Exploring Audio Effect Building in Bitwig Grid
Tutorial | Wed Jan 19 2022 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
In this video, I showed how to create various effects, such as phasers, flangers, chorus, low pass and high pass filters, reverbs, and pitch effects, in the Bitwig Grid. I demonstrated how to use FX Grids and Chain Devices, as well as how to manipulate the delay time of a signal with an LFO and the Time Shift Device. I also showed how to create a multi-tap delay with the Long Delay and a Multi-Lay, as well as how to use the gates module to record and playback audio. Finally, I discussed the use of an AD envelope to reduce clicks in the signal.
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Questions & Answers #
Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:
What is the Bitwig Grid and how does it help in effect building? #
The Bitwig Grid is a modular environment for audio production. It is designed to make effect building easier and more creative. The grid is made up of modules, which are connected together to create audio effects. It features a mix knob which allows you to mix in the effects that you have created. You can also use the blend module to mix two signals together, and the delay module to delay one signal.
How can I create a low pass filter in the grid? #
To create a low pass filter in the grid, you need to use a phaser with a one millisecond delay. Then add a macro to modulate the delay time and use a chain device to combine the two signals. You can then use a spectrum to see what is going on. To achieve a cleaner low pass filter, you can use a time shift device with a samples slider to delay the signal by exactly one sample.
What kind of effects can I create with the FX Grid? #
You can create a variety of effects with the FX Grid, such as phasers, flangers, chorus, low pass, high pass
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] Hey folks, welcome back to another video, but today I thought maybe it's a
[00:04.720] good idea to dive a little bit into effect building in the Bitwig grid. It's
[00:11.840] not only that it's easy to do, it's also fun, you learn something and maybe you
[00:17.640] can create some unique effects for your own productions, which is always a win.
[00:22.280] So let's start. So I made this track yesterday on my German channel and if you
[00:29.960] want to watch how I built that, then there's a link in the description. It's
[00:34.920] obviously only in German, but maybe you can get some information out of that.
[00:42.360] So I just used here the whole master just as an example where we put on some
[00:53.280] audio effects. So I have this channel here and of course we need an FX grid
[00:58.640] first. And FX grid features here a mix knob where you can mix in your effect
[01:04.440] that you are building inside FX grid. And the default setting is basically
[01:11.160] you have an audio in and you have an audio out in between. You can hook up some
[01:15.240] modules here to create some audio effects. I want to show you what you can do
[01:21.840] just with some basic modules. But the simplest effect would be to layer two
[01:32.800] signals or just create a clone of your signal, delay the signal and then mix it
[01:39.120] back together with the original signal. And this gives you some kind of
[01:43.360] azing effect. So we need the delay here. For instance, this one. And we need a
[01:49.920] blend module. It just mixes together two signals and you know, give you the
[01:56.320] sum out of these two back together. We hook up this to the output here and we
[02:02.840] have the input here. And the benefit or the feature of the blend is basically
[02:08.080] it tones down the volume of each input because when you add two, when you add the
[02:15.560] same signal together, two times, then it's basically twice as loud. So this is
[02:23.640] toning down the volume basically of each input. So you have the same volume in
[02:30.520] output when you put in the same audio two times. So now we have to delay here
[02:39.280] just one one signal path. And then bring down the delay time to maybe one millisecond.
[02:52.760] And maybe you can hear it. It sounds like a phaser. You can play around here with
[03:07.000] the delay time a bit. So this setup is basically a phaser, more or less. If you
[03:19.480] modulate at the delay time, for instance with an LFO module, you get a flanger.
[03:30.120] Now make it really slow, maybe two bars or three. So this would be a flanger. And then you
[03:56.800] can also create a chorus effect with that. But for that, you have to create
[04:02.440] multiple voices. So instead of doing this one time, this multiple times, like this.
[04:12.400] And then we modulate maybe each voice differently. This is my creative choice here.
[04:20.920] I move the modulation here. Nothing like this. And maybe use your
[04:36.160] different delay times for five, two, one here. And then combine each of these
[04:45.360] signals together. Maybe the next one here.
[04:51.960] And then you can play around here with the modulation speeds and maybe also the delay times.
[05:14.520] But this would be maybe a setup how I would build a chorus effect inside the
[05:26.000] grid. You create multiple voices, each voice is slightly delayed and also
[05:31.680] modulated here. So it's basically more the multiple phasers in a row or multiple
[05:36.480] flangers in a row. So this is the easiest simple setup or an audio effect in the
[05:44.960] grid. Another effect you can create is probably something like a filter, a low
[05:51.960] pass filter, where you use a phaser here, one millisecond delay. Yeah, one millisecond delay.
[06:03.120] Close this down and we have basically here one phaser. And then we use a macro and
[06:13.080] modulated the delay time. We can modify this. And then we put this in a chain
[06:28.040] device. Maybe put the modulator in front of the chain. So if you like this, so
[06:40.120] you can still modify this here. Yeah, nice. And then we make this fx could
[06:45.480] you are small and just duplicate it and maybe use a spectrum as we can see what's
[06:50.080] going on. And duplicate this with control and D. We can see here we have some kind
[06:59.080] of comfort during happening. Let me change the delay time for all the grids.
[07:10.080] So you can see you need for a low pass. I think you need exactly one sample delay
[07:15.880] time for the second path, one sample delay time. But it's not possible in the
[07:22.360] grid to address exactly one sample. You only have to stick with milliseconds here and
[07:28.840] to guess roughly how long a sample is because it depends on your sample rate.
[07:35.720] But you have that up here basically in your settings. We have to calculate
[07:44.120] basically from your sample rate, how many milliseconds long a sample is. It's
[07:52.160] not very precise or accurate. But you can still make some interesting effects
[07:58.800] with this, you know, playing around you with the delay time. This would be more
[08:03.560] like a low pass filter here. But you can create a better low pass, probably with
[08:13.040] just this week on native devices. And I show you this here just as an example.
[08:21.040] So we still need a chain device because we don't need to clone a lot of
[08:25.320] devices. We use a tool and the tool does nothing, it just passes through here
[08:32.760] the original signal. We put this in a container with control and G, which is an
[08:39.520] FX layer here and create a second path exactly like we did in the grid before.
[08:44.680] But the second one is basically a time shift device. The time shift device
[08:50.240] does feature here a samples slider. So we can delay this path by exactly one
[08:57.080] sample. So we have the original signal and we have the second signal, which is
[09:02.760] just delayed by one sample and we mix it back together. So if we clone this now
[09:09.440] yeah, multiple times, you can see that we lose a lot of high end.
[09:18.400] Just clone it, clone it, clone it. I press this multiple times here. You can see we
[09:28.040] have now removed your lot of high end. This is without this with the filter. So
[09:37.240] this is how you create basically filters in the computer. So let's remove this
[09:47.840] here and do a high pass instead. The high pass is basically the same thing. But
[09:53.080] it's what also the second path here, which is delayed by one sample is also
[09:58.440] face inverted. So we use also tool device here and just invert channels. The left
[10:06.520] one and the right one. Now we can see we lose a lot of low end and when we
[10:13.480] duplicate the similar times, we create basically a high pass filter. So we have
[10:19.720] removed everything from here. It would be nice if we could actually use a macro
[10:25.480] here and modulate the delay time of the time shift device. But it's not
[10:32.880] possible because the time shift device is dealing with the latency
[10:36.120] compensation of the door and it would be it's probably not possible to do. But
[10:43.600] anyway, you can create these effects easily here with some tools in Bitwig
[10:48.920] and it's also for learning purposes. So you know exactly how certain effects work.
[10:57.040] So let's remove all of that here again and go back to the FX grid. So we created
[11:06.640] basically a phaser, a flanger, a cross effect, low pass, high pass. But again,
[11:15.160] maybe we go back here to the high pass and do this again in the grid to show
[11:21.720] you that you and create some similar effects. It's maybe not possible to create a
[11:27.760] clean high pass filter, but it still sounds maybe
[11:37.200] creative. So we have a delay here of maybe 0.01, 0.01ms, something like this. So we
[11:55.840] face and brought the signal here also with the multiply and the constant. So this
[12:10.680] should be now our high pass filter or less. But this time we can modify here
[12:16.400] at the delay time with the macro. And then you go back into the sounds more like a phaser.
[12:45.520] Maybe go to zero here and bipolar, unipolar range, something like this. And then we can
[13:02.320] close this down here and do the same thing again with the change device and just multiply
[13:06.920] this. So you have to don't have to do all the patching here. I know what you're applying
[13:11.720] all these modules 50 times. This time you can put here this macro in front of that.
[13:20.600] And then let's duplicate this here. The more you increase delay time, you create more
[13:36.680] like a comp filter effect.
[13:42.440] It sounds more like an extreme flanger. Yeah, but maybe creative enough or there's room
[14:09.320] enough probably to create some creative effects for yourself.
[14:15.160] Okay, back to this one. So we have basically created the chorus, flanger, phaser, low pass,
[14:24.200] high pass, some comp filters. And of course, we can use comp filter here. Nothing more than
[14:31.600] just a delay with a feedback path. So the delay time is basically here map to the frequency.
[14:41.120] And the feedback or the resonance here is more or less the volume for the feedback. So
[14:48.280] you can increase volume of the feedback path. And you can also face in virtue of the feedback
[14:54.840] signal if you want to. So it's just boiled down in the one device, which is called comp filter.
[15:01.560] So it's here. But it sounds like the same, right? As before.
[15:30.000] So all pass is kind of the same thing. It's basically two signals mixed together. And one
[15:38.440] signal is delayed and bass inverted. It gets you this kind of blurring effect. And you
[15:52.680] can create reverbs with this. But just using a multiple on pass devices, different delay
[16:00.160] times. But it sounds like, you know, like a reverb. But even better would be to stereo
[16:28.280] split the signal in front here to have left and right channel available. And to stereo
[16:36.840] merge the signal again at the end here. So we have only reverbed or modified the left
[16:45.960] channel here. But you can also modify the right channel and dial in different delay times
[16:53.560] here for the right channel. So we have kind of a stereo effect. It's a nice little
[17:05.300] reverb. More like a diffusion path here. Maybe we have to add a mod delay here. Let me
[17:22.600] go here to milliseconds and use the feedback. You can also try to create our own feedback.
[17:47.680] You need the mod delay for that. It's delayed by 0.02 milliseconds. And bring the spec
[17:57.200] in here in the front with the blend. And maybe use a volume amplifier here. We can create
[18:23.760] very long delays. Maybe also at the filter here. So you have to experiment with some of
[18:39.000] the device, of course. And every reverb is different. And there are so many possibilities
[18:45.080] how to create reverb. So we can add the distortion filtering in front after maybe also do these
[19:00.160] patches here twice or double the patches and then feed it back together or make one patch
[19:05.360] for the left channel, one for the right and bring it back together. And so on. You can
[19:09.760] make it as complex as you want. And then you can use the mix knob here and slowly mix
[19:27.720] in your dry signal. Always a good idea is to use the delay and modulate the delay time.
[19:52.040] Which gives you this, you know, pitching effect. Then LFO. Maybe it's also a nice idea to
[20:17.920] do this in front, the reverb. Maybe add the low pass here.
[20:36.480] And there we have it. Long ass delay. Long ass reverb. Maybe perfect for drones. I don't
[21:01.520] know. You can beat in whatever you want and it's you get drawn out of it. Maybe use
[21:13.160] your snare. Let's see how it sounds on the snare.
[21:34.280] Let's see how it sounds on the snare.
[21:52.120] Yeah, nice. Okay. So this is basically how you create rebops and such effects.
[22:20.120] Okay, let's put in FX Grid here again. Because we just talked about delay and pitch effects,
[22:33.560] you can create easy pitch effects with a long delay. Which delays the signal. When you
[22:44.680] offset here, this one, which is the delay time, you can use an LFO. Maybe use a ramp and
[22:59.200] modulate this delay time here. And depending on what kind of LFO time you choose here, you
[23:16.480] can slow down the signal or increase it. That's maybe too fast.
[23:35.280] So this is also something which is very nice when you mix in basically the original signal
[23:50.200] and a signal that's pitched up one octave or pitched down one octave could be also interesting.
[23:56.360] I did this a lot with some of my presets with the piano delays, for instance. I used this
[24:06.000] a lot. Okay, what else? Distortion maybe. There's an effect on multiple chord curfew, which
[24:12.800] is interesting because you can bring this useful oscilloscope here. You can force the
[24:21.600] audio signal on a different path here. Which sounds probably horrible. So this is something
[24:42.440] you can do. You can also use a min max module here, which gives you the max output, gives
[24:52.160] you basically all the positive values and the minimum output gives you all the negative
[24:58.560] values. But you can use the curve, for instance, in map. Maybe everything here. A lot
[25:13.920] differently like this. Which needs to probably be some interesting results. I have no idea
[25:24.520] if this is actually usable. Let's see how this sounds.
[25:55.520] So yeah, this could be distortion effect. Probably not that useful. So another thing you
[26:04.760] can do is to play around with delays, which is also a strong effect. We have different delays
[26:10.960] here in the grid. For instance, the long delay. You can switch here the beats. The delay
[26:17.840] units, 16 notes, 8 notes, 4th notes. Maybe go to 16 notes here. And just mixing together
[26:29.400] of like a multi-tap delay. For instance, we have here the original signal. They use a second
[26:36.920] signal. Or maybe instead of a mixer we use here a merge. This would be better. Also explain
[26:46.520] this in another video, I think. Let's use multiple inputs here. Three, four, another one.
[27:00.320] And have here on each delay different settings. And when you use value, value not here. Select
[27:10.440] this and go to nearest. Then you step and step through all the delays here. And just offset
[27:21.200] each line a bit differently. You can see it's more or less like a beat repeater. Maybe
[27:31.760] we use dice or tool here. And a trigger. Now we generate every four beats or eight beats
[27:41.240] here a different value. Let me use this here for the beat repeater. Maybe 16 notes. Right
[28:01.160] now you have like a stutter effect. Let me go to 8.
[28:31.160] We have something like this. It's also very creative, I think. Also nice on drums. Of
[28:40.000] course, create some chopped up beats. Easy thing. You can create multi-tap delays by just
[29:04.000] using maybe the multi-lay and the mixer like I wanted to do it before. Original signal,
[29:15.200] eight signal. But here we implement also a filter. Maybe an SV.
[29:54.680] And maybe a long delay here to delay everything.
[30:24.480] I would be nice to actually matulate us, I'm LFO.
[30:54.040] Oh, two bars.
[31:06.720] Maybe the exchanges for random mat here.
[31:36.520] And you can mix it in the original section here.
[32:05.040] So you can create a delay effect here with different downs on each delay tab or delay
[32:17.440] line and then combine it back together and create this nice effect.
[32:33.960] At the reverb, like we did it before, in the video, at the long reverb here and then
[32:40.240] the delay line, mix it slowly in, maybe a pitch effect in there and then you have a nice
[32:47.800] little unique reverb effect.
[32:53.440] Also the recorder is something you can use.
[32:57.960] I think I showed this before in a video, I'm not sure actually where I showed it, but
[33:05.120] I do this all the time.
[33:07.160] So I have a recorder and maybe use a trigger and trigger the recording here, multiple times,
[33:20.520] maybe go to uneven numbers, then trigger the playback, maybe faster rates.
[33:34.960] It's also something you can play around with and also say with the gates module here, switch
[34:03.120] at the gates mode and record maybe the first half of the beat, then playback here with
[34:17.880] the trigger mode, multiple times.
[34:34.000] So basically they can decide with the top gates module where you want to record in your
[34:40.960] sequence, this is basically just one bar because the grid here is at device phase length one
[34:50.720] So this is exactly one bar and you can decide, oh well, I want to record your only the
[34:56.280] last half of the bar and then you can decide with the trigger where you want to playback
[35:02.560] what you recorded here, and maybe you say also gate repeat, gives you this kind of sound,
[35:31.400] but then again you get your gates signals so you can also clock synchronize this or clock
[35:39.520] one times this to maybe a 16th grid because it's 16, maybe it's 32, also switch at gate
[36:36.560] As you can modulate all this here with macronox or maybe in a sequence, it's used here
[36:44.840] I step, step more to maybe, and then yeah, move on with that, but you can hear there's
[37:10.320] some small clicks happening because of the zero crossings probably, but because we have
[37:19.440] here a trigger signal, we can just use an AD here in between, which is just an envelope
[37:29.440] with the amplifier and then trigger just this, just use here a slow attack.
[37:57.680] You think this should be a different length here than you can use on scalar, and use a
[38:08.400] phase in, and then disable these two inputs here, then you can slow it down, maybe make
[38:23.240] the step count longer, 16 steps.
[38:51.760] And you can put here also on the post effects, maybe the layer.
[39:21.280] And also duplicate this and put this also in here just on the effect, we have the same
[39:28.560] effect twice in a row, and maybe we need an amplifier on the middle here at the end,
[39:46.040] and using some volume.
[40:24.800] That's maybe too much, but you can see you can easily combine then with both these effects
[40:52.080] you created then. You know, create the richer sound, more interesting, more complex sounds,
[41:01.040] just by repeating and recording here, different parts of your face position.
[41:10.720] So that's it for this video guys, thanks for watching. With this video, of course,
[41:14.640] I want to encourage you to try out FX with more for yourself. Create your own,
[41:19.840] this small little effect, combine it with other effects you did, and maybe you get a more
[41:25.360] unique sound out of a digital environment, just by using Bitwig and Grid. And yeah, hopefully
[41:33.840] you learned something new, and if you liked the video then please leave a thumbs up, subscribe
[41:38.560] to the channel, maybe think about the Patreon subscription, all the links are down in the description
[41:44.400] if you want to, and there's also a link to our discord, to the Bitwig discord, where you can share
[41:50.240] maybe your experiences in the FX Grid show off your new discoveries, and maybe get some tips
[41:56.880] and tricks there. So thanks for watching guys, and I'll see you in the next video. Bye.