Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Generative

Using Modulator Outputs to Create Probabilistic Behaviors in the Grid

Tutorial | Aug 04, 2022

In this video, I talked about how you can use random modulator outputs to create probabilistic behavior in the grid. I explained how you can misuse the DICE module and the trigger module to create a "chance module" and why it works. I gave an example of how you can use the knowledge of the trigger module's requirement of the value of 0.5 to enable a feature with the modulator. I also showed how you can use the modulator to change the frequency and decay setting of a noise and filter, and to enable and disable other features. Finally, I highlighted the beauty of the grid in that you can always learn something new.

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Questions & Answers

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

How can I misuse random modulator outputs to create probabilistic behavior in the grid?

You can use a DICE module to output random values and use the Trigger module to trigger it so that new random values are generated each time. You can also use an attenuator to scale down the signal from 100% to 50%, so that the dice module needs to output a value of 1 to create a trigger. This can be used to create a chance module of sorts and enable or disable certain features in the grid with a modulator.

What is the minimum value needed to create a trigger in the grid?

The minimum value needed to create a trigger in the grid is 0.5. This is because the trigger is recognized when the value reaches the 0.5 line.

How can I create a looping envelope with a random modulator?

You can use a modulator to change the frequency of the envelope, and then use the same modulator to modulate the snooping feature of the grid patch. By setting the modulation amount to 0.51, you can decrease the probability of the snooping feature being enabled,


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. I want to highlight in this video how you can
[00:04.800] misuse certain random modulator outputs to create some kind of probabilistic behavior
[00:10.640] inside the grid. And maybe I explain this a bit better because I already teased this
[00:16.520] in a recent video, but maybe I highlighted this a bit more and explain why it works
[00:21.040] and what the thinking is about it. So for instance, use the DICE module here which outputs
[00:27.900] random values and we use the trigger module and we trigger the DICE module so on each
[00:33.960] trigger we can generate new random values. Also use an oscilloscope here just to zoom
[00:40.960] in on the behavior. It's over here. You can see there's a certain trend to this random
[00:49.880] modulator output here. You can see that values above zero or slightly above zero or even
[00:59.060] zero itself are triggered all the time. So we have at least something above zero all
[01:05.100] the time and values around one or slightly below one are triggered very rarely. So you
[01:12.380] can misuse this in the grid for certain things here and there without using the chance module
[01:17.620] of the grid. And you can also use this outside of the grid when you modulate maybe devices
[01:23.880] and you want to change this in a probabilistic way. So for instance, inside the grid we have
[01:31.780] here a value knob and we have here an envelope and you can trigger this with the trigger
[01:47.180] module of course. And you can see we get your trigger every time we play basically here
[01:54.300] the gate and these gates have special properties. Let's say every time you reach the one from
[02:05.220] zero. So we go from zero to one. It is recognized inside the grid as a trigger more or less.
[02:12.740] But that's not the whole story. At least inside the grid you need at least the value of zero
[02:18.220] dot five not even one to create a trigger. So we can utilize this here for instance with
[02:24.620] the value. You can see the value here doesn't do anything. Only when we reach zero dot five
[02:33.340] from below zero dot five of low 50% here in this case. Then we create a trigger. Damn
[02:44.540] here at this position, right? Every time we cross from below 50% over 50% we create a
[02:49.660] trigger and only then. So now we know that the trigger inside the grid is recognized
[02:58.140] when you reach the zero dot five line. When we look now back again at the dice module
[03:04.500] with the dice module outputs you can see that we probably create a trigger every time we
[03:10.460] switch from below zero dot five to over or to exactly zero dot five. So when we connect
[03:17.140] this here to the dice or to the envelope from the dice, then you can see we get sometimes
[03:23.540] the trigger and sometimes not. And every time we get the trigger is probably when we reach
[03:27.500] the zero dot five line with the dice module. So what we can do now with this knowledge
[03:33.380] is that when we scale down this, the signal by using for instance an attenuate here where
[03:40.820] you can scale it from 100% to 50% can see now this dice module needs to output at least
[03:50.900] a value of one, which is output very, very rarely. Then this scalar plus this one down
[04:00.420] to zero dot five because it's 50% and then this one gets recognized as a trigger. So
[04:07.140] now we create basically a kind of a chance module because scaling down this dice signal
[04:12.740] to 50% we need to reach at least a number of one here to create a trigger here. Okay.
[04:21.500] So and now that we know this and we decrease basically the probability of this ad getting
[04:28.260] triggered, we can misuse this in certain circumstances. For instance, instead of using this attenuate
[04:35.620] here using a modulator. And we want to let's say enable here the snooping feature inside
[04:44.180] our grid patch. So we modulate this here. And you can see we can change the modulation
[04:49.300] amount by clicking and holding right and can also see it here on the left side. So you
[04:54.100] modulate this by one. And we know that we need to reach at least zero dot five to get
[05:00.780] the trigger. So we can pull this down to zero dot five. So again, this dice module needs
[05:06.220] to output a value of one to that modulator modulating this by zero dot five. And this
[05:14.340] one gets then enabled. So we decrease the probability of this feature getting enabled
[05:21.860] by just modulating this here by zero dot five. Maybe we want to increase this probability
[05:26.540] of this feature getting enabled by increasing here to zero dot five one or maybe zero dot
[05:34.300] six or something like this, right? So you can change the probability of something getting
[05:42.500] enabled by changing the modulation amount. This sometimes pretty helpful because you
[05:50.380] can modulate multiple things with this one here and change the probability of each modulation
[05:55.660] target by changing the modulation amount without using a chance module, right, dialing this
[06:02.660] in here. And then for a different target, you need a different chance with a different
[06:06.460] modulator. So you can make a shortcut there. So this is this is my point. And this is what
[06:11.940] I use most of the times. It's a cheap way of creating this probability behavior to certain
[06:17.780] switches inside the grid. And sometimes I use this and sometimes I use the chance module.
[06:23.620] It's not, you know, it's sometimes just to make a shortcut basically. So we can make
[06:30.660] here maybe a small little edge to amplify this a bit to give you a practical example.
[06:38.300] For instance, let's use your trigger out and trigger this and use maybe a noise and filter
[06:52.940] with the noise into the filter and do a band pass. Well, in here, make this pretty short
[07:00.180] out and also a volume. Nope, change here how loud this is. So now we trigger this. Maybe
[07:16.540] with 16 notes. So now we reach basically with a dice here over 0.5 trigger this. So we have
[07:29.580] kind of a chance already or a random triggering module already in place here. So we use a
[07:36.660] modulator here and we change the frequency of this. So on each trigger, we get a different
[07:46.660] filtering setting. And now we can use the same modulator. And instead of modulating
[07:57.140] this here, we modulating this by 0. Yeah, instead of using one here, we have to snooping
[08:11.020] all the time, which is pretty annoying, right? So we go down here to 0.51. And now we have
[08:21.660] to snooping only very rarely happening. So you can misuse the modulation amount to create
[08:35.620] some kind of probabilistic behavior on these switches here. That's maybe way too often.
[08:42.980] 0.51, something like this works probably too. That's a different one here to change the
[08:55.900] decay setting. Maybe something like this. And this is basically how I create my lick
[09:20.140] rhythms inside these generative patches all the time here. And we can also use here different
[09:30.740] dice for this. Yeah, and then sometimes you have this looping feature enabled to have a
[09:41.740] looping envelope. And also each time we get a different decay setting, which also changes
[09:49.500] how fast you loop through this envelope. So maybe get a phaser in here. And maybe a small
[10:10.540] delay or more delay, of course, with the blend. To recap this, you can misuse here the modulator
[10:25.180] out and dice or random LFO outputs to create some kind of probabilistic behavior by tweaking
[10:33.300] how much you modulate something and misuse it to enable or disable certain features here
[10:39.300] with these knobs, for instance, here on the AD envelope, the looping feature. But there
[10:45.260] are, of course, more you can switch here, maybe this one on or this on and off or something
[10:49.900] like this, right? You can modulate all this here with a modulator output and can change
[10:55.220] this behavior with the modulation amount. I think it's a neat little trick. And yeah,
[11:02.740] if you know it, you can use it. And if you don't know it, you can't use it. And it's
[11:06.820] also not documented. But that's the beauty of the grid. You always learn something new.
[11:14.660] Thanks for watching. Leave a like if you liked the video, subscribe to the channel and I'll
[11:18.220] see you in the next one. Thanks for watching and bye.