With Bitwig finally in a Beta testing stage and Ableton ready to go 64-bit with a Beta also available now, the stage is set for quite a battle between these two unique DAWs, both of which seem to lend themselves perfectly to the aspirations of the dance producer. But which will you choose? Or will you need both, in fact?
A Bit Good
We announced Bitwig quite a while ago now, and were suitably excited for its arrival...and then everything went quiet. Now though, the incredibly-promising DAW has been rolled out in Beta format.
Such has been the popularity of this software that they’re no longer asking for testers, but what it means for you is a lead time of, we reckon, a couple of months at most before this new system lands.
We were hugely impressed by Bitwig’s new take on music production, in particular the way that clip arrangement works – individual moveable boxes can contain both audio and MIDI notes at the same time, and automation can also be stored inside the clip as well. It allows you to break out of the conventions of track-by-track construction and piece together a song.
Individual notes can be edited in terms of automation, pan and timbre in a special ‘expression lane’ part of the editing screen and there are lots of navigation bonuses too, including the facility to ‘nest’ devices within each other for quick access to multiple grouped parameters.
Ready and Able
Ableton, on the other hand, is a relatively veteran DAW, and users have been waiting for the 64-bit upgrade for a fair while now. With news of its arrival, it brings the software bang up to date with its rivals, and will see an already powerful system making far better use of the more processor-and-memory-friendly Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.5. You can harness more than 4GB RAM for your audio projects, and make use of 64-bit plug-in functionality too.
The Beta can be downloaded here and while Max for Live, The Bridge and video aren't happening in 64-bit yet, they'll be soon on the way.
Ableton Vs Bitwig
So: two DAWs with the same target audience. Bitwig has a significant mark to make but could have its new take on production on its side, while Ableton has the significant third-party and of course hardware controller support that makes it exceptional on stage and in the studio. Which are you after?