Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Tutorial Bitwig-1.3.16

Exploring the Early Days of Bitwig Studio: A Journey Through Version 1.3

Tutorial | Mar 28, 2024

In this video, I take a trip back in time to an older version of Bitwig Studio, specifically version 1.3.16 which was released in 2017. I explore the features and limitations of this version, including the absence of the pop-up browser and grouping tracks, as well as the basic functionality of devices like the Pulser Synth and the Sampler. It's a nostalgic journey that highlights the progress and evolution of Bitwig Studio over the years.

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

In this video, im revisiting an older version of Bitwig Studio, version 1.3.16 from 2017, offering a tutorial and insights into its features and limitations compared to the initial release and subsequent updates. Here are the key points covered:

The tutorial offers a nostalgic look at Bitwig Studio's early days, showcasing how users adapted to its limitations and the significant improvements made over the years.

Questions & Answers

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

What version of Bitwig Studio is being shown in the tutorial?

The version of Bitwig Studio being shown in the tutorial is 1.3.16, which was released in 2017.

What were some key features introduced in the cycle of 1.0 up until 1.3?

Some key features introduced in the cycle of 1.0 up until 1.3 included the introduction of the pop-up browser, grouping tracks, and the delay device. These updates added convenience and functionality to the software.

What were some limitations and features missing in the early versions of Bitwig Studio?

In the early versions of Bitwig Studio, there were limitations such as no pop-up browser, no grouping of tracks, no resizing, no fade-ins, and no crossfades. Some missing features included a spectrum analyzer, hardware FX support, and a sidechain modulator.

What is the narrator's personal experience and opinion about using Bitwig Studio?

The narrator shares their personal experience of switching from Cubase to Bitwig Studio and being hooked on the software's potential and future updates. They express nostalgia for the early versions and highlight the excitement of exploring and experiencing the software for the first time.


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] So Bitwig is 10 years old now, this year.
[00:00:03] And I thought it's maybe a great idea to load up an older version of Bitwig Studio and show
[00:00:09] you around, basically make a tutorial on an outdated version of Bitwig Studio.
[00:00:14] And this year is version 1.3.16, which came out in 2017.
[00:00:21] Yeah, here's the release date, 2017.
[00:00:28] And the first version, 1.0, was released in, I think, 2014, year 1.0, March 2014, exactly.
[00:00:41] So we had to deal with the cycle of 1.0 for over three years.
[00:00:45] They did a lot of small little refinements, small little bug fixes, changes until we moved
[00:00:52] on to 2.0.
[00:00:55] So in the cycle of 1.0 from 1.0 up until 1.3, which was over the course, like I said, over
[00:01:04] three years, we got a lot of nice little features.
[00:01:09] First up, in the first version, there was no pop-up browser, this one here.
[00:01:14] There was no pop-up browser.
[00:01:16] If you wanted to load in some VSTs or some effects, you had to use basically the right-hand
[00:01:21] browser, this one.
[00:01:24] And then, drag stuff in.
[00:01:28] That's how it worked back then.
[00:01:30] So the pop-up browser was, I think, introduced around, I don't know, 1.76 something around
[00:01:39] here, these lines.
[00:01:43] Then there was no grouping in the first version.
[00:01:47] Everything was introduced, I remember this, this was 1.2.
[00:01:52] So here we got basically grouping tracks.
[00:01:55] So we could basically have multiple instrument tracks and then select these two and then
[00:02:00] use control and G and get kind of a group track.
[00:02:03] And these two devices then feed the audio into this group track.
[00:02:07] So you had like a bus, more or less.
[00:02:09] Before that, we had to use audio tracks or to misuse audio tracks.
[00:02:14] So let's say you have a pulley synth here and another one and then you want to group
[00:02:19] this into a bus.
[00:02:21] You had to use an audio track and call this then a bus and then send the audio here.
[00:02:27] Instead to master, you send this to bus and this one to bus and then you have the audio
[00:02:33] basically here in the bus channel.
[00:02:38] So this is how it worked before grouping.
[00:02:41] So group beam came in 2015, so one year later basically.
[00:02:50] Also delay for device here.
[00:02:52] There was no delay for device before that, holy shit.
[00:02:56] So yeah, the first version was pretty bare bones.
[00:03:02] I found one video I uploaded on my YouTube channel here.
[00:03:08] On this channel you're watching currently.
[00:03:11] This was nine years ago.
[00:03:12] I have no idea what I'm doing here, eating and fiddling around in Bitwig in the first
[00:03:17] version.
[00:03:18] So it was pretty bare bones.
[00:03:21] There was zero features.
[00:03:23] There was nothing in there.
[00:03:24] It was just you could create audio tracks, hybrid tracks, instrument tracks and then
[00:03:30] you had a few instruments.
[00:03:31] I think it was only pulley synth, the percussion devices, organ device and this FM4 device.
[00:03:40] And that's it.
[00:03:42] And for everything else you needed to use VSTs.
[00:03:46] No grouping, no resizing, no fade ins here for the audio clips.
[00:03:53] No crossfades, nothing.
[00:03:56] It was very, very bare bones.
[00:03:57] And this was the version I was hooked on early on where I came from Cubase and I tried out
[00:04:05] Bitwig the demo version here, the first release and said, "Yes, this is it."
[00:04:09] I saw basically the future because that this neat little page, this web page where you
[00:04:18] saw basically the early version of the grid, which wasn't released until three years later,
[00:04:25] but no one know that back then.
[00:04:28] We thought, "Oh, the grid is just around the corner."
[00:04:31] And also the network feature, the network layer where they said you can then hook up
[00:04:38] two different users over the internet and make together music or jam together.
[00:04:44] I'm not sure if we ever get this in the future.
[00:04:47] I don't know if there's a need for that still.
[00:04:51] But yeah, this was basically, we were hooked on the current version, what's in there and
[00:04:57] the bright future basically, what's coming up next, right?
[00:05:02] So I was switching back then from Cubase to this and had a lot of fun back then.
[00:05:08] I want to show you basically in here how we did music back then.
[00:05:14] So what we want to do first is you want to go to the options preferences and we want
[00:05:18] to change the default track volume to zero to be this is classic Bitwig minus 10 dB.
[00:05:27] Display scaling 175 percent, okay, audio controllers.
[00:05:32] There's my key lab, you're already implemented, plug-in management.
[00:05:37] This was a big feature back then when Bitwig came out, sandboxing.
[00:05:41] That back then I think when a plug-in crashed in Able to Live or in Cubase, everything crashed,
[00:05:48] the whole session, everything was down.
[00:05:51] And Bitwig was the first basically introducing here the sandboxing module or feature where
[00:05:58] every plug-in or every plug-in from some Windows would run into one single sandbox.
[00:06:06] So when one plug-in crashes, only this plug-in crashes and you can reload then this plug-in.
[00:06:11] This was a big, big feature back then.
[00:06:13] It was so nice because I had a lot of Cubase sessions where I need to reload the project
[00:06:20] every five minutes or multiple times in the beginning just to make every VST load correctly.
[00:06:27] So people forget sometimes how bad it was sometimes back then.
[00:06:33] Okay.
[00:06:35] So I think this is okay, shortcuts.
[00:06:37] Okay, bam.
[00:06:39] So let's delete this here.
[00:06:43] So let's start with the kick drum.
[00:06:46] So eKick is around for a long time now, over 10 years.
[00:06:51] eKick is the oldest device probably in Bitwig.
[00:06:54] This is how the audio clip looked like or the note clip looked back then with this triangle
[00:07:03] in the corner.
[00:07:05] I remember a lot of people were kind of mad because Bitwig removed here this small triangle
[00:07:10] for some reason.
[00:07:11] There's also no resizing here.
[00:07:13] You can't resize.
[00:07:14] You can only push this button here to make it smaller.
[00:07:18] That's it.
[00:07:19] Then I have double click here to go in there.
[00:07:25] Load down.
[00:07:27] Let's say we just do here some kind of maybe housey track.
[00:07:34] Go to 120 BPM.
[00:07:41] Loop is on.
[00:07:42] Yeah.
[00:07:43] Nice.
[00:07:44] On the master, I put the peak limiter.
[00:07:48] Don't get mad at me.
[00:07:50] Poor guy.
[00:07:53] This is way too loud for some reason.
[00:08:01] The default volume is 3.540 B for some reason.
[00:08:05] I have no idea why.
[00:08:06] So there's also no right click and save default preset.
[00:08:13] Default is default.
[00:08:14] You couldn't change it back then.
[00:08:15] It's just, you know, you had to save a preset if you want to.
[00:08:21] How to save presets actually.
[00:08:22] How is this possible?
[00:08:26] Right click.
[00:08:27] There's no save preset.
[00:08:31] Oh, I think you have to use this button here, right?
[00:08:35] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:08:36] Okay, I see.
[00:08:39] So you had to expand this here and then hit this button to save a preset.
[00:08:45] That's how it was.
[00:08:52] Nice.
[00:08:56] So let's use some hi-hats here.
[00:08:58] E-hat device.
[00:09:02] This is how it looks.
[00:09:03] At least we can also use here the clip launcher.
[00:09:06] Put this in here and then use some short loop.
[00:09:15] This is here the main off-beat hat.
[00:09:20] And then we change here the velocity here.
[00:09:27] Something like this.
[00:09:28] Then we don't need the comp filter.
[00:09:30] And you can see we have here some modulator outs, right?
[00:09:35] This was because we hadn't the modulation matrix back then.
[00:09:41] It was a bit different.
[00:09:42] So each device had some modulators or some modulator handles like this here.
[00:09:49] Velocity, tumbler, pressure and so on.
[00:09:51] So you had to use this to make your decay longer.
[00:10:07] Use velocity.
[00:10:11] Yeah, nice.
[00:10:20] Very weird default volume plus 1.19 dB for some reason.
[00:10:28] Cool.
[00:10:31] Then let's go for the clap.
[00:10:36] And here are actually...
[00:10:38] Put this here and here.
[00:10:43] Make the clap very short.
[00:10:48] This is 0 dB.
[00:10:53] That's cool.
[00:10:58] Put an FX2 on that.
[00:11:08] EQ in here.
[00:11:11] So all the EQs, there is no spectrum analyzer in there.
[00:11:15] That's also missing.
[00:11:16] Completely empty.
[00:11:23] Maybe distortion.
[00:11:29] And the peak limiter at the end.
[00:11:34] Okay, cool.
[00:11:40] Yeah, we can also group this here.
[00:11:43] Of course, it's the later.
[00:11:44] It's the 1.3 version.
[00:11:47] You can call this drums.
[00:11:51] And let's see if there's actually a trans in control.
[00:11:54] Yeah, there's looks exactly the same.
[00:12:02] The peak limiter also here.
[00:12:18] Sounds a bit...
[00:12:22] Okay.
[00:12:26] Then we put down here some kind of bass sound.
[00:12:29] So it's the pulley synth for that.
[00:12:33] Push this down.
[00:12:35] Also make this maybe a bit odd in the time sequencer.
[00:12:57] Up here the filter a bit more.
[00:13:09] I think there's also no side chain modulator yet.
[00:13:16] I think you had to use the compressor if I'm not wrong.
[00:13:19] The dynamics plug in, right?
[00:13:24] Dynamics here.
[00:13:25] And there was here a side chain we could use.
[00:13:36] And this is...
[00:13:42] I think you had to pull down the threshold here.
[00:13:47] I have no idea how this works.
[00:13:59] Oh, I think I get it now.
[00:14:03] Bass sound.
[00:14:23] You have the side chain.
[00:14:24] Basically the kick goes into the analyzer and analyzer reacts to the kick drum and then
[00:14:28] this analyzer puts the volume down, of course.
[00:14:30] I haven't used this in a while.
[00:14:44] Also here on the pulley synth you can see we have also here these modulator handles,
[00:14:48] right?
[00:14:49] And we have a lot of modulator handles here for the velocity, key tracking, timbre and
[00:14:55] so on.
[00:14:57] Also there are no features inside of the inspector on the left side.
[00:15:01] Here you have to switch the mono mode on, legato and single trigger.
[00:15:07] Monophonic, yeah.
[00:15:09] Velocity sensitivity.
[00:15:10] Output is okay.
[00:15:13] So when you wanted to actually, let's say, you want to add another LFO.
[00:15:20] You have some LFOs here, right?
[00:15:21] But you run out of LFOs.
[00:15:23] You want to still add more LFOs.
[00:15:25] You had to use a device called LFO mod.
[00:15:28] Looks like this.
[00:15:29] I think this is still in the current Bitwig version.
[00:15:34] And you have basically a non-synchronized LFO at the top and a synchronized LFO at the
[00:15:38] bottom.
[00:15:39] But you can also go to Hertz here or synchronize the top one if you want to.
[00:15:44] So it doesn't really matter.
[00:15:46] And then you need to drag this instrument into the FX box here and then you could modulate
[00:15:52] something here.
[00:15:59] So this is how you did it basically back then.
[00:16:03] But instead of an LFO here, I want to use a step mod.
[00:16:09] Looks like this.
[00:16:10] It works exactly the same.
[00:16:11] You had to push here the pulley synth into the FX box and then you can draw something
[00:16:17] in.
[00:16:18] And you can also, you can't draw here.
[00:16:20] You need to touch and handle and move every single drawer here.
[00:16:27] Let's go to something odd.
[00:16:29] Then you modulate here.
[00:16:30] Let's say the bass.
[00:16:33] That's a perfect house beat.
[00:17:03] Also when you want to use, let's say, output gear, there was no real hardware instrument
[00:17:08] or, I think hardware instrument was already there but not hardware FX.
[00:17:15] So let's say you want to, I want to go to the compressor, right?
[00:17:20] I had to use the output, go to my compressor output and then send this to my compressor.
[00:17:30] It looks like this here.
[00:17:35] This is basically the gain reduction of the drums now.
[00:17:39] And then inside of Bitwig you had to use another audio track, input and then go back
[00:17:45] in this basically return channel here, return compressor.
[00:17:53] Then you had the drums here, compressed.
[00:18:12] This may be too much.
[00:18:25] Something like this.
[00:18:30] You basically have to return from the compressor here on a single audio track.
[00:18:34] So this is how it worked back then before 2.0 when you had to start hardware FX devices.
[00:18:43] So the bass here sounds a bit weird.
[00:18:47] Maybe I go...
[00:19:05] Maybe go to something different.
[00:19:22] Maybe make this here even.
[00:19:40] Nice.
[00:19:48] So let's try out here maybe the...
[00:19:53] Let's go for the organ device.
[00:19:55] Let's try out this one.
[00:19:56] It looks like this.
[00:19:59] Sounds also like an organ device.
[00:20:02] But maybe we don't only need the primary which is just a sine wave.
[00:20:09] Then we put the chorus on that.
[00:20:19] Reverb, hull, diffusion, reverb time, size.
[00:20:25] Think of X there will be a chorus.
[00:20:49] After that the delay tune.
[00:21:15] Let's go here to AM maybe.
[00:21:40] And now we want to use an LFO here.
[00:21:54] And we want to randomize.
[00:21:55] So we have to use the random shape.
[00:21:58] Put everything into the FX box.
[00:22:01] And then modulate some stuff here.
[00:22:03] Also put this in the unipolar mode of course.
[00:22:08] And maybe the second one also randomized.
[00:22:26] So let's try it out.
[00:22:53] Let's call this organ.
[00:23:06] There's also a tool device.
[00:23:22] This is how the tool device looks like.
[00:23:24] Okay let's try out here the pulley synth.
[00:23:28] You also want to take a look at the sampler.
[00:23:31] So here I want to use the ARP.
[00:23:36] With the ARP there are only a few modes here.
[00:23:39] Chords and up, down, down, up and that's basically it.
[00:23:44] So we want to modulate this here.
[00:23:47] Also with the step mode.
[00:23:56] There's also no dice button here to randomize this.
[00:23:59] The ARP in there.
[00:24:02] And this was also a problem.
[00:24:04] The ARP in here basically doesn't send audio or MIDI FX out to the pulley synth.
[00:24:09] We also have to drag the pulley synth into this FX box here to make it work.
[00:24:17] Then we modulate here this one.
[00:24:20] Let's go for four.
[00:24:24] I think three is enough.
[00:24:27] And then we'll put down here some chords.
[00:24:35] Maybe make this a bit longer.
[00:24:44] This is seven right.
[00:25:09] So now I want to use the step mode to actually change some parameters.
[00:25:12] So I have to call up another step mode, put everything into the FX box and then draw in
[00:25:22] here manually some random things.
[00:25:31] Then modulate something down the line here.
[00:25:44] You can also use an LFO stepped randomized.
[00:25:50] This one here.
[00:25:52] Then synchronize this to beat eight.
[00:25:58] Then modulate here maybe this.
[00:26:02] Unipolar here.
[00:26:10] Maybe unison.
[00:26:17] Oh, this sounds like a bug.
[00:26:24] That's reverb here.
[00:26:27] The reverb broke when I switched this off.
[00:26:38] Some reason I broke the reverb.
[00:26:42] So in here we use a delay two and maybe an EQ.
[00:26:54] Let's get rid of the low end.
[00:27:23] You
[00:27:25] You
[00:27:45] You
[00:28:13] just thought the background. Okay. So let's take a look at the sampler here. Because the sampler was also pretty bare bones.
[00:28:13] I think I have here some kind of sample. Yeah, I've had pen here. This is B two.
[00:28:42] Key tracking. So in the sampler, there was no texture mode, no cycles mode. No. I was actually only start and and looping.
[00:29:01] Look start. I think you can't even change the loop mode. So back forth. This is reversed. Yeah, that's basically it.
[00:29:20] There's also no amplifier here.
[00:29:44] Oh, it's the loop. Okay. Okay, let's put down some notes.
[00:30:03] Yeah.
[00:30:31] Let's track ever.
[00:30:38] Okay.
[00:31:07] So yeah, that's basically bitwig 1.3. Would be interesting for me when you started to use bitwig with what version or in what year.
[00:31:22] Let me know in the comments down below. I think it's sometimes great to revisit some older software or some other hardware some older gear you used way back
[00:31:22] then and then dive into it with some new knowledge and just, you know, to experience it again for the first time.
[00:31:41] So yeah, this was bitwig version 1.3. Maybe I get the first version 1.0 running on some system. I have no idea. Maybe I try out version 2.0 at some point.
[00:31:53] But yeah, I want to make basically this kind of exploration into the history of bitwig with you today. Leave a like, like the video, subscribe to the channel and see you in the next video. Bye.