Tag: Ableton

Making the Move from Ableton to Bitwig

New tune in progress and DAW nerd talk…I’ve using this time at home to get deep into learning Bitwig, a DAW that I now prefer to Ableton. Thought I’d share a few things that make BW shine over Live.

Big things:

  • Open multiple projects at once. The audio engine is decoupled from the project (!!) Super easy to pull elements in and out of other projects or reference what you were doing in previous versions. Live has a clunky approach to project component sharing, but it’s so bad I never use it
  • Modulators. EVERYTHING can be modulated, in many crazy ways. This is natively built-in, not an LFO tool bolt-on. It’s insane how much this has made my textures richer and more complex. Plus my approach to working with samples is completely fresh
  • The Grid. Bitwig’s friendlier version of Max/MSP. It’s so fun I find myself building my own synths
  • Shortcut key map everything. Extremely powerful, I’m much more productive. TÂCHES has a template file to make all the Bitwig shortcuts mimic Live’s
  • Hybrid Audio/Midi tracks+bounce in place. Productivity win here. Less frustrating to bounce a clip, which means more fun to experiment tweaking with ideas
  • Hard to quantify, but the interface just feels slicker

Medium things:

  • Library browser on steroids. Half of music production is choosing which tools to use
  • Combined session/arrangement view. Workflow++
  • Hide tracks out of view. Focus on what I’m working on. Remove all the garbage. Focus++ 
  • Manipulate audio within the clip view. Session Jamming++

Small things:

  • Inline Help. The detail they put into their help dialogues is insane and actually…helpful
  • Stability. The decoupling of the audio engine makes a project still workable even if a plugin crashes. Reload it inline

High level thoughts:

  • Took me only 3 weeks to be able to fully flow in Bitwig. Would have been quicker if we had a nanny for more hours a day 😉
  • I think Bitwig is worth making the switch if you’re an intermediate or advanced Live user (3+ years). BW community support is not yet as robust, so Live wins if you’re new to production.
  • I’m not dropping Live altogether. I’ll still have Live in my pocket for Mentorship sessions and collab work