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Create Unique Reverb Effects with Bitwig Studio - Learn How To Do It Now!

Tutorial | Jan 05, 2023

This video explains how to use the FX Grid in Bitwig Studio to create a unique reverb effect. It involves stacking multiple all-pass devices and manipulating their delay times to create diffusion, as well as adding in a modulated delay and low/high pass filters to shape the sound. The video also demonstrates how to bring in the dry signal at different stages of the chain to prevent contrast between the dry and wet signals.

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[00:00.000] Hey folks, welcome back to another video. The dates about creating a reverb in Bitwig
[00:04.680] Studio and your first question is probably why do I should care? Why do I
[00:08.960] should create another reverb? I have already 50,000 reverb plug-ins installed
[00:14.800] and what's the problem? And I have no real answer to that but it's fun and most
[00:23.880] of the times you learn how things work in the background and also sometimes you
[00:29.640] create unique effects that are unique to your song in unique to your kind of
[00:37.160] sound you create. So you can tinker and tweak reverbs exactly like you want it to
[00:45.040] be and what kind of sound you are going for. So I want to show you some things
[00:51.320] you can do in the grid and also with native but Bitwig devices. So here we
[00:56.960] have just a one instrument track on there as a piano tech. Just a dry piano
[01:03.560] sound. Okay, so I've also done auto level on there. I showed you this in the
[01:15.880] recent videos. It's just so you I keep the I keep a nice loudness to everything
[01:21.840] because we tweak around with reverbs and all pass devices and feedback and so on.
[01:26.240] So this makes sure that you can hear it pretty clearly what I'm doing. So I start
[01:34.400] with the grid. So we use an FX grid. Later I show you probably also how you can
[01:39.880] create a reverb just with normal devices but you probably already know that. So
[01:45.440] this video is more about creating stuff in the grid and the easiest way to diffuse
[01:51.280] something is to use an R pass of course. You probably already know that.
[01:55.360] So now it sounds like this. We can hear the reverb or the delays delay tabs. So you
[02:08.600] can hear each individual tab right. So and what we want trying to do is we try
[02:15.320] to fill in the gaps in between these individual tabs to kind of diffuse the
[02:22.520] signal to make it smooth right. Reverb usually sounds like this when you use
[02:26.720] here the native reverb. It's a smooth long paid out. That's what we're trying to
[02:39.040] achieve. You don't want to have an echo right like this. So this is called
[02:47.080] diffusion and you can do this by using multiple R pass devices and then tweak
[02:54.720] each delay time of each of these devices. So we have thirty to three here. So maybe
[03:00.200] we go forty to sixty right. So we try to make different delays or echoes and each
[03:11.800] echo has a different delay timing. So you have tabs that are not on the same
[03:17.120] position in time. So you fill in the gaps right. So it's a much smoother now.
[03:26.520] And the more you do that the smoother the signal becomes. And you can be pretty
[03:34.560] precise with these numbers here. You can calculate that. You have a real precise
[03:42.000] scaling here or going up with these numbers increasing of the number. But
[03:47.760] you can also just dial it in manually by hand by just you know guessing some
[03:52.960] numbers or finding some numbers that works for you. But some people are
[04:00.760] like it very very precise. We can calculate that if you want to. But I
[04:06.360] prefer most of the times to just dial in some some numbers I think are right and
[04:13.000] to get a different sound. It's like improvising on the piano right instead
[04:19.760] of just calculating the notes. So now you can do this forever here. And there
[04:28.640] are multiple ways of combining our past devices. You can do it like this in
[04:34.560] serial here. It's the easiest way of doing that. But you can also do it in
[04:39.320] parallel. You know scale it up here vertically and then you mix it together.
[04:44.120] It has everything as prone cons. So here the problem is after some after
[04:50.440] some after some stacking you can hear the signals much smoother. But you also
[04:58.720] build up in a certain frequency area because they have all static frequencies
[05:04.920] or static delay times. So it gets a bit metallic sound to it. So we can prevent
[05:15.440] that by implementing a normal delay here at some point. And then modulating the
[05:23.040] delay time which gives you some kind of pitch effect. So we use an LFO for
[05:28.560] instance. We can use an LFO. And we disable here the retriggering. So you
[05:34.200] want you don't want to retrigger the LFO every time you press a key. So this
[05:38.160] gives you then clicks at certain points. Here we just want to have this free
[05:42.000] running. And we also want to go probably to herds. You can also sync this here to
[05:49.120] your project demo. But I prefer your free running herds numbers.
[05:58.080] You go to audio rate. It almost sounds like a spring reverb.
[06:06.680] If you're going for that sound. But I prefer your slow.
[06:20.600] Not too much. Just a tad. Just change a bit the pitch timing. So this is
[06:32.680] something you can do. Then the next problem is that it takes some time for
[06:37.440] the original tri-signal to pass through all the devices in coming out here at
[06:43.640] the end. So you press basically key. Then it takes some time. And then you hear
[06:50.080] the reverb. So you can bring in the tri-signal. Which is OK in this case. But
[07:01.560] when you create more or longer things here, longer chains, then contrast
[07:09.000] between tri-signal and the wet signal is too much, too high. So then you can
[07:16.240] hear that you mix basically together a tri-signal with no reverb at all. And
[07:21.600] then a super wet long reverb that has nothing to do with the tri-signal
[07:26.040] anymore. So what I do sometimes is to use a mixer and mix in certain
[07:37.000] stages here of this chain. So let's say we have here the first input is the
[07:43.320] whole chain. The second input is then maybe something here after three
[07:50.760] devices. And then we have also your stage after the first all-pass. So we
[07:56.720] blend in multiple stages or bring out different stages here. So this
[08:04.160] one is a bit drier. This one is a bit as a wet. And this one is then the longest
[08:12.400] one. So you can combine all three together. And the signal becomes of
[08:19.120] course a bit louder. So we can make this a bit minus six, minus twelve. Scale is
[08:31.760] also a bit. You can also say I want to have this on the left side and this on
[08:36.680] the right side if you want to. So it's up to you. Easy. So at the end we
[08:48.680] probably also want to have a low pass to just to narrow down the frequency
[08:55.880] range of the wet signal. Also maybe a high pass just to get rid of some low
[09:00.480] rumble that builds up maybe over time. 80 or another third something like this.
[09:06.920] A bit steeper filter here. Also nice trick could be to use a chorus. Maybe at
[09:24.880] the start here. And there is an algorithm you're called eight voices. So it splits
[09:31.360] the signal up into eight paths and then kind of pitch modulates it. So we don't
[09:39.720] need to do that here. You can also just use a chorus if you want to. Or both.
[09:45.440] And then maybe use also chorus here for the mid signal with a different setting
[10:03.520] maybe. You can also choose a different algorithm if you want to. So there are so
[10:08.720] many possibilities here. So this is something you can do. Then we can maybe
[10:26.920] also let's see. Use a mod delay here at the end. And because we have here already
[10:39.440] the few signal going into the mod delay. The mod delay itself doesn't sound that
[10:45.040] much like a delay anymore because we already fill in some gaps in between the
[10:50.640] delay tabs. Okay. So it makes the whole reverb a bit longer. Extending its time.
[11:18.560] Maybe we blend here the try signal or the diffuse signal with the mod delay
[11:23.720] together. Also bring down at the low pass. With lesser feedback. And maybe a
[11:32.600] second one. And you can also maybe utilize here. Let's see the output of the
[11:42.720] LFO and modulate the delay time of the mod delay. Just a tad. Just to get some
[11:51.600] movement in there. And here of course with the second one we want to have
[11:59.520] different delay timing. Maybe a shorter one. Well, let's go to six. And again, use a mixer.
[12:13.280] Mix this together. So it's not something you need to copy to 100%. I just make
[12:28.640] this stuff up. It's not the patch I know. You have to patch it this way. You can go
[12:34.960] in every kind of direction. It's all about diffusing the signal and combining,
[12:39.560] recombining it with different stuff, right? So it's really up to you. This can
[12:45.040] look much, much different on your screen than on mine here. Just making this
[12:49.280] stuff up. So this is not the patch I know. I rebuilt something. Just using delays
[12:56.600] and all pass devices to diffuse and extend the signal in time. So what else?
[13:03.800] We can also just disable this here for a moment and use a different FX grid and
[13:10.480] implement the pitch shifter. We use a long delay and use an LFO. And I also
[13:21.120] showed you this in a video how you do this. And I want to go to ramp signal here.
[13:26.400] We can use here what's called a skew to create a ramp or a saw kind of. And then
[13:35.120] we probably want to go to Hertz because we want to have this independent from
[13:40.760] the BPM we are having in our project. You probably want to use the reverb in
[13:45.120] multiple projects with different BPM times. And this one, the speed of the
[13:50.040] LFO decides of the pitch. So we want to have this independent from the project.
[13:55.360] And we also want to disable here the retriggering because every time we press a
[13:59.360] key on the keyboard we don't want to re-trigger the LFO phase. So now we
[14:05.360] modulate here this offset by 50%, let's say. So now you can see it's moving
[14:15.120] here from the LFO and let's play a sound. So we can pitch up the sound here with a
[14:25.800] bit of clicks in there. So I use a tuner and I'm playing probably when this is
[14:33.600] disabled, the C note, C4. Perfect. So we want to go for C5. So around here.
[14:53.960] Nice. So we have C5. So we create basically a pitch-shifted, one octave higher
[15:06.360] pitch-shifted signal from the original audio. The only problem is that we have
[15:10.920] these cracks in there and the cracks happening every time we go back here
[15:18.320] or we jump from 1 to 0. Let's use an oscilloscope, you can see it.
[15:30.160] Right, so we can see here we have this RAM signal every time we go back from 1
[15:35.280] to 0 or from 0 to 1 we get this crackling. So the solution to that is that
[15:47.600] we fade out the signal every time we pass this phase here of 0 going to 1.
[15:54.560] And the easiest way to do that is, in my opinion, to use a mirror and use the same
[16:00.720] signal, the same RAM signal in mirror. So it looks like this. You can see it in
[16:06.720] purple here. So every time we have here a jump from 0 to 1, you can't
[16:12.160] freeze this in time here, sadly. Every time we go from 0 to 1 we have this jump.
[16:24.880] The mirror signal is basically 0 and goes up to 1 when we are in the midst of this ramp
[16:31.200] and then goes back to 0 again. So it goes up and down basically and this is
[16:36.480] something we use here to modulate the volume. So we can use an attenuate for that and say
[16:44.640] we have 0 volume so nothing goes out and then we use the mirror signal here
[16:52.240] and modulate the volume. So every time we hit here we go from 0 to 1 we are at 0 volume.
[16:59.840] So it looks like this. Oh, it sounds like this.
[17:11.680] So we can try to minimize this kind of tremolo effect a bit by
[17:19.520] using a bend. We bend the signal here. You can see it on the purple line.
[17:26.960] So we do something like this. That's maybe too much. So we minimize basically the time where
[17:35.040] the volume is low and we maximize the phase where the volume is high until we...
[17:41.360] So we're trying basically to mute the zero crossing. That's what we are trying to do here.
[17:58.800] So instead of just using this modulator and this attenuate we can also just use
[18:04.400] an multiply which basically does the same. So now we have a nice pitch shifter without these
[18:18.800] crackles and we can take this whole thing here and put this here in our first patch
[18:28.560] and just trying to utilize it. We can say we want to have nothing after the first
[18:39.920] two alpast devices going into the pitch shifter. Then we use additional alpast devices here for
[18:46.000] the output. Just smooth the signal out a bit more. And then go back here into this.
[19:03.040] Let's try this sound. You can hear the pitched up signal.
[19:08.080] So here we can take a long delay and just offset this whole pitch
[19:20.240] signal by maybe three tabs or four tabs. It comes in way later.
[19:25.040] Or maybe even longer.
[19:43.200] So there you have it. Small little pitch shifter in your reverb. It's almost like a shimmer reverb.
[19:48.080] I'll make it a bit quieter. Maybe take this out here.
[20:06.240] Okay. This is something you can do. So another thing we can do is to take this whole chain.
[20:19.600] So everything we just did and feed it back into the beginning of the reverb. So making a feedback
[20:28.480] chain to make this reverb even bigger. So we take a long delay here. Take everything, all the pitch
[20:37.200] shifting, all the diffusion, all the combinations, all the mod delays. We take this and bring it back
[20:45.120] in with the blend at the beginning. And maybe also volume here. So we can increase the feedback
[20:55.280] amount. Let's try this out.
[21:05.120] Maybe zoom in a bit.
[21:17.440] I can hear it spilling up.
[21:32.800] In the low end, yeah. To take here some filtering, low pass, high pass. We don't need the whole frequency
[21:41.440] spectrum. 150 Hertz. Maybe up to 3K. And that's okay, I think.
[21:55.600] So now you can hear that we have even higher pitches because we take the signal, go in with
[22:00.640] the signal, the piano here, pitch it up, go do everything, and then feed it back in again. And
[22:07.840] then we take the pitched up signal and pitch it even higher. So it goes up and up and up and up,
[22:13.680] right? And because this is delayed, we have some kind of stair effect or quantized stepping up over
[22:23.760] time.
[22:54.720] I think this is okay.
[23:09.200] So what else? We can maybe add in another chorus here, maybe here.
[23:14.640] Put this down, 8V, divide. We can also bring in another mod delay here at the end.
[23:29.040] And maybe a blend.
[23:33.520] Just to extend the lifetime of this reverb a bit longer.
[23:36.720] Four notes, seven, maybe a bit of feedback.
[23:52.640] Volume knob at the end. We can increase the vet signal a bit.
[24:22.640] Nice. So let's create a macro here. And we have these delay times. And I showed you
[24:31.120] at the beginning, I just styled these in. We can do something like bring in everything down to
[24:37.280] zero milliseconds. And then use the macro basically to scale this up over time. So we
[24:47.360] can say we want to increase here by maybe 100. Here we have everything down here first.
[25:00.160] So again, you can calculate this by how many you want to increase this. So I take your 100,
[25:05.600] then we have here 200, maybe 300. So when this macro is on zero, everything is zero milliseconds.
[25:18.560] So no delay at all. 400. If you're 500. Sometimes I wish you just could double click here and
[25:39.040] then type in the number instead of clicking here, then clicking here, and then typing in the number
[25:46.720] there. It's a bit cumbersome. But for now, it's okay. It's basically it's, it's optimized for
[25:54.800] having an hands on experience, which is good. It's not an instrument builder.
[26:03.040] So what we are doing here is basically, I would say pretty edgy.
[26:08.960] All right, we have also these all pass devices here. So you can see the delays or the reverb
[26:20.080] is now much longer. So we take this down here to 10. This to 20. And then scale this up here by
[26:33.760] 100, 300 here. This by 600. Let's go to 900.
[27:04.000] And not even touched something with stereo spread or anything. I mean, we get some stereo
[27:21.280] effects here with the chorus and modulation and so on. But you can also say, I want to
[27:26.560] make here a complete line for the left side. And then you do another line for the right side
[27:31.200] with different delay timings, which makes it even wider and bigger. There are so many possibilities
[27:38.160] actually you can, you can do if you want to, if you're creative enough, you have time enough,
[27:45.920] then you can all can do all these kinds of things. So I think it sounds pretty nice so far.
[28:16.080] It should bring out here.
[28:31.840] A bit of high pass with the flow pass. Okay, that's fine. So this is something you can do
[28:47.280] in the grid and I do this all the time or not all the time, but from time to time.
[28:52.400] And I've also piled up some reburbs on my Patreon. So the last one I added was
[28:58.000] it's called retribution reverb here. I did, I think last week. And it looks a bit different,
[29:05.840] right? It's a different etching here and that's also a different sound, but it's kind of in the
[29:11.040] same style. You have some choruses in there, some a lot of modulations and also different
[29:17.840] timings for the left and right. So it gets a different feel, a different sound. It's a unique
[29:23.360] reverb I can use. There's also a stretch knob here where I can stretch out the whole reverb makes it.
[29:53.840] You can see the mix knob here is also at 100% so you can still hear the try signal
[30:04.000] because I made sure that the early signals are coming out straight off the effect here.
[30:11.760] So it's a nice blend of dry and wet. They don't even need to use the mix knob here.
[30:27.680] You can hear the late delay tap.
[30:40.000] Maybe it lacks a bit of low end for drone, but
[30:51.040] let's switch on here to this pedal. So yeah, this kind of stuff is something I just shared
[31:15.040] on my Patreon and I probably also use this reverb here and flesh it out a bit, add some macros to
[31:20.880] it, maybe some remotes and also share it there. But I want to take this video to show you how
[31:27.520] you can easily build something in the grid by just stacking these devices here and just create your
[31:37.920] own reverb, your own unique effect device. So not only you can use the grid, you can also
[31:44.320] use the delay plus where we have this whole diffusion thing here just behind this drop down.
[31:57.200] So you have different diffusion networks here. For instance, you can take the space one long
[32:02.080] with more modulation and spread. So you can take the short route and just take this, but
[32:07.360] the drawback is you can't modify it. It's just a drop down you can choose and that's it. Here you
[32:14.160] can tweak it to your liking, maybe add some unusual effects in there, some different modulations
[32:23.200] for different sound, but sometimes it's enough to just use that or use a VSD device. Just giving
[32:30.880] you options basically. It's not something you need to do, but you can do it.
[32:52.880] So maybe something like this or just use a reverb here and put this reverb or this delay plus with
[32:59.040] the diffusion network in the tank FX. Build up. Make it nice and smooth. Also on the wet FX we need
[33:15.680] the chorus, chorus plus, beat back down, eight voices, modulation depth, speed pretty slow. You
[33:29.040] can also take here this pitch shifter and put it in there, maybe here.
[33:35.920] I'll take the delay plus here and also take it here again, just duplicate it. But here we take
[33:54.480] the reversed one. You can make a reverb out of the reverb with different other reverbs too to
[34:07.920] have a special reverb. The stock reverb here of Bitwig Studio, I think it's never meant to be used
[34:17.280] in this native form. You always have to look for presets here. You get a lot of presets with Bitwig
[34:25.360] Studio, just use them. The stock reverb is just a basic diffusion network with no modulation,
[34:33.760] really, I think. So you have to make use of the tank FX to modulate the pitch or the delay times,
[34:38.800] to get some bit of wobble in there. But most people just put the stock reverb on something and
[34:47.840] then it sounds like shit. Yeah, it's just basically diffusion. There's nothing really
[34:55.760] big in there that makes it sound great.
[34:58.240] So here we have now a pitch shifter in there, nice chorus. Make the delay time a bit longer.
[35:17.680] A bit more feedback. Maybe delay two here at the end brings in more modulation. We have also the
[35:24.640] tune option here. So changing the pitch or delay times is always a good thing if you want to have
[35:39.120] this lush reverb. Of course, it's not the real space, but it's more like a creative effect.
[36:06.240] And on top of that, we can use the convolution reverb here, which brings in some real spaces.
[36:16.080] The drawback of a convolution reverb is, of course, that it's a static sample and it's always the
[36:21.040] same sample. It can sound a bit boring over time, but if you combine that with all kinds of
[36:30.320] algorithmic reverbs, then it's pretty powerful. So we bring here basically our piano sound into
[36:36.800] a real space. It's a smaller space, maybe attic, wooden attic. So right there's our piano.
[36:49.600] So we bring the piano in a real space and then we use the algorithmic reverbs on that.
[37:05.520] So it's all about combining things. So maybe we can mix this in or maybe say we have a chain
[37:28.160] device here. There's a convolution in there mixed and this one and also our crazy unique reverb here.
[37:36.720] We put this also in there. Make it active, mix it in a bit. So now we have like one reverb chain
[37:46.000] here. Maybe delete this here. It's crazy. And you can use this to create also pad sounds for a sampler
[38:00.240] where you just sample this stuff. So it's not a real space. It's more like a creative reverb space.
[38:23.760] To create real spaces or to recreate all the reverb units, there's of course more work involved
[38:38.160] and more research to actually get an idea of what they did back then. But for me, I don't care. I
[38:46.640] just want to create nice lush reverb artificial things. So I just fiddle around in the grid until
[38:56.880] it sounds nice or find something I like. Okay, so now that we have this, can we do something else?
[39:05.840] Oh yeah, I want to show you how to create some pads with that so we can amplify the mix a bit.
[39:15.040] Let's see and maybe a cue here at the end to get rid of some frequencies.
[39:38.240] High pass. So we want to sample a higher pitch.
[39:41.520] So something like the C6 or something. Maybe get rid of some overtones.
[39:55.200] There's a lot of feedback here actually.
[39:57.040] Let's pull this down here a bit. Maybe a bit too much, but just for the sake of this video to
[40:13.360] show you stuff. Okay, so now we have to tweak this here a bit or limit it in frequency range. We can
[40:23.120] just paint in here some kind of note. It takes C5.
[40:30.640] You probably guessed it. It just bounces out postfader.
[40:51.280] And then we stick this into the sampler. Actually, there's a sound here, yeah.
[41:05.760] Sampler, do I fit the balance?
[41:08.960] Let's amplify this a bit. And it's probably, I don't know, C6 or something.
[41:32.960] Again, here we have a lot of rumble in there, but I really like to sample higher pitches
[41:37.680] and then pitch it down in the sampler, where it brings out all the nice little
[41:44.240] artifacts and dirt and so on.
[41:49.280] It's a bit of maybe too much rumble, so we can use here bandpass, brings to C3,
[41:56.080] go to 100% here of pitch keytracking.
[42:11.840] Then we can take here the same reverb, put this on, this one again. Let's see how this sounds.
[42:18.480] Let's maybe bring it out to the space.
[42:25.760] Oh yeah, maybe take the auto level also at the end.
[43:26.320] There's something you can try out to make your own pad sounds with the reverb.
[43:38.880] It's actually a nice pad machine using some random input source, vocals are nice,
[43:47.760] some saw waves are nice, but you can try random stuff and then just put a long ass reverb on that.
[43:54.880] Sample it, put it in the sampler, pitch it down, it always sounds nice in some way, okay.
[44:03.120] Okay, that's it for this video, I think. Let's delete this here.
[44:09.360] Thanks for watching. If you have questions, leave it in the comments, subscribe to the channel,
[44:14.160] thumbs up if you like the video and maybe think about the subscription on Patreon because I share
[44:19.760] these presets on my Patreon and you can download it then and have some fun.
[44:27.760] Thanks for watching and see you in the next video, bye.