Theme / skin support

Provide a method for users to create and share skins for Bitwig’s UI.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Color preferences are subjective, and different users prefer different colors to work. Also, users may get tired of the same colors, and they wish to change them.

Finally, some users just want a dark theme, which the current settings for Midtones and Black level don’t provide.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Bitwig offers many features to allow users to define their workflow and environment as they please. A recent feature allows users to define the colors of clips, which is a step in this direction.

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

No. A default.theme file can be accessed in any Bitwig installation, but its use is undocumented and community attempts to change the UI through modifications of this file haven’t brought any results.

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


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


Are there other products that offer this feature?

Ableton Live, Reaper, Reason. Cakewalk, LMMS…

Relevant links (optional)

“Bitwish” theme for Ableton Live. :wink:


25 posts were split to a new topic: [Draft discussion] Theme / skin support

On a Linux installation, default.theme can be found on /opt/bitwig-studio/resources/themes. I have just opened it for the first time. It seems to have… every single elements that shows in the UI. Thousands of lines of code. I’m not a Java developer, and I don’t understand how the color values are being assigned. I haven’t found something obvious like hexadecimal color numbers. There are many references to variables, and decimal numbers in triplets. Anyway.

As it is now, this file looks very exposed. If users could happily modify values here, chances are that someone would break something soon. Or someone else would create a consciously or unconsciously malicious theme file that would post i.e. here and then other users would copy it and so forth. Probably nothing that a user with some technical knowledge could revert, but…

Perhaps a first step to test what people would come up with would be:

  1. From all those classes, select just a very few that would be themable and document them somewhere obscure mentioned in the release notes.
  2. Users could create and exchange .theme files that ciould be located somewhere in the .Bitwig folder in their home directory.
  3. To use this theme, a user should give it a precise name i.e. atmyownrisk.theme :wink: and enable beta features.

If beautiful things appear and no havoc happens, then a next step could be to remove the requirement for beta releases and/or select the theme file from the Settings UI.

Then we would just need to wait until someone requests a device to modulate the theme color values on the go. Disco Bitwig! :dancer:

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This would be nice, although I actually like the color scheme of BW atm. I do, however, with BW had real-looking fader knobs instead of the bar graph. It probably wouldn’t take up more space, but it would just look more “professional” IMO.

The more I look into this the more excited I get about taking the bullet and trying to change something and see what happens.

So far some of the elements in default.theme seem self explanatory. This section:

"absolute_color" : 
	type : "color",
	data : [0.9882353, 0.4745098, 0.039215688]

is the Bitwig orange-y yellow #fc790a (#fc790a Hex Color Code, RGB and Paints).

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This feature is also critical to improve accessibility for visually impaired people. The current default theme has already a good contrast, but not on all elements. While the hole layout is relative dark the midi editor is mid tone gray. Thats a problem because it is iven impossible to solve this with accessibility tools that simply inverts all colors.It is simply not enough to use some kine of tool that meters the contrast values and therefor came to the conclusion that this will be good. It may be somewhat usable but not necessary for a lone time or if you want to concentrate on other things than where exactly the lines in the MIDI editor are.
Most DAWs out there make the same misstake ass it comes to scaling it is mostly not availbale or so deeply hidden in settings that you are not able to reach it if you realy need it. This was for real a selling point for me as I first tested out Bitwig 2 long time ago. Simply tap top of the window and select new scaling . How gread would it be to have high contast theme and simple light theme and so on selectable the same way.
As Developer I moved to VS Code mainly hust because it was simply Ctrl+P “Theme …” that leads me directly t a high contrast theme - no headache needed - no long internet research needed it just was there ;-).
Bitwig has such a good comunity I am sure if You provide such a feature the comunity will do the rest. And maybe you could provide already some good themes like a real high contrast theme and consistant theme.

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Really want this.

For people like me, who live with some kind of visual impairment, colors are a fundamental part of the process that defines whether you will be able to use a software or not.

Currently I can use Bitwig but thanks to a lot of juggling with the accessibility features native to OSX.

Some examples:

  • To edit MIDI or audio (which has a light background), I need to invert the screen colors.
  • To use Phase-4 (or any other part of the DAW that uses the color red in fonts), I need to activate the use of gray scald colors.
  • With the grey scale active, I can’t tell when a modulation source is being used, so… more juggling.
  • To use The Grid I also need to make constant adjustments in order to see the cables.
  • In many ocasions I have to use high contrast mode to read text.

I won’t name them all because I believe the point is already established, but, in short: Accessibility is constantly left out by developers, which is perfectly understandable since the visually impaired are a very small slice of the market, however, for the few who make use of this type of feature, makes all the difference between being able to evenuse the DAW or not.

All that said, I still believe Bitwig is the most deliteful piece of music making I have ever used in a computer and I hope that my contribution here doesn’t sound like a complaint but like a real wish for grow. I’m 40 now, and I still have a hard time explaining what are the issues that impair my life, so it’s perfectly understandable that normal sighted people should be allowed to not understand them either.

Best wishes for everyone!


Did you go any further with this?

FL Studio just got themes, let’s go Bitwig!


Personally, I’m very inspired by the visuals and like to customize almost everything where possible. Moreover, I think this feature can attract a large audience of people who are just looking for fun. And there are a lot of those people.

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How many people reading this actually wrote to bitwig ?
It seems to be the only way to make a difference
support at

I think the visually impairing point is really important and as @icaria36 said well enough it’s not like a theme force anyone to use them. And a default.theme is just there.

I’m gonna write to them because i have some low level impairment and i can’t imagine with people who have worst cases.

I know they are probably overworked but its one path forward to having way more consumers and more cash flow no ?
its probably even more important than many other more interesting features for a lot of people because its actually something tied to identity and identification with visual style, personal ‘branding’. Surely almost all the people i know who use dsableton have some variations of either one of the main 5 themes or some totally customs one.


The high amount of orange in the theme makes my bass sound thin and the drums lack proper transients and punch. Shifting the color tone to a different color will immediately lead to much punchier drums and better mixes. Shifting the color tone and having an option for purple text on green background is the reason i am missing proper eye cancer on my tracks and therefore this should be included so i can invert the colors of my mastering bus and have an overall shinier tone and brightness in my mix.

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After seeing FL studio sorta botch the theme thing. I’d say spending resources on this is risky imo, at least for now. Arrangement, audio editing , and piano roll background color adjusting would be nice for night time. Because it is pretty white for this. Orange is actually ideal for improving sleep quality. For morning and day I enjoy the wakefulness and focus of the current look.

But yeah having a consistent look for a daw also helps identify the daw in tutorials and for support reasons, as soon as you get themes a small portion of people start using disgusting carnival level eye bleeding themes.

I even caught myself spending shit tons of time making themes. Doesn’t help productivity, it creates another distraction.

However I do understand that the more large area white that exist on the screen could be more damaging to you eyes and sleep in the long run. (due to white containing more blue) So reducing the brightness of the arrangement, audio-editing and piano roll could assist with this.

Having a dark arrangement background option basically. Maybe even a day night switcher for the arrangement part would be interesting to me.


Please add this, even if it is just a barebones implementation. I want to configure my theme so bad. It helps me be more creative.

Hi, I’d like to say that legitimately, I’d buy Bitwig except the colours look just really bad. I hope that the team can make the colours customisable, as Orange is a nightmare colour. I am sure many others agree.


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@P_B please add your vote to this request. Click the “85” votes box on the top left corner of this page. Everyone can vote up to 10 features on Bitwish.

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I created an account just to add to this. Please please implement this feature. I want to use Bitwig badly but I cannot switch to the most powerful yet worst looking DAW.

The colors, the skeuomorphed buttons. Bitwig badly needs a facelift.

Many of my peers have said “Bitwig seems great, but the UI is so ugly”

Whenever I see Bitwig’s rainbow bright and orange colour scheme, it is a turn off, and I feel many people have this initial perception too. It looks like a toy and is overstimulating.

There is real thing for many that when you get distracted by visual sensory overload, the perception of the music becomes a lot poorer. I have always found this and prefer the bland appearance of other DAWs because the lesser visual distraction allows me to concentrate on the music much better.

Though the use of colours to distinguish is useful, it is just far too over the top here and I firmly believe it affects the adoption rate of the DAW.

I wrote to the support years ago about this … it seems like noone cares at bitwig.

Some of the head devs either are very very sure that their color theme is THE ULTIMATE color theme, or they are in theyr minds making fun about people that also need some aesthetics when making music.

I mean the functions are there , why should colors change music right? thats so esoterik … but still its a thing at least to me …

But as i said it wont happen guys im sry <3

Unless we push this request to 1 000 000 … LETS GOOOOOO !!!

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