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Bitwig Studio 5

Sequencer / Multitrack by Bitwig
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Bitwig Studio 5 by Bitwig is an Audio Plugin Host for macOS, Windows and Linux. It can host VST Plugins, VST 3 Plugins and CLAP Plugins.
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5.1.3
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5.1.3
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5.1.3
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{See video at top of page}

Bitwig 5.1 is now in Public Beta. Registered owners of Bitwig 5.x have the option to download the 5.1 Public Beta and experience it for themselves.

The Bitwig Studio 5.1 Public Beta includes 10 new modules — four filters and six waveshapers — with 10 new sonic personalities. Some emulate classic structures, but most achieve their own, unique sonic qualities. And thanks to our new semi-modular, Grid-powered audio FX containers Filter+ and Sweep, you can load these onto any device or track to immediately add flavor or movement without touching a patch cable.

The filters — plus a brand-new oscillator — are also part of Polymer, which means they're all accessible in every edition of Bitwig Studio. Additional voice stacking modulators have established their own category, and important workflow improvements make audio editing faster and our mixer smarter.

Sound Design Tools:
Filters & Waveshapers

5.1's filters and waveshapers give you more options for coloring your sounds. All are available both as Grid modules or housed within the new Filter+ and Sweep devices. A cast of three new Character filters bring distinct personalities that can make a simple waveform dynamic and fresh, and our new formant filter speaks for itself. The six shapers provide different flavors, with each changing at various intensities. Turns out a little high-order math can sound quite nice:

  • Fizz can sparkle, shimmer like a phaser, or vocalize like a formant filter. Two cutoffs give you control over the main filter and the filter inside the feedback circuit.
  • Rasp adds brightness — and resonate nodes — around its cutoff frequency. Additional modes and controls mean the filter can go from nasal to throaty, or take a scream down to a whimper.
  • Ripple is a hyper-resonant circuit allowing both playful feedback or elemental destruction, with three modes: Earth, Wind, and Fire. Tends to lock onto harmonics. Good for acid sounds — or acid rain.
  • Vowels is a morphing formant filter with various models, pitch and frequency offsets.
  • Push is a soft clipper with a detailed curve. Push it lightly for juice and harder to elicit harshness.
  • Heat is an S-shaped clipper that starts soft but can drive hard, adding some sizzle at high levels.
  • Soar is a soft wavefolder that makes the quietest parts loud. Can bring out subtleties or add a zippy, metallic edge.
  • Howl puts different parts of the signal into the loud focus. A glitchy and snappy finish.
  • Shred is a non-linear wavefolder for subtle cancellation or big-time artifacts. Hissy and zappy.
  • Diode models the classic circuit with modern, zero-delay math. Internal bias and filter controls make it a warm, familiar option.

Sweep and Filter+

Filter+ and Sweep bring The Grid's filters and waveshapers anywhere. These pre-patched audio FX combine modular slots, clear interfaces, and built-in modulators, bringing color and movement to any track. Each filter and shaper can be swapped out or bypassed to suit your needs, and when a new idea strikes, right-click either device to convert it into a fully-editable FX Grid patch.

Filter+ is your new go-to color box, letting you pair any of our 14 waveshapers with one of the 10 filters. It is ready for any track, channel, or nested chain and even has stereo modulation options.

Sweep is an expressive filter bank with two filter slots, one waveshaper, and a routing knob for smoothly blending through several configurations. With a joint frequency control for moving the filters together (or apart) and a one-knob stereo tilt, Sweep is good for detail work and great for performance.

Bitwig Studio 5.1 comes with a handful of carefully crafted Filter+ and Sweep presets to get you started.

Voice Stacking Tools

Bitwig's unique voice stacking feature allows any polyphonic device (and even compatible plug-ins) to create multiple layers of sound. With 5.1, voice stacking is more powerful and easier to use.

Up to 16 voices can now be layered for each note played, and there are new ways to shape these stacks. Eight new modes can be found in the Stack Spread modulator, putting harmonic, rhythmic, and even randomized relationships onto any parameter.

Three new Grid modules make creating a spread mode easy and offer full mixer controls for each voice, anywhere you want it. And whether you are using spread modes or reaching for the individual Voice Control modulator, any voice can be soloed for easy sound programming.

And since Sweep and Filter+ are based on FX Grid, that makes three audio FX who can use voice stacking and polyphony. Sometimes the most creative sounds are elegant too.

And More Inside

A great DAW gives you inspiring creative tools and an environment that allows you to work on music easily and efficiently. 5.1's workflow improvements target fundamental tasks like audio editing and mixing so that you can complete tasks your way.

Mixer.

A smarter, more flexible mixer allows you to customize Bitwig Studio's GUI so you can reduce visual noise and focus on the task at hand.

Drag the track faders and meters taller to see levels in detail, or shrink track widths down to a sliver to see more at once. With multiple tracks selected, adjusting width, volume, panning of one track will adjust them all. And a tidier layout — with scrollable sections for sends, better placement of comments at bottom, and redesigned track headers — makes what you need clear and handsome.

Audio Quantize & Onset Threshold

v5.0's new onset detector improved analysis of your audio, and the latest update brings improved audio functions. This starts with audio playback, now offering a threshold setting to control which transients affect stretching. This fine control is also built into our various Slice functions, with each visualizing its operation in their dialog and on the timeline display.

A new Quantize Audio function is now available as well. From that dialog, you select the beat interval to match, which onsets to move, and the amount they should slide. Make those musical choices and Bitwig will get your audio right in the pocket.

Bite Oscillator

Speaking of character, Bite is a special dual oscillator now in The Grid and Polymer. By giving its two morphing oscillators good anti-aliasing and connecting them to each other with feedback, a wealth of analog techniques are unlocked. Crisper hard sync. Audio-rate pulse width modulation, and with some very custom shapes. And good old exponential FM can go from polite (thank you, Sync option) to wicked in no time. Finish it off with volume controls for each oscillator, one for ring modulation level, and some pleasant analog drift when settings change. So many ways to go wild.

Bitwig and Beyond

Finally, Bitwig probably isn't the only program you use. So they spent development time creating DAWproject, an open file format for taking your projects between Bitwig and other programs, like Studio One. And they worked with their friends at Derivative to make a native TouchDesigner integration with Bitwig Studio. Because the best thing audio performance software can do is work well with video performance software.

By The Numbers

v5.1 is our 21st major release of Bitwig Studio, which now includes Sweep and Filter+ for 114 native devices. There are now 43 unique modulators, including two in the new Voice Stacking category. 218 modules are available in The Grid, with new filters and shapers, routers and math. And because modules can leave the Grid, Polymer now has 500 styles (10 oscillators × 10 filters × 5 envelopes), not to mention the 140 combinations of Filter+, and 1400 flavors of Sweep. New sounds, just waiting to be discovered.

Availability

Bitwig Studio 5.1 is a free upgrade for all Bitwig Studio license holders with an active Upgrade Plan as of announcement (18 October 2023), with 5.1 beta installers available in your Bitwig user profile now. While it's hard to say exactly how long a beta phase can take, Bitwig hopes to release 5.1 before the end of the year.

Bitwig Studio 5 introduces five new MSEGs.
Developing this family of modulators and modules led to a major upgrade for Bitwigs' entire modulation system. In version 5, modulators can do more, like control track- and project-level parameters and expand into pop-out windows. We also created new ways to perform live with our software, and overhauled the browsers to make it easy to find what you need.

MSEGs: Beyond Envelopes

A multi-segment envelope generator (MSEG) is a tool for drawing custom envelopes, automation shapes, looping patterns — and just about anything else. We created five different kinds that can be used as Grid modules, two of which are also available as modulators.

Segments allows you to draw your own envelope with as many points as you need and loop it if you want, while Curves enables you to paint geometric patterns onto a changing beat grid for a unique LFO. And if you can draw your own control signals, why not draw oscillators, too? That's a job for Scrawl, an MSEG with clever math to make handmade waveforms sound good at any pitch. You can even make custom waveshapers with Transfer, or use the phase-driven sequencer Slopes for a deeper level of control.

Segments is an envelope with global time-scaling and loop modes. Use it as a Grid and Polymer module or as a modulator controlling any parameter.

Curves is an LFO modulator and Grid module that can sync to the beat time or groove.

Drawing in the MSEGs' Pop-out Editor windows is a breeze, with tools for freehand entry or shapes, and shortcuts for jumping to double time or triplets — even while still holding the mouse.

Scrawl is an anti-aliasing oscillator for The Grid and Polymer.

Slopes is a pattern sequencer for The Grid with stereo phase options.

Transfer is a waveshaper for transforming incoming audio or other signals in The Grid.

All your designs can be saved as a BWCURVE file and loaded in another MSEG. And a visual browser lets you see your content (and our presets) at a glance.

Modulation, Elevated

Bitwig's modulation system sets itself apart with a powerfully simple approach: Any control source — including audio or CV signals — can affect any device or plug-in. Now our modulators aren't limited to devices — they can grab the mixer and project controls as well.

You can now animate your entire mixer with any of our 40+ modulators, from step sequencers to audio sidechains or envelopes. One LFO can modulate any device on the same track, as well as the track's panning, sends, and other parameters. And if you move that LFO to the project level, you can add modulations to all devices, channel strips, and transport targets, too. Want to sidechain the Fill button, or MSEG the project tempo? Now you can.

MSEGs aren't the only 5.0 modulators with Pop-out Editor windows. The Steps and Keytrack+ modulators and The Grid's data sequencers also got resizable panes for cleaner editing and some helpful new functions.

New Performance Gestures

In Bitwig's Clip Launcher, you press a clip to launch it. But what should happen when you let go? Maybe this clip should stop when you pick up your finger, or it could return to whatever was playing before. In fact, any of our Next Actions can be used, so just pick what you want from the clip's On Release menu.

And now you can choose between two ways to trigger clips and scenes with a new ALT trigger option. The defaults are simple: tap a clip (normal trigger) to launch it at the next bar line, or ALT-trigger to immediately swap in the new clip, legato style. So decide in the moment and perform freely.

Project-wide normal and ALT-trigger gestures can be set in one place, and you can customize any clip or scene to have its own settings. That includes release options for both normal and ALT gestures, legato options for following the playing clip or the project transport, and a revamped Next Action section with simple loop counts.

Now that all tracks have their own remotes, the mixer offers a bird's-eye view of your most important parameters. That way, you can build a customized set of mix and performance controls. And new mapping options allow you to launch scenes and clips with any hardware.

Browse Better

The browser improvements are more than just a fresh coat of paint. Now, search results for plug-ins, presets, and wavetables (etc. etc.) all live in one place. The updated browsers also provide better ways to find our devices, customizable shortcuts, and a more visual way to browse your content:

  1. All Sources — including sounds by type, packages, your folders etc.
  2. Current Source — including hybrid sources, like Drum Hits (drum presets + samples).
  3. Quick Sources — customizable by drag‑and‑drop.
  4. Minimize option.
  5. Favorites view filter.
  6. Filters.
  7. Recent searches and snapshots.
  8. Free search entry.
  9. All search results.
  10. Favorites & collections indicators.
  11. Current selection.
  12. Show presets for devices, plug‑ins.

The new browsers implement a modern, flexible approach that does away with hierarchies. You can search through devices, presets, and everything else — including different types of media or content — all in one screen.

And then some...

The foundations got some love too, with a brand new onset detector that makes audio work better from the moment you drag it in. We're also introducing Spanish and Korean language support for Bitwig Studio. A dead-simple Keytrack+ modulator has an embedded MSEG editor window so you can draw your settings or load and save curves. And for morphing control signals, you'll love the new Wavetable LFO modulator/Grid module, equally suited for irregular shapes AND instant techno. Yes, please.

By The Numbers

v5 is our 20th major release of Bitwig Studio, which currently has 112 native instruments, note FX, and other devices. The semi-modular Polymer synth now has 270 combinations (9 oscillators × 6 filters × 5 envelopes). With the new MSEG family, Keytrack+, and Wavetable LFO, there are 42 modulators for controlling everything from the project mixer to CLAP/VST plug-ins. And The Grid now has a fleet of 200 modules, including all five MSEGs, Wavetable LFO, and some other helpful new friends.

New Sound Package: Freeform

Any shape can make a sound: a squiggle, a line, a curve. That's the idea behind Freeform, a Bitwig sound package that contains curves for our MSEG devices, wavetables for the Wavetable LFO, presets for instruments and FX, and note and audio clips. Freeform is out now and available for Bitwig Studio 5.

SoundCloud.com/bitwig/sets/freeform-demo?si=ae1f3c6a442a4ecc98cf1db43551d440&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

"Hey Now" shows you what a finished track looks like in Bitwig Studio. This new demo song included in Bitwig Studio 5 is a stellar example of advanced sound design, clever use of Bitwig devices, and superior songwriting by rising South African producer Chee.

SoundCloud.com/bitwig/chee-hey-now-bitwig-studio-5-demo-song?utm_source=clipboard&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=https%253A%252F%252FSoundCloud.com%252Fbitwig%252Fchee-hey-now-bitwig-studio-5-demo-song

Start Bitwig Studio 5, open the Dashboard, and navigate your way to the Quick Start menu. Here you'll find a link to download and open this demo project for an exclusive insight into this exciting artist's work and methods.

Availability

Bitwig Studio 5 is out now and it's a free update for everyone who has an active Upgrade Plan – so existing users can download it and get started straight away.

YouTube.com/watch?v=pv-SGS6Z0KA&list=PLfXKHnSL0KtRkUJqXdJMpMKybrXdAboUa&pp=iAQB

YouTube.com/watch?v=wzGtsl-opXQ&list=PLfXKHnSL0KtR4DSCHH74g4IOHwoX6C5X4

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.44 from 18 reviews
Bitwig Studio 5

Reviewed By Milkman [all]
July 15th, 2023
Version reviewed: 5.0 on Windows

Ive been a music production hobbyist for 25 years, used cubase as my only DAW for 23 years, and I've used a ton of other software from many brands in the VST ecosystem. I have very high standards for stability, performance, and quality in a DAW and I never thought I would find a DAW that could replace cubase, but I am happy to say it's Bitwig!.

I've had Bitwig since just before 5.0 launched(about 2 months), so I began on 4 and just migrated to 5. Everything has been great, the application is rock solid and I love the multithreaded sandboxed plugins!!!! The main application comes with a large trove of goodies such as instruments, interesting MIDI 'devices' and modules, this very cool modular environment called "the Grid", and a load of other stuff that allows for very interesting, efficient, modern project workflow and musical expression.

It took me a few hours to understand my workflow and find my musical space, then just a few more hours of practice to already feel confident that I can do everything I need to do in Bitwig and much more. I am free of steinberg, at last, and I feel like Im trusting my large library of plugins and content with a DAW that is less likely to crash catastrophically and cause me headaches and lost time.

I cant recommend Bitwig 4/5 any more strongly, and so far I've had zero issues with anything Ive plugged into it or thrown at it in any way. The browser can be a little slow sometimes on startup (mine is set to check for library changes on startup). I love this DAW.

Read Review
Bitwig Studio 5

Reviewed By gryzor [all]
July 5th, 2023
Version reviewed: 5.0 on Mac

Bitwig 5 is a THE daw.

The GRID is insane.

The synth and FX who come with the daw are really good and you can modulate EVERYTHING .

Read Review
Bitwig Studio 5

Reviewed By tlkmx [all]
June 30th, 2023
Version reviewed: 5 on Mac

Switched to bitwig after 15 years of Ableton.
I was tired of all the bugs and crash in ableton and also the needed features not being delivered so i've made the choice to switch to a daw that looked the most advanced.
Switching to bitwig was a breeze it took me more or less 13 hours total to get most of the features absorbed.
A month with it 1-2h a day i was starting to build muscle memory.
This daw is super powerful. The modular are so powerful that i've sold all my eurorack gear because ive found a way better workflow in full bitwig.

Yeah the DAW has flaws but they are updating it and delivering and working on a solid base. While ableton has lots of dead code and is buggy as fuck.

Even if Bitwig doesnt have all the features you want its the best bet long term because they are updating it..
While ableton actually dont deliver great updates its just FX and synths..

It will take a while to build up the same memory i did in thousands of hours in ableton but i've already made quiet amazing progress and interesting sounding music.

Read Review
Bitwig Studio 5

Reviewed By leodu [all]
June 19th, 2023
Version reviewed: 5 on Mac

The best daw, I can't live without it, it gives you freedom and imagination, whether it's audio editing or synth modulation, it has a silky operation flow.

Read Review
Bitwig Studio 5

Reviewed By Bucnasty [all]
April 26th, 2023
Version reviewed: 4.4.10 on Mac

Yes.

Switching from Ableton everything made sense and was intuitive. Workflow is much smoother for me.

I dont use The Grid so i cant attest to that.

+ The browser is Godly making it very easy to have everything organized (Specifically the 5.0 beta is awesome for organizing).

+ Stability. Never had Bitwig crash on official releases. Plugin Sandboxing is next level.

+ CLAP integration.

+ Modulate everything.

+ Audio Comping is very easy.

Some requests i have for the devs.

- MIDI Capture / Comping (I'm not that great of a keyboard player).

- A Single button for Low latency mode.

- Better Piano Roll functionality (Scales, etc.).

- I really miss a Slicer (Ableton Simpler) device.

Read Review

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Comments & Discussion for Bitwig Bitwig Studio 5

Discussion
Discussion: Active
Pat2070
Pat2070
19 January 2012 at 8:43pm

This looks exciting! MAybe it will be the new king in town?

pinbot
pinbot
29 January 2012 at 4:09am

This does look like something I might buy! I can't wait to see how this program progresses!

Bill H.
Bill H.
30 January 2012 at 10:08am

Has anyone tried contacted them? I asked them (politely :) ) a few questions about sound quality and stability, no answer after more than a week.. :(

RadioSmash
RadioSmash
3 February 2012 at 3:45pm

Looks alot like Ableton Live... Interesting.

alexvaan
alexvaan
22 April 2017 at 3:07pm

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK1lwfFPuKwAiQ3QJudOmRA.

vonvalley
vonvalley
9 February 2012 at 5:40pm

looks like something that the linux audio production world has been waiting for a long time. Interesting.

ResonanceMan
ResonanceMan
30 April 2012 at 4:43pm

still waiting for the Beta. I suggested a few features they should definitely have. Fingers crossed!

alexvaan
alexvaan
22 April 2017 at 3:07pm

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK1lwfFPuKwAiQ3QJudOmRA.

SonnyBonnier
SonnyBonnier
5 June 2012 at 8:55am

Any news?

danboid
danboid
11 October 2012 at 2:44pm

Seeing as there is to be a Linux version can anyone confirm Bitwig will support JACK?

I wonder if those who signed up as beta testers and got chosen had to agree to an NDA?

Artales
Artales
11 October 2012 at 2:57pm

Yes it does support JACK.

alexvaan
alexvaan
22 April 2017 at 3:07pm

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK1lwfFPuKwAiQ3QJudOmRA.

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

SoundGoddess
SoundGoddess
30 October 2016 at 2:34am

I have been pretty vocal about some of the crashes but they are quick to make things right. It has the best workflow I have experienced, very intuitive for me. It's worth sticking with if you want bleeding-edge features. Don't read into forum feedback too much, it is pretty solid overall. Adobe Creative Cloud stuff crashes from time to time too, and they are generally well-regarded as being stable and mature.

jinek
jinek
3 November 2016 at 4:12am

No legato clip mode. (http://answers.bitwig.com/questions/271/legato-clip-launch-mode?page=1#7487)

Touch mode is just for show, not for work as it misses a lot of critical functionality. (http://answers.bitwig.com/questions/6493/touch-screen-suggestions-tablet-mode?page=1#6501)

But finally this is a great product, with a lot of cool features comparing to ableton.

Mickey keys
Mickey keys
22 January 2017 at 7:40pm

Please we need a paint tool in the piano roll of BWS...... Its really important for drum sequencing... I think that's a big missing tool in BWS.... Especially considering hiphop trap producers that are many in this new age...

alexvaan
alexvaan
22 April 2017 at 3:08pm

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK1lwfFPuKwAiQ3QJudOmRA.

pboy
pboy
22 January 2017 at 8:38pm

And I would love some sort of "auto-tune" for audio. I love BWS but when recording certain instruments I have to bounce the track to a file, move it into Logic on another computer, apply appropirat tuning, bounce that down to a new file and import that file into my Bitwig project. Takes a few extra minutes with a USB stick handy, but as I said it would be really great to do everything inside Bitwig.

zettberlin
zettberlin
11 March 2017 at 11:19am

I am sure you heared that before, but what about playing/singing the part in the desired tune in the first place?

BW2 also has a pitch shifter device added, that may help you with importing material...

nettux
nettux
10 August 2017 at 3:29pm

I could not make it work in Fedora. I installed the JRE, I activated it as standard Java application, I did everything (apparently) correct. When I call it via terminal or via shortcut, it opens only the splash and nothing else ...

Octanone
Octanone
27 October 2017 at 9:39pm

foooking great!!!!!!.

Omega9
Omega9
31 December 2017 at 12:41am

It's almost 2018 and Bitwig can't change time signature by events, which is a pretty basic thing for any DAW. I really like everything, but this one thing makes Bitwig useless for me.

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

BDL64
BDL64
13 May 2020 at 10:47pm

Good day folks, .

I wanted to contribute some Bitwig presets that I've been putting together to learn the software, and play around. It's on a blog with blogspot. Thanks for checking it out. I hope you find some things you can use. Any suggestions or links to your own presets or tutorials are appreciated.

Bitwig Presets

unsus
unsus
27 November 2022 at 8:33pm

I own it and love some of the features – especially native Linux support is pretty wild and makes it somewhat unique.

But working with music that does not follow a consistent, pre-defined tempo currently really is pain in the ass with that software. You have to create tempo maps manually, like an architect or programmer constructing everything on paper. This is not fun, and results are not the best – this is not how musicianship works. Being an Ableton competitor, I somehow expected it to have at least something in the direction of the tempo follower feature. This was a mistake, it doesn't offer anything like that. Not even a feature to help with creating tempo maps after recording something, let alone something that works with performing live.

I still keep Bitwig to fiddle around with it, as I really like it, but I won't invest into buying updates until it offers at an automatic tempo map creator, or at least some sort of workflow that makes it easier to create them manually.

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