4. Arranger Clips and the Browser Panel

Clips are the heart of any music that you will create in Bitwig Studio. Since they are the smallest unit we will work with for arranging tasks, clips can be thought of as our musical atoms. Put a different way, a clip is the smallest musical idea that you might consider looping.

In this chapter, we will continue working with the Arrange View. As we want to start working with clips and adjusting their basic parameters, we must first learn about the Browser Panel. Then we will investigate inserting clips and moving them around in the Arranger Timeline Panel, which leads us to playing back Arranger contents and understanding basic transport functions. Finally, we will see how to record new clips.

If our music is made of clips, then creating and capturing our music starts here.

The Browser Panel

The Browser Panel is an organized way to access and then add various media files to your project. The files can be part of the Bitwig Studio library content or any other file found on your computer. The Browser Panel has a fairly consistent layout across its tabs.

The Browser tabs are organized by the different types of content that are relevant to Bitwig Studio, and the search field allows you to find files/folders by name, creator, category, tags, etc.

The three panes below make up the file browser. The navigation pane at top allows you to isolate your search to a specific Collection or file Location (or in some cases, to narrow by either the Device in use or the Category that has been selected for a file). Additional options for the navigation pane are available by right-clicking anywhere within the Browser Panel to call up the contextual menu.

Any item in the Filter Sections section of this menu can be toggled on or off, including additional options that are unique to the various Browser tabs. Each filter that is displayed within the navigation pane can be expanded or contracted by clicking its minimize button (appearing as a "hamburger button," or three stacked horizontal lines) to the left of the section title. And when a selection has been made, that filter setting can be cleared by clicking the x icon on the far right of the section.

Once a selection is made in the navigation pane, the selection pane shows only content that matches the defined filters settings. And once a file is picked in the selection pane, the info pane at bottom displays information about your file selection and usually offers a few options for auditioning the file.

Starting on the right, the play/stop preview button either begins or halts playback of the selected file. When enabled, the synchronize preview button plays all previews at the song's current tempo. The automatic preview option will begin the preview of any file from the moment it is selected. And the volume fader at the far left determines preview volume.

To select a Browser tab, click on its associated icon.

Devices Tab

The Devices tab handles Bitwig Studio's devices as well as VST plug-ins from folders that you have designated. In the image above, the bottom of the list also has a clickable notification to Show 34 redundant plug-ins. Once clicked, all plug-ins are displayed and the line toggles, allowing you to then Hide 34 redundant plug-ins.

[Note]Note

Plug-in search paths are set in the Locations page of the Dashboard, as well as settings for which plug-in formats should be considered redundant. For more information, see Other Settings.

The navigation pane shows you the Category of devices, along with the Collection and Location that you may wish to search by. While some general information about the selected device is shown in the info pane, the preview function is disabled in this tab.

Presets Tab

The Presets tab handles presets for both Bitwig Studio's devices and VST plug-ins that are available. The navigation pane presents all the various filter categories as well as the option of filtering presets by the Device that is in use. Uniquely in this tab, you can both drag devices from the Device area of the navigation pane directly onto your tracks. You can also drag presets in from the selection pane, as usual.

To edit the metadata for a preset: right-click the preset and then choose Edit File Metadata... from the context menu. Add or remove any Tags in the following window, change the Category if you like, and select Ok.

The search field itself has a couple of options for this tab that can be accessed by clicking the magnifying glass icon.

This setting affects the Device filter, which is unique to this tab. When the ORGANIZE DEVICES BY parameter is set to Location, the plug-ins will be organized by the folder they are in. When Vendor is selected, the plug-ins will be organized by the name of their manufacturer.

Samples Tab

The Samples tab handles audio files from both the Bitwig Studio library's samples folder and folders that you have designated. Files found here can be loaded anywhere that audio is accepted.

Multisamples Tab

The Multisamples tab handles files from both the Bitwig Studio library's multi-samples folder and folders that you have designated. Files found here can be loaded into Sampler devices.

The preview function is disabled in this tab.

Music Tab

The Music tab handles recognized media files from music folders that you designate. This includes iTunes libraries. Files found here can be loaded anywhere that audio is accepted.

Clips Tab

The Clips tab handles files from both the Bitwig Studio library's clips folder and folders that you have designated. Files found here can be loaded into both the Arranger Timeline and the Clip Launcher.

To edit the metadata for a clip: right-click the preset and then choose Edit File Metadata... from the context menu. Enable/disable any Tags in the following window and select Ok.

Files Tab

The Files tab allows you to navigate across the current project, any bookmarked folders or library locations, your local user folder, your entire computer, and recent files.

The search field is not present in this tab.

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