Top 10 Reasons To Switch From Your Current DAW To Bitwig Studio
Since the arrival of Bitwig Studio this March in which there seemed to be a huge surge of interest and expectation from the beginning, one of the biggest talking points we have encountered since the launch comes from a single question – Why should I switch from my current DAW software to Bitwig Studio?
From conversations in store, facebook discussions, forum posts to tweets there seems to have been a theme they have all shared. What is so special about Bitwig Studio and is version 1.0 enough to pull you away from your current DAW and migrate to this ‘New Kid on the Block’.
Well, there are a few ways to look at this situation and coming from a background of sales within the music retail industry and having to demonstrate pretty much all the different DAW software titles from Reason, FL Studio to Ableton Live and Cubase, I feel I am pretty well placed to answer this question or at least offer some reasons for you to contemplate.
We don’t really need an influx of new instruments or devices just yet, although this will explode once version 2.0 comes along
Whilst there are lots of pro’s and cons between Bitwig Studio and the other list of DAWs available I am going to simply offer a list of reasons why I have been converted into a Bitwig fanboy and allow you to make your own decisions regarding this question.
I guess before I offer up my 10 main reasons, there is one ultimate reason (which probably makes this top 11) why I jumped on this fresh bandwagon and that was simple, Bitwig as a new company already have history and a lot of experience they can share. Since a selection of the team came from Ableton they have obviously learned and observed from mistakes and how to approach certain things. The Bitwig team obviously think they can develop the ultimate DAW as this is what they do best – create great DAW sequencer software. The one thing they did was to post about the future version 2.0 right from the beginning where new featured and technology such as online and network collaboration would be built right into the software (something Steinberg has tried to implement but seems to be more of a messenger add-on), plus the capability of developing your own instruments, synths and effects became something huge to talk about.
Here are my top 10 reasons for jumping ship:
REASON 1 – Clip Arranger
Why didn’t Ableton implement this? How such a simple idea can make workflow so much quicker. Flipping the clip ‘session’ view on it’s side to make sequencing clips more fluid and true by allowing a linear horizontal mode where you can ‘arrange’ your ideas in a more traditional sense. (Possibly taking influence from FL Studio’s Playlist arranger).
REASON 2 – 32bit/64bit Bridge + Independent Processing
There are still a lot of producers out there using 32bit plugins which have not caught up with the 64bit revolution yet and so most turn to jbridge (a 3rd party program that offers bridging from 32bit to 64bit). However this is not needed with Bitwig Studio and you can run 32bit plugins no problem alongside 64 bit plugins within Bitwig Studio and even assign which plugins you want to use the 4Gb+ RAM allocation space independently from each other. This is music geek heaven!
REASON 3 – VST Plugin & Crash Protection
How many times have you lost work, or a melody you have just composed because your current DAW crashed due to a plugin error or malfunction? One of the best thing about Bitwig Studio is it offers Plugin Sandboxing. This means if a plugin crashes, it DOES NOT crash the DAW and simply disables the plugin so you can reload it, save your project and will not lose your hours of work.
REASON 4 – The Uber-slick Modern GUI
The overall look and feel seems to have been taken influence from a number of top DAW’s already on the market, one obviously being Ableton Live, others you could say FL Studio and even Native Instruments software. Each window panel and graphical feature just animates smoothly, slick and definitely feels more current than most other titles out there. This gives you a sense of professionalism and does not portray any clunkiness that others may do. I’m thinking just like the jump from Windows 3.1 to Windows 7.
REASON 5 – Tabbed Multiple Document Interface
Another favourite and less thought about feature is the tabbed projects. You can have open multiple projects via tabs at the top right and easily drag and drop clips, instruments and ideas between each project at ease especially when you need to share data or audio this make it a breeze. Again this is where the concentration on workflow by the team shows it’s true strength.
REASON 6 – Unified Parameter Modulation
If this slick way of modulating parameters within your instruments and effects doesn’t excite you then nothing will. This is so easy to work and the choice of what can be modulated along with the feedback via the GUI just brings true bliss to your creativity.
REASON 7 – Edit Multiple Audio Events Per Clip
Quite confusing when you first look at it, but once you get your head around this clever, minor yet powerful feature you begin to see how the Bitwig team think and what can actually be done with audio data and events. Again this speeds up the workflow for any producer working with audio.
REASON 9 – Effect Feedback Modulation
Something you never really think about to add a low pass filter and gate to your feedback tail of your reverb, or maybe even some distortion to the wet output of your chorus, or how about resonating your flanger wet signal? Well you can with Bitwig Studio! Try it you might just feel the power.
REASON 10 – What’s in the Pipeline
On top of all this, my number 10, last but not least comes from what is in store for us – the end user. This is only version 1.0 and you can already begin to see how ‘current’ this DAW is, and how the team concentrate on workflow and future technology on top of everything else, instead of bloating the software with new instruments we probably will never use, because lets face it nearly all of us are using 3rd party plugins anyways such as the obvious one – Sylenth1, Nexus, Native Instruments Massive (or just any of the Komplete package). We don’t really need an influx of new instruments or devices just yet, although this will explode once version 2.0 comes along and the public start to make their own Bitwig devices and share them with the community.
But you will be sat thinking this is nothing new, Ableton have Max for Live, Image Line offer Synthmaker and Native Instruments obviously bring Reaktor to the table, so why all the hype over this future feature?
Well, apart from Reaktor, both Ableton and Image Line have called upon 3rd Party sources and ‘bolted’ these on or into the existing software packages. Bitwig have developed Bitwig Studio from the ground up to already include this modular technology as most of the instruments and effects have been made this way. They just haven’t enabled this featureset yet as there will be more bugs and other feature to take priority before this version 2.0 release.
It is all about what is under the hood and how the software has been developed using true 64bit architecture from the beginning and not having to rewrite existing code making the software feel clunky, it doesn’t – Bitwig Studio feels how it should, smooth and certainly not bloated like other more established DAWs who can only implement new sounds or develop new instruments which people aren’t really that bothered about. Bitwig are all about the workflow and this is their key strength.
There are exciting times ahead for Bitwig and what they can offer. I leave it to you to take in what I have offered as reasons to jump ship, that is up to you. But for me, I can see the vision. The slick workflow, powerful new advanced sequencing and future technology to come has me drooling in anticipation. I am now an official Bitwig fanboy and proud to be part of it from the beginning.