Bitwig Studio 5.2 is here, and its new Compressor+ feature “excels” at adding colour and tone

The Compressor+ tool hosts six “Characters” to engage different styles of compression.

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Bitwig Studio 5.2 Compressor+ tool

Image: Bitwig

Bitwig Studio’s 5.2 update has arrived in its beta testing phase, with an array of new features including an all-in-one compressor tool, Compressor+, for adding colour and tone, as well as mastering.

Additionally, the update brings three hardware-inspired EQs, a clipper device called Over, plus workflow enhancements including more precise editing and dynamic beat detection.

Firstly, let’s dive into Compressor+. This new tool analyses incoming audio across four frequency bands. Users can tweak each band’s Intensity and Timing offsets to fine-tune which parts of the signal cause compression.

The device comes with three modes that determine the compressor’s behaviour (standard, beyond – for an extended compressor range – and Dual, for upwards compression), and the output hosts a range of different VCA Colours. These are:

  • Clear – applies no colouring
  • Prism – gives a clean blend of true multi­band com­pres­sion, with uni­fied sin­gle-band com­pres­sion
  • Tran­sis­tor – a con­sis­tent ana­logue feel, with a low bump and slight­ly re­duced highs
  • Sat­u­rate – a mov­ing analogue feel, with a mid-range bump and some frequency-dependent behaviour

Compressor+ also hosts six “Characters”, each to engage different styles of compression by changing various gain reduction and envelope behaviours:

  • Vanil­la – ap­plies pa­ra­me­ters lit­er­al­ly, in­clud­ing At­tack and Re­lease times go­ing all the way down to zero
  • Smooth – uses slow per-band re­sponse, of­fer­ing min­i­mal dis­tortion
  • Over – com­presses more quick­ly, but in a sta­ble way
  • Glue – slow to en­gage and quick to re­lease
  • Re­sist – has longer en­velopes and tries to quick­ly snap back after­wards to pre­serve bass and add even har­mon­ics when pushed
  • Smash – over-ac­cel­er­ates the at­tacks and re­leas­es and uses the Auto Tim­ing control to fur­ther in­crease ac­cel­er­a­tion

Moving on to the new EQ tools, the trio on offer are Sculpt, Focus and Tilt. Sculpt is inspired by the Pultec EQP-1, a vintage broadband EQ “good for bass sweet­en­ing”, while Focus recreates the components of the mid-range-oriented MEQ-5. Lastly, Tilt hosts a simple interface allowing users to re-balance any sound to be brighter or darker.

Beta testing of Bitwig Studio 5.2 starts now. If you have an active Upgrade Plan, you’ll find the installers in your user profile for free. A final release is expected this summer.

View the full changelog for further information, or check out Bitwig.


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