Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Generative Sampling Plugins Sound-Design Tutorial

Pitch Tracking and Manipulation in Bitwig Studio: Creating Unique Sounds with Zero Crossings and Voice Triggers

Tutorial | Jul 01, 2019

In this video, I explore using the zero crossings module in Bitwig Studio to change the pitch of a sine oscillator. I demonstrate how to set up the pulley grid and select the microphone input as the hardware input. To clean up the signal and make the pitch changes smoother, I use an LFO device. I also show how to trigger the gate signal using voice input from the microphone. I use a select module and a constant with a gain to achieve this. I discuss the concept of an inverted threshold and mention that using a gate length module can slow down the switching of the select box. Finally, I mention the possibility of using pitch scalar plugins for pitch quantization and the potential for creating pads and vocal sounds with these techniques.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:


1. What is the purpose of the zero crossings module?

The zero crossings module is used to measure the distance between the zero crossings of a signal and provide a rough estimation of the pitch or pitch information. It can be used to change the pitch of an oscillator or track the pitch of a sound input.

2. How can the signal from a microphone be used to change the pitch of an oscillator?

By using the zero crossings module, the pitch information from the microphone can be used to change the pitch of an oscillator. The microphone input is selected as the hardware input, and the pitch information is used to modulate the pitch of the oscillator. This allows for real-time control of the oscillator's pitch based on the input from the microphone.

3. How can the noise and overtones in the microphone signal be reduced for more accurate pitch detection?

To reduce the noise and overtones in the microphone signal for more accurate pitch detection, the signal from the zero crossings module can be passed through an LAC (Low-Frequency Automatic Control) device. This device helps to smoothen out the signal and reduce rapid changes in pitch. It improves the accuracy and stability of the pitch detection.

4. How can the gate signal be triggered by the microphone input instead of the keyboard?

To trigger the gate signal using the microphone input instead of the keyboard, a select module and a constant module are used. The select module is set to switch to the bottom path when triggered by a signal. The constant module is set to a value of one and connected to the bottom path of the select module. By adjusting the gain of the microphone input, the select module is triggered and the gate signal is opened. This allows for voice triggering of the gate signal and eliminates the need for keyboard input.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00:00] Hey, welcome back to another video here on this channel.
[00:00:03] And this time I want to come back to my last video
[00:00:05] where I tried to use the zero crossings module
[00:00:10] to pitch track or to change the pitch of an oscillator.
[00:00:14] And we have this pulley grid here already set up.
[00:00:18] And this time I am changing the triangle
[00:00:20] to a sine oscillator.
[00:00:23] And what we do now is use the zero crossings module,
[00:00:27] which basically picks up sound
[00:00:32] and measure the distance between the zero crossings
[00:00:35] of each signal and outputs a rough estimation
[00:00:39] of the pitch or a pitch information.
[00:00:42] And as you can see, we can completely use
[00:00:45] this pitch information to change the pitch
[00:00:47] of the sine oscillator here.
[00:00:49] And I need to turn off the pre-chord here
[00:00:52] so we don't use the pitch information from my keyboard
[00:00:56] and turn this up.
[00:00:57] And of course we need an hardware input
[00:01:00] and we select our microphone here.
[00:01:06] So let's use this.
[00:01:08] And you can't hear a sound because we have an envelope here
[00:01:12] and this envelope is gating the signal.
[00:01:14] And to open the gate, we need to press a key on the keyboard.
[00:01:19] And every time I press the key on the keyboard,
[00:01:21] we have the oscillator going through
[00:01:23] and the pitch information is coming from my microphone.
[00:01:28] So this sounds a bit weird,
[00:01:29] but we need to narrow down the signal of the zero crossings
[00:01:35] because when you have a microphone,
[00:01:36] you have a lot of noise flow
[00:01:37] and you have a lot of overtones.
[00:01:40] And that's basically bad for measuring the zero crossings.
[00:01:45] So let's go up here a bit with the lower frequency
[00:01:49] and turn down the upper frequency a bit.
[00:01:52] And you can hear it's much cleaner now.
[00:01:55] The pitch is not changing so often.
[00:01:57] It doesn't sound like a robot, right?
[00:02:00] So now to make this more clean,
[00:02:04] you have to use something like an LAC device
[00:02:07] after the pitch calculation
[00:02:12] to basically smoothen out the signal.
[00:02:18] And as you can hear, it's much more,
[00:02:23] the pitch is changing much slower.
[00:02:25] (
[00:02:32] (
[00:02:33] So it's much better, right?
[00:02:43] And the next problem is that we also have to press a key
[00:02:47] on the keyboard to trigger the gate signal here,
[00:02:51] but we can change this also
[00:02:55] so that when the microphone input
[00:02:59] or we speak something into the microphone,
[00:03:02] the gate is, or the sound is triggering this envelope here.
[00:03:07] And I use a select module for that and the constant.
[00:03:12] And the constant is exactly one.
[00:03:16] And we go into the bottom path here.
[00:03:20] And you can see by default,
[00:03:21] it's always the first or the top path is selected.
[00:03:26] And we need to trigger with the signal here
[00:03:28] to change the path to the bottom one.
[00:03:31] And with this, I'm going out to the envelope
[00:03:35] and turn this off.
[00:03:37] And what I want to do now is to trigger the select module here
[00:03:43] to change the path to the bottom one.
[00:03:46] And then we have the signal of one
[00:03:48] going to the gate input check here.
[00:03:54] And we need to trigger this here.
[00:03:58] And we can use this with,
[00:03:59] or we can trigger this with our voice.
[00:04:01] And you can see it's not working at the moment
[00:04:04] because my voice is still too loud
[00:04:06] because there is a threshold already integrated.
[00:04:10] We need to pass a certain amount of loudness
[00:04:13] to actually trigger this.
[00:04:15] And instead of building a threshold
[00:04:19] where we're lowering the line,
[00:04:21] we just raising our volume of the microphone.
[00:04:27] And I need to use this with a gain like this.
[00:04:34] And when we turn this up here, you can see
[00:04:37] it's starting to trigger the select box or select module.
[00:04:42] And also our envelope module.
[00:04:45] Okay.
[00:04:46] And that's kind of an inverted threshold.
[00:04:50] If you think about it, it's a threshold,
[00:04:52] but we built it basically inverted, but it's working.
[00:04:56] And our problem now is that this select box here
[00:05:02] is switching pretty fast.
[00:05:04] And you can change this with a gate length module
[00:05:10] where we can change how long the signals actually hold.
[00:05:15] So when we speak, it's not changing so fast.
[00:05:21] It still stays on the lower path.
[00:05:39] So pretty nice voice trigger at gate
[00:05:44] and pitch tracking device.
[00:05:47] And I think there is still a better way of doing this.
[00:05:53] Maybe you can come up with a better idea,
[00:05:56] but this is, I think the simplest way of doing this.
[00:06:01] Maybe you can completely get rid of this here
[00:06:06] and just go still in there
[00:06:09] and yeah, maybe use the gate length.
[00:06:14] Maybe this is working too.
[00:06:15] Yeah, this should work too.
[00:06:19] This is just much more simpler.
[00:06:22] And yeah, it works pretty okay-ish.
[00:06:27] You can hear we have still some anomalies.
[00:06:31] So it's freaking out sometimes
[00:06:35] when you hit the microphone weird
[00:06:38] or have some plops with your mouth,
[00:06:40] but it's works pretty okay-ish.
[00:06:44] So the next thing we can do is use one
[00:06:47] of the nice pitch scalar plugins here,
[00:06:51] or pitch quantize, and we can put it after the lag device
[00:06:58] and we can choose now some nodes we want to have
[00:07:03] to use for pitch tracking
[00:07:06] and the ones we don't need, we can just leave it out.
[00:07:10] And now we can have basically a pitch tracked
[00:07:15] and pitch quantized oscillator sound.
[00:07:31] And yeah, you can basically do a lot of nice stuff with this
[00:07:36] or with your mouth and create some melodies, sing some pads.
[00:07:42] And with the trick for my last video,
[00:07:47] you can create interesting soundscapes.
[00:07:50] And yeah, I don't know if I have to put this
[00:07:55] into my guitar repository.
[00:07:57] You can still build it after my YouTube tutorial,
[00:08:00] just a bunch of modules, it's not much,
[00:08:02] so you can create it for yourself, I think.
[00:08:05] And yeah, I want to close down this video at this point.
[00:08:10] And I think in the next video,
[00:08:13] I'm going to show you how you can create pads
[00:08:16] with these two tricks combined
[00:08:20] with the last video and this video,
[00:08:22] because I already created some nice vocal pads with this.
[00:08:27] You can sample this and put it into the sampler,
[00:08:30] use multiple voices with the voice tags,
[00:08:33] and you can create so much nice sounds
[00:08:38] and presets for yourself.
[00:08:40] You don't even have to download expensive packs
[00:08:44] or new synths or some kind of new stuff
[00:08:47] that comes out every day.
[00:08:50] You have so much room and possibilities inside Bitwig
[00:08:54] with some modules just combined in the right way.
[00:08:58] It's still mind blowing for me
[00:09:00] after all those years with Bitwig.
[00:09:03] So I want to encourage you just try out stuff,
[00:09:08] track in modules, and yeah, just keep on creating stuff.
[00:09:14] And with these words, I want to close down this video
[00:09:18] and I hope to see you soon in the next one.
[00:09:21] Bye.
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