Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Sound-Design

How to Turn Polymer into a Physical Modelling Synth in Bitwig 4.3

Tutorial | Jun 28, 2022

In this video, I show how to turn the Polymer synthesizer into a physical modeling synthesizer using the Carpular Strong Method. This involves adding an ADSR in polyphonic mode, increasing the noise to 100%, using the comp filter instead of the cell and key filter, and modulating the drive with an ADSR. I also show some additional options like modulating the damping of the comp filter with expressions and velocity, increasing the resonance limit, softening the attack with a longer attack time, and modulating the noise envelope. I also demonstrate how to use a stereo oscillator, add distortion, and use a high pass filter for lower tones. Finally, I show how to save this as a preset and recall it when needed.

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Questions & Answers

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

What is the connection between physical modeling and model synthesizer?

The connection between physical modeling and model synthesizer is that in the model synthesizer you can change each partial. You can change the frequency of each partial. With physical modeling or the Carpular Strong Method, by using a comp filter, you can't do that. It's always the same frequency values and it’s always the harmonic series.

How can I turn the Polymer synthesizer into a physical modeling synthesizer?

To turn the Polymer synthesizer into a physical modeling synthesizer, you can add an ADSR in polyphonic mode, increase the noise to 100%, use the ADSR to modulate the drive knob, increase the feedback, and use the comp filter. You can also modulate the filter damping, resonance limit, and use the velocity, noise envelope and oscillator phase modulation for further sound design.

What are some sound design techniques I can use with the Polymer physical modeling synthesizer?

Some sound design techniques you can use with the Polymer physical modeling synthesizer include using the velocity to make the sound more alive, using the resonance limit to increase the


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] Bitwig 4.3 is finally out and I want to show you how you can turn the Polymer synthesizer,
[00:06.560] which is a subtractive synthesizer, into a physical modeling synthesizer.
[00:13.300] You can reuse and maybe save it as a preset.
[00:16.820] And I show you how I do it.
[00:19.000] And the connection between physical modeling and model synthesizer is that in the model
[00:24.520] synthesizer I showed you recently in the Bitwig Studio Grid, you can change each partial.
[00:29.400] You can change the frequency of each partial.
[00:32.440] With physical modeling or the Carpular Strong Method here, by using a comp filter, you can't
[00:37.800] do that.
[00:38.800] It's always the same frequency values.
[00:42.080] It's always the harmonic series.
[00:44.080] But that's not necessarily bad because most of the times you just need that and you want
[00:50.880] to create harmonic sounds, so you need, of course, the harmonic series.
[00:54.680] So I show you how you can do this with the Polymer.
[00:56.840] So in the init preset here, we have a Wavetable and the filter, cell and key filter
[01:01.560] and ADSR, and we can just play regular the sounds.
[01:07.600] So with my method, I'm adding here an ADSR, making this pretty short, super short actually,
[01:17.200] and using this ADSR in polyphonic mode because we want to press multiple notes or play chords.
[01:24.280] Then I'm increasing the noise to 100%, so we only hear the noise instead of the oscillators.
[01:31.040] We basically skip the oscillator completely and we go with the noise into the filter.
[01:39.720] Instead of the cell and key filter, we use here the comp filter, of course.
[01:44.480] And then we need to implement some kind of ADSR for the noise and we do this here by
[01:51.600] using the drive knob, pull this down to zero or infinity, so you can't hear anything.
[01:58.400] And then you use the ADSR here to modulate the drive by just one.
[02:03.880] And then we increase here the feedback.
[02:15.760] And we have basically a super simple, carpler-strong physical modeling synthesizer implemented
[02:22.080] here with the polymer.
[02:24.080] You can save this as a preset and recall it next time you need this, but I want to show
[02:29.240] you here maybe some options you can do.
[02:32.080] So first off, the comp filter has in 4.3 has a new parameter, it's called damping here.
[02:40.840] So now you can basically hear all overtones and then you can slowly damp these overtones
[02:46.640] a bit.
[02:53.480] If you watched my recent video about the modal synthesizer in the grid, it's basically just
[02:58.600] reducing each partial in volume slightly to get this damping sound.
[03:05.360] But here it's just one knob and it works like a low pass filter that you slowly close.
[03:14.280] So this is something you can modulate with the expressions and the velocity.
[03:19.000] So the harder you press the key on the keyboard, the more it opens up and it sounds more alive.
[03:33.560] Then you can use your more longer release times.
[03:41.520] You can right click on this comp filter and you have this resonance limit here.
[03:45.720] It's also something you can increase.
[03:48.520] Then maybe you can soften a bit the attack here by making a longer attack.
[03:56.120] So you can maybe make this a bit soft, something like this and then you use the velocity to
[04:04.080] make it a bit harder, the more you press the key.
[04:21.880] So you try to shape the sound a bit.
[04:25.440] Another thing you can do is play around with the noise envelope here.
[04:29.680] So we have this super short and you can make it even shorter.
[04:41.680] And it almost sounds like you pluck some string on a violin or something so it gets more of
[04:49.640] this vibe.
[04:52.400] Maybe even soften your attack a bit more.
[05:07.120] It almost sounds like you blow some kind of flute or something so you can even amplify
[05:12.480] this by using a negative polarity that sounds more like a flute.
[05:26.000] You probably have to more amplify a certain instrument here in the FX box with some EQing
[05:31.920] and bring in some formance, some static instrument typical resonances that you have from the
[05:40.760] body of this instrument.
[05:42.760] So I don't know out of my head what are the frequencies of a guitar body or a flute body
[05:50.080] but you can read this on the internet somewhere probably or try out different type of picking
[05:57.680] frequencies here to kind of simulate the body.
[06:07.960] So it sounds more like a real instrument if you want to go for the sound, right?
[06:14.680] Then what else?
[06:16.480] Yes, you can switch your maybe to a different oscillator, maybe saw and then you remove
[06:25.880] the noise and then you switch the oscillator to zero.
[06:29.720] So now you basically don't use the phase input here to drive this oscillator.
[06:35.760] This oscillator is basically not moving and the only thing you can move this oscillator
[06:40.520] is by using here the phase modulation amount so you can go through the phase of the oscillator
[06:46.800] shape here and can hold on different positions in this cycle of this oscillator.
[06:54.000] This gives you also some kind of different sounds.
[07:17.960] Once more like bell sounds, maybe use a random mod for this every time we press a key here
[07:30.200] we change the value and also go to hold and yes, modulators.
[07:51.320] We try to switch here the oscillator to stereo mode so we did you in the left and the right
[07:57.920] channel changes a bit to this sync.
[08:27.200] So you can play around with a lot of parameters here and modulate different things to get
[08:32.160] different tonalities out of this and you can imagine if you use an MPE controller or something
[08:37.200] like this and you use the pressure here to tumble and modulate a lot of different things.
[08:42.720] You can make this really, really playful and get some nice organic sounds out.
[09:03.080] And sometimes you introduce here some lower frequencies from the cop filter and Polymer
[09:08.360] has here some kind of high pass implemented so you can use this.
[09:14.280] And of course here mod wheel modulation so we can go to manual.
[09:42.680] And get nice sounds out of this.
[10:09.880] Now let's try some distortion here of the sounds.
[10:28.720] Especially when you have lower sounds, lower tones here, they sound kind of, they really
[10:38.960] sound and need some distortion.
[11:09.960] It's really fun to play around with this.
[11:11.840] So I want to show you basically a quick way of turning this Polymer into a physical modeling
[11:17.160] sync.
[11:18.160] You can play around with, save yourself this as a preset and you can recall it every time
[11:22.720] you need it and have fun with it.
[11:27.000] So thanks for watching, leave a like if you liked the video, subscribe to the channel
[11:30.960] and I'll see you in the next video.
[11:32.440] Thanks for watching and bye.