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Frequency Shifter - Audio FX Bitwig Guide

Bitwig Guide | Nov 22, 2022

This video is about the frequency shifter of Bitwig Studio, which shifts the frequencies without changing the pitch. It explains how to use the knob to shift the frequencies up or down and the range knob to adjust the amount of frequency shifting. It also explain how to use the left knob to create a stereo effect, the mix knob for dry or wet signal, and how to use the frequency shifter on drums and kick drums to create a variety of different sounds.

You can watch the Video on Youtube

What is a Frequency Shifter?

An audio frequency shifter is a type of audio processing tool that shifts the frequency spectrum of an audio signal without changing its duration or pitch. Unlike a traditional pitch shifter, which changes the pitch of an audio signal while preserving its frequency spectrum, a frequency shifter shifts the entire frequency spectrum of the signal by a fixed amount.

The process of frequency shifting involves multiplying the input signal with a complex exponential function. The frequency of the exponential function determines the amount by which the frequency spectrum of the input signal is shifted. Depending on the frequency shift amount and the characteristics of the input signal, the output of a frequency shifter can result in a variety of interesting and unusual sound effects.

Audio frequency shifters are often used in experimental music, sound design, and electronic music production. They can be used to create effects such as metallic or robotic sounds, and to add movement and animation to static sounds. Some frequency shifter plugins also offer additional features such as frequency modulation, distortion, and filtering to further shape the sound.


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[00:00.000 --> 00:06.000] This is the frequency shifter of Bittic Studio and it only shifts the frequencies, not the pitch.
[00:06.000 --> 00:11.000] So you can decide with the big knob in which direction you want to shift.
[00:11.000 --> 00:16.000] So upwards or downwards by 100%, right?
[00:16.000 --> 00:20.000] And by how much, you can change it with the range.
[00:20.000 --> 00:23.000] So you can type in your maybe 500 hertz.
[00:23.000 --> 00:31.000] And then you can decide I want to shift the frequencies up by 500 hertz here with the positive value of 100%.
[00:31.000 --> 00:36.000] Or you want to shift it downwards by 500 hertz with minus 100%.
[00:36.000 --> 00:41.000] So the shift knob is actually important in which direction you want to shift and how much.
[00:41.000 --> 00:48.000] And the range gives you exactly the feel by how many hertz you want to shift.
[00:48.000 --> 00:56.000] Then we have the left knob here, which is basically dials in the difference between the left and the right channel.
[00:56.000 --> 01:03.000] So you can shift upwards on the right side and slightly downwards on the left side,
[01:03.000 --> 01:07.000] which gives you some kind of stereo feel for the sound.
[01:07.000 --> 01:14.000] So when you dials in a bit slightly here on some drums, it gives you a nice stereo feel for the drums.
[01:14.000 --> 01:22.000] So this is basically just a slider or a knob for the difference between the left and the right channel shifting behavior.
[01:22.000 --> 01:28.000] Then we have the mix knob here, of course, where you can bring in the dry signal or the wet signal only
[01:28.000 --> 01:33.000] or just mix in both together for parallel processing if you want to do that.
[01:33.000 --> 01:36.000] And yeah, that's all about this device actually.
[01:36.000 --> 01:39.000] So I want to give you a small example how I use it.
[01:39.000 --> 01:42.000] I use it most of the times on drums.
[01:42.000 --> 01:49.000] Here I have a drum sound or snare sound, sounds like this.
[01:49.000 --> 01:53.000] And we can shift up here by maybe 600 hertz upwards, right?
[01:53.000 --> 01:58.000] It's 100% positive.
[01:58.000 --> 02:08.000] It sounds like this.
[02:08.000 --> 02:13.000] It can almost create some kind of bongo percussion sounds out of the snare.
[02:13.000 --> 02:29.000] You can also give the snares the right feel sometimes when you just pitch here by a small amount.
[02:29.000 --> 02:32.000] Sometimes for drums in drum bass, this is really helpful.
[02:32.000 --> 02:36.000] It gives the drums the right knock, the right feel.
[02:36.000 --> 02:39.000] And almost like in physicality.
[02:39.000 --> 02:42.000] It sounds like physical, like real.
[02:42.000 --> 02:43.000] It's hard to describe.
[02:43.000 --> 02:51.000] It's something exactly like the comp filter does in the last tutorial on the last video
[02:51.000 --> 02:55.000] and where it gives the sound some kind of physicality to it.
[02:55.000 --> 02:58.000] At least that's how it sounds to me.
[02:58.000 --> 03:08.000] And then with the left knob you can bring in a bit of stereo, nas, stereo widening.
[03:08.000 --> 03:20.000] And then maybe you shift this up a bit more and bring in the dry signal.
[03:20.000 --> 03:28.000] And sometimes you can create some kind of nice top layer to the bottom end of the snare sound with this.
[03:28.000 --> 03:31.000] It's also nice.
[03:31.000 --> 03:39.000] And if you go into the near range of the original signal, you can almost hear this kind of flanging effect
[03:39.000 --> 03:45.000] because it's too samey.
[03:45.000 --> 03:48.000] Right, you get this phasing effect.
[03:48.000 --> 03:58.000] I think the pitch shifter is actually implemented like a ring modulator or some kind of amplitude modulation.
[03:58.000 --> 04:02.000] But I'm not really sure how it's made, to be honest.
[04:02.000 --> 04:05.000] I also want to give you an example on a kick drum.
[04:05.000 --> 04:08.000] It's also how I use it most of the times.
[04:08.000 --> 04:16.000] So when you have a kick drum here, like this, and you split it into two frequency bands,
[04:16.000 --> 04:19.000] like a low end here and the high end,
[04:19.000 --> 04:26.000] in the top end you maybe want to cut here something out.
[04:26.000 --> 04:32.000] So basically cut out here all the mid part of the kick drum.
[04:32.000 --> 04:43.000] And then you bring in a pitch shifter on that.
[04:43.000 --> 04:47.000] Right, you can decide.
[04:47.000 --> 04:53.000] Or you can bring in some variety to the top end without actually changing the whole kick drum
[04:53.000 --> 04:55.000] or frequency shift the whole kick drum.
[04:55.000 --> 04:57.000] So the bottom stays the same.
[04:57.000 --> 05:00.000] Your only frequency shift basically the top end.
[05:00.000 --> 05:03.000] And this is sometimes really nice.
[05:03.000 --> 05:10.000] Also you have to bring in the stereo effect a bit more only on the top end, on the knock.
[05:10.000 --> 05:17.000] And maybe here the distortion at the end to bring it out a bit more.
[05:17.000 --> 05:22.000] So sometimes when you do some house music or techno music,
[05:22.000 --> 05:31.000] it's actually nice to have some kind of influence on how the knock sounds.
[05:31.000 --> 05:38.000] Not too much.
[05:38.000 --> 05:45.000] Instead of this, get this.
[05:45.000 --> 05:49.000] So it's sometimes a nice effect to use on drums.
[05:49.000 --> 06:09.000] On tonal sounds I actually haven't found it that much useful, but you can try it out.