MusicRadar this month have written a large article comparing Ableton Live and BitWig Studio to see who comes out on top?
Of course I’m not sure anything can beat Ableton in terms of pure creativity, but that said I’ve been looking forward to the launch of BitWig for a while. Here’s what MusicRadar had to say:
Of course, Bitwig has the advantage of being new and, consequently, automatically exciting, while Live is a well-established feature of the music technology landscape and thus all too easy to take for granted. To describe Bitwig as any kind of successor to Live’s throne after only a few weeks on sale, then, would be ridiculous.
Perhaps the most talked-about feature of Bitwig Studio is its Clip Launcher, which parallels Live’s Session view but puts it in a pop-out pane that can be opened in the Arrange and Mix views (rather than constituting an entire modal screen of its own), enabling audio and Note clips to be freely moved between Arrange tracks and Clip Launcher slots.
It’s in the detail
Other pluses for Bitwig when it comes to workflow include its two Detail Editor views (track contents and individual clips), and the ability to add its own devices (but not third-party plugins) from a pop-out window in the device chain or mixer strip as well as by dragging them in from the browser.
Over in the Live camp, we prefer being able to pull tracks in from other projects via Live’s browser rather than having to open the project in its own tab (although we would also very much like to the ability to open multiple projects in Live, too), and until such time as Bitwig adds track grouping to its DAW, Ableton can rightly consider that a huge point in its favour.
While it might appear that Bitwig Studio is stepping out of our imaginary ring the victor, leaving Live standing but beaten on points, that’s probably down to its flashier feature set, which is always going to garner the most attention in a head-to-head comparison like this.
In real-world usage, though, the two actually differ in far more subtle ways than just the things we’ve covered here. Live’s more refined, calmer vibe and clearer direction count for a lot. Bitwig might have the greater flexibility in terms of GUI customisation and all that, but if you already love the way Live looks, feels and operates, you could well find Bitwig overly busy and hectic.
Also, with its MIDI-controllable crossfader and Looper device, Live’s status as king of the stage remains unchallenged by Bitwig Studio or any other DAW.
However, there can be no doubt that Bitwig Studio is a massive success, and with Bitwig’s immediate future plans including an integrated modular device construction system, and collaboration over LAN and the internet, Ableton needs to get a lot more innovative than it has been in the last five years if it wants to truly compete on a purely technological level.
As Ableton knows all too well from its halcyon days, being the upstart newcomer in a market dominated by established heavyweights can be a great position to hold in terms of marketing and opportunity – as long as the product itself is up to scratch, which Bitwig Studio clearly is. However, whether Bitwig has blown all its best ideas already or there’s much more to come remains to be seen; and who knows what Ableton has got in development?
Ultimately, while Bitwig Studio may be able to claim the more cutting-edge, flexible feature set, it is the newer DAW of the two, and mail order viagra Live still outshines it in many areas. No one should be in any rush to switch without carefully considering the pros and cons of both.
Live (as in ‘live’, not Live) performers and DJs may also be surprised to learn that Bitwig has no equivalent to Live’s nifty A/B crossfader assignment system – potentially the decider for such users.
To check out the full article, click below: