Bitwig and PreSonus are making it easy to share projects between programs

Just received now

We know that many producers use multiple DAWs, but transferring projects between programs can be time-consuming or complex. That’s why we teamed up with PreSonus to create a free, open, DAW-agnostic file format that allows you to save projects in one DAW and open them in another. This new DAW project file format is as of today supported in Bitwig Studio (5.0.9) and Studio One (6.5).

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BWS5 is my favourite DAW. It’s fascinating news as it can lead to new paths to DAW integrations. To me, it’s even related to Scaler.
Since S1 supports chord tracks and BWS doesn’t, my first inclination would be to create harmonies in S1 and complete the project in BWS. My main issue is that it sounds like there’s no reasonable upgrade path from the version of S1 I own (Artist 5).

If Ableton were to adopt the format (stranger things have happened), then it’d be easy for me to do some work in Live Lite and in BWS. Similar thing for Logic Pro and Waveform, for which I have full licenses. In fact, it’d be especially nice with Logic Pro because it’d then be compatible with the iPad Pro version.

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Yes, the no-interoperability is really a shame

I understand that each developer team want customers adopting their DAW only, but they cannot pretend that people, musicians, studios in every part of the world have/use one system only

In my field for example, the TMX and also the xliff standards were created for interoperability, so I cannot understand why the picture should be different for DAWs

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Me neither!

Sometimes, I get the impression that #MusicTech is this strange domain which holds on to old practices for way longer than it should. For instance, the world of desktop plugins reminds me of 1990s software, including in terms of copy-protection. In terms of Customer Experience (CX), it’s really “a blast from the past”. And while I get that many people are worried about changing their setups while they’re working on critical projects, a huge proportion of the market is among people who rarely have critical projects.

Interop makes so much sense given the fact that musicians collaborate all the time. Sending someone a project so that they can add some tracks is an obvious use case. People find convoluted ways to do it including sending stems instead of the original project. And while some software solutions help in sharing files, the competition between DAWmakers is such that we have a hard time collaborating across different DAWs.
In the end, it’s detrimental to almost everyone involved. New DAWs have a hard time getting traction (with one important exception). Incumbents work so hard to protect their turf that they lose agility.
Meanwhile, there’s disruption happening on multiple sides (to use Clay Christensen’s term). For instance, mobile devices are taking some of the space in the market left unaddressed by incumbents. BandLab is getting a lot of traction across the world. And musicking without DAWs is creating new niches.

My impression is that Bitwig is taking a collaborative position which helps prepare us for new approaches. They adopted MPE quickly (as Logic Pro did) and they’ll possibly be among the first ones to integrate MIDI 2.0 in a meaningful way. They support Linux machines (as Tracktion does). The CLAP format they’re proposing with u-he is less encumbered than VST3 (and more crossplatform than AU). BWS can import some Live projects. And they’re releasing this project format in the open. Of course, it’s all advantageous to them. Still, it decreases the hurdles in collaborating across contexts.

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Yes, this is one of the reasons I made the switch, together to a way more reliable DAW, even if I bought recently Ableton Intro (discounted) to have a way to test controllers and plugins that may work well with a DAW and bad with another


It’s somewhat frustrating that in 2023 we still cannot share files between DAWs.

yeah! DAWs should interoperate. just like audio files, email systems (not mentioning outlook and google…), office productivity tools (ms office, open office, libre office, adobe, etc) or CAD programs, Financial software, Music XML, any apple product with any non-apple product, etc

lol :slight_smile:

there are limits to what is shareable before, you know, you lose your competitive edge or uniqueness… what would be nice – proper metadata on all settings - including plugins - and lossless audio files + MIDI – in XML/JSON/MIME only. no more proprietary binary crap unless it’s because it’s packed by a commonly available compression algorithm (zip, rar, etc).

then it becomes (more) possible to share, and the receiving app needs to gracefully handle the “missing” stuff, and the send app needs to have options for some things that gets shared - e.g. use 2-track MP3 (or equiv) audio export + MIDI only. do not share source MIDI but compile to audio. do not share plugins, etc etc so the “project” can be shared as effectively as possible (e.g. if i’m doing overdubs, i only need the reference track; or if i’m mixing only i need to audio and plugin info; or i’m composing so i only need the MIDI, or recorded tracks etc).

oh, and all the project, track, clip, plugin notes :slight_smile:

and perhaps standard naming conventions automatically applied to meet the grammy standards for sharing recordings… :wink: