Bitwig Studio 3 is officially out! While the public beta had been available for testing since May, we had to wait a bit longer for the official release. The latest version of the modular DAW is now here, including its most anticipated feature: The Grid.
What’s new in Bitwig Studio 3?
The Grid is a modular sound design environment that lets you build your own synths and effects using 154 modules. It really is fully modular – you can connect anything to anything else, whether it’s “appropriate” or not. For ease of use, there is a feature called “Precord” which automatically makes common connections, but it can of course be disabled if you wish. The Grid features 4x oversampling for high quality of sound, and a stereo signal path.
The Grid comes in two variants: Poly Grid is for making synths, and FX Grid is for effects. Between these, it looks like you’ll be able to assemble a huge variety of one-of-a-kind sound-generating and manipulating devices. Here are some demo sounds from Bitwig:
Connect to modular hardware
The Grid also contains a range of modules designed to connect to hardware synthesizers by sending, receiving, and manipulating control voltages. While Bitwig Studio has had CV generating capabilities for a while, The Grid goes a step further by allowing you to freely combine the modular software environment with hardware modules. While it may seem overwhelming, I think that it opens up fantastic new possibilities for anyone interested in modular synthesis and creative sound design. Like other software-to-CV solutions such as Ableton CV Tools for Live or MOTU Volta, it requires a DC-coupled audio interface to work, for example the Expert Sleepers ES-8 Bitwig Edition.
While The Grid is undoubtedly the star of the show, Bitwig Studio 3 also comes with many workflow improvements. Among these are automatic backups, a realtime ruler displaying minutes and seconds, and VU meters in routing choosers. You can adjust the GUI contrast globally to ensure good visibility on a variety of displays, which could save your day during a live performance. The Instrument Inspector has been redesigned and now offers polyphony and two mono modes. And, last but not least, there’s Ableton Link 3 compatibility, allowing you to sync Bitwig Studio 3 wirelessly to other compatible devices and apps.
Compatibility and price
Bitwig Studio 3 is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The DAW is currently on sale for USD 299, down from USD 399.