Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Grid Vector Synthesis Waveforms Modulation Sound-Design

How to do Vector Synthesis in Bitwig Grid with the Drawable Oscillator

Tutorial | May 03, 2023

In this video, I show the viewers how to do vector synthesis in Bitwig's grid using the x,y coordinate pad and multiple instances of the drawable oscillator. I explain that vector synthesis involves blending between multiple oscillator shapes using a vector, which can be done with the x,y coordinate pad and multiple instances of the scroll. I also demonstrate how to use the blend modulator to fade between two inputs and give us one output waveform. I show how the bipolar mode can be used in the x,y pad for negative values and how to set up the modulation for the blend between the left and right side. I also suggest using a mod filter for subtractive shaping of the waveform and demonstrate how to set up the polyphony mode, so we can play chords. Additionally, I show how to use a vector 8 modulator, which is similar to the x,y pad, but with eight outputs. I explain how this can be used to blend between eight oscillator shapes, and how it provides more modulation for creating complex waveforms. Lastly, I give examples of how to use segments to find sweet spots for modulation and how to use wave tables for morphing the sound.

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Questions & Answers

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

Questions and Answers

1. What is vector synthesis and how does it work in Bitwig Grid?

Vector synthesis is a synthesis technique that uses a vector to blend between multiple oscillator shapes. In Bitwig Grid, you can use the X-Y coordinate pad to blend between multiple oscillator shapes and create complex waveforms. By modulating the X-Y coordinate pad, you can change the blend of oscillator shapes and create highly dynamic sounds. Using a blend or multiple blends, you can fade between two inputs and create a more defined waveform.

2. What is the difference between a wave table and vector synthesis?

A wave table is a synthesizer technique that uses a table with pre-made waveforms to create sound. A wave table can be accessed linearly, meaning you can scan through the table and only have one dimension to work with. Meanwhile, vector synthesis allows you to blend between multiple oscillator shapes in multiple directions, giving you more options to play with.

3. How do you set up vector synthesis with the Vector 8 modulator in Bitwig Grid?

To set up vector synthesis with the Vector 8 modulator in Bitwig Grid, load in multiple oscillator shapes and connect them to a mixer. Then connect the mixer to an ADSR and an output. Attach a Vector 8 modulator to the oscillator shapes and use the eight outputs to blend between the shapes. Modulate the X-Y coordinate pad to change the blend of oscillator shapes and create sonic results. You can also use a wave table and modulate it to create even more complex sounds.

4. Can you use vector synthesis in polyphonic mode?

Yes, you can use vector synthesis in polyphonic mode by selecting the bias and switching to polyphony mode. This allows you to play chords and have different oscillator shapes playing per voice. By modulating each voice individually, you can create more interesting and diverse sounds.


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.
[00:03.240] I noticed I never showed you how to do vector synthesis in the grid.
[00:07.960] And now with the new oscillator we got here in the physics studio for the scroll, the
[00:12.400] drawable oscillator, it's maybe a perfect time to show you this.
[00:17.040] So vector synthesis is basically that you use a vector to plant between multiple oscillator
[00:23.480] shapes.
[00:24.880] And we can do this with the x, y coordinate g, y in the face thing here called x, y.
[00:33.480] And use multiple instances here of the scroll, exactly four.
[00:40.960] And reload in multiple shapes.
[00:42.320] So here we have the sign, here we load in maybe a saw, here we have maybe, let's use
[00:50.880] this roller coaster there.
[00:53.400] And here we load in, yeah, something strange, something like this.
[00:59.800] So we can use the x, y coordinate pad here to blend between these.
[01:04.320] And first we select the x, y coordinate pad.
[01:07.640] And then we go to the left side into the inspector, we can switch this here to bipolar mode.
[01:12.760] Right.
[01:13.760] So now this is only positive values.
[01:15.280] So if you go to the right side, you only got positive values, so plus one, zero plus
[01:20.280] one, zero plus one in this direction, right.
[01:23.520] And if you are down here, you have zero in both directions.
[01:27.560] But now we switch this to bipolar mode.
[01:30.320] So zero is now in the middle.
[01:32.400] And this is negative, and this is negative, this is positive, and this is positive, right.
[01:38.600] So we have both directions.
[01:41.000] And the best way to do now, this blend is to use a blend or multiple blends.
[01:48.920] So the blend basically fades between two inputs and gives us one output.
[01:53.760] So what we do now is we blend here between the top oscillator and the bottom oscillator.
[02:00.040] So to do this here, we use a modulator out, I actually use two modulator out, the red
[02:05.960] one here and the blue one.
[02:09.600] So the red one is basically to the right side and to the left side.
[02:13.680] So this is negative, this is positive.
[02:16.680] So with the positive value, we want to have these two oscillators here, but I need to
[02:23.940] set up something more.
[02:26.400] And if we go up here to the blue output here, we want to have these two oscillators playing.
[02:35.760] So that's what we want to do.
[02:38.160] And we need to also another blend, second one.
[02:42.880] But instead of using these two, we're using these two, right.
[02:49.120] So if we go now up here in the positive range, we use the blue output and switch basically
[02:55.920] to the blue output or to the upper output here.
[03:03.200] So exactly 50%.
[03:05.400] We can also check this here by just drawing this if you go all the way to the right.
[03:11.720] You can see this one is disabled.
[03:13.760] So it only takes this input here now, right.
[03:16.880] So you can check this.
[03:17.880] If you go to this direction, it only takes the upper input.
[03:22.360] So what we want to do now here is basically when we go up, we can see both of these go
[03:27.360] down, then it takes the upper input here, also here.
[03:35.440] So we take this one and this one, it's exactly what we want.
[03:39.960] We want to go up and we want to blend only these two together, right.
[03:44.680] That's exactly what we want.
[03:50.000] Go back in the middle here.
[03:51.400] If you go down, you can see we modulate here to 100% and then take the lower input these
[04:01.880] two here, here, right.
[04:05.720] That's what we do.
[04:07.560] So now we need to blend between the left and the right side and we do this also with the
[04:11.600] blend, second one or third one, we bring these two together.
[04:18.840] So now if we go to the right side, we want to have, not this one, we want to have this
[04:27.600] one, this input, so these two.
[04:31.240] Okay, so we take the red, modulate back here to minus 50% and now we blend basically
[04:40.680] either these or these together.
[04:43.760] And if you now move into the corner here, we have then the right side and only the upper
[04:48.920] oscillator, right.
[04:49.920] So this is then the combination.
[04:53.120] So I can just move this by using an oscilloscope here, bring this in and switch the oscilloscope
[04:59.880] in the pitch mode here and inspect or you can see the shape then.
[05:04.040] And you can go over here, you can see we have then the roller coaster here, down here
[05:10.080] we have this shape, here we have the saw and up here we have the sign, right.
[05:19.000] So you can create any combination of these positions here and create a nice blend, a nice
[05:26.120] vector synthesis sound or wave shape.
[05:31.840] So it's basically vector synthesis, basically some kind of yeah, the same thing as a wave
[05:39.240] table, but here you don't use a table with all kinds of waveforms in it, which is more
[05:45.640] or less like a sample or using a sampler in the cycle mode.
[05:51.080] Here you use for oscillator shapes, blend between them and create in the middle here some
[05:56.440] kind of combination of all of them.
[05:59.560] So you have more options because you can go here and here and here and here, right.
[06:03.600] It's not like a linear, so when you have a wave table, you can only scan basically in
[06:08.000] one direction, you have one dimension, you can from here, move to there and that's it.
[06:12.680] But you can't move from this position into the middle and from this position to this
[06:17.160] position, right.
[06:18.160] You have only a linear, more of basically the same, more from here to here and that's it.
[06:25.200] But here you can go from here to there or from here to there or to there or here here,
[06:31.360] right.
[06:32.360] You have more options, you have more vectors basically to use.
[06:36.560] It's called vectors into this.
[06:39.760] So now we can create a different combination of shapes with this.
[06:43.600] Of course, we have to use here an ADSR, it's an output and this is output here.
[06:54.480] And we can also shape this even more, right.
[06:58.040] This is now the subtractive part.
[07:01.240] You can use a MOOC filter here.
[07:06.480] And if you watch the shape, the oscillator shape here, it changes too, right.
[07:14.360] So it's also like a modification of the waveform because we remove all the upper harmonics
[07:21.400] of the wave shape itself, which then in the end shapes the waveform even more.
[07:27.480] So it becomes then at some point you'll probably kind of a sine wave.
[07:33.200] So you have multiple vectors now to change the sound of this.
[07:37.280] You can shape here and shape here.
[07:45.240] And if you modulate all of this, you get a nice sound.
[07:47.880] So maybe use a supermassive here also as a reward.
[07:54.280] And then you see a random mod with this into half, smooth up modulation of the filter,
[08:06.800] slowly modulating.
[08:10.160] And then we can move this here.
[08:12.000] And if you actually accidentally move here this whole pattern around all the time, you
[08:17.240] can switch here the grid into this lock mode.
[08:20.200] So now you can't modify anything, but you can easily move here the knob.
[08:26.120] And then we can play something on the keyboard.
[08:30.600] Open this up here a bit now.
[08:45.680] At the moment the grid is basically in monophonic mode, so we switched, selected the bias and
[08:50.240] go to polyphony mode.
[08:54.640] Now we can play chords.
[09:21.040] So what we also can do is probably to duplicate here this random mod.
[09:28.640] And then modulate basically here the x, y coordinates.
[09:42.600] Let's try all this sounds.
[09:51.800] So now it's also polyphonic, all these random mod your polyphonic.
[09:55.520] So each voice gets a different wave shape or different modulation, which can also sound
[10:01.080] interesting.
[10:02.560] It's maybe a bit too much sometimes, but you can also dial in here just a little bit
[10:16.040] of modulation, not that drastic, but I want to show you basically the effect of this.
[10:21.120] Maybe you can also use here, slow attack.
[10:28.120] Oh, modulate is a bit slower here, let's go to bar.
[10:45.520] So this is the more or less complete grid way of doing it, because you use the x, y coordinate
[11:08.880] pad inside of the grid.
[11:11.640] But that's actually a better way, easier way of doing this.
[11:15.160] I'm deleting here the random mods again, deleting this one, also this one, and I removed
[11:22.720] the x, y coordinate pad.
[11:24.920] And remove this now over here.
[11:33.840] So let's use it that way.
[11:36.000] And we can even use more, let's say we have four now here, five, six, seven, eight.
[11:43.360] Let's use eight, right, to have whole collection here of different oscillators.
[11:51.080] So let's load in here all kinds of different shapes.
[11:56.640] I have no idea how it sounds, but it's just for experimentation purposes.
[12:03.800] And square, yeah, sure, why not?
[12:06.240] Let's use something completely cooped, something like this.
[12:10.280] So now we have this kind of set up, so we have eight inputs.
[12:14.040] Eight inputs, this is perfectly fine, probably for, let's use a mix, actually use a mixer.
[12:23.680] Let's connect everything here to mixer, bam, bam, oh, we have actually only six inputs.
[12:37.520] So now we switch this here to some, I think we have eight inputs there.
[12:44.040] So now with the sum, we basically lack here the volume inputs or the volume parameters.
[12:53.640] So we can just utilize here, attenuate, and pull this down.
[12:58.520] It's a bit tedious to set up, but you have now eight oscillator shapes, you can blend
[13:06.240] between, which makes it highly, highly dynamic, dynamic sound.
[13:13.360] I think there's no synthesizer on the market where you can do this only in Bitwig.
[13:17.680] I have no idea, I actually have, that's probably some kind of synthesizer where you can do this.
[13:23.360] So now we have all this set up here, it's basically just, you know, a mixer at this point
[13:29.400] with volume knobs here or with attenuate.
[13:32.960] And then we can go out here back into the oscilloscope and then into the envelope and
[13:41.040] then into the output.
[13:42.560] Now we can go to the polygrid here and can use the vector eight modulator.
[13:48.960] And the vector eight is basically the same as the X, Y coordinate pad as before, but here
[13:53.760] we have now eight outputs.
[13:56.160] And here it's much, much easier to blend between these things because we just grab here basically
[14:02.040] one point and say, if I am in this corner with my dot, right, then I want to play or want
[14:09.000] to attenuate this, this wave shape here, right, if I'm here, I want to have to use this
[14:17.040] if I'm here, I'm using this, if I'm here, this, this goes to there, this goes to there.
[14:27.840] Here and there, boom.
[14:31.080] And now we can blend between eight shapes and if you're in the middle, there's no shape
[14:38.400] at all.
[14:39.400] It's just probably not what we want, but you can see here how we blend everything together,
[14:54.720] right?
[14:55.720] Such a complex wave form.
[15:14.360] I think probably a better way would be to use this here, maybe at 50%, I'm not sure if
[15:24.000] this works.
[15:25.000] Let's try it out.
[15:26.000] I actually never did this before.
[15:30.400] So we stay in the middle and we utilize, it's actually a negative value when I have this
[15:41.640] here, probably not, huh?
[15:47.680] Now it doesn't output your negative values.
[15:50.920] I thought when I have this here, when I use this here, I get negative values for this
[15:56.040] position, no, it's not going to work this way, yeah, but not a problem.
[16:05.520] So if it would actually work this way, then you could have a mixture of everything in
[16:12.000] the middle here, but it's not going to work.
[16:14.640] So now, but this can still blend here between all these eight points.
[16:40.020] So if that's not enough modulation for you, then you can also bring in here instead of
[16:46.420] these, yeah, static, drawable oscillator types, you can bring in a wave table.
[16:54.500] In this wave table, you can load up a complex shape and then modulate this even more, right?
[17:00.900] So when you are this top position here, you have now a sign, which can change to a different
[17:09.580] wave shape, and then you can also change here, right?
[17:13.380] The wave shape.
[17:14.380] So we can change it in so many multiple directions at the same time, which leads to so many different
[17:23.460] sonic results.
[17:39.580] So we could use an LFO, yeah, or let's use a random mod here, and then modulate here,
[17:49.500] slowly, let's go up here, or I have to move this up, maybe use a different
[18:09.540] wave form here.
[18:19.420] So now at the top position here, if you don't move anything, you have this morphable wave
[18:24.620] table, maybe this one here is also replaced with a wave table, let's use a different one
[18:43.340] here, maybe something complex, dupstep organ, no idea, also use here an LFO.
[19:04.780] So now at this position and at this position, you have a wave table that morphs itself.
[19:25.340] So now you can utilize the segments, this thing here, and then try to find you some
[19:35.580] sweet spots, or modulate actually the x and y coordinate thing here.
[19:44.580] And if you are here, down here, then you're on the middle, which produces no sound, so
[19:48.940] you try to avoid that, maybe it's slowed in here, some different shapes, maybe it's
[19:56.740] something like this, and yeah, it's slow enough, maybe three bars.
[20:18.940] Okay, and then we duplicate this, modulate here in another direction, a different speed
[20:36.580] setting, maybe five, let's see what this works.
[20:57.620] So with a segment stand, you can create some kind of different morph points, or what
[21:27.580] you want to modulate through this vector pad here, and create basically the same kind
[21:35.140] of sound every time you hit the key, and then play around with the segments timing here
[21:41.940] to get different sound shapes.
[21:43.940] So this is just, you know, the gives you some ideas, how you can utilize the scroll and
[21:49.020] vector synthesis in the grid, with the vector 8 pad and also with the x, y pad in the grid
[21:54.780] itself.
[21:55.780] I think there's also here, and vector 4 or something like this, yeah, this one here,
[22:02.020] it works kind of in the same way as the vector pad inside of the grid.
[22:07.460] I am not sure if this is also your bipolar, it's probably also just unipolar.
[22:14.420] So if you want to have this real blend with minus values, you have to probably use the x,
[22:20.420] y pad inside of the grid.
[22:22.660] But just using the vector 8 is also a nice way of doing things, as you can see here,
[22:27.100] to create rich harmonics with multiple oscillator shapes, right?
[22:32.300] So I want to give you basically this idea how to set up something like this in the grid,
[22:38.460] and yeah, that's it for this video.
[22:40.540] Leave a like if you liked the video, subscribe to the channel, and ask some questions in
[22:46.420] the comments.
[22:47.420] Thanks for watching, see you next video, bye.