Bitwig Studio’s Controller Scripting Gets Teased…

Bitwig keep drip feeding us information about Bitwig Studio, and every morsel of information makes it look that much cooler…What you’re seeing in this new video from Bitwig is an implementation of the completely open Bitwig Studio controller API. This allows communication between the software and a standard MIDI controller that’s much, much deeper than standard MIDI commands. This is a Native Instruments Maschine MK2 controller operating purely in MIDI mode, with bi-directional communication enabling step sequencing inside Bitwig Studio: 

Some Extra Details

Whilst we’re content to wait and see what happens with Bitwig Studio for the most part – after all, there’s not a lot else we can do! – I wanted to clarify a couple of points that we know a lot of you will be wondering about in a very concise manner, so we fired a few questions over to Bitwig and these are the important facts for now:

OD: Can you briefly tell me a little bit more about what functions of Bitwig Studio are going to be accessible by the API, and how semantic it is? It’s impressive that you’ve got that level of input and feedback happening directly in the software for sure…

Bitwig: Nearly everything in Bitwig Studio will be accessible using the API and if something is missing it is easy to add for us. The full list will be included in the API documentation we will publish. 

OD: Would the behaviour in your new video be something a user will be able to do via point, click, and basic logic rules, or will hooks and handles and a lot of other stuff I don’t understand be involved?!

Bitwig: It is JavaScript scripting and not a graphical tool box.

So, the controller scripting is built directly into Bitwig Studio, can hook up to just about anything in the software, and whilst it won’t be completely idiot proof it uses a well known, powerful scripting system in Javascript (we’re just finding out the extent to which a ‘simple’ MIDI learn functionality exists and how it ties in with the scripting). The plot thickens…

MIDI and Music Production

Despite not having changed sinced the mid 80s, MIDI capability has taken on an entirely new focus in the past couple of years. Nowadays DJ software is either thriving or struggling to stay afloat on the strength of its MIDI implementation; what can be done and how easy it is to do it is the first question everyone asks. MIDI’s been a mainstay of production software for as long as it’s been around, though, and so those of you have come into production from an interest in digital DJing are often surprised at what’s possible with MIDI and a DAW.

We’ve found a lot of you still aren’t completely comfortable with MIDI as a concept – check out our explanation video if that includes you – and we often get requests for ‘mappings’ for things that don’t need to be mapped or would take far longer to distribute and load up than to do yourself!

That said, what we’re talking about here isn’t just MIDI. MIDI is used as the intermediary between hardware and software because it’s a widely supported standard, but all the advanced capabilities are made possible by the scripting engine. It’s Javascript here, it’s Python in Ableton Live, it’s a combination of Javascript and C++ in Reaper, but the important thing is that MIDI is a very simple protocol (unless you get much deeper than the overwhelming majority of users will ever need) that makes communication between two MIDI enabled devices simple. The icing on the cake here is the stuff that makes controllers seem more intelligent and more ‘tied’ to the software. Check out our video on how to connect and configure a MIDI controller for more information!

Any more questions? Need more things clearing up? Heard of Javascript, Python, APIs, and the like but it all just makes you scared? Let us know below!

  • VHS

    Javascript? Nice! It should be even relatively easy to rework Push, for those who get one, to work pretty tightly with Bitwig Studio just as well, if that’s the case. Good job on the details.

  • Oscar Townsley

    what ever happened to midi 2.0?


  • Philippe Occupier Dion

    LFO built in? That’s nice! Javascript API? I just can’t wait! My BCR2000 is so waiting to meet bitwig! BCR2000/APC20/Bitwig, I will release the beast!!!

  • Philippe Occupier Dion

    LFO built in? That’s nice! Javascript API? I just can’t wait! My BCR2000 is so waiting to meet bitwig! BCR2000/APC20/Bitwig, I will release the beast!!!

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