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Creating Chord Memory Presets with Note FX Selector and Note Grid

Bitwig Tutorial | Dec 12, 2022

This video explains how to use a chord memory preset to play different chord shapes with various root keys. It also explains how to use the note FX selector and note grid to achieve this.

You can watch the Video on Youtube


If you downt want to watch the Video, or search for a specific topic, here is the transcription of the video with links to video markers:

[00:00.920] Hey, folks, welcome back to another video.
[00:03.000] The day it's about creating and chord memory preset
[00:07.120] where you can fire up some chords, some chord shapes
[00:11.080] and also different root keys for the chords.
[00:15.400] And yeah, you probably already know
[00:18.160] that you can use the multi-note for that.
[00:21.020] You can paint in here or type in certain key or chord shapes.
[00:31.020] Let's use a major chord here.
[00:34.020] Maybe also knock the floor for the bass.
[00:43.420] So you can play different keys.
[00:45.500] And each key you are using is basically the root key
[00:51.860] or the same root key of the key you are pressing.
[00:53.980] So because we are using the zero, right?
[00:56.820] And then all the upper notes here also in there.
[01:00.700] So you change the root key with your key
[01:03.380] and also the chord shape is always the same.
[01:08.300] So we can change this in different multiple ways.
[01:10.940] We can use, for instance, use here a pitch 12, which
[01:17.420] gives you a whole octave here of modulator.
[01:19.980] So every time you press a different key,
[01:21.940] you see lighting up or flashing up here a different modulator.
[01:32.500] So you can say every time I press C3 here,
[01:36.820] nothing happens when I press maybe D. I want to change this
[01:42.100] to a minor chord here.
[01:43.340] So I go down one semitone.
[01:46.980] And you also have to probably pull down at the leg.
[01:55.420] And then you can use all these modulators
[01:57.780] and create a different chord shape for each key
[02:02.060] you are pressing.
[02:03.260] The problem here is this is basically a combined octave.
[02:06.380] So you only have an octave of modulators.
[02:08.940] If you go up two octaves, it's the same modulators
[02:12.740] that are triggered.
[02:13.860] So every time you press a C, it doesn't matter which octave.
[02:17.340] You always get this modulator active here.
[02:20.540] So there are certain limitations for that.
[02:23.820] But it's kind of possible.
[02:25.900] So the other way would be to just use here the chord shape,
[02:29.300] put this into a note FX layer, and then
[02:34.700] switch to a note FX selector.
[02:37.260] So with the note FX layer here, we
[02:39.460] can use multiple note FX devices in parallel.
[02:43.460] But we want to switch to only one layer at a time.
[02:48.700] So we use here convert to note FX selector.
[02:53.060] And then on the first layer, we use here the major chord shape.
[02:58.260] Duplicate this here with control ND.
[03:00.660] And on the second layer, we use maybe a minor chord.
[03:04.300] And on the third layer, we use a suspended chord, maybe.
[03:09.020] And maybe use your fourth one and go to a different suspended.
[03:15.420] I think this is sus4, this is sus2.
[03:19.340] Yeah, kind of.
[03:20.940] So now we can switch between different shapes
[03:24.020] by just clicking on these layers here.
[03:25.900] So I play only C.
[03:27.340] Right, so we can use different chord shapes.
[03:37.260] To switch between these layers automatically,
[03:40.300] you can use different methods.
[03:41.660] You can select the note FX selector
[03:44.140] and go to key switches, for instance.
[03:47.660] And with key switches, you have a different set of notes
[03:51.300] or octave you can use to switch between the layers.
[03:54.700] Here, it's defined by C minus 2 to D sharp minus 2.
[03:59.860] So we can use your note clip.
[04:03.020] Use the root key here.
[04:10.300] Right, go up.
[04:14.740] So the root note goes up, but the chord shape is always the same.
[04:18.060] So we switch the chord shape here with the second pair of notes.
[04:27.580] Right, so we switch through the layers here.
[04:32.420] As you can see, because we are using
[04:34.380] at the second pair of notes in the same note clip.
[04:38.620] Can I zoom this out here?
[04:39.820] No, it's basically three octaves lower.
[04:43.700] And you can say we want to hear this chord shape.
[04:45.860] And on this note, you want to have this chord shape.
[04:48.140] And here, we want to have this one.
[04:52.820] Right, this also kind of works, but you
[04:56.860] need two different set of notes, basically.
[05:01.980] And sometimes you want to have one key.
[05:04.300] You play one key, for instance, C3.
[05:06.500] And you want to fire up a different chord shape
[05:09.220] with a completely different root note.
[05:11.740] So this is also possible.
[05:14.220] And you could also utilize here the pitch 12
[05:17.580] and maybe transpose and so on and transpose everything around.
[05:21.420] But what I would suggest is to use a note grid for that.
[05:26.180] So we use a note grid here.
[05:31.020] And in here, we get note input, gate input, pitch input,
[05:35.860] velocity input.
[05:37.740] And we use the note FX selector and put this into post FX here.
[05:41.420] And what we do is we disconnect here the pitch.
[05:44.780] So now we can play a note.
[05:50.540] You can see we play different notes here, but it's always C3.
[05:56.540] So we can change this here on the fly with using a key module.
[06:02.340] And every time we press C1, or maybe go up to C3 here,
[06:08.700] C3, or maybe C sharp 3, or maybe D.
[06:15.620] We use a modulator out for each of these.
[06:21.940] And we say every time we press C sharp 3,
[06:25.220] we want to go to actually do D sharp, which is three
[06:31.660] semitones higher.
[06:32.540] And we want to go to manual here, note FX selector.
[06:39.300] And we want to go to the third layer.
[06:41.460] So we modulate this by 2.
[06:47.460] Right?
[06:48.180] And every time I press now C3, we change the root key
[06:55.940] and change the layer at the same time.
[06:59.700] And this only works for this octave and for this note.
[07:03.100] So C sharp 3 is only triggering this.
[07:06.300] And you can define as many notes or key maps you want.
[07:13.540] So there's no limitation.
[07:15.820] So for D here, we maybe go down 2 to A sharp.
[07:23.380] And we use also a different chord shape, maybe up to 3.
[07:33.460] This one here goes maybe on up.
[07:37.420] So with this method, you can define chord shape and the root
[07:55.860] key at the same time, just with one note from your keyboard
[08:00.500] and can fire up certain things.
[08:03.500] So yeah, I think it's a nice way of doing that.
[08:07.380] You can also use this here, of course, for audio FX
[08:10.340] when you want to do something like a trigger FX preset,
[08:14.660] where you want to trigger with the keyboard
[08:16.460] different stellar effects or something like this.
[08:19.940] From an audio FX selector, then you
[08:22.860] can do this too here with a note grid or with a Poly-Grid.
[08:26.300] It's also possible.
[08:27.820] So just to give you this idea, maybe to try it out.
[08:32.660] And yeah, that's it for this video, I think.
[08:35.460] Leave a thumbs up if you liked it.
[08:37.100] If you have some questions about it,
[08:38.660] then leave it in the comments.
[08:40.500] And thanks for watching.
[08:41.860] Until next time, bye.