Bitwig Studio 3 won our hearts earlier this year with the introduction of The Grid. Now, Bitwig Studio 3.1 is set to bring new ways to express musical ideas with extended pitch features, improved editing and workflow improvements and more support for controllers.
Micro Pitch is Bitwig’s newest note effects device, allowing for re-tuning of note streams in a variety of ways. “By making the world of tuning accessible, a world of sounds can be loaded or crafted” the company claims. The beta release includes over thirty pitch altering presets; some backed by music theory, using overtones, undertones quarter tones and even retuning A4 to 432Hz – Verdi’s A. Others are representative of historic temperaments and culture, whilst a few presets reshape the keyboard, opening the floodgates for new and unexpected outcomes for even the most experienced player.
Pitch-12, a new modulator, provides a modulation signal when any note type is pressed. This means you can trigger a unique effect on “out” notes, or take classic ideas in a new direction. Bitwig provides an example in its Constant Portamento preset, which makes every note glide from the same root pitch.
Transpose is added to The Grid, a modular device that can stack oscillators into chords, or create intonation intervals. As every signal is stereo in The Grid, Transpose allows for three stereo configurations. Plus, while this is just a processor, Transpose can even create chords where on input is provided.
Beyond new devices, Bitwig Studio 3.1 has enhanced the window footer, by displaying the equivalent note value to a frequency parameter whilst the cursor is hovered over it. This is useful when working with EQ bands or filter frequencies, as the note will show up right beside the frequency, as well as showing you whether the note is in tune, sharp or flat.
The drawing board
Quick Draw is a new tool that lets you paint notes in the note editor, simply by holding the Alt key while using the pen tool. This allows you to draw a series of notes relative to the current beat grid (16th notes, 8th notes etc). Quick Draw is locked to one pitch by default, for use on hi-hat rhythms or rolling basslines, but it can be used freehand to drag each note to any pitch, in the same way a step-sequencer might work.
Cutting clips, notes and events is made easier with Quick Slice, which is selectable with the Alt key whilst using the knife tool. Now on click and drag, lines appear at every interval of the beat grid, showing where cuts will be made on release.
Slice In Place lets you slice clips, events and notes either at detected audio Onsets, at inserted Bear Markers, or at a set beat interval.
On top of Transpose, The Grid brings four more modules into the Envelope category. This includes Pluck, modelled on a plucked string, Slope Up and Slope Down, for changing the envelope curve, and Follower, which provides a symmetric envelope follower.
Cue Volume and Mix Control have been added to the Studio I/O Panel, with the option to map these to a dedicated device. An added blend knob will allow blending between cue buss and master output, in the same way a DJ mixer functions. More support for MIDI controllers is included in this update too, such as Novation Launchpad Pro, Arturia KeyLab MkII and KeyLab Essential, as well as PreSonus Atom and PreSonus FaderPort.
Bitwig Studio 3.1 beta is now available to all customers with a Bitwig Studio license and an active upgrade plan. The expected release date is in the next few weeks. Find out more at bitwig.com