Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Note-Grid Modulators Sound-Design Additive-Synthesis Tips-Tricks

Bitwig Studio 4.4.9 Update, WavTool DAW, Tips and Tricks with Phase-4 and Gain Aim

Tutorial | Mar 28, 2023

In this video, I talk about various topics and share some tips and tricks. First up, I discuss the release of Bitwig Studio 4.4.9, which comes with bug fixes and improvements. Next, I share my thoughts on WavTool, a DAW in the browser that has some interesting features, such as a chatbot that can create MIDI clips with a melody. I also mention the possibility of having a chatbot in Bitwig Studio and an interface designer to create simplified interfaces for the grid. In the next section, I discuss using the phase four as an additive synthesizer to create lush pads. I also show how to use a step modulator to add rhythms to the pads. In the final section, I talk about a plugin called Gain Aim, which can be used as a leveler, compressor, and normalizer. I also mention Microtonic, a drum machine plugin.

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Questions & Answers

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

Four Important Questions

What is Bitwig Studio 4.4.9 and what are its updates?

Bitwig Studio 4.4.9 is the latest version of the Bitwig software. It has bug fixes, including improvements to the Grid module, crashes, and scrolling issues in the arranger. It is recommended that users download the current version to have a more efficient and easier working experience.

What is WavTool and how can it be useful in Bitwig Studio?

WavTool is a DAW in the browser that has a chatbot and other features such as the ability to create a simple melody using an AI chatbot. This feature can be helpful for beginners or for those who need some quick inspiration. Additionally, it can be useful if Bitwig Studio integrated a chatbot to help with creating some basic tasks or making tutorials. Another useful feature of WavTool is its interface designer, which could also be useful if integrated into Bitwig Studio.

How can you use Phase-4 as a pad synthesizer?

Phase 4 is usually used for bass and bell sounds, but it can also work as an additive synthesizer for creating lush pads. By blending in the loudness of each operator and using them in parallel, it creates a unique and lush sound. You can enhance this sound by adding a supermassive reverb plug-in and using a step mod to create rhythms.

What is Gain Aim and how can it be used in music production?

Gain Aim is a plug-in used for normalization, compression, and leveling. It is a slow compressor that analyzes the loudness and targets it to a specified level. It is useful in music production because it can balance the levels and help with consistency in sound. It can also be used along with other plug-ins, such as auto leveler, to achieve a similar effect.


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] Welcome back folks, in this video it's about different topics I want to target different
[00:05.880] ideas and things I did in the recent week, so it's a kind of a mixed bag, it's probably
[00:11.560] also tips and tricks video.
[00:14.480] The first news is that we got now Bitwig Studio 4.4 9 and everything asks probably where
[00:20.960] is the new Bitwig version 4.5 or 5.0.
[00:26.120] No one knows, the probably the announcement is around the corner, I guess NEM is around
[00:32.120] the corner, also a super booth here in Berlin is coming up, so I guess we got some kind
[00:37.200] of announcement in the next weeks also, yeah that's something I expect to drop soon.
[00:48.880] But also this release here 4.4 9 has a lot of bug fixes here in there, also something
[00:54.280] right we discovered on my channel here, a grid module did not work in stereo, if interpolation
[01:01.040] mode was set to nearest that's something I filed back then, because I made some kind
[01:08.160] of looper, I think I can link to the video, I made some kind of looper in the grid and
[01:13.160] some people commented under this video and said actually the grid module output mono
[01:20.640] for some reason, and I didn't believe it, and I tested it and sure, it was outputting
[01:25.960] mono to that time, but now we got this fixed here in this grid update, there was a lot
[01:33.280] of other different fixes in here, smaller than the things, there was something in here,
[01:41.880] I already discovered, yeah crashes it's always nice to see that they fixed some crashes
[01:47.120] here, yeah this is also a problem for me, scrolling the arranger to time zero would sometimes
[01:56.720] become impossible in a project by this is something I discovered also a lot that I couldn't
[02:02.120] scroll back to the beginning, so a lot of stuff is actually fixed in this one, make sure
[02:07.120] you download the current version, yeah to have a easier life, the second thing I discovered
[02:13.640] today is WavTool, it's a DAW in the browser and I know it looks horrible, right, but it
[02:19.880] has some neat features I think that could be nice for Bitwig too, so first up we have
[02:24.880] a chatbot here down below and if you are not annoyed by the amount of AI, new stropping
[02:33.000] the recent weeks, this is, nonetheless, pretty interesting that you have here a chatbot
[02:42.560] in the DAW, it's maybe also more interesting for beginners, they can type in for instance
[02:49.560] here, create a new MIDI clip, yeah maybe on the first track with a nice melody in of course
[03:06.200] the sharp minor, and then you can give the spot basically some advices and he tries to
[03:15.000] make sense of it and then comes up with something here and what you get here is a button pretty
[03:22.760] soon and then you click on the button and then it creates exactly this for you and this
[03:29.800] could be interesting inside Bitwig not only to make certain tasks, so you click it here
[03:37.200] right, so now with a track on the first synth instrument here, we also created a MIDI
[03:43.840] clip and also there's random melody in it and we can hit play, it's nothing special
[03:50.120] but it gives you, it gets you into the DAW, it gets you some of the first advices how
[03:57.760] you do something, and I could also imagine to output here what you have to do manually
[04:04.800] to create a clip and to create notes in there and then how you can play it back, right,
[04:13.080] so it could be a nice little tutorial thing inside the DAW for Bitwig, something like
[04:18.680] this here and it's probably also not very hard to implement because we have also the controller
[04:24.240] API, so I could imagine someone could hack this already in the GPT4 API and also the controller
[04:32.400] API and it could be probably possible already to do that and it could be also nice to have
[04:40.200] the complete manual or documentation of Bitwig in a chatbot so you can just ask certain
[04:46.400] things in there and then you get back some answers and maybe also some recommendation for
[04:52.440] YouTube videos, maybe all the YouTube videos are kind of obsolete, which I would be happy
[05:01.160] about so I don't have to make these videos and can just, you know, make some random videos
[05:08.080] about not really tutorials, more kind of how to get inspiration, how to create things,
[05:16.200] how to think about making music and stuff like this, not like, you know, these hardcore
[05:20.600] tutorials, this is how you do a baseline, this is how you do a pad sounds and so on.
[05:26.080] So this could be something for the chatbot to cover and also to create easy things to
[05:32.640] do.
[05:33.640] A second thing in this DAW is when you click here on instrument track, you get some kind
[05:38.080] of the, something like the chain in Bitwig Studio, right, so maybe you can, can I hide
[05:43.400] this here?
[05:45.400] I have to click here, okay.
[05:47.760] So this is kind of similarity to the Bitwig Studio where we have the chain here, but
[05:53.200] you can see here the synth is already in some kind of grid format and this is something
[05:59.520] I envisioned for Bitwig Studio for a long time now that we have instead of this grid
[06:05.080] or of this chain here where we can create some kind of instruments and then effect after
[06:13.480] that.
[06:14.480] So instead of having this, we go straight to the grid in here.
[06:20.480] We don't have to create a grid instrument where we have to click into it.
[06:26.760] So this one is basically straight in here already, right?
[06:30.400] So this would be something I could envision for Bitwig Studio to have this and also of
[06:35.560] course some kind of GY interface designer where we can design our interfaces for these
[06:44.360] instruments for these grids because my opinion interfaces are really the key to VSTs why they
[06:53.400] are great because you can really tailor GY to a certain workflow which you can't integrate.
[07:00.600] It's still like, you know, very nerdy to go into the grid and then tweak everything in
[07:06.000] there.
[07:07.000] Also if I want to make a preset or want to make an instrument and give it someone else
[07:11.160] who is not really firm in the grid, it would be nice for me to actually to give the person
[07:19.920] a nice little simpler interface to access my very complex grid.
[07:27.880] So interface designer would be nice in the next version for Bitwig Studio.
[07:32.640] It's probably not in there, it's just my dream, right?
[07:36.960] So my dreams for future Bitwig version.
[07:40.640] So nerds could go into Bitwig Studio and could do all the complex things and can create
[07:46.640] presets for people that are not that involved into the grid but they can still benefit from
[07:54.440] all this because they get a nice grid patch with a nice interface, with a simple interface
[08:00.080] they can use in the daily work and the nerds can go into the grid and create all this
[08:06.560] complex stuff.
[08:07.880] So it's benefit for both birds, right, for the beginners and also for people that just
[08:14.040] want to do music and also for nerds that want to go in and want to create instruments and
[08:19.800] new kind of devices.
[08:21.840] So this would be nice to have.
[08:23.840] So these are the ideas around here, waftool or waftool.
[08:29.320] I put you a link in the description, you can try it out, it doesn't cost any money and
[08:33.400] it's free to use.
[08:35.120] But interface is not really good here but it's box some ideas I could imagine to have
[08:40.200] this at some things inside of Bitwig Studio like here, you know, the script view as a chain
[08:48.080] replacement.
[08:50.840] I think also in Bitwig, you have also already here this, I don't know what the key command
[08:56.920] is.
[08:57.920] I think it's control and enter.
[09:01.360] We get this here, right, you can already search for stuff and execute certain commands
[09:10.600] with this.
[09:11.600] So this would be nice to have your basically a chatbot in there and maybe do some work
[09:17.600] with this, create a clip, create a clip with some random melody in there, create a chain,
[09:23.520] create a synthesizer, a simple synthesizer with the grid and so on.
[09:28.440] Could be nice to have.
[09:29.760] I know a lot of people are really suspicious of the new AI things and I see already people
[09:38.040] rolling with the eyes but it's, yeah, it could be something, I mean, certain tasks tedious
[09:48.600] so you want to, you know, get them done with the bot maybe.
[09:52.680] Okay, so this is something I had in mind.
[09:56.760] Another thing I want to show you is some tips and tricks here.
[10:01.040] For instance, let's say we have a phase four and you want to make a patch with this.
[10:07.880] So the first problem is, is there a reverb on there?
[10:14.200] No, sounds like there's a reverb somewhere.
[10:20.600] Yeah, when you make a patch, basically the problem is that every key you're pressing on
[10:26.960] the keyboard so every sound sounds the same with every key.
[10:31.200] And when you install, for instance, a piano, a contact library that is very nicely sampled
[10:41.640] you have for each key a different sample and also for each different key for different
[10:47.760] features, velocity settings, you have a different sound.
[10:53.200] So in Bitwig Studio, we have the key track, for instance, so we can use the key track
[10:58.360] here and modulate something.
[10:59.920] So when you change the key, for instance, a few use C3 and nothing happens because we
[11:04.240] are exactly on the middle.
[11:05.840] So we have no modulation value, but then if you go up, we get more and more modulation
[11:11.840] value.
[11:12.840] You can see this here, right?
[11:16.520] But sometimes when you, when the keys are close together, so let's say we have your C4
[11:23.200] and then D4, the change in modulation value is not that much, right?
[11:30.560] So you can use your key track and, you know, tweak it around and maybe switch to absolute
[11:36.240] mode and do stuff like this here.
[11:39.240] This is also possible, actually it's not a bad idea, but still, if you have here,
[11:46.080] you know, if you have two keys that are close together, also the modulation value is close
[11:52.520] together.
[11:53.520] So what I do most of the times is I go to the grid and usually these days I go a lot
[11:59.760] of times to the grid.
[12:01.400] It's almost like I never use these modulators here in front of the device.
[12:07.320] It's kind of obsolete for me in a way.
[12:10.360] So I hope, I mean, it's still a nice feature of Bitwig Studio, but we don't get any more
[12:16.960] modulator or we haven't got any new modulators in years now or in months, maybe the game
[12:24.560] there's one or two we got, but usually I go to the note of X thing here, use a node grid.
[12:35.480] And then in the node grid we get a pitch from the keyboard and we also can use an oscilloscope.
[12:44.000] So we see here C, C4, D4 modulation value is small.
[12:50.240] So to increase the modulation value here, we can use a gain knob to increase basically
[12:57.560] to load us up.
[13:02.520] And then we use a chipy-chaf, it's some kind of value here.
[13:09.400] And now maybe this one here from C4 to D4, we have a big modulation jump or value jump
[13:20.480] jump.
[13:21.480] So the problem now is this is bipolar and we want to have it unipolar so we can use
[13:27.440] it by to unie.
[13:28.760] So we only stay in the positive range, right?
[13:31.600] So we never go down here to the negative section, so we stay positive and we have a modulation
[13:39.040] value here that jumps around like crazy, but it's also predictable.
[13:43.200] So D4 is always the same position, no matter what you do, as we go back to D, it's exactly
[13:50.360] the same position.
[13:51.360] So it's predictable.
[13:52.360] So we can take this value and just output this one here, maybe as what's that, Tumber?
[13:59.160] Yeah, we can use tambourdanian front end and just modulate the shape, right?
[14:07.240] And then we put this here into polyphonic mode, maybe 12 voices.
[14:11.480] This one has also 12 voices, okay?
[14:14.400] Then now we can press the chord that is close together from the keys, so the keys are
[14:23.360] close together.
[14:27.880] So the modulation value jumps around like crazy, so you have three different distinct
[14:33.040] sounds that you are playing together.
[14:36.840] So it's sometimes it's nice to have that something like this in the patch to make this
[14:44.160] patch sound great.
[14:45.160] This is not the great sounding patch, but it's just an example.
[14:49.720] We can do here some kind of bell sound, maybe go to 10, I feel like this, then modulate
[15:03.360] this with an envelope.
[15:07.560] Okay, so we use the tambour to change this.
[15:23.640] Maybe you can use the pressure here to change the, let's put this here in the stereo mode
[15:29.040] here in stereo, use the pressure to modulate this by a small amount to change the hertz
[15:37.760] here on the offset.
[15:41.920] And then duplicate this and go out here to pressure, maybe different setting.
[15:56.920] When you play two sounds together or three sounds in a chord, every key sounds distinct
[16:04.640] and different.
[16:05.640] So this is the main reason why I use this.
[16:08.680] And you can see here I'm using kind of like a modulator inside of the note box here,
[16:14.800] instead of fumbling around here with modulators.
[16:18.320] So most of the times I'm using a grid for anything special, instead of using modulators,
[16:25.800] which are fine in most cases when you just need an LFO or maybe a random mod or step
[16:31.000] modulator.
[16:32.000] I use that.
[16:33.000] But then when I go, want to go into more depth and want to change certain things, right?
[16:39.520] I go usually into the grid and then modulate from within the grid the device here I am using
[16:45.280] the expression most of the times, yeah, to modulate something.
[16:52.080] The next thing is to use the phase four as a pets synthesizer.
[16:59.800] I usually use phase four for bass sounds and these kind of bell sounds, because it's
[17:04.240] an FM synthesizer.
[17:06.240] It's perfectly made for these digital and harsh sounds.
[17:10.280] But recently I discovered this here, yeah, maybe remove here, automotulations.
[17:17.560] I discovered this as a pets synthesizer.
[17:20.480] So what I did is, instead of modulating here, each operator with the other operator, I'm
[17:30.400] using it as an additive synthesizer, so I'm blending in here at the loudness of each
[17:33.800] of these operators and then use it basically in parallel.
[17:39.640] And then I use maybe a supermassive reverb here put on a long sdla, spaces the place.
[17:50.760] Let's see.
[17:52.560] Slow-fed in, remove the modulation here.
[18:22.360] Okay, so we have basically a one partial, one oscillator.
[18:33.280] And then we blend in your second one.
[18:35.640] So we use your different format.
[19:03.120] And then you can use your pressure again to bring in these overtones, different settings.
[19:19.680] So every time I press a different key, I get a different mixture of these partials.
[19:49.480] Let's add here a random mod, low, pretty slow, maybe three bars, not synced, it's running
[20:00.920] free.
[20:04.640] And then modulate this here.
[20:09.400] So it's a perfect small little additive synthesizer that creates nice lush pets for you.
[20:17.080] And then you use it here on sign, it's basically an additive synthesizer.
[20:47.080] Now we can use, I'll try to use a step mod here, use it the first, only the first thing
[20:57.840] and then you bring in, it's pretty short, okay, this one down, okay, and you need to hit
[21:09.440] play probably.
[21:32.160] So you can use a step mod to bring in some rhythms.
[21:50.080] And maybe record this.
[22:19.640] So, and while we're having this running here, I can also show you here the plugin I recently
[22:29.960] bought, which is gain aim.
[22:32.760] And this is basically what I did with my auto level or auto level arm preset.
[22:39.000] I showed you in one of my videos, I also increased this, we have a noise floor here where we
[22:45.040] can say everything below is not actually used to analyze the loudness, so we can blend
[22:51.680] out everything that's below that.
[22:53.760] And everything that's above the nice floor gets analyzed and then it's used to target
[22:59.320] the loudness here of minus 18 loves.
[23:02.320] You can also switch this here to squash, which is more like a compressor and the level
[23:08.200] is basically a super, super, super slow compressor, if you want to, you call it that way, but it's
[23:15.000] really just a leveler.
[23:16.720] And you can see on the right side how it changes the volume, so here the gain is reduced
[23:23.280] by minus 2.2, right, and it's pretty slow.
[23:28.040] And when you see it's steadying on one place, you can even put this unlocked and then it's
[23:33.440] stays at this place, so it's kind of a nice mixture between a normalizer plug in a compressor
[23:40.920] and a leveler, so you have everything in there.
[23:44.160] A link is also in the description below, I think this is 40 bucks here, but you can also
[23:49.160] use just my auto leveler plug in here, which looks like this.
[24:00.080] And here, you have also a threshold like this one, but there's no real target loudness,
[24:07.400] the target loudness is basically zero dB peak, so there's no RMS or loudness value, so that's
[24:18.160] the difference, but it kind of does the same.
[24:22.360] So here we now have now a steady, a steady, nice little loudness change up at what time.
[24:33.440] Okay, so now that we have this, and I showed you also gain aim, we can also go here to microtonic,
[24:43.320] which I just installed two days ago.
[24:46.640] There's of course here a nice little bit space plug in where you can change the drums.
[24:56.240] But as far as I know, these are all kinds of presets or patches made by the community
[25:04.280] over years.
[25:12.320] And I also coded yesterday some kind of script here, which is called polarity pitch, which
[25:19.040] kind of takes all these frequencies here, right, and pitches them to the next nearest
[25:28.880] D sharp note to all the bass sounds or the long, longer kind of notes on D sharp now,
[25:43.200] which makes it, yeah, easy for me to integrate it here with this pad sound because it's
[25:48.640] also on D sharp minor.
[25:52.120] So I can explore with this here, with the beat space, right, you can hear there's some
[26:02.520] kind of bass in there, some 808 tune to the third pitch, then you can use a polarity
[26:08.360] pitch, where's it here, and now it's pitch to D sharp, so it's perfect, but kind of like
[26:22.600] this, let's use a pitch on here, db blue, glitch, and maybe use my crossover.
[26:37.920] So perfect, there's also replacement probably coming up for the crossover here, where I
[26:55.840] use multiple bands to level out these bands with the db meter to get the nice mix down.
[27:05.560] And the creator of crossover made another plug in called spectral compressor, and he also
[27:14.960] made a new version recently, which features this kind of, yeah, analyzer here, where you
[27:23.720] can see what you're doing before we had only this here, and people, you know, have no
[27:28.560] idea what you are really doing here, and here you can see what's happening.
[27:33.680] So what we can do with this basically is we can dial in here a threshold line, as you
[27:39.400] can see, a global threshold, yeah, it goes up and down, and then nothing happens.
[27:46.320] And then you say you want to, let's unmute this here, and then you want to say you want
[27:54.680] to compress downwards, we increase here the ratio, and can see certain bins here, spectrally
[28:05.880] are getting compressed with a multi band compressor with unlimited bands.
[28:17.040] And then you can change this threshold curve here to maybe, I think, not really sure.
[28:27.320] I think this pink noise 3db, if I'm not wrong, 3db bar octave here, right, so you can make
[28:33.480] this completely, even if you want to, and then completely squashed everything down.
[28:41.480] Don't feel like this. So it gives you also a nice balance, also spectrally, so there's
[28:47.960] no band best filters involved, it's completely reducing the bins, so it should be clean.
[28:55.440] There's also some other stuff here, you can use a side chain, and then you can use it
[29:00.960] like a track spacer, where you use a different track kick drum, as an input, and then you
[29:06.960] deduct the base here with the spectral compressor, which could be also nice or interesting.
[29:11.920] Maybe I do a tutorial on the spectral compressor alone because there's so much to cover, actually,
[29:19.000] and I still need some time with it to find some nice workflows, or how I want to use it
[29:25.080] in my mixdown. But I want to give you a heads up that it's actually out there, it's for
[29:30.360] free, I put the link in the description and download this, and it's probably useful for some
[29:37.360] of you. Okay, what else? Oh, yeah, sure. That's a spectral compressor, glitch the microtonic,
[29:45.360] that's everything I showed you. The phase 4 is a pad device, which leads me to the organ
[29:52.360] device, which are also used or rediscovered recently as a nice pad device. I mean, you
[29:59.520] can use a supermassive and put it on kind of everything, and it sounds like great or
[30:05.840] comes a pad at some point, right? So it's super, I see supermassive, not as a reverb,
[30:11.360] it's more like a, I don't know, a process or a sound process or more like a synthesizer
[30:18.360] in a way. So you just see large splashy synths, maybe. I don't know, it's actually synchronized,
[30:27.360] let's use 80 space warp, actually like this here, final frontier, maybe. So now we have
[30:38.360] one bin here. So this is also kind of an additive synthesizer, but instead of having here
[30:47.200] the homonix, the homonix series, we have here basically selected things we can see
[30:56.600] are down below in the info box. This is the primary, this is the root note or the fundamental.
[31:02.520] Then we have here a fifth below, and then this is one octave below, so it's just the base,
[31:08.520] it's the same note, just one octave lower, right? And then we have here the fourth, the
[31:18.000] twelve, fifteen, seventeen, nineteen, and so on. So these three basically sound always kind
[31:27.840] of homonix. So we can use this and start to modulate this, maybe random things or maybe
[31:45.280] use a step mod here, and bring this down to quarter note, and then we use it as smoothing,
[31:53.560] right? So it becomes like a nice little curve. So you can bring this in here over time and
[32:00.760] see it's probably still too fast, maybe use a vine. So you have a slow modulation, you
[32:08.880] can also randomize this, duplicate, and use this here for that. Maybe not too much randomize,
[32:23.640] it's different step size here. Let's use that.
[32:47.920] Let's use the random mod, also slow, and bringing you some upper partials.
[33:09.640] And you can switch it from pure, which are sine waves to triangle, and this is rectified
[33:33.440] sign. And sometimes you can also go there for chorus before you go to the reverb.
[34:02.160] And then... And then you can decide how many overtones you want to generate here. What
[34:23.880] gives you a nice, a nice pad sound, in my opinion, and it's not only for simulated organs.
[34:48.960] So with just a bunch of small little modulators here, and a nice reverb, you can also replace
[34:54.400] this here if you don't want to use the volala supermassive, which is for free. You can also
[34:59.880] use the delay plus here. And dial in maybe here, space reverb, longer delay, difference
[35:09.400] between left and right channel. And we have already chorus in there, you can maybe use
[35:15.920] different chorus at the end, different speed setting, different feedback setting, maybe
[35:20.000] different algorithm. Which is also nice.
[35:48.520] So you don't always need a new synthesizer or a new fancy synth. Just some simple stuff
[36:00.920] here with simple sine waves and a bit of reverb. You get a lot of things done in terms of
[36:08.320] pad sounds. And if you don't like to actually create this stuff every time, you can just
[36:16.920] sample it and put it in a sampler and use multiple, you know, sampler presets to get you
[36:24.880] started for the next project. Or you just save it as a preset or whatever. So multiple
[36:30.400] things you can do with this. Okay. So this is something I did in the recent days, in the
[36:36.000] recent week, experimented a lot of things. Also a lot of modal synthesis. I tried to
[36:41.600] come up with something. But I want to make a different video about this this week. So
[36:46.520] stay tuned. So I think that's it for this video. Thanks for watching. Leave a like if you
[36:51.320] found it helpful and subscribe to the channel of course. And I see you on the next one. Bye.