Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Tutorial Bitwig-5.2b7

Bitwig Colour Themes

Tutorial | Jun 21, 2024

In this video, I explain how the Barry Kai Bitwig theme editor works and provide a disclaimer that using it is at your own risk. I showcase the steps to download and use the theme editor, including exporting and editing the theme JSON file. I also mention the Bitwig Discord and theming subforum as valuable resources for assistance and share the possibility of customizing Bitwig Studio's colors using community-made themes.

You can watch the Video on Youtube


This video explains how to use the Berikai Bitwig theme editor to customize the color themes of Bitwig Studio. This tool is unofficial and may violate terms of service, so use it at your own risk. The editor is a Java application that modifies the Bitwig binary, allowing users to change color variables.

Key Points:

Additional Resources:

Questions & Answers

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

How does the Bitwig theme editor work?

The Bitwig theme editor is a Java application that patches the Bitwig binary and allows users to create or change the color theme of Bitwig Studio. It exchanges all the color variables, allowing for customization of the software's appearance. However, it is important to note that using this editor involves patching the binary, which can come with risks and may violate terms of service.

What are the potential risks of using the Bitwig theme editor?

Using the Bitwig theme editor involves patching the Bitwig binary, which can lead to potential problems and is not supported by Bitwig Studio's official channels. It may violate the software's end user license agreement (EULA) or terms of service (TOS). If issues arise after using the theme editor, it is recommended not to contact support, as they may not be able to assist with the modified version.

Where can I find help or further information about the Bitwig theme editor?

For assistance and further information regarding the Bitwig theme editor, the Bitwig Studio Discord server offers a theming sub-forum where users can exchange information, ask questions, and get help. This is a helpful resource for those looking to change the colors and themes of Bitwig Studio, as there are many engaged community members who are knowledgeable about the process.

Can I safely change the colors and themes of Bitwig Studio using the theme editor?

Using the Bitwig theme editor and changing the colors and themes of Bitwig Studio does come with risks, as it involves patching the binary. It is important to use it at your own risk and be aware that it may violate the software's EULA or TOS. It is recommended to thoroughly research and understand the process before attempting any modifications.


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 on this video, it's about the Berikai Bitwig theme editor.
[00:00:04] And some people ask me to do a video about it and show how it works.
[00:00:10] And before I go deeper into this video, please do this on your own risk.
[00:00:14] It's not official.
[00:00:16] It's probably against the TOS or Eula or whatever.
[00:00:20] So please don't call the support on this if you run into problems.
[00:00:25] Okay.
[00:00:26] So do it on your own risk.
[00:00:27] This is also called more or less like hacking because we patching the binary.
[00:00:33] So like I said, the Bitwig theme editor is basically a Java application that kind of
[00:00:40] patches the Bitwig binary and exchanges all the color variables and allows you to create
[00:00:47] or change the color theme of Bitwig Studio.
[00:00:50] Finally, someone did it.
[00:00:52] Okay.
[00:00:53] This is the repo here.
[00:00:54] I put the link in the description below.
[00:00:57] And you need to have at least Java 17 installed on your PC, right?
[00:01:01] So head over to the Java page and download it.
[00:01:03] But most of the systems have actually an up to date Java runtime installed.
[00:01:11] Okay.
[00:01:13] Also, your probably best first stop is also the Bitwig Discord here.
[00:01:19] There's a theming sub forum in here, right on the left side.
[00:01:24] You have to scroll down theming.
[00:01:27] And I just created this because there are a lot of people just want to talk about this
[00:01:31] and want to exchange information.
[00:01:33] There are so many engaged people in the community that just want to change the colors of Bitwig
[00:01:40] Studio.
[00:01:41] It's insane.
[00:01:42] It's probably more people than people that want to make music with it.
[00:01:45] But people like to change colors for some reason.
[00:01:48] Okay.
[00:01:49] So this is probably your best first stop because that's my first initial post here with all
[00:01:54] the links you need.
[00:01:55] There's the theme editor.
[00:01:57] There's a repo here for just the themes itself.
[00:02:01] There's a color chart.
[00:02:03] It's more or less a spreadsheet on Google Docs where people exchange information here.
[00:02:08] What kind of variable does what and what are the problems?
[00:02:12] There's a notes here on the right side.
[00:02:14] Also screenshots.
[00:02:15] This is nice to have.
[00:02:17] There's also some kind of editor helper I created a few days ago.
[00:02:21] There's a Java or JavaScript HTML application that allows you to change the colors, but
[00:02:27] I show you this in a moment.
[00:02:29] So this is probably your first stop.
[00:02:31] Also you get help in there.
[00:02:33] And there's also barricade in there.
[00:02:35] They're getting you some help.
[00:02:38] So lots of people are exchanging information.
[00:02:40] How to change colors and problems you probably run into.
[00:02:46] Also some ideas.
[00:02:48] So some people don't like this orange for some reason.
[00:02:51] I have no idea why, but that's a taste thing.
[00:02:57] Also some ideas here for themings and so on.
[00:03:01] Oh, what's this?
[00:03:04] Okay.
[00:03:05] Okay, whatever.
[00:03:07] Yeah.
[00:03:10] So this is probably your best first stop if you have questions.
[00:03:13] I'll also put you the link in the description below.
[00:03:16] Also head over to this discord here and get your information you need.
[00:03:22] So let's go back up here.
[00:03:24] So in this repo here, that's the first link, right?
[00:03:29] The Bitwig Theme Editor.
[00:03:31] You can just head over here to the release page or just click in here, release page and
[00:03:37] just download the last recent version, this Bitwig Theme Editor JAR file.
[00:03:44] And this goes straight into your download directory.
[00:03:48] Looks like this.
[00:03:50] And then you have to open up the PowerShell or if you are on Mac, you have to open up
[00:03:54] the terminal.
[00:03:55] You can do this here by just typing in PowerShell.
[00:03:59] And I need to execute this as an administrator.
[00:04:03] So I right click on this and say run it as an administrator, right?
[00:04:09] Or some files are hidden or I don't have the permissions as a normal user to actually
[00:04:16] change them.
[00:04:18] So then you basically are in your Windows System 32 directory for some reason.
[00:04:23] And you want to change this and we go to the download directory here by CD, C, then user
[00:04:32] and then you can hit tap and then my name, polarity, tap and then downloads, tap and
[00:04:41] you are inside of this download directory.
[00:04:43] So let's check.
[00:04:45] Yeah, old and Bitwig Theme Editor 1.3.0 JAR.
[00:04:50] So now we can check if we actually have the right Java version running.
[00:04:54] So we type in Java minus minus and version and you can see I have running version 22.
[00:05:08] So that's that's pretty fine.
[00:05:11] Clear and now we want to execute this basically this file here.
[00:05:16] So we type in Java space, JAR space and then Bitwig and then just hit tap and then we hit
[00:05:27] return.
[00:05:30] And off we go.
[00:05:31] And then we get this kind of your file picker and we have to select here the Bitwig JAR and
[00:05:37] you can find the Bitwig JAR in let me see C program files.
[00:05:46] Then you go for Bitwig Studio.
[00:05:52] Then I use here beta seven because I usually reinstalled beta seven or beta eight is probably
[00:05:57] dropping the next few days.
[00:06:00] I don't know.
[00:06:01] So I'm have to reinstall it anyway.
[00:06:03] So go for beta seven and then I go into the binary directory and then there's here the
[00:06:09] Bitwig JAR the mighty Bitwig JAR.
[00:06:11] Okay, we select this and hit open.
[00:06:16] Then it takes a while and you get this model or this pop up.
[00:06:20] We have two options.
[00:06:21] Now you change theme and export current theme.
[00:06:25] And usually if you want to change the colors, you have to export to grant theme first.
[00:06:31] And then if you change the colors inside of this file, then you use this button here to
[00:06:38] update basically the theme.
[00:06:40] If you just want to download some themes, you probably only need this.
[00:06:45] So I show you the process with exporting first, right?
[00:06:49] So export.
[00:06:50] Then it wants to point to a directory.
[00:06:54] We go also here to the download directory and say current JSON, right?
[00:07:04] Save.
[00:07:05] And it says it successfully exported this thing and we have here this current JSON,
[00:07:11] right?
[00:07:12] JSON file.
[00:07:13] And now I want to just keep this and want to duplicate this.
[00:07:17] So I hold down control here and just drag it and I make a copy from that.
[00:07:21] Basically rename this and call it my own JSON.
[00:07:28] And this one you can open up in some kind of random text editor.
[00:07:32] You can use anything you want.
[00:07:34] Notepad plus plus or just notepad or I'm using most of the times here a VS code, right?
[00:07:42] So you can just track this in.
[00:07:45] You can see we have here all the variables, all the names.
[00:07:48] There's basically two objects in here, Arranger and Window.
[00:07:54] And you can just edit this here, change it to a different variable, hex, hex color variable.
[00:08:04] Or you can just copy one object here, the Window object.
[00:08:10] Let's go down, hit shift, click here.
[00:08:14] Just control and see.
[00:08:17] So copy this and then go into my editor helper.
[00:08:23] So this is a HTML application here.
[00:08:27] So you can paste in basically this JSON data structure here and then hit extract and you
[00:08:34] can see all the colors.
[00:08:36] And then you can say, I want to tone everything into a bluish color, something like this.
[00:08:46] And then you can blend, right?
[00:08:47] You can blend in this color or maybe make a hue shift, change the contrast or remove
[00:08:56] red, something like this.
[00:08:59] I actually coded in that you can click on these individual colors here, but it doesn't
[00:09:03] work anymore for some reasons.
[00:09:05] I have to make an update.
[00:09:06] It just coded this, I don't know, in an hour or two hours with chat, GPD.
[00:09:10] So just a very rough thing.
[00:09:13] And yeah, if when you change here all the things, you just hit, hit apply to JSON and
[00:09:19] then it changes basically here this code.
[00:09:22] You select everything, you copy it back, go back here to the editor, hit control and V
[00:09:30] to paste it in.
[00:09:31] Save, right?
[00:09:33] So we have basically pasted in all this stuff from here into here.
[00:09:37] So we changed already the colors inside of my own.json.
[00:09:42] And what we can do now is basically go back into this Java application and can say change
[00:09:47] theme.
[00:09:48] And then you point basically to this new JSON file, hit download here, current, this is
[00:09:56] the current, what we just exported and this is here, the changed.
[00:10:01] So we go here for my own JSON.
[00:10:06] And then it says inside here of the PowerShell, applying theme.
[00:10:10] It takes a while.
[00:10:13] Theme successfully applied.
[00:10:15] Nice.
[00:10:16] Okay.
[00:10:17] So now we can start Bitwig.
[00:10:18] So we need to open up bit.7.
[00:10:24] Let's see how it looks like.
[00:10:26] Probably horrible.
[00:10:28] Yeah, but this is kind of how it works.
[00:10:33] So it's pretty pink.
[00:10:37] So here you can see the sliders are in green now.
[00:10:41] It looks different, right?
[00:10:42] And you can see here the arranger is still in the same old colors.
[00:10:47] That's because it's split into two objects.
[00:10:51] We only changed basically here the window object, but you can do the same with the arranger
[00:10:57] object here.
[00:10:58] Right?
[00:10:59] So there are different colors for the arranger if you want to change this.
[00:11:02] And then if you change the colors in here, hit save, then patch it basically inside here
[00:11:08] with the change theme button.
[00:11:12] And then you can reopen up Bitwig Studio and it looks like this.
[00:11:17] So we close this down again.
[00:11:21] And we want to also close this, close this.
[00:11:26] We don't need this.
[00:11:27] We don't need this.
[00:11:29] And we also don't need this.
[00:11:31] So we go back here to this and we open up, let's say, the theme repo, right?
[00:11:38] So in here, there are some themes made by the community.
[00:11:43] So you have ghosty, ghosty, dark mellow, medium blue, dark red.
[00:11:50] So these are the finished community themes.
[00:11:55] So let's download this one here, dark mellow, right?
[00:11:57] So we click on it.
[00:12:00] And you can download the whole package if you want to.
[00:12:03] But you can also go down here this route because here Dario also changed some of the icons.
[00:12:13] So you can see this here in the description.
[00:12:17] If you want to use the included custom icons, replace the original ones, right, in these
[00:12:22] folders.
[00:12:23] So there are also some images in there to replace some of the icons in Bitwig if you
[00:12:27] want to do this.
[00:12:28] But I just want to use here the JSON file.
[00:12:31] So I go into this and you can see a dark mellow.json.
[00:12:35] That's what we want.
[00:12:37] So we download this here or looks like this and download this dark mellow json.
[00:12:45] So now we have this in here dark mellow.
[00:12:49] We go back into this change theme back into downloads dark mellow.
[00:12:58] That's what we want.
[00:12:59] Open it up, applying theme takes a while success.
[00:13:11] And then we open up beta seven and it should look like a lot darker.
[00:13:22] Hopefully.
[00:13:23] Yeah, looks like this now dark arranger, a dark window.
[00:13:29] Let's open up here.
[00:13:32] Polymer.
[00:13:33] Let's see how this instrument looks like.
[00:13:41] This is how the rewrap looks like.
[00:13:42] So it works like before just the color variables are different.
[00:13:45] So you have no performance impact.
[00:13:49] It's just the same bit because before just the color variables are different.
[00:13:53] But like I said in the beginning, you basically patch or change or hack the binary, which
[00:14:00] is not usually something you should do.
[00:14:02] So you can break a lot of things.
[00:14:05] So use it on your own risk basically.
[00:14:09] So this is how this kind of thing works.
[00:14:12] If you run into problems, like I said, said go into the theming sub forum here.
[00:14:17] You can find a lot of help in there.
[00:14:20] Also some solutions and you're probably not alone with some problems.
[00:14:24] And please use it on your own risk, right?
[00:14:26] This is I probably get into trouble just posting this video and making it kind of more public.
[00:14:36] Right?
[00:14:37] I don't know.
[00:14:39] But it's fun.
[00:14:40] People like to use colors, use to change the colors in Bitwig Studio.
[00:14:46] And yeah, it's a way of doing a different theme for Bitwig Studio.
[00:14:53] Links are in the description below.
[00:14:54] Leave a like if you like the video.
[00:14:56] the channel, thanks for watching and have fun. Bye.