Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Note-FX Sampling Modulators Sound-Design Polyphonic

Unlocking New Possibilities: Bitwig Studio 3.2 Tips and Tricks for Polyphony, Layering, and Delay Effects

Tutorial | May 08, 2020

In this video, I share some tips and tricks for using Bitwig Studio 3.2. I show how to make monophonic synthesizers polyphonic using the instrument selector, how to use the resonator bank as a polyphonic synth, how to layer presets using the analogue lab and instrument selector, and how to introduce slight delays to each key press using note delay and a random modulator. I also show how to use the expression modulator to influence the strumming effect of the delayed notes. These features open up new possibilities in music production, and with the modularity of Bitwig Studio, you can find new solutions to many problems.

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Questions & Answers

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

1. What is the new feature of Bitwig Studio 3.2 that allows making monophonic synths polyphonic?

The new feature of Bitwig Studio 3.2 that allows making monophonic synths polyphonic is the instrument selector. By creating an instrument selector and duplicating a monophonic synth layer multiple times, each layer can serve as a new voice. By choosing the round robin mode, each time a new note is played, a different layer is triggered, resulting in polyphonic sound. All unused voices instantly go to sleep, making it easy on the CPU. However, when tweaking the settings of the synthesizer, all layers have to be adjusted, which can be time-consuming.

2. How can the resonator bank in Bitwig Studio become polyphonic?

To make the resonator bank in Bitwig Studio polyphonic, an instrument selector can be used. By duplicating a sampler layer multiple times and choosing the round robin mode, each layer gets its own pitch tracking and is assigned to a different voice. Each layer gets its own resonator bank, and the key tracking feature is used to shift the bands with the key tracking.

3. How can multiple sounds be combined to create a new big pad sound in Bitwig Studio?

Multiple sounds can be combined to create a new big pad sound in Bitwig Studio by using the instrument selector and duplicating an instance of an instrument, such as the analogue lap, for each layer. Choosing different presets for each layer and then combining them creates a layered sound, and pressing different keys on the keyboard layers the sounds in different timings with different notes or keys, resulting in a new big pad sound.

4. How can the Note Delay feature be used in Bitwig Studio 3.2 to create a strumming effect?

The Note Delay feature in Bitwig Studio 3.2 can be used to create a strumming effect by using a note FX selector and duplicating a layer multiple times. By changing the amount note for each layer, and choosing the round robin mode, each voice has slightly different amounts of delay, which creates a strumming effect. A diatonic transposer can also be used to change the key of the notes, and the expression feature can be used to change the amount of delay based on the velocity of the keys pressed on the keyboard.


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.

[00:00.000] Welcome to another Bitwix Studio 3.2 tips and tricks video where I show some things you
[00:07.000] can't do in other doors maybe and even in Bitwix Studio before 3.2.
[00:14.000] I want to give you some new inspiration to try out for the weekend so let's start.
[00:19.000] If you want to save some money on Bitwix Studio and the upgrade plans and you want to support my channel and my content,
[00:31.000] then go to my web page, use the link to the Bitwix store, use my code and save 10% on the regular price.
[00:39.000] So here in Bitwix Studio we have now loaded a native instrument synth called Monarch.
[00:47.000] And this synthesizer is Monophonic, this means you can only play one voice at a time.
[00:53.000] So when I press a chord here, only one note cuts through.
[01:00.000] So that's only one note you can play basically.
[01:04.000] Inside Bitwix Studio 3.2 you can make this polyphonic pretty easily.
[01:08.000] All you have to do is create an instrument, instrument selector in front.
[01:15.000] And then just drag in the synth here to one layer.
[01:19.000] And then we duplicate this layer multiple times.
[01:22.000] And I use the key command here, control and D.
[01:27.000] And I do this multiple times.
[01:33.000] So and each of these layers is now our, is basically a voice, a new voice.
[01:40.000] And to use this we select this device here and choose round robin.
[01:45.000] And if you look to the help menu here, round robin says new note triggers the next layer.
[01:51.000] So every time I press a key now, we switch to a different layer and to a different instance.
[01:58.000] But the feature of this is also that you can hold the notes.
[02:03.000] So when I hold the note and press a new note, the old layer still plays the note or the voice
[02:09.000] and switches to the next layer.
[02:16.000] And now it's monophonic.
[02:18.000] And all these layers are basically your new voices.
[02:22.000] And you can create as many voices as you want because all unused voices go instantly to sleep.
[02:29.000] So it's easy on your CPU.
[02:32.000] And yeah, it's a neat little trick with the instrument selector.
[02:35.000] It also works, I think, with the three voice mode here or with the random mode.
[02:40.000] The only drawback is that when you want to tweak the synthesizer itself,
[02:47.000] you have to make all the adjustments to all layers.
[02:50.000] And a trick to that is that you just delete all layers basically.
[02:55.000] Make the tweak to one layer.
[02:59.000] And then just when you are done, then it up again.
[03:04.000] Because when you're just duplicating this layer here, all the settings are taken,
[03:09.000] are duplicated also.
[03:12.000] So this is a small trick for Bitwig Studio 3.2.
[03:17.000] It's only possible in this new version and to make stuff polyphonic.
[03:24.000] So now that we know that we can make something polyphonic,
[03:29.000] we can also make some devices of Bitwig Studio itself polyphonic.
[03:34.000] So for instance, here I'm using a noise sample.
[03:39.000] I drag this in and I have a new sampler.
[03:41.000] And this is how it sounds.
[03:44.000] So it's just a noise snare or something like this.
[03:49.000] Maybe we turn here on the looping.
[03:55.000] And there's of course the resonator bank here.
[04:00.000] And one special feature of the resonator bank is that it has a key tracking on it.
[04:07.000] Because now we can dial in here some bands.
[04:27.000] Okay, so it switches basically the bands or it offsets or shifts the bands with the key tracking.
[04:35.000] When I'm changing my key on the keyboard, it also changes here the frequencies.
[04:40.000] But the drawback is it's only monophonic so I can't play chords.
[04:48.000] But with the instrument selector now we can do this.
[04:51.000] We can just drag in here the sampler and just duplicate it multiple times.
[04:57.000] Go to round robin here and now we can play it.
[05:10.000] We can play it in a polyphonic kind of way.
[05:14.000] And because every layer has its own resonator bank,
[05:18.000] each layer also gets its own note for its own voice handling.
[05:23.000] And then you have of course your key tracking used.
[05:28.000] And so every voice has its own pitch tracking basically.
[05:34.000] So we can use the resonator bank with an instrument inside the instrument selector and have polyphonic usage.
[05:41.000] Or can use it as a polyphonic synth.
[05:44.000] How great is that?
[05:46.000] So for the next tip, I'm using a VST again and at first I'm using an instrument selector.
[05:55.000] In this one I'm using analogue lap 4.
[06:04.000] And this is basically a browser for all the autoria plug-ins or presets.
[06:09.000] And I'm going straight for pads here and I'm searching for nice pad sounds.
[06:21.000] Ah, something like this.
[06:23.000] And then we just duplicating this.
[06:25.000] Loading a new instance of analogue lap.
[06:27.000] Go into analogue lap and choose a different preset.
[06:38.000] Go here to round, drop in.
[06:45.000] Again duplicating this.
[06:49.000] So we have, so that we have multiple sounds we can play.
[07:00.000] And then you can combine everything to basically one big pad sound.
[07:15.000] It's like layering.
[07:17.000] It's like layering multiple sounds but every layer has its own key on the keyboard.
[07:24.000] Or it's in a different key basically.
[07:27.000] Okay, let's go for this pad here.
[07:33.000] So now we have four layers.
[07:36.000] Let's play this.
[07:45.000] I think the last one is not.
[07:49.000] Let's go to this.
[08:15.000] Okay, so let's add a big amount of reverb so we can push everything together.
[08:45.000] So depending on how you press the keys and when you press it, you basically layer all
[08:59.000] these sounds in different timings with different notes or in different keys together.
[09:04.000] And this gives some nice textures and new sounds you can create from old presets, which is nice.
[09:13.000] So for the next tip, I'm using here this piano by Spitfire Audio.
[09:17.000] It's called Felt Piano.
[09:22.000] So just a regular piano.
[09:24.000] And with Bitwix Studio 3.2, we have now this new device called Note Delay.
[09:31.000] And all it does is basically just delays your trigger on the keyboard for a certain amount of time.
[09:37.000] So when I press it here, I just need some time before the piano plays the note.
[09:43.000] And when you hit this button, you have milliseconds.
[09:47.000] Okay, so this is basically nothing you can.
[09:53.000] So there's no delay basically for your brain happening because it's too short.
[09:57.000] It's 10 milliseconds or so.
[10:00.000] But what you can do now is you can use your random modulator, go to maybe...
[10:09.000] Yeah, let's go with this.
[10:11.000] Go to note every time you press a note, basically the parameter changes.
[10:15.000] I go here to pretty high or low value.
[10:23.000] And then I increase the other amount, maybe 2-1.
[10:36.000] And every time I press the key, the delay is different.
[10:41.000] And when I go here with the amount to 0, it's back to the 4, so there's no delay.
[10:47.000] So with this amount, no PR can basically decide between note delay and a big random amount of delay.
[10:58.000] And this is nice.
[11:00.000] And all I have to do now is to use a Note FX selector.
[11:07.000] It looks like this, exactly like the instrument selector before, and we drag this in.
[11:13.000] And now we're creating here a macro.
[11:17.000] And we choose to modulate with this macro, basically the amount of the random.
[11:24.000] So we can change this from our Note FX selector.
[11:28.000] So just close this down.
[11:31.000] And we have no one layer.
[11:32.000] And all we have to do now is duplicate this layer multiple times.
[11:36.000] And with this amount note, we can now change the amount here for every layer we just duplicated, because we just duplicated.
[11:45.000] And when you go here to round robin, you guessed it.
[11:48.000] You can now press multiple notes with no delay, but when you raise this amount here.
[12:02.000] If multiple layers or multiple voices with slightly different amounts of delay, which kind of sounds like an strumming effect.
[12:15.000] Okay.
[12:16.000] So if you're not able to play the piano very well, you can introduce here some slight delays to each note.
[12:28.000] Which also brings me to the point that you can now use the multi note here.
[12:34.000] Where we just create multiple, multiple pitches.
[12:44.000] So something like this, now you have to press only one key to create multiple keys.
[12:50.000] And the Note FX selector will basically delays every voice slightly.
[13:01.000] I'll use a diatonic transposer and go to D sharp minor.
[13:24.000] Sounds okay to me. And what you can do now is you can use the expression, what you'll add as I showed you in my last video, I think.
[13:33.000] And use the velocity here to change the amount of this.
[13:37.000] And what this means now is when you press the key pretty hard, you have no delay.
[13:45.000] Okay. All keys basically at the same time.
[13:50.000] But when you play it slow.
[14:00.000] So you can influence the strumming effect by how hard you press the keys on the keyboard.
[14:07.000] And as you just saw, just a small little feature added to Bitwig opens up a new field of possibilities for you to explore.
[14:15.000] You can find new solutions to all problems basically just because of the modularity of Bitwig Studio.
[14:23.000] So yeah, thanks for watching this video.
[14:25.000] If you have some feedback, please leave it in the comments below.
[14:28.000] Subscribe to the channel, leave a like if you liked the video.
[14:31.000] And maybe think about the subscription over on Patreon.
[14:34.000] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. Bye.