Bitwig Studio 2 blurs the lines between sequencer, synthesizer and DAW, with an advanced and very flexible modulation system.
Bitwig Studio 2 is the first major upgrade to this relatively new digital audio workstation package since its initial release around three years ago. The first version underwent a lot of incremental improvements since I reviewed it in June 2014, most of which were covered by Robin Bigwood in his March 2016 review of v1.35. So what have Bitwig introduced in version 2 to justify bumping up the version number, and charging for the privilege? The answer, in a nutshell, is that although the core recording, playing, editing and mixing functionality of Bitwig is largely unchanged, its instruments and effects have been given a major structural overhaul.
Rather than repeating the above-mentioned revews’ in-depth descriptions of how the program works, I’ll assume a working knowledge of Bitwig in writing this one. In particular, I’m not going to talk about Bitwig’s clip editing features, which haven’t noticeably changed apart from the layout of some buttons and controls, nor its clip launching and arrangement views. Instead I’ll look at what makes Bitwig 2 different to Bitwig 1, starting with the improvements to Bitwig’s overall user interface.
The most obvious change in Bitwig’s user interface is the addition of something called the Dashboard. This can be thought of as a glorified preference pane which also incorporates file and package management. It pops up if you launch the application directly, rather than by double-clicking a project file, and can be accessed by clicking the ‘wig’ icon at the very top of the application window. The leftmost tab, labelled according to your Bitwig username, accesses projects (including downloadable demos); next along is Settings, with subsidiary tabs for preferences relating to user interface, audio, controllers, synchronisation, plug-in management and so on. Next along is the Packages tab, which is sorted into...
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