As a Bitwig newbie, I may be totally wrong, but here are my two cents.
This is about the settings functionality, audio settings to be precise. It seems to me they are globally defined and apply to all projects.
My request is to have an option to save settings per project (if you want to) or keep Bitwig the way it´s currently built.
One idea how this could be done is:
Basic (manual settings management)
Add a save/save as/load dialogue to the settings page, so we can at least switch different settings in a fast and convenient manner. Doing this via File Manager and renaming the settings file is not very conventient
Advanced (automatic per project settings management)
Add an option to “save settings with project” (radio button, yes/no). NO means you stay with the global settings and don´t have to do anything to keep the current behaviiour. YES means the save/load dialog becomes available and you can assign the current or any saved settings.
Maybe the settings page is not ideal, so place that option in the “File/Save” dialogue.
I´m currently switching to Bitwig and need to try out a variety of settings, including interface selection, naming, etc. Since we can´t even change the order of channels, it´s impossible to insert a channel when needed, or define them by interface layout and the re-order them in a way that makes more sense in the workflow (maybe alphabetically, maybe by function (instruments, external effects)
In a more complex setup, you may have outboard gear that can be operated mono, dual mono or stereo. This may change between projects, so you may want to use physical ins 1 and 2 as mono or stereo, depending on the situtaion (example: external compressors that can be linked). Which means in order to change between projects, you need to have three entries active: if working stereo, you will still get mono1 and mono2 (which are not used) and vice versa. This is not a big thing for an 8 port interface, but if you run 128 channels like in my case, things are getting cluttered.
If you have more external sources than inputs, it would be nice to label the interfaces accordingly. So in project one, physical channels 1+2 are fed from Synth A, while in project two, you patch Synth B to these ports. While this can be reflected in the track names, it would be very nice to have that on interface level as well, for example when selecting the input of a new track.
Does this make sense? Or am I missing an existing option to do these things?
@AcdNrg I might not be understanding your problem, but… In the Audio settings, the Input Buses are defined by your hardware. You can define mono or stereo inputs and call them as you wish. This configuration of inputs and names will be the same across projects, yes.
Then you can have different project templates for your different setups. Wouldn’t this solve your problem?
What I´m looking for is a way to easily manage different settings:
So my soundcard offers 128 channels of I/O which show up as 128 mono and 64 stereo input. Let´s say on channels 1-8 I have an API rack with compressors which can operate in dual mono or stereo link configuration.
Now in project A, I want to use those comps as 8 mono devices, therefore I would set them up as mono in/out 1-8. the corresponing stereo pairs are not needed, so I wouldn´t define them and they wouldn´t clog the drop down menus in channel selection.
In project B, I want to use them as linked stereo units, so no need to have mono 1-8 available, just stereo 1/2, 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8.
That´s just for this one rack. Overall, it´s a bit more complicated, as basically 256 channels are available which get mapped to the 128 I/O of the DAW via an external matrix application (Dante controller).
So channels 9 and 10 may be a synth with stereo out (configured as “Synth X” in one project. In the next project, Dante maps two mono synth outs, so in Bitiwig it´s “Synth Y” on channel 9 and “Synth Z” on channel 10.
Since the selection of interface channels and the naming of those is (to my understanding) defined globally, it´s the same for all projects. And I´d like to save those settings in individual files, which I can load according to which kind of project I do. Sometimes it´s a tracking job, sometimes a mixdown and it´s a pain in the neck to reconfigure that manually.
Does that make the use case a bit clearer? Or is there an obvious way to achieve that already and I just haven´t found out yet ?
I have never managed so many channels and I might be missing something but… would this work?
- Go to Audio Settings, and add the 128 Mono In channels and the 64 Stereo In (if you really need all of them). Call them by their hardware specification i.e. Mono In 1, Stereo in 3/4, etc. Very tedious but you’ll do it only once. Save.
- Then create the tracks corresponding to one of your typical configurations. Name every track based on the instrument or effects or whatever the track’s function is. Assign the channels to every track. Save as template.
- Do the same for every other configuration you use.
That’s it? Creating a new configuration can be tedious as well, but from that point you only need to start new projects from the corresponding template.
That´s exacty what I do at the moment. But it doesn´t solve the issue completely:
- Each Bitwig channel relates to the audio interface (focusrite PCIeR). So let´s say we look at channels 33+34. First, I will always see them as two mono and one stereo channel and would like to prune that a bit, depending on whether said channels run dual mono or stereo in the different projects. Also, I can only keep the original numbering scheme, no “speaking names”, since the dante network is another routing layer: so Bitwig channels 33+34 may be routed to channels 33+34 of the interface, but then there is the dante routing behind that: say, interface 33+34 are routed to the converter that has, my good old quadraverb connected at "converter 1, channels 15+16). For the next project, I don´t use the quadraverb, but the Roland SDE-330, which is connected to converter 2, channels 7+8. So with a saved/recalled Dante configuration (in Dante Conteroller), 33+34 of the interface are not routed elsewhere. Bitwig does not know about this, it still only sees channels 33+34 assigned to interface 33+34. That´s why saving/loading complete settings would be nice: In different Bitwig settings, I could label the various channels so Bitiwg naming points to what is configured on the Dante side of things.
The ability to prune the list of available channels would be another benefit.
Currently, my channel selection looks like this:
And this is a little bit less elegant.
And this is just the audio part. Handling other setting like controllers may also benefit from an option to swap the complete enchilada of settings, for example using a laptop on the road vs. in the studio: Different controllers, different interfaces. It would be super, if I could have two settings, “mobile” and “studio” and could just swpa between them, like: On the road, bitwig channels 1+2 point to the rme babyface 1+2, but when in the studio, I would just swap settings and map them to, say, a focusrite 18i20 - which was my main DAW interface, but got fired when I upgraded to dante.
So yeah, I see a bunch of good uses for saving/loading/exporting/importing settings, so I´m not bound to one setup for all projects and a lot of single item reconfig between projects.
I also agree that this is not an issue for the majority of users ^^.
Oh, and I also need to rename all the stereo channels for easier recognition, such as mono 1, 2, 3, 4 and stereo 1-2, stereo 3-4 instead of the simply counting you see in the screenshot.
@AcdNrg or anyone else, do you want to create a feature request on #drafts, so that others can vote it?