Sound design tips and tricks using Bitwig Studio: Convolution, Rolling Sampler and System Audio Bridge
Tutorial | Jun 12, 2023
In this video, I share some tips and tricks for sound design in Bitwig Studio. I start by showing how to use the System Audio Bridge and Rolling Sampler tools to record audio from the browser into Bitwig. Then, I demonstrate how to use a sample to shape a sign oscillator in order to create a richer kick drum sound. Next, I show how to use a convolution device to add tonality to a hi-hat and how to apply this technique to synth sounds as well. Finally, I demonstrate how to use convolution for clap and percussion sounds and how to shape these sounds using various modules in Bitwig. Overall, the key to getting the most out of these techniques is to pay attention to the input sound and shape it appropriately to achieve the desired results.
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Questions & Answers #
Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:
What tools and techniques are used for sound design in this video? #
In this video, the presenter uses a variety of tools and techniques to create unique sounds. One of the main tools used is the rolling sampler, which allows the user to record audio from any source and use it as a sample in Bitwig Studio. Additionally, the presenter utilizes the System Audio Bridge plugin to get audio from the browser into Bitwig Studio. To modify the sounds, the presenter uses various modules, including the sign and triangle oscillators, convolution reverb, and pitch modulation.
How does the presenter use convolution to create unique sounds? #
The presenter uses the convolution reverb module to create resonator banks that amplify certain frequencies of an input sound. This technique can be used on a variety of sounds, including hi-hats, claps, and percussion samples. By convolving these sounds, the presenter is able to add tonality to the input sound and create richer overtones.
How can the rolling sampler be used to enhance sound design? #
The rolling sampler is a powerful tool that can be used to capture audio from any source and use it as a sample in Bitwig Studio. This allows the user to take sounds from their environment and incorporate them into their music. Additionally, the rolling sampler can be used to shape the attack of a kick drum or to create unique rhythmic patterns by sampling noise or percussion sounds.
What benefits does using these techniques provide for sound design? #
Using these techniques allows the presenter to create unique sounds and add tonality to otherwise bland input sounds. By utilizing convolution to create resonator banks and pitch modulation, the presenter is able to add a variety of overtones to their sound design. Using the rolling sampler, the presenter is able to capture sounds from their environment and incorporate them into their music, adding a layer of authenticity and uniqueness. Overall, these techniques provide a way for the presenter to push the boundaries of sound design and enhance the quality of their music.
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[00:00.000] Hey folks, welcome back. Today I want to show you some tips and tricks how I
[00:05.160] created recently some sounds, what tools I use, some small little hints for
[00:10.960] Pintwick Studio for sound design and yeah maybe some solutions. So recently I
[00:16.800] discovered here, I created an audio track, I discovered this bird's tool called
[00:24.280] system audio bridge. They also, what is one developer actually also does here
[00:30.000] the rolling sampler and I think the MIDI cap which just captures MIDI data in
[00:35.680] the background. So here I'm using the system audio bridge which basically gets
[00:40.160] you all the all the data or all the audio stream from the browser or from
[00:46.880] your PC into Pintwick Studio, right. So if you have something running in the
[00:52.040] background here, for instance here something on YouTube, this one gives you the
[00:57.360] audio inside of Pintwick Studio. So I make this here a bit smaller and then I use
[01:01.720] another tool called rolling sampler and you probably already know this is
[01:06.240] basically just a sampler recording all the time. It's always on, you have some
[01:10.960] stuff here you can configure for instance here the recording duration and also
[01:19.560] where you want to record it too and maybe also you have a format on your stereo
[01:25.640] and so on. So I have a lot of options. I have here a duration of 45 seconds. So
[01:31.920] the reason 45 seconds I record always into the sampler here. So what this means
[01:37.600] is that when I have Pintwick running in the background and I'm surfing
[01:42.080] basically YouTube searching for inspiration maybe or whatever I want to
[01:46.440] procrastinate or what I want to watch tutorial to make music in Pintwick Studio
[01:51.280] for instance, right. So I have this running. You can see we're calling basically
[01:56.880] on the background because I have this here running in the browser. So what I can
[02:01.440] do now is I can just select something here and drag it into Bitwick. So I want
[02:08.040] to use here a pulley grid. In the pulley grid I want to use probably a one
[02:14.000] kick drum or two kick drum so I drag this in and this is what we had in the
[02:22.000] browser maybe an AD and let's try out. So this is pitch key track here. So we
[02:33.240] turn key track off and I only want to have here the attack. So now we have
[02:42.080] the kick drum from the YouTube video here inside of Bitwick Studio in a
[02:47.360] sampler and what I usually do or what I want to show you is basically how to make
[02:52.520] a better kick drum out of this. So you can take a sign or say that you can also
[02:58.480] use a try if you want to try angle. It's also nice. So let's start with the sign.
[03:04.680] The sign also gets here an envelope of course and an audio output and this one
[03:12.240] here is the input for the face right. So we take basically the attack of this
[03:18.560] kick drum of the sample as a face input for the sign. So this is how it sounds now.
[03:22.960] Right you have this yeah pitch from the keyboard we disable this and to use
[03:30.920] here an input a pitch input. So we want to have a static frequency input and we
[03:35.720] have the new frequency to pitch converters here which is a new module. You can
[03:42.040] see we can input hertz and then we output your key a note. And as to frequency
[03:48.320] input we use a constant. And with the constant now we can define your hertz
[03:53.200] so I say 80 hertz right. So whatever I press on the keyboard now it's always 80
[04:00.640] hertz or there's oscillator plays at 80 hertz which is nice. So what we need
[04:06.840] to do now is to import here basically the face the face input jack we bring
[04:15.160] in the sample and disrupt the face of the sign oscillator playback. So we get
[04:20.400] this nice. So we get this nice attack feel. So you need to trigger to your
[04:42.000] liking of course. So the benefit of this is we will trigger the oscillator
[04:48.120] it's better maybe to do that. So we have basically one face for the kick drum
[04:54.120] and the kick drum itself only plays here the sign oscillator as a main
[04:59.120] oscillator and we use here the sample as a distortion or the face distortion
[05:05.120] input. But we still play the same face so there's no real gap or this you
[05:12.760] know. Yeah there's no distinction between the tech face and the kick the tail
[05:18.760] face. It's basically the same oscillator.
[05:24.760] Okay. So what we need to do now is maybe to introduce here some pitch
[05:29.760] modulation because we want to have a pitch job so we can do this in multiple
[05:33.360] ways. So I'm using your add. So I'm adding something to 80 hertz or the key
[05:41.480] of 80 hertz and we can use your the output of this ad for instance this is
[05:46.280] a possibility which is too much. So we use an attenuator to scale it down
[05:56.480] or we can use this one here or we can use the audio output as a pitch
[06:17.480] modulation. It's a bit more subtle I think this would be better maybe go
[06:33.480] down with the tail. You can also exchange this here for a segment of course and
[06:48.480] then you know use here a better curve for that or maybe do something like this.
[06:59.480] Maybe that's too slow. And then you can shape your kick drum however you wanted to.
[07:21.480] So this is something you can do for the kick drum that's just an example here.
[07:26.480] So the main idea is basically that you use a sample but you don't use a sample as
[07:32.480] the main kick drum you just use it to shape your sign oscillator in all kinds
[07:38.480] of different ways for pitch modulation or the face modulation and you get a
[07:43.480] much more richer signal for the kick drum out of that in my opinion.
[07:49.480] So it's a nice trick to do sometimes and it's not hard to set up and it gives you
[07:56.480] a lot of options you don't need to fiddle around here with you know when you lay out
[08:00.480] drums when you lay out multiple kick drum samples you need to fiddle around with the face
[08:04.480] you need to fiddle around with the offset starting offset and so on.
[08:08.480] So you basically only play one oscillator and you disrupt it here with a sample
[08:13.480] to get some richer overtones. That's it basically maybe the distortion on this here too.
[08:36.480] So you have a lot of options with this in my opinion.
[08:43.480] Yeah nice. So the next option is we have now here a kick drum.
[08:57.480] I don't want to create a track here it's just to show you how to do it.
[09:05.480] Yeah. So the next idea is when you create high hats.
[09:11.480] So let's take an e-hat here and let's do something like this.
[09:25.480] It doesn't sound like a hi-hat right? You hear it's just noise and you can fiddle
[09:31.480] around with the comb filter and you can fiddle around with the FM synthesis here
[09:35.480] to make it a bit more sound like a hi-hat.
[09:40.480] But I found most of the times it's pretty easy to actually use a convolution device here
[09:47.480] and in here you use a hi-hat sample. So we have here some hi-hat samples already.
[09:54.480] It doesn't really matter which one. We basically use here the convolution
[10:05.480] reverb as a resonator, a resonator bank to amplify the real frequencies of a real hi-hat.
[10:14.480] So we can try this out here maybe I increase here the loudness a bit more.
[10:34.480] Right so we get something like this and to make it sound a bit better we have of course
[10:39.480] here to use the velocities and velocity sensitivity here a bit and then we probably
[10:47.480] also want to use expressions. So hi-hat velocity gets a longer decay time and we put
[10:54.480] here this one into the FX box and we also use the velocity here to increase the mix.
[11:01.480] So hi-hat velocity gets more of this convolution effect here.
[11:23.480] That sounds better.
[11:30.480] And when you shape the input sound it also changes the output sound in various ways.
[11:37.480] So you basically use the convolution here more as a resonator bank to amplify the
[11:43.480] right frequencies of your input sound. So you can just input here.
[11:47.480] There's just noise. This is why it noise basically.
[11:52.480] And with this you get more tonality of a real hi-hat on top.
[11:59.480] Now maybe to make this sound more like techno.
[12:24.480] So these are basically two techniques I'm using or three actually with the rolling
[12:33.480] sampler. I put you the link to these tools in the description of course.
[12:38.480] I think the rolling sampler is 20 bucks or something like that and the system
[12:44.480] bridge audio plug-in is for free. So we're just really nice to use.
[12:51.480] So the same idea, the same idea you can apply to synth sounds of course.
[12:57.480] So when you use your polymer and create some kind of melody in there.
[13:04.480] Let's stick with that.
[13:11.480] No idea if the sound's good.
[13:19.480] No idea if the sound's good.
[13:25.480] Yeah, it's something more.
[13:36.480] So when you put here maybe a convolution thing on there.
[13:42.480] Maybe a hi-hat sound in here.
[13:48.480] So it sounds more like a synth mixed with a hi-hat.
[13:56.480] I have no idea how to call it.
[14:01.480] So now we put this here into an fx layer convert fx layer to an fx selector of course.
[14:08.480] And then we just duplicate this.
[14:15.480] And here we load in different samples.
[14:25.480] Maybe something longer, yeah, something like this.
[14:31.480] Right, so we get different kind of tonalities.
[14:37.480] It's actually here.
[14:41.480] Okay, and then you switch it basically up with the step mode.
[14:49.480] Maybe go to five steps here.
[14:51.480] Randomize this.
[14:53.480] Start with the first one.
[14:55.480] Apply modulation.
[14:56.480] Right, you get some kind of overtones that are kind of unique and more interesting than having the synth running.
[15:22.480] And you can see the synth itself.
[15:24.480] It's super basic.
[15:25.480] There's nothing really going on there.
[15:27.480] We do all the stuff here with fx.
[15:52.480] Let's see, do I have some clap sounds here?
[16:16.480] Not many samples here.
[16:19.480] Kind of can work.
[16:21.480] So we can use here the clap E-clap and try to do some.
[16:37.480] And again here, convolution on that and real clap sound on top.
[16:43.480] Let's see how this sounds.
[17:05.480] Oh, let's use the higher sound.
[17:29.480] Which is nice.
[17:30.480] And we can also do here, let's see.
[17:36.480] On this one, instead of using here the layer, we can quickly build some kind of grid.
[17:45.480] Solo this.
[17:46.480] And then we work here with noise.
[17:55.480] Here's two triggers.
[17:59.480] And the clap quantizer.
[18:04.480] Something like this.
[18:06.480] We go for 12, maybe 16 here.
[18:12.480] We use out.
[18:18.480] It's don't feel like this.
[18:19.480] And then add dice.
[18:25.480] And trigger the dice.
[18:28.480] Modulation out.
[18:40.480] And we create some kind of random noise.
[18:51.480] Some kind of random thing here.
[18:53.480] And we could just use here some kind of convolution on that.
[19:06.480] And sometimes it loses, I have no Bongo sounds here.
[19:23.480] So some percussion sounds here into the convolution and then use that.
[19:40.480] Or use the same trigger as before from this one here.
[19:47.480] Copy this over here.
[19:49.480] And instead of higher, we use Pongo sounds.
[20:10.480] That's maybe too fast.
[20:30.480] But you get the idea.
[20:48.480] What you also can do is you can remove the FX selector and use the noise sample here.
[20:54.480] And just bounce this.
[20:56.480] Or maybe put here frequencies split on there.
[21:04.480] And then use a dice module to change the splits.
[21:12.480] Maybe a dice to bring down the volume here.
[21:22.480] To get some weird filtering.
[21:37.480] So you get something like this and then you bounce this.
[21:42.480] They have some kind of rhythmic element here.
[21:46.480] That's completely on the grid.
[21:52.480] And then we can use this on the clap here.
[21:56.480] Let's see, pull the grid bounce.
[22:00.480] So now we have basically the clap.
[22:08.480] It's going through this bounce.
[22:10.480] We just ditch over the pulley grid.
[22:16.480] And it's a bit too long.
[22:18.480] So let's see how this sounds.
[22:28.480] So let's kill one of this here.
[22:44.480] Make this a bit longer.
[22:52.480] Right, so you get basically this nice convolution rhythmic sample here on top of this clap sound.
[23:00.480] Which is in my opinion cool.
[23:04.480] And you can also use this on the melody.
[23:06.480] Let's see how this sounds here.
[23:08.480] Instead of this delay, we use convolution.
[23:16.480] And then use the pulley grid bounce here.
[23:40.480] The kick drum needs to go a bit lower.
[23:54.480] So you get the idea.
[23:56.480] Convolution is pretty powerful actually in a lot of different ways than just using as a reverb.
[24:02.480] It's nice as a resonator to amplify certain frequencies on top of something pretty mundane like a noise sample or here just the noise high heads.
[24:16.480] Sometimes you can use it for clap sounds easily and also for percussion sounds.
[24:24.480] Yeah, yeah, convolution on that.
[24:34.480] It's just some percussion sounds on there.
[24:46.480] Yeah, when you shape the sound, the input sound, that's an important part.
[24:52.480] Let's go for a cell in here.
[24:58.480] Band pass maybe.
[25:06.480] Yeah, let's use a step mode.
[25:12.480] 16 note.
[25:16.480] We get some nice sounds on the foot.
[25:36.480] 16 note.
[25:46.480] 16 note.
[25:56.480] Yeah, easy.
[26:18.480] Yeah, I want to show you some things I did in the recent days to amplify my production value or whatever I want to call it.