Bitwig’s new 808 freebie is massively multisampled and uniquely integrated with Bitwig Studio – which opens up the possibility of playing bass lines on it or integrating it with modular patches in The Grid.

All about the holiday giveaway. Uh… holidays… okay at this point we’re just describing it as “the year at least is ending.”

First, here’s how to get it:

You’ll need to update to the latest Bitwig Studio, 3.3.1. (3.3 just recently exited beta, and the 3.3.1 release only just dropped.) You should see a notification once you launch Bitwig. Note that 16-Track and even 8-Track work with this, meaning in the latter case you might already own a Bitwig license and never touched it. Now’s your chance.

Once you’ve installed that, open the Package Manager: File > Settings > Packages > Essentials Collection > Bass-08.

Bass-08 isn’t a new device – it uses the device structure you’ve already got, which in this case is a big convenience in the Bitwig Studio workflow.

So you’ll find it by adding an instrument, and choosing Presets, then looking for Bitwig > Bass-08.

Plenty o’ presets.
(Yeah, my browser is spare – I like working preset-free.)

There are loads of 808’s out there – I think if you don’t have one installed somewhere already, you probably don’t own a computer or sample-based drum machine, so I’m curious how you’re reading this far.

But there are some twists here. Bitwig massively multisampled their 808 recreation – 2474 samples in total. And they made a bunch of tweakable devices, with pre-mapped tone controls, and patterns and presets for playing.

Powerful features in there, based on the Bitwig architecture.

Crucially, there are three additions here:

  1. You’ve got chromatic Pitched presets so you can make 808 basslines or other pitched 808-based sounds.
  2. Multisampling means that you can have variations of sounds as you play for a less-sampled sound.
  3. Individual drum pieces can be loaded up, which is convenient for patching with The Grid.

808 bass is probably the most popular application, but I do mean other pitched sounds, too. They’ve made pitched renditions of basically everything, so you can, say, jam across the octaves on the 808 conga, too. Those presets work with equal temperament by default, but don’t forget that Bitwig Studio now has robust support for other tuning systems, too.

Tuned percussion you can play chromatically – already available as a number of presets for quick access.

I especially like the idea of doing weird things with this and Bitwig’s various devices. And it sure sounds good:

On the same note of “reimagining now-cliche drum machines,” check out the previously mentioned SC-808 for SuperCollider, which has also seen updates since I wrote about it.

I do think there’s something about the 808 sound. But opening up these different approaches to it lets you connect to that familiar part, and push it in some new directions. Something old, something borrowed, something kind of blue… well, let old acquaintances be forgot and all that jazz.

Let us know what you make.

Wait, Bitwig, just read the URL – was your blog post at the 120 bpm default?