A new synth, better time stretching and more
Bitwig were very busy during 2017. As well as releasing version 2 of its Studio DAW they also consolidated this with the 2.1 and 2.2 updates. The company is keeping the their foot on the gas for 2018 starting off with the announcement of 2.3.
At the forefront of all this is Phase-4, a 4-oscillator phase distortion, phase modulation synth that draws inspiration from the likes of Yamaha’s DX7 and Casio’s CZ series. The oscillators are powered by a sine wave that can be shaped using five phase distortion algorithms; each oscillator can also be phase-modulated by itself and the other three oscillators. The result is an instrument that promises not only to emulate classic tones, but also to break new sonic ground.
Phase-4 takes advantage of Bitwig Studio 2.3’s expanded device view. You can now take a ‘panoramic’ view of not just this synth but also EQ-5, FM-4, Resonator Bank, Sampler and Spectrum Analyzer. You can see each device in greater detail and explore multiple parameters at once.
Other enhancements include comprehensive support for time signature changes and enhanced timestretching. Bitwig has licensed the Elastique algorithms from zplane and enhanced its own Stretch and Stretch HD algorithms as well as bringing a couple of new ones (Slice and Cyclic) to the party.
Elsewhere, Instrument and Effect Selectors are new layer devices. Choose these and only one layer is played at a time, with others being made inactive and removed from your processor’s load. You can switch between patches and sounds seamlessly, making them useful for live use.
Conversely, Voice Stacking of internal instruments is also new – use this to create thick, lush sounds – and the Voice Stack modulator gives you detailed mapping control of each voice in the stack. There are Voice Stack presets too including new presets for many of Bitwig Studio’s instruments and effects.
Bitwig Studio 2.3 is going into beta soon and all Bitwig Studio 2 owners will have access to this in their user account. The full release is scheduled for the end of February.
Find out more on the Bitwig website.