Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig

Exploring the Exciting New Features in Bitwig Studio 5.1: Arpeggiators, Clipping, and Pitch Bus

Tutorial | Oct 24, 2023

In this video, I explore the beta version of Bitwig Studio and share some tips and tricks that I've discovered. I demonstrate how to create a simple arpeggiator patch using the node grid and explain how the voice system works in Bitwig Studio. I also discuss the new features in the grid, such as the clipping mode in the out module, the use of the note grid for creating voices in the sweep device, and the pitch bus module for scaling notes in semitones.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

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

What is the main focus of this video?

The main focus of this video is to explore tips and tricks in the beta version of Bitwig Studio, specifically showcasing a small arpeggiator patch built inside the node grid, demonstrating how the voice system works in Bitwig Studio.

How does the small arpeggiator patch work?

The small arpeggiator patch uses the node grid in polyphonic mode with 12 voices. When keys are pressed sequentially on the keyboard, the patch plays the corresponding notes in the order they were pressed. However, if all the keys are pressed simultaneously, the notes play on top of each other, resulting in a less pleasant sound.

What is the new feature in the grid discussed in the video?

The new feature in the grid is the "level" setting in the out module. This setting allows users to adjust the clipping level from +60dB to 0dB. By setting it to 0dB, all signals passing through the out module will be clipped at that level. This can be useful for achieving a clean and consistent clipping result in the final audio output.

How can the pitch bus module be used creatively in Bitwig Studio?

The pitch bus module in Bitwig Studio is an attenuator that uses semitones instead of percentage for scaling the signal. This allows users to create interesting musical effects, such as going up in intervals or certain steps. By combining the pitch bus module with other devices like round or quantizer, users can create unique and musical note grids with targeted intervals and frequencies.


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] Welcome back folks to another video of Bitwig Studio. We want to explore the
[00:00:04] beta version beta one at the moment a bit more and I want to show you some
[00:00:09] tips and tricks what I found in the recent days and the first thing you can
[00:00:15] see here in the background is probably the smallest arpeggiator patch you can
[00:00:19] build inside of the node grid. You can see it's just a few modules here, not much
[00:00:24] actually just four and we use here the node grid in polyphonic mode. We use 12
[00:00:30] voices and we can just press some nodes.
[00:00:35] And it plays all these nodes in sequence or in an ordered sequence and exactly
[00:00:54] the same order you are pressing the keys on the keyboard. The only drawback is
[00:00:59] that you have to press these nodes in sequence. If you press all the nodes at
[00:01:04] once they play basically the same pattern or yeah on top of each other and
[00:01:12] yeah it's not that pleasant anymore. So you have to press the keys one after the
[00:01:19] other and then it works. And the reason for that is that we are using basically
[00:01:26] or we abuse the node grid or the voice system how it works in Bitwig Studio. So
[00:01:31] as you know it's in polyphonic mode we use 12 voices. We have this module here
[00:01:37] keys held and it gives you the number of currently playing nodes.
[00:01:43] And I think how it works is when you press down one key you create one voice
[00:01:50] right this patch is one voice and it gives you the number one. But when you
[00:01:56] press another additional key it creates another voice a second voice and the
[00:02:01] first voice still gets one and the second voice gets the new number which is two.
[00:02:06] If you press one additional key the new voice gets three. The second voice still
[00:02:14] gets two and the first voice still gets one. Right so I think this is how it works.
[00:02:19] And we use this number here one two three right to modulate this clock divider
[00:02:24] just by exactly one. So this means if we press down one key we get the number one
[00:02:32] here. We modulate by the number of one this clock divide and then we add
[00:02:36] basically one to one which ends up on two. So we clock divide by two when we hold
[00:02:41] down one key on the keyboard. This is not correct but I want to keep it small and
[00:02:47] simple so this is how it works. And then we basically when we press or hold down
[00:02:53] two keys we get the number two here. Then we modulate by two and we modulate
[00:02:59] here by two and then we get three. So one plus two is three then of course. So it
[00:03:06] works in this way. You can correct this by just using a subtract here if you want
[00:03:12] to make this better. Use a constant here. So now when we use your four keys right
[00:03:24] four minus one is three and then we modulate by three and then we have
[00:03:30] already one here so three plus one is four again. Okay and we need to subtract
[00:03:38] basically this one here from the keys held because we don't or we can't go
[00:03:44] down to zero here with the clock divider. One is the minimum value. So this is how
[00:03:50] it works. It's actually super simple. It has one big flaw that you have to press
[00:03:56] the keys in sequence but maybe it's helpful to you for future patch. You
[00:04:01] want to create and you can remember this stuff here. So that's the smallest
[00:04:05] simplest arpeggiator I could imagine inside of the grid. Okay that's that. Then
[00:04:13] we have something new in the grid. I think it's something new. I never saw
[00:04:17] this before. So here we have an out module and this out module has in the
[00:04:25] left side in the inspector clipping mode off hard and soft and this is around
[00:04:29] for quite some time since the beginning but I think what's new is the level here.
[00:04:35] You can change this from the clipping level from plus 60b over 0db. You can
[00:04:40] remove or again go down to 0db. So now it clips everything that goes through this
[00:04:46] out, clips at 0db. I can show you this here. I can pull down the master knob. Go
[00:04:52] in here. Let's use a sign. Put this out and choose here an amplifier. Let's see.
[00:05:03] We clip at zero then I amplify this and can see it still clips at 0db. There's a
[00:05:09] bit of left over. It's 0.0.1 so there's always something going above maybe
[00:05:15] because of inter sample peaks or I don't know over sampling. I have no idea. So if
[00:05:21] you want to make this really clean just put your peak limiter in there or
[00:05:27] just I don't know pull down this by 0.1 or 0.3. You still want to have a bit of
[00:05:35] headroom anyway when you want to bounce this right and then you can do
[00:05:41] what you want here and you still always clip exactly at 0db. If you want you can
[00:05:45] also put the spec here the 0db. If you want to have more headroom right here or
[00:05:51] 12 as you can see. If you want to have more a dynamic result or outcome here of
[00:06:00] the grid but so you know it you can change the level of the clipping here.
[00:06:04] It doesn't matter inside of the door anyway how much you clip over 0db. It
[00:06:10] only matters when you when you go to the output or when you bounce down to
[00:06:16] audio to 16 bit audio or 24 bit audio. It even doesn't matter if you bounce to a
[00:06:21] 32 bit audio right. So inside of the door if you have a red line here or you
[00:06:30] go into the red it doesn't really matter. It only matters when it comes to
[00:06:33] bouncing to audio or to 16 bit audio or 24 bit audio. Okay that's the clipping
[00:06:40] inside of grid. I never saw this before maybe we got this in 5.011 or something
[00:06:46] like this but I think we got this in 5.1. I'm not sure about this but it's
[00:06:51] something I found recently at least. Then I showed you yesterday in yesterday's
[00:06:58] video about the sweep device and I want to prepare your polymer with some with a
[00:07:06] solid in there maybe a bit of unison. So just we have something to play around
[00:07:13] with. So let's use a sweep device here and I talked about that you can use the
[00:07:19] sweep device in polyphonic mode. You can increase here the voices in the
[00:07:23] inspector. You can also use voice stacking right. So another thing you can do is
[00:07:30] someone in Discord pointed this out you have also here AutoGate. So when you
[00:07:36] have multiple voices and you want to have them ring out you don't have to keep
[00:07:42] pressing the notes. You can just increase here the AutoGate time by up to 10 seconds.
[00:07:47] So you can let certain voices ring out even though you just released keys or
[00:07:53] you released the notes. So AutoGate is here by default at 30 milliseconds.
[00:07:59] This is okay and yeah what I want to show is basically that you can use this
[00:08:06] here in polyphonic mode. So you can go maybe here to five voices but you don't
[00:08:11] have to use actually a keyboard input or note inputs. You can also create a note
[00:08:16] grid inside of the pre-fx box. You have to switch this here to note devices,
[00:08:24] note grid and then you can create notes or voices in this note grid and basically
[00:08:31] fake keyboard input with that. So pre-fx and post-fx is not only made for audio
[00:08:37] it's also made for notes. So this is maybe important to know. So we can just
[00:08:44] disconnect this here. We don't need note input actually. So we can say we want to
[00:08:49] trigger here maybe
[00:08:53] by two we can dial in here a note let's say D#3 right. You can also say a
[00:09:02] second voice. Let's go here to the fifth different pattern right and now we
[00:09:10] create basically here notes that go into the sweep device and inside of the sweep
[00:09:15] device we can now say let's open here or this let's disable this filter here for
[00:09:21] a moment. We can go to bandpass pull this down to C3 remove
[00:09:28] here all the modulations and then let's go to AD here. You can see we have already
[00:09:35] two voices here playing. We use this here for the input of that and to use a
[00:09:45] key track we modulate this here by 64 and then we can input here actually a
[00:09:57] bit of noise
[00:10:09] or maybe use here. We have to use here only filter one. So this is only noise
[00:10:26] right just white noise going into the sweep device and we are creating here
[00:10:32] some melodies with that just by using the note grid. Maybe post-fx we use here
[00:10:39] a pic limiter so we can hear what's going on actually.
[00:10:44] We can do even more notes let's go to five or four different. So I'm using a
[00:11:02] basically high resonance and the filter and just noise this is like an extreme
[00:11:07] example but you can also pull us a bit more down and then use here different
[00:11:13] samples or different sounds in front of that.
[00:11:18] That's basically another thing I want to tell you that you don't need to use
[00:11:28] actually keyboard input or note clip inputs you can create notes here with a
[00:11:32] note grid or can modify notes with a note grid here and then create voices or
[00:11:39] multiple voices on the sweep device because it's just a grid device it's
[00:11:43] just a new type of grid device and you can use it like every other grid
[00:11:50] device can create voices or voice stacking and so on. So this is a neat way
[00:11:55] of doing things or making this more musical in a way just a small tip from
[00:12:00] for myself for you to explore right. Also new in 5.1 is the module called
[00:12:06] pitch bus and it's actually just an attenuator but the special thing is that
[00:12:12] the unit it's using is semitones instead of percentage so when we use an
[00:12:19] attenuator it's basically the same thing maybe in bipolar mode here and I think
[00:12:25] there's also a bug here if you put this in bipolar mode and the left side here
[00:12:30] the negative range needs to be the red line removed because we are zero it needs
[00:12:35] to look like this here right instead of this. Anyway so here this is the same
[00:12:40] thing but attenuate basically uses percentage of the signal that you are
[00:12:47] inputting so you can dial in maybe 50% of whatever signal you use and then can
[00:12:53] scale the signal but the pitch bus it's working instead of percentage it uses
[00:12:59] semitones and this has some interesting effects so the first interesting thing I
[00:13:05] found about it is you have to use your readout and use a constant and use zero
[00:13:14] as an input here let's put this here to semitones mode okay so we use here seven
[00:13:21] semitones right input is zero nothing comes out it's still at zero and how
[00:13:26] pitched maybe you know how pitch signals work inside of the grid so C3 always
[00:13:32] equals to zero it's the middle C it's always zero everything below you know
[00:13:39] goes negative everything above goes into positive so if you use here let's say
[00:13:45] the constant in this so zero is C3 one is C13 it's the highest note and minus one
[00:13:54] is C minus seven which is the lowest note you can play in Bitwig studio and
[00:13:58] everything in between is every other note of course and now when we use it a
[00:14:05] pitch bus for that and put this in now one equals to plus seven which is G3 so
[00:14:12] we basically are going from C3 seven semitones up to G3 and then we use two
[00:14:22] here we go again seven semitones up to 14 which is D4 so you can use this kind
[00:14:29] of an quantizer to go up on notes in certain intervals so we go basically
[00:14:37] the notes up here in seven semitone steps right so if you use here a sign
[00:14:44] oscillator and an output use this as an input
[00:14:56] so nice seven semitones intervals or maybe just minor thirds
[00:15:11] it's also possible so it's a nice device already for just using it for going up
[00:15:21] in intervals or certain steps the interesting thing is that instead of
[00:15:27] having to concentrate going directly into the pitch one is the highest note
[00:15:31] one is not the highest note anymore it's just you know attenuated to being the
[00:15:37] first step up in three semitones so it's scaled down basically so one now means
[00:15:46] three semitones up and two means two times three semitones up I hope this
[00:15:52] makes sense you can also input your multiple things you can say I want to
[00:15:59] have two inputs right and here this one goes to seven so now how this works is
[00:16:04] if you go everything to zero here you have C3 because it's zero then you go up
[00:16:10] three semitones right and then you add one seven semitones which end up on ten
[00:16:18] so you can basically play around here with this and go up three semitone
[00:16:23] steps then seven semitone steps and you can play around with these intervals I
[00:16:28] think you can create a lot of nice note grids just with this pitch bus device
[00:16:32] here and dialing in here certain intervals like minor thirds major thirds
[00:16:41] fifth and so on right so the interesting part is basically that you have to use
[00:16:48] here something above one and higher that you have to use integers to get
[00:16:53] actually nice nice notes out of that you can always use floats in between right
[00:17:02] you can see now here we basically bend the C4 down a bit until we reach C4 and
[00:17:13] so on so you can also target individual bands or frequencies in between if you
[00:17:20] don't want to have that if you have maybe an input signal that's not scaling up in
[00:17:25] interjust you can use of course something like quantizer in front of that or
[00:17:29] easier just use around so round basically rounds using these floats up to the
[00:17:37] next integer so when we use your readout co-indulged that use so so one is one but
[00:17:46] when we use here some floats you can see it stays on one until we hit zero dot
[00:17:52] five stays on one one down and now it rounds down to the next integer was just
[00:18:01] zero right so one one point five rounds up to two one point four nine rounds down
[00:18:09] to one or you can use seal or floor floor rounds always down and seal always
[00:18:15] rounds up to the next integer and so you can use seal here and everything that's
[00:18:21] above one always rounds up to two until you hit any of course two and then two
[00:18:34] points zero one rounds up to two right it's always rounding up basically so
[00:18:39] that's that's something you can use then for some different signals of use
[00:18:43] audio input or audio rate input or whatever you want to use and you can
[00:18:48] bring this to up to you know certain integers and then use that for the
[00:18:52] pitch bus here and target individual intervals with that it's a really
[00:18:57] really interesting device actually in theory it just works exactly like the
[00:19:02] attenuate like I showed you before but just using here these units or a
[00:19:07] semitone units it makes it highly musical and interesting for the node
[00:19:12] grid in my opinion okay that's it for this video please let me know if you
[00:19:18] have some questions leave a like if you like the video and as always don't trust
[00:19:22] me I have no idea what I'm talking about thanks for watching subscribe to the
[00:19:26] channel and see you in the next video bye