Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Bitwig-5.2b7 Presets Tutorial Mixing

Audio Normalizer for Bitwig

Tutorial | Jun 12, 2024

In this video, I demonstrate a workaround in Bitwig Studio 5.2 to achieve volume normalization for instrument tracks and live audio. By misusing the wet gain learn feature on a chain device and using a tool device to measure the input volume, I create a preset that matches the output volume to a desired reference value. This allows for easy normalization without manual adjustments and can be applied to multiple tracks for consistency.

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

In this tutorial, I demonstrated how to create an auto-level preset in Bitwig Studio 5.2 to automatically adjust the volume of instrument tracks and live audio. This method provides a workaround for the lack of a native normalization feature for non-audio material, enabling consistent volume levels without manual adjustment.

Key Points:

This method is effective for ensuring consistent volume levels across different tracks, especially for live audio or external synthesizers.

Questions & Answers

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

What is the main issue with manually changing the volume of a synthesizer?

The main issue is that it requires constant monitoring and adjustment, which can be time-consuming and not as precise as desired. Additionally, existing normalization features in Bitwig Studio only work on audio files, not on instrument tracks or live audio.

How does the Auto Level preset attempt to solve this issue?

The Auto Level preset measures the input volume of the synthesizer using a follower and then adjusts the output volume to match the highest peak to zero dB. However, it constantly performs measurements and volume adjustments, which may not always be desired.

What is the workaround solution suggested in the video?

The workaround solution involves using the Wet Gain Learn feature of the Chain Device in Bitwig Studio. By misusing this feature, it analyzes the input signal in front of the Chain Device and adjusts the output volume to match a reference value set using a test tone tool device. This creates a live normalization tool that can be applied to multiple tracks.

What is the limitation of this workaround solution?

The limitation of this workaround is that the Learn feature of the Chain Device cannot be mapped to a macro or remote control, making it challenging to automate the normalization process. However, the workaround still provides a means to achieve normalization on live audio or instrument tracks without having to bounce them down to audio.


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] Let's say we have here in the background this polymer synthesizer playing some kind of random
[00:00:05] melody and you want to change the volume of this.
[00:00:08] And that's pretty easy, right?
[00:00:09] You can use here the output knob or we can use here a tool device to change the volume
[00:00:15] or we can use here, of course, the track faders for this.
[00:00:22] The problem with this is that all of this is manual.
[00:00:25] You have to do it by yourself.
[00:00:27] You have to watch here these meters and then, you know, change the volume accordingly.
[00:00:32] And sometimes you won't do this automatically like a normalized feature.
[00:00:37] And in Bitwig Studio 5.2 we have, of course, the clip or the audio clip normalization feature,
[00:00:43] but it only works on audio material, on audio files.
[00:00:48] It's not, it doesn't work on instrument tracks here or live audio.
[00:00:55] And yeah, that's something you want sometimes.
[00:01:00] And for this I made this Auto Level preset here.
[00:01:05] Maybe you can remember this.
[00:01:06] I did this in an earlier video.
[00:01:09] And this basically takes the audio input here of this polymer synthesizer, tries to measure
[00:01:14] it with the follower and then it tries to match the output volume.
[00:01:19] So the highest peak always is at zero dB.
[00:01:22] So it's kind of a slow or very slow compressor that tries to match basically zero dB.
[00:01:31] The problem with this is that this is doing this all the time continuously.
[00:01:36] So there's always a measurement, there's always a volume adjusting or adjust all the time
[00:01:41] happening.
[00:01:42] And sometimes you don't want that.
[00:01:44] You just want to measure the input volume once and then you want to try and set the output
[00:01:51] volume once.
[00:01:53] And there are some tools for that.
[00:01:56] For instance I used here this plug in called dB meter before.
[00:02:01] So you can switch this here to RMS for instance and you can type in here a reference value.
[00:02:07] So let's say you want to have an output volume of 10 dB or minus 10 dB.
[00:02:13] And then you measure basically at the current input volume, which is here maybe this one
[00:02:18] minus 26, right?
[00:02:21] And then you hit this match button once and then you apply here 16 dB gain and then you
[00:02:28] match basically the output volume of minus 10 dB here with this plug in.
[00:02:34] So it's a normalization plug in or tool.
[00:02:38] And the benefit of this is basically you can do this once.
[00:02:40] You just measure it once, you hit the button once and then you set the output volume once,
[00:02:45] which is very nice because that's exactly what you want sometimes.
[00:02:51] But there's no native way of doing this at the moment.
[00:02:55] But you can do a workaround of course because I really like to do workarounds in BitX Studio
[00:03:01] for some reason and misuse certain devices.
[00:03:04] Of course we have now here this chain device in BitX Studio and we have here this wet gain
[00:03:12] learn feature on this chain device.
[00:03:15] And all it does is basically it analyzes the input signal in front of the chain device
[00:03:21] and then it tries to match it with the output volume.
[00:03:24] So it changes basically the output volume based on the input volume.
[00:03:28] So that's nice, but we can also misuse this.
[00:03:32] So we can say inside of this chain device we have here an audio receiver, right?
[00:03:41] And let's put in front of this chain device a tool device.
[00:03:47] And let's call this tool device audio for some reason.
[00:03:53] And here we just grab the audio output of this tool, right?
[00:03:58] So we go to the same track your pool.
[00:04:01] Then we have here audio out, I think.
[00:04:05] That's it.
[00:04:06] So we get basically the audio from this tool device.
[00:04:10] And in front of this chain device now we just put here a test tone.
[00:04:16] And maybe switch this to pink noise and then the mix 100 percent and we can change here
[00:04:23] the output volume of this test tone device.
[00:04:25] So this is basically our reference value.
[00:04:28] So we can call this here maybe reference and we can dial in here, let's say minus 23 dB.
[00:04:36] Okay.
[00:04:38] And now when we hit here this learn button, it measures basically the output of this test
[00:04:45] tone device and it tries to apply a gain to this audio receiver.
[00:04:51] So the audio receiver matches the loudness of this reference tool.
[00:04:56] I hope this makes sense to you.
[00:04:58] So we push this button here.
[00:05:01] It analyzes here the pink noise and then that applies again to this audio receiver output.
[00:05:13] So the benefit of this is that you can put this here into some kind of preset and put
[00:05:19] it on different tracks and you have a live normalization tool basically.
[00:05:25] So I do this here.
[00:05:26] I use another chain.
[00:05:29] I call this normalize and then I put the audio in here, the reference value and also this
[00:05:38] chain device in there.
[00:05:40] Okay.
[00:05:41] Let's see if here this is still intact.
[00:05:43] Okay.
[00:05:44] We can make this smaller and we can say we want to have here.
[00:05:49] Well, let's actually use your macro at the new page and call this reference volume.
[00:06:03] One downside of this trick here basically is that this learn button here or this learn
[00:06:10] feature is not mappable to a macro or to a remote control.
[00:06:15] So we can't just use this basically as a remote control or let's say a button macro here.
[00:06:25] You can't just modulate this.
[00:06:26] So this is a problem.
[00:06:28] Maybe they add this in another beta version would be nice because sometimes you just want
[00:06:33] to have multiple chain devices inside of a layer and you just want to hit one button and
[00:06:40] analyze multiple chains at the same time would be nice to have.
[00:06:45] But at the moment it's not possible.
[00:06:47] So we can just use this normalize preset here and maybe save it as a preset here.
[00:06:57] Normalize chain.
[00:07:00] That's utility.
[00:07:02] What if X.
[00:07:04] Okay.
[00:07:05] Now you can just drag this to another track and just open this up and then hit this learn
[00:07:12] button here and you get the same volume.
[00:07:15] So you can use this to basically bring in consistency to all your tracks or use it for
[00:07:22] gain staging on synthesizers.
[00:07:25] So you don't have to bounce it down to audio and then use the audio normalization feature
[00:07:30] with big 5.2.
[00:07:32] So this is basically your solution for instruments or for live audio or for let's say you're
[00:07:38] off an external synthesizer and you just want to roughly match the volume with all the other
[00:07:43] tracks.
[00:07:44] You can do this with this kind of tool here and this measures here for I don't know 23
[00:07:49] seconds or something like this to get the real feel for the input volume.
[00:07:55] But it works pretty great.
[00:07:57] Would be nice we get here some kind of feature that we can map it to a remote or to a macro.
[00:08:04] But like I said it's not possible at the moment.
[00:08:06] So this is basically a quick hack to get normalization on live audio.
[00:08:15] And I want to show you this.
[00:08:16] I think I showed this before in the first stream about Bitwig Studio 5.1 but I never
[00:08:21] made a dedicated video for this.
[00:08:24] And yeah, that's it basically.
[00:08:26] I put this preset here in the description below so you can download it if you want to.
[00:08:31] And yeah, it works actually pretty well.
[00:08:34] So leave a like, leave a subscription, leave me a comment if you want to.
[00:08:38] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video.
[00:08:41] Bye.
[00:08:42] It's actually a stupid melody.
[00:08:44] [BLANK_AUDIO]