Bitwig Studio, Surface Pro and Windows 10 – Should you update?
Most Windows users will be considering installing the FREE Windows 10 update when it arrives on the 29th of this month (July). However as many have experienced in the music industry, a new update of an Operating System (OS) always comes with multiple headaches and frustration including the questions – Will my DAW work with this update? How about my audio drivers? Will my plugins work?
Well we have investigated and curated together some valuable information for those even thinking about making the jump to Windows 10 straight away. Firstly the most important question to answer would be:
Will Bitwig Studio work with Windows 10 when released?
For a while now the Bitwig team have been developing the Windows version on Windows 10 and have even published a video with Thavius Beck demonstrating Bitwig Studio working on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3:
This shows Bitwig have also developed an improved high resolution GUI with touchscreen support.
We’re currently developing the Windows version of Bitwig Studio 1.2 on Windows 10 and there will be Retina and high resolution display support (no vector) as well as touchscreen improvements – Dom @ Bitwig
Although Bitwig have developed a touchscreen version of Bitwig Studio for the Surface Pro and Windows, they are NOT developing anything for your iOS device such as the iPad because the iPad is not powerful enough to run Bitwig Studio like the Surface Pro is. Placidus Schelbert the CEO of Bitwig talks us through a keynote on why they came together with the Surface Pro team at Microsoft:
They also seem to think developing their own controller app for the iPad wouldn’t be worth it (for now) in comparison to what the Surface Pro can offer you…
iOs is just too closed and the devices are not powerful enough. I don’t think it makes sense for us to spend time on developing a toyish iOS app that looks like Bitwig, but isn’t, like other companies that cash in on that front. It is a full blown machine (Surface Pro), you can get it with an i7 inside. I’m currently rocking an i5 surface pro with 8gb RAM besides my trusty and completely pimped out Macbook. So yes, it runs Bitwig Studio, the real deal, not some fancy controller app. – Dom @ Bitwig
Someone on Reddit has tested the current version of Bitwig Studio on a pre-release of Windows 10 and found his audio interface is not working – as though Bitwig cannot find it in the preferences. However I do know Bitwig are currently re-developing their own audio driver architecture within Bitwig Studio for version 1.2 and this might have something to do with the latest Windows 10 changes that are coming.
Is my audio interface compatible with Windows 10?
This is something ALL music producers should always check – the latest or upcoming release of Windows 10 compatible drivers. If they are not listed as a download on the website or not announced anywhere at all, then DO NOT assume your audio interface will work with Windows 10. If this is the case we certainly advise NOT to update just yet.
What about my plugins?
While it would be interesting to find out what plugins do actually work with Windows 10 when released (please post your comments below on your findings with Win10) again I would check with your plugin developers to see if any updates are planned or if they have been tested already. Again if there is no news about Windows 10 compatibility DO NOT assume it will work, assume the alternative and DO NOT update yet.
So the best advise we can give you regarding Windows 10 is to reserve your copy of Windows 10 (if you are offered it) but DO NOT install it for another few months after release, maybe even 6 months until all plugins, drivers and software releases have caught up.
When it comes to digital audio workstations we [Bitwig] always recommend waiting 2 – 3 months after the intial release of a major OS update and then first checking if all your hardware and software products are supported before taking the plunge. New OS versions always break something and companies need time to adjust – Dom @ Bitwig
For me, I own an iPad and have most midi controller apps including Lemur and the excellent controller script by Juergen Mossgraeber and Mark-Kristopher Schulze. But with this announcement and the Thavius Beck demonstration on a powerful Surface Pro 3, it certainly is making me think twice about my PC Laptop and an iPad combination. What about you?