MIDI capture


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THIS!! Old cubase user here(I think they added this on version 10?), and retrospective record is an essential creative tool in that DAW that I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see in Bitwig.

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There are now a few third party solutions for MIDI retrospective recording that actually do a really decent job of it.

The first is Rewind which is a paid VST, the second is MIDI Cap which has a free and a paid version. The only difference with the free version is it’s just limited to 1 minute of capture.

There is a nice way to setup MIDI cap to have it integrated pretty seamlessly into Bitwig:

  1. Add MIDI cap as the first device on Master (doesn’t have to be Master, could be any track if you wanted to have a dedicated track for midi capture)
    2a. (Optionally) In the MIDI cap post-fx chain add a channel filter with all channels disabled to prevent midi notes from reaching other plugins on master.
    2b. (Optionally) In the mappings panel map a keyboard shortcut to open the MIDI cap window
  2. Change the track input to Note Inputs > All Ins
  3. Set the monitor mode to ‘On’
  4. Save this setup as your default new track template

This will mean that all midi data from incoming controllers will be recorded by MIDI cap, and you don’t need to do anything like keep the track armed (since monitoring is on). Whenever you need to access recorded midi just hit your key shortcut, or open the midi cap window on master. With the key shortcut this honestly feels like a built in feature.

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Thanks, but no thanks. Im hoping (wishing) for in-built retrospective record functionality, not 3rd party plugins. Thanks for the info though!

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There’s 3 party options but it just a mess, Bitwig needs this feature so bad, it’s one of the few things that has me open cubase from time to time.

I would love if they implement both midi AND audio capture :wink: Would be insane! hoho!
I tested the rolling sampler and i tested Rewind (= the VSTs which help with audio and midi capture) They are ok-ish. Nothing compared to a DAW internal solution though. Imagine the possibilities with a DAW internal solution: Automatic Loop-Slicing, Automatic Transient-Detection and pulling the first Transient to the “1” of the Bar, etc. etc.

Then vote for this request: Audio pre-record

Yes i was saving my last votes until i’m 100% sure where to put them, since there are so many Features i would love :smiley:

I think we have 10 votes, and when they are used up, we have to “unvote” one of the voted features, to regain 1 vote, correct?

Yes, everyone has 10 votes and you can change them whenever you want.

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understandable, but from my experience Rewind is better than anything that could be integrated into a DAW. I would continue to use it even if Bitwig implements. I do suggest trying it if it is something that you could benefit from. I use it every day.

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Im reading about Rewind now. Thanks for putting that up.

Edit: Just bought Rewind actually. Im not using Cubase much lately and dont plan to run it just to enjoy a retrospective record buffer, and after reading some more about Rewind I grabbed it. Lots to love in that application and Im trying it out as we speak.


Working with Rewind now. Looks like it doesnt have official support for Bitwig, but the dev has asked for customers of Bitwig to request official support.

I think Im going to have to install their extra “MIDI clone” driver to make this work properly, but Im trying to make it work without. Bitwig can see the notes being captured (I put it on the main output to start), but whenever I click “export” the folder where it exports is empty. It wont export anything, and there is no drag and drop to drop the MIDI right into the DAW. Im hoping for the best, but so far Rewind isnt the smoothest.

Edit: figured out one issue - Rewind wasnt capturing MIDI despite creating activity in its history. I had to switch the main listening mode to “DAW exclusive mode” instead of having it listen to individual MIDI instruments or no notes would capture.

I think I have to run several instances of it to get it to capture audio and MIDI at the same time, but I havent tested that yet.

If you’re seeing rewind capture the notes then you should just be able to select the midi notes in rewind then drag and drop them over. Make sure you route “all ins”, or any specific in you want, on your master track, or any other track you choose. You must also arm the track or click the little speaker next to all ins to turn monitor mode on. This allows your midi to be sent to that channel, otherwise it cant pick up any midi. It works.

When you do drag and drop something it will send that to the export folder you chose in those settings as well.

I dont recall seeing anything called “midi clone” but for mac there is an audio driver that allows for loopback when using outside of DAW which makes rewind the best comping app for mac devices since it doesnt have that natively.

Feel free to message me if you have more questions.

Edit: Yes daw exclusive must be set if using in DAW. It will pick up both midi and audio in the same instance.

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I did buy bitwig, but I am 100% on board with you with why I still use ableton most of the time. I wish bitwig would listen to the votes for this. Its very important for how I produce music.


You should check out Rewind lol. It is quite advanced (audio + midi at the same time, can run on master out, can run as windows system service on startup, etc)

This is a very important function to have in any DAW. I have created useful tracks after messing with the Push 2 or keyboard while I was not recording, only to realize I could use a copy of the jam session.

I just moved from Ableton to Bitwig and it was an unexpected big surprise Midi capture is not available. I have voted for the feature and hope the developers will add it to I am sure a very long list of things to do.

For now, I just have to remember to arm a track and record Midi. But it takes away the spontaneity of music creation.


Just created an account for this. Midi Capture, Midi Comping and a slice modes with lazy chop in sampler, and I ditch Ableton 100%.


I just purchased Bitwig a week ago and man, do I miss this function…I really think it should be a no-brainer. After a week of tentative with Bitwig, I went back to Ableton… Of course it’s a matter of habit but it’s the small things like this one that make you stick to a DAW or another. This and the Simpler-like chopping feature and I might invest more time in Bitwig.

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100%. I keep going back to Live/Studio One because retrospective record still doesn’t exist. I really hope they sort it out soon.

This is the number one feature I want at the moment. I own Rewind and it is an amazing plugin, especially for sampling stuff from other daws/youtube/etc, but the midi capture feature is more of a peace of mind thing for ideas rather than a smooth implementation. You still have to drag and drop the midi in and try to guess the tempo/stretch the midi accordingly, and it is a pain in the rear. The midi capture feature in live works wonderfully and I would love a direct copy of that in Bitwig. It is the main feature that still draws me to Ableton.