Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Bitwig-5.1.2 Euclidean Groove Note-Grid Polyrhythm Tutorial Polymeter

Polymeters in Bitwig Studio

Tutorial | Jan 15, 2024

In this video, I demonstrate different methods of creating easy polymeters in Bitwig Studio. I show how to use a node grid with a monophonic mode, a gates module, and a transport module to generate nodes. I also discuss a different setup using a counter and a trigger module, as well as the use of a clock quantizer for better precision.

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

In this Bitwig Studio tutorial, I demonstrate creating polymeters using different methods. Here's a summary:

  1. Using Node Grid and Transport Module:

    • Start with a polymers synthesizer on an instrument channel.
    • Create a node grid in monophonic mode before the synthesizer.
    • Remove node inputs, add a gates module and a transport module.
    • Set the gates' step count to an uneven number (e.g., 10).
    • Match the transport length to the step count for synchronization.
    • Use a dropdown to adjust triggering speed.
    • Address phase offset issues with a reset mechanism.
  2. Using Counter and Trigger Module (Suggested by Omri Cohen):

    • This method involves a counter, trigger module, and a gates module.
    • Disable the pre-chord and connect the modules.
    • Match pattern length in multiple places (e.g., set both to 5).
    • This setup doesn't require a phase reset.
  3. Advanced Polymeter Techniques:

    • Use a pitch module with transport and reset.
    • Match step count and transport length.
    • Add triggers module for additional flexibility.
    • Incorporate quantizers or step mods for more complex rhythms.
    • Combine different settings in step mods for creative modulation.
  4. General Tips:

    • Polymeters create interesting patterns and melodies.
    • Adjustments often need to be made in multiple places.
    • Experiment with reverb, delay, and modulation for richer sounds.

In conclusion, these methods offer varied approaches to creating polymeters in Bitwig Studio, highlighting the importance of synchronization and phase alignment in complex rhythm generation.

Questions & Answers

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

How do you create easy polymeters in Bitwig Studio?

To create easy polymeters in Bitwig Studio, you can use a node grid in front of a synthesizer. Set up a monophonic mode, delete the node inputs, and create a gates module and a transport module. Match the step count of the gates with the length of the transport to ensure the same triggering speed.

What are the different methods of creating polymeters?

There are four methods shown in the video. The first method uses a gate module and a transport module, matching the step count and length. The second method uses a counter module and a trigger module, with the pattern length controlled by the counter. The third method relies on the transpose module and the scalar module to create polymeters. The fourth method combines the use of a trigger module, pitch module, and playback module to generate polymeters.

What is the advantage of using the first method of polymeter creation?

The first method allows for easy changes to the pattern length by adjusting just one knob. It provides a simpler setup and is especially useful in live environments or when modulating patterns.

What other modules or techniques can be used to enhance polymeter creations?

Modules such as clock quantizers or step mods can be used to further enhance polymeter creations. These can add additional modulation or refine the timing and synchronization of the polymeters. Effects modules like reverb or delay can also be applied to create more interesting and immersive polymeter patterns.


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] So this is how you create easy polymeters inside of Bitwig Studio.
[00:00:04] We already have here an instrument channel with a polymers synthesizer on it and
[00:00:08] we want to create here a node grid in front of the synthesizer to generate some nodes.
[00:00:14] The node grid itself here is a monophonic mode that's important.
[00:00:18] Inside of the grid we want to delete the node inputs and
[00:00:21] we want to create a gates module and we want to create a transport module.
[00:00:28] And this was a dip by cross mode on my discord and
[00:00:31] he said maybe try this out here and
[00:00:34] I also linked you the YouTube channel of cross mode in the description below.
[00:00:39] So maybe give him a visit and subscription and so on.
[00:00:43] So he said maybe use transport here for this.
[00:00:45] It's basically perfect.
[00:00:47] And I initially mixed this up with the scalar module which looks roughly the same.
[00:00:53] And I also think they changed here the interface of the transport in the last update.
[00:00:58] So in here in 5.1 it looks a bit different.
[00:01:01] So the transport is basically perfect for this.
[00:01:06] We have to disable here the pre-code, the phase pre-code, and
[00:01:08] then we just connect these two here.
[00:01:11] And the step count of the gates goes to maybe something uneven, let's say 10.
[00:01:16] So the step count is 10, we have now 10 steps here.
[00:01:21] And we need to set the length of the transport also to 10 to get exactly the
[00:01:26] speed of 16 nodes which we can change here with this drop down.
[00:01:30] And basically get the same triggering speed out of this even though we changed
[00:01:37] here the step count, right?
[00:01:39] So now we have 10 steps, each step is triggered by 16 nodes and
[00:01:44] we also have here the length of 10.
[00:01:45] So now we can hook this up here and can generate nodes.
[00:01:50] Maybe go here to let's say D#1.
[00:01:52] So this is our first lane here.
[00:01:57] We want to create also a different node, let's say A#1.
[00:02:05] And here we want to go to 12, length of 12, also here 12.
[00:02:09] And now we have a small problem because the phase is a bit offset here with
[00:02:17] this transport.
[00:02:19] So if you look at the structure of this bug or this is intentional,
[00:02:23] you can see here we trigger at different times here, right?
[00:02:26] And if you open up here an oscilloscope, take the face of this one,
[00:02:33] the face of this one, you can see they are completely offset here even though
[00:02:37] if we just take this transport and duplicate this transport,
[00:02:41] it's the same setting here, right?
[00:02:42] It should be the same phase.
[00:02:44] You can see it's slightly offset.
[00:02:48] So this is a problem.
[00:02:50] A problem we need to fix and the fix for that is to use a reset.
[00:02:54] And you can reset here with the button or maybe with the pre-code.
[00:03:02] So this is here then keyboard press.
[00:03:05] Let's use a reset here.
[00:03:07] So here we can basically just play a note on the keyboard to reset this.
[00:03:15] And now these two phase signals are basically aligned here at the beginning,
[00:03:21] at least, right?
[00:03:22] That's important.
[00:03:23] And yeah, you can also say, say, use a transport playing here and then do this.
[00:03:29] It doesn't matter.
[00:03:32] So you need to reset the phase at some point with some kind of logic,
[00:03:35] but you need to do it.
[00:03:37] So you can reset the phase at some point with some kind of logic,
[00:03:42] but you need to do it.
[00:03:44] So to have basically roughly the same starting point of these polymeters.
[00:03:49] So now we have here a polymeter running.
[00:03:52] And that's basically a simple setup for a polymeter, yeah, note generation.
[00:04:08] The important part is, like I said,
[00:04:10] you need to match basically the step count with the transport length.
[00:04:15] 10 here, 10 here.
[00:04:17] We have 12 here, also 12 here, right?
[00:04:20] That's basically the ugly part.
[00:04:23] The setup is easy, but when you want to change it,
[00:04:27] you need to change it in two places.
[00:04:29] And this is also why I showed you in the last video,
[00:04:33] basically it's complicated setup because I liked that you can change the pattern length here
[00:04:39] with just one knob.
[00:04:40] So you change the pattern length here and the speed stays the same.
[00:04:44] So you have just one knob where you change it.
[00:04:47] And yeah, in a live environment or when you want to modulate things,
[00:04:51] this is much better than, you know, modulating here the number in two different places.
[00:04:58] So this was my idea.
[00:05:00] So that's also a different setup for this.
[00:05:02] So you can say, this was a tip by Omri Cohen.
[00:05:07] And I roughly knew this before, but like I said,
[00:05:11] I didn't want to show it because I liked that you can change it just in one place.
[00:05:15] So this one goes like this.
[00:05:18] You take a counter and you take a trigger module here.
[00:05:22] Go to 16 nodes.
[00:05:25] This is your trigger speed, right?
[00:05:26] And here you change the pattern length.
[00:05:28] So when you use a gates module here, disable here the pre-code, connect these two,
[00:05:34] and then you set this maybe to, let's say, a five.
[00:05:37] And you also need to set this here to five.
[00:05:39] And now this is exactly 16 nodes triggering a speed.
[00:05:43] And yeah, because of the counter here, we generate basically a phase signal
[00:05:50] that gives you exactly here the right position and time.
[00:05:53] And we can then just go out to a different node, let's say, d#2 and duplicate this.
[00:06:02] And here you don't need to reset.
[00:06:03] That's the beautiful part of the setup, right?
[00:06:07] You go to seven here and then we need to set this here to seven.
[00:06:11] But you also need to set it up in all you think to change the value in two places,
[00:06:15] seven here and seven here, right?
[00:06:18] This goes to a two.
[00:06:20] Two.
[00:06:21] Oh, here you also get the reset input if you want to use that.
[00:06:40] I don't know if this is actually here pre-code that you can't disable
[00:06:44] because it looks exactly like this here.
[00:06:47] But here you can disable the pre-code here.
[00:06:49] You can't.
[00:06:51] So you probably also have to reset this here with some kind of logic at the beginning
[00:06:56] of the bar or whenever you want to reset it.
[00:06:59] So if you want to use this setup with pictures module.
[00:07:05] Like this one, right?
[00:07:09] You can also set this here to a step count, let's say three, bring in some different nodes.
[00:07:16] And then use your transport.
[00:07:19] And the reset.
[00:07:20] Go in here, disable the pre-code.
[00:07:24] And this is three.
[00:07:26] So we have to set up also three here.
[00:07:28] Then we need the output.
[00:07:30] And this one goes into the pitch output, of course.
[00:07:33] And then we need something to trigger this.
[00:07:36] So we can use triggers module here.
[00:07:38] Go out and we have your 16 nodes.
[00:07:42] So we can set up here 16.
[00:07:48] And then head to play.
[00:07:50] Or maybe we use the playback, transport playback for this.
[00:07:55] It's probably better.
[00:07:58] Something like this.
[00:08:01] And then we stop here.
[00:08:05] Hit play.
[00:08:15] So we have this playing here and these additional triggers.
[00:08:19] So let's maybe go here to five.
[00:08:26] Well, let's say 13.
[00:08:30] Yeah, and that's basically polymeters for you inside of the grid.
[00:08:44] So three different methods are actually four.
[00:08:48] If you count my example here from the last video.
[00:08:52] And here you maybe need to use an clock quantizer to make this even better.
[00:08:57] But my setup, you need to you can change it basically just in one place.
[00:09:03] Or the pattern length, you can change it in one place with this value here.
[00:09:06] And in this setup here, you need to change it always in two places
[00:09:12] for the step count and then of course here for the transport.
[00:09:15] But I think polymeters are actually a very nice way
[00:09:18] of creating interesting patterns or melodies.
[00:09:22] Maybe I need to use quantizer.
[00:09:27] I'm too lazy.
[00:09:28] Maybe a step mod here.
[00:09:38] By a step mod or also a nice way of creating poly rhythms here
[00:09:42] because you can change the speed setting here, let's say 16 nodes.
[00:09:46] And you can change the pattern length here and the speed stays the same,
[00:09:52] which is really nice.
[00:09:54] Maybe at the reverb here or delay or something.
[00:10:25] Or maybe combine this here.
[00:10:26] So I just modulate you by a small amount.
[00:10:29] Then duplicate here a step mod.
[00:10:33] Use different settings and also different step length here, let's say 9.
[00:10:37] And then also modulate this.
[00:10:41] So now I basically combine or add this modulation value to this modulation value.
[00:10:47] And they add up in different places because they are polymeters.
[00:11:10] So I hope this makes everything clearer.
[00:11:13] So four methods of creating poly rhythms.
[00:11:16] My first one here.
[00:11:19] Then we have this method here by CrossMod.
[00:11:23] Link is in the description.
[00:11:25] And there is also this method here suggested by OmriCohen.
[00:11:29] Link is also in the description.
[00:11:30] And yeah.
[00:11:33] I think it's a fun way of creating melodies.
[00:11:36] Thanks for watching.
[00:11:37] Leave a like if you liked the video.
[00:11:39] Subscribe to the channel.
[00:11:41] And I'll see you in the next video.
[00:11:43] Bye.