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Creating Lush and Unique Sounds from Scratch in Bitwig Studio

Tutorial | Nov 01, 2023

In this video, I show you how to create lush sounds using Bitwig Studio. I start by creating a digital piano sound using Phase 4 synthesizer and adding a custom reverb using FX Grid. Then, I demonstrate how to make noise and add crackling effects using noise generators and filters. Finally, I showcase how to create a pitch wobble effect and combine different reverbs and delays to add depth to the sound. Overall, I encourage viewers to explore their creativity in sound design using the grid in Bitwig Studio.

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Questions & Answers

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

What is the main topic of the video?

The main topic of the video is starting a track in a DAW, particularly Bitwig Studio, and creating lush sounds and unique effects using the Grid module.

What is the approach to creating sounds in the video?

The approach is to start with a blank slate and use various modules within Bitwig Studio's Grid to create custom sounds and effects, such as lush digital piano sounds, unique reverbs, pitch wobbles, and crackling noise effects.

How is the Grid module used in the video?

The Grid module is used extensively in the video to create custom sounds and effects. It is used to create the lush digital piano sound by adjusting operators and modulation. It is also used to create a custom reverb chain by combining different modules, such as all-pass filters, phasers, choruses, and flangers. Additionally, the Grid is used to create pitch wobbles and crackling noise effects.

What is the overall message of the video?

The overall message of the video is to encourage viewers to experiment with sound design and create their own unique sounds and effects using the Grid module in Bitwig Studio. It emphasizes the creative possibilities and flexibility of the Grid module, while discouraging reliance on preset plugins and presets.


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. When you start a new track in any DAW, you usually start with some
[00:00:05] rough idea, maybe pads, maybe drums, maybe bass or some kind of random sample. I usually
[00:00:11] start with some pads or keys to make a drone or, you know, just make some ambience for
[00:00:17] the track to make the listener use to the key. And this time it's nothing different
[00:00:22] and I want to show you here something, how you can create something very lush from scratch,
[00:00:28] okay? So inside of Bitwig here, we have nothing at the moment, but we want to change that.
[00:00:35] So we create here on the instrument track, we create a Phase 4 synthesizer. Looks like
[00:00:41] this. Sounds like this. Pretty basic. But we don't down here the first operator to sign,
[00:00:49] bring the shape down, bring here the modulation down. On the second operator we use sign here,
[00:00:55] maybe two second formants, then we go here to five, this to one. Then we use here the
[00:01:03] modulation amount of the filter envelope here, just to make some kind of this kind of type
[00:01:11] of bell sound. Then we bring down the mod here and maybe use velocity for the mod, maybe
[00:01:19] not too much. So when we hit the keys harder, right, we get more overtones. And then we
[00:01:31] probably want to have a bit of release here, also for this a bit of release. And then we
[00:01:37] want to increase the voices here to 16. And we have some kind of lush digital piano sound,
[00:01:52] which I really like for some reason. And we could throw on that here some random reverb.
[00:01:57] We could use the reverb of Bitwig Studio, right? But this would be too basic. So we
[00:02:03] are creative here, right? We are Bitwig users, so we do things more creatively. So I'm using,
[00:02:11] of course, an FX grid. And I want to create here a small little reverb. And you can do
[00:02:17] this pretty easily now with all the new devices we have here on all pass. There's something
[00:02:22] like this. So it's basically kind of a feedback loop here with a small delay in there. And
[00:02:37] I think also the feedback is phase inverted. So the sound works. Then after that, we use
[00:02:42] a phaser plus with some random preset here or kind of mode or character. We also switch
[00:02:49] to serial, maybe less feedback, maybe not too much modulation here. After that, again,
[00:02:58] a new all pass. After that, we use chorus plus. Use eight voices here, which I really
[00:03:13] like. Makes it very wide. Then we probably want to use here in the beginning of the chain,
[00:03:28] we want to use a low pass and probably also a high pass every reverb uses this kind of
[00:03:34] setup here. You want to keep certain frequencies out of the reverb, right? So all the low frequencies
[00:03:41] in order, very high frequencies here. Why not use another all pass here? And here maybe
[00:03:59] we use another, let's go for flanger. Yeah, let's use a flanger here. Too much modulation,
[00:04:08] too much feedback. We can also insert here a filter, SVF, maybe in the middle, and then
[00:04:25] use a notch and then just remove everything at five front to thirds. It's usually frequency.
[00:04:32] We don't want to over emphasize in the reverb anyway. Maybe 300 or 200. So now you created
[00:04:50] basically this nice reverb here on top of this Tynes or the Judo piano sound. Okay,
[00:05:01] so we have our first reverb here that we created basically from scratch. And it's the special
[00:05:06] thing about this, this is completely unique. No one else has this, right? Because it's
[00:05:10] our own chain. We created our own little reverb here that sounds pretty special just in this
[00:05:17] tune. Okay, so this is the reverb. After that we use an FX grid and go in here and we want
[00:05:27] to create something that makes noise. So we use noise, white noise, duplicators here,
[00:05:36] use pink noise or we use pink noise, use attenuator here to change the volume of the
[00:05:41] second one and use a multiply. I showed this also in some kind of video here, how I did
[00:05:48] this. So basically the second noise decides about the loudness of the first noise here,
[00:05:55] which gives you some kind of crackling noise. So it gives you this kind of vinyl sound,
[00:06:10] in my opinion. So we need here some kind of filter, low pass, Jennifer low pass, maybe
[00:06:19] a high pass, right? And then we want to mix this with the original signal and we can do
[00:06:30] this by using maybe an AMRM, which is amplitude modulation ring modulation here with the original
[00:06:37] signal. So now we don't hear actually the crackling noise here, we only hear this when
[00:06:43] the sound goes through that. I hope you can hear that. So it reacts basically to the audio
[00:07:04] input. We can also do maybe something like can put in here an envelope follower. So it
[00:07:13] follows the envelope of the sound and we modulate maybe here the high pass or something like
[00:07:19] that or the low pass. So it reacts now to the audio even more.
[00:07:38] Sounds a bit like Twin Peaks. Okay, so this sounds okay. Maybe we introduce here a bit
[00:08:01] of low pass, another Jennifer low pass to simulate a bit of tape here because it removes probably
[00:08:09] a lot of high end. Okay, so this is our low file preset here. So this is basically also
[00:08:21] unique. No one else has this in this kind of setup. Everyone does it a bit differently.
[00:08:27] And yeah, I basically want to encourage you to try out these things inside of the grid
[00:08:32] to make these small little setups. So you have your own little small devices that sounds
[00:08:38] unique to you to build your own sound design or to build your own sound character. And
[00:08:44] I found this heavily inspiring most of the times to try this out. It also is a kind of
[00:08:50] a way of practicing the grid and sound design in general, instead of you know, buying another
[00:08:55] plug in on some kind of random sale and just throw it on there and then, you know, be not
[00:09:02] satisfied at all. Just go in the grid here, throw a bunch of these devices together and
[00:09:09] create interesting sounds this way. And by the way, all these grids here are in monophonic
[00:09:13] mode. So you can see the voices are mono, right, low file mono. So it runs on its own.
[00:09:19] Also make sure everything is on monophonic. So one voice is always active. Okay, so we
[00:09:25] have a reverb, we have low file here. And then here we want to create something I showed
[00:09:30] you in yesterday's two days ago in a video how to create basically pitch shifter effect.
[00:09:42] I made some progress in the sound design. I show you this here. So we use a mod delay.
[00:09:50] We go here to four notes, eight, eight quarter notes. Then I use here an LFO. Put this on
[00:10:00] that disable, place it here, the precode and I use the transport sync for that. Go into
[00:10:06] that, slow down by minus 50%. Let's see how it works. We need to set this here to quarter
[00:10:15] and then also eight quarter notes. And then in the video I use to change here auto
[00:10:35] to get rid of this crackling sound I used to have here a mirror and I think I used a
[00:10:46] band and a multiply to basically get rid of the click sound when we switch here, when
[00:10:58] we switch basically delay timing here from zero to one. But this doesn't work for me that
[00:11:04] well. And also someone in the comments said just use a window which does basically the
[00:11:09] same. It's a bit smarter to use it this way. But this also doesn't work for me. I still
[00:11:17] hear at some point some crackling. And the volume fate is way too big. So the only thing
[00:11:31] that worked for me very well is when I used a curve module here and I just draw in, can
[00:11:41] I reset this here? I just drew in a kind of custom curve eight notes. Let's go to eight
[00:11:50] here. Synchronize this, we trigger is off. Okay. And now I can basically here draw in
[00:12:00] at certain points where I want to remove the crackling sound. But you can see it's here.
[00:12:14] Also I used to just do this. Or maybe put this here down here and put this over here.
[00:12:44] At least it made it way smoother than using just window or the mirror method in my opinion.
[00:13:08] Because here again just paint in where I want to remove the crackle. And I think the problem
[00:13:14] with the window method and the mirror method is that this delay basically also delays the
[00:13:21] point where this position or this signal change happens here. I think this is why this cracking
[00:13:30] noise is at a completely different position than you get here with the LFO and the mirror
[00:13:34] trick. So in my opinion, this is way better to make it this way. Okay. And then I used
[00:13:45] another mod delaying here in front just to create some feedback here to basically hold
[00:13:53] this note longer.
[00:14:22] And we probably also want to have here a low pass and maybe a high pass. Or maybe we want
[00:14:32] to have this here at the end. We don't want to get too low here with the frequencies. And
[00:14:41] then we put you on the post FX maybe a curve, another curve, a convolution reverb. And also
[00:14:51] the reverb itself you can use in the pre FX also convolution. So I really like to combine
[00:14:57] different reverb methods lately.
[00:15:24] And then we maybe can build here another FX grid and can create in that FX grid some kind
[00:15:31] of pitch wobble. So I just use your delay and use an LFO or maybe a random LFO this
[00:15:40] one here disable this one also the timing smoothing all the way up. So this gives you
[00:15:58] this tape feel.
[00:16:18] So this very fun to play around with these kind of devices here. This is our slow mo
[00:16:25] effect. And this is here our pitch wobble. Okay, so now that we have this you can maybe
[00:16:34] also use your sequencer step sequencer already showed you that in some pictures here. Something
[00:16:45] like that. Then use a polymer here. Different wave table. Use the sub oscillator here. Use
[00:16:59] the fresher for that and use maybe tumba for decay times. Let's see how this sounds. The
[00:17:08] sounds sounds nice. And I want to show you basically also when I use reburbs, right,
[00:17:16] instead of just using a reverb, you're awesome. BST device. I just usually go for a combinations
[00:17:23] of convolution to bring in a bit of realness real rooms. You can also use your shorter
[00:17:30] rooms. It doesn't matter just to bring in some tonality or some physicality to the sound.
[00:17:35] And then after that I'm using a delay plus for instance. And we have here of course these
[00:17:42] diffusion methods, reverse space for instance, right. You can also use it freeze method,
[00:17:50] which is nice. Also a bit of ducking. Let's play this here. And everything is just mixed
[00:18:10] in a bit. And then maybe add the anti-delay too. And maybe put all of that into a chain
[00:18:31] and call it reverb. So instead of one, just one VSC device or one device, Bitwig device,
[00:18:39] I'm using multiple devices, different methods of creating reburbs, convolution based on
[00:18:44] impulse responses, then an algorithmic reverb, another algorithmic reverb and a delay and
[00:18:51] maybe an FX grid at the end. So combining this stuff makes really nice reverbs or delay
[00:18:59] lines in my opinion. So I'm creating basically reverbs from scratch every time in different
[00:19:06] ways. It's time for us for this here. So we have a nice sound here playing. Pickle
[00:19:35] from the end. It's very too much noise. And you can also, you know, add some reverb. So
[00:20:04] put the pitch with wobble maybe on the master. So it's the same pitch change for all devices
[00:20:12] at once. A bit slower.
[00:20:20] Still too much noise.
[00:20:47] Yes.
[00:20:54] Yeah.
[00:21:01] Yeah.
[00:21:11] Yeah.
[00:21:22] . Yeah. And that's a nice starting point for some kind of reverb. So I'm gonna put a
[00:21:49] nice starting point for some kind of random track you want to do, maybe add some drums,
[00:21:56] maybe make it a drum based tune. I don't know. I just want to give you basically some inspiration
[00:22:02] for starting a track or maybe coming up with some interesting ideas for creating sounds
[00:22:11] or sound effects from scratch. And it makes use of all the grid modules or the possibilities
[00:22:18] inside of Bitwig Studio. I think Bitwig Studio is highly creative. So you should also take
[00:22:24] some creative steps every time you start the track. And the grid makes it possible. I want
[00:22:30] to give you basically some inspiration for that. Try it out instead of just, you know,
[00:22:35] using the next fancy plug in or whatever VST and throw it on there, skip through the presets.
[00:22:43] It's not that fun in my opinion. That's fun. Start using Bitwig the Bitwig way. Thanks
[00:22:48] for watching. Leave a like if you liked the video. Subscribe to the channel. Thanks for
[00:22:52] watching and see you in the next video. Bye.
[00:22:54] [MUSIC PLAYING]