Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Bitwig-5.2b10 Poly-Grid Tutorial Voice-Stacks FM-synths

Cross-Modulation Voices in Bitwig

Tutorial | Jul 01, 2024

Sure! In this video, I explored how to utilize voice stacking in Bitwig to create complex modulations and sounds. By extracting values from different voice stacks and cross-modulating them, I demonstrated how to achieve interesting and unique sonic results. Although it may not be the most practical approach, the possibilities for experimentation and creativity are vast.

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

In this Bitwig tutorial, I explore the possibilities of using voice stacking within the Poly-Grid to create unique sound modulations. The main idea is to utilize voice stacks to modulate each other and achieve complex sounds.

Key Points:

Detailed Steps:

By following these steps, you can leverage the power of Bitwig’s Poly-Grid and voice stacking to create unique, evolving sounds.

Questions & Answers

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

Can you utilize voice stacking in Bitwig?

Yes, voice stacking is possible in Bitwig. By using the Poly-Grid and various modules, you can create complex patch configurations that allow for cross modulation and manipulation of audio signals between different voice stacks.

How do you extract values from different voice stacks in Bitwig?

To extract values from different voice stacks in Bitwig, you can use a combination of voice toggles, flatten modules, and stack modulators. By selectively enabling and disabling voices and using the flatten module, you can extract specific values and apply them to different elements of your patch.

Is it possible to cross modulate between different keys in Bitwig?

Yes, it is possible to cross modulate between different keys in Bitwig. By utilizing the poly-mono module and increasing the number of voices, you can create cross modulation effects where the frequencies and modulation values of different keys interact with each other, resulting in unique and dynamic sounds.

How can you use the step modulator and poly-mono module to create dynamic patches in Bitwig?

To create dynamic patches in Bitwig using the step modulator and poly-mono module, you can assign different modulation values to each voice stack. By manipulating the step modulator and using voice toggles and flatten modules, you can extract and summarize values from multiple voice stacks and apply them to different elements of your patch, resulting in evolving and varied sounds.


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 sometimes I lay down in bed or they could walk and have some questions popping up in
[00:00:05] my head.
[00:00:06] Can you do actually something like this in Bitwig?
[00:00:08] And most of the times it turns out, yes, you can.
[00:00:12] And this is one of these videos and it's a bit complicated to explain.
[00:00:17] I try my best.
[00:00:20] It's probably not the best practical example for this, but it's maybe nice to know that
[00:00:25] you actually can do it.
[00:00:27] You probably find ways to utilize this.
[00:00:30] So let me show you what I mean here.
[00:00:35] So inside of Bitwig, we can use a Poly-Grid, right?
[00:00:40] And inside of this Poly-Grid, which is, by the way, monophonic and there's no voice
[00:00:44] stacking enabled, we can just create a nice sine oscillator patch by just using, let's
[00:00:51] say, a sine oscillator and ADSR and one audio output.
[00:00:58] So this is pretty simple and straightforward.
[00:01:01] So we can play this on the keyboard here.
[00:01:10] Okay, so we can also take the output of this, right, and can feed it back into the same oscillator.
[00:01:23] You get something like this.
[00:01:27] So you get some nice overtones.
[00:01:34] So my question was, can we actually utilize voice stacking on this?
[00:01:40] Can we just say, I want to have two voice stacks, but now I want to use voice stack
[00:01:46] to the audio of voice stack to and modulate the sine oscillator on voice stack one.
[00:01:54] Is this actually possible?
[00:01:55] And the answer is yes, you can.
[00:01:57] You can do this.
[00:01:58] I'll show you how it works.
[00:02:00] So we use here a toggle, a voice toggle, which just, it just mutes or disables certain voices.
[00:02:08] We disable here all these voices and we only output here voice one.
[00:02:17] So we only want to hear voice one.
[00:02:20] We use the second toggle and here we toggle on the second voice.
[00:02:25] And the second voice is the output we want to use as a phase modulation signal.
[00:02:34] And then we want to feed it back into sine oscillator one.
[00:02:39] So we also need to actually bring the audio signal from voice stack two to voice stack
[00:02:50] one.
[00:02:51] And you can't do this.
[00:02:53] But what you can do is you can use a fully mono module here, this one.
[00:02:59] And this one says it flattens any signal making it the same for all voices.
[00:03:06] So now we take here the output of voice stack two because we disabled everything else.
[00:03:12] We only hear basically the sound or we get the values of this oscillator on voice stack
[00:03:19] two, only on voice stack two.
[00:03:22] But here we flatten this or summarize all the voices and we only have voice two enabled.
[00:03:27] So the sum of all of these signals is basically the output of voice stack two because only
[00:03:32] this one is enabled.
[00:03:34] So we flatten this here and we bring this to all voices.
[00:03:37] So now we have basically on all voice stacks the same value, which is the output of voice
[00:03:45] stack two.
[00:03:46] So now we can feed this back into the long delay and bring this back in here.
[00:03:52] So we do this basically also on all voice stacks.
[00:03:55] So now we need a stack modulator here, voice control, and use this voice modulator one
[00:04:05] and modulate here only on voice stack one.
[00:04:09] So this modulation is only on voice stack one.
[00:04:12] And because we have here the flattened signal from voice stack two, we just face modulate
[00:04:20] only the first stack or the first voice.
[00:04:23] It sounds like this.
[00:04:27] And I can prove to you that it's voice two because we now modulate stack two or we change
[00:04:40] the settings for the sign oscillator for stack two and you can still hear voice stack
[00:04:46] one.
[00:04:55] Right.
[00:04:57] So if I just screenshot this here and bring this over to my browser, pass this in here.
[00:05:06] So this is the patch we just built and then we used voice stacking to actually duplicate
[00:05:10] this.
[00:05:11] We have this two times running right in the background or virtually you can't see it
[00:05:16] actually on voice stack two.
[00:05:20] We have no output because we used voice toggle here and disabled all the voices except voice
[00:05:27] one.
[00:05:28] So we hear here only voice one.
[00:05:31] So the voice stack two has no audio output.
[00:05:33] So that's the first thing, right?
[00:05:37] Then here on stack one, we have voice toggle here for two on.
[00:05:42] So this audio output is not going through here because on voice stack two or voice stack
[00:05:46] one, everything is disabled except voice two.
[00:05:51] So we get the audio signal from here flattened the signal here, which means we get now the
[00:05:56] signal from here also here and all the other voices.
[00:06:00] If you have more voice stacks, but we only have two.
[00:06:03] You get the signal from here also in here because we flattened this.
[00:06:09] And then we used the stack modulator to only increase the modulation on this one.
[00:06:16] Here there is no modulation.
[00:06:17] So just imagine this is here gone.
[00:06:19] So we only have modulation on here, right?
[00:06:22] And this one also outputs volume or outputs the audio signal.
[00:06:28] So we use this patch to actually feed the audio signal back to the first stack and face
[00:06:36] modulate here and then output the signal.
[00:06:38] So this is just what we did.
[00:06:41] And that's a very nourishing, complicated way of just having two sign oscillators face
[00:06:48] modulating each other, right?
[00:06:49] You can just use a second one here and just do this normally.
[00:06:54] But here we just use one and then use voice stacking to duplicate everything and extract
[00:06:59] the audio signal from stack two, bring it back to stack one and then modulate on stack
[00:07:04] one the sign oscillator to get this kind of feeling or the sound.
[00:07:15] So now comes the interesting part because this poly-mono module here not only works for
[00:07:24] stacked voices, it also works for just normal polyphonic voices.
[00:07:31] So when we increase here the voices to, let's say three, we can now play three notes at
[00:07:38] the same time.
[00:07:40] So listen to this, how this sounds.
[00:07:56] So we have basically now cross modulation between different keys.
[00:08:01] So in our graph here, it looks like this.
[00:08:03] We have voice stacking enabled for one note and then we just take this and let's say,
[00:08:14] duplicate this or play multiple notes, something like this.
[00:08:18] So when we play two notes, each note plays basically two stacks and the second stack modulates
[00:08:24] the first stack.
[00:08:26] But this poly-mono module here flatness not only just these two stacks, it also flats
[00:08:33] these two stacks.
[00:08:35] So when we play multiple notes, it takes all of these values here or these audio signals
[00:08:40] and summarizes them and then feeds them back into the first stack of each note.
[00:08:49] And you can see it gets complicated quite fast.
[00:08:53] Actually, actually just duplicate this here again.
[00:08:56] So this is basically three notes.
[00:08:59] Yeah, and then you cross modulate basically between three notes and summarize these stacks
[00:09:07] here together and then feed each of these or all of these summarized signals back into
[00:09:13] each of these voice stack ones.
[00:09:15] And then you get this cross modulation sound.
[00:09:20] So it sounds also different for each note you play because each note has a different
[00:09:24] frequency and different frequencies then are summarized together and it gives you this
[00:09:30] kind of cross modulation sound.
[00:09:34] And if you do this like in a small with a small amount here, right, you can create,
[00:09:41] you know, more alive sounds or more like sounds that sound like they belong together or come
[00:09:54] from a device that have, I mean, if you play a piano, it's not like each of these strings
[00:10:00] are resonating alone in an empty space.
[00:10:04] There's a lot of stuff around you have cross resonance and, you know, if you play one key,
[00:10:09] then the other keys are also resonating.
[00:10:12] So it's this kind of concept.
[00:10:14] So this is my practical example for this for using voice stacks to actually extract values
[00:10:21] from different stacks and then bring it back to the first stack or to, I don't know, cross
[00:10:28] routes between different stacks.
[00:10:30] You can also have here, for instance, up to 16 up to 16 stacks, right, and then say,
[00:10:37] I want to extract something from stack two and want to bring it up to stack eight and
[00:10:43] cross modulate something there and then bring something from stack 16 and bring it down to
[00:10:48] stack one or something like this.
[00:10:50] So you can do it if you want to.
[00:10:54] Another thing I want to show you is that you can do this with values also pretty neatly.
[00:11:00] So we can say we have a step modulator here and we have 16 voice stacks and we want to
[00:11:10] use this step modulator here per voice and use stack spread modulator and we modulate
[00:11:18] here the phase by let's say 100% on 99.99 then switches to hold.
[00:11:28] And then we can take here a value knob.
[00:11:32] You can just modulate this here with a step modulator.
[00:11:38] You can see it's just one because the readout here is on last voice mode.
[00:11:44] If you put this to all voices, we have 16 because it's now all voices combined.
[00:11:49] We have 16 bars.
[00:11:51] Each bar has a value of one.
[00:11:52] So it gets you basically 16.
[00:11:54] So it's basically calculator summing up here all the values together in just one value.
[00:12:02] But what you can do now is you can use a toggle again.
[00:12:08] This toggle here and extract let's say only voice 16 and then say last voice and it gives
[00:12:19] you one because the last voice here is 16.
[00:12:22] But when I change basically this here to 15 and change 15, you can see it's still zero
[00:12:28] because it only gives you here the last voice and the last voice is always this one here.
[00:12:35] And it doesn't show you this value because voice toggle is also muted here.
[00:12:39] So you have to enable this.
[00:12:40] So it's a bit, you know, this trickery for this.
[00:12:44] So what you need to do is actually you need to use all voices here.
[00:12:49] So this is now all voices, but we use here the toggle and we only toggle on 16.
[00:12:55] So you only see here 16.
[00:12:57] We use 15.
[00:12:59] You only see 15.
[00:13:01] Because it's all voices combined or summarized.
[00:13:04] So you have to keep this in mind because when you want to extract this here, let's say with
[00:13:08] the modulator, you need to also use a poly-mono and put this to summarize or some.
[00:13:17] It's basically the same thing.
[00:13:22] So this is here, this is 15.
[00:13:25] Yeah.
[00:13:26] So now we can extract again here this value.
[00:13:29] So now we can duplicate this again.
[00:13:31] Say this is voice 14.
[00:13:34] This is maybe 16, right?
[00:13:37] And you can use sign oscillator and modulate your different things on there.
[00:13:46] AdSR out.
[00:13:52] And then now we have here 16 sign oscillators outputting volume.
[00:13:55] So we again use a voice toggle to mute all the other voices and just use voice one.
[00:14:07] This one is a decay.
[00:14:13] So only the last three are modulating things, right?
[00:14:20] Let's use the second one here just to do this and to let you voice 13 and modulate this.
[00:14:33] Don't want to modulate this.
[00:14:38] Again this one is 12.
[00:14:43] This one is 11.
[00:14:49] Really doing another one.
[00:14:53] This one modulates the ratio here by a certain amount.
[00:14:59] Okay.
[00:15:01] So with this you can use the DICE module and you get a different value, right?
[00:15:08] On each of these 16 voice stacks, but we only output basically one voice, the first voice
[00:15:13] stack here.
[00:15:14] So you have to keep this in mind.
[00:15:28] I think here we can choose multiple polyphonic voices.
[00:15:32] Should be fine.
[00:15:34] No, it takes then all voices.
[00:15:38] Yeah, that's not working here with this.
[00:15:43] So that's the problem.
[00:15:44] It's basically cross-modulating because you use this poly-imported mono.
[00:15:48] I wish we had some better modules for voice management, which note goes on which voice
[00:15:56] and cross-modulating stuff.
[00:15:59] Maybe we get a new module and some of the new updates would be nice to have this actually
[00:16:06] or to visualize certain voice stacks better.
[00:16:09] I mean, I showed you here this graph, right?
[00:16:12] You have to make this basically in your brain to keep track of everything in your brain
[00:16:17] and it gets complicated pretty fast as you can see here.
[00:16:21] But it's possible.
[00:16:22] Okay.
[00:16:23] It's possible.
[00:16:39] So it's a nice way of extracting each of these values from each bar and then create a patch
[00:16:45] from that and randomize everything or just tweak your patch with this kind of step modulator,
[00:16:52] which is kind of nice to draw in, right?
[00:16:54] And you get different sounds.
[00:16:58] So this is just a simple two-sign oscillator patch here.
[00:17:01] But if you have more like a more complicated patch, then it probably makes more sense.
[00:17:09] But I try to give you basically some examples, two examples, how you can utilize this kind
[00:17:14] of cross stack voice stack, modulating idea and how to implement it.
[00:17:23] I hope it makes sense.
[00:17:25] It's very hard to explain actually because I can't show you how it actually looks like.
[00:17:30] In my brain, it makes sense, right?
[00:17:33] And I try to explain it very well to you.
[00:17:39] If you have questions, let me know in the comments down below.
[00:17:42] It's maybe not the most practical thing, but I'm sure some of you come up with some interesting
[00:17:48] results.
[00:17:49] Okay.
[00:17:50] That's it for this video.
[00:17:51] Leave a like if you liked the video.
[00:17:52] Leave me a subscription.
[00:17:54] I know a lot of you are not subscribed to my channel for some reason.
[00:17:59] Yeah.
[00:18:00] Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.
[00:18:02] Bye.