Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Audio-FX Grid Automation Delay-plus Modulators

Automating Drum Loops with Bitwig Studio's FX Grid

Tutorial | Aug 03, 2020

In this video, I showed how to use Bitwig Studio’s FX Grid to automate drum loop editing tasks. By using Merge modules, Value knobs, and synchronization devices, it’s possible to offset drum loops to different time ranges and add breakdowns and fill-ins with minimal effort. I also showed how to use a Mod Delay to switch between different signals, as well as how to automate using a Button and a Macro Knob.

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

Questions & Answers

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

How can I use Bitwig Studio’s FX Grid to automate drum loop edits?

You can use the FX Grid of Bitwig Studio to automate drum loop edits by using a Merge module and a Delay module to offset the audio input to specific time ranges. Additionally, you can use a Hold sample and Gate module to synchronize the signal to the BPM, and a Mod delay module to switch out the tri signal when the mod delay is playing.

What are some automation techniques I can use with FX Grid?

You can use automation techniques such as using macro knobs to modulate the value, using buttons to activate two states in the automation lane, and using select knobs to switch between the states.

How can I create useful patches in the FX Grid?

You don't need to have big patches to create something useful in the FX Grid. You can create useful patches by using small and straightforward techniques.

What code do I use to get a discount when purchasing Bitwig Studio?

You can use the code 'Polarity' in the shop to get a 10% discount on


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] If you use drum loops in your productions, then maybe you know the problem already.
[00:04.880] Some of these drum loops are pretty short and also pretty static.
[00:09.680] So you have to step in and it did them.
[00:12.480] Maybe add some breakdowns, maybe add some fill-ins, something like this.
[00:16.880] And in today's video, I want to show you how you can use the FX Grid of Bitwig Studio
[00:21.600] to automate such tasks.
[00:23.600] Use my code polarity in the shop to save 10% on the price and support my channel.
[00:34.800] So if you are an audio track inside Bitwig Studio and we have a circle break here,
[00:41.120] a classical break, and normally what you do is you make at the end here at some of these bars,
[00:51.920] maybe at the end of the fourth bar.
[00:54.480] You step in and basically cut something out or make some edits to him.
[00:59.440] Maybe you just double the snare or make this here a bit longer, some fill-ins.
[01:29.280] So some edits so that the drum loop is not so static anymore and has some kind of breakdowns here and there.
[01:39.520] So I want to show you how you can do this inside the grid to make this a bit more fun
[01:46.160] instead of just stepping in and doing this manually.
[01:49.920] And yeah, let's load up FX Grid here, FX Grid, there it is.
[01:58.800] And in the initial setting of FX Grid, we have basically an audio in and an audio out.
[02:04.480] And it's exactly what we need.
[02:05.760] So in this case, it sounds exactly as before.
[02:08.880] And now we use here a Merge module.
[02:18.080] And this one just takes two inputs here and gives us one output.
[02:22.560] Okay, so when we do this, it's exactly as the same before.
[02:27.200] But now we have a second input here we can switch to.
[02:30.560] And we switch to the second input by using for instance a value knob
[02:35.920] and connecting this here to the input.
[02:41.280] So now we can turn the value knob here and you can see we are slightly moving
[02:45.280] from one input to the second input.
[02:49.120] But that's not really what we want.
[02:50.800] We want to switch instantaneous to the second input.
[02:54.080] And we can do this by selecting here the Merge module and going to the left paneer
[02:59.200] and switch to interpolation nearest.
[03:01.600] Okay, so now you can see when we turn the value knob,
[03:04.480] we are switching at some point.
[03:08.080] In fact, it's 50% because we're having two inputs here at the moment.
[03:13.280] We're switching to the second input without a transition at all.
[03:18.480] And that's exactly what we want.
[03:20.560] And at the second input here, we are using an delay basically, a long delay.
[03:28.720] And the feature of the long delay is that you don't have a feedback.
[03:33.600] So it's basically just delaying the signal one time.
[03:37.920] So there's no feedback happening at all.
[03:40.240] So it doesn't sound like an echo.
[03:42.560] It's just one delay and with this delay, we can offset basically the input, the audio input
[03:50.400] to a specific point.
[03:53.760] So here we are using 16th notes and we are using two or three 16th notes.
[04:01.280] Okay, so now when we listen to the drum loop and
[04:05.600] switching it to the second input, we kind of hear some kind of change.
[04:24.720] Okay, so this is the first step.
[04:27.040] And we select the merge again and we go into the left pane here and just
[04:34.880] switching to three input ports or maybe four, just use four.
[04:38.960] And then we're duplicating here the long delay for the third input and also a long delay for the fourth input here.
[04:50.160] And now we can use different settings here for some of these delays.
[04:54.720] There we go for four and now we can try again.
[05:09.120] So now we can use this value knob to basically offset our
[05:14.880] yeah, offset our drum loop to specific time ranges.
[05:19.840] And that's okay, but the problem now is that we can't or we have to switch basically to the next input here on the grid on the beat grid.
[05:31.120] So it doesn't have to be or it doesn't should be instantaneous.
[05:36.480] We need to add some kind of synchronization device and that's pretty easy inside the grid.
[05:43.360] We just move here the value a bit to the side and then we're using and we are using a hold sample and hold.
[05:58.800] And we want to sample the value of our knob here at a certain point and then we are
[06:04.560] want to stop passing the signal to the much module here and we are using and gate
[06:14.240] a module here which gives us some kind of synchronization to the BPM we are currently having here.
[06:21.040] It's one of the 74 BPM. You can see here we are getting a static
[06:26.160] synchronization signal so maybe go down here to 4 and then we're sampling exactly in this rhythm of the
[06:37.920] skates module our value. So now when we switch here completely at random the switch should happen exactly on the beat grid.
[06:48.320] So let's try this.
[07:09.120] That's much better now. So now we can go in here or maybe just go back here to this one and
[07:15.840] here one macro knob so we can modulate this or automate this call it mod and just apply this here
[07:26.400] to this value. So now we can use this here in our automation lane just paint in some of these.
[07:56.640] So now we can also do some different automations at some points to our drum loop.
[08:14.640] We have to maybe try out different automations to make it sound better but it's much easier than
[08:31.360] just go in here and edit all these steps by hand. So I think using your automation and some delays
[08:40.320] it's sometimes a lot quicker maybe let's add here another fx grid device and this time we are
[09:02.400] using a mod delay because the mod delay has a feedback switch and this sounds like this.
[09:16.000] So we have the output of the mod delay or the feedback playing together with the input signal
[09:21.360] and what we want to do is we want to switch out the tri signal when the mod delay is playing in
[09:27.760] vice versa. So we're going straight forward here to a select knob and we are using a value again
[09:40.640] the switch between the states.
[09:48.240] So now we can switch off the tri signal when the mod delay is playing but still when we have
[09:54.720] here zero we have the mod delay and the tri signal playing so we're using a second selector for the
[10:02.400] end. Maybe going on to this. So now we need to pass here the original tri signal.
[10:15.920] So now we have the tri signal playing and maybe switch this on we have just the mod delay playing.
[10:31.840] So a small bit repeater and like in the other example we need to use the synchronization
[10:48.080] synchronization module and of course a sample and hold. So we use the gates module to sample
[10:57.520] the value which we call mod and now we can switch on the beat repeater exactly on the beat grid.
[11:20.240] And this time we create not a macro we use a button.
[11:23.360] And the button has a special feature in the automation lane and I'll show you this in a second.
[11:29.920] So let's call this here repeat and modulate this knob.
[11:36.640] Okay.
[11:45.760] If you want you can of course add a lot of macros and change your the mod delay settings if you
[11:50.560] want also here on the on the first grid you can also change some of the settings maybe on the fly
[11:57.200] but I just want to give you an idea of what you can do with just small patches here.
[12:03.120] So let's go in here now we're using the repeat.
[12:11.840] And now I can see because we are using a button we have just two states in the automation lane
[12:17.360] there's no in between states like here with the mod. You can see you can move between
[12:23.920] between 0 and 100% with the repeat button I just have one.
[12:29.520] Yeah, two states basically you can go in and create some notes.
[13:30.160] So again don't shy away from using the fx grid you don't need to have big patches to create
[13:52.080] something useful in the grid. So like I showed you all these patches are pretty small and use
[14:01.040] pretty straightforward techniques so use them. Thanks for watching this video if you liked the
[14:07.360] video and learned something new then please leave a like and also subscribe to the channel and
[14:12.080] maybe think about the subscription or one patch here and that's it for this video I see you in
[14:17.360] the next one thanks for watching and bye.