Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Generative Plugins Modulators Percussion Tutorial

Creating Minimal Percussion Loops with Bitwig Studio

Tutorial | Aug 31, 2020

In this video, I showed how you can create small percussion loops in Bitwig Studio without using any samples. I demonstrated how to use the e-tom device in combination with the polygrid and instrument selector to create interesting percussion patterns. I also showed how to use the dice and button modulators to randomly modulate the parameters of the e-tom device. Finally, I showed how to use the arpeggiator and round robin to create complex percussion patterns.

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Questions & Answers

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

What is Bitwig Studio?

Bitwig Studio is a music production software that allows you to compose and mix your own music. It is designed for both professional and amateur producers and comes with a wide range of features such as virtual instruments, effects, automation, and more.

How can I create percussion loops with Bitwig Studio?

You can create percussion loops with Bitwig Studio by using the e-kick and e-tom devices. You can modulate the parameters of the e-tom device with a Poly-Grid and add dice devices to create different sounds. You can also use an instrument selector and a button modulator to generate new sounds.

What is a Poly-Grid?

A Poly-Grid is a device found in Bitwig Studio that allows you to modulate the parameters of a sound. It is used to create different sounds and textures for your music. You can use it to control the pitch, amplitude, and other parameters of the sound.

How do I save my percussion loops?

To save your percussion loops, you can use the bounce to post-fader feature in Bitwig Studio. You can also save your presets


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 back to another video. Today I want to show you how you can create small little percussion
[00:05.280] loops with Bitwig Studio without using any samples. Just a bit of crit magic for your
[00:11.760] techno tracks or minimal tracks, something like along those lines. So I want to show you how this
[00:18.000] works and let's start.
[00:19.600] Use my code polarity in the shop to save 10% on the price and support my channel. We actually need
[00:31.440] some kind of kick drum. So I load here the e-kick of Bitwig Studio. Maybe I resize the interface a
[00:39.760] little bit so you can see it better. And maybe lay down here some kicks.
[00:44.720] Just to have some kind of rhythm.
[00:56.960] Okay, so let's imagine you need a lot of percussion and usually go into your sample library
[01:03.440] and load up a lot of different percussion sounds and then you kind of place them on the arranger.
[01:09.680] And I want to show you how you can do this with the Bitwig internal device. So we can use
[01:15.600] here the e-tom device which gives you some kind of, yeah, tom. And you can tweak it here to your liking.
[01:26.320] Maybe a turn on my keyboard. So let's try this.
[01:31.920] So you can tune it. Consider the pitch modulation.
[01:46.320] And that's all nice. But even nicer is that you can use the Poly-Grid.
[01:53.920] And then use the e-tom and put it into the FX slot. Yeah, maybe delete the grid out.
[02:03.680] Yeah, you have basically Poly-Grid in the FX section. You have now the e-tom device.
[02:09.120] And what you can do is you can modulate all these parameters here. So let's set them to zero.
[02:14.160] Maybe this or maybe let's go to this. All to zero. And then you add a lot of dice devices here.
[02:27.680] And maybe a button. So if you like this, connect these two. And then you need at least one modulator out here.
[02:36.480] And then you can modulate all the parameters of the e-tom device. So let's, for instance,
[02:48.240] like this, a tune. And maybe a decay. Also the amount. And maybe we can also change here the decay.
[03:07.040] Then connect all these dices here with the button. And when you press the button here,
[03:13.520] you get a lot of different sounds. So when you lay down here all these.
[03:33.600] So maybe let's remove here the decay a little bit or at least narrow down the range of the decay
[03:42.720] modulation here. So now you have can by just pressing this button, you get different percussion sounds.
[03:50.320] And we can use a button modulate with this button, this button inside the grid. And call this
[03:57.840] generate. Now we can modulate a new tom sound by just pushing this button here.
[04:14.320] Okay. So now that we have this, we can remove here all the nodes and just use one node.
[04:22.240] And use an arpeggiator in front of this polygrid.
[04:34.800] Okay. So now we have a rhythm with some different drum sounds. We can change by pressing this button.
[04:41.840] And what we do now is we use an instrument selector, this should do it, instrument selector. And then
[04:53.120] we just put this polygrid into this selector here. So we have one layer. And what we do now is we use
[05:00.880] again a button modulator here in front of the instrument selector and modulator generate button of
[05:08.480] this one layer. And we also call it maybe global generate. So feel like this. And then we can just
[05:20.640] duplicate this track here four times or this layer four times and select the instrument selector
[05:27.440] itself and switch it to round robin. And we press here the GI generate. And what it does is
[05:36.000] basically you generate a different sound for each layer here because it's all random, right?
[05:40.480] We have now multiple polygrid devices here. Every polygrid device has its own dice,
[05:47.200] which got which got triggered. And then we have multiple different sounds on each layer. And
[05:53.520] the sounds like this. And then you can use the bass drum here again.
[06:12.640] Okay. And when you remove certain layers here for instance this one you have only three. Then you
[06:18.080] have a, yeah, a pattern of three different sounds repeating which gives you some kind of
[06:23.760] bully rhythm because three is not even. Or I can use a five. Just also possible.
[06:37.200] Okay. When you have this you can duplicate this and have then two different selectors here
[06:48.160] or two tracks of these and then you can combine maybe six pattern steps with three pattern steps here.
[06:55.760] And you get kind of interesting, yeah, patterns with different percussion sounds. You can
[07:11.440] even develop this even more by just adding, yeah, effects, clippers and distortion effect and
[07:20.560] modulate or randomly change these sounds by pressing this button. So you get a lot of
[07:27.680] interesting techno percussions this way, right?
[07:37.200] You can also use this or can use the head device or modulate all the parameters. In fact,
[07:50.960] we can do this right now because it's my video and I can do what I want. So polygrid
[07:59.440] put this in here delete and grid node out because I don't need it to put all the parameters
[08:04.560] here to zero so we can modulate it easily. Maybe also this, this is good, maybe go to
[08:12.400] 30. Okay. So let's use a button here. Let's use a dice and let's use a modulator
[08:23.600] and then modulate all these parameters.
[08:44.080] It's a bit of rock but you can save this as a preset of course and recall it every time you need it
[08:50.640] to make some interesting sounds quick. So let's try this for the start to connect these.
[09:04.480] So, okay. Now we have this. We need of course a button here
[09:19.600] modulate this button called this generate
[09:23.200] and maybe use an arpeggiator in front and just use one node here.
[09:41.280] And maybe you can also modulate at this parameter.
[09:44.160] You can also interesting. Okay. So now we use again an instrument selector.
[09:57.600] Instrument selector put this in here, duplicate this or just use a button here,
[10:05.280] a global generate button modulate this. That's okay.
[10:18.240] Okay. Okay. Now we can duplicate this here and switch this to round-robin.
[10:39.520] Maybe use a hard-crypt device. The only downside to this is that
[10:44.400] that the Poly-Grid basically doesn't save the states or the values of the generated values of the
[10:52.320] dice module. So every time you load up this project you get different values here or you have
[10:58.480] to re-trigger with the button actually to modulate something. So there's no save. You have to bounce
[11:06.880] this down to audio if you want to persist this with the project save.
[11:17.120] But you can see you can come up with a lot of different sounds, percussion sounds pretty quickly.
[11:48.000] And then you can just bounce this down to post-fader here and then you have a new asset.
[12:01.680] You can use new tracks or in this track specifically or just use it to arrange it.
[12:06.720] So you have in one part you have this sound and in another part you just generate a new loop.
[12:21.520] So for instance you just sample this. So you have in one part you have this line and the
[12:28.240] another part you have this line so you can alternate between the two.
[12:45.280] Also you can of course change this too.
[12:47.520] So you can basically edit the audio file again and maybe reverse it.
[13:00.400] So there are a lot of possibilities. So you can generate your own percussion loops just
[13:04.880] with the Bitwig devices and the Poly-Grid by randomly modulate all the parameters.
[13:09.840] You see the instrument selector to create some patterns with the arpeggiator.
[13:14.160] So it's pretty easy to do. You can save it all as a preset. Recall it every time and basically make
[13:20.800] 20 minimal techno tracks per day if you want. So this video initially should be a Bitwig
[13:28.800] tips and tricks video where I share multiple small tips and tricks for Bitwig Studio,
[13:34.000] but this trick got actually so long that I thought maybe it's better to do a separate video on it.
[13:39.440] So this is the tutorial on how to create minimal percussion with Bitwig internal devices.
[13:46.880] And yeah thanks for watching. Please leave a like if you liked the video, subscribe to the channel
[13:52.800] and maybe think about the membership on Patreon or here on YouTube to support my content.
[13:59.360] So yeah thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. Bye.