Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Chords Sampling Tutorial Synths Melodies

Creating Chord Progressions and Melodies with Diatonic Transposition in Bitwig

Tutorial | Jul 07, 2019

In this video, I talk about a diatonic transposer that can be used in Bitwig to create chord progressions. By using the diatonic transposer, you can correct wrong notes to the right notes of a scale, making it easier to create chord progressions that stay within a specific scale. I demonstrate how to use the diatonic transposer in Bitwig by choosing a scale and mode, and then using the multi-note function to duplicate the notes to different keys. This allows you to easily find starting chord progressions. I also show how to use the diatonic transposer with an arpeggiator to experiment with chord changes, and how to use it with a bassline by using the note receiver and the arpeggiator. Additionally, I introduce the plugin "Gathulu" which allows you to choose specific notes from a chord to create melody lines. I explain that while diatonic chords can be a good starting point, it's important to break out of the diatonic scale scheme at times to add variation and interest to your compositions. I hope this tutorial provides some ideas for creating interesting melody lines and chord progressions, and I encourage viewers to comment with any questions or tutorial requests.

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Questions & Answers

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

1. What is the diatonic transposer in Bitwig?

The diatonic transposer in Bitwig is a tool that corrects wrong notes to the right notes of a chosen scale. It ensures that any input or note played is automatically adjusted to fit within the selected scale. This feature is useful for individuals who may not have a strong knowledge of music theory or struggle with playing the correct notes on a keyboard. By using the diatonic transposer, users can effortlessly create chord progressions that are consistently in tune and follow a specific scale.

2. How can the diatonic transposer be used to create chord progressions?

To create chord progressions using the diatonic transposer, you first need to add an instrument, such as Puliscent, to generate a sound. Then, place the diatonic transposer in front of the instrument. Within the diatonic transposer, select the desired scale and mode option. For example, you can choose the key of A and the minor mode. By enabling the "constrain mode," any incorrect notes played will be automatically adjusted to the correct notes within the chosen scale. This allows users to play any note on the keyboard, knowing that it will always be in harmony with the selected scale.

3. How can the multi-note function enhance the chord creation process?

The multi-note function complements the diatonic transposer by simplifying the chord creation process. Instead of manually selecting and placing individual notes, users can use the multi-note function to duplicate notes at specific intervals above the root note. For instance, by setting the semitone intervals to three and seven, the multi-note function will duplicate the root note three semitones higher and seven semitones higher. This feature offers a convenient way to quickly construct chord progressions by only needing to input a single note, while the multi-note function automatically adds the additional notes within the chosen scale.

4. How can other devices, such as note receivers and arpeggiators, be used in conjunction with the diatonic transposer?

Other devices, such as note receivers and arpeggiators, can be utilized alongside the diatonic transposer to further enhance chord progressions and create interesting melodies. By using a note receiver after the diatonic transposer and connecting it to another instrument, users can transmit the corrected notes from the diatonic transposer onto a separate track. This allows for the simultaneous generation of different sounds and harmonies based on the same chord progression.

Additionally, arpeggiators can be employed to create melodic sequences based on the input chords. By linking the diatonic transposer, note receiver, and arpeggiator together, users can experiment with different arpeggiation modes and settings to generate captivating melodies or basslines. These devices enable users to explore different musical possibilities and add variety to their compositions.


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. I have a new t-shirt by Intimate Noise. They make samples, pretty
[00:00:06] nice samples, and you can visit the website. I put a link in the description so you can
[00:00:11] download some nice samples for your productions. And yeah, but you can see we have a different
[00:00:19] viewpoint to my room here because I am currently in the midst of transitioning from the Mac
[00:00:26] to the PC. I had currently running a dual setup where I have a PC for gaming because
[00:00:33] you can't game on a Mac. That's a fact. And I'm using my Mac for coding work and for making
[00:00:41] music, cutting videos, and so on. But this Mac is pretty old now, 10 years or so, and
[00:00:50] I also have a cinema display and there's an eyesight in this cinema display and I'm using
[00:00:56] it for making my tutorials on YouTube. But I currently have a new screen, but there is
[00:01:04] no cam inside so I have to buy a new nice camera. And the benefit of this is basically
[00:01:13] I can move the camera around. And if you have some tips for nice webcams you like, then
[00:01:19] yeah, put it in the description. I'm happy about that. Yeah, in this video I want to
[00:01:27] talk about the diatronic transposal because Tropical Nation, a guy or a user of the Bitwig
[00:01:33] Discord asked how you can create some sort of a chord device. And he showed me a video
[00:01:41] tutorial from a guy in Ableton Live. And this guy used the transition map to basically correct
[00:01:48] chords to a scale. And he asked how you can do that in Bitwig. And I said just use the
[00:01:56] diatronic transposal because it's the same thing. It corrects wrong notes to the right
[00:02:06] notes of a scale. So you choose a scale and then the transposal will correct the notes.
[00:02:13] So the first thing we have to add is of course in Puliscent to have some kind of sound. And
[00:02:34] in front of the Puliscent we're using now the diatronic transposal. And we choose our
[00:02:40] scale which is A. And then we choose a mode which is minor. And we keep the constrain
[00:02:48] mode active. This means a wrong input or a note out of the scale will be corrected or
[00:02:56] shifted to a different note which is in the scale. So we can't press a wrong note. This
[00:03:12] means we can play each note on the keyboard and are always in the scale which is pretty
[00:03:19] fun if you can't play keyboard. And also this means we can now lay down some chords. Okay.
[00:03:48] If we turn this diatronic transposal off. So we have always diatronic chords. Diatronic
[00:04:12] means that all notes are in a scale. And you can see we have now three notes here and we
[00:04:24] can make our life pretty easy when we choose the multi-note in front of the diatronic transposal.
[00:04:32] And instead of choosing a root which is zero and one, two, three, four, five, six choose
[00:04:43] the notes or a play. Paint in the notes manually. We can now use this here and delete these
[00:04:51] keys and have the same effect because the multi-note will duplicate the notes to different
[00:05:01] keys. So we have three semitones above the root and seven semitones above the root note.
[00:05:07] And the root note is A. And now we can just choose one note.
[00:05:31] So this is a pretty easy way to find starting chord progressions. Of course diatronic chords
[00:05:57] are maybe a bit boring in the long run. But for the start, if you want to lay down a rough
[00:06:06] draft for your chord progression, it's a pretty easy way to find the right chords. And of
[00:06:13] course you can then start and maybe record from a polyscent multi-note tritronic transposal.
[00:06:39] You can of course record that as you can see and then you can make some changes. Also an
[00:06:52] instrument here. And spicen up some things or add some additional notes or try some different
[00:07:08] stuff. And so you can use this to make some drafts. Then you can record the chord progression,
[00:07:17] make some changes and then you can bounce it down to audio at the end. And it's a pretty
[00:07:23] easy start and a pretty easy setup to do in Bitwig. And what you also can do is use here
[00:07:33] one of the note receivers and just choose our first track. After the diatronic transposals
[00:07:44] we get the correct notes on this track here. Add an arpeggiator, add one polyscent again
[00:07:56] and maybe some delay. And you can experiment with chord changes.
[00:08:19] Or add some unusual changes.
[00:08:46] And there's also one tip for basslines which I sometimes used. I'll just use this note
[00:09:13] receiver here and use the arpeggiator again. Choose this mode. So we have no arpeggiated
[00:09:34] chords. But this time we go to the settings of the polyscent and choose just mono mode.
[00:09:41] So this synth can only play one note at a time. And now this one has a problem because
[00:09:48] we input chords. So multiple notes. And most of the times the synth is choosing the root
[00:09:56] note or the first note.
[00:10:18] So you can use this maybe for basslines when you just need one note of the chord progression
[00:10:37] or of the chord, of the currently played chord. And you just won't have the root note as the
[00:10:43] bass note. And there is a better way which is called "Gathulu". Let's find this. Which
[00:10:56] is in plug-in by X-Fare. And as you can see this is also an arpeggiator. But in this arpeggiator
[00:11:08] you can also choose the note you want to have from the input chord. So when you have a chord
[00:11:14] going into this plug-in, so three notes at the same time, you can say "Oh, just give
[00:11:20] me the bottom one, the bottom note of this chord progression". And now it's crashed.
[00:11:31] Something like this. And you can then make alterations.
[00:12:01] So this is a pretty easy way of creating interesting melody lines also. So for instance if you
[00:12:10] don't want to have a bass like I have here with all the bottom notes, you can say "Oh,
[00:12:17] just make a melody line out of it".
[00:12:25] Maybe add some bit of two layers.
[00:12:43] So now you basically created the melody from the chord notes you created in the first track.
[00:13:10] You can basically create a whole melody base and chord arrangement just with the multi-note
[00:13:21] diatronic transposer and note receiver to get the notes on different tracks. Then use
[00:13:30] "Gathulu" or the "Appreciator" to just create melody lines or bass lines. And then when
[00:13:38] you're done and you found your idea or the vibe you're looking for, then you just bounce
[00:13:44] everything down to audio or to notes or to MIDI and use it that way.
[00:13:53] But as you can see, this is a very simple melody.
[00:14:03] But as you can hear, it sounds nice. But if you do this all the time, it gets boring after
[00:14:29] while choosing only diatronic chords. Sometimes you want to break out of the diatronic scale
[00:14:37] scheme and maybe you choose different modes here like Lydian or Phrygian. Or just modulate
[00:14:47] this button here. Just switch from minor to major at some point in your chord progression.
[00:14:54] This will spicen up some things. I hope I gave you enough ideas to create interesting melody
[00:15:03] lines and chord progressions. I think I also made this tutorial some years back but without
[00:15:09] talking over the video. I hope this is enough to bring you the idea across.
[00:15:19] So thanks for watching. Comment me in the comments if you have some questions about it or if you
[00:15:25] want to see some different tutorials about different topics. Let me know and I'll see you in the next video.
[00:15:33] Thank you for watching and bye.
[00:15:36] [Music]