Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Generative

Using Voice Stacking with Monophonic Node Grids in Bitwig Studio

Tutorial | Aug 09, 2022

In this video, I show you how to use the Note Grid in monophonic mode with voice stacking to create interesting polyphonic sounds. I demonstrate how to use a trigger module, pitches module and polysand to create a self-running patch in monophonic mode. I then show how to use the voice stack modulator to distinguish between voices and make alterations to each voice. I also explain how to use the select module or simply the modulation itself to create different settings for each voice. Finally, I demonstrate how to use this technique with my generative presets to create richer sounds.

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 trick Borough taught me about using a Note Grid in Monophonic Mode with Voice Stacking?

The trick Borough taught is that you can use a Note Grid in Monophonic Mode with Voice Stacking to create self-running patches with different voices. This is done by using a Trigger Module to output gates and a Pitches Module to output pitches to a Polysand. The Note Grid is then set to Voice Stacking mode, with the voices set to two or more. You then use a Voice Stack Modulator to modulate parameters for each voice, and a merge module to connect the two voices. This allows for two monophonic patches to be running at the same time, with different settings for each voice.

How can I use the Voice Stack Modulator to create polyrhythms?

The Voice Stack Modulator can be used to create polyrhythms by modulating parameters for each voice. For example, you can use a Reverse module to create a reversed signal for one of the voices, or use a Scalar Halftime module to create different speeds for each voice. You can also use the Select module to target different parameters for each voice, such as the trigger settings of a Trigger Module


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.
[00:02.560] I want to show you a trick I recently learned from one of my patrons called Borough and
[00:07.160] he said you can actually use the Note Grid in monophonic mode and with voice stacking.
[00:13.040] So I want to show you this here because it leads to interesting results and interesting
[00:16.960] devices.
[00:18.120] So we use a Note Grid here and this Note Grid is in monophonic mode, right?
[00:22.720] So this means we can create a self-running patch with this.
[00:26.800] We don't need the input, we only need node outputs.
[00:32.120] So we're going to use here a trigger module, output to the gates, and you can hear we trigger
[00:40.440] just the node of C3 all the time.
[00:43.880] But we also want to use maybe a pitches module here to get some different pitches out, something
[00:52.760] like this.
[00:53.760] So now we have one voice active because it's a monophonic mode, outputting these pitches
[00:59.280] and these gate signals to this polysand.
[01:03.880] Pretty easy, right?
[01:05.160] So now we set this Note Grid here into voice stacking mode, increasing the voices to two.
[01:12.040] Now we have the monophonic patch here running two times at the same time in monophonic mode.
[01:20.320] So all we need to do now is basically to make some alterations to each of these voices,
[01:25.520] to voice one and voice two, to create some polyphonic output while having still a self-running
[01:36.280] patch in monophonic mode.
[01:39.600] So what we're going to do is we select here a voice stack modulator and you can see we
[01:46.080] have access here now with modulations to voice one and voice two.
[01:50.400] And we can also switch this here to the first node, so we have a modulation signal ranging
[01:56.920] from zero to one.
[01:59.560] So now we disable here the pre-chord of this pitches module.
[02:02.680] You can see it holds here the playhead in place.
[02:06.480] And we can use a face in here and also a merge, connect the merge here to the face input and
[02:16.600] also the face input to the merge here.
[02:19.000] So now it's running exactly like before.
[02:22.520] And we want to target here the second input jack, basically the second voice.
[02:26.440] We can do this by just connecting this tool and maybe alter the signal a bit.
[02:31.520] So we use a reverse here just to make it clear what happens.
[02:36.840] And to distinguish between the two voices, we need here also a value knob and you may
[02:42.960] be already guessed that we just modulated with the voice stack modulator this value.
[02:52.440] So now we have two monophonic patches running and each voice using different face signals.
[03:00.640] The first one is using this signal here, which is our original signal.
[03:05.600] And the second voice is using this signal here, basically reversed.
[03:09.360] You can see we have two playheads now here.
[03:11.800] One is playing forwards and one is playing backwards.
[03:14.640] Right?
[03:15.640] Interesting.
[03:16.640] So now we can do the same here to the triggers because this trigger module sends out the
[03:23.640] triggers to these two voices at the same time.
[03:27.440] So we can also distinguish these two here by using just duplicators basically here.
[03:36.280] Using this for voice one and this for voice two, maybe a different setting here and also
[03:42.960] connecting here the value.
[03:44.840] You can see we have now voice one playing this pictures module with this face signal
[03:54.840] and with this trigger setting and voice two is playing in reverse with this trigger setting.
[04:02.480] I probably also want to have here a sample on hold in place because the step size of
[04:09.000] this don't match the trigger size.
[04:11.480] So you can use here also the output of this.
[04:14.320] So we have a sample on hold for each voice differently.
[04:26.240] You can create some poly rhythms with this, you can see.
[04:30.960] So now that we have this, we can of course increase the voices here to three.
[04:36.280] So now we have three outputs here from the voice stack modulator.
[04:40.440] We can also increase here the ports in ports for the mergers.
[04:51.760] Maybe we use here a scalar halftime.
[05:00.560] So now you can see we have three play heads here playing in different speeds in different
[05:03.920] directions and create some poly rhythm changes to it.
[05:12.000] Another thing is you don't need actually to use this merge module.
[05:16.840] You can also use the select module.
[05:20.080] This works too, but you have only two inputs, but sometimes you just need two, right?
[05:27.960] And you can also just use the modulation itself.
[05:31.920] So maybe use the transpose here and transpose the outputs of this pitchers module on each
[05:40.160] voice and then just use the voice stack modulator here and just modulate.
[05:47.800] And each voice gets it, gets now it's different offset, it's pitch offset or transpose offset
[05:54.080] maybe call it to 12, it's all over the place, but we can use the key track here maybe send
[06:05.880] it to
[06:30.880] this gives a nice rhythm.
[06:35.000] So poly rhythms from the note grid in monophonic mode separated by the voice stack modulator.
[06:43.400] So you have everything in one patch and you can decide which voice or which voice stack
[06:48.800] gets which trigger input and which phase input and which pitch alteration or pitch offset
[06:56.240] and you can create nice patches because now you can just go in here and select different
[07:02.200] settings, it's already a small little melody maker.
[07:15.960] Also you can use this trick with all my self running generative presets I made in the recent
[07:21.000] years.
[07:22.880] Just apply a voice stack or create voice stacks and then use the modulation of the voice stack
[07:29.760] modulator to create different settings for each voice and maybe get a more richer output
[07:39.520] of all these generative patches.
[07:42.080] So in this example here I have a self running patch using a phase in sign mode attenuate
[07:48.960] sample and hold to just create a nice little melody.
[07:53.680] You can change the melody by changing the sign mode here
[08:06.160] and then you can also change the note range by using this attenuate here maybe call it
[08:10.320] note range and call this melody here.
[08:27.600] And now you can create chords from this actually by using the voice stack so we have in the
[08:31.680] note grid here I dialed in three notes or three voice stacks actually and you can use
[08:39.160] the voice stack modulator now to modulate here, the value is also 0 to 1 to increase
[08:45.960] the note range on each stack differently so each of these stacks gets a different scaled
[08:59.440] value from 0 to 1, maybe change the melody also, you can also implement here a transpose
[09:24.560] here in the positive range maybe we can also add here a second voice stack and the second
[09:38.640] one doesn't have a range of 0 to 1 we go actually from minus 1 to plus 1 so when we modulate
[09:45.520] transpose it also goes into the negative range, so you can enrich in your monophonic patches
[10:02.320] drastically by using voice stack, you can also switch this here to manual mode so you
[10:12.480] can decide which modulation gets which voice stack so when you modulate your transpose
[10:20.880] for instance you can say just let voice 1 alone right modulator maybe a transpose of
[10:29.080] 50% to the transpose and maybe the last one here gets 100% transpose so you can also use
[10:37.760] manual here to target certain voice stacks with different values so let's create here
[11:00.760] maybe different triggers for different voice stacks so we can use here of course like I
[11:06.720] used before a merge module to distinguish between different triggers you can also adjust
[11:12.920] modulated value but now we don't have chords anymore it's more like a melody or polyrhythmic
[11:40.080] mullet melody.
[12:10.080] Let's try a clock quantizer.
[12:35.080] So a lot of possibilities actually to play around with just using the voice seg module
[13:05.040] later and the note grid or also monophonic polygrids also possible to use it that way.
[13:11.040] You don't need to use a note grid, it's also possible with polygrids.
[13:30.040] It's a nice tip how you can use voice tags on grids in Bitwig Studio.
[13:35.040] Thanks for letting me know Borough.
[13:37.040] Also thanks to all my patrons who keep me up to date with the latest shit in the Bitwig universe
[13:42.040] and inspiring me for new video content.
[13:45.040] Also thanks to all my patrons in general for supporting me for that long, you guys rock.
[13:51.040] Subscribe to the channel, leave a like if you liked the video and see you next time. Bye.