XY pads - better controls over position dot

Request to add 3-way switch in inspector panel for any XY-pad modulator or module with following modes:

  • Absolute control - click/tap anywhere on the pad to instantly move the dot in that position, would also work for dragging.

  • Relative control - click/tap and drag anywhere on the pad and relative movement from origin point will translate to relative movement of the dot from it’s original position.

  • Lock-on control - current behavior where only clicking/holding the dot allows it’s movement, drags on pad itself are ignored

with Relative movement being default as it’s easiest to use.

Additionally, Shift+click/tap or left+right click, or combination of all these should work for fine adjustment of dot position. Currently there’s no such behavior on this specific UI control type.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Everywhere across Bitwig when you see XY-pad, there’s always a dot that you have to grab precisely in order to start moving it around, and as bad as it sounds already, in some cases this dot is way too small even for quick mouse handling. But for the most part it’s almost unusable for fast reliable touch input.

here are screenshots of such UI elements for reference:
image image

In terms of looks there’s no problem really, it’s just the way you control the dot. Generally in any other XY pad interface in other software there’s either absolute or relative movement when you click/tap anywhere in the pad field, as it’s a much easier way to interact with virtual controls. While requirement to grab onto the position dot potentially helpful to avoid accidental parameter adjustments, I don’t think this should be default behavior. It’s such a pain to use that seems like it’s either made to be modulated and/or experimented with initially and then left in specific position.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Doesn’t seem to conflict or add inconsistency with anything currently.

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


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?

External XY controls can be made with variety of tools, but that’s not the point here.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Pretty much any XY pad in any product works in described way instead of how it’s currently implemented in Bitwig. Ableton’s XY pads, Usine’s XY pads, TouchOSC, etc. It’s much harder to come across examples of XY pads that behave like in Bitwig.

Relevant links (optional)


Kinda related.

If you have an XY controller and it is automated and you are trying to overwrite the automation lanes, it can be difficult to grab hold of it if it is moving around a lot while you are trying to grab it.

I think what you are suggesting would help with that too.


3 posts were split to a new topic: [Draft discussion] XY pads - better controls over position dot