Updates to Bitwig Studio and PreSonus Studio One support the new DAWproject open exchange format. Can we really move whole projects between DAWs?
What is DAWproject?
DAWproject is the radical notion that it should be possible to share projects between different DAWs. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking well, what about MIDI files, AAF (Advanced Authoring Format) or OMF (Open Music Format), haven’t we done this before? Well, those formats are useful for what they do but DAWproject goes so much further.
DAWproject files take the MIDI notes, the audio clips, the fades, volume and pan information that you can already transfer and adds in things like time warping, transposition, MPE, markers, and mixer automation. But the big story is how it handles plugins. It will take the full stored state of any loaded plugins plus all of their automation. This gets interesting when it comes to built-in plugins that are not transferable to another DAW. It will pull data in a generic form from EQ, Compressors, Gates and Limiters and be able to transfer that information into the built-in plugins of the destination DAW.
So, the intention with DAWproject is to preserve as much user-created data as possible. As so much of music production is common between DAWs all it should really take is an exchange of data to the right places. So, all the audio tracks, with all the clips, with their gain and fade settings. All of the mixer data, including automation over tracks, plugins and parameter settings. All the MIDI data with note expression and virtual instruments. And, if the DAW supports it, clip stacks and scenes from loop-based clip launching.
That is pretty much everything. It’s open source and the hope is that it will become widely adopted.
DAWproject – Bitwig Studio – same project
Why would you want this?
I think it’s helpful in different places. Collaboration is a big one because you won’t need to have the same DAW as someone you’re working with. Or if you are taking a project to a studio that only has one particular DAW, or only works on a Mac-only DAW and you’ve been working on Windows. It’s also great for trying out new DAWs, or using a particular workflow from one DAW, but you prefer to mix in another. You could also see the massive advantage in migrating to another DAW where at the moment you essentially have to leave your old projects behind.
How does it work?
In terms of how we use it, you’ve simply got a new option to export your project as a DAWproject. It’s not the intention of DAWproject to become the default project format for every DAW, because there are still individual aspects of the way DAWs work and retain information that is unique and non-translatable.
In order to translate the plugin information you will need the same third-party plugins installed on the destination DAW. Sharing information between stock, built-in plugins is going to be very interesting.
I’m writing this before the actual release, so I’ve not seen it in action. So I’m curious about how it works in practice.
Of course, this is only helpful if your DAW supports it. Currently, Bitwig has been playing with it within the Bitwig Studio 5.0.8 beta version and will be officially supported in version 5.0.9.
However, there hasn’t been anywhere else for non-beta testers to transfer the DAWproject into, until now. PreSonus has just announced Studio One 6.5 which is fully compliant with DAWproject. PreSonus has been working with Bitwig for the last couple of years to get the whole DAWproject off the ground. It remains to be seen how many other DAWs get on board.
Presonus Studio One 6 Professional Download
Presonus Studio One 6 Artist Download
Presonus Studio One+ Download
Bitwig Studio Download
- DAWproject - Studio One: Presonus
- DAWproject - Bitwig Studio: Presonus
- DAWproject: Bitwig