Tags: posts polarity-music Beginners Bitwig Bitwig-5.1.2 FromScratch No-Grid Stock Tutorial Drum-and-Bass

Drum & Bass with Stock Devices in Bitwig

Tutorial | Dec 28, 2023

In this video, I start creating a drum and bass track from scratch using only stock devices in Bitwig Studio. I demonstrate how to create a kick drum, hi-hats, and a snare drum, and then layer them together to create a cohesive drum pattern. I also add a bassline and a background drone to add depth to the track.

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

Here's a summary of my experience creating a drum and bass track from scratch using stock devices:

In the end, I was satisfied with the groove and planned to upload the current state to my Patreon for download, with plans to update it once fully finished.

Questions & Answers

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

How does the creator use Bitwig Studio and stock devices to create a drum and bass track?

In the video, the creator starts by using the e-kick in Bitwig Studio to create a kick drum with specific tuning, decay, and modulation settings. They then add distortion and reverb to create overtones. The process is repeated for hi-hats and snares, with additional effects and modulation applied to enhance the sound.

What techniques does the creator use to enhance the drums and bass?

To enhance the drums, the creator uses filters, distortion, and clipping effects to shape the sound and add tonality. They also apply modulation, such as velocity sensitivity and decay time modulation, to create variation and dynamics. For the bass, the creator uses phase four and adds noise, modulation, filters, and additional effects to achieve a desired tone.

How does the creator incorporate background elements into the track?

The creator adds a background drone-like element using a synthesizer, playing notes in the E-phrygian scale. They apply modulation and effects to create variation and depth. This element serves as a backdrop to the "dry" hardcore drums and adds an atmospheric quality to the track.

What mastering techniques does the creator use to finalize the track?

In the mastering stage, the creator applies a peak limiter and a hard clip effect to achieve a desired loudness and distortion in line with drum and bass aesthetics. They emphasize that the tweaking and fine-tuning process takes time, involving layering and replacing elements to create a finished product. The creator also mentions that a version of the track will be made available for download on their Patreon page.


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.

[00:00:13] So Christmas is finally over and I thought it's maybe a good idea to create a track from scratch
[00:00:19] instead of Bitwig Studio just with some stock devices. And we want to go here to 172 ppm,
[00:00:25] so it's a drum bass track. We go for the e-kick here because we don't want to use the grid in this
[00:00:32] video. So create some kick drums. So the tuning is here G0, it's 49 hertz, bit of decay, low pass
[00:00:48] here for the click, decay and the pitch mod here is that let's go to 90. Yeah, let's go to 19.
[00:00:59] That's okay. Inside of this we use Filter+ here and with Filter+ we get a lot of distortion
[00:01:11] to create some nice overtones. Something like this. In front of the distortion device I use a convolution
[00:01:22] reverb but instead of this you know long ass delay here I'm just using some short ones maybe metal or
[00:01:29] wood. Something like this. To get some tonality into the sound, right some bit of flavor.
[00:01:41] This is the E-kick drum.
[00:01:42] And then I can use the SVF here with a notch, kind of a filter and filter out some,
[00:01:53] notch out some frequencies.
[00:01:55] That sounds cool. And then we can mix this with the dry signal of course here,
[00:02:10] 50%. Bring down the bad signal. So we just want to have a bit of tonality in the sound.
[00:02:22] It's not like to color the kick drum all the way, it's just to mix it in.
[00:02:39] Something like this. After that we go for FX2. We cut out here all the mid parts.
[00:02:47] On top we use a distortion.
[00:02:52] And then at the end we use a hard clip.
[00:02:57] It's just a preset of mine here, it's completely free.
[00:03:03] That's a bit too long here.
[00:03:48] Ah, so it's also nice.
[00:03:53] Okay, that's okay.
[00:03:56] So we have a loud, nice kick drum.
[00:04:00] What we need now is maybe some hi-hats,
[00:04:04] so we can go here for the e-hat.
[00:04:07] I usually dial down here all the mix knobs,
[00:04:11] just get some noise,
[00:04:13] then bring down here.
[00:04:18] Just a basic pattern.
[00:04:24] Right, something like this.
[00:04:25] We use the velocity sensitivity all the way up here.
[00:04:29] Now we dial in here some sensitivity stuff.
[00:04:33] Maybe this all the way down, these two.
[00:04:35] It's just a bit down, and this is here.
[00:04:38] Accentuate basically the offbeat.
[00:04:43] And that's the quiet, of course.
[00:04:45] We use a hard clip here to blow everything up.
[00:04:52] And then here, these ones with the longer velocity
[00:04:56] over them, with more velocity.
[00:04:58] We modulate the decay time here,
[00:05:02] so everything that has more velocity gets a longer decay.
[00:05:11] And this, of course, too loud, I think.
[00:05:26] Okay, that's it.
[00:05:28] So some basic hi-hats.
[00:05:30] We use some hi-hat samples later on, probably with XO,
[00:05:34] to sprinkle in some more interesting bits.
[00:05:37] And we go here for E snare.
[00:05:39] And we use maybe here just a simple two-step beat.
[00:05:49] Something like this.
[00:05:51] And in here, we want to use also Filter+
[00:05:55] And you can maybe just re-utilize here this one in here.
[00:06:09] Okay, then we want to use probably here an EQ5 maybe.
[00:06:26] And another hard clip.
[00:06:39] Okay, let's tune the snare a bit here.
[00:07:35] This is okay.
[00:07:36] Tune this down here, decibel.
[00:07:42] Okay, so now on top of that,
[00:07:51] we want to layer here some hi-hats with XO, like I said.
[00:07:55] And this is just a preset here for XO.
[00:07:59] I made with a lot of hi-hats in there,
[00:08:01] so I can just go to the sample combiner,
[00:08:03] and swap all the samples, something different.
[00:08:06] Then hit okay and have some random new hi-hat sounds in here.
[00:08:12] So let's create some patterns here.
[00:08:26] Okay, hard clip after that.
[00:08:51] And now I would say the kick drumming is way too prominent,
[00:08:54] so let's do this.
[00:08:59] That's okay for me now.
[00:09:11] We'll group this together here.
[00:09:17] So we'll just add some kick drum bars, a cue on there.
[00:09:22] Just accentuate here some important frequencies
[00:09:27] for the kick drum.
[00:09:31] Something like this.
[00:09:39] Then we use transient control.
[00:09:47] This basically the compressor that brings out
[00:09:50] everything that's between the main drums.
[00:09:55] And then we use here FX3.
[00:10:03] And we multi-band clip.
[00:10:18] We copy this here in the mid box.
[00:10:34] And I tune everything here until it sounds good to me.
[00:10:38] It's probably the most difficult part for you.
[00:10:46] And then I want to use here clip at the end.
[00:10:52] Okay.
[00:11:08] These are the drums.
[00:11:10] So now we go here to your bass.
[00:11:12] Or we start with the bass.
[00:11:14] Using phase four.
[00:11:16] Of course, lay down here some kind of notes.
[00:11:22] I probably go for E.
[00:11:23] Of course, E can play easily E-phrygian.
[00:11:28] And one on the floor.
[00:11:33] Pull this down to sign.
[00:11:35] We only have your one operator.
[00:11:38] Then we use here this one and pull this all the way up.
[00:11:42] So we create noise in here.
[00:11:45] We switch this to stereo.
[00:11:47] We make stereo noise.
[00:11:48] Then we dial in this to operator B here.
[00:11:52] Operator B goes maybe here to one, one and three here.
[00:11:59] All we need to know now is to use an LFO.
[00:12:07] So it's classic here.
[00:12:09] I let this here on hertz.
[00:12:11] I don't use time-based settings, no tree trigger.
[00:12:14] Then I'm gonna let this here by pull us off.
[00:12:21] That is okay.
[00:12:28] Then I use here the filter drive.
[00:12:41] Let's duplicate this.
[00:12:55] Okay, so this is the first idea for the first base here.
[00:13:14] So this is on zero DB.
[00:13:20] Not too much distortion.
[00:13:24] Just a tad.
[00:13:27] And then here we use FX2.
[00:13:30] So we split the bands top and low end.
[00:13:33] Here we use an EQ.
[00:13:35] Basically create your notch filter.
[00:13:41] On top of that, use your device.
[00:13:46] The end we just use a peak limiter.
[00:13:54] That is down to 3BB.
[00:13:58] And then maybe can introduce here another filter plus.
[00:14:06] Use a notch.
[00:14:13] Let's try out the hub clip here also on the base.
[00:14:27] Not sure if it sounds good.
[00:14:35] That's okay.
[00:14:56] And yeah, the base,
[00:14:57] phase four needs to be on mono voices.
[00:14:59] And I'm using here sustain all the way up.
[00:15:03] We can dial in a bit of release here.
[00:15:06] I think that sounds good if the bass, you know,
[00:15:10] not just instantly go out with the volume.
[00:15:14] So here a bit of release.
[00:15:15] And then if you trigger these, the bass here,
[00:15:18] as you can see like this here,
[00:15:20] the first one gets choked.
[00:15:21] So the release is basically cut off
[00:15:23] if you play another note instantly after this one.
[00:15:27] If this is a monophonic mode here,
[00:15:29] that's why I use this always in mono mode.
[00:15:35] Let's go here for...
[00:15:42] Or let's actually use a second bass into this here.
[00:15:51] And delete these two.
[00:15:56] 'Cause now I can just switch here some settings
[00:16:00] on the second synth.
[00:16:06] Let's loop this here for a moment.
[00:16:13] And in here, we want to bend down to E.
[00:16:19] All right.
[00:16:54] Yeah, we maybe can introduce a bit of automation.
[00:17:20] This goes in.
[00:17:24] Right, something like this.
[00:17:25] We have a bit of modulation there.
[00:17:28] Um, okay, that's a nice first riff.
[00:17:48] Ah, maybe.
[00:17:50] From position.
[00:18:21] So I tried to match basically the energy of these two basses here.
[00:18:31] So they have kind of the same overtone frequencies and so on.
[00:18:34] So I think this is okay for the first draft.
[00:18:39] So we have some bass, we have some drums.
[00:18:43] Let's put the tool device on that here, on the bass bus, right?
[00:18:49] And use here a note side chain and use of course the kick drum here as a trigger.
[00:18:56] And then we trigger basically a volume modulation.
[00:19:11] Maybe go here for a different kick drum pattern, something like this.
[00:19:18] Maybe double the contents here and use also the second one here.
[00:19:34] So here I'm trying basically to match the pitch bands, you know, the pitch modulation and
[00:19:41] amplitude modulation.
[00:19:43] I tried to match it a bit with the bass, a bit of bass sound.
[00:19:48] So it's, you know, doesn't stick out too much or, you know, it fits to the bass.
[00:19:54] But I'm going completely here for my experience and my hearing, what I like to hear, right?
[00:20:01] So for everyone, this is probably different.
[00:20:15] I don't like the snare here.
[00:20:19] Let's make this shorter.
[00:21:19] Usually with drum bass, the kick drum and the snare drum are pretty short, very, very short and
[00:21:25] mixed also very easy then to mix down or to get the loud mix down when you have short,
[00:21:31] you know, short drum sounds.
[00:21:34] So maybe add here some kind of chord or some kind of background drone, something like this here.
[00:21:45] Let's go for some source.
[00:21:50] So we have E here.
[00:22:01] And pass.
[00:22:10] Don't even need a reverb for that.
[00:22:58] So this one here is basically just one semitone higher.
[00:23:03] That's basically the feature of the E-phrygian mode that you have basically after the root note
[00:23:08] exactly one note semitone higher that's in the scale.
[00:23:12] But it makes it highly dissonant, but maybe you go for this old school 98 sound, you know,
[00:23:22] where you have this optical and add rush adds in there.
[00:23:28] Something like this.
[00:23:35] You can also use here this one.
[00:23:36] Makes it even more dissonant.
[00:23:38] Or if you don't want to use these, you can also go for a minor.
[00:23:43] Something like this, small musical.
[00:23:49] Or maybe go here to the fourth.
[00:23:52] Something like this.
[00:23:54] So depends on you what kind of sound you are going for.
[00:24:22] Yeah, let's use the chords much later here.
[00:24:24] Reset.
[00:24:28] Yeah, this one.
[00:24:31] And then go for this and maybe six.
[00:24:36] This then go for bar.
[00:25:04] And then we set this here of it.
[00:25:07] Oops.
[00:25:12] Let's go.
[00:25:42] So it's not really a background drone or bat.
[00:25:46] It's already like a rhythm element.
[00:26:21] So you have the bass.
[00:26:22] This second one all the time is a bit annoying.
[00:26:25] So I put this over here.
[00:26:27] This one here.
[00:26:30] Then I do a modification of this bass.
[00:26:33] Put this here.
[00:26:34] And then tone it a bit down here.
[00:26:38] We don't want to have this big ass pitch bent here.
[00:26:46] I want to have this here.
[00:26:52] And I want to have a different modulation.
[00:27:13] That's a really good idea to put this over here.
[00:27:15] So you can repeat this here.
[00:27:18] It's here.
[00:27:18] It's one here.
[00:27:20] Then at the end here kind of a different.
[00:27:23] And shooop the whoop.
[00:27:27] We have here a nice pattern.
[00:28:35] So I need to tune everything a bit here.
[00:29:43] Let's do another hot clip here.
[00:29:50] Another it here.
[00:30:41] That's not the best snare but you know just for this tutorial.
[00:30:45] I think it's okay.
[00:30:49] Yeah so we have drums, we have bass, we have a bit of background dronish stuff here.
[00:30:56] Maybe we can add some melody on top or some appreciator we can bring in later on.
[00:31:01] So an idea would be just to use here also a polymer.
[00:31:08] And this one just you know plays in the scale of E-phrygian.
[00:31:13] Just a random pattern.
[00:31:25] Maybe something like this.
[00:31:26] Maybe off beat here but different polymeter stuff.
[00:31:55] Something like this or I don't know it depends on what you want to do.
[00:32:46] Maybe when the when it's appreciate a place here you probably want to have here.
[00:32:52] It's better on top of that to remove the overtones from the bass.
[00:33:33] Let's see.
[00:33:40] I think the bass line here the basses could use some more overtones.
[00:33:46] And I don't still don't like the snare yet it's too too woody.
[00:34:30] So here these had stretched out and a bit of reverb on there.
[00:34:36] Right I'll just use here a scale 200%.
[00:34:39] So I stretch the clip basically a bit.
[00:34:52] It's all you need to bring in a bit of depth in the background and in the foreground you have
[00:34:57] basically all these dry hardcore drums and this one gives you the backdrop here.
[00:35:03] The pads and you know the reburbs.
[00:35:07] Reburbs on these hats and so on.
[00:35:18] So on the master we can let's see use an FX2, FX3.
[00:35:25] The peak limiter in there.
[00:36:03] Now we can also just use a half clip here.
[00:36:24] If everything is mixed correctly in front of here you can you know drive everything pretty hard
[00:36:31] into the clip by here but you can hear it's already distorting but it's drum bass.
[00:37:05] Wow that's already minus five here just with using the clip us.
[00:37:08] So yeah but you can drive it pretty hard.
[00:37:13] I think that's it for this video I just want to show you here how I start making drum bass
[00:37:19] with stock devices.
[00:37:22] I know a lot of people love to watch these tutorials or these videos and I probably saved this and then
[00:37:31] I finished this at some point but the boring part actually about this is that I sit down now
[00:37:39] here for one or two hours and tweak all the little things until it sounds good maybe layer and some
[00:37:45] snares on top here I probably would exchange this here for some samples or maybe a different synth.
[00:37:52] But you know the boring part is basically tweaking everything until it sounds right but
[00:38:00] I think that's it's in a good state it's a good idea here I created I really like this groove and so
[00:38:07] on it just needs some details in rock right but so far I'm happy with this.
[00:38:13] I think in this state I put this on my patreon so you can download it if you want to and when I
[00:38:22] finish this at some point I probably also reupload this then in a finished state
[00:38:27] but it probably takes a while.
[00:38:29] So that's it for this video thanks for watching leave a like if you like the video
[00:38:34] leave some questions in the comments down below subscribe to the channel thanks for
[00:38:38] watching and I'll see you in the next video bye