Bitwig Masterclass overview
So you want to learn the full potential of Bitwig Studio? Enroll the Bitwig Masterclass and kickstart your music production career.
Ok, but what about the episode outline? What's in the episodes?
What you learn in the Bitwig Masterclass
E01 - Introduction
Why the Bitwig Masterclass? Why is Bitwig great, how does it differ from other DAWs? What can you expect from the Bitwig Masterclass?
E02 - User Interface
In this episode you will learn about the intuitive user interface of Bitwig Studio. We will also talk about some important keyboard shortcuts to bring up and hide panels. These shortcuts will greatly speed up and enhance your workflow in Bitwig Studio.
E03 - Audio Midi Setup
Learn how to setup your audio interface and midi controller properly in Bitwig Studio. We look at where to set the audio interface and the corresponding input / output ports in Bitwig. In the Bitwig Masterclass video series I use an Arturia Keystep 37 midi keyboard which we also setup via the Bitwig dashboard controller page.
E04 - Arrangement Navigation
Learn how to navigate the arrangement efficiently in Bitwig Studio. We talk about zooming, scrolling and using shortcuts (like the middle mouse button) to make navigation a breeze.
How does the loop region feature work?
E05 - Track Types & Signal Flow
Learn all about how tracks and audio signal flow work in Bitwig Studio.
In Bitwig there are five main track types (+ an additional FX Track);
Instrument, Audio, Hybrid, Group and Master track.
How do these track types work? What is a hybrid track?
Learn important short keys to boost your workflow when adding new tracks.
The audio/midi signal flow is important to understand if you want to route signals accurately. You can also route signals between tracks in Bitwig with ease!
LOADING AND RECORDING A VIRTUAL INSTRUMENT TO A MIDI TRACK
Furthermore, we load up a virtual instrument (Polymer synth device) on an empty instrument track and record some midi into the sequencer. Which results in a midi clip in the arrangement timeline.
E06 - Browser
Learn how to navigate, filter and use the browser to load samples, presets, devices / plugins. This video is crucial if you want to work fluent in Bitwig.
E07 - Recording Midi (Song sketch collection #1)
Learn how to setup the metronome with preroll for recording. How to setup a track for midi recording and recording midi clips. We also talk about aligning midi clips. Furthermore we briefly talk about the audio engine of Bitwig.
E08 - Drum Machine (Kick)
Learn how to record kick drums in a midi clip. In the video we are working with the conventient and great sounding Producer Essentials Kit included in the sound packs to the Bitwig Masterclass.
E09 - Midi Editing
We talk about midi editing tools, Editing in the piano roll, Quantizing (+ shortkeys). You will also learn how to setup metronome ticks to make it easier to play in slow tempos. We talk briefly about the drum machine slot layout.
E10 - Clap, Mixing Drum Slots
We continue talking about the drum machine slots, loading samplers in the slots. Learn how to set parameters (like gain) on the different samplers in the drum machine. We record claps in our song sketch.
Importantly, you will learn how to mix the individual drum machine slots in the mixer!
E11 - Nested Devices
I believe it's crucial to understand the nested device behaviour and functionality of Bitwig Studio. Especially if you want to make organic instruments and modulate parameters deeply within your device chains.
For example: A drum machine is a container device. And it can contain samplers in each of the slots. Then the samplers in the slots are children to the parent drum machine. Continously, the samplers can contain chain effects...and down the rabbit hole we go. ;)
Important to take away from the episode:
A device (parent) can only modulate downards to child devices. Furthermore, a child device can not send modulation data upwards to a parent device.
E12 - Parameter Automation in Bitwig
What is automation in a digital audio workstation? Learn how to record, access and manipulate automation data! We also talk about the nested effects and how it's crucial if you want to save your device chains for later recall.
In the clip we add hi-hat release automation data so the hihat sounds more natural and like a real drum performance. We also add a little bit of delay on the hihats for nice stereo spread!
E13 - Lead melody and Macro Controls
In this episode we create a lead melody instrument and learn how to use and adjust macro controls on Bitwig plugins.
E14 - Mixing Lead and the Pad
In this episode you will learn a little bit of mixing. How to use the Bitwig Equalizer (EQ+) to mix your pads and leads to make space and get a tighter sound.
We also look at how to improve your lead with increased delay taps. This is a great trick to fill out empty space between the melody lines.
E15 - Recording audio & vocal recording tips
The theme of this episode is vocal recording. We go through how to set up your track for audio recording. Furthermore we will do some post processing (trimming) after the audio has been recorded to the arrangement timeline.
In the episode you will learn:
Create an audio input bus connected to your audio interface input.
Add a new audio track and set track input input bus.
How to set track input volume to prevent distorted audio.
Change volume on several tracks at the same time (as a group).
Adding track insert effects like delay and reverb.
Good distance to microphone for vocal recording.
Trimming audio to remove unwanted parts in an audio clip.
Fade-in / fade-out audio clips.
E16 - Arrangement Editing
In this episode you will learn:
How to edit efficiently in Bitwig Studio via keyboard shortcuts.
How to quickly mute / un-mute clips and notes.
Making cuts in your audio / midi clips.
How to trim clips.
We learn the difference between selecting by clips and selecting by time.
We look at how to copy sections to extend arrangements.
E17 - Modulators
In this episode you will learn how to induce motion into your sounds and music.
What are modulators, how do they work and what kind of modulators are available in Bitwig? Learn about LFOs, buttons, macros, random modulators and much more! The information panel is your friend for modulation overview of a device.
Learn how to create a phasing effect and a volume gating effect with the modulators. Modulators are super helpful in the process of creating modern electronic music!
We also talk about the importance of nested device chains to modulate parameters in plugins downwards in the child device chain.
E18 - Sidechaining
Learn about the side chain effect.
- What is sidechaining? When do we use sidechaining?
- Learn how to use a dynamics compressor for side chaining.
- Learn how to use a tools device with a modulator to make the side chaining happen.
- Tip: use a muted hi-hat as the side chain source!
E19 - Clip launcher
Linear vs non-linear composition.
- Difference between arrangement view and clip launcher view.
- How to record midi & audio clips in the clip launcher.
- How to overdub midi clips.
- How to burn down your clip launch performance into the arrangement.
- Using clip launch + arrangement in symbiosis.
- How to activate / deactivate clip launching for individual tracks.
- Operators to add (chance) expression to your midi notes.
E20 - The fundamentals of sound
In todays episode we talk about the fundamentals of sound.
What is sound?
How do we recognize instruments.
What are the key components of an instrument sound?
How can we replicate a sound?
Furthermore you are introduced to the sampler of Bitwig, and how you can easily transform any wavefile (sample) into an instrument in Bitwig!
Make sure you watch the following episode 21 since it's heavily connected to this episode.
E21 - Polymer Synth + Instrument Layer
In E21 we will explore the powerful Polymer Synth in Bitwig Studio. Polymer is basically the grid disguised in a more user friendly interface for creating synth sounds with ease.
Furthermore we look at the instrument layer device which acts as a container to hold multiple synths, samplers and other plugins.
The Instrument Layer makes it easy to mix and match different sounds into unique instruments. Perfect for sound design in music production.
E22 - Kalimba Sound Design, Polymer, Sampler
In this episode we use our skills with the instrument layer, polymer synth and sampler to create our own unique Kalimba instrument.
We use a note velocity modulator to control filter cutoff for a more playable and dynamic instrument.
Then we add delay and reverb to the instrument.
Finally we round off the episode by mapping our midi controller to control the reverb amount so we can adjust it in real time!
Skills you learn:
Using the instrument layer to design custom instruments.
Polymer synth wave table sound design.
Mapping midi controller to device / plugin parameters.
E23 - Audio Clips vs Audio Events
In episode 23 we explore audio clips and audio events.
What are they? How do they differ?
In the video you will learn:
DIfference between audio Clips and audio Events.
Chop audio in Clips & Audio Events.
Make volume fades in Clips & Audio Events.
Working with audio in the editing panel.
Learn more about advanced audio editing in E24, E25!
E24 - Advanced Audio Editing
In this episode we explore the audio editing tools available to chop up your audio. We also talk about merging clips, looping and much more.
You will learn:
Quick and instant audio edit tools for gain, fade and loop.
Chopping audio clips & events in Bitwig.
Consolidate, loop and duplicate clips.
Creating a intro sweep trasition with reversed clips.
Learn more advanced audio editing tricks in E25 where talk about stretching and operators on audio events!
E25 - Audio Event Operators
In this episode we look at audio event operators to infuse probability and random behaviour on our audio events. Operators can really make your percussive parts and musical ideas come alive.
- Chance operator
- Recurrance operator
- Repeat Operator
- How to combine operators
E26 - Audio Time Stretching
Learn all about the time stretching engine in Bitwig Masterclass episode 26!
In the video you will learn:
How to time stretch audio efficiently to tighten up your instrument performances.
Different audio playback modes; (RAW, Stretching, Elastic, etc)
How / why Bitwig sets different playback modes for different samples.
Change the audio file import behaviour of Bitwig.
How to work with audio Onsets.
Slice-in-place “chop up” and re-arrange audio events - great for glitch music!
Consolidate (merge) audio clips into bigger clip chunks.
Re-pitch audio events and pitch glides.
How to get rid of unwanted pops in audio loops!
How to use the gain tool on audio events.
What is zero-crossfading?
E27 - Comping Audio Recording Takes - Arrangement & Clip Launcher
In this episode of the Bitwig Masterclass we look at audio comping.
Audio Comping, means Audio Compositing. It's about merging different recording takes into a single master take. Not unlike a puzzle. ;)
In the video we record multiple recording takes and then compile our master comp take with pieces that we carefully select from the comping takes.
Furthermore we look at how to do comping in the arrangement as well as in the clip launcher view!
E28 - Instrument Layers (Part 2), Voice Stack, Macros, Remote Control
* Instrument layers (part 2)
* Use "Show Help" to learn devices
* Voice Stack + Voice Stack modulator
* Macro modulator
* Macro control multiple parameters
* Remote Controls - Easy control to your devices
* Select-4 modulator - One fader to mix your instrument layer parts.
* Saving / Loading Presets with the quick browser.
E29 - Mastering
Mastering your music can be a challenging task. It's the last step before exporting your music for publishing.
In this episode we look at how you can create a general mastering chain to achieve a nice audio master with commercial loudness!
Of course every song and genre will be a different beast to tame, but the following plugins is almost always in my mastering chain:
YouLean Loudness Meter 2
Sometimes there might be additional plugins if I'm after a specific sound. It might be a tape emulation plugin, dynamic compressor, enhancers etc. But in this Mastering video we focus on a creating a general mastering chain and use native plugins available in Bitwig Studio...well except for the YouLean loudness meter, since Bitwig does not feature any good loudness metering devices / plugins by default.
Mastering for vinyl is also very different from mastering for streaming platforms / CD etc. But 99 % of the time these days, you're mastering for digital playback via streaming services.