Tags: posts polarity-music Audio-FX Bitwig

Creating Drum Variety with Audio Effects Racks in Bitwig

Tutorial | Feb 24, 2022

In this video I showed how I use audio effects racks to save time and create interesting sounds. I demonstrated how to use a mixer, recorder, step-smoother and attenuator to create ghost notes at the end of a drum loop. I also showed how to use the FX grid and gate modules to create a delay or reverb effect that occurs when the snare is triggered. Finally, I explained how these audio effects racks can be saved as presets and used in other projects.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

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

What is an FX grid and how is it used?

An FX grid is a type of audio effect rack that is used to sample audio material and rearrange it to create new sounds or add in interesting elements. It is used to create micro edits and add automation to create more interesting transitions in a mix.

How can audio effects be used to save time?

Audio effects can be used to save time by creating presets or devices that can be applied to different projects or tracks. This way, micro edits and automation can be applied to the audio material without having to manually edit each track.

What are some examples of audio effects that can be used to create variety in a track?

Examples of audio effects that can be used to create variety in a track include phaser, gate, delay, and reverb. These effects can be used to create interesting transitions, add ghost notes, and rearrange the audio material.

What are the benefits of using an FX grid?

The benefits of using an FX grid include being able to create new sounds and automate transitions without having to manually edit each track. It also allows for the audio effects to adapt to new audio material, which can be used to


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] So this is the track I recently made.
[00:09.160] And you can see we have here some problems with the drums, because nothing really changes.
[00:14.320] We have no real drum rolls at the end, some transitions to make it more interesting.
[00:20.400] And what you usually do is you step in, go to the arrangement here, make some micro edits,
[00:26.280] maybe add some audio effects and some automation to make it more, you know, like the transition.
[00:33.480] But I lately I'm pretty obsessed with making audio racks or FX racks that do the heavy
[00:38.720] work for me to bring in some more variety and interesting bits.
[00:43.040] I want to show you how I do this.
[00:45.440] So for instance we go here to the drum bus, there are only drums on there.
[00:53.920] And I want to say maybe add your FX grid, and we want to sample some of the audio stuff
[01:00.360] here and want to rearrange it and add it back into the sound.
[01:05.920] So now we have here basically only audio in audio out, so nothing really happens.
[01:13.000] What we do we add here, mixer, because we don't want to use actually the mix knob.
[01:20.080] The problem with the mix knob is that it makes actually the tri-signal quieter over time.
[01:26.520] So let's bring this out here, so it slowly fades basically the original tri-signal out
[01:37.280] and brings in the effect sound or the sound of the grid itself.
[01:41.840] So I don't want that, I want to have the mix knob here always tri-signal.
[01:51.600] And we add here some stuff to the second input, which is a recorder.
[01:58.680] And the recorder samples of course are our audio material.
[02:02.560] So what we've gone as sample is everything from the snare on to the end of the sequence
[02:14.800] of the bar.
[02:16.400] So when we look here at our audio material, I don't want to sample from the start one bar,
[02:21.560] I want to sample from the first snare onto the end of the bar, so something like this.
[02:28.720] And we do this here with just, instead of selecting the whole bar, we start here at the,
[02:34.800] I think the second fourth or eight, second eight, eight note.
[02:41.240] And then you can see we sample from there on.
[02:44.520] So what we have at the start of our recording is the snare.
[02:49.880] So we can trigger with the second gate, so much here, the snare.
[02:54.280] I put this here in and start here at the recording.
[03:03.240] You can hear the tri-signal and you can hear the recorded snare signal.
[03:09.920] Something like this, right?
[03:12.160] And what we're going to do now is we switch the second one here to a step count of 16 notes.
[03:18.200] We have more resolution where we want to put our trigger and I want to trigger here in between.
[03:28.840] Maybe we put also your high cut on there.
[03:48.280] This rack now basically samples our drum loop, the snare at least, and add some ghost notes
[03:57.560] to it in between here, somewhere here in between, right?
[04:03.600] And now I have some kind of control over this because I can say, I don't want to have this
[04:09.480] all the time.
[04:10.480] I only want to have this at certain bars that can use it as steps mode.
[04:19.280] And maybe, let's use an attenuate so we can change the volume here.
[04:26.200] So I can fade this in sometimes, not all the time, change it to 8 notes, then you hear
[04:40.440] it.
[04:43.440] So now we basically added some kind of ghost notes at the end of the sequence.
[04:57.680] And the benefit of this is that you can save this as a preset or you can exchange your
[05:03.800] drums, change the drum sounds, and you don't need to add or re-edit all your small delabatons,
[05:12.680] your small micro-edits, you just put on the FX grid here, and you have basically the
[05:18.960] same effect of this.
[05:21.040] So for instance, when I open up here another drum-based project, it pretty much rocks
[05:27.960] probably exactly the same.
[05:30.000] I have here this project I showed you yesterday in my video.
[05:34.240] Let's close this here.
[05:38.720] Over here.
[05:39.720] And I have also your drum bass right, and I can just track this over to the second thing
[05:47.200] here.
[05:50.000] And probably have the same effect.
[05:52.000] Can you hear it?
[05:59.480] So you do this basically one time in one project, create a lot of these small little FX
[06:14.440] grids here, and you can apply it to all your projects or tracks you are doing, and you
[06:23.640] don't need to actually go in and make all these small little micro-edits and you have
[06:28.920] from the start some interesting things happening in your audio material, so you can make your
[06:37.640] life a lot easier and progress faster with creating your songs.
[06:46.560] I want to show you some more examples here what I do sometimes.
[06:50.640] So for instance, we have now the new audio effects here in Bittig Studio 4.2.
[07:00.640] For instance, the phaser has here, when you click on it on the left side, the Babapold
[07:05.640] phaser mode, which means we have a continuously rising sound.
[07:11.920] And let's try this, more feedback.
[07:21.920] So sometimes this is perfect for creating rising sounds.
[07:51.480] And again, we can go for a step-smot, like this here pretty slow, maybe for a long
[07:59.800] every step, 16 steps, and only bring this in here at this position.
[08:05.680] And fade in the mix knob here, bit of smoothness.
[08:10.800] And you can see we step here pretty slowly, and at the end we get this small little rising
[08:18.760] effect.
[08:25.760] And of course you can make it a bit more smoothly, like not all the way, mix 100% just
[08:42.800] a touch here, bring in more smoothness, and then make it more fluid.
[09:07.800] I think you get what I mean, we can make this even slower and say I want to have one
[09:14.440] by each step, or I can increase the step number up to 64 steps, and I only make this
[09:21.320] every 64 bars here to get this effect only occasionally, like this, like the only
[09:37.920] one.
[09:53.520] And you find the sweet spot, you save it as a preset, or even make some kind of chain
[09:59.840] device here, and put these in there, and reuse it in a different project.
[10:08.560] So now that we have here the small and ghost node creator, we can drive this a bit further
[10:14.960] and maybe duplicate this here.
[10:18.640] And we're going to remove here the step-smot, and we will move here the high pass filtering
[10:25.600] or just on this down.
[10:30.320] Our snare drum, and when we duplicate this, duplicate, okay, we duplicate this here,
[10:41.160] and I maybe want to simply also the snare, the kick drum, so from the start, right?
[10:47.200] We have now control over the snare and the kick, so we want to have maybe a kick here,
[10:52.560] yes, which is the gate node also, let's play this here, and either the dry signal, let's
[11:03.840] see.
[11:33.760] We can completely rearrange here the sound, and maybe you put this here into a different
[11:48.880] mixer, like this, so we can use here the step-smot again, quarter nodes, and maybe only
[12:13.040] at the end, yeah, we bring in this modified sound, maybe a small delay on it.
[12:32.240] Now, maybe this is too often, and maybe you go to 32, only to this here.
[13:01.800] As you can see, now we have here a device that creates those nodes, we have a device
[13:26.040] that rearranges the drums, and we have this small little phaser tool, which creates some
[13:32.240] kind of rising on at the end here of the section.
[13:45.640] Okay, so the next trick would be to use an FX grid, and to use a gate module, and say
[13:57.040] only when the snare occurs, we want to trick our some kind of reverb, or maybe we use
[14:11.760] delay, it's maybe effective.
[14:18.760] Okay, so we use a D device here, which gets triggered every time the snare occurs, and
[14:35.160] this one just fades in here, the delay, and then we bring in a chance module, so we don't
[15:03.160] trick out this every time the snare, because so we go maybe two or four percent, very rarely.
[15:33.160] That should be fine.
[16:00.160] And you not only can do this here with the delay, and also duplicate this, duplicate this,
[16:12.560] and choose a reverb.
[16:31.680] So the main reason why I do this is because I spend less time micro editing boring little
[16:37.480] details, and I can spend more time on the important things, like finding right melodies,
[16:44.040] finding the right snare sound, or something like this.
[16:49.800] Another benefit is you can save it as a preset, it's an audio effect, and they also adapt
[16:54.280] to your new audio material, so if you put it in a different project, you have a different
[16:58.520] snare, and the audio effects adapt because they sample what's already there.
[17:03.480] You can change it every time, it's just an audio effect, you can change the sequencing,
[17:08.240] you can change one it occurs, how often it occurs.
[17:12.480] You can bounce it down to audio, you get new audio material that you can then cut up
[17:17.480] and bring it back into your original tri-signal, something like this, if you want to do that.
[17:24.040] So it's a win-win situation, so my tip would be to write out, create some smaller effect
[17:32.720] racks, and use the steps mod to sequence them, and then put it into a different project
[17:39.320] and see what comes out of it.
[17:41.440] I think it's a nice way of doing things, and we have Bitwig with all this modularity
[17:45.920] with the modulation system, and you can do these kind of things in Bitwig pretty easily.
[17:51.920] So why not do it, right?
[17:54.520] Thanks for watching this video guys, I hope you learned something new, please hit the like
[17:57.840] if you liked the video, and I'll see you in the next video, bye.