Hot on the heels of the 1.2 update release that added some fun new stuff, Bitwig has already announced a release candidate (meaning almost finished) version of 1.3. Bitwig is unusual in being tri-platform, though this update’s most important new feature, touch support, is only for Windows and Linux users with compatible hardware. That’s because Mac OS X doesn’t support multitouch and isn’t all that likely to as long as the Californian company pushes its iOS devices as the ones it wants you to press with your fingers.
Multitouch is something that’s already familiar on phones and tablets but less so on the desktop, although touch-capable hardware has been around for a while. The biggest player to fully support touch is Image Line with FL Studio 12 so it’s good to see Bitwig getting in on the action. Done properly, touch-enabled DAWs are really cool, especially for stuff like mixing and automation. It’s no coincidence that as Microsoft continues to develop its Surface platform that runs the full desktop version of Windows, we are increasingly seeing music developers get on board with multitouch. Indeed Microsoft has just announced even more powerful versions of Surface which are more than capable of running music software.
Bitwig 1.3 has multitouch support for faders, knobs and other elements as well as press and hold for accessing menus, a touch keyboard with x/y axis controls and pressure sensitivity if your hardware supports it. No word yet on whether third party plug-ins will have touch support as this is typically out of a DAW developers’ hands, but it’s certainly possible to implement in future. The release candidate is available to download now from here. Even though they don’t get touch support, Mac users get a bunch of bug fixes and an E-Cowbell. (No, really).