Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Bitwig-5.1.2 Grains Preset Tutorial Patreon

Grainspacer - Good and Simple Grain Cloud Audio FX in Bitwig

Tutorial | Mar 04, 2024

In this video, I showcase my simple and highly efficient grain preset in Bitwig. By utilizing multiple recorders and adjusting recording length and spread, the preset allows for unique and diverse sounds. With the ability to manipulate play position, volume shape, playback spread, and more, this preset offers a versatile and creative tool for experimentation and sound design.

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

In this video, I showcase a highly efficient and sonically pleasing grain preset I've developed for Bitwig, emphasizing its simplicity, sound quality, and low CPU usage. Here's a quick summary of the key points:

  1. Recording Process:

    • Utilizes multiple recorder modules to capture different segments of a sequence at various points in time, achieved by adjusting the recording length to vary the delay time of the record trigger.
    • Enhancing complexity and texture by distributing recordings across 16 voice stacks, each with slightly varied timing, creating a more layered and diffuse sound.
  2. Playback Features:

    • Offers control over playback position, allowing movement through the sequence from beginning to end.
    • Includes options for modulating playback position with a random modulator, and adjusting the position spread to play multiple recorders simultaneously, creating a fuller sound.
    • Play shape and playback shift options for further sound sculpting, with the ability to spread playback dots for a more reverb-like effect and pan recorders for stereo width.
  3. Creative Applications:

    • Describes using this preset as an alternative to plugins like Paul Stretch for creating drones or ambient textures, emphasizing the fun and practice benefits of designing such devices within Bitwig.
    • Suggests potential for incorporating the preset within a reverb or delay setup, or manipulating it with random triggers and modulators for varied effects.
  4. Accessibility and Experimentation:

    • The preset is made available for download to premium subscribers on my Patreon, encouraging viewers to experiment and modify the setup to explore Bitwig's capabilities further.

This video not only demonstrates the creation of a versatile grain preset in Bitwig but also encourages experimentation and learning through practical application, making it an invaluable resource for both novice and experienced producers interested in exploring granular synthesis and sound design within Bitwig.

Questions & Answers

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

How does the grain preset work?

The grain preset uses multiple recorders to capture a sequence in different points in time. The recording length and spread can be adjusted to determine when and how the sequence is recorded. The playback section allows for changing the play position and shaping the volume of each grain.

What are the advantages of using this grain preset?

This grain preset is simple, CPU friendly, and produces high-quality sound. It allows for creating diffused and cloudy sounds by spreading the sequence over different voice stacks with slightly different timings. The playback spread and volume shaping options provide further control and versatility.

How can I customize and experiment with the grain preset?

The grain preset can be customized by adjusting parameters such as record spread, playback shift, playback spread, and widespread. These adjustments can be made manually or modulated using random modulators or MIDI triggers. The preset can be used as a standalone drone or integrated into other effects like reverb and delay.

Where can I access the grain preset?

The grain preset is available for download on the creator's Patreon page for premium subscribers. The preset can also be recreated from the video as all components and parameters are shown on the screen. No hidden pre or post effects are used, keeping it simple and accessible for users.


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 made a lot of different grain presets over the years, but I think this one here is the
[00:00:04] most simplest and also best sounding and probably also most CPU friendly preset so far.
[00:00:13] And I want to show you in this video how it works, how it sounds and yeah, kind of gives
[00:00:19] you a quick rundown.
[00:00:21] So we have your multiple recorders and we record the sequence basically into multiple recorder
[00:00:27] modules here from the beginning to the end of the sequence.
[00:00:32] And we can change the recording length and what this does is basically it changes the
[00:00:38] delay time here for the record trigger.
[00:00:41] So when we pull this up here and hit record, you can see it starts by recording the first
[00:00:46] then here, then here, then here, then here, here, here and then the last one.
[00:00:51] So it delays basically the recording trigger so we can record different points in time
[00:00:57] throughout the sequence.
[00:00:59] So what I do now here is I place something on the keyboard and hit record.
[00:01:12] Okay, so each recorder now recorded in different points in time and we can now hit playback
[00:01:19] here.
[00:01:24] And because we have this spread out here or the sequence spread out over different recorders,
[00:01:30] we can change the play position.
[00:01:33] Right, so all the way up is basically only using the last two recorders and which is
[00:01:47] kind of the end of the sequence or the beginning of the sequence, right?
[00:01:51] And we can move through these different recordings.
[00:02:00] So this is cool.
[00:02:02] But then I thought it would be better if we actually spread this out over different voice
[00:02:07] stacks and have different, slightly different timings on each voice stack.
[00:02:12] So we can do this here with record spread, right?
[00:02:15] We pull this up and now every recorder has a different, slightly different timing like
[00:02:21] before.
[00:02:22] But now also on top of that, on each 16 voice stacks, we have different delay timings for
[00:02:28] each of these recorders.
[00:02:29] This looks like this.
[00:02:37] You can see it records different on different voice stacks differently.
[00:02:46] Okay.
[00:02:53] Now it sounds more cloudy.
[00:02:55] It's more diffused in a way.
[00:03:02] So this is basically the whole recording process, right?
[00:03:05] Record, recording length and recording spread.
[00:03:08] If you pull this up, you have more influence over when you want to record something in
[00:03:13] your sequence.
[00:03:15] Then we have here the play section.
[00:03:17] We can change the play position, right?
[00:03:19] As you can see here.
[00:03:21] So we can go to the beginning of the sequence or to the end of the sequence.
[00:03:26] You can also modulate this here, maybe the random modulator later on here.
[00:03:30] I have already here some kind of random modulator attached.
[00:03:34] We can do it like this.
[00:03:37] And then move slowly through the positions here.
[00:03:49] So this is possible.
[00:03:51] We can also increase the position spread here, which means we instead of having a position
[00:03:56] here going back and forth, we kind of play everything at once.
[00:04:01] You can see here we select multiple recorders at the same time.
[00:04:08] So now the position is not that important anymore because we just play everything.
[00:04:16] So this is the playback portion here.
[00:04:18] Then we have to play shape, which is kind of a volume shape where we have more like a
[00:04:23] steep attack into release for the volume shape for each grain or more like a slow attack
[00:04:30] and slow release.
[00:04:42] And we can also spread this out.
[00:04:43] We have different shapes on different voice decks.
[00:04:48] Then we have the playback shift here.
[00:04:55] So we can change triggering of the recorders or when the playback is triggered, but I usually
[00:05:00] just leave this here at zero.
[00:05:02] And then we can change the playback spread.
[00:05:07] So now you can see here the playback dots are spread out more evenly.
[00:05:11] So we have like, you fill in the gaps basically and you create more like a reverb out of this.
[00:05:26] And then we have widespread here, which basically pans each of these recorders to a different
[00:05:39] side, left or right.
[00:05:53] And then if you want to, you can just record once and then play it back or you trigger
[00:05:58] this multiple times with maybe a random modulator or some random MIDI triggers.
[00:06:05] I don't know.
[00:06:42] So the good thing about these recorders in Bitwig is basically they keep their
[00:06:47] buffer until it's overwritten with something new.
[00:06:51] So you can hit record while you still record delayed things in here, right?
[00:06:59] You can record new things into these early recorders here
[00:07:03] and all recorders are still playing so you can hit this multiple times here
[00:07:07] and then get some different results.
[00:07:10] [soft music playing]
[00:07:34] So this is maybe great if you don't want to use Paul Stretch or VST devices
[00:07:39] and you want to keep it minimal and you want to use only Bitwig devices.
[00:07:44] And for me it's more or less like practice.
[00:07:48] So I have fun creating these devices so it's not like you need to do this in Bitwig.
[00:07:54] It's just for me it's fun and for you it's maybe something you can play around with
[00:07:58] and have some fun with that.
[00:08:00] And it's also great practice and also testing if you can do it in Bitwig, right?
[00:08:07] So like I said you can just record your stuff and then have it more like a drone in the background
[00:08:14] or you can use this whole preset inside of a reverb or maybe inside of a delay
[00:08:20] and you can maybe just randomly trigger the record, randomly trigger play
[00:08:25] or change these shapes with some random modulators here.
[00:08:29] So there are all kinds of different things you can do with this
[00:08:32] and you can fairly rebuild this here also from my screen.
[00:08:38] So if you want to rebuild it, if you don't want to rebuild it
[00:08:41] I put this on my Patreon for all premium subscribers
[00:08:45] so you can download this and can play around with that.
[00:08:48] I think it's kind of a nice device for just a Bitwig device.
[00:08:55] Maybe I go off to different...
[00:09:02] Let's record your normal piano.
[00:09:42] Or maybe use a very short recording length here on short spread and see how this sounds.
[00:09:56] You can also play around with a transport length that's not linked here to some macros.
[00:10:02] But everything you change here will also change the volume fades and the triggers and so on.
[00:10:21] Let's record again.
[00:10:40] Okay, let's put this up here again.
[00:11:32] So yeah, it's a lot of fun to play around with this.
[00:11:35] You can maybe also learn how the grid works with this by just dissecting this or maybe extend it if you want to.
[00:11:43] I am not mad about this.
[00:11:46] So yeah, this is on my Patreon.
[00:11:48] Link is in the description below.
[00:11:49] If you want to rebuild it, it's all you need.
[00:11:51] It's on the screen.
[00:11:52] There's nothing hidden.
[00:11:54] There's no pre-FX, no post-FX.
[00:11:57] It's just in here.
[00:11:58] I maybe only used here voice stacking basically to spread out some parameters here.
[00:12:04] The offset and the shift here with this one.
[00:12:07] And with this one, I changed the offset for the logic delay here, which changes basically the recording offset or recording delay.
[00:12:17] Okay, that's it.
[00:12:18] If you like the video,
[00:12:20] then like it, I guess.
[00:12:23] Subscribe to the channel and hit me up with the questions in the comments.
[00:12:29] And thanks for watching.
[00:12:31] See you in the next video.
[00:12:32] Bye.