Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Bitwig finally here!

It's finally here: the DAW that everyone thought would be vaporware and despite numerous delays into the development schedule and extensive beta testing, version 1.0 of Bitwig will hit the streets. Congratulations to the whole team on finally reaching this release!

While sadly lacking the online collaborative play that was touted in the early press releases, it is good to 
see that Linux is getting the attention it deserves in getting a build for its platform. With any luck, it will help to grow the Linux platform beyond the meagre offerings from companies and the glut of tracker software available. It does seem that it is very much in vogue to offer online collaboration in a DAW, as I have seen similar things marketed in Cubase and Ableton. The real challenge I expect will come from people using the collaboration functionality across platforms, so no wonder that they will be leaving this for a future release. 

I'm also looking forward to better automation control over what I have in Madtracker, in particular using external controllers for filter sweeps and the like. Equally, the time stretching algorithm should make using drum breaks for dru and bass a bit more flexible - in the past I've just set the tempo to match the break. It makes for an easier and quicker way of building in a break in Madtracker than resampling the breakbeat in something like audacity and using its pitch and time shifting editing to get the break right and then to reimport it all back in to a Madtracker module. Then there's the added bonus of being able to sync my Minibrute over Midi so I can finally use it live. 

Particularly, I think the biggest problem with a new program or a "proper" DAW will be overcoming the change in workflow - especially from a vertical scrolling hex based system to a horizontal, clip based environment - though from my vague use of FL studio I think a piano roll and horizontal editing shouldn't be too difficult to get to grips with. The problem for me will be having to re learn basic things like sample editing, building breaks, importing all my VSTs etc. 

I'm also using this as an excuse to start looking at options for a new computer and/or a bigger monitor :)