Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Bitwig-5.1.2 Preset Tutorial Audio-Effects

Color Bass with this Bitwig Free Preset!

Tutorial | Feb 08, 2024

In this video, I present a free color machine preset for Bitwig that can be used to create resonator effects. By importing chords from one track and using them in the color machine, multiple bandpass filters are created with corresponding frequencies. This preset offers various controls for octave offset, resonance, filter type, Haas effect, and more, allowing users to create unique and customized sounds.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon - Download & Info

I created a "color machine" preset for Bitwig, inspired by current color-based music production techniques and Virtual Riot's recent work for Avalon Live. This preset is freely available, designed as a note-tuned resonator that can be used with any sound, not just color bass. Here's a summary of how it works and how to use it:

This preset is compatible with the current Bitwig version, aiming to enhance sound design flexibility while being mindful of CPU usage, especially with voice stacking. The preset is downloadable via a link in the video description, and I encourage feedback and mindful adjustment of settings to reduce CPU load if necessary.

Questions & Answers

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

How can I use the color machine preset in Bitwig?

You can use the color machine preset by importing notes from a track into the note receiver, then using those notes in the color machine to create multiple bandpass filters. This can be applied to any sound, not just bass, and allows you to create a tuned resonator effect.

What controls are available in the color machine preset?

The color machine preset offers controls for the bandpass filter frequency, voice stacking (to create multiple octaves), octave offset, resonance, bandpass filter type, Haas effect, input matching, high pass and low pass filters, amplifier, octave distribution, quantizer, and pre-tilt EQ. Additionally, there is a waterfall feature that delays the bandpass filters by different amounts.

How can I make the color machine preset more musical?

To make the color machine preset more musical, you can use the quantizer to dial in a specific scale, which will align the frequencies to that scale and create a more harmonious sound. You can also adjust the octave distribution to compress or expand the frequencies, and use the pre-tilt EQ to amplify or attenuate the low or high end of the input signal.

What should I be aware of when using the color machine preset to avoid high CPU usage?

To avoid high CPU usage, you should be mindful of the voice stacking feature, as the more octaves you add, the more CPU it will draw. If you notice high CPU usage, you can dial down the voice stacking or adjust other parameters to optimize performance.


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 there are a lot of color based tutorials at the moment on YouTube and also Virtual Riot did something yesterday for Avalon Live.
[00:00:07] And I got inspired and I thought to myself, well, we can do this in Bitwig too.
[00:00:12] So I created here this color machine preset that's completely free for you to use.
[00:00:17] The link is in the description below.
[00:00:19] And it's some kind of note tuned resonator.
[00:00:24] So we use here one instrument track that plays some chords.
[00:00:28] We use these notes on this first track here where we have some kind of dubstep bass.
[00:00:34] Then we import here the notes with the note receiver.
[00:00:36] You need to add actually this note receiver on the bass track.
[00:00:39] And then you import here the notes and then we use these notes inside of the color machine to create multiple bandpass filters.
[00:00:48] And these bandpass filters are exactly the same frequencies of these notes.
[00:00:53] So this is here how the chord progression sounds.
[00:00:57] It's just a simple chord progression.
[00:01:06] And on the first track here we have just some kind of random dubstep bass out of current.
[00:01:18] And then like I said, we use basically here these notes inside of the color machine and then we can create here some kind of resonator on top.
[00:01:26] [Music]
[00:01:34] So it's not only useful for color bass.
[00:01:36] You can also just use this on whatever sound you want to use it.
[00:01:40] It's just basically a tuned resonator.
[00:01:44] So then I want to explain how this works and how you can use it here.
[00:01:49] There are actually a lot of controls in there.
[00:01:53] So in here we have a bandpass filter, right?
[00:01:57] And this bandpass filter is controlled first and foremost by frequencies from coming in here from the first track.
[00:02:05] Then there's also here voice stacking enabled.
[00:02:08] So we basically can create multiple octaves with these voice deckings here.
[00:02:14] So this works like this.
[00:02:16] In here I create a chord progression in one octave.
[00:02:20] And in here with each voice deck I create another octave.
[00:02:26] So I just play basically one octave of notes and then I duplicate this patch to the next octave, then the next octave, the next octave above.
[00:02:35] And you can choose basically here with this note or with this number how many octaves you want to create.
[00:02:41] So if you leave this off, you basically just play the notes from this octave here, right?
[00:02:48] So if you have this on/off, you can create your multiple notes or as many notes as you want.
[00:02:54] But if you are lazy like me and you don't want to duplicate all the notes, you just go in here and increase the voice stacking to let's say three.
[00:03:04] And then you create three or two additional octaves on top.
[00:03:10] But the more octaves you add, the more CPU you draw.
[00:03:16] Okay, then you have here an octave switch, which means basically you can offset everything.
[00:03:22] So if you have this at zero, the first octave is actually exactly in the octave that you paint the notes in.
[00:03:30] But then you can offset this here maybe one octave higher.
[00:03:33] So you start one octave higher than the notes are.
[00:03:37] Or two octaves.
[00:03:39] Or down.
[00:03:41] So you can offset the whole bandpass filter range to lower octaves or higher octaves so you can mix and match how you want it to have.
[00:03:53] Then we have here the resonator knob that obviously increases the resonance.
[00:04:01] Until it sings here or it self-resonates at the end.
[00:04:10] You can also change the bandpass filter type so we can switch this to eight pole.
[00:04:15] So it's pretty steep bandpass filter.
[00:04:24] It all has some kind of different sound to it so you can play around with this.
[00:04:28] Then we have here the Haas knob.
[00:04:31] It's actually not the Haas effect because Haas is a different delay for the left and the right channel.
[00:04:39] And here I change the frequency of the bandpass filter slightly from the left to the right.
[00:04:44] So it sounds like this.
[00:04:53] So if you just use this here in small amounts you get a nice stereo effect for the bandpass filtering.
[00:05:00] Then we have here match input which is basically the fall time for the follower here.
[00:05:06] So if you have this at zero it loosely follows the volume of the input signal on this band.
[00:05:18] And if you pull this all the way up to 100 then it's pretty much a glues to the amplitude envelope of the original signal on this band.
[00:05:33] Then of course here we have a high pass and low pass just in the end here.
[00:05:37] So you don't need to add actually an EQ at the end. You can just use this here.
[00:05:48] Just some simple stuff.
[00:05:50] Then in here I have some additional controls because there's not enough room in here.
[00:05:57] So I have an amplifier here at the end so you can make it a bit louder if the output signal is actually too low.
[00:06:04] And then there's here the octave distribution where you can basically take all the octaves and then push it or squeeze it together.
[00:06:16] It sounds a bit weird but you can also then use here the quantizer to make it more musical.
[00:06:23] [Music]
[00:06:32] Until you land basically on one octave and here you can spread out everything to all octaves.
[00:06:38] It's basically squeezing all the frequencies together.
[00:06:41] And if you think that's not musical enough you can like I said you use the quantizer and just dial in the scale you want and then it's more musical.
[00:06:49] [Music]
[00:06:59] Right. So this was some kind of idea. I thought it's maybe interesting and you can also modulate this here rhythmically then with the LFO or something like this.
[00:07:10] Then we have your pre-tilt. This is basically an EQ in the pre-fx box here.
[00:07:17] So you can amplify the low end or the high end of the input signal before it goes into the pent bass filter.
[00:07:24] So it sounds like this.
[00:07:25] [Music]
[00:07:32] So you can get some lower frequencies out if you don't want to have this inside here of this whole system.
[00:07:38] [Music]
[00:07:52] Then we have waterfall which is also interesting because I thought maybe it's interesting if you could delay actually all these bandpass filters here by different amounts.
[00:08:05] So it sounds a bit like a waterfall.
[00:08:08] [Music]
[00:08:26] Maybe too much here, too much overtones.
[00:08:28] [Music]
[00:08:38] Right. So you can delay multiple bandpass filters by different amounts and it gives you this kind of waterfall effect.
[00:08:44] You can also change how this behaves here by using a different algorithm.
[00:08:49] You can also change this here to randomized.
[00:08:51] So randomized stretches I think the best or maybe rend this one here.
[00:09:00] So every time you hit the note basically you get a different distribution.
[00:09:04] [Music]
[00:09:16] Maybe use a different bass sound here for this. Let me see.
[00:09:20] Or this one here.
[00:09:23] [Music]
[00:09:47] Or maybe this one here.
[00:09:49] [Music]
[00:10:08] So you have to play around with all the settings to get the right interesting sound for your song.
[00:10:15] Then there's something like use AD here and the idea behind this was that I'm using here an AR all the time.
[00:10:24] So when you have basically long chords you want to keep here this voice alive.
[00:10:31] But sometimes you want to have shorter notes coming or like having here like staccato or maybe an arpeggiator on here.
[00:10:40] And then you have short notes all the time. Let's say you have note repeats on.
[00:10:46] And then you can put this here use AD and then you can change the decay time here.
[00:10:53] [Music]
[00:11:04] So you switch on use AD then you use basically here this attack decay thing and then you can change it at decay time.
[00:11:13] And if this is off then we use basically this AR here and they're mostly just sustain basically to sustain the voice.
[00:11:23] Yeah, I think that's kind of it here.
[00:11:27] Like I said this is completely free you can use this in the current Bitwig version.
[00:11:34] Link is in the description below and yeah let me know what you think.
[00:11:40] And yeah be aware of the CPU right so if there's too much CPU usage just dial down here the voice stacking and you're probably good.
[00:11:51] Thanks for watching leave a like and I'll see you in the next video. Bye.