Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Bitwig-5.2b1 Segments Tutorial Poly-Grid

Segments used as a Sampler in the Grid

Tutorial | May 22, 2024

In today's video, I show a trick for using the segments module in the grid. By misusing the modules and drawing in waveforms, you can create unique sounds like kick drums and percussion. This method allows for persistence and the ability to save presets, making it a versatile tool within the grid.

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Misusing the Segments Module in Bitwig Grid

In today's video, I'll show you a cool trick for using the Segments module in Bitwig Grid. We'll explore how to create and manipulate waveforms in a unique way. By misusing some of the Grid's modules, we can achieve interesting results. I'll guide you through setting up the Segments module, drawing waveforms, and controlling pitch and playback speed. This method offers a flexible and efficient way to create and edit sounds like kick drums, with the added benefit of saving and reusing your custom presets.

Steps and Key Points:

  1. Initial Setup:

    • Switch Segments module to one-shot mode.
    • Enable bipolar mode and disable smoothing.
  2. Creating the Waveform:

    • Draw a sine waveform using the triangle tool.
    • Adjust curvature to form the sine wave (75% and -75% values).
  3. Why Use Segments:

    • Unlike the scroll module, Segments allows zooming and better control over the drawable space.
  4. Playback Speed and Pitch:

    • Set playback speed using seconds and milliseconds, tied to BPM in the transport.
    • Use a pitch knob to set the desired pitch (e.g., G0 = 49Hz).
    • Convert notes to Hz and calculate wavelength using the reciprocal module.
  5. Fine-Tuning:

    • Match the frequency and phase of the waveform using an oscilloscope.
    • Adjust playback to align segments with other sounds for phase coherence.
  6. Creating and Editing Samples:

    • Draw in detailed waveforms for specific sounds like kick drums.
    • Request for features to allow dragging wave files into Segments.
  7. Advantages of Segments:

    • Persistent and editable waveforms.
    • Flexibility to mix and match sounds.
    • Ability to create presets for quick reuse.
  8. Applications:

    • Use Segments for creating kick drums and percussion sounds.
    • Simplify the setup by boiling down multiple modules into one Segments module.


Final Notes:


Video Summary

Questions & Answers

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

What is the trick being shown in the video?

The trick being shown in the video is how to misuse the segments module in Bitwig's grid to create waveforms and use them as a sample player or for creating kick drums and percussion sounds.

Why is the segments module being used instead of other modules?

The segments module is being used because it allows for drawing in waveforms and provides a level of control and flexibility that other modules, such as the sampler or recorder, don't provide. Additionally, the segments module allows for zooming in and out, which is helpful when editing waveforms.

What are the limitations of the segments module?

One limitation of the segments module is that it does not allow for loading in wave files directly. Instead, waveforms need to be drawn in manually. Additionally, the module does not have the ability to create rounded shapes, only edge shapes. Finally, the segments module does not have the option to zoom out, meaning you are stuck with a limited drawable space.

How can the segments module be used creatively?

The segments module can be creatively used to create waveforms for various purposes, such as creating kick drums or percussion sounds. By manipulating the waveform and using different playback speeds, pitch envelopes can be created and combined with other sounds in the grid. Presets can also be saved and loaded, allowing for easy access to different waveforms.


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 in today's video, I want to show you, let's say, a small trick for the grid.
[00:00:03] And it may not make sense in the beginning, but later on it hopefully does.
[00:00:07] And we want to misuse some of the modules inside of the grid.
[00:00:12] So let's begin here with the segments module.
[00:00:16] And we all know this is kind of an envelope generator.
[00:00:19] And you usually use this to modulate something.
[00:00:22] But we want to misuse this today.
[00:00:24] And to start, we switch this here to one shot mode.
[00:00:30] We also enable bipolar mode and we disable here the smoothing.
[00:00:34] And inside here of this editor, we go down to two to four and to use your triangle
[00:00:44] and we then just draw in here basically a waveform cycle.
[00:00:49] So let's actually only use your one dot in the middle.
[00:00:54] So this one here, this goes with the curvature to minus 75 now.
[00:01:00] 75.
[00:01:02] This goes to minus 75.
[00:01:06] This one goes to 75.
[00:01:11] Also minus 75 percent.
[00:01:18] And we have basically a sine waveform, right?
[00:01:22] So now you can say, why do we why do we want to do this in segments?
[00:01:25] Because we have here, let's say, a scroll, right?
[00:01:31] That's perfectly fine for drawing in some kind of cycle, right?
[00:01:35] The problem is it's actually not the problem.
[00:01:39] The thing is with this editor here, the grid is slightly different than here.
[00:01:46] Here we can zoom out, right?
[00:01:49] You can see we have here one cycle, zero, one, and then it goes beyond one.
[00:01:53] And then we have two, three.
[00:01:54] You can't do this here.
[00:01:56] You can't zoom out.
[00:01:57] You basically are stuck with this cube of drawable space.
[00:02:04] So that's the difference why I'm using scroll.
[00:02:06] So I'm using not scroll, I'm using segments for this, right?
[00:02:10] So I'm drawing in your basically waveform and we can zoom out by just holding down
[00:02:16] control and we can basically move around here by holding down alt,
[00:02:22] the alt key on my keyboard.
[00:02:23] I can also increase this here a bit.
[00:02:26] And yeah, instead of just using this as a waveform, we can just continue
[00:02:33] and do this so we can go up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down.
[00:02:40] Let's do one.
[00:02:42] Let's do some more here.
[00:02:44] And maybe that's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
[00:02:50] So that's enough maybe for now.
[00:02:52] So maybe you can already see where this is going.
[00:02:57] We can select all of these here and say 75.
[00:03:01] And we can select all of these.
[00:03:07] Let's say 75.
[00:03:11] Um, top ones also minus 75.
[00:03:16] So now we have basically a waveform in here, right?
[00:03:20] Um, so with this waveform in here, um, there's no problem.
[00:03:25] We want to play this back at a certain pitch and we only have here,
[00:03:31] let's say minutes, seconds, milliseconds, bar, half note and so on.
[00:03:35] So all of these ones here down here are basically tied to the BPM in the
[00:03:41] transport.
[00:03:41] So when I change the BPM, I basically change the playback speed of the segments.
[00:03:47] So we are stuck here with minutes, seconds and milliseconds.
[00:03:51] And this is perfectly fine.
[00:03:53] So let's go to seconds here because now we can calculate the, um, the playback
[00:04:00] speed with this, uh, by just using, um, what it's called the wavelength.
[00:04:06] So, um, basically how long should it take to play back one cycle to get a
[00:04:12] certain pitch?
[00:04:13] And we can do this here also inside of the grid, or we can calculate this
[00:04:17] inside of the grid.
[00:04:18] Um, let's use here a pitch knob.
[00:04:21] So we want to play this back here, maybe at G zero.
[00:04:25] And then, uh, we use here, um, this one goes from notes, converts notes to
[00:04:34] Hertz.
[00:04:35] Let's use a read out here.
[00:04:37] You can see now here G zero is basically 49 Hertz.
[00:04:41] Okay.
[00:04:42] So this is what this module gives us.
[00:04:44] So you can see already by just touching a few modules and trying to misuse them,
[00:04:49] we learn a lot actually about the grid.
[00:04:51] So what I don't need hurts, I actually need, um, seconds or milliseconds.
[00:04:59] So I need the wavelength basically.
[00:05:01] And hurts is, uh, more or less like, um, one cycle, one period per second.
[00:05:10] Okay.
[00:05:11] So we can use here this module called reciprocal.
[00:05:17] I think that's, that's how it pronounced is basically here using one and then
[00:05:23] dividing by the input we are giving this right.
[00:05:26] So we basically, um, uh, saying one divided by, uh, 49.
[00:05:32] That's, that's what we do.
[00:05:34] Basically, yeah, let's go into this.
[00:05:37] And what we get from this is basically here, zero dot zero, uh, two, oh, and this
[00:05:44] is actually, uh, seconds.
[00:05:46] This is the, the wavelength in seconds.
[00:05:49] So when we pull this down here to all the way down, it's actually exactly zero
[00:05:55] dot zero two seconds.
[00:05:57] We play this back at exactly this frequency of this note.
[00:06:01] And I hopefully I can check this here.
[00:06:04] Let's use a sign and let's use the input here.
[00:06:08] Use an oscilloscope.
[00:06:12] Let's use pitch.
[00:06:17] And, um, maybe use an AD here.
[00:06:24] We trigger this and then go in here.
[00:06:28] Let's, let's, let's, we trigger this here and see if it fits kinda.
[00:06:34] Um, I probably also have to use an AD here.
[00:06:40] And then zoom this out a bit.
[00:06:47] Oh, that's the wrong thing.
[00:06:50] I see.
[00:06:52] Yeah.
[00:06:53] I mean, go into this and then maybe zoom in here.
[00:06:59] So yeah, you can see it's kind of the same, same frequency.
[00:07:06] Maybe I have to use a gate here or something to just stop this from drawing.
[00:07:11] Yeah, you can see it's kind of the same frequency, but we are have a different face here.
[00:07:19] The sign actually starts here at the zero or minus one at minus one and segment starts here at zero.
[00:07:27] So the only sign I know that starts in zero inside of the grid is actually here, the wave table or this wave table standard for reset, right?
[00:07:36] It starts also here in the, in the midpoint.
[00:07:39] So now you can see we have basically the same face.
[00:07:42] It's actually two.
[00:07:46] I can't zoom in, sadly.
[00:07:49] Um, but you can see it's kind of really the same face and we have the same, um, uh, frequency here.
[00:07:55] So with this, we can basically use the segments here as a wave player, um, or as a sample shot player kind of, even though it's just made for envelopes.
[00:08:06] So now you would ask probably why you want to use segments as a wave player.
[00:08:12] Why not use, let's say, um, Sampler, right?
[00:08:16] This big thing here.
[00:08:18] So the idea was for me, at least this one is pretty big, right?
[00:08:23] It takes up a lot of space.
[00:08:25] And most of the times when I use the sampler inside, would I just use it for rim shots or maybe a kick transient or, um, a snare sound or something like this, right?
[00:08:37] And this is something you can actually draw inside of segments here if you want to.
[00:08:43] Um, we can also use this as an output, maybe put your limiter on the end.
[00:08:49] That's to make everyone happy.
[00:08:51] And, uh, we use an audio output here.
[00:08:56] So we can just use the signal basically here from the segments going into the AD, um, then volume shape this here with AD and then go out.
[00:09:10] You can hear we have just a normal sine wave, basic playing from the segments.
[00:09:16] So maybe just delete this here.
[00:09:19] I just want to show you basically that this X exact or that's, that's basically the same.
[00:09:24] Um, so now that we have this, we can instead of playing as all, we can maybe save this then as a preset as a curve preset and recall it later on.
[00:09:35] If you just need a sign and, um, like I said, you can calculate basic here any, any notes.
[00:09:42] We can also go to a zero or maybe C one.
[00:09:45] Um, so we need to, uh, go down actually here, but we need to go milliseconds.
[00:09:53] It's, it doesn't go lower than zero.
[00:09:55] Zero two Hertz.
[00:09:56] Now we can type in your 50 milliseconds.
[00:09:59] Right.
[00:10:02] And then you have to pitch off C one or you go back to G, uh, G zero here, which is 20 minutes seconds.
[00:10:13] Or you go down to seconds and then you have to pull this down to zero dot zero two.
[00:10:20] Right.
[00:10:21] So seconds and milliseconds.
[00:10:23] The difference is basically 1000.
[00:10:25] So to make this clear here, we can also multiply this.
[00:10:31] This value, the constant of 1000.
[00:10:37] And then we get basically here a milliseconds and this is seconds.
[00:10:45] So, uh, G zero is basically zero dot zero two seconds or 20 milliseconds.
[00:10:52] And here we have also some floating, um, floating point numbers.
[00:10:57] I don't know, floats, um, after the dot here.
[00:11:01] Okay.
[00:11:02] So this is how you can calculate us here.
[00:11:04] If you want to.
[00:11:06] So again, now we have basically here, uh, multiple periods, right?
[00:11:12] It's basically a wave file now.
[00:11:14] So we can do some, some things with this, um, because this is actually the
[00:11:21] interesting, interesting part because this, you can draw basically in your sample.
[00:11:26] Right.
[00:11:26] It's not just to draw in your oscillator with a period or a cycle, just one
[00:11:31] wave cycle you draw in basically, or you can draw in a sample.
[00:11:35] So now you can say, uh, okay, we have here basically one note and this note is
[00:11:41] decided by the playback speed in our case here.
[00:11:43] It's G zero, but we can also say, uh, let's increase you actually the snap or
[00:11:48] double the snap.
[00:11:49] Yeah, we have two four, right?
[00:11:51] So now we go to four four and, uh, we can go back here to this triangle.
[00:11:57] Sadly, it would be nice to have actually here also a sign or a rounded shape
[00:12:02] instead of just these, um, edge shapes here.
[00:12:05] So now we can say, uh, we just doubled the frequency here in this one, right?
[00:12:10] So up, down, um, up, down, right?
[00:12:15] So we have doubled the frequency here, which means this is actually instead of G
[00:12:19] zero, we play here G one.
[00:12:22] Okay.
[00:12:23] So we can also double here, something like this.
[00:12:27] And then we can say we double this again by eight and, uh, now we go down here.
[00:12:34] Let's go back to eight.
[00:12:38] Me too.
[00:12:41] Draw slower.
[00:12:42] It's down, up, down, up, down.
[00:12:47] Something like this.
[00:12:50] And in the beginning here, we can maybe draw in some random stuff, maybe zoom in a
[00:12:59] bit here, select this and use the value and use a bit of chaos, um, to actually
[00:13:06] draw in some kind of shape for a kick drum.
[00:13:10] So this, this is the idea here.
[00:13:11] Um, so draw in this, uh, select this minus 75.
[00:13:21] And the next idea I had basically was, hmm, would be actually nice to drag in some
[00:13:31] samples, some wave files into this envelope, but it's not working sadly, but
[00:13:37] would be nice actually if you could just drag in some kick drum samples into the
[00:13:41] segments here and use it as a waveform.
[00:13:43] Um, minus 75.
[00:13:50] Okay.
[00:13:50] That's that.
[00:13:51] Oh, we also need this here.
[00:13:53] Um, yeah.
[00:14:00] First feature request would be actually, um, let me draw some shapes here, some
[00:14:05] rounded shapes or different shapes, more shapes.
[00:14:08] And second one would be why not let me drag in some short samples, percussion
[00:14:15] sounds here to use it as a, um, segment shape.
[00:14:21] So now we have this, let's see how this sounds.
[00:14:23] Hey, it sounds like a kick drum.
[00:14:26] So if you want it, or if you want to get rid basically of this ad, you can also
[00:14:43] draw in here the volume shapes, right?
[00:14:45] So you can say, I want to, um, pull this down.
[00:14:48] I'm maybe gonna select everything here.
[00:14:51] Yeah.
[00:14:52] Probably it's a bit hard to select sometimes.
[00:14:54] And then you can say value here and then scale.
[00:14:57] So you can scale it down, something like this, right?
[00:15:00] Or you want to have here the, um, the fundamental of the kick drum a bit
[00:15:05] louder and you want to pull down here.
[00:15:07] Let's say, um, basically this, oh, let's.
[00:15:14] It's very hard to find here the right places sometimes.
[00:15:18] Yeah.
[00:15:21] Let's shape this down.
[00:15:23] Scale, something like this, right?
[00:15:28] So the fundamental is much, much louder and, uh, the pitch envelope here is a
[00:15:35] bit quieter and the kick in the beginning is a bit, is louder than this one, right?
[00:15:41] Maybe you can also scale this down here a bit.
[00:15:43] Scale something like this.
[00:15:47] So my idea for this is I always wanted to have something inside of the grid,
[00:16:00] which is persistent.
[00:16:01] So the segments thing, what you have in here is persistent.
[00:16:05] And I don't want to use the sampler because for the sampler, you can only load
[00:16:10] in a sample and that's it.
[00:16:11] You can't record, you can't draw in or you can't change the sound in there.
[00:16:16] You can't edit, right?
[00:16:17] And the recorder is, um, yeah, you can record up to six seconds, but you
[00:16:23] can't change the playback speed.
[00:16:24] It's not persistent.
[00:16:26] So we have a lot of different options inside of the grid, but each of these,
[00:16:30] um, devices is basically missing something.
[00:16:33] So here you can load and, yeah, play back and have all the options for
[00:16:39] playback speed and playback positions.
[00:16:41] Here you can record, but you can't change the playback speed and you can't
[00:16:46] save and here you can edit and it's persistent, but you can't record
[00:16:51] and you can't load in samples.
[00:16:52] So this is basically, um, the downside of Bitwig or the grid in general, um,
[00:16:58] that you have not an option for everything and all these different tools
[00:17:02] that just can do one thing, but not the other.
[00:17:05] That's a bit, it's a bit, yeah.
[00:17:08] Annoying, but it is how it is, right?
[00:17:11] So the big benefit of the segments now is that you can edit the waveform.
[00:17:17] You can draw in something in here.
[00:17:19] You can say, I want to change basically the attack phase here.
[00:17:22] Another interesting benefit of this method is that this wave form is kind of
[00:17:28] rock solid.
[00:17:29] You can influence it.
[00:17:30] It's static.
[00:17:31] Um, you can mix and match it with other sounds, maybe with a bass sound and can
[00:17:36] align basically here at the face.
[00:17:38] Uh, perfectly.
[00:17:39] If you want to, you just can draw it basically in and then, uh, maybe
[00:17:44] correct it here with a playback speed.
[00:17:47] And, um, you can also save this as presets.
[00:17:50] So I've already made here some presets.
[00:17:53] Like I said, here the sine wave, um, for instance, here a different kick drum,
[00:17:58] right?
[00:17:58] Sounds like this, maybe.
[00:18:01] There's a different playback speed here.
[00:18:06] So this is a kick drum.
[00:18:08] Um, then I have something different here.
[00:18:11] So this one here, these kick transients is basically how I started to experiment
[00:18:22] with this.
[00:18:22] Um, because inside of the grid, sometimes you want to make kick drums, right?
[00:18:27] And you don't want to waste a lot of space with a lot of modules and want to
[00:18:32] create a pitch envelope and so on.
[00:18:34] So I thought maybe it's a great idea to actually persist this inside here, the
[00:18:39] segments with some kind of preset.
[00:18:41] So, uh, when you create kick drums, you don't need to draw in the complete
[00:18:47] kick drum in here, but you can also combine.
[00:18:49] Um, sometimes you just need to click transient, right?
[00:18:53] In the beginning of your kick drum.
[00:18:54] So you can do this with something like this.
[00:18:57] So you can do this with a kick drum.
[00:19:00] Like this.
[00:19:01] So yeah, we have this, we have this, then we, uh, mix this together here.
[00:19:08] Something like this.
[00:19:11] Let's see how this sounds.
[00:19:12] Or maybe uses as a face distortion.
[00:19:25] Okay.
[00:19:26] So this was basically the idea, um, boiling down a lot of modules, just into one
[00:19:33] segments module with some presets here I can load.
[00:19:37] And then when I load these presets, I can change these presets and, uh, you
[00:19:42] know, change them, change them to my liking or to, so it fits the track.
[00:19:49] Also it fits the other sounds here I'm using.
[00:19:51] So it does what's the idea.
[00:19:53] Um, and then.
[00:19:54] Yeah, it became basically bigger and bigger.
[00:19:58] I thought, why not just create the whole kick drum inside of here?
[00:20:01] Right.
[00:20:01] So this was my thinking.
[00:20:03] So yeah, you can basically create some nice click sounds here for drums or
[00:20:08] for some percussion sounds in here.
[00:20:11] And you can create whole kick drums in there if you want to.
[00:20:15] And usually one of the things that you can do is create a kick drum.
[00:20:21] Usually when you make some dance floor music, usually just use one or two
[00:20:25] different kick drums and they have a slightly, slightly different attack
[00:20:32] phase attack sound.
[00:20:33] Uh, but most of the times you are stuck with the same kind of sound.
[00:20:37] Um, so it's maybe a good idea to explore this a bit more.
[00:20:42] Yeah.
[00:20:42] At least for me, I try to explore this a bit and see how far this gets.
[00:20:46] And, um, yeah, uses segments here more like a sample player or for kick drums
[00:20:53] or percussion sounds inside of the grid.
[00:20:54] So I just want to share this basically with you.
[00:20:57] Um, my idea here, um, you can also, um, save these, um, things here and use it
[00:21:04] inside of scroll.
[00:21:05] Um, like I said in the beginning, you can also load this in here.
[00:21:10] Of course it looks like this.
[00:21:11] Um, but yeah, with the scroll, it's basically, um, like I said, the editor
[00:21:16] here, you can't edit this that good.
[00:21:19] It's, it's much, much better inside of segments because you can zoom in here
[00:21:23] and you can see the, the different, um, yeah, segments here and can extend,
[00:21:29] extend and basically the kick drum.
[00:21:31] Oh, this is actually the first kick drum, right?
[00:21:34] Yeah.
[00:21:34] So in here you can see this basically the first period, the second, third and so
[00:21:38] on.
[00:21:38] So we can extend here and make this longer and longer.
[00:21:41] You can make a pretty long way file in here if you want to.
[00:21:44] The only downside is like I said, you can't load in wave files.
[00:21:49] You have to draw it in for yourself and then save it as a preset.
[00:21:52] Maybe some code or can, can come up with something where we can convert
[00:21:57] wave files to curve files.
[00:21:59] Um, but I'm not that smart or I haven't had the time yet, but maybe it's a
[00:22:04] good idea to do this.
[00:22:05] If, if not, bitwig comes up with a solution would be actually great to just
[00:22:10] to drag in wave files here into this window.
[00:22:12] But yeah, just some random ideas.
[00:22:15] Um, that's it.
[00:22:17] I hope it helps.
[00:22:18] I hope you learned something new.
[00:22:20] Um, let me know in the comments down below and also please leave a thumbs
[00:22:24] up would be nice and also subscription, of course.
[00:22:28] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video.
[00:22:30] Bye.