Devices view GUI for third-party plugins

Working with VST plugin windows is tedious, whereas working with Bitwig native devices is easy and immediate. If it were possible for third party plugins to provide a GUI directly inside the DAW window, without having to deal with floating windows, we can benefit from a significant workflow improvement.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Floating windows are tedious to work with.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

From the Bitwig website:

  • “Streamline your creative process”
  • “Building a DAW from the ground up allowed us to think differently and solve old problems in new ways. Bitwig Studio is made for the future…”

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

The feature can be achieved only partially, and this request expands on it.

Currently, VST plugins are given a default wrapper view, which allows for easy access to the plugins first few parameters.

Also, VST plugins are given Remote Control pages to surface important parameters on a preset or plugin-per basis.

Where these lack is in their:

  • lack of variety of GUI elements (we are provided rotary knobs, but no reverse knobs, or graphs or metering widgets)
  • lack of bespoke design (custom layout of GUI elements)

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

No. Hypothetically, the CLAP standard could be improved to allow plugin developers to code an alternative GUI view that would fit inside a devices view, but Bitwig would still be involved at the level of implementing the CLAP spec.

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

Not without the above hypothetical integration.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Ableton allow Max for Live devices to provide a ‘devices view’ type immediate GUI (but not for third party VSTs).

FL Studio provides the Patcher, which provides a ‘native’ GUI builder experience to users, but does not solve the problem of floating windows.

Relevant links

Previous brainstorm on bitwish: Native UIs for third party plugins - #13


While I like this idea what I really want is just really flexible macro pages.

The current macro page only has knobs.

I want to have continus knobs, buttons, and an N state radio button.

Even bitwig’s own internal devices and presets that have macros at the preset level would benefit from a better macro page design than just 8 knobs or NOTHING.


Also related:

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The different control types would be great. Even better if they were exposed to the api.