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Shapertable in Bitwig - Wavetable Distortion

Tutorial | Mar 21, 2024

In this video, I found a distortion device on Reddit that allows me to load in a wave table and create different distortions by morphing through it. By using a high pass filter, I can eliminate the DC offset and achieve better results. Additionally, instead of using wave tables, I can also use multiple transfer curves, merge them, and blend between them for different distortion effects.

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

In this tutorial, I explored a unique approach to creating distortion effects in Bitwig by utilizing wave tables instead of traditional transfer curves. Here's a summary of the key points:

  1. Introduction to a Distortion Device Using Wave Tables:

    • Instead of adjusting a transfer curve, I demonstrated loading a wave table to morph through and create various distortion effects. This includes features like a DC filter, drive, and mix knob.
  2. Setup in Bitwig:

    • I used Bitwig's Polymer synthesizer with a sine wave and an FX grid. Inside the FX grid, I added a wave table oscillator and manipulated its phase to control the cycle's position, aiming for a unique distortion effect.
  3. Implementing a DC Filter:

    • Due to wave tables not being designed for transfer curves (which usually require the waveform to cross the zero point), I encountered issues like DC offset. To resolve this, I introduced a high-pass filter as a DC filter to eliminate low-frequency bias, ensuring the signal centers around the zero line.
  4. Creating Distortion:

    • By adjusting the setup, I could create various distortion effects. The flexibility of using wave tables allows for more complex and diverse distortions compared to a single static transfer curve.
  5. Alternative Method with Transfer Curves:

    • For those not inclined to use wave tables, I showed how to achieve a similar effect by merging multiple transfer curves and blending between them. This method also allows for creative distortion effects but through a different workflow.
  6. Conclusion and Application:

    • The tutorial concludes with demonstrating the practical application of these techniques to create new and unique distortion effects, highlighting the versatility and creative potential within Bitwig's environment.

This approach offers a fresh perspective on designing distortion effects, showcasing the flexibility of Bitwig's modulation capabilities and the creative possibilities when combining synthesis techniques.

Questions & Answers

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

What is the distortion device being discussed in the video?

The distortion device being discussed in the video is a waveform morphing distortion device that allows users to load in a wave table and morph through it to create different types of distortions. It features a DC filter, drive, mix knob, and other controls.

How is the distortion device implemented in Bitwig?

In Bitwig, the distortion device is implemented using a polymer synthesizer and the FX grid. Inside the FX grid, a wave table oscillator is used with a zero to one switch. The phase in signal is utilized to change the position inside the cycle, and an audio in is used at 100% to enable wave table distortion.

Why is a DC filter necessary when using wave tables?

A DC filter is necessary when using wave tables because wave tables are not typically designed for transfer curves, which require the middle to be on the zero crossing. By implementing a high pass filter as a DC filter, the DC offset can be eliminated and the signal can be brought closer to the zero line.

Can other methods of distortion be used in place of wave tables?

Yes, other methods of distortion can be used in place of wave tables. It is possible to use a series of transfer curves, merge them, and then blend or morph between them to achieve different types of distortion. This allows for flexibility in creating unique and customizable distortion 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] Okay, so today on Reddit I found this post here.
[00:00:03] Okay, well, let me just do it.
[00:00:04] And then here the shape of table by a kilohertz.
[00:00:07] And this is some kind of distortion device,
[00:00:09] but instead of editing the transfer curve,
[00:00:12] you can load in a wave table
[00:00:13] and then morph through the wave table
[00:00:15] and create different kinds of distortions with this.
[00:00:19] There's also DC filter here in a drive,
[00:00:21] mix knob and so on.
[00:00:23] So yeah, inside of Bitwig,
[00:00:25] I just use here a polymer synthesizer
[00:00:28] and the sign.
[00:00:30] Sign in there.
[00:00:33] And then we use here an FX grid.
[00:00:35] And inside of the FX grid,
[00:00:41] we use just a wave table oscillator.
[00:00:44] And we switched here to zero to one.
[00:00:48] And when we switch this to zero,
[00:00:50] we basically don't use the internal phase signal
[00:00:53] to change the position inside of the cycle here.
[00:00:57] We have to use the phase in, right?
[00:00:59] And we use here the audio in.
[00:01:01] We go to 100%.
[00:01:04] Also go into an oscilloscope here and pitch.
[00:01:08] So let's try this out.
[00:01:10] Again, see here, it's actually down here.
[00:01:14] If I switch here to retriggering on,
[00:01:18] then we have the right signal.
[00:01:20] But you sometimes end up here
[00:01:27] with the DC offset because these kind of wave tables
[00:01:31] are not really made for transfer curves.
[00:01:34] For transfer curves, you need to have the middle
[00:01:37] exactly on the zero crossing most of the times.
[00:01:40] So here you end up basically at some point,
[00:01:44] somewhere in the wave table.
[00:01:46] So that's why we need to implement some kind of
[00:01:48] a DC filter.
[00:01:51] So I'm just using a high pass filter
[00:01:54] because this is just a very low frequency.
[00:01:56] It's just not on zero.
[00:01:58] And it's basically a super deep bass,
[00:02:03] if you want to call it this way.
[00:02:06] So we just implement here a high pass
[00:02:09] and you can go as low as it can get here on this one.
[00:02:14] And then you land basically on the zero line
[00:02:16] with this DC filter.
[00:02:18] So we can call this here DC filter.
[00:02:22] (upbeat music)
[00:02:25] And then we can go out here.
[00:02:28] (upbeat music)
[00:02:30] And then create distortions this way.
[00:02:35] You can also just load here maybe something more complex.
[00:02:39] I don't know, something like this.
[00:02:42] (upbeat music)
[00:02:44] (upbeat music)
[00:02:47] And you have basically a new distortion device.
[00:02:58] (upbeat music)
[00:03:04] So it's basically the same as using this transfer curve here.
[00:03:13] But with the transfer curve,
[00:03:14] you just have one kind of transfer curve
[00:03:17] and you can't morph between certain transfer curves.
[00:03:22] You can do something like this, right?
[00:03:24] Move both of these and then use a merge.
[00:03:28] Go in there and use, let's say, a value.
[00:03:34] And then load in here some different ones.
[00:03:41] (upbeat music)
[00:03:44] Maybe this one.
[00:03:48] Then you go into that, to here, then here.
[00:03:53] Okay, it's kind of works the same.
[00:03:56] (upbeat music)
[00:03:59] I'll put this over here.
[00:04:04] (upbeat music)
[00:04:06] (upbeat music)
[00:04:09] That's evil.
[00:04:17] (upbeat music)
[00:04:21] And if you want to,
[00:04:24] you can also use multiple of these, right?
[00:04:26] Wait.
[00:04:29] So if you don't want to use wave tables,
[00:04:31] you can also use just a bunch of transfer curves
[00:04:33] to then merge and then morph or blend between these.
[00:04:37] We have soft clip here.
[00:04:41] (upbeat music)
[00:04:45] And then drive would be maybe just implement here,
[00:04:57] amplify the beginning.
[00:04:59] (upbeat music)
[00:05:03] (upbeat music)
[00:05:05] Yeah.
[00:05:16] So if you don't want to use the wave table
[00:05:18] and modulate the face in the wave table,
[00:05:20] you can also use transfer curves here
[00:05:22] and just merge it with the merge module
[00:05:25] and then use value and blend between these transfer curves.
[00:05:30] It's also possible.
[00:05:31] So this is how I would implement it.
[00:05:33] So I hope your question is answered.
[00:05:37] Thanks for watching.
[00:05:39] Leave a like.
[00:05:40] See you next time.
[00:05:41] Bye.