Creating an Interesting Drum Repeater with the Bitwig FX Grid
Tutorial | Feb 17, 2023
I showed how to create a beat repeater with the FX grid by splitting the drum loop into four recorders and sequencing them. I explained how to use the phase input to evenly step through the split device, and how to use the phase signal to rearrange the playback order. I also showed how to use the mirror output to create a faster playback with finer grains. Finally, I demonstrated how to use a step sequence to blend in the repeater.
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You can download the Patch from this video here: Downloadh ttp://bit.ly/3lI9yDw
What is a beat repeater good for? #
A beat repeater is a great tool for creating interesting patterns and rhythms in your music. It can be used to layer multiple drum loops together to create intricate grooves, or to create an ever-evolving rhythm that always keeps the listener engaged. Beat repeaters can also be used to add extra detail to a track, allowing you to add more interest and complexity to your music.
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[00:00.000] Hey folks, welcome back, today it's about this drum loop here.
[00:07.740] And we want to build some kind of drum repeater or beat repeater in the grid with some recorders.
[00:14.600] And I already showed you some beat repeaters with the delays and so on, but this one is
[00:19.360] a bit different, it's a different approach.
[00:22.160] And it's also kind of something I did with the irregular looper preset, there's a link
[00:28.760] in the description, I only created a short video for this, but it goes kind of in the
[00:33.360] same direction.
[00:35.120] So we have this drum loop here, and what we want to do is we want to record basically
[00:39.120] each quarter of this drum loop into a different recorder.
[00:44.560] And then we play back these recorders in different order, okay?
[00:49.680] So we take this quarter here, this quarter, this quarter, each one in a recorder, and
[00:54.120] then we use a different playback algorithm, right?
[00:59.400] And then it should kind of lead to a nice interesting shuffle or rearrangement of the
[01:07.760] So we have your input and output from the FX grid.
[01:11.080] And we need some recorders, of course, and we take four recorders.
[01:17.440] And now we have to sequence this to get each of these quarter sections of this drum loop
[01:24.000] into each recorder.
[01:26.800] And we take a split for that, the split can go up to four, or it can also take eight,
[01:35.960] but for the sake of simplicity of this tutorial, just take four.
[01:39.920] So we connect this here with the audio input.
[01:43.600] So now we can take the audio coming in from the drum loop, and then we split it up into
[01:49.080] different recorders, and we do this by sequencing this with the phase input.
[01:57.880] The phase is basically a positioning signal, I explain this every time, but I think it's
[02:02.960] very important so people get what I'm doing here.
[02:06.960] So the phase signal is a positioning signal, it's the value ranges between zero and one.
[02:14.240] And as you can see here, we step through the split device evenly.
[02:20.320] And when this value is basically zero, we hit here the first slot or the first recorder
[02:25.720] when the signal is a value of one, then we hit the last recorder and everything in between.
[02:31.980] So when we basically shape the signal differently here, we have also a different playback order.
[02:39.400] So when I use here maybe a mirror for that, something like this, then you can see the
[02:47.280] playback order is much differently, but we want to keep here a steady sequence of flow.
[02:54.480] So now you can see it fades from one slot to the other, which is sometimes nice, but
[02:58.960] here we want to have a step, so we go here to the interpolation nearest, so we switch
[03:05.360] or snap to the next slot here, to the nearest slot from the value.
[03:11.280] So now we have this, we basically feed here the audio into these different recorders exactly
[03:16.920] like we want to have, and then we need to trigger the recording here accordingly.
[03:23.400] So we just duplicate this, use a constant of one, so a signal of one as an input, and
[03:31.760] now we can use the signal of one, which is a gate signal of course, and trigger here
[03:36.840] the recording.
[03:37.840] Now you can see it records here into each recorder, each quarter note, which is exactly
[03:48.120] what we want, and then we probably also want to play back this differently than we actually
[03:55.240] recorded, so we just duplicate this here again instead of one, or we can actually take the
[04:03.840] one as an input, you can keep that, hit your play, or use each slot of course.
[04:12.680] So now we hit playback, you can see it plays back already, but we want to have a different
[04:19.080] playback order, so we can shape the signal here for this playback, maybe I call it play,
[04:26.000] this is record, and this is audio.
[04:39.640] So we switch to the order by shaping the phase signal, we have a lot of phase options here
[04:44.920] we can choose from, and one I like is mirror, where we can shape the signal, so let's take
[04:54.040] the mirror output here, maybe give it a different color, or it's actually not, let's do the
[05:04.000] red, and yeah, the red one is basically the mirror signal, and the purple one is the original
[05:12.800] signal, you can see we kind of doubled, or instead of a ramp we have now a triangle shape,
[05:21.000] and it's also doubled in the frequency, you can also go up to 24 here, see the red one
[05:27.360] is then four times faster than the original ramp signal, and you can see we switch pretty
[05:33.880] fast through the playback, all we have to do now is basically to sum this up with some
[05:46.000] module here, bam, bam, bam, and we can go out to the output here, and now we can use
[06:14.640] it, so we play back here in a different order, we go to 12, or maybe 36, we can create kind
[06:32.840] of this repeat-repeater effect pretty easily with the grid, and this small little arrangement
[06:40.440] here, like I said, you can also go up to eight slots if you want to, you don't need to stick
[06:46.680] with four, which would be even finer grains here, so we then took basically these two
[06:54.920] nodes into one recorder, these two, and so on, and we can do this quickly here, let's
[07:02.720] see, four, five, six, seven, eight, okay, connect everything also here, eight now, eight, eight,
[07:17.560] so this is playback, playback, playback, this is recording, record, record, record, this
[07:31.720] is the audio signal here, and yeah, now we have basically the same thing as before, just
[07:41.200] finer grain, so this is the shape signal, this is our tri-signal here, so now you can
[08:04.000] go to a sequence mode, or use a step sequence here, and just bring in the mix, so let's
[08:11.360] go to eight notes here, and at the end of the sequence we want to blend in the repeater,
[08:17.320] I like this line here, so you can something like this easily,
[08:42.440] so when you use your odd numbers, you get a different repeat, or odd repeat, 24, 36,
[09:07.720] so this is one way of doing it, or another way of doing it, I already showed you in some
[09:19.560] videos how to do it with the delays, and a different recorder setup, or I think this
[09:24.280] one here is also pretty fast to build, and easy to remember, just sequence here with
[09:30.640] the split, split this up with the phase signal, and feed it into each recorder, and then use
[09:37.880] a split here with a different playback algorithm, you can of course here go wild with this,
[09:44.520] you don't need to use the mirror, you can also maybe use reverse, so reverse basically
[09:52.680] reverse the playback order as you can see, now we play the last bit first, and so on,
[10:07.640] which gives you a completely different drum loop feel, so basically take here the last
[10:13.120] bit and play it first, and then you play this bit, and then this bit, and then this bit,
[10:18.640] so a lot of options, right, you can choose here again different phase options, you can
[10:23.960] play around with that, maybe synchronize it with the clock quantizer, so a lot of options
[10:29.160] to choose from, I put this here in the description below, so you can download it for free, of
[10:34.640] course, let's go back here to a mirror, and yeah, call it maybe beat repeater or whatever,
[10:44.720] you can download it and experiment with that and have some fun, okay, so that's the tutorial
[10:49.800] for today, for the Friday, for the weekend, have some fun on the weekend, thanks for watching
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[11:02.320] watching, and bye.