"Blocks" mode similar to Reason

Blocks mode in Reason is great for songwriters. It’s similar to the clip launcher in that it lets you create scenes and add clips to them independently of the main sequencer.

Screenshot 2021-11-06 at 10.05.04

:point_up: A block containing MIDI note and automation clips. Blocks can also contain audio.

The advantage of blocks mode is that you then get an automation lane in the main sequencer into which you can draw blocks, and the contents of the block you draw then appears in the main sequencer but ghosted. If you play the track you’ll hear the contents of the block. If you want to overwrite parts of the block (e.g. to add a fill or other variation) you can just draw or record a clip over the ghosted out contents of the block. If you change the contents of the block then this will be reflected everywhere the block has been drawn in on the main sequencer with the exception of the clips which have been added over the top to override parts of the block.

:point_up: The main sequencer with blocks drawn in. The block contents can be seen ghosted and will be audible of the track is played. Several clips of automation, notes and audio have been added to the main arrangement to override or add to the contents of the blocks.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Passages for songs and tracks, like verse, chorus, bridge, middle 8 etc could be reused (unlike scenes in Bitwig which once recorded into the arranger will not update if you change the contents of the scene).

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Bitwig is a flexible DAW which enables production using a range of techniques. This feature would make it easier to create music in some particular genres as well as improving the experience for songwriters.

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

Using MIDI loopback it’s possible to trigger scene changes or launch clips from the clip launcher. However this relies on external software, may not be completely reliable in terms of timing, cannot be bounced, and won’t allow for overriding of (parts of) the clips.

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


Could it be provided by an STV or something else reasonably integrated with Bitwig?


Are there other products that offer this feature?


Relevant links (optional)

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