Bitwig on Linux

Official support for: bitwig.com
rlared
KVRian
621 posts since 1 Aug, 2016

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:24 pm

I was thinking about giving it a try. I'm running Linux Mint 19. I would not use any Windows plugins in this setup even though I know it's possible to with Wine. A few questions:

- Would you recommend?
- Does it come with included instruments and effects?
- Does it require Jack or can it use Alsa directly?
- Does it have a way to pitch correct audio?
- Can it use linux plugins (Linux VST, LV2)?
- Any major downsides?

Beerhunter
KVRist
427 posts since 5 Apr, 2014

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:28 pm

I would recommend it, it's super easy to work with.

You can only use Linux VST out of the box, other formats might work with some tricks, using Jack Rack and connect it via an input to Bitwig.

It does not have a pitch-correction software like Melodyne included. There are some folks out there running melodyne via wine.


Downsides: if you compare it to Pro-Tools or similar it might lack some basic features like comping etc.

Some other feature you can use a workaround, i.e. drum replacement.

Cheers

mevla
KVRAF
2797 posts since 3 Nov, 2015

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:51 am

I'm using Bitwig for about 3 years now. First on Linux Mint up to 18.1 and now recently on Xubuntu 18.04 LTS. I much prefer Xubuntu. The graphics are more crisp, to the point that there's not such of a need to zoom plugins. and it's also a bit faster since the desktop is lighter. You can hear some of the material I did with the links in the signature below. There's much more on the soundcloud page.

Bitwig runs fine in both LM and Xubuntu although I would say that it has perhaps a bit more space to wiggle on Xubuntu, especially if you are using Windows VST. I use a certain number of Windows VSTs and for most of the ones I've chosen they run pretty good. I also use native Linux VSTs such as the synths by u-he, Biotek2, pianoteq, DiscoDSP synths, OvertoneDSP audio processing, etc...

I do not think it's fair to compare Bitwig with Pro Tools as they are quite different. Bitwig has Scenes and Clips which offers an excellent approach to composition by being able to interchange segments very easily.

Yes, all of the Bitwig devices (FX, synths) are also part of Bitwig Linux. It can use jackd or alsa. I use jackd.

I create using Bitwig and I mix and master using Harrison Mixbus32C also on Linux.

This all said, I just got a disturbing email from Bitwig that states that I will be no longer able to use it if I do not pay. See the other thread I created about this.

rlared
KVRian
621 posts since 1 Aug, 2016

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:55 am

Ok thanks for the feedback. If the opportunity presents itself to pick up a cheap used license I'll probably give it a whirl.

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lunardigs
KVRian
577 posts since 6 Jun, 2016 from Austin, Texas

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:25 pm

I've been using Bitwig with Linux exclusively for about 3 years now too. It's been a very good experience for the most part--so much so that I ditched all my Windows stuff since that time. Can I rely upon Bitwig and Linux alone, yes; Bitwig has a substantial amount of tools built in.

Would I recommend it? Perhaps ... I'm an adept Linux user at this point, so my perspective is really positive. Although, if you're relatively new to Linux, there will be some pain associated with learning it. Yet, once you feel well enough in control it's an incredible thing. I've written at some length on KVR about this general topic.

Caveats? Absolutely ... If you work in a professional capacity, I would beware Linux until you fully grasp it, PLUS leveraging the open standards which will allow you to be interoperable with your clients, etc. The good news is that the open standards are either derived from commercial technology, or the other way around.

Another caveat, which I would call a serious 'soar spot' is audio hardware. Pro audio hardware manufacturers have been terrible for the most part; they do not care about the Linux market. They may appreciate and even rely upon Linux for their operations, but to hell with investing energy in to making Linux drivers and tools. That said, Class Compliance can take you VERY far. ALSO, attitudes are ever changing, so I hope for the best--even my cynical views, hah!

Ultimately, I think the future is quite bright for pro audio upon Linux. It would behoove you to learn Linux in any case though, because Linux has so much to offer in other areas as well.

rlared
KVRian
621 posts since 1 Aug, 2016

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:11 pm

I'm quite familiar with linux at this point, so no worries there. Really the DAW software has been the major reason I haven't used linux more often, because I have a bunch of plugins and DAW software that works in Windows. No Melodyne (or alternate pitch correction software) would be a bummer as well.

Another option I may check out in the future is Reaper in Linux along with U-he plugins. Reaper has a built in pitch-correction plugin (at least in Windows) that works decently.

I find Mint to be the best fit because I don't like GNOME 3 and I find KDE to be pretty buggy and bloated. Cinnamon works really well and then it has the whole software universe of Ubuntu, so it's great.

I'm just a hobbyist, so I don't have to worry about clients. If I had clients I wouldn't mess with using a Linux DAW honestly.

My Focusrite Scarlett interface works perfectly in Linux natively. I also have a Komplete Kontrol MIDI keyboard which works for sending MIDI notes and CC's, although of course the fancy Komplete Kontrol interface part of it doesn't work. I'm glad to hear that Bitwig can use Alsa directly, because I find that way more simple than having to start Jack and then dealing with it conflicting with Pulse audio.

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lunardigs
KVRian
577 posts since 6 Jun, 2016 from Austin, Texas

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:19 am

Reaper coming to Linux is pretty exciting. Which Scarlett do you have? Does it sound good?

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Beamboom
KVRist
179 posts since 2 Apr, 2014

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:29 am

Pitch correction is really the one single remaining missing tool in the Bitwig toolbox (imho) for it to be a complete DAW. Since we (Linux users) don't have the luxury of using all VSTs out there, it'd be an addition that I would really have appreciated.

Taika-Kim
KVRian
1152 posts since 15 May, 2002 from Finland

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:04 pm

I've been temporarily back to Windows now, but if you just have an OS for music, setting up Ubuntu Studio takes just a moment, and you probably don't need to worry about a thing.

But as soon as you start adding stuff and playing around, it turns to a swamp pretty quick. Many tutorials on the net are outdated and even destructive, I have destroyed two installations following instructions on the net, and almost killed one when I tried an alternative kernel and a desktop too IIRC and tried to uninstall it, which messed everything up pretty badly. There's so many things that won't play along nicely, especially if you're not very experienced.

That being said, I got as much as 30% better performance in BW under Ubuntu and a low latency kernel compared to Windows. The CPU load was much more even with less spikes and fluctuations. Under Linux I could still have glitchless sound at DSP loads close to 100%, under Windows glitches started to happen after 80%. And Linux was around 10%-15% faster to start with in my Bitwig benchmarks.

I'm the beginning I would suggest to running BW and native plugins only, and not trying to install anything very exotic. Traditionally the biggest obstacle, setting JACK up has been made lately very easy with Ubuntu Studio.

I will create an installation for music and graphics only as soon as I have some money to buy a dedicated big enough M.2 drive.

I use BW almost exclusively these days, so I don't need much.

Taika-Kim
KVRian
1152 posts since 15 May, 2002 from Finland

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:08 pm

If you own Melodyne, the cracked version runs fine under Linux BTW. It's a shame that many copy protections fail under Linux.

And yes, realize that none of you interfaces DSP and software routing and configuration tools will work probably. Depending on the interface, this might be a problem or non-issue.

mevla
KVRAF
2797 posts since 3 Nov, 2015

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:09 pm

Even with a regular distro such as Xubuntu 18.04 (Ubuntu with lightweight Xfce desktop), which I use, jackd is easy to setup. It's basically a package install, along with a UI, qjackctl, and a sink for pulse audio (pulseaudio-module-jack) to enable all other media apps to use the same jackd-based audio. With the installation of the sink module package jackd will start at boot using a simple .jackdrc file in the home directory.

Of course a bit of configuration is needed to get everything aligned and to get the most of it. But that's also true for any other OS and getting the most of an audio/DAW setup. The main thing would be to tell jackd what is the audio interface. Then comes bits here and there to get more performance.

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lunardigs
KVRian
577 posts since 6 Jun, 2016 from Austin, Texas

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:34 pm

@Taika-Kim, thanks for sharing your benchmark comparison. 30% is an appreciable difference!
Have you had a chance to benchmark a normal Linux kernel vs. Windows?
Btw, why have you returned to Windows lately?

Taika-Kim
KVRian
1152 posts since 15 May, 2002 from Finland

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:13 pm

No just the low latency kernel. This was also on Firewire, on USB I'm not sure about those spikes etc, got still that 10-15% pure speed, I did another benchmark recently. I think I lost the notes though :/

I finished an album where I used Composer Cloud, it uses Ilok, so does not run under Linux. Also I want that dedicated drive, but money has been a bit tight (I have a super small form factor Elitedesk that can house only one M.2 and one SSD, so both would need to be large, luckily prices are falling. I don't like using my external HDD enclosure) . Also been super busy, didn't want to use my scant fee time for configuring stuff. Linux as a relative beginner does eat time, just learning how to do things.

gennargiu
KVRist
127 posts since 26 Jan, 2006

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:16 am

hi I used Bitwig Studio 3.1.1 on Mx Linux 19 (debian buster based) I used only native instruments and fx Gnu Linux and Incuded in Bitwig + Polygrid and Fx grid (similar at reaktor block of native instruments). For me it's wonderful for audio music production. Other daw very good on Gnu Linux native are Waveform 10 Tracktion,Harrison Mixbus 5 or Mixbus 32c,and Ardour ( future Ardour 6) + Reaper experimental. Happy Holiday friends from Naples (Italy)

gennaro
Bitwig Studio 3.1.3 - Live Ableton 8 - Reaper 5 - Waveform 11 - Mixbus 5.3.4 - Ardour 5.12
Gnu Linux Mx Linux 19.1 (Debian Buster based + kx studio) - Raspbian Buster (raspberry pi4) Windows 10

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lunardigs
KVRian
577 posts since 6 Jun, 2016 from Austin, Texas

Re: Bitwig on Linux

Post Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:02 am

Taika-Kim wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:13 pm
No just the low latency kernel. This was also on Firewire, on USB I'm not sure about those spikes etc, got still that 10-15% pure speed, I did another benchmark recently. I think I lost the notes though :/

I finished an album where I used Composer Cloud, it uses Ilok, so does not run under Linux. Also I want that dedicated drive, but money has been a bit tight (I have a super small form factor Elitedesk that can house only one M.2 and one SSD, so both would need to be large, luckily prices are falling. I don't like using my external HDD enclosure) . Also been super busy, didn't want to use my scant fee time for configuring stuff. Linux as a relative beginner does eat time, just learning how to do things.
You know, the cool thing about learning Linux though is that those skills should be good for many years--decades even. Which, to me, makes it a good investment of time and effort.
One trouble I recall during my tenure as an MCSE (MS certified tech) was that new stuff/ways (products, really) came at such a rapid clip, that I couldn't comfortably keep up. Also, most of it was 'here today, gone tomorrow' crap, not worth learning.
Linux, OTOH is remarkably stable this way. Development decisions aren't senselessly new & trendy; the profit motive is absent.
Of course, other things don't develop fast enough. Especially when it means ripping the foundation apart--which is necessary from time to time. Although, when they do so, it's usually quite considerate of back-compatibility.

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