Tags: posts polarity-music Glitch-Hop Bitwig Track from Scratch

Creating Glitch-Hop Music Easily Using Instrument Selectors and Effects

Tutorial | Apr 11, 2022

In this video, I show how to create a Glitch-Hop track using a drum machine, bass lines, and multiple layers of instruments. I explain how to use a ramp mod and how to switch between layers with instrument selectors and step mods. I also explain how to use note repeats, quantizers, and effect zones. Finally, I show how to use a click filter to get the kick drum out of the drum machine.

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 the concept behind creating Glitch-Hop music?

The concept behind creating Glitch-Hop music is to use a drum machine, an instrument layer, and multiple different effects and sound layers to create an electronic music track. Using a step modulator, you can switch between different sounds, notes, and rhythms on each layer, as well as use an arpeggiator and sampler to create more layers of complexity.

How do you switch between different layers of sound?

To switch between different layers of sound, you can use a step modulator to switch between different sounds, notes, and rhythms on each layer. You can also use an instrument selector within the instrument layer to duplicate different sounds and use a note repeat and quantizer to create a groove.

What is a key filter and how is it used?

A key filter is a device that is used to alter the notes of a musical phrase or chord. You can use a key filter to change the notes of a chord to a different key or mode, such as Phrygian or Dorian. This can be used to create more interesting and complex musical phrases.


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] What you just heard is something I created on the weekend and I haven't recorded the
[00:21.280] process of creating it, but in this video I'll show you what I did and how it works
[00:26.200] so from the concept and you can also download the project afterwards on my Patreon, so keep
[00:31.600] watching.
[00:32.600] Okay, so we start with the drum groove and I'm using the drum machine with the studio
[00:38.600] so you can see we don't need external instruments or external VST devices.
[00:43.640] So drum machine here, I'm using a drum pack of from Missle Bill here, the Glitch-Hop master,
[00:55.520] maybe some snares, something like this, maybe a hi-hat here, very simple.
[01:13.800] And then we create a beat, a groove, nothing like this.
[01:43.120] We need to add the global groove, a little bit of truffle, I'll maybe use my FX2 FX
[01:57.860] three tricks here with them, peak limo down.
[02:27.660] So we have a nice simple groove, so now comes the meat of the track or the interesting part.
[02:55.060] If you start with the bass lines here, maybe I do in here first the note, probably here,
[03:06.460] we start here, okay, so we have a nice bass line at first, a lot of distortion, okay.
[03:36.220] And what I like to do is to use a ramp mod here, so we can switch this to synchronized
[03:42.140] mode, also we can switch on the looping and modulate here, maybe this operator input.
[03:57.340] And what we're trying to do now is create multiple different bass sounds, okay.
[04:03.100] So this is the first one, this is our initial bass sound here.
[04:13.060] So now we put this here into an instrument layer, with control and G, and then we switch
[04:21.300] this with the right click to an instrument selector, so now we can duplicate the first
[04:26.180] bass here, switch to the second one and change it a bit, okay like this, duplicate
[04:44.740] different sound, next sound, so like this.
[05:14.540] It's also good, maybe it goes low, maybe pitch here also a bit from the fifth down.
[05:40.700] And the main point is that you have a lot of different sounds, break and switch through
[05:47.700] and yeah, you get this nice clear chop feeling, so maybe I do just one more, okay.
[06:11.340] So we switched the first bass here, we use a step mod, it's probably not the best tune
[06:16.980] I'm creating here, but I want to just explain basically the concept of how we can approach
[06:23.140] this, you probably will take more time on each step and carefully decide what not to
[06:31.620] turn and how it should sound, right.
[06:34.380] So now we take the step mod here, just randomize here all the steps, modulate the index and
[06:41.740] now we get switch through the layers here, but nothing happens because we have one long
[06:49.060] note in here, right, so the layer basically changes only when you have a note off and
[06:56.540] have a note on, so we switch to a different note, so we stay on the first voice here.
[07:03.220] What we do is of course we repeat here, note repeat and the quantizer and we switch
[07:15.940] here on the groove, so we can apply to the quantizer the global groove setting here.
[07:44.460] Okay, that's okay, and we can switch here also pretty instantaneously how the sounds
[07:57.300] by changing the repetitions and changing here the note select or the step mod.
[08:16.220] So you get a nice base groove there, we put everything of this into an instrument selector,
[08:23.420] so we have an selector inside the note instrument layer and then we switch this to an instrument
[08:30.540] selector, so a selector inside of the selector, we call this base here.
[08:36.060] So now that we have the base, we create another layer for instance for some musical elements,
[08:41.820] so we have here a polyscent just playing this note and we are on E of course and this
[08:50.820] is why these note effects, effect devices we got are so important, it's not because
[08:56.580] you can do finally some music without knowing how the piano works, now you can do basically
[09:02.940] pump out these kinds of genres like Glitch-Hop pretty easily because you can rely on all
[09:09.540] these nesting here inside instrument selectors and can switch through different devices.
[09:14.700] And on each layer you can change the notes a bit, you can change how the rhythm is for
[09:19.260] each of these notes pretty easily, without you know, fiddling around inside the note
[09:24.620] clip or have multiple tracks with the same notes but with different rhythms, so it's
[09:29.260] much much easier this way.
[09:31.540] So inside here we can create now a chord with the muting note because we have just one
[09:37.260] note in here right, so we want to create for this layer here which is not the base, a
[09:43.820] major chord, we do this by something like this.
[09:48.820] And here we can also use a note repeat and a quantizer with a clover roof on and you
[10:01.580] get this groove instantaneously.
[10:07.060] Maybe use a small reverb here, one here, maybe a phaser, maybe we can use here also a
[10:33.580] transpose and use random mod and just switch here one octave higher, so we switch between
[10:42.260] the octaves but every time a note comes in and we switch this to hold.
[11:02.540] So
[11:26.700] And it's maybe too much, maybe we scrap this.
[11:41.900] And we put in here a key filter because we want to change probably the notes here.
[11:46.260] So we are on E and we go probably for Phrygian.
[11:56.020] So we can go into the note clip here.
[12:23.700] We dial in the front groove.
[12:35.140] So now that we have basically this chord and this bass here, right, we can duplicate
[12:41.500] the poly centium and maybe all its chords.
[12:45.660] And this here this is an arpeggiator probably you want to use.
[12:50.100] So note repeats is something we don't need, we don't need this.
[12:55.700] This is probably also not needed and then we use an arpeggiator here and we use the quantizer
[13:02.060] after the arpeggiator here.
[13:05.460] Well let's see, does this end?
[13:12.540] Well it's not needed because we have here the groove also inside the arpeggiator so it's
[13:16.460] not really needed.
[13:39.020] So now we have here an arpeggiator which is also cool and we can use here another layer
[13:43.580] with a sampler on it.
[13:45.140] So in this sampler we can probably use some effect zones.
[13:49.740] So what I did in my last tune was using a water drop.
[14:02.980] That's something like this, increase the volume a bit, let's see water drop.
[14:20.820] So we need also here some repeats, quantizer, okay so this is something probably interesting
[14:36.900] it can also use here multiple different effect zones.
[14:41.060] For the next layer here I do something like this but with some percussion sounds.
[14:48.260] Use the sampler here, you move the sampler and let's go for some bonko sounds here.
[14:58.260] So we need to select all the samples here and remove the key tracking and then we go
[15:09.900] here to this layer, everything is selected, we control A, select everything, right click,
[15:17.020] distribute select equally, so now we have here on this page every sample on a different
[15:23.260] select setting and then we use scrap mods of course to switch through all the samples
[15:29.500] here.
[15:30.500] So you can also randomize this here a bit until you like it.
[15:52.220] So now we have here some percussion sounds and you can completely wipe with the layers here
[16:20.020] we can use all kinds of effect zones or vocal sounds, it doesn't matter until it sounds
[16:25.980] cool of course.
[16:26.980] We do have some vocal tricks in here, yeah I'll get it basically with some different
[16:35.940] percussion sounds in here, I'll select this, key tracking, use off, right click, select
[16:50.420] equally.
[17:05.180] Now that we have this we can switch back to the base here and you guessed it, probably
[17:12.460] already we use a step mod on here, modulate the index, yeah just randomly change here
[17:21.260] the pattern, the pattern.
[17:25.860] And the first bit you notice is that it doesn't change also the layers here because we have
[17:32.660] still the long notes here going into this device.
[17:38.220] So we need of course repeats to chunk these long notes up into multiple sections, you
[17:45.180] can use here of course the repeats of the piano roll if you want to but all these repeats
[17:52.060] are also going into the other devices and I think or I found I'm much more dynamic with
[18:04.060] this approach by using repeat the repeats device in front of this thing here.
[18:21.900] And you can see you know if you have this here at zero you have a base sound, you can
[18:27.900] decide on this pattern pretty easily where you want to have some base sounds or if you
[18:31.900] want to have more bass than musical elements and so on.
[18:41.700] And you can go for once I'll see also what we're setting on and you can play around with
[19:11.660] it.
[19:19.900] So all you need to do now is basically have this whole track inside this instrument selector
[19:24.380] here and you can probably guess that it's super interesting actually to go into all of these
[19:29.940] layers go to the step spots here and press this small little dice thing because you can
[19:36.580] change the whole track and if you add more of these layers here it becomes interesting
[19:43.220] and more complex over time without you know going into the piano roll and painting in all
[19:50.660] these small little edits you need to do all you have to do is basically go to the layers
[19:56.020] push this dice button here and listen to it and if you like it you bounce it down to audio
[20:03.820] or maybe duplicate here the whole track and I show you this in a minute how you can
[20:08.740] advance from this.
[20:10.580] So before we go your further I'm going for our zone of course it's not indexed for
[20:24.580] some reason sometimes this happens I don't know why.
[20:31.100] So all my BST3 devices are missing then I have no idea why this happens I haven't found
[20:36.500] out it really occasionally.
[20:39.700] So now we have this here we want to use the matching EQ.
[20:50.700] So we can click this here this layer on top and we say
[21:20.300] after 8 bars play order so this applies for this and this.
[21:31.020] So what we do now is we duplicate this here this over here and do the same here for
[21:42.660] these two 8 and play order.
[21:51.060] So here on the second layer on the second track we just dial in at different settings
[22:00.220] also for the bass maybe here.
[22:04.020] Also maybe for the precautions, different settings and here also would be really nice
[22:16.380] if actually Bitwig would allow to modulate this button here this would make this much
[22:23.220] much easier when you can just click one button here and the parent device and you randomize
[22:29.700] all the nested devices inside but it's not possible at the moment but I'm sure we get
[22:35.220] this at some point.
[22:58.020] I think the sounds pretty great actually so maybe we do here the same with this one.
[23:13.500] So on this layer we also, right so we can create more the ball bass maybe we get the
[23:33.220] different.
[23:46.100] If I actually would had graphed with the bass a bit better then it would sound much
[23:51.180] much better but just for this tutorial to give you basically an idea how this works to
[24:00.060] create these kind of workshop sounds I iterated a bit faster through all of this right
[24:05.020] so maybe I'll group this together with the sidechain on it so we can use drum machine
[24:23.100] or there's actually no, okay so I'm using here to click only, click only preset this basically
[24:34.180] filters out everything from C1 to C1 which is the kick drum so I can go to drum machine
[24:43.460] and click only filter here and only get the kick drum in here.
[25:13.020] And this sounds not so great now but when you add some effects to it more layers of complexity
[25:36.140] then it gets interesting fast and I want to show you my track from yesterday I made
[25:40.540] on the weekend basically the same thing as you can see of some more of these layers in
[25:46.260] here but it's the same concept basically it's the same thing I'm using as some key filters
[25:52.140] for the bass and for the chords but it's the same thing basically I used your multiple
[26:01.820] layers of different chords settings different devices you can also use VSTs of course if you
[26:07.020] want to.
[26:30.700] So basically what you do is you take the whole complexity of editing all the stuff in
[26:50.180] the piano roll into these note effects layers here and switch through the layers pretty easily
[26:57.620] with the steps mod and gets you very far you know pretty easily very far and you can also
[27:05.300] influence how the sounds and how the switches change over time with the steps mod pretty easily
[27:11.620] you have the quantizer here also bring in the rhythm pretty easily and you can change the
[27:17.140] rhythm by changing the repeat settings here super easy and then you can bounce down to
[27:23.860] audio if you want to have nice little audio files you can mess with right okay that's it
[27:32.340] I probably put this up on my Patreon here if you want to download this so subscribe to
[27:39.300] the Patreon leave a like if you liked the video and thanks for watching see you in the next video bye