UPDATE: 2.4 is now in Beta, so get testing.
Today, German DAW company Bitwig has announced the second major update of 2018, Studio 2.4. The latest update brings a host of new features, with the focus being on completely revamping the Sampler, adding new capabilities like granular and wavetable techniques, which open your productions to an infinite number possible sounds. Check the full list of improvements below.
With Bitwig Studio 2.4, Sampler is reborn. It now comes equipped with granular and wavetable techniques, which open up infinite sound design possibilities for the stage or the studio. Along with visual crossfading and a revamped multi-sample editor, Sampler has gone from trusted sideman to solo act.
Repitch represents a traditional sampler mode so its Speed control dynamically changes the playback time and pitch, even allowing negative speeds for record-scratch effects and more.
Cycles preserves note pitches while using Speed changes to warp the sample, and an additional Formant parameter dynamically shifts the sound's character. This is done by generating wavetables from the sample audio and stretching this to play incoming notes. Even metallic variations can be made when keyboard tracking is disabled.
Textures uses a granular synthesis approach, preserving the samples' original pitch while allowing for independent controls for Speed, Grain size, and grain Motion. Its uses range from pleasantly cloudy to downright abstract.
Additionally, each mode can be set to freeze (❄ icon). This puts the sample playhead under your control, letting you grab the parameter directly or use Bitwig Studio's numerous modulators to innovative effect.
Updated Multisample Editor
Bitwig made working with multiple samples easier and the results more interesting.
A revamped multisample editor has different ways of viewing your zones, depending on what the situation requires. You can also freely create groups, which make editing multiple zones a breeze. A new Select parameter decides which samples will be triggered as each note is played. And both the velocity and select parameters can transition across zones, blending multiple samples and creating endless sonic combinations.
Additionally, three modulation sources are available which have per-zone modulation amounts, in case particular zones should adjust the cutoff frequency or anything else. And each instance of Sampler can be set to play its audio directly from disk, freeing your RAM for other tasks.
Taken along with additional features like bidirectional ping-pong looping and edits that snap to zero-crossings, Sampler is a new machine, ready for modern music production and open to wild sound design possibilities.
MIDI coming into Bitwig Studio now preserves its channel data by default. Layered editing can now work by channel with intuitive view/edit modes and various options for how notes are colored.
Channel data can be useful to hardware MIDI devices, VST plug-ins, or internal Bitwig Studio devices, like Instrument Layer. And the new Channel Filter and Channel Map devices can make channels dynamic within a chain. Whether you are using MIDI or not, channels can be a welcome addition to your workflow.
ParSeq-8 is a unique parameter modulation sequencer, where each step is its own modulation source. It can use the project's clock, advance on note input, or just run freely in either direction. As it advances, each step's targets are modulated and then reset. It’s a great way to make projects more dynamic, whether in the studio or on the stage. (Along the way, our Steps modulator got some improvements such as ping-pong looping so check it out too.)
Use Note Counter to create cycling modulation patterns as each new note arrives.
Other Device Enhancements
Sampler, Channel Filter, and Channel Map aren't the only devices to receive attention. Our audio degrader, Bit-8, has gained new quantization methods and parameters, providing dirtier or even cleaner modes of destruction. Joining our other layer devices is Note FX Layer, good for creating parallel note effects. And with hovered parameters and their values now displayed in the window footer (beside all available click actions), devices have been reworked in ways big and small.
On-screen Controller Visualization
On-screen visualizations of hardware controllers now appear directly in the Bitwig Studio window. So when you turn a knob on your controller, its effect is visible right on screen.
New controller takeover modes also define how the hardware controls and software parameters interact, and these on-screen visualizations show you the full relationship at a glance.
Resize and color
Change track widths in the Mix view or change scene width in the Arrange view, and enjoy larger clip views and waveforms. You are in control of what and how much you see. In Bitwig Studio 2.4, you can also give scenes their own color to help you manage complex projects.