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Exploring the Bitwig Modulation System with Harmonic Filtering

Tutorial | May 13, 2021

In this video, I experimented with Bitwig's modulation system and the HZF filter to create interesting sounds. I used the filter to analyze the input signal and amplify or suppress certain harmonics to get the desired sound. I also experimented with adding white noise and creating drone sounds by setting the filter to freeze and hold. I demonstrated how this could be used on a piano, vocals, and other instruments, and how presets can be saved with the current sound settings.

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 does the Bitwig Modulation System work?

The Bitwig Modulation System allows you to control a range of parameters with a single modulation source. It consists of a set of modulation sources, such as LFOs, envelopes, and static values, and a set of modulation destinations, such as filters, oscillators, and effects. You can assign a modulation source to a modulation destination to control it with the modulation source.

What is the purpose of the ‘Harmonic Filtering’ feature?

The Harmonic Filtering feature allows you to filter out harmonics from an input signal and amplify or suppress certain harmonics. It tracks the input signal and adjusts the filtering to amplify the harmonics of the current sound and suppress the harmonics of the previous sound. Additionally, it can add some white noise for an airy feel.


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.

[10:27.000] You can see it switches here so it plays pretty well with the bitwig modulation system
[10:37.080] here.
[10:39.920] So then on the right side with this hzf filter, you can filter out harmonics and you can
[10:48.640] also let certain harmonics pass.
[10:51.880] And usually how this works is that you have an input signal, a piano maybe.
[10:57.480] And this filter then analyzes the input signal, uses all the harmonics and let them basically
[11:04.400] pass and suppresses all the rest of the harmonics you don't want to have in the reverb tail.
[11:11.360] And when you have this on tracking, it tracks basically the input signal.
[11:15.480] So when you change the input signal like using a different chord or different sound, then
[11:23.040] it uses these harmonics from the new sound and suppresses all the harmonics from the last
[11:29.920] chord or from the last sound.
[11:31.720] So it tries to amplify all the new harmonics from the input signal and suppresses the rest.
[11:37.760] And then you have here a slider, the harmonic filtering where you go into the negative
[11:42.080] range and the positive range and how I see this is basically that you can say, give me
[11:52.280] if you go to the positive range, give me all the harmonics from the current sound and
[11:55.920] suppress the rest.
[11:56.920] And if you go negative, then suppress all the harmonics from the current sound and amplify
[12:03.040] the rest.
[12:04.040] So this is basically you can amplify the harmonics or suppress them more or less.
[12:10.120] And pretty nice is I think just adding white noise, something like this.
[12:14.800] I think that's what adds noise to the filter at sound, okay.
[12:21.320] So it adds some kind of noise to the signal which gets you this airy feel.
[12:27.360] That's the freeze, hold.
[12:34.360] So this is also interesting, when you put this on hold and this on freeze, you have like
[12:40.040] a drone sound, right?
[12:44.000] It's like a synth, more or less like a synth.
[12:47.320] And when you have this on freeze and hold and you save a preset, this complete sound,
[12:52.560] what you can hear at the moment is saved with the presets.
[12:56.280] So when you recall this preset, you still hear this sound, even though you don't have
[13:01.200] the input signal anymore.
[13:03.200] So it's like a sample, you can recall a sample.
[13:05.680] And I think there are some presets in here that exactly do this, it's also nice to have
[13:13.400] a lot of presets in here, orchestral chords, reverbs, maybe this one here, it says it's also
[13:21.360] G minor 7.
[13:29.080] So this is on hold and basically what this means is that they have a G minor 7 orchestral
[13:34.560] sound used as an input to the harmonic filter and then put it on hold and then save the
[13:42.320] preset.
[13:43.320] So what we now get is an amplifying of the harmonics of the G minor 7 chord with an orchestral
[13:49.160] input.
[13:50.440] So this is pretty interesting.
[13:58.960] So I'm not playing a G minor yet at the moment, so it doesn't make sense in any form,
[14:04.400] but maybe put this back to default here, so just retracing HD, input air, and this
[14:17.920] is the easy mode here, these two sliders, but you can switch to fine mode where you can
[14:23.360] apply all the fine details, following is on.
[14:33.360] Make a drone out of this.
[15:01.360] So
[15:21.360] we
[15:49.360] have
[16:17.360] to
[16:33.360] be used here, maybe piano, just to get you more like a natural feel for the, for this reverb,
[16:39.360] so maybe go for the blur one here, so let's open this up here, so this is how the piano
[16:50.320] sounds dry.
[16:52.320] Let's make it release a bit longer.
[17:16.320] So
[17:36.320] put the limit on here so you can hear it better.
[17:56.320] So
[18:24.320] maybe make the sustain a bit longer, just for fun.
[18:34.880] So maybe we try out this on some vocals, and they are not better vocals than their own
[18:42.800] voice, right?
[18:44.360] So let's record something here, beautiful.
[19:03.720] And now that we have this, we use an adaptive work on it.
[19:23.720] So
[19:43.720] maybe
[20:03.720] you see an auto pitch, get this on scale, and let's try it again with the piano.
[20:23.720] Do you make the reverb tail a bit longer?
[20:53.720] So
[21:13.720] let's try it again.
[21:33.720] Nice.
[21:53.720] I got a nice scent in here.
[22:11.720] Let's use it on all the things.
[22:31.720] So
[22:51.720] let's try it again.
[23:11.720] So
[23:31.720] let's try it again.
[23:51.720] So
[24:11.720] let's try it again.
[24:31.720] Okay, maybe it beats.
[24:51.720] Let's try it again.
[25:11.720] Let's try it again.
[25:31.720] Maybe it bass sound.
[25:51.720] Oh yeah.
[26:11.720] Yeah, it should be nice.
[26:39.720] Let's try it again.
[27:07.720] So yeah, this was kind of a weird video for me.
[27:27.720] Let's try it again.
[27:47.720] Let's try it again.
[28:07.720] Bye.