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Exploring Sweep and Filter Plus: New Devices in Bitwig Studio 5.1 Beta

Tutorial | Oct 20, 2023

In this video, I discuss the new devices in Bitwig Studio 5.1 called Sweep and Filter Plus. These devices resemble Polymer and allow users to load in grid modules into specific sections, making it a more modular experience. I hope that in the future, we will have the ability to define what we want in each section and have the option to create chain devices or instruments with grid modules.

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Questions & Answers

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

What are the new devices in Bitwig Studio 5.1 that the video discusses?

Sweep and Filter Plus are the two new devices discussed in the video. They are similar in design to Polymer, with small sections in which grid modules can be loaded, allowing for a more modular approach to creating chain devices or instruments.

What is the potential future direction for these devices?

The video suggests that there is a possibility for these devices to become more modular in the future, allowing users to define what modules they want in each section. This would make it easier to create custom chain devices or instruments using grid modules without the need for complex interface design.

How does the WowR filter work and what is it useful for?

The WowR filter is not a traditional filter, but rather a fader that can be blended between different WowR sounds. Each WowR sound has its own unique formant position on the frequency spectrum, and the Blend knob controls the blending between these formant positions. It is particularly useful for creating vocal pads, vocal baselines, and dubstep bass sounds.

What are some of the features and use cases of the other filters discussed?

The other filters, such as Rasp, Fist, and Ripple, provide different tonalities and options for shaping sounds. Rasp allows for changing the resonant peaks via brightness and can create clicky or percussive sounds. Fist and Ripple offer different resonant frequencies and feedback options, making them suitable for a variety of sound design applications.


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.

[00:00:00] Hey folks, welcome back.
[00:00:01] I want to talk about sweep and filter plus in this video, two new devices inside of Betray
[00:00:08] Studio 5.1, which is currently in beta.
[00:00:12] And they look a bit like polymer, right?
[00:00:15] So we have these small little sections here in the device.
[00:00:20] And we can load in certain grid modules into these empty spaces.
[00:00:26] So it's kind of a way of bringing grid modules inside of the chain.
[00:00:33] And I really hope in the future, we can really define what we want to have in each of these
[00:00:38] sections here or spaces.
[00:00:43] Because at the moment, you can only, for instance, here in polymer, right?
[00:00:45] You can load in here oscillators, and it's a fixed section for just oscillators.
[00:00:51] You can't load in here, maybe a filter.
[00:00:54] So you have to load in an oscillator.
[00:00:55] And here it's only a space for filters, right?
[00:00:59] So in my head, it looks a lot like they want to open up maybe in the future for these devices
[00:01:05] to be more modular.
[00:01:07] So to be real containers or new containers, where we can construct chain devices or instruments
[00:01:16] with grid modules.
[00:01:18] At least that's what I'm hoping we get in the future.
[00:01:22] So this is a nice way or smart way of making actually a nice interface for devices from
[00:01:31] grid patches, right?
[00:01:32] So when we load up here, maybe a polygrid, and we have a certain type of patch in here,
[00:01:41] maybe a filter, right?
[00:01:43] Just take a filter here.
[00:01:44] And we want to bring this filter into the chain, right?
[00:01:48] When we close basically the view grid we down here and we want to modify something, we have
[00:01:53] to rely at the moment here for on macros and remote controls.
[00:02:01] And it's, it doesn't look like this, right?
[00:02:03] This interface.
[00:02:04] So in my head, it would be nice to actually get this interface here inside of the chain
[00:02:10] like we have on the polymer, like we have this in here, right?
[00:02:15] So it would be a nice way of making interfaces for grid patches easily available without having
[00:02:23] to use an interface design or anything at all.
[00:02:26] So just here, this is a container device and we can move and resize this in any shape or
[00:02:33] form or maybe add additional spaces or sections to instrument here or to an audio effect.
[00:02:41] So what I want to say is polymer was kind of the first instrument that uses this kind
[00:02:47] of interface.
[00:02:48] And it's, yeah, I really like it because polymer is now my most used synth in Bitwig Studio
[00:02:55] because it's so modular.
[00:02:56] I can exchange here all the oscillators.
[00:02:59] I can exchange all the filter types.
[00:03:02] I can exchange different envelopes here, right?
[00:03:06] But in a way, it's still not that modular enough in my opinion, but maybe we will get
[00:03:12] there at some point and sweep and filter plus are now the first audio FX devices that use
[00:03:21] this kind of interface.
[00:03:23] So we have your two inside of sweep.
[00:03:25] We have two filters here.
[00:03:27] We can exchange these filters, right?
[00:03:29] For different ones.
[00:03:30] We have in 5.1 now, Fis, Res, Pribble and Wawls.
[00:03:35] And I really like this filter here.
[00:03:36] I show you this in a minute.
[00:03:39] And here also we can exchange the different filters.
[00:03:42] We have, we can have two filters here in parallel or in serial.
[00:03:47] If we put this here to the right side or in parallel, let me give this here at 50%.
[00:03:53] And we have in the middle here some kind of shaper or distortion device we can also replace
[00:03:59] for different ones.
[00:04:00] And in 5.1 we have now here Push, Heat, Soar, Howl and Shred.
[00:04:06] So they distort the signal in all kinds of different colors.
[00:04:10] Really beautiful.
[00:04:12] And yeah, we can combine your basically two filters and the distortion, the distortion
[00:04:17] device in the middle, then say here we want to have just one filter or we want to have
[00:04:21] two filters in parallel or we want to have these two filters in serial.
[00:04:26] So now in this configuration here we have basically a filter, then we go into the distortion
[00:04:31] device and then we go into the Wowl filter here and then we get out of the device here
[00:04:35] in the back, right?
[00:04:38] Something strange is that we have now here an LFO inside of this sweep device.
[00:04:43] I mean, it makes sense because because we probably, you probably need an LFO at all
[00:04:51] times here to make sweeps.
[00:04:53] That's why the name, that's where the name stems from, right?
[00:04:56] We can make sweeps.
[00:04:57] You can also make manual sweeps here by just using this knob which is called Joint Frequency
[00:05:03] Control and it basically changes the frequency of both filters at the same time.
[00:05:09] So we basically can control these both filters here, right?
[00:05:13] So when we go down, these both filters go down in frequency.
[00:05:17] If you switch this here to Invert, then this one goes up and this one goes down.
[00:05:22] So we can invert basically the direction and can make different sweeps this way.
[00:05:29] Right?
[00:05:31] It's a sweep device.
[00:05:42] So it's a nice device for making risers and sweeps, transitioning sounds and all kinds
[00:05:49] of sound design stuff happening.
[00:05:52] And yeah, I really like this.
[00:05:54] What I don't understand is like why we have now LFOs back attached to the device itself
[00:05:59] because we can attach LFOs and all kinds of things here inside of the modulator panel.
[00:06:05] So not sure why we have this.
[00:06:08] In my opinion here, it would be better to have instead of this, maybe have here an output
[00:06:14] control because it gets very loud pretty fast because of the distortion here.
[00:06:20] It goes up and then you want to mix in the try signal, which is pretty quiet or not that
[00:06:28] loud.
[00:06:29] So it would be nice to have here an output control for the wet signal.
[00:06:33] I mean, you can still put in here a tool device and do it for yourself.
[00:06:42] But I think what we need to have an output control at the end here instead of these LFOs
[00:06:47] that we can attach for ourselves.
[00:06:50] And maybe instead of having this here, maybe attach an LFO by default as a default preset
[00:06:56] for this device, right?
[00:06:58] And then use that on here.
[00:07:01] Not sure if this is better.
[00:07:03] I mean, it still looks good and it makes sense to have an LFO here, but I'm not sure why this
[00:07:11] is now introduced because back then in Bitwig Studio, I don't know, 1.0 or so or 2.0.
[00:07:19] Now we got the modulation matrix with 2.0.
[00:07:21] So in 1.0, we had LFOs, multiple LFOs attached, fixed to devices.
[00:07:28] And then in 2.0, in Bitwig 2.0, we got basically here this front panel where we could attach
[00:07:36] modulators to all kinds of devices.
[00:07:38] And then they started to remove basically these LFOs here or fixed attached LFOs from
[00:07:44] all devices.
[00:07:45] Now they are kind of back with the sweep device here and also with the Filter Plus.
[00:07:50] So I'm not really sure if this is the right way to do it, but I mean, it's not that bad.
[00:07:56] But yeah, it's just a thing in my head that, yeah, I don't know, it makes no sense.
[00:08:05] But in Filter Plus here, it's basically the same layout.
[00:08:08] We have here multiple sections, multiple spaces for distortion device and the filter.
[00:08:14] It's basically just a small sweep without the first filter here and without the joint
[00:08:19] control because we just have one filter.
[00:08:21] It's basically just a Filter Plus.
[00:08:23] So the filter, the normal filter looks like this here.
[00:08:29] Actually without here, this modulator, it looks like this.
[00:08:34] We have all kinds of different filter modes here, low pass, low pass, four pole, band pass
[00:08:43] and so on.
[00:08:45] And here now we can select all kinds of filters that we know already from the grid.
[00:08:51] Also the wowl filter here.
[00:08:53] Just let me delete here the sweep.
[00:08:56] But to really make this Filter Plus, I think there needs to be some kind of visual because
[00:09:01] a lot of people actually like the visual to see what's going on with the filter, right?
[00:09:06] And they also, at least that's what I read, they prefer to have a line here in there to
[00:09:12] see what the filter looks like.
[00:09:16] So when you load up, for instance, let's say vital, in the vital ascent, you can see basically
[00:09:27] what the filter does here, right?
[00:09:29] You see the shape of the filter.
[00:09:30] You can see where the filter shape is and what the resonance looks like and so on.
[00:09:35] So I think most people prefer to have this kind of visual in the filter.
[00:09:41] So in my opinion, to make this really Filter Plus, there needs to be a visual in here.
[00:09:47] I know it's probably not that easy to do because they just use your grid modules and we don't
[00:09:52] have a grid module for this kind of visual.
[00:09:55] But maybe in the future we get this.
[00:09:58] But yeah, it's kind of not really Filter Plus.
[00:10:01] It's basically Filter Plus Minus.
[00:10:03] So it's Filter Plus.
[00:10:04] We have all the new filters in here and the distortion device, which is really nice minus
[00:10:11] the visuals, right?
[00:10:12] So I guess we get this probably in the future, this visual at least.
[00:10:20] So let's go do the filters here itself.
[00:10:23] I don't want to use the Filter Plus here because we can use the filters also here in the device
[00:10:28] itself.
[00:10:29] And the first new filter is the WowR filter, which I really like and it's really nice to
[00:10:34] use for all kinds of things, for like vocal pads and vocal baselines.
[00:10:39] And the WowR filter here is not really a filter itself here.
[00:10:43] It's more like a fader.
[00:10:44] You can plant between different WowRs.
[00:10:48] And to change which WowR you want to use, you have these kind of small drop downs here.
[00:10:54] You can say we want to have here this kind of WowR in A, right?
[00:10:59] Then we want to have here maybe let's say an E, an I here.
[00:11:07] That's okay.
[00:11:09] Or maybe let's say an O, right?
[00:11:13] And something different here.
[00:11:15] Let's say an U as in pool or cool.
[00:11:20] And then you take here maybe a saw.
[00:11:24] And then you can sweep between these WowRs with this Blend knob.
[00:11:41] It's also nice for bass lines for these WowR dubstep bass lines.
[00:11:57] You have the resonance.
[00:11:58] You can increase the resonance.
[00:12:00] And we have also your cutoff pitch offset.
[00:12:03] So it's basically you fade between the WowRs here, but you can also change the frequencies
[00:12:09] of these two formant positions on the frequency spectrum.
[00:12:14] And it can influence this here.
[00:12:25] I made a video earlier this year about creating WowRs with just band bass filters.
[00:12:32] And yeah, it's basically just two or three band bass filters.
[00:12:36] And to change the frequencies of these here and the WowRs basically have fixed frequencies
[00:12:42] for these kind of WowRs here on the frequency spectrum.
[00:12:45] But you can influence all of these band bass filters at once just with this knob here to
[00:12:50] change basically the format position.
[00:13:01] So it sounds really nice.
[00:13:03] And like I said, it's perfect for vocal pads and vocal lead sounds and these vocal dubstep
[00:13:11] bass sounds.
[00:13:12] If you put a lot of distortion on that here, maybe what let's say filter plus because in
[00:13:19] filter plus we have here these nice shapers.
[00:13:38] So it makes a lot of sense to use filter plus in combination with the WowRs.
[00:13:43] It's basically an update for dubstep and drum bass, in my opinion, this 5.1 to make
[00:13:49] dirty sounds to the bass lines, have all these kinds of distortion devices here at hand,
[00:13:55] all these nice new filters just to shape the tonality of bass sounds.
[00:14:02] But it's also nice for pads.
[00:14:04] It's not like only for bass, right?
[00:14:05] But I'm coming from drum bass and dubstep.
[00:14:09] So I think basically in these kind of terms and possibilities.
[00:14:13] So yeah, that's that.
[00:14:15] And then we have here additional filters.
[00:14:17] They are really hard to describe actually what they do.
[00:14:21] The best is in my opinion, just to put them on different sounds and try it out.
[00:14:26] Here you can change the color basically.
[00:14:30] You have a mine cutoff frequency, you have feedback, you have an additional feedback
[00:14:35] cutoff frequency.
[00:14:36] So feedback is basically what you get out of this filter and then it's feed it back into
[00:14:42] the beginning of the filter into the input, right?
[00:14:45] And then this feedback chain, this audio feedback here, you have also filter on that to just
[00:14:51] filter out some overtones before it goes back into the filter itself, where we additionally
[00:14:56] have here also a main cutoff frequency.
[00:15:01] So a lot of filtering, a lot of feedback, and we can also change the color.
[00:15:06] I don't know what the color really does.
[00:15:08] I think it changed some of the characteristics on the cutoff frequency on the resonance.
[00:15:17] So you get some different overtones or harmonics.
[00:15:19] Let me try this here.
[00:15:31] This also sounds like a wower filter.
[00:15:40] Let me use you some.
[00:15:50] It's actually a perfect filter for a subtractive synthesizer because with the subtractive synthesizer
[00:15:56] you usually just use a low pass and cut off some overtones, right?
[00:16:00] But here you can really influence the overtones in all kinds of different ways and colors
[00:16:05] to change the tonality of a sound.
[00:16:08] So it's a really nice addition to a subtractive synth here like the Polymer.
[00:16:14] Then we have Rasp.
[00:16:16] That's also kind of low pass, pen pass filter here, but then we have here the brightness.
[00:16:21] I'm also not really sure what it does.
[00:16:25] Maybe you can open up here the help menu.
[00:16:29] Let me see if we can scroll down low pass.
[00:16:33] That's the wrong device, this one here.
[00:16:36] So here's the Polymer device, but when you scroll down you get all the different modules
[00:16:40] we loaded into the Polymer.
[00:16:42] So here's the Rasp filter.
[00:16:45] Brightness, how resonant peaks move via brightness amount.
[00:16:52] So it looks like we have some multiple peaks here also with this filter.
[00:16:56] It's not like just one cutoff frequency.
[00:16:59] You have multiple peaks inside of the filter and you can change where they are with this
[00:17:05] brightness slider.
[00:17:08] So here we have shift gently moves past the main cutoff double a tuned mixture, a tuned
[00:17:14] mixture of other modes, gravity pulls, pushes forward the main cutoff.
[00:17:19] So yeah, it's it's vaguely described.
[00:17:22] I think it would be much clearer to see actually a visual of how the filter looks like, like
[00:17:27] you used to be in like I showed you on vital, right?
[00:17:30] You see a line and you see exactly what it does.
[00:17:34] So I think Bitwig kind of misses that and needs something like that to for people to
[00:17:40] understand what actually is happening with the filter.
[00:17:43] So let's let's play this here.
[00:17:48] So what we can try is to make this polymer into kind of, let's say modal synthesizer.
[00:18:12] So pull here the volume down, right?
[00:18:14] So nothing goes through the filter.
[00:18:17] And I attach here some AD.
[00:18:19] I think I showed this already in some kind of video where I change the polymer into a
[00:18:26] modal synthesizer.
[00:18:27] So I use here basically a very short AD envelope and I use this to bring in the noise like
[00:18:35] like just short burst of noise.
[00:18:38] And this goes into or actually let's move.
[00:18:42] Let's do it this way.
[00:18:45] Let's bring this up.
[00:18:47] So I just want to feed into the filter, your small burst of noise, something like this.
[00:18:56] And then use the filter to create some kind of interesting.
[00:19:15] It sounds almost like percussion.
[00:19:18] So let me put this here in polyphonic mode.
[00:19:20] Let's use here the pitch key tracking so we can play different notes here.
[00:19:37] Some pretty classy.
[00:19:51] So it's a nice addition also if you want to use this as a modal synthesizer to create
[00:19:57] some resonant sounds here with this.
[00:20:00] And because we have different brightness modes here, it gives you a lot of different
[00:20:03] sounds and tonalities.
[00:20:10] Pretty clicky.
[00:20:14] It's probably something for rim shot sounds.
[00:20:20] Let's try different distortion here.
[00:20:25] Maybe howl.
[00:20:28] I think push was the best.
[00:20:29] This is soft clipper.
[00:20:42] So yeah, this is really great for percussion sounds I see and bell sounds probably also.
[00:20:47] Let's try this out here with the ripple filter.
[00:20:50] The ripple filter here has different also different tonalities here.
[00:20:54] We have nature, wind.
[00:20:59] It's earth, that's wind, that's fire.
[00:21:02] So different colors or tonalities.
[00:21:04] So again, I think it's just multiple resonant frequencies at certain points in the frequency
[00:21:09] spectrum and you can change everything here with just one slider.
[00:21:14] Then you have in the feedback routing or the feedback path, you have additional cutoff
[00:21:21] frequency here to make additional low cuts, high cuts or low pass, high cuts.
[00:21:32] Maybe too much distortion.
[00:21:36] Actually, we need to introduce your feedback here and feed forward also at the same time.
[00:21:50] I found the filter pretty nice on pad sounds.
[00:22:08] We have to remove this here for a moment and use maybe here saw.
[00:22:15] The 16 voices fat of course.
[00:22:21] That's only noise.
[00:22:24] Let's bring in here some kind of pad sound.
[00:22:48] That's pretty screamy pretty fast.
[00:22:59] And for this feedback here, it's pretty important to change at this frequency.
[00:23:04] Not so much this one here.
[00:23:05] So you can see sometimes here, here the feedback doesn't actually nothing and then you bring
[00:23:12] this filter down.
[00:23:16] And then at a certain point it starts to scream.
[00:23:34] So yeah, it gives you some additional overtones sometimes here with the feedback.
[00:23:40] So yeah, so I think my favorite is the vowel filter and then followed by the rasp at the
[00:23:49] moment here for percussion and then fist and then ripple.
[00:23:54] But I guess I have to, I mean, I like them all, right?
[00:23:59] It's not like that I don't like ripple here, but it's much harder to use in my opinion
[00:24:04] here.
[00:24:05] And it resonates pretty fast sometimes and it's hard to get control, but sometimes it's
[00:24:13] good to lose control.
[00:24:15] So yeah, I like them all.
[00:24:17] So this is basically filter plus and sweep.
[00:24:23] Where sweep, there it is.
[00:24:27] Two new devices in the fashion of polymer where we have now these small little areas
[00:24:34] here where we can load in some rid modules.
[00:24:38] And I really like this development and I hope this gets dynamic soon in the future.
[00:24:44] So we have more modular synths inside of the grid and we can make nice interfaces, pull
[00:24:50] out certain grid modules into the chain where people can interact with it without the need
[00:24:58] of going into the grid, right with all the cables and all the chaos around.
[00:25:04] And people can focus basically on the important elements of the grid patch inside such a
[00:25:11] dynamic device.
[00:25:12] So that's my video about polymer sweep filter and filter plus and some of the distortion
[00:25:20] devices, some of the filter devices.
[00:25:23] There will be probably an extensive description of these devices on my second channel called
[00:25:31] Bitwig Guide.
[00:25:33] The link is in the description below where I describe all these devices separately and
[00:25:37] more extensive and go into more of the details of these devices or modules.
[00:25:44] But I also at the same time want to wait until the bit are finished because sometimes they
[00:25:49] introduce a lot of different changes.
[00:25:52] And when I do these videos now, they are probably outdated when the final release drops.
[00:25:58] So I want to wait a bit and yeah, but keep watching the channel.
[00:26:03] I want to make videos about all of these devices on my Bitwig Guide channel.
[00:26:07] So let me know in the comments down below what you like about these new filters.
[00:26:12] If you like the new filters, what's your favorite filter?
[00:26:14] What's your favorite new distortion device?
[00:26:17] How do you use it?
[00:26:19] Keep me updated on your stuff, right?
[00:26:22] Let me know.
[00:26:23] Like the video, subscribe to the channel.
[00:26:25] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video.
[00:26:27] Have fun with Bitwig Beta 5.1.
[00:26:30] See ya and bye.
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