Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Note-Grid Chords Synthwave Midi Sound-Design

Playing the Piano with a Quantized Input in Bitwig Studio

Tutorial | Feb 18, 2021

In this video, I showed how to use Bitvic Studio to play the piano like a pro. I demonstrated how to set up the instrument tracks and use the quantized input preset to synchronize the MIDI input with a 16th grid. I also showed how to record the quantized input so you can create interesting rhythms and melody lines. Lastly, I mentioned that this setup only works for monophonic MIDI input.

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Questions & Answers

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

How do I play the piano like a pro in Bitwig Studio?

In Bitwig Studio, you can play the piano like a pro by using the quantized input preset and the piano track. First, you need to set up the quantized input preset by filtering out the gate signals, the pitch signals, and the velocity signals. Then, you can use the pitch quantized module to select the key you want to play in. After that, you need to set up the trigger module to a 16th grid and synchronize the MIDI input. Finally, you can play the piano with your MIDI keyboard and the notes will be filtered through the preset and matched to the 16th grid.

What is the downside to playing the piano in Bitwig Studio?

The downside to playing the piano in Bitwig Studio is that it only works with monophonic MIDI input, so it is not possible to press chords. However, it is perfect for creating interesting melody lines.

How do I record my MIDI input in Bitwig Studio?

To record your MIDI input in Bitwig Studio, you need to switch the track to the quantized input chain and remove the note receiver.


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. Did you ever want to play the piano like bro? I got something for you.
[00:06.400] Stay tuned.
[00:12.080] So in Bitvic Studio we have two instrument tracks here. The first one is basically our
[00:17.680] quantized input preset, which is available for free of course. And the second one is just a piano.
[00:24.880] We want to play with our MIDI keyboard. But instead of aiming the MIDI keyboard here on the piano
[00:34.240] track, we are using on the piano track note receiver here. And we get the notes from the quantized
[00:40.400] input track, from the quantized input chains here fx grid note out. This is what we want, right?
[00:48.000] So now we get the notes from this track down here from the grid note out preset. Then we aim
[00:58.720] the second track here. So we input our notes into the quantized input preset. And inside the
[01:07.600] polygrid here we have a, or I made a small hatch here where I filter out the gate signals,
[01:15.440] the pitch signals and the velocity signals. And with the pitch signals here I used also the
[01:22.000] pitch quantized module, which is kind of a diatronic transporter. So we can remove this if you don't
[01:28.720] want it. Or you can select different keys here you want to fill it out. And I need to make this
[01:36.080] kind of setup here, basically to hold notes or preserve the sustain phase of notes. Without that,
[01:50.960] we basically have just a short trigger signal. So this is kind of needed here to hold the notes when
[01:58.800] you, yeah, hold the key. Then we have here, of course, a trigger module with 16 steps per cycle.
[02:06.880] So we have a 16th grid. We can synchronize our MIDI input too. So what does it, does it mean now?
[02:18.960] When we play the piano here and we have selected some kind of BPM setting,
[02:25.120] every input is filtered through this quantized input preset here and is matched to the grid
[02:33.920] to a 16th grid. So when I play the keyboard here as fast as possible, we only get 16th
[02:40.880] grid rhythm out of it. So pretty nice. The only downside to this is that it only works with
[02:58.560] monophonic MIDI input. If you want to press chords, it's not possible at the moment.
[03:04.240] But if you want to create some kind of melody lines, interesting melody lines, it's perfect,
[03:12.240] right? Because you can also go into the quantized input here and instead of using 16th grid,
[03:21.440] basically can change this to maybe 8 grid. Or you can go back here to maybe 16.
[03:31.920] Use the second trigger and maybe this one here, go to 11, then you go to a clock quantize,
[03:42.160] and you synchronize everything here to, yeah, to this input. Let's use this.
[03:53.760] So now we have some kind of offbeat rhythm or some more kind of interesting rhythm.
[04:00.080] Because when you look here at the oscilloscope,
[04:13.040] which is the trigger, yeah, it's kind of an, yeah, you can see it's a more interesting pattern
[04:20.320] kind of changer, maybe the timings 14, let's try this. So now you can create your own kind of rhythm grids.
[04:39.360] Not only that, you can also introduce some kind of swing if you want.
[04:54.160] So get a phase signal here, get a pinch. So all I want to say is you can synchronize your
[05:05.520] MIDI input to all kinds of grid settings to make it more interesting, maybe change this.
[05:24.560] So you can change this as much as you want. All you need to do is basically beat this clock
[05:40.400] quantize here with a trigger signal over the clock signal and how this clock signal looks like.
[05:46.000] It's completely up to you, right? You can input all kinds of odd signal or gate rhythms here.
[05:53.360] And yeah, it's fun to use and to play around with and also to record MIDI notes this way.
[06:01.440] So in this case here, I basically want to play this piano live, but sometimes you want to record
[06:08.080] basically your MIDI input or your quantized input and that's also possible.
[06:14.000] All you have to do is switch this to or aim this track to and you remove this note,
[06:20.960] receiver here, maybe or maybe we leave it in. And then we get here instead of our MIDI input,
[06:29.280] we get the signals from our track quantized input, quantized input, chain FX grid note out.
[06:36.640] So the first track is now getting also the MIDI input from the quantized input preset.
[06:44.240] And all we have to do now is to record everything. And as you can see here, this is our raw MIDI input.
[06:59.360] So far off the grid and this one is our quantized input at the top here, maybe switch into this here.
[07:06.960] You can see it's more or less on the grid. Yeah, it's perfectly fine on the grid.
[07:15.440] And yeah, you can record your quantized input. Only downside, as I mentioned earlier,
[07:22.480] is that you can't record chords or polyphonic input. It's only available for monophonic input,
[07:30.880] but when you want to lay down some nice funky bass lines, synchronize to grid or you want to
[07:37.440] yeah, play some kind of melody, then this is perfectly fine, I would say.
[07:44.000] That's it for this video. Thanks for watching guys. You can head over to the description
[07:49.120] and you can download this preset for free and try it out in your own project. If you have problems
[07:54.400] or feedback, let me know in the comments. I'm open for everything. And if you want to support
[07:59.280] my channel, leave a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel, and maybe also go to Patreon and
[08:03.760] subscribe on Patreon. It really helps me a lot and you also get some nice gifts over there.
[08:08.560] So that's it for this video. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next one. Bye.