The dream of an all-in-one touch-enabled production setup for professionals is a step closer.

Bitwig Studio – the DAW developed by a studio featuring former Ableton employees – has released version 1.3, which turns it into an audio workstation with full multi-touch capabilities.

The new multi-touch functions allow users to control multiple faders, knobs and displays at the same time, as well as play notes using the integrated touch keyboard and tap out rhythms. It also includes pen support, which means pressure can be applied to notes – something currently unavailable on the majority of touchscreen devices.

As the video below demonstrates, the software also allows for sounds to be bent and manipulated in one easy gesture. If you’re sequencing, notes can be drawn by dragging your finger much more elegantly than you’d manage with a mouse. While these features are nothing new for those already using mobile apps to make music, these have been very much part of a separate ecosystem. Bitwig Studio’s new features on the other hand bring us a step closer touch-enabled system that professional users won’t be reticent to use.

As Apple uses separate operating systems for desktop and touch-enabled devices these features are currently only available to Windows and Linux users. Previously this would have meant your primary option was one of Microsoft’s Surface tablets, but the company’s recently announced Surface Book combines a touchscreen with the connectability you’d expect from a Macbook Pro.

If you use Bitwig on OS X then there is one new feature you can make use of – the “E-Cowbell”, which might be enough of an insult to make you consider abandoning Apple for a Surface Book.

Read this next: The best free music production software






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