Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Bitwig-5.1 Note-Grid Tutorial Chords

Global Chord Track in Bitwig

Tutorial | Dec 19, 2023

In yesterday's video, I created a dynamic global transpositioning tool for Bitwig. In today's video, I created a global chord track using a synthesizer and a note clip. By using the note grid and the global chord track, I was able to automatically correct the pitch of my piano solo and create a bass line that followed the chord progression.

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

In my latest video, I focused on enhancing my music production techniques by creating a global chord track in Bitwig Studio. Here are the key moments:

Key Steps in Building the Chord Progression:

Enhancing the Track:

Bass Line Creation:

Concluding Thoughts:

Finally, I invited viewers to share their questions and feedback in the comments and expressed my intention to explore more ideas in future videos.

Questions & Answers

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

Creating a Global Chord Track: What tools and techniques were used?

In the video, I used Bitwig Studio and a synthesizer to create a global chord track. I utilized a new instrument track and created a chord progression using notes and inversions. I also used the note grid with a polyphonic mode to correct the notes played on the keyboard based on the chord progression.

How does the global chord track dynamically change the notes played?

By connecting the note grid to the global chord track, the pitch quantizer ensures that only notes that are currently playing in the chord progression are allowed to pass. This means that when playing the keyboard, any incorrect notes will be corrected based on the current chord being played. This allows for expressive playing even for those who are not skilled pianists.

Can the technique be applied to other instruments besides the synthesizer?

Yes, the technique can be applied to other instruments as well. In the video, I demonstrated how the same approach can be used for a piano solo, allowing for playing on the white keys corresponding to the A minor scale. Additionally, the same concept can be applied to bass lines, using the polymono module to select and filter out the lowest bass notes based on the chord progression.

What are the advantages of using this global chord track technique?

This dynamic global chord track technique offers a simple and efficient way to incorporate complex chord progressions into your music. It provides the ability to play any notes on the keyboard while ensuring they are in key with the current chord being played. This makes it easier for musicians with limited piano skills to create harmonically rich 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] In yesterday's video, we created a highly dynamic global
[00:00:03] transpositioning tool.
[00:00:05] Today, we want to do the same for chords.
[00:00:07] So we want to create some kind of global chord track.
[00:00:11] So we use here a new instrument track
[00:00:14] and we call this global chords.
[00:00:18] And we need the note clip, of course.
[00:00:20] And maybe we use here a synthesizer.
[00:00:25] So we can hear what's going on.
[00:00:26] So we use saw, use unison.
[00:00:30] That's good.
[00:00:31] Use your band pass, pull this up.
[00:00:35] Bit of tag.
[00:00:36] It should be good.
[00:00:37] That's OK.
[00:00:41] So in here, we now create a chord progression.
[00:00:44] We start on, let's say, A. It's exactly one bar long.
[00:00:50] So that's the root note here.
[00:00:52] Then we go to 1, 2, 3, minor third.
[00:00:56] 1, 2, 3, 4.
[00:00:58] It's perfect fifth.
[00:00:59] 1, 2, 3.
[00:01:01] And that's the minor seventh.
[00:01:04] 1, 2, 3, 4.
[00:01:06] And that's the ninth.
[00:01:06] That's a nice chord.
[00:01:11] Duplicate this chord.
[00:01:13] And we have three chords in our progression.
[00:01:16] And the last one here will be the fifth maybe.
[00:01:19] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
[00:01:22] And the second chord will be an inversion of the first chords.
[00:01:26] We pull this one down one octave.
[00:01:29] We push this up one octave.
[00:01:31] So it's kind of just an inversion of the first chord.
[00:01:34] But because we exchange the bass note,
[00:01:37] it sounds like a completely different chord.
[00:01:40] So we use the bass notes here.
[00:01:41] Pull this down one octave.
[00:01:42] And also use the bass note here, two octaves down.
[00:01:46] So now we have here a nice descending bass line.
[00:01:52] Pull this down one octave.
[00:01:53] And also we have here a common shared top note.
[00:01:57] So it's a nice minor chord progression.
[00:02:09] It's all in A minor, I think.
[00:02:12] At least I see only white notes here.
[00:02:13] Yeah, there are no sharps in there.
[00:02:15] OK, so it's A minor.
[00:02:17] So on the next track, we want to probably create
[00:02:21] some kind of piano solo on top, something like this.
[00:02:28] So we could just play on the white notes, on the white keys,
[00:02:32] because it's A minor.
[00:02:34] We can also just use here a key filter and use A minor, right?
[00:02:39] And then play wrong keys on the keyboard
[00:02:42] and it will be corrected.
[00:02:43] But we can also use a note grid.
[00:02:50] The note grid then goes here to polyphonic modes.
[00:02:53] We use 12 voices because we want to use multiple keys
[00:02:57] at the same time, probably.
[00:02:59] And we want to correct these keys to a certain scale
[00:03:04] or to a certain set of notes.
[00:03:07] And instead of selecting these notes here on the pitch quantizer,
[00:03:11] so this would be also A minor here, or the white keys,
[00:03:15] we select you on the left side and the inspector
[00:03:18] use note input, and then we use the global chord progression,
[00:03:23] or the global chord track.
[00:03:25] And now this one becomes kind of dynamic.
[00:03:28] So it changes with the chord progression on top.
[00:03:31] It only allows notes to pass that are currently playing
[00:03:35] in the chord progression in the global chord track.
[00:03:38] So at the moment here, I can use the black keys on my keyboard.
[00:03:47] But when I hit play, I can't.
[00:03:50] So when you watch here basically my keyboard,
[00:04:04] I'm hitting here A sharp, this is A sharp, no, it's G sharp.
[00:04:08] And this is not in the key of A minor.
[00:04:13] So when you see here when I hit play, it will be corrected.
[00:04:20] Which means you can just play all the keys on the keyboard
[00:04:29] and express yourself rhythmically,
[00:04:31] and the pitch quantizer takes care of the pitch.
[00:05:00] So that's basically for people that, like people like me, right?
[00:05:06] I can't really play the piano.
[00:05:08] I can, you know, I have my scales, I know certain techniques and so on,
[00:05:14] but I'm not a really good piano player.
[00:05:17] And if you have highly dynamic or complex chord progression here,
[00:05:22] I mean this one is pretty easy.
[00:05:24] It's just A minor.
[00:05:26] But when you change this to something more complex
[00:05:28] and you have more notes and maybe you switch scales,
[00:05:31] so if you have maybe a modal chord progression,
[00:05:34] then it becomes, you know, more complicated to play the right notes on top of this.
[00:05:40] So this is a great way of actually doing or solving this technically inside of Bitwig Studio.
[00:05:47] It's just one module inside of the grid actually,
[00:05:53] and you use here the global chords.
[00:05:56] You can also play in a solo,
[00:05:59] and when you later on change the chord progression,
[00:06:01] the solo actually changes with it because the pitch quantizer changes the notes.
[00:06:06] So this is one idea you can do.
[00:06:09] There's also something like when you do bass lines,
[00:06:14] of course we can use the same note grid.
[00:06:17] Just pull this down to the polymer and all the space here, right?
[00:06:21] And then you play everything just a few octaves slower.
[00:06:25] And everything will be corrected.
[00:06:41] But you can also just use, let's say, in the chord progression at the lowest note, right?
[00:06:46] This is here the bass, and you want to play this with your bass synthesizer.
[00:06:50] So you can also do this.
[00:06:53] So all we need to do is to use a receiver, note receiver here, and to receive all the chords.
[00:07:00] So all the notes from the global chord track here we receive here,
[00:07:04] and we pass this basically through this note grid.
[00:07:09] So at the moment it's basically a bass here that's playing a chord.
[00:07:13] That's not what we want.
[00:07:15] So in here we delete the pitch quantize and we use a poly to mono thing.
[00:07:23] So we use this here for the pitch, and we say we want to use the minimum value,
[00:07:27] or the lowest signal level is used.
[00:07:30] And in terms of notes, that's the lowest note.
[00:07:33] So we flatten out basically everything to just one note, and that's the lowest bass note.
[00:07:39] So that's just this note playing here.
[00:07:44] So you don't need to define here a different channel, and then use a channel filter on a different track.
[00:07:50] You can just use poly to mono and receive all the notes from the chord track,
[00:07:55] and just filter out basically notes based on their value.
[00:07:59] I think you can also use the highest note here.
[00:08:01] Yeah.
[00:08:03] Just basically this note here.
[00:08:07] All right.
[00:08:09] But we want to use the bass note.
[00:08:12] It's a bit too high.
[00:08:14] It's still one octave too high, so we can use an octaver here and pull this down one octave.
[00:08:20] If you don't like the rhythmic of this or how it plays out, we can just use, let's say, triggers.
[00:08:31] This one and the clock quantize right here synchronize everything to 16 notes,
[00:08:38] maybe some odd numbering here.
[00:08:42] Play this and just select like this and play.
[00:08:51] So only when we hit play, we trigger the bass notes and the note criteria,
[00:08:57] we can actually use mono voices.
[00:08:59] I think this would be okay.
[00:09:05] So this now plays our rhythm, right?
[00:09:08] And we get the notes from the chord progression and with the polymono, we only select the lowest note,
[00:09:15] which is the bass note.
[00:09:54] So that's an easy way of using or recreating a global chord track.
[00:10:01] It's maybe not that flashed out like a Cubase chord track with a dedicated interface
[00:10:07] and with a circle of fifth stuff and so on.
[00:10:10] But you can see it's just a few modules here I'm using and a bit of, you know, routing.
[00:10:16] It's not that complicated and it gives you so many possibilities.
[00:10:20] It's maybe even better in certain ways like a Cubase chord track.
[00:10:25] So yeah, that's just an idea how you can utilize the note grid and Bitwig Studio to make something like this.
[00:10:34] I think that's the easiest way.
[00:10:37] You can do this in multiple different ways.
[00:10:40] You can realize this or make this even better because sometimes here these notes are not that many notes.
[00:10:48] Maybe you have only three notes, but you want to select more notes, right?
[00:10:53] You want to play more notes that you have inside of the chord progression here.
[00:10:58] For that you need a different solution, but I want to close this video down at this point
[00:11:04] and maybe leave this to another video because I have more ideas for stuff like this.
[00:11:11] If you have some questions, let me know in the comments down below.
[00:11:15] Leave a like if you like the video.
[00:11:17] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. Bye.