Devices, Modulators, and Other Signal Achievements

Devices are special-function components that extend your signal paths by modifying or transforming incoming notes or audio signals.

Every track has a device chain. In terms of signal flow, this device chain falls between the incoming sequencer data and the track's mixing board section. In this device chain you can insert as many devices as you like. You can even use Bitwig's devices to create additional device chains.

Each device has parameters, which are settings that determine how that device operates. Parameters are set directly within the device's interface or via an assigned MIDI controller. Parameter values can also be sequenced via automation, adjusted via the device's remote controls, or manipulated by modulators, which are special-purpose modules that can be loaded within any device — or onto any track for control of all its contained devices and mixer controls.

Devices are grouped into several descriptive categories, including these:

  • Analysis. Devices that merely visualize the signals that reach them. They make no effect on the audio chain they are a part of.

  • Audio FX. Devices that manipulate incoming audio signals before passing them onward.

  • Container. Utility devices whose primarily function is to host other devices.

  • Delay. Delay line-based processors that operate on their incoming audio signals.

  • Distortion. Shapers and other mangling processors that operate on their incoming audio signals.

  • Dynamic. Processors that operate on their incoming audio signals, based off of those signals' amplitude levels and trends.

  • EQ. Sets of frequency-specific processors that operate on their incoming audio signals.

  • Filter. Frequency-specific processors that operate on their incoming audio signals.

  • Hardware. Interface objects for sending signals and/or messages to devices beyond Bitwig Studio (such as hardware synthesizers and effect units, etc.). This can include transmitting and/or receiving audio signals, control voltage (CV) signals, and clock messages.

  • MIDI. Transmitters for sending various MIDI messages via the track's device chain. This is useful for sending messages to plug-ins or to external hardware (when used in conjunction with Bitwig's hardware devices).

  • Modulation. Processors that manipulate incoming audio signals with an LFO, etc. influencing their function.

  • Note FX. Devices that generate or manipulate incoming note messages before passing them onward.

  • Reverb. Time-based processors that operate on their incoming audio signals.

  • Routing. Devices that divert a track's signal path, allowing signals to exit and/or reenter the track.

  • Spectral. Devices that operate in the frequency domain, working with hundreds of individual frequency bands.

  • Synth. Synthesizer instruments that either generate their audio from rudimentary source material or use audio samples. Incoming note messages are used to synthesize audio.

  • The Grid. Devices utilizing The Grid, Bitwig's modular sound-design environment (see chapter 17: Welcome to The Grid).

  • Utility. An assortment of devices sporting various generating, processing, and time-shifting functionality.

All device chains in Bitwig Studio support both audio and note signals. To keep these signals accessible, a few rules apply.

  • Except for note FX devices, all devices receiving note signals pass them directly to their output. (Note FX process the incoming notes before passing them onward.)

  • Except for audio FX devices, all devices receiving audio signals pass them to their output. (Audio FX process the incoming audio before passing them onward.)

  • Many Bitwig devices possess a Mix parameter. Similar to a "wet/dry" fader, this control blends the raw audio that entered the device into the device's output.

In Bitwig Studio, all audio signal paths are stereo.

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