Tags: posts polarity-music Audio-Effects Bitwig Bitwig-5.1.2 Convolution Sampling Sound-Design Tutorial Beginners

Capture the Essence of Reverbs in Bitwig

Tutorial | Jan 10, 2024

In this video, I share my process of capturing impulse responses inside Bitwig Studio. I demonstrate how to use a test-tone device to generate the desired impulses, export and edit them in an audio editor, and then use a sampler and convolution device in Bitwig Studio to create unique reverbs. I also explain the importance of combining convolution reverbs with algorithmic reverbs for a more dynamic and realistic sound.

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In this video, the presenter demonstrates capturing impulse responses in Bitwig Studio, a process involving several steps:

  1. Generating Impulses: Using Bitwig's test-tone device, sine waves are generated, adjusting frequency and loudness. The frequency is lowered to create simple impulses with 100% gain.

  2. Recording and Editing: The impulses are recorded and exported as a WAV file named 'Dirac1'. In an audio editor, a single pulse is isolated, including initial ripples and main pulse.

  3. Using Sampler: Back in Bitwig, a sampler is used to load 'Dirac1'. Key tracking and velocity sensitivity are disabled, and voice gain and output are set to 0 dB.

  4. Applying Reverb: A 'supermassive' reverb preset is applied to the sample. The presenter emphasizes using a 100% mix for capturing reverbs, adjusting dry/wet balance in the convolution process later.

  5. Creating and Testing Impulse Response: An impulse response is created, with a maximum length of 25 seconds, and tested using a synth with a convolution device.

  6. Combining with Algorithmic Reverb: The presenter suggests mixing the convolution reverb with an algorithmic reverb for a more dynamic and alive sound. This step also involves using modulation to enrich the sound.

  7. Editing Impulse Response: The impulse response is further edited for length and fade out, then exported as a new WAV file. This shorter version captures the essence of the reverb, which is then extended using an algorithmic reverb.

  8. Additional Techniques and Importing to Bitwig: The video also covers capturing rhythmic impulse responses and importing these into Bitwig Studio's library, with each folder becoming a category.

  9. Real-World Application: Finally, the presenter shares how they capture real-world sounds using an iPhone to record claps, which are then used to create impulse responses reflecting the essence of the environment.

The video concludes with an invitation for viewers to like, subscribe, and leave comments with questions.

Questions & Answers

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

How does the process of capturing impulse responses work in Bitwig Studio?

The process involves using the test-tone device in Bitwig to generate sine waves, adjusting the frequency to create simple impulses, and then bouncing the waveform to capture the impulse response. The captured wave file is then imported into an audio editor to single out the desired pulse.

How can a captured impulse response be used in Bitwig Studio?

Once the impulse response is obtained, it can be loaded into a sampler in Bitwig and triggered with a keyboard. To enhance the captured reverb, it can be mixed with algorithmic reverbs or effects such as delay with diffusion to create a more dynamic and alive sound.

What are the limitations of using impulse responses in Bitwig Studio?

Convolution reverbs in Bitwig can sound static and lack the reactiveness of algorithmic reverbs. CPU usage can also increase with longer impulse responses, so it's advisable to use algorithmic reverbs in combination with impulse responses to create more varied and dynamic effects.

How can impulse responses be captured from real-life environments?

Impulse responses can be captured by recording sounds in real-life environments using devices like an iPhone. By clapping hands or creating other sounds in different environments, the unique essence and characteristics of the room or surroundings can be captured and used as impulse responses in Bitwig Studio.


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] I promised you to show you my process of capturing impulse responses inside of
[00:00:05] Bitwig Studio. It's not an easy process, not everyone knows how to do it and I
[00:00:10] want to show you this basically in this video how I do it. It's maybe not the
[00:00:15] perfect way of doing it but it's how I do it. So inside of Bitwig here we have
[00:00:20] this nice little test-tone device. Looks like this. Generates sine waves. You
[00:00:26] can change the loudness here and the frequency. We can change here the source
[00:00:31] from sine to the rack. Sounds like this. When we pull down the frequency here we
[00:00:38] get nice little simple impulses. Gain 100%. It's exactly what we want to
[00:00:46] capture here. So it just bounces. Select here, portion say bounce. Post fader, 32
[00:00:53] bit floating point, no dither. Okay and we have here a lot of pulses actually
[00:00:59] captured inside of this wave file. So we take this wave file here from the project
[00:01:05] and drag it into our audio editor and we just want to single out your one
[00:01:13] pulse. You can see here it starts with some ripples at the beginning and then
[00:01:23] you have the main pulse and then it ripples slowly out. I think you want to
[00:01:28] keep the ripples in. I think this is this is fine. This is pretty short here. It's
[00:01:33] just a portion of a millisecond. So we export this to a wave file here, export.
[00:01:42] We call it maybe Dirac1. Go back to Bitwig here. We delete this and use a
[00:01:51] sampler. You can see I've already a preset for this, right? Because sometimes
[00:01:57] people ask me in the comments why do we don't just use presets, right? So if I
[00:02:02] just use presets or only use presets you never see what I'm actually doing. That's
[00:02:07] the purpose of these videos that I show you my process. So I'm using a sampler.
[00:02:12] We don't need here the modulators, the default ones and we just drag in here
[00:02:17] the sample, Dirac1, into here. We disable key tracking because we want to keep the
[00:02:26] pitch and we want to disable here the velocity sensitivity. Voice gain is 0 dB
[00:02:33] and output is also 0 dB. Sustain is all the way up. That's what we need. Now we
[00:02:41] can trigger this with a keyboard and we want to use here a supermassive reverb
[00:02:47] because we want to sample actually or capture the essence of the supermassive.
[00:02:52] So we use here a preset, let's say Leo Maximalism. The mix is also 100%. I do
[00:03:01] this all the time and I capture reverbs. I use with the mix 100% because I want
[00:03:06] to dial the dry and wet signal then on the convolution itself, not in the
[00:03:13] ER response. So here it's 100%. Now I create here a note clip, create some kind
[00:03:22] of trigger, note trigger here and then I think the maximum length of an impulse
[00:03:28] response in Bitwig Studio is 25 seconds. So this would be, let's say, you can see
[00:03:35] this here. The top would be here, around here. Something like this. You don't
[00:03:45] need to actually capture 25 seconds. I just want to show you how long you can
[00:03:49] capture. You can also capture just short. Right click, bounce, post-fader 32 bit,
[00:03:57] note error, bounce. So now in here we have basically content. It's just quiet.
[00:04:04] Can't see it. But now we create here a synth to test this. So open up the filter
[00:04:13] here and use a convolution device here and now we can drag this file here,
[00:04:20] direct one, bounce one. You can drag this into here and that's basically all you
[00:04:26] need. Now we can test this. I hope you can hear it.
[00:04:32] Okay, so sounds good. It's a stereo file. You can see two channels here. It's 21,
[00:04:55] 82 seconds long, which is okay. So now there are some things you need to know.
[00:05:01] First, it's a convolution reverb. So it's a sample. So every time you send a sound
[00:05:06] into the convolution reverb, you get this kind of the same reverb because it's
[00:05:10] just a sample, right? It's just a sample played back, multiplied with the input
[00:05:15] signal. So it's not sounding very alive. It's a bit static, right? So usually
[00:05:21] convolution reverbs are mixed up with some algorithmic reverbs because
[00:05:27] algorithmic reverbs react to the sound. So different frequencies, different
[00:05:32] strength or audio modulations. And it sounds a bit more alive and different,
[00:05:38] right? So usually want to use here something like this, the main reverb of
[00:05:44] Bitwig Studio or you want to use after that, let's say delay plus here with this
[00:05:51] diffusion network here called space. And then you can bring in here a bit of
[00:05:56] modulation. Let's say you put in a random mod here,
[00:06:03] Hertz, then just modulator. So we have a bit of pitch modulation in there.
[00:06:25] Okay, so when you mix it up with the algorithmic reverb, then you can actually
[00:06:32] shorten this sample by a tremendous amount. I think it's not really CPU-friendly
[00:06:40] when you have longer impulse responses. So it takes more CPU power from a project.
[00:06:47] So I see it like this way. This impulse response is more like an Instagram
[00:06:54] filter, right? It's not like the real vintage camera. So when you take a
[00:06:58] photograph inside of Instagram, you put a filter on it and it kind of looks like
[00:07:03] an old vintage camera, but it's not like a real vintage camera. It doesn't react to
[00:07:08] light differently, right? And it has a lot of different features, but it's more
[00:07:13] like, you know, you put some spice on top of your photo, but it's not
[00:07:17] like the real thing. It's the same with the impulse response. It doesn't react
[00:07:21] like a real reverb to input sounds. So it's more like it captures the flavor of
[00:07:29] the supermassive in this case here. So when it's only there to capture basically
[00:07:35] the flavor, then you can shorten this here a lot and then use an algorithmic
[00:07:42] reverb to make this longer, right? So we capture basically the essence and the
[00:07:45] sound and the flavor of the reverb in a short impulse response. And then we use
[00:07:51] an algorithmic reverb to make this longer and diffuse over a longer amount of time.
[00:07:56] So what you can do now is basically to use here the editor and just drag this
[00:08:04] into the editor here and say, can I zoom in here? Yeah, zoom in. It doesn't change
[00:08:12] the volume. It's just a zoom in. So we can say I want to shorten this here by this
[00:08:17] amount, right? Delete everything in here and say just shorten this and then use
[00:08:24] maybe this portion here and say I want to fade it out. You can make it even
[00:08:33] shorter, say this this amount. Effects fade out. Okay, so now that we have this, we
[00:08:45] can also export this, of course, wave file and give it real name. You can say
[00:08:51] this is supermassive Maximalism wave. Okay. So in here we can then use this file.
[00:09:05] It's just five seconds now here with a nice fade out. So on its own, it's actually
[00:09:16] not long. It fades out pretty quickly, but the essence or the sound or the flavor
[00:09:28] of supermassive of this algorithm and of this preset is still in here. But then we
[00:09:34] use this basically with the delay plus to make it longer. So this is how I use it
[00:09:37] most of the time. So it's more like a diffusion algorithm on top of a delay.
[00:09:53] I think you can also just use a delay here. Delay two. So this is the diffusion
[00:10:01] here and this is basically to make it longer or put this actually in the bad
[00:10:08] effects also possible. It doesn't sound like a delay, right? Or an echo. It sounds
[00:10:17] like a reverb because this is diffusing everything between the tabs, between the
[00:10:22] delay tabs. It's maybe not sounding like the original preset of the supermassive.
[00:10:30] But it gets, you know, you captured basically the feel of it and you made
[00:10:36] your own reverb out of it.
[00:10:40] And when you load up here the reverb, or at least if you load up my reverb by
[00:10:49] default I have here inside of the reverb I've already here a convolution inside
[00:10:54] of the tank FX for the diffusion and the delay plus. So this is also possible to
[00:10:59] combine this here with a normal reverb of Bitwig Studio. So yeah, this is basically
[00:11:06] how I capture stuff. You can also capture different reverbs or maybe combine the
[00:11:13] supermassive with something else, right? Or just capture different reverbs or
[00:11:19] maybe some things like. Yeah, you can also capture of course rhythmic stuff, right?
[00:11:26] I can show you this here. So let's say you make a track and you know exactly the
[00:11:32] track is 120 bpm long. So you create something like, let's say, a test tone.
[00:11:41] And you switch this here to a white noise.
[00:11:49] Right, and then you put your maybe something rhythmic on it. Let's say, what's the name?
[00:11:57] Curve, put this to bar here. Unipolar, then you draw near some stuff, something like this.
[00:12:10] Let's go to eight. Maybe six here. So if you like this and you make this.
[00:12:24] Curve here a bit steeper. And then we use this on the gain.
[00:12:38] You get this kind of rhythmic stuff. Maybe we want to put a pen on it.
[00:12:48] I don't know. Let's say delay two. Something like this. So you can sample this.
[00:13:04] Bounce it out post-fader. Now did that 32 bit.
[00:13:10] And you get this kind of stuff here.
[00:13:13] And it's the rhythmic is exactly or it fits perfect 120 bpm, right?
[00:13:19] That's important. So you can go here into instrument track, call up the convolution
[00:13:29] and put this one here, test tone, bounce to in here. You can see it's rhythmic.
[00:13:35] All right. Now it sounds like this.
[00:13:40] Just one note. So maybe a bit long so you can keep this short.
[00:13:48] Maybe we don't need to bounce this long, right? You just need a few tabs here.
[00:13:54] And because this is 120 bpm, you can use it perfectly fine inside of your 120 bpm track.
[00:14:10] It fits perfectly and you don't need to correct anything, right?
[00:14:15] Then there's something like when you want to use convolution here.
[00:14:23] So if you have a couple of people actually don't know this, you have some presets in here, right?
[00:14:28] Some categories. You can see I have a lot of different categories in here with stuff I added myself.
[00:14:34] And this kind of works like this that you have to right click here on an empty space in here and go for import,
[00:14:42] impulse, right? Do this and then you can select some kind of folder on your hard drive.
[00:14:48] And I have here impulse responses folder and this one is called polarity Dirac.
[00:14:55] And I select this and then I use this folder, right? I can do this here.
[00:15:03] And what it does now is it moves all these files, all these wave files into the Bitwig library.
[00:15:16] That's where you define basically your library directory and moves it over into this directory
[00:15:21] and converts every file to an impulse response to a Bitwig impulse response
[00:15:26] and creates these nice little things here.
[00:15:30] And every folder you just saw in here, right? These ones here become categories on the left side.
[00:15:39] If you use subfolders in here, subfolders are also flattened to new folders in here.
[00:15:45] So you can't use a hierarchy or something like this.
[00:15:48] You need basically just one level of subfolders and then every folder in here becomes kind of a category in here.
[00:15:58] So this is how it works. And if you add something new, a new impulse response to your original file directory here
[00:16:07] or subdirectories, then you have to do the whole import process again.
[00:16:13] And it will overwrite basically the old files and then add the new files.
[00:16:19] So this is how this works.
[00:16:21] So the important part is basically that you have to use here right click and then import impulses here.
[00:16:26] And then you get this. You can see here this one is basically here.
[00:16:30] I recorded in my street with the iPhone, just clapping my hands and then record the impulse.
[00:16:39] Yeah, that's what I did.
[00:16:43] This is actually a stereo file.
[00:16:51] It's pretty short.
[00:16:59] This is how I capture basically stuff inside of Bitwig Studio with a direct sample,
[00:17:04] with some editing and then combining everything with an algorithmic reverb.
[00:17:09] And in real life, I just use my hands, I clap and then record with my iPhone and then capture the feel or the essence of the room or my environment.
[00:17:21] So this is how it works. This is how I capture impulse responses.
[00:17:25] And I thought maybe it's a good idea to show you this.
[00:17:28] Okay, so thanks for watching.
[00:17:30] Leave a like if you liked the video, subscribe to the channel.
[00:17:32] If you have some questions, please leave it in the comments below.
[00:17:35] I try to answer them as quick as possible.
[00:17:38] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video probably tomorrow. Bye.