Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Bitwig-5.1.2 Mixing Sound-Design Tutorial Spectral

Unconventional EQ Techniques in Bitwig Studio

Tutorial | Feb 23, 2024

In my recent video, I received a lot of love, praise, likes, and comments, which warmed my heart. I wanted to continue sharing knowledge about Bitwig Studio and unique ways of eqing. I introduced a visual guide using EQ+ and a loud split device to help identify and adjust frequency distribution, making EQing easier and more efficient.

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

In this Bitwig Studio tutorial, I shared innovative EQ techniques and creative sound design processes. Here's a summary of the key points:

  1. EQ+ Visualizer and Tilt Setting: I demonstrated using the EQ+ with a visualizer and a tilt setting of 4.5 dB per octave to achieve a specific frequency slope. This differs from the commonly recommended 3 dB slope, providing a warmer sound. The tilt setting helps visualize and adjust the frequency distribution to match a desired curve, serving as a rough guide for mixing.

  2. Visual Overlay for EQ+: I introduced a method to create a visual overlay in EQ+ using a Loud Split device, which spectrally splits signals into loud, middle, and quiet parts. By applying a 4.5 dB per octave tilt to the loud parts, it creates a visual guide in EQ+ for frequencies that exceed a certain threshold, aiding in precise EQ adjustments.

  3. Creative EQ Techniques: I showed how to use the Loud Split device for dynamic EQ adjustments without a traditional EQ, by attenuating frequencies that exceed a threshold by 5-6 dB. This approach allows for targeted frequency reduction, similar to dynamic EQ or multiband compression tools.

  4. Kick Drum Design with Transient Split: I shared a technique for enhancing a kick drum's attack phase using a Hard Clip and a Transient Split device, focusing the clipping effect on the transient while leaving the tail clean. This process introduces some latency but is useful for designing punchier kick drums.

  5. Ambient Sound Design: I explained creating ambient textures using a Test Tone device generating pink noise, processed through a resonator and filtered to fit a specific scale. By utilizing a Loud Split device, FX grid, and various effects like reverbs and pitch shifters, I crafted evolving ambient pads and drones suitable for backgrounds or pad sounds.

These techniques highlight Bitwig Studio's flexibility for both mixing and creative sound design, emphasizing unconventional EQ methods and sound manipulation strategies for music production.

Questions & Answers

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

What is the main focus of this video?

The main focus of this video is to showcase some new knowledge and unconventional techniques for using Bitwig Studio, specifically in regards to EQing. The creator shares a track they made using these techniques and discusses frequency distribution and visualizing it through EQ settings.

How does the creator demonstrate using the EQ+ for frequency distribution?

The creator demonstrates using the EQ+ tool and a visualizer to check the frequency distribution in their track. They explain the concept of tilt settings, where they use a slope of 4.5 dB per octave instead of the commonly recommended 3 dB. They show how adjusting the EQ settings based on the visualizer can help achieve a more balanced frequency distribution.

What is the purpose of the visual overlay in the EQ+?

The purpose of the visual overlay in the EQ+ is to show when the frequency slope is being exceeded. The creator achieves this by using a loud split device and utilizing the top chain to capture the frequencies that go over the threshold. By overlaying this on the EQ+, it provides a visual guide for adjusting EQ settings in the appropriate frequency ranges.

What other techniques are discussed in the video?

In addition to the visual overlay technique, the video also discusses using the loud split itself for EQing. By reducing the frequencies that go over the slope by a certain amount, the creator demonstrates how to target specific frequencies for adjustment. They also showcase using a transient split device with a hard clip on a kick drum to emphasize the attack phase without affecting the tonal part. Finally, they demonstrate creating ambient and drone sounds using a test tone device, resonators, and various audio effects.


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 got a lot of love under my recent videos and a lot of praise and a lot of likes and comments.
[00:00:06] Thanks for that. It warms my heart and I want to continue to share some new knowledge around Bitwig Studio
[00:00:13] and some unusual ways of equing things. So here I made this track yesterday in around one hour.
[00:00:19] It sounds like this.
[00:00:28] And this is already well mixed and it's probably not the best example for this video.
[00:00:35] But let's say we want to check the frequency distribution of this, right?
[00:00:39] So we put an EQ+ on here and we have a visualizer in there.
[00:00:42] And we also have here the tilt setting on 4.5 dB per octave, which is some kind of frequency slope.
[00:00:48] Usually a lot of YouTubers recommend a 3 dB, which is pink noise.
[00:00:54] 0 dB is white noise, but I think 3 dB is way too cold and too clean.
[00:01:01] You probably want to use 4.5 dB per octave as a slope, right?
[00:01:05] And with this tilt setting, all the visuals in here are kind of tilted.
[00:01:10] So when you try and bring all the frequencies up to an equal height here in this visualizer,
[00:01:17] you roughly match this curve.
[00:01:19] Before someone jumps in and gets mad at me, this is only a rough guide.
[00:01:24] It's not like a challenge where you need to bring all the frequencies to this curve,
[00:01:29] to the slope and glue it to the slope.
[00:01:32] That's not a challenge. It's just a rough guide so you can see visually if you are right
[00:01:38] with the right in the right amounts, right in the right frequency ranges.
[00:01:44] So I thought, wouldn't it be great if you had actually some kind of visual overlay in the EQ+
[00:01:53] that shows you when you are exceeding this kind of slope.
[00:01:58] And I came up with this idea to use a loud split device.
[00:02:04] And this one splits the signal spectrally into three parts.
[00:02:08] Loud signals, middle-loud signals and quiet signals.
[00:02:11] So this is here mostly noise.
[00:02:16] And this is also how I imagine MP3 compression works.
[00:02:21] They take a certain threshold and remove all the content below this threshold in a spectral way.
[00:02:29] And this is also why it sounds like an MP3 sometimes.
[00:02:38] But here we want to use only the loud parts, so this kind of chain here at the top.
[00:02:44] And we want to use this line here or this threshold.
[00:02:49] And we want to use this tilt setting.
[00:02:51] I want to set this to 4.5 dB per octave because this is the same idea here.
[00:02:56] We change basically the analyzer and then we have the straight line.
[00:03:01] And you pull this straight line down and then everything that goes above this line
[00:03:06] is basically exceeding the tilt setting or the slope setting.
[00:03:11] And we put all these frequencies into the top chain.
[00:03:17] So now we use a tool device here in front of the EQ+ and we call this grab.
[00:03:26] We want to basically pull Bitwig into some kind of behavior because I think that's not possible normally.
[00:03:37] So yeah, we use the EQ+ here, go to reference in the inspector and just grab this tool device here.
[00:03:45] So now we have this overlay on the EQ+ but it's just the same curve.
[00:03:51] So we move this tool device into the FX box here of the loud split.
[00:03:58] And now we get an overlay inside of the EQ+ with only the frequency bins that go over this threshold,
[00:04:07] which is the same slope as here.
[00:04:10] So now you can see easily where we need to EQ stuff.
[00:04:13] So let's say here, the top end, we need the high shell filter and pull this down.
[00:04:19] And now the best part is that the overlay is actually going away when you EQ this here
[00:04:25] because the EQ output of this goes into the loud split and then it doesn't go over this threshold anymore.
[00:04:33] And then the overlay is basically gone here.
[00:04:36] It's going away.
[00:04:38] So here we need to EQ something.
[00:04:40] So you can use this as a visual guide where you need to place your EQ settings or EQ parameters
[00:04:47] and then EQ things until it sounds nice.
[00:04:52] And like I said, this introduces a bit of latency because of the loud split of 43 milliseconds.
[00:04:58] But when you are done with EQing here, you can just remove this and then the frequency or the latency is gone
[00:05:05] and the frequencies stay the same.
[00:05:08] Okay, so this is basically just a visual thing to use to make your life a bit easier inside of the EQ+.
[00:05:17] Another way of EQing things is actually to use the loud split itself without using the EQ.
[00:05:27] I showed you this already in a video.
[00:05:30] I think I already showed this multiple times.
[00:05:33] It's actually a great way of doing things.
[00:05:36] So here we have all the top frequencies.
[00:05:38] We have the 4.5 dB per octave slope.
[00:05:41] We get all the frequencies that peak above the slime.
[00:05:45] And now we just want to remove these frequencies.
[00:05:48] We don't want to remove them.
[00:05:49] We just want to tone them down nearby 5 dB or 6 dB.
[00:05:59] It's basically just a cool force or a DSEQ3 on soothe or whatever you want to call it.
[00:06:06] So you pull this down, you have a threshold, then you catch more and more frequencies
[00:06:10] and all these frequencies get reduced here by exactly minus 6 dB.
[00:06:14] But that's a problem.
[00:06:16] You don't want to reduce all the frequencies that go over the slime by the same amount.
[00:06:22] You don't want to reduce this frequency here by 6 dB and this frequency by 6 dB.
[00:06:27] So you can reduce maybe higher frequencies more than lower frequencies.
[00:06:31] So you can bring in the EQ+ here in the top part.
[00:06:35] Not the pro-eq3.
[00:06:37] I want to use the EQ+ this one here.
[00:06:42] And then you bring in a high shelf, pull this down.
[00:06:46] And now lower frequencies are not reduced and higher frequencies more.
[00:06:51] And then just pull this down.
[00:06:59] Then you catch more and more frequencies here and then you use this EQ+ to reduce these frequencies
[00:07:05] in different amounts just with this EQ here.
[00:07:09] So this is also a way of doing things.
[00:07:12] So with this you have only just basically one EQ point here.
[00:07:18] And the rest comes basically from this loud split.
[00:07:21] So this is an idea.
[00:07:24] Then let's use here an EQ.
[00:07:30] This is something I discovered yesterday or I tried to use yesterday.
[00:07:35] Let's bring in here a kick drum.
[00:07:43] So let's say I have this kick drum and I put here a hard clip on that because I really like the sound of the clipper.
[00:07:52] At a certain point it sounds like an hardcore techno drum.
[00:07:57] I usually don't want that. I do drum and bass.
[00:08:04] So I use here a transient split.
[00:08:09] And just put the hard clip on the transient. It's actually pretty nice to do.
[00:08:18] So now you get all the sweet clipping action only on the attack phase.
[00:08:23] And it amplifies this transient more.
[00:08:27] And it don't touch basically the tonal part here or this long tail of the kick drum and don't mess with the overtones there.
[00:08:37] So it's much better than having this hard clip here on the full range.
[00:08:58] But here the problem is this transient split it uses a lot of latency 112 milliseconds.
[00:09:04] So it's maybe only interesting for you if you want to sample this kick drum then.
[00:09:10] But I think it's actually a great way of designing the kick drum and emphasizing the attack and messing with the attack phase and then just leaving the tail untouched.
[00:09:23] So that's that.
[00:09:25] At the end I also want to make a bit of music because this is also a music channel.
[00:09:33] And sometimes you want to do let's say ambient or some drone sounds, some backdrops, some nice little droney sounds in the background or maybe one design some some pad sounds.
[00:09:44] And how you do this? Well, you actually use a test tone device which also gives you here pink noise.
[00:09:58] Okay, on this pink noise we actually put a resonator and I use here my trick from the recent video I made.
[00:10:09] So in here we use a cell and key filter.
[00:10:14] Put this on.
[00:10:18] Center frequency.
[00:10:19] We don't need that.
[00:10:20] We use a band pass.
[00:10:22] And we use here a value.
[00:10:26] And the quantizer because we want to quantize to a scale.
[00:10:31] The scale is the sharp minor of course.
[00:10:34] Go in here.
[00:10:36] And then we use FX grid here and the voice stacking 16 voices.
[00:10:42] Use the stack spread and then spread out the frequencies here.
[00:10:49] Maybe use an EQ here at the end.
[00:10:52] And then bring this in, bring the resonance up.
[00:11:05] Maybe bring us down an octave.
[00:11:16] Right, so this is just noise into a resonator and the resonator here plays basically our scale.
[00:11:30] Let's focus on this range.
[00:11:34] That's maybe better.
[00:11:37] Something like this.
[00:11:39] Okay, so now that we have this we can use actually here a loud split device again.
[00:11:50] And we do the same thing.
[00:11:51] We just use the top loud part here.
[00:11:54] Bring in the noise.
[00:11:59] Go here to 5.
[00:12:12] And with the tilt setting you can change which kind of frequencies you are focusing on.
[00:12:16] More on the low end, more on the high end.
[00:12:23] Okay, then we go into peak limiter.
[00:12:26] Bring up the volume.
[00:12:31] Can play around with the full time.
[00:12:34] And all these bins, these sine waves are actually in the scale.
[00:12:40] So we maybe use super massive on that.
[00:12:48] And on that we use a tool called ball stretch.
[00:12:54] So you don't need to use "valhalla" here.
[00:12:56] I like to use it but you can also use a Bitwig internal reverb.
[00:13:02] You also don't need to use a ball stretch.
[00:13:04] You can also sample then this to an audio file and then use the sampler and the stretch modes inside of the sampler.
[00:13:12] But here I just used the stretch plug in.
[00:13:16] So we can sample this here.
[00:13:19] While we are recording we can play around.
[00:13:33] Or maybe it's better when I just focus on the root note here, on the 5th and the 4th.
[00:13:58] Okay, so with this recording then we can put some playback.
[00:14:12] Spread it a bit more.
[00:14:14] Maybe pitch shift it down one octave.
[00:14:24] Then we have this kind of droney sound.
[00:14:28] Put this here into an affix layer and use another ball stretch.
[00:14:36] Here we record the other kind of notes from the scale.
[00:14:52] Same thing here, bit of stretch.
[00:15:20] And because everything has different lengths in terms of recording and stretch size you get kind of polyrhythmic ambient loops with this.
[00:15:44] Let's switch this down a little by 12.
[00:16:08] And maybe on top of that there are all the notes here.
[00:16:31] Then you can sample this, put this in a sampler or maybe use it as a backdrop on ambient track or a pad sound for the sampler.
[00:16:50] Maybe let's modulate this.
[00:17:20] This is basically just an ambient tune with a test tone device and a bit of band pass filtering.
[00:17:30] This is what I did the last series days and I think that's it for this video.
[00:17:38] If you like the video leave a like and subscribe to the channel.
[00:17:44] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. Bye!
[00:17:52] [Music]
[00:18:16] [Music]