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Tapper Mike

Considering Bitwig

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It's funny.   When the developers of Bitwig first announced they were going to build a new daw that would compete with Ableton Live and many were ex Ableton employees I laughed.  Mostly because these were the same guys who were responsible for all the unresolved bugs associated with AL to begin with.  I always thought that the "features" that AL had were simply a way to cover up all the flaws.  Most notably latency issues when using one or more third party plugins.   It took way way to long for them to produce anything and when they would report on progress they'd only show still captures of the UI to the public.   Then when they finally announced testing had begun.  It was solely done in house.   There is a very good reason to keep things in-house (hackers love being part of a private beta testing because the copy-protection is rarely in place)  And then there is the other thing that.... engineers are not the general public.  They do things in a manner that may not expose bugs.  I know these things all too well as I've been part of more than a few private pre-release testing groups as a non-employee and as an employee of a company.  If developers can recreate the issue then they may be able to fix the bug.  If they can't reproduce the issue then there is no way to fix it.   This requires very detailed reporting by the user/tester to begin with.   Well Bitwig didn't do that and 1.0 was fraught with bugs upon public release.  I honestly thought they were vaporware.  I never tested but I kept an active interest in the development.   Now, we are at 2.3   Many of the issues have been fixed.


I'm currently using Live and use Mixcraft8 as well.  Mixcraft lacks the integration with control surfaces.  You can do somethings, you can program other things but you can't get the level of integration that bitwig has with contemporary surface controllers.  Mixcraft also buries certain features in order to "simplify" the user experience for the novice engineer, musician.  This makes it a bear for me when I want to do something simple like assign midi channel to a specified track.  I love being able to play one instrument with one hand and a second instrument with the other on my LP pro's  or setting up channel splits.  It takes forever to set up and is less than ideal.  But I love the included plugins which are quite vast and it's no fuss to using third party plugins.  


There are things (too many to mention) which I don't like about AB Live.  Yet it has become my Go-To DAW for simple arrangements and practice.   One of the biggest issues is that if a channel is assigned to midi then... You can only use a single plugin across all the sets of that channel.  Whereas if the channel is assigned to audio you can use various clips of different instruments each for it's own set/scene.  I don't know if bitwig can do this and I don't know why AB can't.  All I know is that I want it.   


Bitwig brings to the table many great ideas some borrowed from sonar many borrowed from AB and still many others I've yet to see in any daw.  For example 32/64 bit plugins completely compatible without requiring a bridge.   While for the most part my plugins are 64bit there are still some gems that are only 32bit.   Secondly MPE.   My last linnstrument died on me.  I loved that thing.



While my Launch Pad Pro's have limited mpe they will never replace what I could get out of a linnstrument.  I've already set my mind on buying another linnstrument.

Bitwig has full support not only for mpe it also has full control surface integration with LP Pro, 



I actually don't intend to demo bitwig till I get another linnstrument.  I debate daily on if the original (8x24) or the newer 128 (8x16)  I've got two Launch Pad Pro's which I often use in tandem set for either one or two octaves apart (which is sometimes annoying) that I'll keep primarily as control surfaces and occasionally as drum pad surfaces.  The linnstrument has smaller "cells" with less noticable spring which makes it much easier to play for many things.


It depends on how much I can save in a reasonable time frame.





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