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Bitwig Studio 5.2 beta now available

New plug-ins, audio editing improvements & more

Bitwig Studio 5.2 DAW electronic music modular music-creation software

Bitwig’s first update of 2024 kits out their innovative Bitwig Studio DAW with a versatile new multi-band compressor, three hardware-inspired EQs and a new clipper plug-in, as well as implementing a number of improvements and enhancements. 


The first of the new plug-ins introduced in version 5.2 has been designed as somewhat of an ‘all-rounder’, and promises to excel at everything from adding some character to sources as well as tackling mixing and mastering tasks. There are six styles of compression on offer, each of which offer different envelope behaviours and rely on a number of behind-the-scenes settings. Bitwig’s descriptions of each mode are as follows:

  • Vanil­la (the de­fault character): ap­plies pa­ra­me­ters lit­er­al­ly, in­clud­ing At­tack and Re­lease times go­ing all the way down to zero.
  • Smooth: uses slow per-band re­sponse, of­fer­ing min­i­mal dis­tortion.
  • Over: tends com­press more quick­ly, but in a sta­ble way.
  • Glue: is slow to en­gage and quick to re­lease, making it good for tran­sient preser­va­tion on the mix bus or any­where else.
  • Re­sist: has longer en­velopes and tries to quick­ly snap back after­ward to pre­serve bass and add even har­mon­ics when pushed.
  • Smash: over-ac­cel­er­ates the at­tacks and re­leas­es and uses the Auto Tim­ing control to fur­ther in­crease ac­cel­er­a­tion.

Compressor+ analyses incoming audio across four frequency bands that can be displayed visually thanks to an expanded GUI option, and each band is equipped with its own Intensity and Timing offset controls that make it possible to fine-tune the compression applied to different frequency ranges. Switchable modes are present here as well, with Standard, Beyond and Dual settings each offering a unique set of controls that can be used to manipulate the way in which the plug-in applies its gain reduction processing. And with choice being the order of the day, the output section is also equipped with four VCA Color options: Clean, Prism, Transistor and Saturate, which as their names suggest, provide a variety of overall tonal choices. 

Take a look at the video below to see and hear Compressor+ in action.


Alongside the new compressor plug-in, Bitwig Studio has also gained a trio of EQ processors inspired by some classic hardware units. Sculpt presents the company’s take on Pultec’s EQP-1A, and pairs the much-loved dual boost/attenuation controls with Clean, Tube and Transistor saturation options, while Focus has a crack at the MEQ-5. Finally, Tilt provides a simple tilt EQ with control over gain, slope and frequency. Helpfully, all three plug-ins can be put to work in stereo or Mid-Side modes. 

Audio Editing

A range of new keyboard shortcuts have been introduced with the aim of speeding up audio editing. Users can now navigate between points of interest in clips or on the Arranger Timeline using their arrow keys, as well as moving between different tracks. Various configurations make it possible to move in increments such as beat divisions, automation points, clip start and end points and more, or even between transients in audio clips. Mouse behaviour has been enhanced, too, with new options to snap the cursor to fade points or other convenient locations. 

Other Improvements

Bitwig have further enhanced the software’s beat-detection features, resulting in improved warping of long audio files, and it is now possible for projects to adapt to a clip’s time, offering a convenient way to tackle tasks such as creating DJ-style mixes. A newly designed graphics engine has improved the overall look and performance of the software, as well as freeing up CPU resources thanks to the use of hardware GPU acceleration. 

The company have also provided the following list of improvements, additions and enhancements:

  • Over is a boutique clipper that harnesses multi-band processing, oversampling, and a slot for wet-only effects. 
  • The Chain device has gained its own Learn Wet Gain option, offering a perfectly configured Mix knob for blending any audio effect chain, including plug-ins.
  • The Grid now has Crossover-2 and Crossover-3 modules in the Mix category.
  • Multi-Note now has its own Chord Learn function for immediate programming and playback.
  • The FX Selector device earned crossfade timings that allow users to fine-tune their transitions, and for programming synth structures, there’s a variable Shift Register module and simple All-pass option.
  • Plug-in Undo allows you to quickly undo changes applied to third-party plug-ins, so no matter what you change, Bitwig can always bring you that critical one step back.


Bitwig Studio 5.2 has updated system requirements, and is now supported on PCs running Windows 10 and above, Macs running macOS 10.15 and higher, and Linux systems running Ubuntu 20.04 or later, or any modern distribution with Flatpak installed. Graphics-wise, Windows users will need DirextX 11 or higher, and Linux users require DX11-level Vulcan.

Pricing & Availability

Bitwig Studio 5.2 is available now as a public beta, and is a free upgrade for anyone with a Bitwig Studio licence and active Upgrade Plan. A full release is expected by summer 2024.  For those wishing to purchase a license, pricing is as follows:

  • Bitwig Studio Essentials: €99
  • Bitwig Studio Producer: €199
  • Bitwig Studio: €399

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