Bitwig Studio Beta mashes it up
As a very lucky member of the Bitwig Studio Beta Test team, we have got to a point where we can now use Bitwig Studio Beta for some of our future projects. As we use Bitwig Studio we will be blogging about the features, what there is to look forward to and of course the creative possibilites offered during this DAW pregnancy.
Our first project for Bitwig Beats was to re-engineer a mashup from one of our own released tracks with one of the hottest tracks out there at this time – Zedd featuring Foxes – Clarity. This mashup came about from a local Warped Bridge (our record label for future releases of the Bitwig Beats community) supporter who used the acapella from Zedd – Clarity and warped it in Ableton Live, mashed it with Jeremus – Boomerang and hey presto we got the Jonny O Sullivan Mashup.
When we first heard this mashup here at BB, we thought it fit perfectly and worked so well we just had to re-engineer it in Bitwig Studio to test the warping capabilities out and to see how the audio engine coped. Plus we wanted to find out how quickly the workflow was to get this track finished with minimum fuss. After all, Bitwig the company want Bitwig Studio as a DAW to be all about future workflow techniques built inside a great sequencer. So into the mashup we went…
How to mashup two songs in Bitwig Studio.
Firstly, we took the original mix of Jeremus – Boomerang (WAV) and set our overall project tempo to match that of the inserted track at 133bpm. This track obviously did not require warping as we were simply using the full track as the backing track or instrumental in this mashup. This simply slotted into an audio track on track 1. We made no tweaks to the overall sound of this track and although during the video you will see slight clipping of this track every now and again, this is simply down to some vigorous mixing and mastering from Jeremus himself to give the track a very polished master offering punch, loudness yet still keeping it dynamic.
Onto adding the acapella from Zedd’s Clarity track with the vocals by Foxes. This was an MP3 file which was loaded into Bitwig Studio no problem at all. Once in there we did not proceed to warp the full vocal track in one go, instead we warped each individual clip pieces that we chopped up using the knife tool (extremely quick and simple chopping as you would expect). You will see below that you can select between ‘Track’ and ‘Clip’ views in the detail editor pane. This allows you to simply warp only the clips selected and not have to scroll right through the full track to get to the next clip. While there is no height zoom just yet on the main track window parts, the detail editor brings that into the main editing pane at the bottom allowing what we feel is quicker when editing and comping audio parts on a track.
Each clip section was truncated to match the beginning transient to the starting point we wanted to bring the vocal in on the above instrumental track. From this first point we added the primary warp marker by simply double clicking at the bottom of the editor pane. We then found you could ‘stretch’ the rest of the waveform audio by simply clicking once where you need to add another marker and just move left or right to stretch the remaining waveform into place. Of course with ‘Clip’ mode activated only the warping on the selected clip is affected and not the rest of the entire track – very clever!
With the HD mode set for stretch mode, we didn’t notice any imperfections or pitch changes of any sort when messing with the waveforms. This acts a bit like Complex Pro mode in Ableton Live, apart from in Bitwig Studio it just feels warmer (not just sounds warmer). Maybe it is the smoothness of the software itself or the algorithms used for the core engine, we dont know but what we do know is it just sounds creamy, a bit like Logic and Studio One do in comparison to Ableton Live. Those that have used all these titles will know what I mean regarding the sonic differences between the audio engines.
Again, the workflow design comes to the fore when warping a track because simply putting the warp markers at the bottom and not at the top of the waveform (like Ableton Live) instantly allows you to see what you are doing above your cursor which for some reason makes sense in GUI design and feels quicker to navigate compared to Live. These tiny little detailed design ideas in the GUI just makes Bitwig Studio that little bit more exciting compared to other DAWs. The attention to detail is magnified when you get into the nitty gritty of the software itself.
Simple filter frequency cutoff and resonance controls were automated extremely easy just like most DAWs, although there is no double clicking to add a point on the envelope track. Just click once and move the point – again another shortcut to fast workflow speed by taking out an unnecessary double click!
There are still a lot more warping modes and features to be tuned before official release but the Stretch HD mode was simple to use and highly effective. Once the transient detection is implemented perfectly I cant wait to use Bitwig Studio for warp correcting any of the ill gridded tracks in my DJ collection. This will certainly speed up the warp procedure in comparison to using Ableton Live like I have done for years.
We hope you enjoyed the video and the mashup, it is available on request – firstname.lastname@example.org
Or alternatively you can purchase Jeremus’ – Boomerang from Beatport if you enjoy the original that much.
Jeremus – Boomerang – www.warpedbridge.co.uk