with intuitive view/edit modes and various options for how notes are colored.
Channel data can be useful to hardware MIDI devices, VST plug-ins, or internal Bitwig Studio devices, like Instrument Layer. And the new Channel Filter and Channel Map devices can make channels dynamic within a chain. Whether you are using MIDI or not, channels can be a welcome addition to your workflow.”

Looks like Bitwig will be my go to DAW for my Roli Seaboard and recently purchased LinnStrument!

I can’t wait to download BETA. :-)

Gomjab

https://www.bitwig.com/en/18/bitwig-studio-2_4.html

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pdxindy
KVRAF
14977 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:05 am

fixed is not quite the right word... it has not been broken up until now... with Bitwig 2.4 MPE support will now be fully implemented. Bitwig will then be my favorite MPE Daw!

Also, in 2.4 the Bitwig Sampler is getting major improvements, including granular, so it will be an impressive MPE instrument!

Combine that with the u-he synths steadily getting full MPE support and MPE stuff is looking really good.

Gomjab
KVRer
12 posts since 12 Jul, 2018

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:21 am

I guess better behaved instead of fixed.

I’ve been using Logic with my Seaboard but would like to use Bitwig as it plays very nice with my Eurorack.

UnWorldly
KVRist
39 posts since 13 Jan, 2013

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:44 am

This is very exciting, I can't wait to hear how the beta goes. I might just get a license if it's good. I have been using reaper for the most part.

John the Savage
KVRist
239 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:58 pm

‘Bout time, Bitwig!

There’s hope on the horizon... Woot!

Cheers!

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
6385 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:56 am

Yep this is going to solve all the issues I had wth it, except perhaps the unfortunate requirement for all instruments to have a pitch bend range of +/- 48 notes to be able to record and playback pitch bends correctly. That might still be one area where other DAWs have an advantage. But who knows maybe it’s a small improvement they added but didn’t mention yet?
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit. Once I have something clever, I will certainly fill it in.

Reckon104
KVRer
27 posts since 16 Jul, 2018

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:50 pm

I am curious about others experiences with Bitwig. I bought it a couple days ago and thus far have had some challenges.

Firstly, the midi channel issue, which I know is being "fixed" with the next upgrade, is still present, and, frankly, it concerns me that it took so long to add this very basic functionality (at least it is for me and the way I use midi). For a company that touts MPE compatibility, that one has to download a script to get this to work (and I'm still having trouble with it even after downloading) seems, well, bizarre. I hope that the ver. 2.4 actually puts this issue to rest.

However, I am having other things crop up. Basically several different "buggy" behaviors when using MPE (or should i say "force(d) mpe". I won't bore everyone with the details, but I must say, coming from Reaper (which works completely flawlessly for me as far as MPE goes) I am thus far not impressed.

What has been mentioned above about the necessity for 48 pitch bend range also sounds distinctly sub-optimal. I hadn't even encountered that, but I haven't tried recording on it yet. If that is true, it alone might have been a deal breaker for me had I known about it.

I am not trying to bash this product. I am really just curious to know others experiences with it, so that I can know whether to cut my losses now in terms of the time I will need to spend learning the software, or trust that this will all work out as the new version rolls out and I get more familiar with Bitwig.

My main goal is to have a very solid, reliable platform for live performance.

I appreciate any shared experiences that might help me decide how to move forward.

BTW, this is my first post, but i have been a lurker and some of you may have seen some of my linnstrument videos under my name "stephen barnard".

thanks for reading.

John the Savage
KVRist
239 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:20 pm

Reckon104 wrote:I am curious about others experiences with Bitwig. I bought it a couple days ago and thus far have had some challenges.

Firstly, the midi channel issue, which I know is being "fixed" with the next upgrade, is still present, and, frankly, it concerns me that it took so long to add this very basic functionality (at least it is for me and the way I use midi). For a company that touts MPE compatibility, that one has to download a script to get this to work (and I'm still having trouble with it even after downloading) seems, well, bizarre. I hope that the ver. 2.4 actually puts this issue to rest.

However, I am having other things crop up. Basically several different "buggy" behaviors when using MPE (or should i say "force(d) mpe". I won't bore everyone with the details, but I must say, coming from Reaper (which works completely flawlessly for me as far as MPE goes) I am thus far not impressed.

What has been mentioned above about the necessity for 48 pitch bend range also sounds distinctly sub-optimal. I hadn't even encountered that, but I haven't tried recording on it yet. If that is true, it alone might have been a deal breaker for me had I known about it.

I am not trying to bash this product. I am really just curious to know others experiences with it, so that I can know whether to cut my losses now in terms of the time I will need to spend learning the software, or trust that this will all work out as the new version rolls out and I get more familiar with Bitwig.

My main goal is to have a very solid, reliable platform for live performance.

I appreciate any shared experiences that might help me decide how to move forward.

BTW, this is my first post, but i have been a lurker and some of you may have seen some of my linnstrument videos under my name "stephen barnard".

thanks for reading.
Hi Stephen,

The big hang-up for me with Bitwig's MPE implementation thus far has been the fact that you can't play more than one incident of the same note simultaneously. That was a non-starter for me. Presumably, hopefully, that will be fixed with this pending update. If so, I think it will make for a viable live performance platform. That said, I'm just curious why you would want to use it at all, given that you've had success using Reaper already. And correct me if I'm wrong, but does UVI Falcon not work standalone as well?

I'm actually curious what you think of Falcon as an MPE synth... Is it easy enough to configure?

Cheers!

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1163 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:39 pm

I suspect the MPE problem behaviors you're referring to are the same ones discussed on this forum, specifically the inability to record the sent MIDI channel with each note, instead assigning channels round-robin on playback. This results in the inability to play two notes of the same pitch at the same time (like any MIDI keyboard), and in problems playing back recordings of Channel Per Row performances. I personally never found this to be a big deal, but 2.4 will fix this, and the 2.4 code will come to Bitwig 8-Track.

I'm not sure what you mean by downloading a script. When I install 8-Track or Studio, MPE works fine without downloading a script.

Regarding the fixed bend range of 48 semitones, that's the range stated in the official MPE Specification from the MIDI Association, in order to make different devices more compatible. This bend range makes sense because a Continuum or 4-octave Seaboard Rise needs it to perform 4-octave pitch slides. LinnStrument only needs a range of 24 semitones because pitch slides are limited to 2 octaves, but it's simple to set LinnStrument to a bend range of 48 semitones; simply hold "+/-24" then swipe right until it shows "48".

Personally I like Bitwig. What attracts me is how well-designed, intuitive and efficient the code, UI, synths and modulation are, and all with a Live-like look and feel. As a comparison, Live is an excellent application but it seems they're struggling a bit with bringing their legacy code into the present, which can be a little like playing whack-a-mole. :wink:

Reckon104
KVRer
27 posts since 16 Jul, 2018

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:22 pm

Wow, thanks for the quick replies.

Roger:

You cover most of the problems I've encountered. But there have been a couple others things I've encountered as well, which may be a bit boring to go into here.

The "script" I am referring to is to allow midi channel separation, a midi filter basically. Among the many uses of this functionality is simply keyboard/instrument splits. Now, I may have completely missed something, I probably have, but the only way I could figure out how to do this was to download and use one of "Tom's scripts". To be honest, if I couldn't figure out how to do this and it is part of the program and I had to figure out a workaround by downloading a script, well, I am too dumb for this software and I better turn tail :)

However, If this is one of several midi fixes that will occur with the update and I have basically understood what is going on with the program, I will be pleased.

I misunderstood what the 48 pitch concern was (won't bore you with what I thought it was), so of course that's no deal breaker. But I'll admit I'm lazy, and it annoys me in Falcon that I have to change that setting so it would be great if there is a way to override that and make it 24 by default.

For what it's worth, I think bitwig is quite amazing in many ways: it has got to have the most intuitive work flow for me of any DAW i've ever fooled around with or used. So I am hoping to love it.

Thanks for your input, as always Roger.

John (is that right?):

Yes, I am thinking that will be fixed too. Thanks for your thoughts.

I have actually been enjoying using the Reaper "playtime" plugin (which essentially gives reaper the ableton/bitwig clip launcher thingy (whatever its called) and took a harder look at Bitwig, checking the demo out a little, but maybe not quite enough. If Ableton had done MPE with 10, I would've got that probably. When I saw the recent upgrade teaser, the sale and knew I could get Bitwig for $260, at that point gear lust took offer and it was no longer a rational decision. So I am a bit guilt plagued.

Certainly you can do a lot with Falcon, but it's not a DAW.

As far as Falcon as an MPE synth, I think it is amazing. I was all set to really dive into it recently, when I got off track from another couple softwares, but I am pretty certain I will be using it considerably down the road. So I can't give a truly informed opinion, but from what I've experienced when I've used it, it's really an amazing sound design play space and you can integrate midi expressiveness into the mix pretty easily and with satisfying results.

Thanks again guys for the responses.

Best,
Steve

Reckon104
KVRer
27 posts since 16 Jul, 2018

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:51 am

Sorry for more rambling, but I realized I hadn't been clear about a couple things:

John: The main reason I am thinking of moving away from Reaper for Live performance is that reaper does not have midi feedback (i think that's what its called) At any given time in the live set I am developing, I may have as many as eight midi controllers active going at any one time. For several of these it is helpful to get feedback from the DAW (for instance my BCR2000 and it's endless encoders or my quneo). That is the main thing that I am missing in Reaper. Also, I do find that the integrated clip launcher in Bitwig is quite nice. Reaper's works well, but suffers a bit from being an add-on I think. All in all, though, Reaper is awesome and boy, it's efficiency is second to none, which for what I am doing may be the ultimate reason to stay with it.

Roger: Just as point of further explanation: now, assuming I didn't totally miss it (which is certainly possible), the current lack of channel separation without a script is strange to me for a DAW that promotes their MPE functionality because most of my software/vst's are not MPE and in order to use those instruments MPE-style with the Linnstrument, midi channel separation is the only way I know how to do it (although again, I would not be stunned at all if I am missing something completely). But again, as I understand it the new update will solve this issue and perhaps give bitwig a more sophisticated way of working with midi channels than anything I've used. So I am very hopeful.

BobDog
KVRian
565 posts since 2 Apr, 2015

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:52 am

I hope 2.4 does sort out some of the problems, as Roger says above most of the design is very elegant but unfortunately there are some glaring omissions. Maybe 2.4 will make me renew my subscription/upgrade plan again.

Not the Bitwig is alone of course, I just upgraded to Live 10 and it is shocking that some of the very basic issues are still there.

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1163 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:20 am

Reckon104 wrote:Roger: Just as point of further explanation: now, assuming I didn't totally miss it (which is certainly possible), the current lack of channel separation without a script is strange to me for a DAW that promotes their MPE functionality because most of my software/vst's are not MPE and in order to use those instruments MPE-style with the Linnstrument, midi channel separation is the only way I know how to do it (although again, I would not be stunned at all if I am missing something completely). But again, as I understand it the new update will solve this issue and perhaps give bitwig a more sophisticated way of working with midi channels than anything I've used. So I am very hopeful.
Hi Reckon--

Bitwig's internal synths are MPE and Bitwig passes all 16 channels to the track's plug-in, thereby permitting MPE operation in 3rd-party MPE plug-ins. I think that qualifies Bitwig as MPE.

I think I see your point: given that your plug-ins aren't MPE, you wish to kludge them into MPE by creating, for each MPE channel, a separate track with a redundant instance of the same one-channel plug-in, yes? If so, it seems like a lot of trouble merely to get polyphonic pitch slides, which is the main advantage of MPE. (You can get polyphonic pressure over a single channel, and most people don't find polyphonic Y-axis to be very useful.) So my question is: how often do you really use polyphonic pitch slides? If not so often, you may find it easier to use LinnStrument's smart One Channel mode, which automatically quantizes polyphonic pitch slides in order to prevent unintended wrong pitches, and also permits chord vibrato:

http://www.rogerlinndesign.com/midi-details.html

Personally, I find that expressive play is usually solo lines, which by their nature aren't polyphonic. Examples of polyphonic pitch slides include individual string bends within a chord on a pedal steel, bending one note while holding another steady on guitar, double-stops on violin, or multi-line sliding synth parts like this:

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

It's good to learn from you that Reaper has the ability to independently filter or pass each MIDI channel for each track. I didn't know that and other than Reaper, I'm not aware of any other DAW that does that. I know Logic doesn't. I think all the DAWs are catching up to MPE.

Regarding Bitwig 2.4, I'm not aware that it adds the ability to independently filter MIDI channels for each track. I would doubt that it does.

I hope this is helpful.

Reckon104
KVRer
27 posts since 16 Jul, 2018

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:21 am

Thanks so much Roger!

I do not use MPE with every patch (in the way that you are describing...), but I like to know it's there and often use it occasionally even in the context of what would otherwise be typically one note lines in various subtle ways. I was under the impression this (midi channel separation) was the standard way of creating MPE patches out of non-mpe plugins.

Now, if I am even describing this functionality correctly, I was under the impression many DAWs have it. As usual, my assumption is incorrect. However, it is not the only one. Usine Hollyhock 3 can do it, and maybe even more powerfully than Reaper. I had been planning on using HH3 as my primary live DAW and it is awesomely modular, but I found that it would creep up too high in CPU usage when I began to flesh out live tracks. Reaper is incredible in this regard. Also, I could never really figure out how to configure HH3 for the classic "ableton" clip launcher functionality, although I'm sure it can be done, 'cause you can pretty much do anything you can imagine with HH3 if you work at it. But since you can do this easily in Reaper (with Playtime) and reaper is so much more efficient, I was thinking I would go with Reaper.

Now, maybe I'm wrong (god knows I hope I'm not), but I am thinking that the new version of Bitwig may address this without having to use Tom's scripts. It even looks like it might enable you to "comb" channels...for instance sending channels 4, 6 and 9 to one track and 1,2 and 3 to another (which you can't do super-easily on reaper as far as I know). But maybe I'm am engaging with wishful thinking on this one.

Moreover the reason this functionality is so critical to me, is that with my many midi controllers, I would like to have a setup where I can situate the different controllers on different channels, so as to make it conceptually more simple to have so many and not have them conflict with each other, if that makes sense.

Thanks for the input as always Roger.

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1163 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: Bitwig 2.4 MPE fixed?

Post Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:00 am

You're very welcome, Reckon.

Yes, I guess you could say that creating redundant tracks, each with an instance of the same one-channel plug-in instrument, is the only way to use a one-channel plug-in as MPE. I wouldn't say it's standard because I think most people find the pain not worth the gain. For example, I find it cumbersome to be required to make the same parameter adjustment 8 or more times whenever I wish to edit a sound. To me, the important issue is expressive musical control and given that I don't often use polyphonic pitch slides, MPE is a second priority.

I'm not aware of Hollyhock but I'm glad it meet your needs for MIDI routing.

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