Bitwig vs Ableton in general and as a host for Reason Rack Plugin

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bidaar
Posts: 123
Joined: 30 Nov 2019

Post 24 May 2021

I've been reading and following Ableton and Bitwig in parallel with working in Reason Daw . Im going to invest in either of the two to use as a more modern host for Reason Rack . IMO it looks like bitwig has the edge in a lot of aspects over ableton , but I gotta be sure.. in the other hand ableton is more improved more industry standard ... and a lot larger user base more content available on the internet . maybe more valuable to master because you would need it some Studio sessions .. or to teach it in Music Schools..
so what everyone think about the best host to use Reason's legendary racks . could be any DAW but I sepeceficly thinking between Bitwig vs Ableton I also Happen to know FL Studio quit well it was my first daw ever and I worked in there for many years ..
I actually really like both and probably have to master both and they are really similar so that isnt a problem :puf_smile: .. but I've been wanting to pick one and invest time more in it but couldnt make my head clear on which one :D also dont get me wrong Reason is amazing by itself specially with 12 coming and new combinator .. but there are lots of stuff missing like an auto-save or mpe or better piano roll and it goes on ...
so lets go : Bitwig vs Ableton which one has which edg over the other ..
baphometrix has some great in depth videos comparing the two from 2018 ..
I need a setup to improve and even lvl up my Rack experience and make things more tailored more over control for example something like building effects rack in ableton is a great way of organizing racks but in reason it gets messy and harder to organize .. this even gets better in Bitwig because they have a lot of " Containers " so you can do all sorta stuff .. also in modularity bitwig shines very brighter than Ableton b .. Im gonna keep using all of my REs but from now on in my free time Im going to experiment with Bitwig and ableton ..
Last edited by bidaar on 24 May 2021, edited 1 time in total.
Reason 11 Suite l FL Studio l Leaning Ableton n Bitwig l Windows 10 64bit
Trying and Learning to be a : Hip-Hop / Trap , Electronic & Experimental Producer l Mixing Engineer

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Ahornberg
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Location: Vienna, Austria

Post 24 May 2021

Bitwig has the Grid and endless modulators for every parameter for your plugins.

Ableton has Max4Live.

If you want to build your own FX-racks, get Meldaproduction MXXX when it is on sale.

bidaar
Posts: 123
Joined: 30 Nov 2019

Post 24 May 2021

Ahornberg wrote:
24 May 2021
If you want to build your own FX-racks, get Meldaproduction MXXX when it is on sale.
to do the same thing inside reason without have to going to ableton or bitwig ?
Reason 11 Suite l FL Studio l Leaning Ableton n Bitwig l Windows 10 64bit
Trying and Learning to be a : Hip-Hop / Trap , Electronic & Experimental Producer l Mixing Engineer

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Ahornberg
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Location: Vienna, Austria

Post 24 May 2021

bidaar wrote:
24 May 2021
Ahornberg wrote:
24 May 2021
If you want to build your own FX-racks, get Meldaproduction MXXX when it is on sale.
to do the same thing inside reason without have to going to ableton or bitwig ?
Because you mentioned:
bidaar wrote:
24 May 2021
in reason it gets messy and harder to organize

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lecafard
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Joined: 06 Sep 2016

Post 24 May 2021

I am a long time Ableton user. Bitwig is a refinement of the system with instruments, effects and modulators far superior to what I found in Ableton. I am delighted with Bitwig + Reason working as a team. Bitwig is my DAW since I tried it and there is no going back.

bidaar
Posts: 123
Joined: 30 Nov 2019

Post 24 May 2021

lecafard wrote:
24 May 2021
I am a long time Ableton user. Bitwig is a refinement of the system with instruments, effects and modulators far superior to what I found in Ableton. I am delighted with Bitwig + Reason working as a team. Bitwig is my DAW since I tried it and there is no going back.
thats what Im talking about ! its superior in many ways ! how are you loving Bitwig + Reason ? because Im going to do the same thing .
isnt it annoying to manage the chains and links when you want to use RRP all the time ? because then you need click for the window to pop open as a plugin unlike the native plugins in bitwigs chain .
Reason 11 Suite l FL Studio l Leaning Ableton n Bitwig l Windows 10 64bit
Trying and Learning to be a : Hip-Hop / Trap , Electronic & Experimental Producer l Mixing Engineer

bidaar
Posts: 123
Joined: 30 Nov 2019

Post 24 May 2021

lecafard wrote:
24 May 2021
I am a long time Ableton user. Bitwig is a refinement of the system with instruments, effects and modulators far superior to what I found in Ableton. I am delighted with Bitwig + Reason working as a team. Bitwig is my DAW since I tried it and there is no going back.
thats what Im talking about ! its superior in many ways ! how are you loving Bitwig + Reason ? because Im going to do the same thing .
isnt it annoying to manage the chains and links when you want to use RRP all the time ? because then you need click for the window to pop open as a plugin unlike the native plugins in bitwigs chain .
Reason 11 Suite l FL Studio l Leaning Ableton n Bitwig l Windows 10 64bit
Trying and Learning to be a : Hip-Hop / Trap , Electronic & Experimental Producer l Mixing Engineer

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Ahornberg
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Post 24 May 2021

bidaar wrote:
24 May 2021
isnt it annoying to manage the chains and links when you want to use RRP all the time ? because then you need click for the window to pop open as a plugin unlike the native plugins in bitwigs chain .
By activating "Floating windows follow current track" in the Bitwig settings, the RRP window opens automatically.
bitwig.png
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bidaar
Posts: 123
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Post 24 May 2021

Ahornberg wrote:
24 May 2021
bidaar wrote:
24 May 2021
isnt it annoying to manage the chains and links when you want to use RRP all the time ? because then you need click for the window to pop open as a plugin unlike the native plugins in bitwigs chain .
By activating "Floating windows follow current track" in the Bitwig settings, the RRP window opens automatically.

bitwig.png
aw okay I gotta try this to see what that does tnx
Reason 11 Suite l FL Studio l Leaning Ableton n Bitwig l Windows 10 64bit
Trying and Learning to be a : Hip-Hop / Trap , Electronic & Experimental Producer l Mixing Engineer

DaveyG
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Joined: 03 May 2020

Post 24 May 2021

None of us can tell you which you will prefer. You just have to try them but make sure you do proper representative stuff in each rather than just twiddle.

I like that Bitwig are trying to bring a modern approach to the DAW world andI'm intrigued by The Grid but I probably would not really use it after the initial playing. I don't like the Bitwig business model. You get 12 months of updates and then nothing else until you pay for another 12 month upgrade plan, about 140 GBP. I suppose you could consider it a type of subscription except you get to keep what you have so far.

I bought Live because I needed it for a collaborative project. I love the session view. I don't love much else about it but I don't hate it either. One big upside to Live is that the huge user base means there are lots of videos, support sites, free stuff, paid stuff and general info out there. I am a bit underwhelmed by their "big" update from 10 to 11 so I shall be sticking with 10 for now.

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avasopht
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Post 24 May 2021

DaveyG wrote:
24 May 2021
I like that Bitwig are trying to bring a modern approach to the DAW world andI'm intrigued by The Grid but I probably would not really use it after the initial playing. I don't like the Bitwig business model. You get 12 months of updates and then nothing else until you pay for another 12 month upgrade plan, about 140 GBP. I suppose you could consider it a type of subscription except you get to keep what you have so far.
How is that any different from Reason?

You buy Reason 10 but have to pay if you want to upgrade to Reason 11.

They don't say it's 12 months of updates, but Reason 6.5 came out 9 months after Reason 6.0 and Reason 9.5 came out 11 months after Reason 9.0.

Doesn't seem to be any notable difference.
---

DaveyG
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Post 24 May 2021

avasopht wrote:
24 May 2021
DaveyG wrote:
24 May 2021
I like that Bitwig are trying to bring a modern approach to the DAW world andI'm intrigued by The Grid but I probably would not really use it after the initial playing. I don't like the Bitwig business model. You get 12 months of updates and then nothing else until you pay for another 12 month upgrade plan, about 140 GBP. I suppose you could consider it a type of subscription except you get to keep what you have so far.
How is that any different from Reason?
The difference is if you buy Reason 11 you get every point update for free until Reason 12 launches. The time from R10 to R11 and R11 to R12 are closer to 2 years than 1. If that was Bitwig you'd have got 12 months of point updates then nothing unless you paid for another 12 months of updates.

Whether you win or lose on this depends how often they release major updates but you are paying for a time-limited "upgrade plan" (their words) rather than a specific upgrade. It's not something I like. You are free to see it differently.

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Jackjackdaw
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Post 24 May 2021

So if Bitwig has the grid and it's all integrated and better laid out etc, what benefit is using Reason with it? Is it just a preference for the Reason devices?

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Ahornberg
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Post 24 May 2021

DaveyG wrote:
24 May 2021
The difference is if you buy Reason 11 you get every point update for free until Reason 12 launches. The time from R10 to R11 and R11 to R12 are closer to 2 years than 1. If that was Bitwig you'd have got 12 months of point updates then nothing unless you paid for another 12 months of updates.
I own Bitwig and I only pay for another 12 months after a new features that I really can't live without has been released.

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avasopht
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Post 24 May 2021

There are only 3 versions of Reason with major point updates: 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 IIRC (and all with the first 12 months of release).

So really, they're getting far less than Bitwig's 12 months.

Within the first 7 months of Bitwig 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 were released with something like 10 new significant features, 4 new devices, 20 or so improvements, and 10 feature improvements (IIRC).

Also Bitwig's point updates are on par with most Reason upgrades.

Don't get me wrong, Reason has had pretty significant major (paid) upgrades, but only 3 point updates have occurred (4 if you count Record 1.5). So for 8 versions of Reason, you've pretty much got what you'd get after your 12 months of Bitwig have expired (note: you still get patch updates after your 12 months is up).

Major Reason upgrades were IIRC v3 (Combinator), v4 (new sequencer and Thor), Record (SSL), v5 (Neptune + Kong), V6 (Rack Extensions), v7/8 (APE) v9 (VSTs), v11 (RRP).

That's about 2 versions of Bitwig (j/k)
---

DaveyG
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Post 25 May 2021

avasopht wrote:
24 May 2021
There are only 3 versions of Reason with major point updates: 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 IIRC (and all with the first 12 months of release).

So really, they're getting far less than Bitwig's 12 months.

Within the first 7 months of Bitwig 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 were released with something like 10 new significant features, 4 new devices, 20 or so improvements, and 10 feature improvements (IIRC).

Also Bitwig's point updates are on par with most Reason upgrades.

Don't get me wrong, Reason has had pretty significant major (paid) upgrades, but only 3 point updates have occurred (4 if you count Record 1.5). So for 8 versions of Reason, you've pretty much got what you'd get after your 12 months of Bitwig have expired (note: you still get patch updates after your 12 months is up).

Major Reason upgrades were IIRC v3 (Combinator), v4 (new sequencer and Thor), Record (SSL), v5 (Neptune + Kong), V6 (Rack Extensions), v7/8 (APE) v9 (VSTs), v11 (RRP).

That's about 2 versions of Bitwig (j/k)
Like I said, I'm happy that you are happy but I don't like that sort of business modal.
The OP asked for views on both packages. I gave mine. It would be weird if I gave anyone else's view :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Ahornberg
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Post 25 May 2021

If you don't like Bitwig's business model on one hand and on the other hand you like Bitwig as a creative tool for music making, it is up to you to make a decision on how to deal with that kind of contradiction.

IMO Bitwig is a rather small company in the market of DAW-software. They won't get rich by their business model.

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avasopht
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Post 25 May 2021

DaveyG wrote:
25 May 2021
Like I said, I'm happy that you are happy but I don't like that sort of business modal.
The OP asked for views on both packages. I gave mine. It would be weird if I gave anyone else's view :lol: :lol: :lol:
Sure, I'm just pointing out the effective differences and similarities.

I don't use Bitwig, by the way.
---

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Ahornberg
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Post 25 May 2021

From my experience, Ableton seems more mature than Bitwig.
Ableton is more suited for making complete tracks while Bitwig has more advantages in the virtual modular field (the Grid).
The look and feel of ableton is more minimalistic and on smaller screens you get more tracks, bars etc. onto your screen. Ableton can also be skinned, see https://www.livethemes.co
IMO Bitwig is a bit ahead when it comes to CPU performance.
Ableton comes to shine when you use the Push controller. Bitwig can also be controlled by Push, but not as seamless as Ableton Live.

electrofux
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Post 01 Jun 2021

I am also thinking about getting Bitwig or Ableton because of the lack of Clip Launching in Reason. But i am heavily invested into Reason and want to stay away from VST Plugins, so only use RRP.
BUT i haven't found anything comprehensive how RRP is integrated into Remote Controlling via Midi Controllers in Live or Bitwig. I wouldnt mind writing scripts but as far as i can tell there is no way to detect what actually is in the RPP be it an Europa or a Antidote. So how would remote controlling work on a sophisitcated level (by that i mean not wanting to map everything by hand everytime i load an RRP, and having some parametername feedback on my controllers)?
Also Patchbrowsing the RRP doesnt seem to be possible remotely in both of the DAWs. And there seems to be a limit of~170 controllable items per device in the RRP (which in most cases is enough though).

Yonatan
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Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 01 Jun 2021

So which DAWs has now some form of Clip Launching? Ableton Live and Logic is all I know of. But if it becomes a new standard, Reason will probably need to invent their own version of it. But I can see how such feature may take some time to develop so that it becomes really good. Would not be surprised if Bitwig have such thing on their roadmap.

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Ahornberg
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Post 01 Jun 2021

Yonatan wrote:
01 Jun 2021
So which DAWs has now some form of Clip Launching? Ableton Live and Logic is all I know of. But if it becomes a new standard, Reason will probably need to invent their own version of it. But I can see how such feature may take some time to develop so that it becomes really good. Would not be surprised if Bitwig have such thing on their roadmap.
Bitwig already has clip launching very similar to Ableton.

Yonatan
Posts: 1414
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 01 Jun 2021

Ahornberg wrote:
01 Jun 2021
Yonatan wrote:
01 Jun 2021
So which DAWs has now some form of Clip Launching? Ableton Live and Logic is all I know of. But if it becomes a new standard, Reason will probably need to invent their own version of it. But I can see how such feature may take some time to develop so that it becomes really good. Would not be surprised if Bitwig have such thing on their roadmap.
Bitwig already has clip launching very similar to Ableton.
Ah, thanks for informing, did not know. I really like the look of Bitwig. If there is any DAW I would consider besides Reason, it is Bitwig. But I will let it develop further meanwhile see where Reason aims at. My main aim is using a single DAW, but at the same time, one works a bit different in other environments.

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ShelLuser
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Post 25 Jun 2021

So yeah, the fact Bitwig gets mentioned on a Reason-drived forum seems hilarious to me. Oh my word the ... hmm, let's not go there. Of course, with all due respect, I approach this thread as being troll bait.

Now, the reason why I think this thread is hilarious to see on this forum (and why I cannot take any of it seriously)...


400 upvotes, 1,500 downvotes, and I don't think it's only because of the lousy voiceover.

You do realize that if you're not online then Bitwig refuses to run? At all? Think "Reason+ with extra "motivations" on top".

When I pull out my network cable then Live will still run smoothly. So does Reason, Reaper and also my big #2 in my production: Maschine.

Bigwag otoh will then refuse any service, because it can't be authorized anymore. Phoning home anyone? Privacy? Catering to the drive when creativity hits at uncanning moments when your ISP is having maintenance?

What a pathetic joke; the fact anyone can take this seriously with regards to creativity. Even Reason Studios with their dispised codemeter (in all honesty: I never disliked this) .. came around and opted for a software version of said code meter. Bigwag otoh ... my personal impression? (that's what people asked for, right?).. they go cheap, cutting costs, and as a result... don't touch that (Internet) connection, or else.

I really wonder how anyone can take this sorry excuse seriously.

(edit) This is not to be mistaken for offline activation. All I did today (in preperation for a blog post) was rip out my network cable. Lo and behold... a demo product refused to run due to a network disconnect... for crying out loud.. this a bad joke.
--- :reason:
Using the 'Power' Trio: Ableton Live (+ Push), Reason Rack Plugin and Maschine (+ the ultimate Komplete).
Blog: SynthFan (under heavy construction!)

Sterioevo
Posts: 403
Joined: 02 Apr 2015

Post 25 Jun 2021

Let me preface by stating I only use Ableton, so my comments are related to Ableton only.

I have spent a fair amount of time over the past couple of years working through a migration to Ableton of songs created in Reason standalone. There have been a few detours/dead ends before arriving at a productive and enjoyable arrangement.
Basically for each song I have created combinators for all individual tracks, send fx, groups and whatever else. These combinators are placed on a grouped in a rack. Generally I have 16 tracks with 6 sends.

Interestingly I have found Ableton to be very resource effective for my needs. I tend to avoid CPU heavy plug-ins as well. I discovered I could not only setup a track as described above (16 tracks and sends) but I was able to include multiple songs by making use of chains. I think I stopped at around 12 songs as the file was 15 gig and took 5 minutes to load. This was achievable though due to Ableton deactivating devices and CPU usage when not active.

The other main part of the puzzle for me was to develop a number of customised controller mappings to suit my midi controllers (previously making use of the midi busses in Reason) as this is a big part of my workflow - with a focus on live performance. In Reason this was achieved through combinators for each track and I was able to transfer this approach across to Ableton fairly easily. I have a Push which is great for general device "focused" control and sequencing. I am also currently using a Midi Fighter Twister and Lemur for overall control across the whole project - i.e. I can control all 16 instrument track combinators via a set of 16 macro controls, and all send fx combinators by a second set of 16 macro controls. This is possible with midi overrides but I wanted something more direct so I created some custom controller mappings with Control Surface Studio by https://remotify.io. This has allowed me to create a page of mappings that control the first 16 parameters in the first device in the Ableton Rack - i.e. if the device is grouped it controls the 16 macros, if it is not it controls the first 16 exposed (or configured) controls. This has allowed me to create a template for the combinator and instantly tweak when loaded.
electrofux wrote:
01 Jun 2021
BUT i haven't found anything comprehensive how RRP is integrated into Remote Controlling via Midi Controllers in Live or Bitwig. I wouldnt mind writing scripts but as far as i can tell there is no way to detect what actually is in the RPP be it an Europa or a Antidote. So how would remote controlling work on a sophisitcated level (by that i mean not wanting to map everything by hand everytime i load an RRP, and having some parametername feedback on my controllers)?
Also Patchbrowsing the RRP doesnt seem to be possible remotely in both of the DAWs. And there seems to be a limit of~170 controllable items per device in the RRP (which in most cases is enough though).
The method described above is the closest I have come to having an effective working mapping for Reason devices. With this method I can load a Europa for example and configure controls and save this as a template (remembering the first 16 controls are mapped to my midi controller - this is not limited to 16, it is just my method for working). Then when you reload the template you have those parameters mapped and can change patches for the same devices and these parameters are not altered/messed up. This is not elegant as the naming conventions for different devices can vary greatly. The way around this is to allocate Macros in which case you are limited to 16 controls. The only way I have been able to browse patches with a shortcut (not the mouse) is via the browser and the up/down keys on my keyboard.

I have also been playing around with Clyph X which allows me to create recallable snapshots of pretty much anything in Ableton - I use it to create mixer snapshots. https://isotonikstudios.com/product/clyphx-pro/, there is a free version I am currently using https://github.com/ldrolez/clyphx-live10.

I was also able to create custom templates with Max4Live to control my external hardware. I was also able to use Max4Live to allow CV in to control the RRP *edit. and out to control other devices in Ableton.*

ShelLuser wrote:
25 Jun 2021
(edit) This is not to be mistaken for offline activation. All I did today (in preperation for a blog post) was rip out my network cable. Lo and behold... a demo product refused to run due to a network disconnect... for crying out loud.. this a bad joke.
Isn't this the same as RE's that are on trial?
Does this behaviour only occur with the demo, or with a licence as well?
If it is with a licence as well then this is the same as Reason+ which is very unfortunate.


Long story short I have found Ableton to provide for substantial workflow advantages as compared to Reason standalone. To get to this point I needed the Suite version and some 3rd party tools such as Control Surface Studio and Clyph X.
Last edited by Sterioevo on 27 Jun 2021, edited 1 time in total.

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