Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Modulation Tutorial Bitwig-5.1.2

Modulation above One in Bitwig Studio

Tutorial | Jan 31, 2024

In this video, I discuss modulation amounts and signals in Bitwig Studio. I explain how modulation typically operates between zero and plus or minus one, but you can exceed this range using certain modulators. I also demonstrate how adjusting a constant value can define the endpoint of modulation without needing to enter the modulation mode.

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In this Bitwig Studio tutorial, the focus is on modulation amounts and signals. Here's a concise summary:

  1. Basic Modulation Range: In Bitwig, modulation typically ranges from zero to plus/minus one. For instance, with a polymer synthesizer and a macro knob modulating the cutoff, the knob position represents these values.

  2. Exceeding Standard Range: You can exceed the standard range (e.g., go beyond plus one) for more intense modulation effects. This is particularly useful in specific scenarios and can be accomplished using Bitwig's stack spread modulator in voice stacking mode.

  3. Stack Spread Modulator: This unique modulator in Bitwig allows modulation values over plus one, beneficial for intricate modulation setups like varying semitones across different voices.

  4. Modulation in the Grid: Demonstrated using a macro knob and a multiply module in Bitwig's grid. By multiplying the modulation signal, you can define the endpoint of modulation without constantly adjusting the modulation mode.

  5. Practical Example with Pitch Input: An example is given where pitch input from a piano roll is used to define modulation per note. Multiplying this input allows each note to represent an integer value, which can be used for precise modulation control.

  6. Voice Stacking Application: The method is particularly useful in voice stacking, where modulation needs to adjust according to the number of voices used. This technique avoids the need to constantly recalibrate the modulation range when changing voice stacking settings.

The tutorial emphasizes the utility of these techniques in Bitwig Studio for nuanced control over modulation, especially in complex setups. It's a technical topic but useful for advanced music production techniques.

Questions & Answers

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

What is the main topic of the video?

The main topic of the video is modulation amounts and modulation signals in Bitwig Studio. The video explains how to apply different modulation amounts, including going beyond the range of plus or minus one, and how to use the stack spread modulator for modulation.

How does modulation work in Bitwig Studio?

In Bitwig Studio, modulation is typically applied using an amount between zero and plus or minus one. The modulation amount can be adjusted by going into modulation mode and changing the maximum modulation or endpoint. The stack spread modulator is the only modulator that allows modulation amounts over plus or minus one.

What are the benefits of exceeding the modulation range?

Exceeding the modulation range can be beneficial in certain situations. It allows for more precise control over the modulation endpoint without needing to change the maximum modulation amount. It can also be useful when working with voice stacking and wanting to increase the voices without adjusting the modulation amount each time.

How can the constant parameter be used to define the modulation range?

By using the constant parameter, the endpoint of the modulation range can be defined without going into the modulation mode. This is particularly useful when working with polyrhythms or when the modulation amount is based on a value from another parameter. By multiplying the constant with the desired value, the modulation range can be easily defined.


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 wanted to talk a bit about modulation amounts and modulation signals with a boring topic,
[00:00:06] but nonetheless, it's maybe interesting for you.
[00:00:10] So what you do most of the times when you modulate something inside of Bitwig Studio
[00:00:15] is that you usually apply an amount of between zero and plus one and minus one when you have
[00:00:27] this bipolar mode.
[00:00:29] So in Bitwig, it looks like this.
[00:00:30] You have like an instrument, like a polymer synthesizer.
[00:00:35] And then you have here a macro knob, and then you modulate something, let's say, cutoff,
[00:00:42] right?
[00:00:43] So here with this knob in this position, we have zero.
[00:00:47] In this position, we have plus one.
[00:00:51] And if you want to exceed this here, you have to go into this modulation mode, and then
[00:00:56] you have to change here the modulation amount to have a different maximum modulation or
[00:01:03] modulation amount or end point, right?
[00:01:07] So every time you go in here and you want to change the maximum amount of this position,
[00:01:15] you have to go into modulation mode and then change this and then go out of this.
[00:01:19] And now 100% is this endpoint.
[00:01:24] Then there's of course bipolar mode.
[00:01:28] So now you can go to here and then you go to minus one and then you end up on the opposite
[00:01:33] position of plus one.
[00:01:35] So this is also possible.
[00:01:37] So like I said, most of the times you operate between plus one and minus one.
[00:01:43] But you can also exceed this range to, let's say, plus two, plus three.
[00:01:50] And this has some benefits sometimes.
[00:01:53] And usually you can't do this inside of this modulation matrix here.
[00:01:58] That's actually only one modulator that does this.
[00:02:02] And this is, I think, it's the stack spread modulator here when you use voice stacking
[00:02:10] and you switch this here to value.
[00:02:12] You can see it's zero time, one time, two times, three times, up to 15 times.
[00:02:21] And when you modulate something with this, you actually get values or modulation amounts
[00:02:27] over one, over plus one.
[00:02:29] It exceeds plus one.
[00:02:31] And this has some benefits.
[00:02:34] For instance, let's say you modulate this here by five semitones.
[00:02:42] So now the first voice in value mode gets, you can see this also, just zero plus 15,
[00:02:50] right?
[00:02:51] The first voice gets zero times.
[00:02:53] The second voice gets one time.
[00:02:56] So exactly this modulation amount here.
[00:02:59] But if you switch this higher to three or let's say up to 16, the last voice, voice 16, gets,
[00:03:09] I don't know, something here.
[00:03:11] So it's exceeding basically your maximum defined modulation range.
[00:03:18] It goes above one.
[00:03:21] And sometimes this is handy.
[00:03:23] Like I said, it's the only modulator here I know that does this.
[00:03:27] Maybe you know another one.
[00:03:30] But I think this is the only one.
[00:03:35] I don't know why it doesn't show you here these different settings, but I don't know.
[00:03:41] I show you this in the grid because it's easier to explain there, I think.
[00:03:48] So let's use a macro knob, which is just a value knob here.
[00:03:53] So zero plus one, we use a readout here.
[00:03:59] Can also see this zero plus one, right?
[00:04:03] Easy peasy.
[00:04:05] And now we can take, let's say, a multiply and multiply this with a constant.
[00:04:17] Let's say 16.
[00:04:21] Different readout.
[00:04:23] Now zero is zero in both cases.
[00:04:26] But 100% here is one here and here at 16 because we multiplied actually everything by 16.
[00:04:34] So we can define now here with this constant the endpoint of the modulation.
[00:04:40] So now you can say I have maybe a filter.
[00:04:46] And I'm going to lay this here.
[00:04:48] Let's use a modulator out.
[00:04:52] Let's modulate this here by just one semitone, right?
[00:04:57] So now I can define without going into this modulation mode here, I can define the endpoint
[00:05:02] of this.
[00:05:03] 100% is the endpoint, maybe 64 semitones, right?
[00:05:09] You can see it's going up.
[00:05:12] Zero is this.
[00:05:13] One is now 64 semitones up.
[00:05:16] So I can define the range by just changing this constant without going into this modulation
[00:05:22] mode.
[00:05:23] When I use a modulator here on top and go into this, remember the endpoint is always
[00:05:29] plus one.
[00:05:30] So I need to use here, this here.
[00:05:37] I need to go into the modulation mode.
[00:05:39] So zero is here.
[00:05:41] 100% is here.
[00:05:43] If I want to change this endpoint to a different position, I have to go into this modulation
[00:05:47] mode, change this.
[00:05:49] Now the endpoint is here and I'm done.
[00:05:52] But here I can change just this constant.
[00:05:56] Even though the modulation amount is still the same, there's just one semitone, right?
[00:06:01] But I can define easily here with just the constant where the endpoint is exactly, yeah,
[00:06:08] a size basically.
[00:06:09] So I can say the endpoint is 64 semitones here above this start position.
[00:06:19] So you may say, why do I need this?
[00:06:21] So sometimes you can exchange this constant for a different value you get from a different
[00:06:26] parameter.
[00:06:27] Maybe you get it from the voice deck modulator or maybe you get it from the notes.
[00:06:32] And that's what I used when I created these poly rhythms, right?
[00:06:37] So I basically used here my pitch input, pitch input, right from the piano roll.
[00:06:46] And then you can see if I, if you use here the readout, if I go up, C3 is zero and C#3
[00:06:55] is plus zero dot zero zero eight, which is very weird.
[00:07:03] But maybe you want to define for each note you go up here, right?
[00:07:08] You want to define one semitone here.
[00:07:12] And that's not easy to do.
[00:07:13] So you need to multiply this here, multiply this with constant of 10.
[00:07:23] So now we can see one note up.
[00:07:27] It's actually not 10.
[00:07:28] It's, I think it's 120.
[00:07:30] Yeah, it's 120.
[00:07:32] So now C3 is zero.
[00:07:34] C#3 is one.
[00:07:37] D is two.
[00:07:39] D#3 is three.
[00:07:41] So each note has basically an integer.
[00:07:44] So now you can take this signal with the modulator here, go into this modulator.
[00:07:51] And because you know each note is now an integer above zero, you can take a modulator with
[00:08:01] this and modulate this here by exactly one semitone.
[00:08:12] And now you know each note gets basically, each note you go up gets here also a semitone
[00:08:19] up.
[00:08:20] So you can precisely work with these integers and apply exactly the right amount of modulation
[00:08:27] to your target without actually changing the modulation amount, going into this modulation
[00:08:33] mode and you know, change the maximum value.
[00:08:35] You can work with just integers, apply just one small amount, and then it multiplies basically
[00:08:42] every time you add a number to it.
[00:08:46] And this can be handy sometimes when you don't know the endpoint of your modulation, or if
[00:08:53] you work with let's say here voice stacking and you want to increase the voices and you
[00:08:59] don't want to actually go into this modulation amount and want to change the maximum modulation
[00:09:06] amount each time you change the voice stacking.
[00:09:08] So you just change the voice stacking and it applies the right amount.
[00:09:12] So you can do this, let's say here with, let's remove all of this here.
[00:09:20] Let's say you have here zero voices, use the voice deck spread, you switch this here to
[00:09:27] value, two voices, then you modulate this here by one semitone.
[00:09:34] And now you know voice one has root position, voice two applies one semitone.
[00:09:42] And if you increase the voice stacking to 16, you know exactly voice 16 has 16 semitones
[00:09:49] added to the root position.
[00:09:52] Exactly.
[00:09:53] And yeah, if you use this basically like before with a plus one or zero to plus one
[00:09:58] modulation amount here, you have to count up basically every time.
[00:10:04] So let's say with six voices, you want to go up to six, right?
[00:10:08] So you have to define here six semitones up.
[00:10:13] Okay.
[00:10:14] So now it fits, but now you increase the voice stacking at some point to 16.
[00:10:18] So now it scales basically or it divides basically this range into 16 equal spaces, which does
[00:10:26] make sense for you.
[00:10:27] So now you have to go into the modulation amount because you increase the voice stacking,
[00:10:31] you have to change the modulation amount to 16.
[00:10:34] So now you have to do basically two things every time you change the voice stacking.
[00:10:41] And with this value method here, you don't need to do this.
[00:10:44] You just modulate this here by one semitone.
[00:10:47] And then you can change the voice stacking here and it changes accordingly.
[00:10:52] So this is where this becomes handy sometimes.
[00:10:56] When I want to show you this, maybe not everyone knows this that you can actually apply modulation
[00:11:02] above plus one.
[00:11:05] So this is the reminder or this is the tutorial about this.
[00:11:09] I know it's a pretty boring topic, but maybe you need this at some point and you can, you
[00:11:15] know, save this in the back of your brain and come back next time.
[00:11:21] You maybe need this.
[00:11:23] Okay.
[00:11:24] So this, this is a pretty boring video for you today.
[00:11:29] If you liked the video, leave a like, subscribe to the channel.
[00:11:32] Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.
[00:11:35] Bye.
[00:11:36] [ conference ends ]