Bitwig Studio

yeah, that’s one of bitwig’s biggest strengths. interfacing with any hardware, be it midi or cv, is so easy, fairly simple, and offers plethora of ways to route midi/cv signals. i haven’t used ableton since vers 9, but so maybe it’s just as good now?

i’m about to drive off to see the in-laws for a few days, and while i was thinking of bringing the octatrack, i think i’ll opt for just laptop w/ bitwig to play/learn grid.

1 Like

So I got the opportunity to try Bitwig on an ASUS c425 Chromebook, and while it works, the sound crackles and lags pretty unbearably. Incidentally, it’s the same story with VCV Rack. I don’t know that Jack should make any difference compared to using Alsa directly, but I got the same results in either case. Possibly it has something to do with Linux being in beta on Chrome OS, though I suppose it could just be a limitation of the machine itself.

To get consistently good audio performance under linux you need a realtime kernel In my experience. I’ve been using https://liquorix.net for years, since it’s easy to setup/maintain and works well enough for my needs.

5 Likes

Kinda silly but might be useful to others. I often need to reference something about The Grid and have to do a lot of searching/scrolling. I edited a version with only The Grid stuff. Enjoy! :joy:

4 Likes

A preset for The Grid:

I built a fun QPAS/STEREO DIPOLE inspired effect for the FX Grid. More info here: https://yittabitta.com/2020_02_09__11:15:23

And here is the preset: https://yittabitta.com/files/3PAS.bwpreset

I thought some of you might get some use/fun out of it.

6 Likes

It occurred to me that I’ve never posted this here before:

So far, it’s the only track I’ve yet produced exclusively within Bitwig, because though it’s my primary digital mixing/recording/mastering environment–and has proved especially useful for handling that in a creative fashion–my primary sound and control sources are either outboard or (increasingly often enough) somewhat more esoteric pieces of software. That said, the Grid (which was the main component of this track) has made working in a more monolithically ITB manner more appealing to me than anything else I’ve encountered (VCV in a close second, though notably lacking in adequate mutitracking and such). Even if I were to never again use the Grid’s capabilities for assembling a synth voice in a complete piece of music (however unlikely), it’s a worthwhile diversion if for no other reason than to better understand what’s possible in the realm of its effects capabilities and as a matter of general study in audio synthesis, similar by virtue of such to other modular systems.

I think the reason it occurs to me now to post this is that I’ve been working on a template for capturing MIDI en route to mGB on a Gameboy (one of my current areas of focus in chipmusic production) while simultaneously capturing and processing the resulting audio output of that Gameboy in the most workable manner possible. Where Bitwig, and particularly the Grid, has proved especially useful for the former endeavor is in the ease of assembling and trialing various means of cutting out some of the ambient noise and hum associated with such hardware, most notably in the dead-air between a channel’s envelopes opening and closing, which I’ve found can be accomplished through a combination of HP filtering with AM and RM controlled through simultaneous employment of an envelope follower, MIDI gate input, and MIDI velocity input (which also already controls a note’s volume in mGB). This is quite trivial to accomplish and has proved equally so to iterate toward my goal of preserving the fundamental character of the Gameboy’s sound while cleaning it up around the edges.

The following demonstrates the result of this work so far, though Bitwig only operates in the background of what’s depicted (again, handling all audio processing and MIDI routing, while VCV in this case is used solely for MIDI generation):

Notably, this does exaggerate the effect of the lower velocity (thus lower volume) gates to barely audible levels well below the Gameboy’s actual range relative to its noise floor, but what this accomplishes is to break up that noise floor and contain it variably within each individual envelope in minimally filtered form. Thinking ahead, I may encounter trouble with how the voice channels are doubled up on their respective audio channels (a necessity of working with the hardware if multitracking is desired), so that simultaneous gates or overlapping envelopes could likely result in undesirable spikes in volume for both voices, and so this may require ducking which, again, should be trivial enough to accomplish right within the Grid.

Anyway, my time with Bitwig has truly deepened my appreciation for DAWs and their capabilities, generally, and may yet win me over to what I suppose I once considered to be the dark side of audio.

6 Likes

i’ve just learned about bitwig’s support for multi-touch and am wondering if anyone here is playing with that functionality. as much as i like to work without a DAW, i still prefer the computer for finishing things. in an effort to make my computer interactions more lively and tactile i’m considering trying out something built for hands…

i read that multi-touch is windows only, so i’m considering setting up bootcamp on my macbook pro and hooking up an external dell multi-touch monitor.

has anyone here done something like this?

i anticipate a bit of audio driver / touch display driver troubleshooting…

i use the multi touch on linux quite a bit. works great. if you have a pen it works even better as doing midi edits with a finger can sometimes be difficult.

i’ve also performed a lot using the mixer screen as my mixer on a thinkpad yoga touchscreen and that was quite nice.

1 Like

are you using an active pen (like a wacom stylus), or a capacitive “finger simulator”? what display are you using?

It’s already a bit older, but this gives a decent hands-on overview of how (well) it works

Not sure if there are large improvements in the newer versions.

2 Likes

thanks, yeah i watched some of that. the features look great.

feels like it might be kinda stressful working on such a small display though. can’t imagine anything less than 24 inches.

also heard about some folks using a Surface Dial with 3rd party software so you can tap anything adjustable and then use the physical dial to set values. very cool.

it’s a wacom stylus that comes built into a thinkpad carbon x1 yoga. the interface they came up with works quite well but when doing editing work (as opposed to performance things) i tend to use the laptop as a touch screen mixer while having a second screen attached for the arranger and editing.

1 Like

I don’t work on a touchscreen, but I’m still kind of interested in that, just because the experience of turning a real knob is probably a lot better even in virtual form :slight_smile: But with the limited desk space I have available I’d pretty much have to let go of my Touche SE, which I’m unsure about at the moment. I don’t often use it but it’s nifty when I do…

1 Like

I have a touchscreen laptop but tend to have it connected to an external monitor for more real estate. I’ve dabbled with it some and was excited by the features, but haven’t gone beyond that.

Maybe a bit of a useless reply, sorry. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ve been considering an ASUS Zenscreen (the portability is a big plus in my use-case) to use as a control surface in tandem with a laptop screen and/or a full monitor in Bitwig and VCV Rack (among a few other pieces of software). I was thinking that Tuna Knobs might be handy in this faculty, but I’m a little dismayed by the price, honestly. Anyway, I think I’d be more inclined to use a controller (ideally, midilar, whenever that comes out) or even just a DC-coupled interface with attenuators and such for performative interaction, reserving the touchscreen for general DAW interaction, though a touchscreen would be handy as a more impromptu go-between in the patching process.

Sorry if its covered earlier in the thread but… who here is running Bitwig on an older mac? Like 5+ years old? I usually use Reaper for recording and editing, but for projects that are more ITB I want something more flexible for working with VSTs and other types of processing that I find Reaper slower/counter intuitive for. Ableton never quite sat right with me and doesn’t seem worth the price for me at the moment. I’m using Audiomulch again now as a demo contemplating purchasing, but am curious about Bitwig since its new and supported. I find Mulch runs very happily on my old machine though without hiccups. Also tried going back to Bidule but found it crashing constantly and needing too much work from the ground up to build certain things I might as well then do in PD and VCV makes me CPU fan scream.

1 Like

I run it on an old macbook pro when i need to use any locked plugins that I can’t use om linux. It runs totally fine for me but I’m typically not using so many VSTs (more of the built-in plugins).

But I also run Reaper for mastering sessions on it which works great.

But you can try it I think. Pretty sure they have a demo version that can used for a bit if I recall.

1 Like

I’ve got bitwig running on an 8 year old MacBook Air, it runs fine although I haven’t pushed it to extremes either

2 Likes

In theory, the “DSP indicator” should give you some idea of how much stress the system is under. I wonder how accurate it is?

Bitwig on Mid-2014, Mojave. The fans do whizz quite a bit, but otherwise fine.

1 Like