Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Tutorial Extension

TimeCalc - Extension for Bitwig

Tutorial | Nov 03, 2023

In this video, I introduce an extension called TimeCalc that provides timing information based on the BPM setting of your project. I demonstrate how this extension can be used to accurately set the length of a kick drum and match the BPM with a specific scale. I also highlight the convenience of having this information readily available in Bitwig Studio.

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Questions & Answers

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

How does the TimeCalc extension work?

The TimeCalc extension in Bitwig Studio provides the timeframe based on the BPM setting of your project. It calculates the length of one quarter note in milliseconds, as well as the corresponding frequency in Hertz. You can easily copy and paste these timeframe settings into your project.

What is the purpose of using the TimeCalc extension?

The TimeCalc extension is useful for accurately setting the length of certain elements in your project, such as kick drums or reverb tails, based on musical timing rather than milliseconds. It allows you to match the length of these elements to specific note values, helping you create more precise and cohesive compositions.

Can the TimeCalc extension be integrated into Bitwig Studio?

No, the TimeCalc extension is not natively integrated into Bitwig Studio. However, you can download the extension for free and easily add it to your Bitwig Studio setup by following the installation instructions provided. Once installed, you can access the TimeCalc extension under the settings and controllers menu.

What are some practical examples of using the TimeCalc extension?

Some practical examples of using the TimeCalc extension include setting the length of a kick drum to a specific note value, matching the BPM with a musical scale, and adjusting the release time of effects or drum elements. The extension provides convenient calculations and measurements in Bitwig Studio, saving time and improving the overall precision of your compositions.


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 to another video.
[00:00:02] Today it's about an extension called TimeCalc.
[00:00:04] You can open this up here in the top right corner.
[00:00:07] Looks like this.
[00:00:08] It gives you basically the timeframe
[00:00:11] based on your BPM setting of your project.
[00:00:13] So with 110 BPM, one quarter note is exactly 545.45
[00:00:18] milliseconds long, which equals to 1.83 Hertz.
[00:00:24] Okay.
[00:00:25] So this extension is made by Ensonic.
[00:00:30] The link is in the description below.
[00:00:31] It's completely free.
[00:00:33] There's also GitHub page here with install instructions.
[00:00:37] And I saw this on the channel of Odo,
[00:00:41] who also makes a lot of Bitwig tutorials.
[00:00:43] Also the link is in the description below.
[00:00:45] So you can check out this channel, of course.
[00:00:48] And like I said, it's free.
[00:00:50] You just download this, put this into your documents
[00:00:52] slash Bitwig Studio slash extension folder.
[00:00:57] And then you can open this up basically
[00:00:59] under settings, controllers,
[00:01:01] then you add a new controller, go to Ensonic,
[00:01:04] and then you can add TimeCalc.
[00:01:06] And when this extension is active or enabled,
[00:01:10] you can see this here in the top right corner,
[00:01:12] can open this up and can just copy
[00:01:14] and paste basically the timeframe settings here.
[00:01:18] So why do we need this?
[00:01:20] So one example would be, let's say,
[00:01:24] you have here a track 120 BPM, right?
[00:01:27] You can open up maybe the kick drum here.
[00:01:30] And the kick drum, the decay setting
[00:01:32] is based on milliseconds.
[00:01:33] So you want to make your kick drum
[00:01:35] exactly one quarter note long.
[00:01:38] You can see when you select your one quarter
[00:01:40] on the left side, you can see here time of that
[00:01:43] is zero dot one to five seconds long,
[00:01:47] but you can't copy this, right?
[00:01:48] You have to type this in here.
[00:01:51] So it would be nice to have this actually
[00:01:54] in Bitwig itself natively integrated.
[00:01:59] And in my opinion, you need to actually switch
[00:02:02] to certain units in Bitwig Studio here
[00:02:05] on the device itself.
[00:02:07] So it would be nice to switch this from milliseconds
[00:02:09] to timing settings, one quarter note, one eighth note,
[00:02:13] and so on.
[00:02:14] Maybe also let me type in Hertz.
[00:02:16] This would be nice.
[00:02:17] So, you know, that you can change the unit.
[00:02:20] This, in my opinion, this should be possible
[00:02:22] in every parameter on every door,
[00:02:24] on every plug-in ever.
[00:02:25] Would be nice to have.
[00:02:27] So now we have this time clock extension here.
[00:02:32] So we can say we want to have this kick drum
[00:02:34] exactly one eighth note long.
[00:02:36] So 250 milliseconds, we can just copy this
[00:02:40] and paste this in here.
[00:02:42] And now our kick drum is exactly one quarter note long.
[00:02:48] (upbeat music)
[00:02:50] Maybe we want to make it shorter.
[00:02:52] Let's say one 16 note, 125 milliseconds.
[00:02:56] We type this in, bam.
[00:02:58] And we have a much, much shorter kick drum.
[00:03:02] Or in fact, the kick drum is exactly one 16 note long.
[00:03:05] Maybe there's a bit of a ring out here
[00:03:07] from the release setting of the e-kick device.
[00:03:10] I don't know, but you have a rough setting
[00:03:13] for this kick drum.
[00:03:15] It's also important, let's say you want to match up
[00:03:20] your BPM with your scale.
[00:03:25] So we have one on 20 BPM, one on 20 BPM.
[00:03:28] And if you make this shorter,
[00:03:30] you maybe already know this.
[00:03:31] If you take shorter measures here,
[00:03:33] at certain point, if you just increase
[00:03:38] the BPM setting, it becomes kind of a pitch.
[00:03:43] So you move from rhythm to pitch.
[00:03:47] And the pitch of this is basically here in hertz.
[00:03:50] So if you can see here,
[00:03:51] one 64 note is exactly 32 hertz.
[00:03:55] If we take here a test tone
[00:03:57] and put this test tone to 32 hertz,
[00:04:01] you can see here down in info bar, it's exactly C zero.
[00:04:05] So it's basically based on the scale of C.
[00:04:08] So if you dial in one on 20 BPM
[00:04:12] and you choose your scale to be C minor or C major,
[00:04:17] you basically match up your BPM and your scale.
[00:04:21] So therefore, this can be handy sometimes
[00:04:25] to see what certain measurements here equals
[00:04:29] to what kind of hertz or what kind of frequency.
[00:04:32] So for that, it's interesting.
[00:04:36] Sometimes I do some drums.
[00:04:38] Let's say I have drum bass here, my drum grid.
[00:04:42] And I have 172 BPM, something like that.
[00:04:46] Yeah, I make this a bit longer here.
[00:04:50] Actually, one bar maybe.
[00:04:54] So this drum loop
[00:04:59] and you maybe have a bit of reverb in between there.
[00:05:09] The lowest is here 316 milliseconds.
[00:05:14] So we can say, oh, we go to one four note here,
[00:05:17] one quarter note.
[00:05:18] So we type this in.
[00:05:21] So the reverb is exactly one quarter note long.
[00:05:27] Then we can take here a transient control.
[00:05:30] Transient control is also here.
[00:05:32] The release time is a milliseconds.
[00:05:34] I think the biggest one is 360 milliseconds.
[00:05:38] So we want to use here maybe, let's say,
[00:05:40] one eighth note or one 16 note, 87 milliseconds.
[00:05:45] So we can type this in.
[00:05:48] And you have basically the right release time here
[00:05:53] for the sustain.
[00:05:55] Yeah, and you can see basically
[00:06:01] at the release time goes back in time
[00:06:04] just for the next event on the drum loop.
[00:06:09] So that's why, what I'm using this time calculations
[00:06:13] for most of the times, like I said,
[00:06:15] I use sometimes calculator of Windows.
[00:06:17] Sometimes I go to website and just type in the BPM
[00:06:20] to get that.
[00:06:23] It's actually not hard to calculate,
[00:06:25] but it's pretty handy to have this here
[00:06:27] on the top right corner,
[00:06:28] just everything laid out for you, calculated for you.
[00:06:31] You can also switch it to dotted and triplets
[00:06:33] if you want to.
[00:06:34] Yeah, it's pretty interesting to have this here
[00:06:38] and to have this ready to use.
[00:06:39] Like I said, it's free to use.
[00:06:41] It's completely free.
[00:06:42] Link is in the description below.
[00:06:44] And yeah, I think that's it for this video.
[00:06:48] So thanks for watching.
[00:06:49] Leave a like if you liked the video.
[00:06:50] Subscribe to the channel.
[00:06:52] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video.
[00:06:54] Bye.
[00:06:55] .