API support selecting presets via h/w controller without PopupBrowser


Enable controller extension authors to create integrations for hardware controllers that directly select device presets without starting a browsing session. From a workflow perspective, it would be great if a hardware controller (that might be pinned to a particular device) could be used to jog-wheel through different presets without launching a Bitwig browser session.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Hardware like the StudioLogic SL88 keyboard can be (quickly) programmed via midi with up to 200 named presets which can be grouped and quickly selected from the 4D-knob. A Bitwig controller extension could pre-program the hardware with these presets if it were possible to list available presets without an active browser session, allowing the musician/producer to simply turn the 4D-knob to try out different presets using the hardware’s display to see which presents are available in a list.

The SL88 firmware does not allow realtime dynamic lists - i.e. a list of browsable presets needs to be known ahead of time (i.e. before the 4d knob is being turned) - and presently the Bitwig API does not make this possible.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

This API feature would presumably improve the workflow quality and depth of hardware integrations possible in future.

Is there already an alternative way to achieve this on Bitwig?

Yes - use the software Popup Browser, and forego the opportunity for a smoother workflow experience.

Could it be implemented using Bitwig components or APIs, without Bitwig team’s support?

No - this requires the API to be extended to support “hardware browser sessions”, as well as to expose the identity of presets and devices, and make presets activatable by their identity.

Could it be provided by a VST or something else reasonably integrated with Bitwig?

Some wrapper VSTs exist (Maschine being the most notorious) that allow proprietary controllers to achieve something similar, but these will not work with bwpresets.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Yeah - NI Maschine, Panorma’s Nektarine , etc.
They are all proprietary and don’t support bwpresets though.

Hi @maranite, welcome to Bitwish. Have you sent this request to Bitwig Support? It is always a good idea to do so, but especially for requests related to developer features.