Bitwig Studio 5.2 Updates Brings New Studio Tools, Precision Editing

Today, Bitwig announced its first major update of 2024, Bitwig Studio 5.2.

Bitwig Studio 5.2 comes with a new set of studio tools professional compressor (Compressor+) that brings a unique approach to dynamics, three hardware-inspired EQs (Focus, Sculpt, and Tilt), a clipper device called Over. There are also significant workflow enhancements, including more precise editing, dynamic beat detection and hardware acceleration for our graphic interface.

New in Bitwig Studio 5.2:


Compressor+ is an all-in-one compressor for any use case. Its combination of familiar with unusual controls and its superior approach to analyzing audio make it excel at adding color and tone as well as mastering.

Six Characters engage different styles of compression, by changing various gain reduction and envelope behaviors and numerous “under the hood” settings.

  • Vanilla (the de­fault character) applies parameters literally, including Attack and Release times going all the way down to zero.
  • Smooth uses slow per-band response, offering minimal distortion.
  • Over tends com­press more quickly, but in a stable way.
  • Glue is slow to engage and quick to release, making it good for transient preservation on the mix buss or anywhere else.
  • Resist has longer envelopes and tries to quickly snap back afterward to preserve bass and add even harmonics when pushed.
  • Smash over-accelerates the attacks and releases and uses the Auto Timing control to further increase acceleration.

The special Auto Timing control is the amount that timing parameters (Attack, Release, and more) are automatically adjusted to suit the incoming audio. Taken together, the combination of the Character choice and Auto Timing setting offers a wide sonic variety.

Compressor+ analyzes incoming audio across four frequency bands, which are shown on the device’s colorful display and in the expanded view. Fold it out to access each band’s Intensity and Timing offsets in order to fine-tune which parts of the signal cause compression. So if you want the bass to trigger less, just decrease its band’s Intensity. Or if your settings are a little tight on the vocals, try increasing the Timing offset for the hi-mids.

The device comes with three modes that determine the compressor’s behavior:

  • Standard compressor mode is the default, that offers a normal range of compressor ratio settings.
  • Beyond has an extended compressor range, adding under- and over-compression options by replacing Ratio with a Ratio Extended control.
  • Dual is the mode for upwards compression. It lifts quieter signals too by replacing the Knee control with a Lift parameter, which smoothly moves through the custom curves for bumping the signal below the threshold.

The output section of the compressor features different VCA Colors:

  • Clear (the de­fault) applies no coloring.
  • Prism gives a clean blend of true multiband compression, with unified single-band compression.
  • Tran­sis­tor provides a consistent analog feel, with a low bump and slightly reduced highs.
  • Sat­u­rate has a moving analog feel, like tape saturation, with a mid-range bump and some frequency-dependent behavior.

Focus, Sculpt and Tilt EQ

Bitwig Studio 5.2 adds a new trio of EQs inspired by classic hardware — Focus, Sculpt, and Tilt:

  • Sculpt inherited the controls and components of the renowned Pultec EQP-1, a vintage broadband EQ good for bass sweet­en­ing and more, us­ing preset frequen­cy choic­es to quickly dial in magic. But the choice of saturation is left to you, from the matching Tube style, to Transistor for even harmonics and mid-range punch, or even a clinically Clean model.
  • Focus took the same approach to recreating the choices and components of the mid-range-oriented MEQ-5. After tuning those sonic “power” regions, similar saturation choices are a click away.
  • Tilt’s simple interface lets you re-balance any sound to be brighter or darker, with additional choices for the center Frequency and how steep the Slope is.

A Stereo-ize option is available in all three EQs for effectively duplicating the unit and then tilting it a variable Amount in the Stereo field (to push up frequencies and gain in the left or right channel), or to apply in the mid-side domain.

Precise Audio Editing

With Mouseless navigation, your arrow keys can now send you between relevant points of interest in clips or on the Arranger Timeline, or even between different tracks in your project. You can navigate the Arranger Timeline via small increments like beat divisions, automation points, clip starts and ends and more. Jump from the beginning to the end of notes within their clips, or from transient to transient in audio clips. Make a selection — of notes, clips, events, etc. — across one or more tracks.

But there are subtle and significant quality-of-life improvements when using a mouse, too. Your cursor will snap to fade points and other convenient locations. And a simple right-click can Set Clip Start wherever it lands.

Dynamic Beat Detection

Speaking of quality-of-life improvements, 5.0’s better onset detection bears fruit this update in ways that streamline working with different tempos. You can trust Bitwig Studio to accurately warp long audio files for you — even those with variable tempos will stay on track.

Alternatively, your project can adapt to the clip’s time, bringing new conveniences to the process of making DJ mixes, podcasts, or adding production to long recordings. Your project can adopt an audio clip’s tempo as a static value with Set Current Tempo, or apply its timing changes as an automation curve on the global tempo with the Apply Tempo Curve To Arranger command.

Hardware Acceleration for the GPU

Bitwig says that they also rewrote their graphics engine to be more responsive and efficient, using native hardware acceleration. Drawing in general has been highly optimized as well, running fewer commands and giving springier results.

Other Updates include:

  • Over is a boutique clipper that harnesses multiband, oversampling, and a slot for wet-only effects. So add a nice crispy crust to any sound, or just burn it down.
  • The Chain device also got its own Learn Wet Gain option, giving you a perfectly configured Mix knob for blending any audio effect chain, including plug-ins.
  • The Grid now has Crossover-2 and Crossover-3 modules in the Mix category.
  • Additionally, Multi-Note got its own Chord Learn function for immediate programming and playback.
  • The FX Selector device earned crossfade timings so you can fine-tune your transitions. And for programming synth structures, the variable Shift Register module and simple All-pass might help you out.
  • Plug-in Undo allows you to quickly undo changes applied to third-party plug-ins. So no matter what you change, Bitwig can always bring you that critical one step back.

Bitwig Studio 5.2 is available now as a public beta. If you have an active Upgrade Plan, you’ll find the installers in your user profile. This is a free upgrade for all customers with an active Upgrade Plan as of April 25, 2024. The final release of 5.2 is expected to be released this summer.



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