NAMM 2014: No, you're not dreaming - two years after it was first announced, and following countless teaser videos, we can confirm that Bitwig Studio will be released on 26 March 2014. What's more, we know how much it'll cost - $399/€299 for the download version.
This means that Bitwig has undercut Ableton's Live 9, their software's most natural rival in the DAW market, though perhaps not by as much as some people were expecting. Boxed versions will also be available for $449.99/399.99(MSRP/MAP) and €329.
Billed as a piece of "new and innovative music creation, recording, and performance software," Bitwig Studio supports Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Out of the box you get more than 50 'devices', including instruments, effects and more. The software is also VST plugin-compatible.
As well as launching the full product on 26 March, Bitwig will also be offering a free demo. We'd say this is an essential move - if the company is to coax users away from other DAWs (and, if it's going to succeed, it'll have to) it's got to give them a chance to sample the goods before they pay for them.
Bitwig has also confirmed that it'll be exhibiting at the NAMM Show, offering product demonstrations and showcasing Bitwig Studio's Open Controller API with its partners Nektar, Livid Instruments and Novation. Bitwig says that the API offers "unprecedented possibilities to integrate hardware and software".
We'll put this claim, and others, to the test as soon as we can. In the meantime, here's the Bitwig press release in full.
Bitwig Studio press release
BITWIG STUDIO is a new and innovative music creation, recording, and performance software that supports all three major computing platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Combining traditional arrangement sequencing with modern performance-oriented clip launching workflows, BITWIG STUDIO is the ultimate solution for realizing all your musical ideas across every stage of production.
BITWIG STUDIO comes with over 50 included devices. Conventional Instruments (Polysynth, FM-4, Organ, Sampler and analog-style Drum Modules) and FX (Delays, Equalizers, Compressors), as well as Container devices (to build parallel instrument or effect chains), Note FX, and Modulator devices (additional controllers like LFOs, envelope fol- lowers and step sequencers for modulating any other device). Extend this collection with your favorite VST effects and instruments, and use them side by side with BITWIG STUDIO internal devices.
- Cross-platform DAW (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)
- Intuitive non-linear sequencing for the studio and beyond
- Full multi-core and multi-processor support
- VST 2.4 support with built-in 32/64-bit bridging and plug-in crash protection
- Proprietary time-stretching technology
- Multi-display support for up to 3 displays
- Tabbed document interface for multiple projects open at once with drag-and-drop between them Over 50 included devices, including conventional Instruments (Polysynth, FM-4, Organ, Sampler and analog-style Drum Modules) and FX (Delays, Equalizers, Compressors), as well as Container devices (to build parallel instrument or effect chains), Note FX, and Modulator devices (additional controllers like LFOs and step sequencers for modulating any other device).
- Unified Modulation System: Use Macro Controls, Note Expressions, LFOs, and Envelope
- Followers to modulate any device parameter, including nested internal devices and even VST plug-ins
- Advanced layered editing
- Note and Audio expressions, including per-note Micro-Pitch Control
- Dynamic Object Inspector: Select multiple notes or events and edit them together with the interactive parameter histogram, easily adding variations as you go
- Automatic sample slicing to both Sampler or Drum Machine
- Multiple audio events per clip: Automatically cut up samples and rearrange them on the fly in the Detail Editor
- Dedicated Device Panel Mappings with color-coded knobs and buttons for an overview at a glance Support for various MIDI controllers out of the box
- Sound Content: Over one thousand presets and sounds, 3 GB of factory content: Drum Machines (808, 909... Percussion), Acoustic Drums, multi-sampled instruments like Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Vibraphone, Marimba, Acoustic and Electric Bass, Sampled Drum and Instrument loops, Various Sound FX, and additional partner content
- Open Controller API: Create and customize functionality for virtually any MIDI controller, including scripting access to nearly every feature of BITWIG STUDIO