Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Modulators Groove

Creating Exponential Rhythms with Bitwig Studio

Tutorial | Apr 28, 2021

In this video, I showed how to create interesting rhythmic effects by using various modulators, such as the ramp modulator, the beat LFO, and the scalar. I demonstrated how to use the ramp modulator to modulate a filter, how to blend in different rhythms with the LFO, and how to use a replacer to create note-generating signals. Additionally, I showed how to use the Poly-Grid to trigger notes and modulate their speed, as well as how to use a delay to create off-grid high hats.

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Questions & Answers

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

What is the purpose of using the ramp modulator to create off-grid rhythms?

The purpose of using the ramp modulator to create off-grid rhythms is to give music a more dynamic and interesting rhythmic feel. The ramp modulator allows you to modulate the speed of the rhythm over time, starting and ending on the beat grid. This gives the music a sense of motion and adds a glitchy feeling to the overall sound.

How can the LFO be used to create off-grid rhythms?

The LFO can be used to create off-grid rhythms by modulating the speed of the LFO in a way that blends between different rhythms. This can be done by changing the speed of the LFO, as well as adjusting the modulation curve. This allows for a smoother transition between rhythms, creating a unique and interesting sound.

How can the Poly-Grid be used to create off-grid rhythms?

The Poly-Grid can be used to create off-grid rhythms by using a combination of gates, scalers, and selectors. The gates can be used to trigger the scalers, which can then be used to modulate the speed of the gates. The


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] I know I made some videos about exponential rhythms in the past,
[00:03.700] but I wanted to make a new video and combine basically all the old videos into one and maybe delete the old ones.
[00:11.500] So because now in Bitweek we have at different points,
[00:16.800] certain possibilities for exponential rhythms or modulations that are kind of off the grid.
[00:24.100] And I want to show you all the possibilities.
[00:26.800] So we want to switch here to Bitweek Studio.
[00:29.800] Now I've already some kind of track here, it's just a pad sound.
[00:36.800] Nothing special.
[00:38.800] But we maybe want to add something to it that modulates this pad and gets a rhythmic feel to it
[00:44.800] and also changes the rhythm over time while starting on the grid and ending on the grid beat grid.
[00:51.300] And this is possible by using a ramp modulator here on the filter.
[00:58.300] This one.
[00:59.300] And we can activate here the synchronized modulation.
[01:04.300] We have now 16th notes.
[01:05.800] We have four 16th notes here already as default value.
[01:12.300] And we can modulate here the filter.
[01:14.300] And also we have to activate here the loop over and over again.
[01:20.300] And we maybe want to start here at 16th notes which are 0.25.
[01:27.300] And we use a macro.
[01:30.300] And we call this macro modification.
[01:33.300] And we modulate here the speed by exactly the amount of 3.75
[01:40.300] because 3.75 plus 0.25 are exactly four.
[01:45.300] And we want to end up on four.
[01:48.300] We want to start at 0.25 and we want to end up on four.
[01:52.300] And now we can use this mod now here to change the speed of this ramp on to later.
[02:00.300] Maybe you can change the direction of this.
[02:03.300] Maybe the better.
[02:05.300] And you can see we can flawlessly transition between different speeds.
[02:11.300] And now we can go in here and paint in from the start of the clip which is exactly here and from the dial in 0%.
[02:21.300] And we want to end up here by at 100%.
[02:27.300] And we dial slowly in here the modulation speed.
[02:31.300] So let's listen to this how it sounds.
[02:34.300] And when we switch on here the metronome.
[02:47.300] It's like we start on the grid then we slowly fade off the grid and then at the end.
[03:02.300] And we are back on the grid.
[03:05.300] And in the mid parts here we are kind of in between the rhythm and it adds this certain kind of glitchy feel.
[03:18.300] And it's kind of interesting sometimes.
[03:22.300] And you can also make this exponential more or less you can use your curve.
[03:28.300] Maybe not exactly exponential but kind of.
[03:37.300] So you basically hold the fast speed longer and then you are slowly adding here speed up until the end of the clip.
[03:47.300] So you can influence how long you want to transition.
[03:57.300] This way you have just a short sequence here at the start where you have a fast speed of modulation at the end here.
[04:04.300] It's more slowly.
[04:05.300] So this is something you can do.
[04:08.300] You can also remove this here and maybe use the mod here to change the modulation amount.
[04:14.300] Now we fade this in exactly one.
[04:18.300] So now what we now have is that we have basically no modulation at all at the beginning here.
[04:24.300] You can see the filters completely open. There's also no modulation happening.
[04:35.300] And then at the end when the modulation becomes slower it slowly fades in also the amount.
[04:41.300] With the new bitwig version you can also influence here of course the amount curve.
[04:46.300] So we maybe choose your local rhythmic.
[04:52.300] We should add the amount faster at the start than the other linear mode.
[05:04.300] You can see we are already at 50% we are not really here past the 24% of this length of this clip.
[05:18.300] So you get the modulation basically early on in this transitioning phase here.
[05:31.300] You can also use maybe exponential which kind of delays the amount modulation here.
[05:45.300] And you can see the amount is only at the last half here over 50% in.
[05:53.300] So it kind of gets you a delayed modulation basically.
[06:00.300] So I really like to have your local rhythmic.
[06:10.300] And maybe also change here modulation curve.
[06:22.300] Maybe on this here around this way.
[06:34.300] Or we can even go here maybe to 4 and modulate in the other direction by going minus 3.75.
[06:47.300] And also use different values it's not that important.
[07:06.300] So the ramp modulator is perfectly nice exactly for this that you can apply here modulations to something and also change the modulations while staying on the beat grid.
[07:18.300] And there's another modulator you can use and this is the LFO here.
[07:29.300] The beat LFO works kind of the same as the ramp where you have this speed knob here.
[07:39.300] But you can see it's not really a transition.
[07:42.300] We are blending between different rhythms.
[07:47.300] I think it's also 4th note beat grid here and then we are slowly blending in your 8 notes so you can see the small details coming in.
[08:01.300] It's not really a change of speed it's more like we are blending between different rhythmic modulations.
[08:08.300] You can also use this here of course to modulate different.
[08:22.300] But it kind of sounds different because you blend in these other rhythms and sometimes you have this triplet feel.
[08:32.300] So I really like to use the ramp for this kind of method but also the LFO can be interesting as a modulation source.
[08:41.300] So the next one we can do is we can try to trigger something with different rhythm.
[08:51.300] So instead of just having here one straight sound we maybe can use the arpeggiator here and switch this to milliseconds.
[09:02.300] It's also possibility.
[09:09.300] We can change the arpeggio speed but with this method it's more like that you don't start at a grid rhythm because we have your only milliseconds.
[09:38.300] You don't know you have to dial in the exactly amount of milliseconds here to have the speed of maybe 16th notes.
[09:47.300] And it also depends on the speed of your of your door or your project of the transport.
[09:55.300] So what you can do is we can utilize here also the replacer. This is what I usually use for my note grid out plug-in. So with the replacer we can create notes.
[10:08.300] And you can see here it's C3 and we have velocity 100%. And it triggers only when we have a sound.
[10:14.300] So we need the sound source and I usually go for a test tone here. And you can hear the test tone because we have to mix it 100%.
[10:27.300] There's no generator inside. So when we go here with the loudness over this threshold.
[10:38.300] You can see we are triggering or generating kind of a note signal. So what I usually do is maybe go here to a certain frequency with a band pass and go to maybe 1 kilohertz, 1000 hertz, 1000 hertz, maybe also here to 1k.
[10:57.300] And then we can modulate here this scale knob with a modulator. So we're using here also a ramp synced and to use the loop on maybe switch this around.
[11:14.300] And just trigger this.
[11:34.300] This works nice. And then we use a chain maybe here. Put the sign into the chain. Also put here the replacer into the chain. And now we have kind of a note generating signal or note generating signal generator. I don't know how to call it.
[11:52.300] And maybe we add some modulators to it. We can change also here the key. And we want to change the key of course with the note we are playing in the clip here. We're going for a key track.
[12:06.300] And we are modulating the key track here. Or we are applying the key track here to this key thing. And we are applying exactly by 64, 64 value or 64 notes because this key track is exactly spread at 64 notes.
[12:27.300] And the middle middle note is C3, which we are also dialed in the LC3. And now we can basically create the same note we are creating here.
[12:39.300] Just modulate the Twitter modulate with the death tone.
[12:47.300] And maybe we should add here also a gate because we want to have the gate we need an ADS R. Because we want to turn this off when we don't play the clip. So we only want to have playback when he is pressed or when a key or when a note is played in the clip.
[13:05.300] So we maybe do the mix not here. We use the mix not. We modulate the mix not with this. So now it's basically quiet. And when we play back this clip here, we press the note on the MIDI keyboard.
[13:25.300] We can trigger this whole thing here. And now we can also use of course a macro and change the speed again. Maybe let's apply again.
[13:43.300] C3.75. All it's mod. All right, it's not it's not triggering exactly because here it's too fast. Maybe we switch up the tolerance back threshold in the hold.
[14:03.300] Okay, so now we can change it with the mod knob.
[14:21.300] And we can also change the notes here.
[14:41.300] So this is something you can build just with some devices here. And maybe the triggering is not perfect here, but you can play around with the tolerance here, hold value and also the gain that is applied to trigger the threshold just right.
[15:08.300] And yeah, we're generating signals with this. So we can also go a step further. Maybe let's delete you the notes.
[15:19.300] And use an house called a note selector. Note of X selector. So we can put this into the note of X selector. And maybe delete you also the modulation.
[15:38.300] Use an expression modulation modulator and use maybe the pressure for the mod. Now we can utilize our sensal morph here.
[15:49.300] From the front of me, you can see it. But it's here. And yeah, we can change the speed now with the pressure on the board.
[16:02.300] Yeah, let's see it.
[16:13.300] So how hard I press basically decides how fast or how much modulation I apply to the ramp modulator.
[16:22.300] And what we also can do is we can duplicate this here multiple times and switch the note of X selector here to three voice.
[16:33.300] I think do it.
[16:40.300] That's not it's not three voice. It's probably three Robin. Let's try this.
[16:55.300] So what you can do with this is you can use multiple voices with your sensal morph with your MPE device can apply different amounts of pressure to each key and change for each voice the modulation.
[17:13.300] So it's like an MPE note FX MPE note FX that you can use to trigger notes change the speed of the modulation and create some kind of nice rhythmic effects.
[17:31.300] You can see I'm using multiple layers, which means I'm using multiple voices at the same time.
[17:46.300] So this could be something interesting maybe for you for your project. I just want to show you this. So with this small preset over the small device here alone, you can create interesting rhythmic effects.
[18:01.300] But when you put it into a note FX selector, you can also use it as some kind of MPE device, which is interesting.
[18:08.300] So we have three methods now to create off the grid rhythms, which is using the ramp modulator, you modulate filter.
[18:19.300] You can also modulate of course the tool device if you don't like to filter your output.
[18:25.300] You can use this technique on all kinds of devices not only for the filter, so you can use it on the tool. So you blend in the sound at certain points. Maybe let's try it.
[18:38.300] So let's bring in here tool device.
[18:43.300] I can still see it. And we just copy this over to here. And then we copy this over to here. We have the same setup here.
[18:55.300] And instead of modulating the filter, I'm modulating at the volume. Let's go to one, maybe switch this off.
[19:02.300] And see if this is still intact. No, it's not. Maybe delete automation here. Bring this down. Bring this up.
[19:15.300] And also bring this down by the amount of minus 3.75.
[19:28.300] And maybe also.
[19:46.300] So we have also your something interesting.
[20:08.300] And do. So it slowly fades out. If you don't want to have to fade out, then just remove here the modulation for the amount.
[20:27.300] Just let the amount at 100%. Okay. So you can also apply this of course here to a pitch shifter if you want.
[20:40.300] It should be also interesting. Maybe think about the stereo spectrum. Maybe pen something to the left and write pretty fast or.
[20:52.300] Something along those lines. So you can do a lot of different things just with this modulator alone. And you can change the speed every time which gets you this exponential stuff or in between the grid events in between the grid events.
[21:09.300] Okay. When we switch now to the Poly-Grid, we have another set of things we can use. So let's call here the Poly-Grid. It may be use a Sine-Oscillator just to trigger something. Maybe use an output.
[21:30.300] And the gate gates module. And you know that you can now trigger this here right which gets you kind of rhythm. And you can influence the rhythm by which this gates module operates by using instead of the pre court here using the face in the same as using the pre court.
[21:57.300] But now we can hook up in between or something and use of course a scalar.
[22:15.300] They can maybe add your macro and modulate the supply and even amount. I don't know maybe go to eight so we need to add seven.
[22:27.300] And then you can change the rate of this.
[22:36.300] What you need to rate. We call this. What? We want to change it on a crawl.
[22:52.300] Look at something like this. And of course it plays all the time because there's no gate so we use a select here. And maybe we want to only play this when a gate signal when a gate in is applied.
[23:18.300] This is just a simple switch. But now it's basically quiet until we hit play or put any a note.
[23:49.300] So this is something you can do in the grid pretty easily. And of course there are more options. You can also maybe push everything on the grid if you want.
[24:02.300] So when we modulate at the scalar we are kind of in the grid all the time because we are changing our only the rate. You can say let's use a clock one ties here and use a trigger and synchronize everything to 16th grid.
[24:23.300] You want to make sure everything is played on the grid.
[24:35.300] You can see it's not the transition is not so smooth. It's basically try to synchronize all the small little gates to this 32.
[24:56.300] So there are all kinds of different ways to modify this. You can also remove here the clock one ties. You can maybe add a pinch to this one to change the playback speed a bit.
[25:16.300] Maybe at the blend or how is it called bent it's called bent everything you can imagine to alter this face signal to change the playback speed of this gates module.
[25:32.300] Maybe you can also create some kind of different signal for the triggering here. And you can also apply the same ramp effects like I explained before here in the grid.
[25:45.300] So you can modulate maybe some more knobs on oscillators and filters and so on. So there's another trick I want to show you quick which I use a lot. I wouldn't say a lot but sometimes I use it maybe for high heads.
[26:08.300] Maybe it's just just a regular high heads sample here.
[26:16.300] So instead of creating multiple triggers of this you can just go for delay one and switch to see it.
[26:26.300] But I would switch the sync off and maybe apply a bit of feedback.
[26:38.300] And then you get these rhythmic effects and maybe you can change also the delay speed.
[26:58.300] So I feel like this and then you can re-sample this. You have nice little signal here.
[27:15.300] And I think in one of my last tracks I posted you on the channel I completely used this only for the high heads. Also do nice tricks like re-brushing this.
[27:32.300] Also bouncing down your maybe different versions with different speed settings.
[27:40.300] It's out. And then you have quickly nice little stems that are off the grid and used to create interesting patterns.
[28:04.300] I want to show you this here in a real life example. So in here there is a subfolder called hatsfx.
[28:13.300] I have all these small little bits here of delay heads where I just created like I did before with delay one, some modulations and re-sampled everything, put everything here into place.
[28:34.300] So we have also yarn kind of fade in.
[29:04.300] So you can apply this of course not only to high heads, you can use it for bass, pleaps, lead sounds, I don't know, drum sounds.
[29:24.300] It doesn't matter. It's the same workflow for every sound and you can create nice little rhythms out of this where you can spice up basically your project or your song.
[29:39.300] So the last trick for today's video is to delay notes on the chain. So when you have for instance here a sampler and in the sampler there's a high head and you create probably a pretty straight pattern for it here.
[29:54.300] Something like this. And you want to kind of bring in some groove you can use here the playback drop down enable groove and maybe add your shuffle.
[30:17.300] Like you do, but you can also go for a node delay and switch the synchronization of your and go to the lowest setting which is 10 milliseconds.
[30:31.300] And then you can delay all these incoming notes you have in this clip here and you can modulate this within LFO synchronize this here to 60 just modulate this here as much as you want.
[31:01.300] Maybe too much.
[31:26.300] So you can bring in groove by just by delaying notes and also changing the timing of delay.
[31:38.300] And because we are introducing an initially 10 milliseconds delay you can remove this with a time shift device time shift milliseconds minus 10 and also going on the negative so when you for instance want to delay or push notes earlier then you may be going to 30 milliseconds
[32:05.300] and modulate this here just for 20 and then you go also in the negative range over the people are setting you have to remove this 30 milliseconds too so maybe go for minus 30.
[32:19.300] So you basically stay on the grid and then you just move the notes earlier or later the modulation.
[32:35.300] So you can create nice little groups with this and yeah it's a nice neat trick. Okay so that's it I think for this video that's all for the day folks thanks for watching please if you like if you like the video and don't forget to subscribe to the channel of course I have to say this every time it's the YouTube rule number one.
[32:57.300] And I also try to update the description later on with all the timestamps for the information in the video and also my blog where there is a blog post with every video I may.
[33:11.300] And also the timestamps for all the different information in the videos you can go to the blog post exactly search what you what you need jump to the video to the exact timing position in the video and get the information you need.
[33:26.300] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. Bye.