Tags: posts polarity-music Ambient Bitwig Sampling Triton Tutorial Note-Grid

Complex Ambient Sequences but easy and simple in Bitwig

Tutorial | Mar 01, 2024

In this video, I demonstrate a workflow for creating complex patterns and ambient songs using the Trident synthesizer. By sampling different presets from the bell and mallet category, slicing them, and renaming the files, I can load them into a sampler to create a unique and dynamic sound. This method allows for easy experimentation and can be applied to various genres, from ambient to percussion.

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In this video, I shared a workflow for creating complex patterns or ambient tracks using a simple sampling technique. Here's a summary of the key points:

  1. Synthesizer Selection: I used the Trident synthesizer for its variety of presets suitable for ambient sounds. However, any synthesizer or sound source, including hardware or sample libraries, can be used, emphasizing the need for tonal sounds.

  2. Sampling Process: I focused on sampling single notes from the bell and mallet category in Trident but highlighted that any category could be used. The process involves recording each preset note into an audio track, ensuring enough space is left for the note to decay.

  3. Editing and Slicing Samples: After recording, I sliced the audio into individual samples based on a grid, normalized them, and renamed them for organization.

  4. Sampler Setup: I loaded the samples into a sampler, distributed them across different velocities, and demonstrated how to play them with varying intensity to trigger different samples.

  5. Note Generation and Modulation: I created a note grid in Bitwig to automate note generation, using various modules to randomize velocity (thereby selecting different samples) and pitch. Voice stacking and modulation techniques were used to add depth and complexity to the generated patterns.

  6. Final Touches: I applied effects like reverb and adjusted settings like attack time and velocity sensitivity to refine the sound. The process can be repeated with different sample sets for varied textures.

  7. Application: This technique is versatile, suitable for creating ambient backdrops, percussion patterns, pads, lead sounds, and even bass lines. It allows for the generation of rich, complex sounds with minimal modulation.

  8. Workflow Efficiency: While the initial sampling might be time-consuming, it's a one-time effort. Once a library of samples is created, it can be reused in various projects to quickly generate complex and interesting sounds.

I encouraged viewers to share their simple but effective workflows and highlighted the importance of experimenting with different sound sources and settings to achieve unique results.

Questions & Answers

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

How can I create complex patterns or ambient songs using a simple workflow?

To create complex patterns or ambient songs, you can use the Trident synthesizer or any other synthesizer that provides tonal sounds. Randomize the presets and sample the desired sound, then slice the audio track into one-bar sections. Next, rename and organize the samples, and load them into a sampler. Use a note grid and randomize the velocities to trigger different samples and create complex patterns or ambient sounds.

Can I use this workflow for percussion or other types of sounds?

Yes, this workflow can be used for percussion or any other type of sound. For percussion sounds, you might need to use different settings or apply a pitch correction or resonator. The process is similar, where you sample the desired sounds, organize them in a sampler, and trigger them with different velocities to create unique and complex percussion patterns or sequences.

Do I need to do the initial sampling step every time?

No, the initial sampling step is only necessary to gather samples from the presets, and you can do it once per category. After that, you will have a collection of samples that you can use without repeating the process. This allows you to quickly access and use the samples in future projects without the need for additional sampling.

What are some other ways to use this workflow?

Aside from creating complex patterns or ambient sounds, you can also use this workflow for pads, lead sounds, bass sounds, or any other type of sound you want to create. By manipulating the samples and adding effects, you can create a wide range of sounds and textures. Additionally, you can combine the sampled sounds with other synthesizers, drums, or basslines to create more intricate and layered compositions.


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] Okay, so in this video, I want to show you another quick idea or workflow for creating
[00:00:05] highly complex patterns or ambient songs or backdrops or sequences or whatever.
[00:00:12] It's actually useful for kind of everything from base patterns to ambient patterns to
[00:00:19] percussion and so on.
[00:00:22] The workflow is always the same.
[00:00:23] It's pretty straightforward.
[00:00:25] It's very simple.
[00:00:26] It's kind of like the last video where I showed you how to use Trident and Paul Stretch and
[00:00:33] then layer it up and you get a super complex backdrop with this.
[00:00:39] Today it's kind of similar.
[00:00:41] And before I start, I want to encourage you to write down your favorite workflows in the
[00:00:45] comments down below.
[00:00:46] Or go to simple workflow or progress to create interesting things in just simple ways.
[00:00:57] So today I want to take here again Trident synthesizer in the dry version.
[00:01:07] And I use this one because it does a lot of presets that sound kind of nice and are nice
[00:01:11] for ambient and so on.
[00:01:15] And you can use anything.
[00:01:17] You can use M1 or wave station.
[00:01:19] You can use external synthesizers.
[00:01:20] You can use your Eurorack.
[00:01:22] You can use hardware synthesizers.
[00:01:24] You can use some sample libraries and put the resonator on it and use that.
[00:01:29] It doesn't matter.
[00:01:32] It's important that if you want to use it for ambient, you need tonal sounds, at least
[00:01:37] some tonality in there.
[00:01:39] So I'm going here for the bell and mallet category.
[00:01:42] You can choose anything else.
[00:01:43] I just use this because I recently sampled to the keyboard category.
[00:01:48] So I want to sample bell and mallet.
[00:01:51] And you can randomize the preset inside of the clock Trident.
[00:01:56] Also not with Bitwig from the outside.
[00:01:59] But what you can do is you can lock this category here with this button.
[00:02:04] And now these up and down buttons here skip you through the presets inside of this category,
[00:02:10] this bell mallet category.
[00:02:11] We start with the first one.
[00:02:20] You get a different sound each time on each preset.
[00:02:24] Pretty straightforward.
[00:02:25] So we lay down here one key, C3.
[00:02:32] That's what we want to sample.
[00:02:35] And of course a bit longer.
[00:02:37] And we leave a bit of room, wiggle room here at the end, right?
[00:02:40] Because we want to sample this and there's probably some decay on some presets.
[00:02:45] So we have here a bit of room for letting the sound decay out.
[00:02:50] And then we create an audio track.
[00:02:53] And as an input, we selected the output of the Trident post.
[00:02:57] We want to sample basically the output of this channel here.
[00:03:02] So now we hit record and hit play here, actually.
[00:03:09] So what I'm doing is basically I hit record.
[00:03:12] And then as soon as this note is finished, I switch it to the next one.
[00:03:16] It's a bit tedious and maybe a bit time consuming workflow.
[00:03:22] But you only need to do it once for a category.
[00:03:27] And you don't need to do it every time because then at some point you have a few directories
[00:03:32] with a lot of random sounds in a specific key.
[00:03:42] That's all I'm doing.
[00:03:44] Just press down, down, down.
[00:03:50] It's also not super important that the sound is completely finished when it rings out because
[00:03:58] it will process the sounds anyway after the recording is done.
[00:04:13] If you use maybe other plug-ins, not Trident, then you probably have a different workflow
[00:04:17] for switching the presets.
[00:04:20] Sometimes you have to click manually inside of the preset list.
[00:04:25] There's a randomized button, which is nice.
[00:04:28] But then you sometimes also skip out of the category and you choose instead of a synth,
[00:04:33] you choose a percussion preset, which is not good.
[00:04:41] And if you want to, let's say, sample your Eurorack, you probably want to put some kind
[00:04:48] of pitch map on that, so pitch correct, everything.
[00:04:52] Or you can maybe also use a resonator for percussion sounds to make it more tonal.
[00:05:00] And sample this then.
[00:05:13] Just a few more.
[00:05:21] And then we have a bunch of samples here in this audio track.
[00:05:45] We can get rid of the Trident here.
[00:05:46] We don't need it anymore.
[00:05:48] And now we want to slice this up.
[00:05:54] So we go here for exactly grid size of one bar.
[00:06:01] You can see now there's a line on each bar.
[00:06:05] And because now we can select here this knife tool.
[00:06:12] And then all we have to do is hold down Alt all the time.
[00:06:16] We hold down the mouse button and then we just drag this over this audio file and we
[00:06:22] slice exactly at one bar.
[00:06:27] And because our clip is exactly one bar long, we basically get one sound in each box or
[00:06:37] in each clip.
[00:06:38] Okay, so now we have different things here, different audio events.
[00:06:42] We can right click and say normalize.
[00:06:46] So now each audio event audio clip is normalized.
[00:06:50] Bam.
[00:06:51] This one here, there's something wrong with the.
[00:06:58] Yeah, okay.
[00:07:00] So now that we have this, we select everything and we give it a name.
[00:07:05] And I already selected a sample to something.
[00:07:08] I tried in here also the keyboards and I want to use the same name naming convention.
[00:07:16] But here it's instead of keyboards, it's bells and I want to get rid of the number
[00:07:23] at the end and just leave your one dash.
[00:07:28] And then I want to select everything, bounce postfader note that are okay.
[00:07:36] Okay, so now you can see here each clip gets a different name bells one C three, which
[00:07:45] is important for the sample to have the C three in here, then bounce at the end and
[00:07:51] then a number.
[00:07:53] So now we can go here to the project panel and then the files and then of all the files
[00:07:59] we just created here in the second audio thing in here as a file, right?
[00:08:05] So we go to the directory here and create a new one.
[00:08:11] Let's call this bells.
[00:08:15] Select everything here.
[00:08:17] All shift.
[00:08:19] Track this over.
[00:08:21] And here we can right click and say power rename.
[00:08:24] The power name, I want to rename all these file names here and want to get rid of this
[00:08:29] bounce, right?
[00:08:30] Say a dash, bounce, dash, then replace it with nothing.
[00:08:35] So you can see your renamed it looks like this.
[00:08:38] We have sample minus and then a number going up to exactly what you want and not this ugly
[00:08:45] bounce in here.
[00:08:47] Name it.
[00:08:48] Bam.
[00:08:49] So now we can get rid of all the tracks.
[00:08:54] And now we need the sampler.
[00:08:58] So we track this here, take all these samples and drag these into the sampler.
[00:09:06] In the sampler, we can right click and can say distribute velocity equally.
[00:09:12] And you can also go for select if you want to use here the select knob to change between
[00:09:17] the samples.
[00:09:18] That's also a way of doing it.
[00:09:20] But I want to use your velocity.
[00:09:22] So now we have basically all samples on each key on the keyword, but only separated by
[00:09:28] velocity.
[00:09:31] And I can basically play each sample on each key on each key, just using different velocity
[00:09:40] settings.
[00:09:41] And I press this pretty hard.
[00:09:43] I get, of course, here the one that press soft.
[00:09:49] I get the lower samples.
[00:09:53] Nice.
[00:09:57] So now that we have this, we can go down here, maybe in the speed to 85 VPM.
[00:10:03] And we want to generate some notes.
[00:10:06] A note grid.
[00:10:10] And like I said, you don't need to do this first step all the time.
[00:10:14] It's just to gather some samples.
[00:10:17] And if you have a few directories with some samples in it, you don't need to do this step
[00:10:21] at all.
[00:10:22] I just want to show you this, that you can, how we can do it inside of Bitwig.
[00:10:28] So here in this note grid, we want to generate some notes.
[00:10:31] So I go for a transport.
[00:10:33] I go for triggers module here.
[00:10:39] I get the face signal, switch this off, go to one.
[00:10:43] This one will trigger here the notes.
[00:10:45] Then I want to go for a dice.
[00:10:48] Because each time we trigger a note, we want to generate a new or random value and we use
[00:10:52] this value for the velocity.
[00:10:54] So you have a different velocity, which means we have a different sample on each note.
[00:11:01] Then we use a value here and a quantize.
[00:11:07] And you go for D sharp minor.
[00:11:09] Oh, surprising.
[00:11:12] Go in there.
[00:11:14] We use a sample and hold here for that.
[00:11:18] Yeah, this.
[00:11:19] So we trigger this.
[00:11:20] Okay.
[00:11:21] So now that we have this, we probably want to use stack spreading.
[00:11:28] Spread and we use here voice stacking 16 voices.
[00:11:35] And now we can trigger this here.
[00:11:40] Okay.
[00:11:45] So we go here for value.
[00:11:51] And we change basically for each voice, we change the pitch and we change the length of
[00:11:57] the pattern.
[00:11:58] There you go to four.
[00:12:11] Nice.
[00:12:15] Put your eclimate at the end.
[00:12:19] Just for safety.
[00:12:22] Okay, make the release longer here.
[00:12:29] You can maybe use a band pass here.
[00:12:37] Key tracking is on.
[00:12:40] So now because we are randomizing basically the velocity, we're not only changing only
[00:12:46] the sample because of the velocity.
[00:12:48] We are also changing the loudness so we can change this here with the velocity sensitivity.
[00:12:54] So when we pull this down, it basically have maximum velocity for each key, but we can
[00:13:00] also dial it slowly a bit in.
[00:13:03] So we have a different velocity also different loudness for each key.
[00:13:09] So the distance is not that big between the loudest and the widest.
[00:13:22] And the more you add your value or the more you add a modulation amount to this value
[00:13:26] here, the more higher pitches or notes you get.
[00:13:32] And sometimes it's too high.
[00:13:33] Or maybe want to stick to one octave.
[00:13:40] Let's go for some odd values here.
[00:13:48] You get some, yeah, in between notes, not really on the grid so you can use a quantize
[00:13:54] here.
[00:13:59] And put this on a 16 note grid just to make sure.
[00:14:18] And you put some reverb on that.
[00:14:20] Evolution maybe.
[00:14:42] We get a different tonality for each note and it sounds very complex because you get
[00:14:47] a different preset or different key and sometimes two keys at the same time.
[00:14:55] But it's actually not that complex.
[00:14:56] Just a bunch of samples.
[00:14:59] 60 samples also.
[00:15:02] It makes it sound highly complex without using that much modulation.
[00:15:07] Okay.
[00:15:08] So now that we have this, we can use another sampler here.
[00:15:18] And this one you can do the same thing.
[00:15:20] But this time I go here for the keyboard category.
[00:15:25] Put this in there.
[00:15:31] And if you use here the same note grid maybe, the quantizer.
[00:15:38] Maybe a bit too loud.
[00:15:42] And here we want to go down.
[00:15:44] Or actually I have to define here everything first.
[00:15:49] Right click.
[00:15:50] Velocity, equally.
[00:15:52] C3 is correct.
[00:15:57] Yeah.
[00:16:00] And here with this one we want to go down maybe one octave.
[00:16:10] Yeah.
[00:16:14] Here's a super massive.
[00:16:29] Yeah.
[00:16:39] So you can combine different sample sessions.
[00:16:50] Maybe it's a bit too much here.
[00:17:00] And we can also say here with the randomizer.
[00:17:07] We want to trigger this on a note and you want to put it on hold.
[00:17:13] And we want to change the attack time here for each note differently.
[00:17:21] Nice.
[00:17:23] And also maybe here.
[00:17:32] Hold.
[00:17:55] And it's lower.
[00:18:13] Yeah and you can create basically nice atmospherics with this.
[00:18:18] Maybe you can sample this again and then cut out the best parts.
[00:18:21] Or maybe just let this run in the background and place something on top with a synthesizer.
[00:18:28] Or add some drums to it, a bass line or whatever you want to do.
[00:18:33] And it's basically a quick way with just using a bunch of samples inside of the sampler to
[00:18:38] create rich atmospherics, interesting sequences.
[00:18:43] Like I said this is also nice for percussion.
[00:18:47] Maybe you have to use some different settings here.
[00:18:50] But I do this sometimes with percussion or with percussion through a resonator to get
[00:18:55] some tonality out of this.
[00:18:59] Also for pads, for lead sounds and sometimes bass sounds.
[00:19:06] It's also nice.
[00:19:08] And then you know sample the best parts and you get something to work with.
[00:19:13] So this is one of my workflows I really like.
[00:19:16] It's straightforward.
[00:19:17] It's pretty simple to get.
[00:19:19] It's maybe a bit tedious to sample all the individual samples from some synthesizers.
[00:19:25] But like I said you need to maybe do it once or twice.
[00:19:29] And yeah you have then a bunch of samples already on the hard drive.
[00:19:33] Every time you need something you can grab it.
[00:19:36] So like I said let me know in the comments what your kind of favorite workflows are to
[00:19:43] create these things in a simple way.
[00:19:47] And like the video if you like it.
[00:19:49] Subscribe to the channel and I'll see you in the next video.
[00:19:52] Thanks for watching and bye.
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