Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Workflow Arrangement Automation Launchpad Tutorial

Improving Workflow and Arranging with Bitwig Studio & Launchpad Controller

Tutorial | Apr 20, 2023

In this video, I show a bad habit I've developed over the years of using Bitwig Studio. I double click on the clips to edit the nodes, which means I have to constantly switch between the chain and the clips. I explore a new workflow using shortcuts such as page up and page down, and the tab key to switch between the chain and node editor. I suggest using the clip launcher as a resource panel to progress into an arrangement. I show how to create different iterations of an initial idea by utilizing small creative differences between scenes. This way, creators already have resources to try out combinations to progress into an arrangement. Lastly, I share that I got my launchpad today, and I plan to use it to create tutorials in the future.

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Questions & Answers

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

What is the bad habit the video addresses and why is it a problem?

The bad habit the video addresses is the tendency to double-click on clips in Bitwig Studio to edit them, which leads to constantly switching between the chain and the clips. This is a problem because it interrupts the workflow and slows down the editing process. It is also not efficient as it prevents editing of both the nodes and the chain at the same time.

How does the video suggest overcoming this bad habit?

The video suggests overcoming this bad habit by using a new workflow that utilizes shortcuts and the tap key. Shortcuts like page up and page down can be used to switch between the chains, while the tap key can be used to switch between the clip launcher and the node editor without interrupting the workflow. Getting used to this new workflow will help avoid the constant switching between the nodes and the chain.

How can the clip launcher be utilized for arrangement creation?

The clip launcher can be utilized as a resource panel for arrangement creation. The video suggests starting with an 8-bar loop or 4-bar loop and then cloning it into the next scene, making some creative changes to the initial scene. This process can be repeated to create a pool of different ideas for patterns and scenes, which can later be used to make an arrangement. This approach makes it easier to come up with creative decisions without having to create an arrangement from scratch, which can be time-consuming.

What are the benefits of the new workflow and the use of the clip launcher for arrangement creation?

The new workflow allows for more efficient editing of nodes and the chain without constantly switching between them. It also allows for more detailed editing in the node editor, which can include automation, while still editing in the chain. The use of the clip launcher to create a pool of creative ideas and patterns also makes it easier to come up with an arrangement later on. It helps to identify which scenes work well together and allows for easier mixing and mastering of the final arrangement.


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. I want to show you a bad habit. I kind of developed
[00:05.880] over the years using Bitvic Studio. So here you have all these node clips currently playing,
[00:11.320] right? And when I want to edit something in these clips, I usually, and this is ingrained
[00:17.840] in my muscle memory and I really try to change it, is that I have to double click on these
[00:25.360] clips, right? So now I can edit these nodes, but the whole bottom section of Bitvic Studio
[00:33.680] is replaced with this editor, right? So I can't edit something in the chain. To edit
[00:39.480] something on the instrument here on the kick, right? I have to double click on the track
[00:43.840] itself, something like this. So now I can edit here to kick. And when I want to change
[00:51.120] something on the notes again, I have to double click here on the clip again. So this is kind
[00:56.320] of a bad workflow because I'm constantly switching between the chain and the clips. And I think
[01:03.680] it's not great actually to do it this way. So I try to change it today and I want to train myself
[01:10.240] to this kind of new workflow. And what I did is firstly, I use some shortcuts. So the first
[01:18.560] shortcut is basically that I use page up and page down to select the tracks here, right?
[01:24.720] So I can switch between the chains down here, just with page up and page down. And you can do this
[01:31.440] here on the shortcuts panel by, I think, select previous, select previous track and select
[01:42.000] next track, right? You can see a page up, page down. That's, that's what I did. And the second
[01:49.600] thing is I'm using the tab key for changing a changing to the node editor. So here I'm selecting
[01:57.840] basically the first node clip, which is the kick track or the kick clip, the kick clip here.
[02:03.600] Selecting this by just clicking once and then I hit tap and then the top part of Bitwig Studio
[02:09.440] is replaced with the node editor, right? And I also can edit down here, something in the chain.
[02:16.880] So nodes and chain at the same time. And then I hit tap again, I'm back in the session view
[02:22.720] or the range of view. So I think this is a much, much better workflow because now I can select
[02:28.240] your whatever I want to edit, something like this, hit tap and boom, I'm in there. Using page
[02:34.000] up, page down to select whatever track I want to select would be better to actually have
[02:39.040] the clap track automatically down here. Maybe I find some kind of shortcut for that, but at the
[02:46.400] moment, I'm using page up, page down. So I'm going to go here to the clap and can edit my clap.
[02:51.600] And also I can edit the clap clip track, clap node clip, okay? You know what I mean?
[03:00.240] Um, another benefit of this is that this node editor is also more detailed. So I can also
[03:10.400] extend here this to automation. This is not something I can do, I think, in here.
[03:17.280] I'm here, I have to switch to this view, right? This is the node here. You can see there's
[03:23.600] nothing here. I can extend. I have to switch here to the automation editor panel. And then I'm
[03:29.200] again, I'm thrown out of the nodes. So I'm constantly switching between automation nodes.
[03:37.600] And of course, here, um, uh, at the chain, instrument chain, what this, with this tap workflow,
[03:45.520] I can basically select the clip, hit tap, I'm editing, editing all my nodes. I have all my
[03:51.920] automation data down down here. And I also can edit the chain itself, right? So maybe go back
[03:58.720] here to e-kick. You can see now when I want to change the automation for the kick, right? And I
[04:03.280] want to change, let's say, this decay setting, I just click once on it. And then it's automatically
[04:08.480] here selected. And then I can draw in automation data. And this is clip automation data. So it's
[04:16.400] perfectly nice for the clip launcher because you can duplicate this here or duplicate, sorry,
[04:23.280] duplicators, select this once, tap again. And then you can edit all this stuff in here again.
[04:31.200] Right? And it's different from here. It's a different clip.
[04:39.040] So this is basically, I think, a better workflow. The only problem is, like I said in the beginning,
[04:45.280] the old workflow is highly ingrained in my DNA from Betwixtudion constantly. Double-clicking
[04:53.520] here to edit the stuff here, double-clicking here to edit the chain, you know, I think it's
[05:00.000] better to use tap. So I have to use this. So please, next time you see me on livestream,
[05:05.440] doing the old workflow, please correct me. So I'm getting used to that. I also want to give you
[05:14.240] some examples what you can do with this kind of new workflow or how you progress into some kind
[05:21.920] of arrangement because I know a lot of people have mere problems with arrangements or getting out
[05:27.520] of this, you know, initial create a loop here. So how do I get this into an arrangement,
[05:44.400] right? So an idea would be to actually utilize the clip launcher here and just keep it as it is,
[05:51.680] your initial loop and just stupidly loan the whole scene here into a second copy of that.
[06:01.440] And in here, you try to come up with some kind of automations that makes this scene different
[06:10.720] from the first scene. And it's all about different, right? Make it a bit different.
[06:17.120] And in the end, you have then hopefully a lot of these scenes in here where you made some creative
[06:22.960] decisions. And then you have a pool of ideas or scenes or patterns you can then later on use to
[06:31.200] make an arrangement all of this. And in the arrangement phase, you can focus completely on
[06:37.360] intensity or storyline of your arrangement without having to come up with some creative ideas for
[06:45.120] the patterns because you already have this, right? So here in this phase, basically you try to
[06:50.160] clone the first idea to a second scene. And in here, you try to make some automation. So we go
[06:59.760] here into the policing first. So here we have some notes in there. So what we can do is we can
[07:06.160] clone maybe here this, this chord, change some notes.
[07:20.960] So we can say here the balala supermassive is way too loud for this. So let's select here,
[07:29.600] select a different level.
[07:36.960] Maybe select a different modulation amount here for the envelope.
[07:50.400] Also the delay here, the mix knob. Let's bring this down.
[08:06.480] Okay. So this is the second iteration of the first one.
[08:24.960] So here, let's go to the base. You can see I just double clicked. That's what I,
[08:37.120] that's what I told you. It's the muscle memory. Don't get this out of my muscle memory.
[08:41.520] You just have to click once and it tap. I have to get used to it.
[08:46.880] So let's select a different, different notes. Maybe delete this.
[08:56.720] Delete this. Move this over there. Maybe move this up here.
[09:17.280] So let's, yeah, use different decay settings.
[09:33.440] Maybe different modulation amount. Maybe different wave table position.
[09:46.880] Good. Also use here a delay. Delay 2 and I start with mix 0 because I want to
[10:06.160] don't want to have delay on the first clip. So initially this is my default setting here.
[10:11.280] And then I bring this up here.
[10:22.160] Okay. So here the clip we can maybe use again. We can use a different decay setting maybe.
[10:33.760] Maybe I want to have here a longer one and in this clip here I want to have a shorter one.
[10:52.960] And then we can use here the hi-hats maybe and create some,
[11:08.480] let's see. I add some here. Okay. Let's create your different velocity kind of groove.
[11:21.120] Maybe different decay setting here.
[11:51.360] With the setting.
[12:12.960] Okay. So then we can clone this over here to a new section. In here I maybe don't want to have
[12:19.760] all these different chords. I just want to have one chord maybe.
[12:24.640] Right.
[12:30.720] It's the base here. The base I want to have only on one note.
[12:43.520] You can change here the mix.
[12:50.880] The clip I want to have again a bit shorter.
[13:02.320] Different volume setting maybe here but the hats for the claps.
[13:21.440] Or maybe I use velocity for that. It's probably better.
[13:25.920] And probability.
[13:29.920] So now we have basically a three different version of the same idea.
[13:49.280] So this is basically how you progress. You start with an initial idea with an 8-bar loop,
[14:01.760] 4-bar loop then you just clone this over to the next scene. Come up with some ideas for creative
[14:08.640] differences how you change it up a bit. Again you copy this over to the next scene.
[14:14.240] Small differences. Sky is the limit. Just get yourself out there and try to come up with some
[14:22.880] creative ideas. And later on you can decide if you actually want to have something like this in
[14:28.800] the track. You can switch from scene to scene and then you see oh well this scene works well with
[14:34.000] this scene. It's almost kind of like chord progressions where you see this chord works very
[14:40.240] well with this chord and so on. And you didn't know that before right. So you have some stuff in
[14:47.040] here some resources you can try out certain combinations. And then you will maybe you know get an
[14:55.280] arrangement easier out than before where you had to create an arrangement and make some creative
[15:02.480] decisions and try to mix stuff and try to master it and make it loud and so on.
[15:09.520] So it's probably easier to just stick you know to this thump rule of thump and
[15:17.040] copy stuff over from scene to scene and mark makes more kind of changes to it.
[15:23.600] So this is my idea. This is what I want to train for myself also to do it. Also the habits here
[15:31.200] with the new key commands using tab for that instead of double clicking here all the time.
[15:36.960] I think it's a great workflow. It's also a nice workflow. I think using the clip launcher as a
[15:41.440] resource panel for your arrangement. And I just want to put it out there and you know you know
[15:47.120] here's some opinions what you think about it. I also got my launch pad today, innovation launch pad.
[15:54.000] So I also try to get some practice down with this device and come up with some tutorials in the future.
[16:01.200] Thanks for watching. Leave a like if you like the video, comment if you have some questions.
[16:06.960] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. Bye.