Multichannel tracks

Support more than 2 audio channels for tracks. This would allow for advanced spatial audio work for e.g. ambisonics, Dolby Atmos, etc.

For reference:

  • First order ambisonics B-format requires 4 channels, third order 16 channels, sixth order 49.
  • Popular film scoring formats are e.g. 5.1 (6 channels) and 7.1 (8 channels).

Spatial audio is here and probably to stay, with Apple Music now having Spatial Audio playback and VR being very fast growing (not to mention advances in Wave Field Synthesis, see e.g. holoplot.com).

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Users are limited to stereo or simple (amplitude-based) surround sound with Bitwig stock features, surround pieces cannot be exported as multichannel files.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Bitwig being at the forefront of experimentation, this would be very on-brand.

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

It’s already possible to do some surround work in Bitwig, by using modulators and sends/audio receivers. Because of the lack of multichannel tracks however, no ambisonics/object based audio is possible without relying on third party products, and the workflow is very cumbersome and limited.

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

No.

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

It is possible to create a Grid preset synced with a Reaper instance that provides the multichannel features – see Bitwig Preset: Mono AmbiEncoder 3o public.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Yes, Reaper offers up to 64 channels. Protools, Logic, and Nuendo also support multichannel tracks.

Relevant links (optional)

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5 posts were split to a new topic: [Draft discussion] Multichannel tracks

This would be amazing. What’s the status on this?

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Hi @errcsool , welcome!

We don’t know whether the Bitwig team is considering this request, but adding your vote cannot harm. :slight_smile:

Related:

Sam Hocking - Mach1 Spatial with Bitwig

I’ve been doing a LOT of reading lately comparing different DAWs. My interest lies in film sound, and most recently film scoring. Neither of these things is Bitwig especially suited for. I found it interesting that I read over and over in comparisons that although Bitwig was different and exciting, it was viewed more as a novelty than a serious full-featured DAW contender. With the absence of things like Video support and multichannel sound, VCAs, etc., I fear Bitwig will continue to be nothing more than a novelty. There is SO MUCH INNOVATION AND POTENTIAL here.

Definitely would be cool. With multichannel plugin hosts like Plogue Bidule, Krushview Element, DDMF Metaplugin there are actually workarounds, but if Bitwig could simply open the VST Input Chains to be more than one stereo pair and one stereo sidechain to simply accommodate whatever I/O channels the VST exposes that would go a long way. Once you have mutli-in and multi-out VSt chains, multichannel audio, Surround, Atmos, Ambisonics etc will then be possible. If you could have a multichannel Group Track too that would be really cool.

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I did get a response from Bitwig Technical on mutlichannel support. Neither positive or negative, just:

“thanks for sending in your feature wish, it is already on the wish list for future consideration!”

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