Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Note-Grid Note-FX Synths Chords Generative

Generating Melodic Patterns with Bitwig Studio's Random Melody Preset

Tutorial | May 17, 2021

In this video, I showed how to create a random melody preset in Bitwig Studio. I demonstrated how to use the Polygrid to generate notes and how to use a NoteFX layer to combine different synths and effects. I also showed how to change the scale and the length of the melody, as well as how to record it into a note clip. Finally, I discussed how to use the Euclidean rhythms generator to create shuffling rhythms.

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 do I generate random melodies in Bitwig Studio?

To generate random melodies in Bitwig Studio, you can use a preset called "Random Melody" which is based on a sign mod method. This method is predictable and will generate the same melodies every time you loop it. You can also change the length of the melody, the scale of the melody, and other parameters. To use the preset, you need to create at least one note, then hit play. You can also group the device into a Note FX layer, change the rhythm and note length, transpose it, and record it into a different track.

How do I make sure that the listener knows which scale I'm using?

To make sure the listener knows which scale you are using, you need to play the first note of the scale, such as A for A minor scale. You can also use the dominant, which is 7 semitones up from A. Additionally, you can go into the grid and change the scale and the notes or the note where you started.

How can I make the melody sequence longer?

To make the melody sequence longer, you need to go into the Poly Grid and change


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 in the last video. I showed you how you can create all cleaning rhythms inside the grid of bitvig studio
[00:06.440] And I also gave you some kind of preset you can use and in today's video
[00:11.040] I want to give you a preset for generating random melodies and it's based on my go-to method of generating notes inside the grid with a sign mod
[00:20.920] Which is kind of a method
[00:22.920] Which is predictable. So you get the same melody every time you loop basically in a certain length and you can also change of course the length of this
[00:34.320] Of this melody line also
[00:36.320] Change the generation kind of you can also change the scale of the melody and so on
[00:42.520] But I'll show you how this looks like inside the
[00:45.720] bitvig studio
[00:47.240] So here it is. It's empty and now we just load up here the random melody
[00:57.800] This one here this is how it looks like and it doesn't generate anything at the moment you have to create here at least
[01:08.080] Note
[01:10.080] And if you don't want to create a note here, if you want to just say I want to have this running on time
[01:17.240] Then you can just hit play and you can see it's generating here some notes
[01:21.480] Also change the length of the notes here
[01:24.920] Maybe just add here a Polysynth
[01:27.320] And just to play here
[01:34.320] Maybe make the notes pretty short and maybe add just some rework
[02:05.320] So you can also change the velocity of the general note output more or less
[02:33.320] You can also go in here and paint in some some steps
[02:43.320] If you want to do that, but you don't need to you you can reverse the melody
[02:47.320] You can change the melody
[03:03.320] You can transpose it up here
[03:08.320] And there's a note range here which basically narrows down the note range
[03:14.320] And when you pull this down then you have obviously just only one note
[03:19.320] If you increase this slowly then you get more notes up and down
[03:29.320] And then if you also in here are cleaning rhythms a step sequencer which plays at the moment 60 notes in a step script of 60 notes
[03:40.320] And we can pull, increase this here a bit
[03:59.320] Okay, so this is basically generating some kind of melody
[04:03.320] And if you want to know which scale is this you have to look into the grid
[04:11.320] So you open this up here, go in here and you can see it's D sharp minor
[04:15.320] So if you want to play an A minor for instance you have to go in here maybe use the first note of A
[04:23.320] Maybe up to A
[04:26.320] And then select your different scale
[04:30.320] This is A minor probably
[04:33.320] But it's pretty important that you play the first note at least an A
[04:39.320] So the listener knows exactly which scale you are
[04:43.320] Or you start with the dominant which is seven cemetones up of A
[04:48.320] Which is probably E
[04:52.320] Yeah, this is A minor now
[04:56.320] And what you also can do is when you play your maybe just a few beats inside the grid of 16 steps
[05:06.320] You can just select this device here and hit control and G
[05:12.320] And group this into a note FX layer
[05:15.320] And just duplicate this into a second layer and change some things here
[05:45.320] So everything that comes out of this note FX layer is just pure notes
[05:49.320] So you can also add here a diatonic transposer if you want
[05:52.320] And completely transposes in a different scale if you want
[05:56.320] Maybe D sharp minor
[05:59.320] Maybe also pitch shifter here
[06:03.320] So maybe we go up
[06:07.320] One, two, three, four, five, six up
[06:15.320] So we are now in D sharp minor
[06:22.320] So if you want to have the melody play a longer sequence because at the moment it's just a melody sequence of one bar
[06:36.320] And it's repeating all the time
[06:38.320] You can step into this melody generator here
[06:43.320] To the FX grid or to the polygrid
[06:46.320] Select the polygrid and then you can see your device phase and it says length one bar
[06:52.320] You can change this to two bars
[06:54.320] And now the phase signal which is used to generate the notes is two bars long
[06:59.320] And obviously then we also have a note sequence as note sequence of two bars
[07:05.320] You can do this here on all the grids
[07:12.320] So now we should have a note melody of two bars
[07:41.320] So now we are now in D sharp minor
[07:48.320] So now we are now in D sharp minor
[07:55.320] So when we hit stop now we can see it's still playing
[08:22.320] Because we have this player active
[08:28.320] And if you don't want to have this play then you can just disable play and use one note inside the clip
[08:38.320] And it doesn't matter which pitch you choose here
[08:43.320] We just use the gate signal to switch the grid on and off
[08:54.320] So we can say we just want to play a melody in this range here
[09:09.320] It's kind of the same melody bit different because probably of the poly rhythm here
[09:15.320] But you get the idea
[09:16.320] So you can use play in a kind of a live mode and if you disable play you need to input here a note inside the clip
[09:23.320] Or you need to press key on the keyboard
[09:26.320] You can also group this together here into a note FX layer as you just saw
[09:31.320] Change here the rhythm, the beats inside the steps grid or maybe even change the steps
[09:38.320] Change the note length if you want, you can change the melody over here, you can transpose it around
[09:45.320] You can make the sequence longer by just clicking the poly grid here and changing the device phase length
[09:52.320] You can go into the grid change here the scale and the notes or the note where you started
[10:02.320] You can basically change all this and also you can record this to a different track if you want
[10:10.320] So if you kind of like the melody here and you want to preserve this in a note clip
[10:18.320] Then you go in here, basically go to tracks, listen and then we maybe get the signal after the diatronics transposer here
[10:27.320] Or maybe if you want to have after the note FX layer
[10:32.320] Maybe let's do this and just record it
[10:39.320] You can see it's pretty short here, all these notes, it's because of the note length here
[10:48.320] Make sure that you dial in your reasonable amount of note length and record it again
[11:00.320] Then you get this here, so you can create your notes in here until it's fine and then record it into a note clip
[11:10.320] And yeah, process it further, also I want to show you that you don't need to put this device, the polyscent inside the polygrid
[11:24.320] Like you normally do with this all these polygrid FX or no polygrid note generation devices
[11:34.320] Because I just found the method of doing this pretty nicely here in this manner where you have to preset in here and after the preset you just drop in your synth and then the notes come out of this preset
[11:47.320] And it's possible because I'm using a note receiver in here getting the notes from out of here
[11:55.320] Normally you have to put the polyscent into the FX box after the grid note out, but I found this a bit too complicated or not a nice workflow
[12:07.320] So I'm using your note receiver receiving the notes from in here and then passing the notes out of this chain device to the next device which is the polyscent
[12:19.320] If you want to pass through also the notes you play on the keyboard, you have to go into the chain here and just disable this input here
[12:29.320] Now you have the notes from the notes receiver getting to the polyscent and also the notes you are playing on the channel
[12:35.320] If you want to mix this up, you don't then just leave this enabled here
[12:40.320] So this is a new way for me of creating presets at the moment, I hope we get some kind of MIDI grid in the future, but for now it's like that
[12:52.320] So also the Euclidean rhythms generator I created on the last video and I showed you is also now in this made in this way
[13:08.320] So all you have to do is drop in this preset here and then drop in the polyscent after this preset, paint the note
[13:18.320] And then you get the notes out of this, right?
[13:24.320] Also possible like with the random melody generator you can't group this, so just select this here, hit Ctrl and G
[13:34.320] Duplicate this, maybe change the beats, maybe go to 3, and then you can also shift this up here to different notes, so maybe go to 3 here
[13:48.320] Maybe to 7, it should be a minor chord, and the root fundamental or the root note, then the minor third here and this is the minor third, and the perfect fifth here is playing in different rhythms
[14:08.320] And you can also get kind of melodies this way
[14:38.320] Maybe you get to here
[15:08.320] So you can create kind of nice arpeggiators with this Euclidean rhythm generator here and note of X layer
[15:22.320] Having showed this in the last video because I updated this after I made a video, also I enabled by default inside here inside this preset on the Poly-Grid I enabled the shuffle button
[15:38.320] So when you generate the rhythms you can just go to the play button here and enable groove and can change the shuffle and all the rhythms are changed or behave in a shuffling way
[16:08.320] So a shuffling is possible also with the Euclidean rhythms and I think with a random melody generator
[16:16.320] Let's see if this is actually enabled there
[16:26.320] Yeah, shuffle is also enabled
[16:28.320] So this one is also available for free, I put this on my GitHub and also a link in my description so you can download it easily, just drop it into Bitwig
[16:38.320] I just showed you how it works and also try out the other Euclidean rhythm generator, it's pretty nice to play around with
[16:46.320] And also when you combine it in a FX layer, note of X layer, it's pretty nice to have
[16:50.320] So yeah, that's it for this video guys, thanks for watching, please leave a like if you liked the video and leave some questions in the comments below if you have one
[17:02.320] Then I would say that's it for this video, thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next one, bye!