Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Tutorial Bitwig-5.2b1

Compressor Plus in Bitwig Studio 5.2 Beta 1

Tutorial | Apr 29, 2024

In this video, I discuss the Compressor Plus in Bitwig Studio 5.2 Beta 1 and clear up some confusion around its functionality. I explain that while it appears to have multiple bands, it is actually a single-band compressor with the ability to adjust intensity and timing for different frequencies. I also provide some tips and insights on using the Compressor Plus in combination with other plugins like the Over Clipper and explore its potential for creating step sequencing effects in the note grid.

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In the Bitwig Studio 5.2 Beta 1, the Compressor Plus is explored, revealing some complexities in its operation. It appears to be a single-band compressor, despite offering control over four frequency bands, because adjustments in one band impact the entire frequency range. Key points include:

This overview discusses the need for clearer visualization and functionality in Compressor Plus, highlighting its potential and limitations in practical scenarios, like drum processing and live performance setups.

Questions & Answers

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

How does the Compressor Plus in Bitwig Studio 5.2 Beta 1 work?

The Compressor Plus in Bitwig Studio 5.2 Beta 1 is actually a single-band compressor, even though it has four bands that can be adjusted for intensity and timing. The waveform display is the same in all four bands, despite the ability to adjust each band individually. It reacts differently to different frequencies, but it's not a true multi-band compressor.

Is the Compressor Plus a multi-band compressor?

No, the Compressor Plus in Bitwig Studio 5.2 Beta 1 is not a multi-band compressor. It may have four bands that can be adjusted, but the waveform display is the same in all of them. It reacts differently to different frequencies, but it is fundamentally a single-band compressor.

How does the gain reduction meter function in the Compressor Plus?

The gain reduction meter in the Compressor Plus shows the difference between the input and output levels. It can be confusing because it may show a positive value even when there is gain reduction happening. This is because the input level is higher than the output level. Some argue that it would be better to display the actual gain reduction from the threshold instead of comparing the input and output levels.

What are some additional features and techniques I can use with the Compressor Plus and Bitwig Studio 5.2 Beta?

Other features and techniques you can explore with the Compressor Plus and Bitwig Studio 5.2 Beta include using it as a limiter, experimenting with driving the input for certain VCA modes, using the over clipper in combination with the Compressor Plus for additional coloring and loudness, and utilizing the shift register function in the note grid for step sequencing and live improvisation.


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 I want to talk a bit about the Compressor Plus in Bitvec Studio 5.2 Beta 1 and there
[00:00:06] are some concepts around this or some, let's say, some confusing things around Compressor
[00:00:11] Plus and I want to talk a bit about it because there's no clear documentation and we have
[00:00:16] to rely on some experiments how this actually works.
[00:00:20] So Compressor Plus is in my opinion not a multi-band compressor, it's just a single-band
[00:00:25] compressor even though we have here four bands we can change the intensity and the timing
[00:00:30] on it but it's still a single-band compressor.
[00:00:34] We have also here some modes and one of these modes is called Prism, Clean Blend of Moody
[00:00:38] and Single-band Compression.
[00:00:40] Even this mode I think it's just a single-band compression mode.
[00:00:44] So let's put this here to clear and we have here as an input a test tone which is just
[00:00:49] pink noise.
[00:00:50] I can show you this here.
[00:00:53] Just pink noise and we go into Compressor Plus here and then into the EQ Plus here,
[00:00:58] maybe I bring up the gain a bit more until we scratch here basically the threshold.
[00:01:06] So something like this.
[00:01:08] And okay, so now we have no gain reduction basically so there's nothing here catching
[00:01:15] basically some of the waves with the threshold.
[00:01:19] So what we can do now is we can pull down one of these bands.
[00:01:24] So let's say here the low band, right?
[00:01:26] We change the intensity and we pull this down.
[00:01:29] You can see we have now here a lot of gain reduction and not so much in all the other
[00:01:34] bands just Tad here in all the other bands but here the most, right?
[00:01:40] But in all the other bands you can see the waveform reacts to it also, right?
[00:01:45] So it's a bit confusing.
[00:01:48] On one hand we have basically four bands or it looks like four bands and we can change
[00:01:53] the timing and intensity on all of these four bands but the waveform display is actually
[00:02:00] single band because it's just the same in all of these four bands here or it looks like
[00:02:05] it at least to me.
[00:02:07] And also we reduce only the volume or we have gain reduction only in the low band but you
[00:02:13] can see here it's still a pink noise curve so there's no dip in here, right?
[00:02:18] So we don't reduce actually just one band.
[00:02:23] So we can release this here.
[00:02:24] We can also maybe bring the intensity here down.
[00:02:28] You can see we have gain reduction only here but the waveform goes down in all of these
[00:02:33] bands and also the sum or the output of the compressor plus goes down in the whole frequency
[00:02:40] range or over across the whole frequency range.
[00:02:43] So it's a single band compressor actually but you can react to different frequencies
[00:02:50] differently.
[00:02:52] And I can show you this here also instead of using a pink noise we can use here a sine
[00:02:59] and we can use here different frequencies.
[00:03:01] So now we have here a sine wave pretty low actually not just one hertz but you can see
[00:03:08] here it's still in all of these bands the same.
[00:03:11] This shouldn't not be true for a band splitting, right?
[00:03:15] You should see something different on top here but this is just the same waveform basically
[00:03:20] in all of these bands.
[00:03:22] But now we go up here with the frequency and at some point we should hit basically this
[00:03:29] band here.
[00:03:30] You can see we start actually here, right?
[00:03:34] So we target basically only this band but we go down in volume and all of the other bands
[00:03:41] also you can see this line here.
[00:03:43] Right?
[00:03:44] So we go out of this band range or this threshold range here and then we also release the gain
[00:03:51] on all of the other bands.
[00:03:53] So it's a bit confusing.
[00:03:54] It looks like it's a multi band compressor but it's actually not.
[00:03:58] You have only a multi band in the analyzer part and your analyzer basically your sounds
[00:04:03] or your audio and then you can react to different frequencies with a single band differently.
[00:04:10] So this is maybe useful if you have drums, right?
[00:04:16] And you want to react to the snare with a single band compressor differently than to
[00:04:23] the kick drum or something like this.
[00:04:26] But it's a bit hard to actually dial in the right amounts maybe because you can see I
[00:04:34] have here some drums running sounds like this.
[00:04:41] So I want to react to the kick drum but I can't see in which band the kick drum actually
[00:04:45] is because this is just here the single band output of the compressor or input I don't
[00:04:52] know.
[00:04:53] So it would be nice in one of the next betas actually to see only the waveform of these
[00:04:59] bands because what I know is that also some of these modes here, vanilla smooth over and
[00:05:08] so on also here these VCA modes have different crossover points and you can't define the
[00:05:16] crossover points here manually they are predefined which I'm okay with.
[00:05:20] I'm all for you know let's put it on and look how it sounds.
[00:05:25] Does it sound great?
[00:05:26] Then I leave it on if it sounds bad and I you know change the settings or maybe use
[00:05:31] a different device.
[00:05:33] So I'm okay with this but it would be nice to actually see here to what you react with
[00:05:40] these threshold lines in these individual bands.
[00:05:45] So you can see basically the drums look the same in all of these bands.
[00:05:49] So it would be nice to see only the kick drum here, right?
[00:05:51] Or the upper parts of the kick drum here and then you see oh the snare is in here right
[00:05:56] on the hi-hats or in here and so so I just can only guess and I need to trust my ears
[00:06:04] maybe that's the whole point of this compressor I don't know.
[00:06:07] So I have to trust my ears and dial in here the settings and use my ears for it and yeah
[00:06:14] dial in different timings and then threshold settings or intensity settings for these different
[00:06:20] sounds on the drums.
[00:06:23] Yeah that's one part I think that's one important part actually so it's not a multi-band compressor
[00:06:31] so you can put it on some sounds and it doesn't split up the sounds into multiple bands and
[00:06:37] you don't have phase issues or something like this.
[00:06:41] Another confusing part was actually here the gain reduction meter that usually shows you
[00:06:50] how much gain reduction you apply when something hits the threshold.
[00:06:56] But here it's a bit different here you can see the difference between the input and the
[00:07:00] output and you can see here it's actually positive even though we have some gain reduction
[00:07:05] happening here with the threshold right you can see here the compressor pulls down some
[00:07:11] of the gains or some of the peaks but we have here still something positive and that's because
[00:07:17] the input is actually higher than the output.
[00:07:20] So I use here the input to push it basically into the compressor or against the threshold
[00:07:27] and then we have basically a positive output.
[00:07:30] So we can counter this or maybe this is actually not how it's supposed to be so some people
[00:07:38] argue that it would be better to actually show the gain reduction so what the compressor
[00:07:42] actually reduces from the point of the threshold and not from the input and the output.
[00:07:49] But I'm not really sure because here you can really see how much should change the signal
[00:07:55] when you apply or when you use the compressor you can really see I push the input right
[00:08:00] and I have here actually increase the gain by 8 dB something like this.
[00:08:05] So I'm not really sure maybe it would be nice to have here a switch or something here in
[00:08:10] the inspector where you can change this how the gain reduction is actually measured.
[00:08:17] So yeah maybe that's something for the next beta's.
[00:08:21] So that's a point of confusion for some people I read in the discord over the recent days.
[00:08:28] Okay.
[00:08:30] Also an interesting fact is that you can use this actually or this compressor can you can
[00:08:34] use it as an limiter.
[00:08:37] So here we have basically the ratio in 1 to infinity which is basically a limiter so it's
[00:08:45] brings down the volume always or tries to bring the volume always down flat to the threshold.
[00:08:51] So it sounds like this here on the drums maybe I pull down the makeup here so it's a bit
[00:08:56] quieter.
[00:09:01] And because you can dial down here the attack to 0ms and also the release to 0ms it's basically
[00:09:08] more like it's not a clipper it's actually a limiter it's a pretty hard limiter.
[00:09:14] So the knee is also at 0% so it's a hard clipper more or less like a hard limiter.
[00:09:30] If you push this up here to 0 dB or let's mute this actually here if you go with the
[00:09:37] threshold here so let's say 0 dB right and you push the drums into the threshold here
[00:09:44] of course it leaks out here right it goes above 0 but this is expected because you have
[00:09:52] you know through peak anyway on your audio output and also because of the over sampling
[00:10:01] in probably also here with the VCA modes right it brings in some coloring it adds some harmonics
[00:10:07] on top so you have additional gain then at the output.
[00:10:13] What you can still see here I'm pushing this pretty hard and then we have only here go
[00:10:17] above 0 with 3 dB.
[00:10:21] So this is more or less like also a clipper if you want to use it in this way but you
[00:10:26] can actually that's maybe important to know.
[00:10:32] What I also found interesting is that these VCA modes here let's say we dial in saturate
[00:10:38] moving analog feel like tape with the mid-range bump on compression some of these VCA modes
[00:10:46] sound much better if you actually drive the input higher instead of pulling down the threshold.
[00:10:54] So there is probably some kind of threshold in here or let's say if you increase the input
[00:11:01] it reacts differently than pulling down the threshold so maybe you can bring this down
[00:11:07] here a bit.
[00:11:08] So we have your saturate right nothing is applied no gain reduction now we push this
[00:11:14] here again maybe open this up a bit.
[00:11:43] So my opinion sometimes if you use the input here and drive the compressor plus pretty
[00:11:49] hard with the input these VCA modes or VCA color modes sound different than by just pulling
[00:11:58] down the threshold.
[00:12:00] Maybe you make some experiments with this but I found it works pretty well with some
[00:12:06] drums so we can bring in a lot of coloring and also maybe if you don't want to color
[00:12:11] too much keep in mind that changing the input is different than bringing down the threshold
[00:12:17] even though technically it does the same thing right.
[00:12:23] But I found it sounds much dirtier by bringing in here input or driving the compressor plus
[00:12:30] pretty hard.
[00:12:32] Also here the auto timing is pretty smooth in my opinion if you change here the modes
[00:12:40] actually so what this does is basically you change the mode not for the compressor you
[00:12:46] change it for the auto timing so if you have the auto timing at 0% you can change here what
[00:12:51] you want I think it doesn't do much difference right it's not a difference you have to use
[00:12:58] the auto timing so these are the modes basically for auto timing.
[00:13:04] So if you want to over compress right and then you bring in auto timing up and then
[00:13:10] it changes basically attack and release settings let's try this out here.
[00:13:31] But you can see you can still influence here how the compressor acts with attack and release
[00:13:36] but the auto timing basically gives you probably a different starting point to attack and release
[00:13:43] I haven't analyzed yet attack and release times without the timing not that precise I just
[00:13:49] you know looked here at the gain reduction and you can see how it works.
[00:13:55] You can see here if you release on 0 and attack on 0 but we still have here a pretty long
[00:14:04] release right so if I pull this down you can see it's much much shorter right or you can
[00:14:14] see this also here it reacts much much faster to changes.
[00:14:23] So these auto timing modes basically give you a different starting point or it changes
[00:14:28] how attack and release basically works and yeah it's pretty interesting it's also not
[00:14:35] very well documented so you can only guess and you probably have to trust your ears bro
[00:14:41] that's basically the point of all of this.
[00:14:44] Yeah I also find pretty interesting to use after the compressor plus to use the new over
[00:14:52] clipper and here with over I'm using basically 0 dB and I'm also using a B.C.M. clipper with
[00:15:01] 0 minus 0.3 dB and then I basically can push here also into the clipper if I want to right
[00:15:12] so this is also possible.
[00:15:14] So I can drive basically here the compressor plus with the input pretty hard then I make
[00:15:18] use here of the overtones from the VCR coloration and then I can use make up gain and push this
[00:15:24] into the clipper again 0 dB if I want to.
[00:15:54] Right and it doesn't go over 0 dB here it stays on minus 0.3 so this is how I use basically
[00:16:02] compressor plus and over in combination.
[00:16:07] I really like to compress with this it sounds really nice it also brings a lot of color into
[00:16:12] it it also makes drums pretty groovy in my opinion for drum bass it's really nice.
[00:16:18] Also it's very good that you have here the attack time release time go down to 0 dB you
[00:16:23] have over compression or you can limit basically then you have here you can switch to all sometimes
[00:16:32] I do this and use lift to bring up some quiet sounds in between you know the snare and the
[00:16:38] kick and so on that's pretty nice and then use this in combination here with over having
[00:16:43] this on 0 dB and then you can press basically with the make up gain everything into the
[00:16:47] clipper and make it super extra loud.
[00:16:50] I have some more tutorials and some more ideas for these things in the future but I don't
[00:16:56] want to make this video too over complicated I just wanted to give out some thoughts about
[00:17:01] this basically tell you it's not a multi band compressor it's really nice to limit stuff
[00:17:08] with it how it reacts to different frequencies and how you can combine it with an over clipper
[00:17:14] here of the new Bitwix Studio 5.2 Beta.
[00:17:18] So I'm really a big fan of over at the moment some people discovered it takes up a lot of
[00:17:25] CPU power or much more CPU power than VST but in my opinion it sounds pretty great there's
[00:17:32] also here a multi band included so you can tilt basically it's not like a frequency tilt
[00:17:39] on EQ it's more like where it clips more the high end or more the low end and sometimes
[00:17:46] it's really nice to get the kick drum out of the clipper and only clip the tops right
[00:17:51] because my opinion these hard clippers don't sound good on kick drums or on bass sounds
[00:17:59] it brings in way too much overtones so you usually want to clip only you know some of
[00:18:04] the tops so 300 Hz and upwards and so on there it sounds pretty great also in percussions
[00:18:12] and so on.
[00:18:14] So yeah it's pretty great to have actually a tilt in there so then I go basically for
[00:18:18] multi-plan to 100% and then a tilt until it sounds good maybe I can do this too here on
[00:18:23] the drums.
[00:18:42] So my opinion this sounds much cleaner than this one right so you can bring out certain
[00:18:47] frequencies out of the clipper and only clip different frequencies and sometimes it's also
[00:18:55] interesting to use here this delta mode let's see if I can explain this here shortly so
[00:19:02] let's say we have some you know some stuff we clip out of the signal and usually this
[00:19:12] is just the transient of the of the drums the kick drum and the snare drum right of
[00:19:17] the first transient basically.
[00:19:33] So you can use this to not only clip stuff away the transients but also maybe get transients
[00:19:40] from certain sounds cut it out and combine it with other drums right so it's more or
[00:19:46] less like yeah something where you can exchange the transients with other transients or something
[00:19:56] like this.
[00:19:57] This is possible or I did this recently on the weekend I have another perfect example
[00:20:02] for this right now it's also interesting for ambient stuff here when you use let's say
[00:20:08] a test tone right and we have here what's this we have let's say pink noise.
[00:20:27] You can create nice crackles also for vinyl simulations of stuff like this.
[00:20:32] So only a few bits of this test noise basically peaks over the threshold line and because
[00:20:42] we have delta we only hear these peaks.
[00:20:52] So you can make nice little rain simulations or maybe for ambient right rain or let's say
[00:20:59] you want to create some low fire effects and you want to put some tape crackle or some
[00:21:04] vinyl crackle on top.
[00:21:06] This is perfectly nice for this.
[00:21:08] I did some experiments with this over the weekend so it's pretty nice.
[00:21:12] But again I do some videos on these specific things probably too on the in the future but
[00:21:18] I want to show you basically some rough ideas.
[00:21:24] And let's go here to let's let's let's use it polymer synthesizer and let's use here
[00:21:34] a note grid.
[00:21:39] So inside the note grid here we have basically this new shift register thing.
[00:21:47] That's pretty interesting how it works.
[00:21:49] I can show you this here in a small example.
[00:21:52] So let's say we have four output lines here.
[00:21:58] So we can use a trigger and we can use let's say read out.
[00:22:08] Actually you want to use your notes just duplicate this.
[00:22:13] Oh let's not use a trigger.
[00:22:16] Let's use here a gate input.
[00:22:20] Let's disconnect this here.
[00:22:23] So every time we press a key we want to trigger this and we want to save basically the notes
[00:22:29] the current pitch.
[00:22:31] So let's say I press a key on my keyboard.
[00:22:35] Let's say I'm pressing here D sharp.
[00:22:38] You can see D sharp is now in here.
[00:22:41] Out of this output jack we have D sharp 4.
[00:22:44] So now I press another note.
[00:22:46] Let's say I'm using here F sharp.
[00:22:50] Watch what happens to this note when I press F sharp.
[00:22:54] So this becomes F sharp and the next output now is D sharp.
[00:22:58] So it just shifts basically the register.
[00:23:02] So the new note goes into the first slot and the old note goes into the next slot.
[00:23:08] Every time we press basically a key.
[00:23:10] So now I'm pressing here what's this A sharp.
[00:23:13] So now this becomes A sharp.
[00:23:15] This becomes F sharp and this becomes D sharp 4.
[00:23:19] You can see.
[00:23:21] And my idea was hey you can actually build nice step sequencer with this.
[00:23:26] So we can just do that.
[00:23:28] So we can push this up here to 8.
[00:23:30] And also just duplicate this here so we have an idea how this works.
[00:23:37] And then use a merge and also 8 output.
[00:23:43] So we connect to this.
[00:23:47] And all we have to do then is basically more or less step through this here.
[00:23:54] So we use a counter.
[00:23:57] You can do this in any shape or form but I use a counter here with 8 steps.
[00:24:01] And I use a trigger or triggers.
[00:24:05] That's the name.
[00:24:06] Right and I want to trigger this here every 4th note.
[00:24:10] You can see we scan basically through this merge module.
[00:24:15] And I use interpolation nearest.
[00:24:17] So we skip or quantize here basically the steps.
[00:24:25] And on each slot we get a different note right because we input this here into this shift
[00:24:31] register.
[00:24:32] And we get here the note and we output the note and you also output here the trigger.
[00:24:39] Right so now I can press basically multiple keys on my keyboard and input this here into
[00:24:48] the shift register or my melody.
[00:24:54] Right so we have now in every slot here some kind of note and we have a melody.
[00:25:00] Maybe I make this a bit faster here.
[00:25:05] We use here a convolution reverb and delay.
[00:25:17] And this runs and runs and let's say you have a live act and you want to change the melody
[00:25:22] so you can now use the keyboard and shift and push a new note into the sequence at the
[00:25:29] top.
[00:25:30] Let's say a bass note.
[00:25:35] D sharp right we have a bass note in there.
[00:25:42] And another note.
[00:25:46] So the problem for me now is every time I press a key everything in here shifts downwards
[00:25:52] right.
[00:25:53] The problem with this is that we play basically here one slot on pitch then we press a note
[00:25:59] and then this one skips to the next which is the same note because we shift in this
[00:26:03] moment right.
[00:26:04] So you have always the same note twice.
[00:26:08] Right this.
[00:26:12] And every time you press a note basically you shift this down and then it plays the note
[00:26:16] twice which is a bit you know it's okay it's not that big of a problem.
[00:26:22] But I thought maybe you can use the gate output and reset basically the counter so you start
[00:26:28] from the beginning of this so you also shift the melody around.
[00:26:32] So let's press a note.
[00:26:37] Right.
[00:26:47] So you restart the whole melody you shift in a new note and to restart the whole sequence.
[00:26:53] So this is probably really nice for let's say live acts, live improvisations and so
[00:27:01] on.
[00:27:02] You can also use a sample note here.
[00:27:10] Sadly it's only eight slots you can choose would be nice to have 16 also with merge 16
[00:27:16] would be nice maybe they can increase this in the future to have a 16 step sequencer.
[00:27:25] But if you want to use more you have to you know combine this with multiple modules and
[00:27:31] then a bit of routing and bit of logic and so on.
[00:27:33] It's not a big problem but it would be nice to actually just increase this here to 16
[00:27:37] and then you know have a 16 step sequencer.
[00:27:41] But yeah it's really nice for melodies inside of the note grid here.
[00:27:45] It's kind of a step what's the name step recording step sequencing.
[00:27:50] It's pretty fun actually.
[00:28:01] And it's perfectly in sync because we use triggers here and triggers is synchronized
[00:28:05] to the base signal of the transport.
[00:28:09] So it's always in sync.
[00:28:10] So it's perfect basically.
[00:28:17] Yeah these are some of the experiments I did on the weekend.
[00:28:19] I want to show you this maybe give it a try.
[00:28:23] Compressor plus in my opinion it's a pretty nice addition even though a lot of people
[00:28:27] probably have their own compressor VSTs.
[00:28:30] But for me it's pretty helpful because I share a lot of projects on Patreon and then
[00:28:36] I don't have to use of course all the VSTs and people just can open up the project.
[00:28:42] It's pretty nice this way.
[00:28:44] Also the compressor itself sounds pretty dope.
[00:28:48] Also with the additions of the VCA coloring modes.
[00:28:52] Over is pretty dope.
[00:28:53] I don't have to use my hard clip preset anymore.
[00:28:57] And it's not like that I use hard clipping on every track on every channel.
[00:29:03] I reduced this in the last year up or down to let's say only the drum bus and maybe the
[00:29:10] master and maybe on the snare.
[00:29:12] So maybe three or four max at max five instances of a hard clip or inside of a big project.
[00:29:19] I think that's it's pretty fine.
[00:29:22] So I'm pretty happy about over and compressor plus and also some of the additions inside
[00:29:26] of the inside of the grid.
[00:29:31] The GPU update is also pretty dope.
[00:29:34] I think for just a small update from zero from point one to point two it's actually
[00:29:42] a lot a lot of content in there.
[00:29:45] So I'm pretty happy about it and I'm pretty pumped for the next updates.
[00:29:51] So yeah that's it for my Bitwig Schilling for today.
[00:29:58] Thanks for thanks for watching.
[00:29:59] Leave a thumbs up.
[00:30:00] If you like the video subscribe to the channel and maybe subscribe to my Patreon if you want
[00:30:05] to.
[00:30:06] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video.
[00:30:09] Bye.
[00:30:09] Bye.