Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Modular synthesizers Workflow Opinions

The Grid vs Modular VST: Exploring Bitwig's Unique Approach

Tutorial | Jul 12, 2019

In this video, I talk about the question of why Bitwig's grid is better than a modular VST. I argue that while other modular environments may offer more features, the deep integration of the grid within Bitwig allows for a more streamlined and creative workflow. It's not about the specific features, but rather about how you approach making music. Bitwig's grid provides the right-sized modules to quickly bring your ideas to life and have fun while doing it. I also touch on the idea that Bitwig is in the right position in terms of pricing, features, and workflow, and that it offers a playful and enjoyable experience.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:


  1. Why is the Bitwig Grid considered better than a modular VST?
  2. What does the deep integration with the DAW allow me to do that I can't do with other modular environments?
  3. Can I do more with Reactor OpenVZV than with the Bitwig Grid?
  4. What makes Bitwig a good choice for making music?


  1. The Bitwig Grid is considered better than a modular VST because of its deep integration with the DAW itself. While most modular VSTs only allow you to create conventional synth stuff, the Bitwig Grid offers the same capabilities but with the added benefit of being seamlessly integrated into the DAW. This allows for a more streamlined and efficient workflow, making it easier to bring your creative ideas to life.

  2. The deep integration with the DAW allows you to access and manipulate various parameters and features within Bitwig that cannot be achieved with other modular environments. This includes things like audio clips, synthesizers, envelope control, stereo imaging, and more. The grid's integration with the DAW provides a cohesive and intuitive environment for music production, enabling you to explore new possibilities and experiment with different sounds and effects.

  3. While Reactor OpenVZV may offer more features and capabilities than the Bitwig Grid at the moment, the point of the Grid is not to outdo other modular environments in terms of functionality. Rather, it is focused on providing a user-friendly and accessible way of creating sounds and music. The Grid's strength lies in its simplicity and ease of use, allowing you to quickly bring your ideas to life without getting caught up in complex setups and configurations.

  4. Bitwig is a good choice for making music because it offers a playful and intuitive approach to music production. It provides all the necessary features and tools needed for modern music production, including a wide range of instruments, effects, and editing capabilities. Additionally, Bitwig's design and workflow make it easy to stay focused on your creativity and avoid getting lost in the technical aspects of music production. The combination of these factors makes Bitwig a compelling option for both experienced musicians and newcomers alike.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00:00] Hey, welcome back to another video.
[00:00:02] In this video it's just about me talking Vlog style.
[00:00:06] So it's not so much about creating something inside Bitwig.
[00:00:10] As someone on the net here asked,
[00:00:13] "Can someone explain why the grid is better than a modular VST?"
[00:00:16] A modular DAW is a super awesome concept,
[00:00:19] but most of the tutorials I saw
[00:00:21] were just using the grid to build conventional synth stuff.
[00:00:24] What does the deep integration with the DAW itself allow me to do,
[00:00:28] that I can't just do with say Reactor OpenVZV as a VST?
[00:00:33] And nothing, that's the answer.
[00:00:36] You can't do more.
[00:00:38] It's just conventional synth stuff.
[00:00:41] There's nothing more you can do.
[00:00:43] And all the other DAWs and all the other modular environments
[00:00:48] and EuroRack, it's all about the same conventional synth stuff now for decades.
[00:00:53] There's nothing new.
[00:00:54] That's all there is.
[00:00:55] There is just sine waves,
[00:00:58] modulated sine waves, distorted sine waves.
[00:01:01] And in the end it's all just vibrations.
[00:01:03] There is...
[00:01:04] You have to change your ears if you want something new basically.
[00:01:08] You can't do everything with Reactor.
[00:01:12] You can't do with the grid.
[00:01:14] And you can probably do more in Reactor.
[00:01:17] You can do more in Reactor on OpenVZV than in the grid right now.
[00:01:22] But that's not the point.
[00:01:25] The point is basically how you approach things.
[00:01:31] How you approach your end result.
[00:01:33] How you travel.
[00:01:35] Not where you're traveling.
[00:01:37] You're always traveling to a wave file in the end.
[00:01:42] You want to have and you want to release.
[00:01:44] Maybe sometimes people just want to play around and delete the stuff afterwards.
[00:01:50] I don't know.
[00:01:51] But in the end you always end up with just a regular wave file.
[00:01:58] And it's about the fun you have while creating it.
[00:02:03] It's about not losing your focus of your creativity.
[00:02:09] If you have an idea in your mind and you need a one hour or two hours to set up Reactor or OpenVZV or find the right module,
[00:02:18] then you're doing something wrong.
[00:02:20] It's about opening your Bitwig, open the grid, hooking up three modules and having a nice sound and jamming into your stardom.
[00:02:33] So that's not about the features.
[00:02:37] It's not completely not about the features.
[00:02:41] Everything you do today in a DAW on an audio application is something you could do 20 years ago, result wise.
[00:02:51] All that changed was how easy it is to approach it, how easy it is to access it and how the workflow is.
[00:03:03] For instance, I saw this ad today in my Facebook stream.
[00:03:13] I don't know.
[00:03:14] Most of the ads now have a wooden desk and you have a coffee mug and you have a book that you just read besides making music on your controller.
[00:03:25] But as you can see in this controller, you have audio clips and you have synthesizers integrated.
[00:03:32] So it's a small DAW and you probably just can do five things with this controller.
[00:03:40] You can probably do more with a DAW or with Bitwig or something like that.
[00:03:45] But it's not about that.
[00:03:47] It's about how you approach making music.
[00:03:50] So you have buttons, you can use the knobs to turn it and you have different accessibility.
[00:03:59] There's more haptic, different way of doing things.
[00:04:04] But in the inside, you just have the regular conventional synth stuff you have for decays.
[00:04:14] So this is also just about how you approach making music.
[00:04:21] And yeah, that's also with the grid, the same stuff.
[00:04:27] When you have these modules, for instance, in Reactor, you have pretty fine grained modules.
[00:04:34] When you try to create a patch, you have to start with values and constants and logic modules to just create some basic kind of patch.
[00:04:48] And in Bitwig, not so much.
[00:04:51] You can basically have three modules and you have an envelope, an oscillator and if you turn some knobs here, you have even a nice stereo image.
[00:05:04] And that's it.
[00:05:06] So it's the right grained size of modules to create fast your idea or bring your idea out of your head into your DAW.
[00:05:24] I just edited the video and I want to insert some thoughts here at this point.
[00:05:30] There's also on the net, you see a vocal majority of people that want certain things in a DAW.
[00:05:38] And there are a lot of users that don't post at all at the internet.
[00:05:43] They just use the application and that's it.
[00:05:46] They don't post or have opinions or something like that.
[00:05:51] So I think if you have this, this is basically the user base of Bitwig.
[00:05:57] And I think this small portion of the community is wanting the grid or having a modular environment.
[00:06:06] And it depends on the integration, what you put inside the grid and what not and how you design it and how big this portion of the community is.
[00:06:19] And I think a lot of people in the community wanted more, something like Reactor.
[00:06:24] But that means that you have a smaller portion of people that actually using it because it's too complicated.
[00:06:32] But Bitwig got it right, I think, with the design.
[00:06:37] So they put it, most of the modules make it pretty easy to create something inside the grid.
[00:06:43] So we have a bigger portion of the community that using actually the grid.
[00:06:47] So a small portion is maybe a bit sad because we can do convolution, reverb and so on to heavy technical stuff.
[00:06:58] But the other portion of the community is pretty surprised because they can use it.
[00:07:06] They never used maybe a modular environment, but they now can use it.
[00:07:11] So I think it's, and that's why also I think it was around the EuroRag hype two years ago, one year ago, that they released Reactor blocks and then come out Softube Modular and VCVRag and so on.
[00:07:32] So you have more like high level abstracted modules.
[00:07:36] But I would say Bitwig is somewhere in between between Reactor fine grained and some high level abstracted EuroRag modules.
[00:07:46] So something in between.
[00:07:48] You have the right size with the right opinions what you need in your daily life or when you create sounds.
[00:07:56] So as you can see, you have a skew here and the fault.
[00:07:59] You don't see that in normal oscillators when you open up modular environments.
[00:08:04] There is some some ideas, some thoughts flowing into this environment.
[00:08:10] Right. So that's an opinionated environment.
[00:08:16] And that's why I like it. That's why I use it.
[00:08:21] And that's why I think it's the best modular environment for me at the moment.
[00:08:27] Wow, that sounded like an ad, but it isn't. I don't get money for that.
[00:08:32] I just like Bitwig. I think it's the right. It's in the right position.
[00:08:37] It's in it has the right approach to making music because it's playful.
[00:08:42] You have everything integrated. You need you have all the new features you really like nowadays when you make music nowadays.
[00:08:52] I mean, you have these trends, right?
[00:08:54] There's also different music styles.
[00:08:57] We make different music than 20 years ago and because we have now all these tools at our hands.
[00:09:07] For instance, 20 years ago, it was very important to have a clean sound.
[00:09:12] You don't have noise. You have the noises and having a nice stereo field and making things loud.
[00:09:19] Nowadays, it's completely backwards.
[00:09:22] You want you have a vapor wave where you have music that sounds like your batteries are empty on your walkman.
[00:09:27] So you make a lot of stuff that to introduce noise so that your sound is not so clean.
[00:09:35] And so it's completely the opposite.
[00:09:38] So it's like we have no other tools to make it clean.
[00:09:41] So now we try to make it dirty.
[00:09:43] And back in the days where we had not the tools to make it clean and we try to make it as clean as possible.
[00:09:49] So it's completely the opposite humans.
[00:09:54] What I want to say again.
[00:09:59] Bitwigas the Ride is in the right position, I think, from the pricing, from the features, from the workflow.
[00:10:09] It's pretty playful.
[00:10:11] You have fun playing around inside Bitwig.
[00:10:15] And if you don't focus too much on the features.
[00:10:18] Well, it doesn't have comping. I can't do music anymore.
[00:10:21] It doesn't have comping.
[00:10:23] Please give me another door.
[00:10:25] Then you probably don't have fun.
[00:10:28] But if you if you find a way around these shortcomings, around these not integrated features at the moment,
[00:10:38] you have a lot of fun with Bitwig.
[00:10:40] And that's that's the point for me.
[00:10:42] And that's what I see.
[00:10:43] I see the bigger goal, the bigger vision of Bitwig.
[00:10:48] So that's why I am using it.
[00:10:51] And it's also from Berlin.
[00:10:55] Yeah, I think that's it for this video.
[00:11:01] I just want to talk about this stuff because I also saw some comments on videos about comping and Bitwig's not good for mastering and certain stuff like that.
[00:11:11] I mean, it has faders. You can do stuff loud and quiet.
[00:11:16] So it's no problem to mastering something inside Bitwig if you know your stuff.
[00:11:27] And yeah, that's about it.
[00:11:31] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video.
[00:11:33] Bye.
[00:11:35] Thank you.
[00:11:37] Thank you.