- Jan 2019
allowing common connections to be made wirelessly
This sounds a bit like “send” and “receive” in some (visual) programming languages and modular synths. But the fact that it’s based on common connections sounds quite clever.
Your hardware modular rig is completely integrated,
Only started playing with Bitwig’s HW/CV integration a few days ago but it’s easy to get inspired by this.
Grid devices can be nested or layered along with other devices and your plug-ins,
Thanks to training for Cycling ’74 Max, had a kind of micro-epiphany about encapsulation, a year or so ago. Nesting devices in one another sounds like a convenience but there’s a rather deep effect on workflow when you start arranging things in this way: you don’t have to worry about the internals of a box/patcher/module/device if you really know what you can expect out of it. Though some may take this for granted (after all, other modular systems have had it for quite a while), there’s something profound about getting modules that can include other modules. Especially when some of these are third-party plugins.
all signals are interchangeable so any out port can be connected to any in port
For those of us who’ve had to deal with distinctions between audio and control signals, this is actually pretty major. However, it’s already become something in modular synthesis. People who get started in Eurorack, for instance, may not need to worry nearly as much about different types of signals as those who used Csound or, more importantly for this marketing copy, Cycling ’74 Max.
Try something crazy
DAWs typically don’t mesh so well with prototyping culture. When Ableton brought clip launching through Live, its flagship DAW, it had some of this effect: experiment with clips then play with them instead of just playing them. Of course, Cycling ’74 has been all about prototyping, long before Ableton bought the company. But “Max for Live” devices are closer to plugins in that users expect to just be able to use them, not have to create them from scratch. What this marketing copy is emphasizing is that this really is about getting a box of LEGO blocks, not just about getting a DIY kit to create your own instance of something which somebody else designed. The framing sure is specific.
- Max for Live
- Experimental Music
- Wireless Patching
- Control Signals
- Cycling ’74
- Audio signals
- Hardware Synthesizers
- Modular Synthesizers
- Encapsulation (software programming)
- Prototyping Culture
- Object-Oriented Programming
- Control Voltages (CV)
controllers that speak regular MIDI and MPE
MPE support remains one of the distinctive features of Bitwig Studio since Ableton has yet to add it to Live, even after MPE became a standard. Maybe the connection to modularity isn’t clear to everyone. But it’s abundantly clear to ROLI and to some of us, musickers using DAW controllers and synths.
As was hinted at from the star
This is when “the other shoe dropped”. They planned this all along (since 2012). Hidden in plain sight was a more subtle strategy than people might have imagined.
The Grid is based around ideas familiar to Bitwig Studio
The continuity between these new modular features and the rest of the DAW’s workflow probably has unexpected consequences. Before getting information about BWS3, one might have thought that the “Native Modular System” promised since the first version might still be an add-on. What the marketing copy around this “killer feature” makes clear, it’s the result of a very deliberate process from the start and it’ll make for a qualitatively different workflow.
- Expressive MIDI
- Software Development
- Learning Curve
- Digital Audio Workstation
- Innovation Strategy
- MIDI Polyphonic Expression
- MIDI Controllers
- Technological Innovation