We take a look at the latest offering from Berlins finest Digital Audio Workstation producers in our Bitwig Studio 4 review.
It doesn’t seem 5 minutes since Bitwig Studio hit the market back in 2014. But here we are with a number of releases on and are now at Bitwig Studio 4.
Let’s get down to our Bitwig Studio 4 review
What is new in Bitwig Studio 4?
The big hype about the new version is Comping. Audio comping is the ability to let users record audio takes. These can then be put in different lanes and then can be ‘comped’ together. This allows the ability to create a single take using the best versions of each recording. You can comp in both clip mode and arranger.
To help producers get out of the monotony of loops, Operators modulates the modulators. Putting randomness into the notes. Maybe opening up opportunities for more “happy accidents”? Possibly.
Operators include four modes, which can be used individually or in any combination:
- Chance makes each event more or less likely.
- Repeats allow each event to retrigger at a set rate, or just divide the note length into any number of pieces. Yes, you can ramp the timing of these (and the velocities for note repeats). And a Slice at Repeats option is available to print out the individual events.
- Occurrence sets conditions for each event, like: Is this the first loop of the clip or not? Is the performance-control Fill button turned on? Or did the previous event play, or was it silent?
- Recurrence thinks of each event as its own looping timeline. So pick a cycle length (say, every four loops of the clip), and then check-off whether the event plays on each of those four passes.
The best bit from this is it allows you to print out a new clip many many times more, each with a different feel to it. Or just go back to square one and use your original clip. That’s the beauty of Bitwig Studio 4.
More randomisation and for this Bitwig Studio 4 review I was able to really have a good play with the expression spread feature in the software. My cello riff was made ever more natural sounding by automating the randomness of the note velocity. I really like this new utility, it brings the midi pattern to life.
So the rest of the world can now experience Bitwig Studio 4. There are localisation options for Japan, China and Germany in addition to the English language options.
Furthermore, our Bitwig Studio 4 review discovered that is also optimised for Apple’s new M1 chips and Big Sur macOS.
Midi modulation is a really key feature in Bitwig Studio and version 4 will be no different. If anything, more modulation options are available for making your music productions unique.
Presets in Bitwig Studio 4
The package manager has got an update (this normally does happen on each release of a new version of Bitwig Studio) and Bitwig 4 is no different. There is plenty to keep you entertained and use as samples in your audio productions.
Presets for the new Polymer synth are here, with an expansion pack called Polymerics. There are around 200 presets featuring settings which will help explore “the vast sonic terrain” that Polymer brings with it to the table.
Not forgetting also the Wavetables feature in the Polymer synthesizer. This also allows use of the Bitwig Wavetables presets which feature in this update. These are 139 hand crafted wavetable entries offering 5 different categories of harmonics for your mixes. These can be loaded into Polymer or even in to The Grid.
Demo Bitwig Studio 4
So remember if you are not sure about taking the leap to Bitwig and this Bitwig Studio 4 review has not convinced you that it is one of the greatest DAW’s around (not sure why you would think otherwise!) then you can demo it for free. The demo is not time limited and will function fully apart from the Save and Export features.
It’s come a long way since version 1 in 2014 and I think more is to come. The support for Bitwig Studio is excellent and the staff listen to feature requests from their customers. You will not be disappointed and if I could give more than 5 stars, I would.