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What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

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Ableton vs Bitwig

Which would you prefer on iOS ?

Which one would you prefer if they released on iOS?
  1. Ableton or Bitwig126 votes
    1. Ableton
    2. Bitwig


  • I don't have Bitwig, so admit ignorance on that one. Ableton is my main DAW though, and I love it. I could happily envisage a stripped down version of Live on iOS hosting AU3's, with built-in sampler and synth.

    Yes please.

  • I love Ableton but I vote Bitwig because of the MPE stuff. I imagine it working with Model 15, drawing in the polyphonic aftertouch and micro-pitch expressions, plus the bounce in place/hybrid tracks seems more practical than the Ableton way of doing that.

  • Are either of them really suited for a 10inch screen and touch?

  • Used both DAWs. And vote for Bitwig - because it almost in all ways just better than Ableton.

  • I love Bitwig for the UI, many clever features and ideas, they are already light years ahead of Live in many aspects. Also unlike Live, they have actual touch support which is very handy eg in piano roll (although Windows is still very touch-unfriendly, compared to iOS).
    Live has much bigger community, there is endless amount of crazy stuff in Max 4 Live, there are many dedicated hardware controllers like Push or APC40 which gives it unique selling point.

    I think people like Bitwig and Live because of their features richness and stability, but even if some of the companies decides to focus on iOS, don't expect all the features from desktop, nor the stability. It will definitely be a brand new app, similar to what Propellerhead did with Reason. It's simply unreasonable to go the extremely hard way to port it somehow to iOS (and still need to do a lot of compromises) and then offer it for what price? The same as desktop? Or competitive price on iOS DAW market and basically kill their own revenues? 😄
    That said, I'd love to see a scene-based AUv3 host with "racks", serious time stretching, good sample management, built in sampler, freezing etc... Kinda what BM3 has tried to offer (and the reason why it is so popular), but still not comparable to what is available on desktop.

  • I have a dream, it involves these Ableton on iOS threads.

    An Audiobus forum front page without any to be more specific 😈

  • I voted bitwig since I miss nothing from Live in iOS due my needs and workflow.

  • Is the 8 track of Bitwig worth having? I got a code from Computer Music but never installed it.

  • I am a long time LINUX user. Bitwig.

  • @Oblique said:
    Is the 8 track of Bitwig worth having? I got a code from Computer Music but never installed it.

    Worth trying , it’s free :)

    I voted for Bitwig because it’s touch friendly (plus MPE) ,although I’m not keen on the modular direction/focus it takes. My dream app would be Geist2

  • I have Cubase Artist, FL Studio, Reason, Reaper, ProTools & tried Bitwig Studios.. But my only love for my type of workflow, is always Ableton.. Now Ableton 10.1 suite has VST3.. Its blown the others away, with combination Midi & Samples.. My only teeny, weeny gripe (only very small gripe).. Is the 32bit VST Wrapper, in a 64 bit DAW... There isnt one in Ableton 10.1, not unless you use Ableton Live 9 suite 32bit DAW, whereas FL Studio can do it well on both 32 & 64bit VST, where Ableton dosent.. & with v.s.10.1.. (Only 64bit)... JBridge doesnt work too well now with 10.1 (amittedly that JBridge hasnt been updated anymore, so as technology moves on, like iOS, things eventually stop working & breaks)... But i use Ableton 10.1 everyday.. Where now only FL Studio & Reason 11 sits in the backgorund, as i use there VST plugins from them (Reason 11 & FL Studio 20.5).. :)

  • edited October 2019

    Love Ableton but bitwig can record, edit and play back MPE and polyphonic aftertouch which are a massive bonus.

  • Never tried either but - Is ModStep not unlike Abelton? Have I heard that someplace or am I dreaming it? I do have that and think it's brilliant.

  • edited October 2019

    Neither. I love Ableton and have Bitwig but don't use as much. Would it be great if either came to iOS? Sure, but I wouldn't expect or want a full DAW. Mostly because, I can use Ableton on my laptop though recently I haven't been using it all. Instead, I have been focusing of having a workflow in iOS that works for my needs.

    Ableton's UI isn't designed for touch, so Bitwig has a slight advantage. I've tried Bitwig on a Surface and some of the UX decisions are based on quirkiness of Windows as a touch based device. Windows still isn't close to having the intuitiveness of gestures and native touch capability that iOS now has.

    Also, Ableton main draw for me is Max for Live, so without that on iOS, it would be just another DAW.

    I mostly want an AU that supports clip launching vs another standalone app.

    If you had asked me this question a year ago, I would have said Ableton 100%. I wasn't such a DAWless advocate then, hehe.

  • Bitwig 3 all the way without a doubt! Modular GUI windows, amazing modular building blocks with endless
    options, workflow is spot on.

  • Bitwig is more straingforward and better in most cases (MPE, Grid, modulators, plugin nesting, browser) but I can't get used to it because of workflow habbits. So I'm usually try new version and comeback to Ableton
    P.S. Anyway voted for Bitwig)

  • I just jumped on the Bitwig bandwagon this week, coming from Ableton. It’s so fast and efficient, it feels like I upgraded my computer. I could see it becoming my main daw if they add a retrospective midi capture feature.
    With ableton, I just load up an instrument and noodle away until I get into the zone and come up with something I like - hit capture and it’s all there, with the loop markers usually where they should be. — then rinse/repeat, improvising on top of the new part, rarely bothering to hit record.

    Bitwig seems superior in nearly every other way though — Alongside Phase Plant, Kontakt and Zebra 2, it’s a near perfect sound design studio. Parameters are all pre-mapped on all the plugins I use - no LFOs or not enough sequencers or envelopes in a synth or effect plugin? no problem; just drop one in on the plugin container—-much more efficiently and integrated than having to search for M4L tools and scroll through a long plugin chain to map everything in Ableton.

  • edited July 2020

    I switched to Bitwig from Live for MPE and because running the 8-track demo gave me a novelty buzz. I tend to favour Bitwig, but now I’ve started using IDAM and Studiomux to feed iOS audio into my computer I’ve been going back to Live a bit more for its familiar simplicity. This way I can just record the MPE iOS instruments as audio. In particular, I’ve been playing the ROLI Noise SWAM instruments from my iPad which are very expensive to get on desktop. Played my first ever bassoon solo last night :)

    Setup for IDAM / Studiomux is fairly straightforward in both Live and Bitwig. I’ve come to the conclusion that jumping between them fuels rather than blocks my creativity. I have different controllers that play better with one or the other, so often where my hands fall dictates the choice when starting a session.

    Anyway, I realise that’s quite a luxurious position to be in. Actually I don’t feel the need for either on iOS, I have more than enough Apps to do more with than I ever could have imagined and they just keep coming. I just need more time to learn and play.

  • edited July 2020

    Recently, discovered, that Bitwig supports a basic feature that Ableton has avoided adding for years: proper midi routing from VSTs. For example, Maschine can output midi via the VST to the host but Ableton compresses all midi channels to Channel 1.

    So, there's no way to sequence to other tracks within Ableton or external hardware from the Maschine VST. Bitwig supports this. It's so basic, I don't why Ableton hasn't added it. So, for this feature, which I've wanted for years, I might be using Bitwig more soon. Might run Ableton in background for routing Max for Live devices into Bitwig. Midi should be fine, but need to figure out audio routing between DAWs (on Windows).

  • I voted Ableton, but Bitwig already has a “touch” version. To this date, Ableton doesn’t seem even remotely interested in supporting touchscreens.

    I like audio editing and “warping” in particular way better in Live. Bitwig is way slicker looking. I’d take either in a iOS environment, but realistically I don’t see it happening.

    And.... I’m 100% against Bitwigs subscription model. No bueno.

  • I voted Ableton but I don't really want it a normal daw on iOS any more, until one day perhaps when there's a very large studio desktop ipad version which is much bigger than 12.9 and iOs is much more mature. Hardware is much better than touch screen for controlling Live anyway.

    ipad + Ableton workflow works so well already I just don't think there's any need for it. :)

  • @Apex said:
    And.... I’m 100% against Bitwigs subscription model. No bueno.

    I don't see it as a subscription. I got free updates for a year and then at some point in the future I'll pay for a future update. Not really any different to Live, Reason or any other app with periodic paid updates. That said, I can't see any sense at all in buying an update before it exists or before you need it, but clearly others do.

  • For me, Ableton Live.
    Admittedly never used BW and I'm sure it's good. However AL has a lot more hardware-controller support. I'm more in favour of knobs and faders etc. I also have little to no luxury of time to learn another environment right now. I'm not into touchscreen-support or much into modular hardware (CV out) ... YET, nevertheless I know that's covered in AL for what I would want to do.

  • edited July 2020

    I mean no offence to anyone here - but I'd rather only hear the opinions of users who have at least tried both DAWs.

    And ideally, someone who has tried to make tracks with both and spent atleast 20+ hours using both.

    Personally I think Bitwig looks amazing, and I am currently auditioning it next to Ableton, Reaper and FL studio as my new potential desktop DAW (note - I've been exlusively iOS for the last 4-5 years).

    Reaper is currently in the lead, due to its incredible customisations and it's other abilities as a mastering tool, but Bitwig is slightly inching ahead of Live as the main competition due to its modulations, routing flexibility, and UI.

    I promise to report back once i've spent over 20 hours with both of them :)

  • I love Live and use it on Desktop, but I think Bitwig might have pipped it recently for progressive, forward thinking functionality e.g. the Grid modular system which seems way more accessible than M4L for more people, and the built in modulation tools which leave Live in the dust. I've spent quite a few hours in Bitwig 2 & 3 trying out as much as I could with the Lite and Full Trial versions to get a feel for it.

    I was a bit disappointed with Live 10, which after 5 or so years seemed to be little more than a number of headline features and loads of smaller tweaks, rather than delivering compelling new incarnation of the product.

    Did we really need a wavetable synth? There are plenty of them out there already. I'd rather have seen new core features e.g. MPE for example. Still love it though and use it all the time but I was left feeling that it didn't have a clear forward vision the way that Bitwig does. It seems to be playing catchup with Bitwig in some ways e.g. VST3 support, rather than leading the way.

    Just my two cents worth.

  • Beatmaker 3 is the closest thing on the iOS to Ableton Live.

  • I took to Bitwig like no other DAW and its my DAW now. I tried Live for years and for some reason was never drawn into it. I don't even know why.

  • I did try Bitwig, because I had a touchscreen and wanted to see what it was like. But much preferred Ableton workflow with Max for live.

  • I had never even considered Bitwig until this thread. But when I googled "Ableton vs. Bitwig," I came upon this shocking fact: Ableton can convert audio to midi.

    That sounds like a very very useful feature. Anyone knows if it works well and is there anything remotely like this on iOS?

  • @ExAsperis99 said:
    I had never even considered Bitwig until this thread. But when I googled "Ableton vs. Bitwig," I came upon this shocking fact: Ableton can convert audio to midi.

    That sounds like a very very useful feature. Anyone knows if it works well and is there anything remotely like this on iOS?

    Workflow is quite different from Live but MTS does have this feature

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