Modulators

Each modulator is a special-purpose module that can be added to any Bitwig device or plug-in. The modules output is then assigned to control various parameters of the device.

As in Bitwig Studio, the modulators are categorized below by the type of function they perform. For more information on using modulators, see Modulator Devices.

Audio-driven Category

Devices that convert audio into a modulator signal

Audio Rate

An instantaneous (read: non-averaged) sidechain control, routable from any audio signal within the current project. Gain control, an optional low-pass filter with adjustable cutoff frequency, and a Rectify switch (to convert the incoming signal to all positive values) are all available.

Audio Sidechain

An averaged sidechain control, routable from any audio signal within the current project. Analysis of the incoming signal uses adjustable gain, switchable averaging modes, high- and low-pass filters, and Attack and Release times.

Envelope Follower

A sidechain control that uses the device's incoming audio signal. Analysis of the incoming signal provides adjustable gain, switchable averaging modes, and Attack and Release times.

HW CV In

A sidechain control for control voltage devices that are connected to your audio interface's inputs. Parameters include Gain, Smooth(ing), and a toggle between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) modes.

Envelope Category

Periodic generators triggered by note ons or offs.

ADSR

A standard envelope generator with attack, decay, sustain, and release segments. There is also a Single Trigger option, and an option to Pre-delay the envelope start in musical or real time.

AHD on Release

An attack–hold–decay envelope generator triggered by note off messages, with Single Trigger option. The timed segments also have individual curve controls.

AHDSR

A standard envelope generator with attack, hold, decay, sustain, and release segments. The timed segments also have individual curve controls. There is also a Single Trigger option, and an option to Pre-delay the envelope start in musical or real time.

Note Sidechain

A standard envelope generator with attack, decay, sustain, and release segments. The gate message driving the envelope generator is routable from any note message source within the current project. There is also an option to Pre-delay the envelope start, in musical or real time.

Ramp

A simple ramp generator with switchable direction, curve, and optional looping.

Interface Category

Providing panel elements for better/unique control, or access to Transport-level interface items.

Button

A binary toggle control. Selecting the modulator and viewing the Inspector Panel shows an optional smoothing parameter.

Buttons

Two independent binary toggle controls. Selecting the modulator and viewing the Inspector Panel shows an optional smoothing parameter that applies to both buttons.

Globals

Provides modulator signals for three project-wide controls:

  • Fill - A modulator signal reflecting the current Fill mode state (see Transport Section)

  • A◆B - A bipolar modulator signal reflecting the current Global Crossfader value (see Crossfader Section)

  • Play - A modulator signal reflecting whether the transport is currently playing (1) or not (0)

The Fill and A◆B sources can be used as global control sources, routing hardware controllers or automation (from Master > Transport) to any and all tracks.

Macro

One continuous knob control.

Macro-4

Four independent, continuous knob controls.

Select-4

Four control sources derived from one continuous fader control. The single fader is essentially a crossfader whose position determines which one or two control sources will receive a modulation value.

Vector-4

Four control sources derived from one continuous XY control. The single fader is essentially a crossfader whose X and Y positions determine the modulation values received by each control source.

Vector-8

Eight control sources derived from one continuous XY control. The single fader is essentially a crossfader whose X and Y positions determine the modulation values received by each control source.

XY

Two control sources derived from one continuous XY control. The single fader is essentially a joystick whose X and Y positions are used as the control sources' values.

LFO Category

For regularly repeating patterns or noise.

Beat LFO

A tempo-synced (including the option to follow global shuffle) low-frequency oscillator, with shape, phase, and polarity controls.

Classic LFO

A tempo-synced low-frequency oscillator, typically used in Bitwig Studio version 1 devices. Provides a Note Trigger option and a Per-Voice toggle (when applicable).

LFO

A fully functional low-frequency oscillator, with shape, phase, and polarity controls. It can also be tempo synced, set to fade in, given various reset modes, and be toggled to a polyphonic mode.

Random

A tempo-synced random low-frequency oscillator. Output can be discrete or slewed, be unipolar or bipolar, be retriggered by Note or Sync messages, and be monophonic or polyphonic (when applicable).

Vibrato

A musical LFO whose amount can be normalled to Modwheel or polyphonic Pressure (which will use channel aftertouch if poly pressure isn't present).

Modifier Category

Processor modulators.

Math

One control source derived from two continuous knob controls. The output signal is a mathematical relation of the two signals, which is derived either by MUL(tiplying), ADD(ing), or SUB(tracting) the two signals, or simply taking the MIN(imum) or MAX(imum) of the two values.

Mix

One control source derived from two continuous fader controls. The output signal is determined by the current crossfade position between the two fader values.

Polynom

A transfer function for reshaping an incoming modulation signal with a basic polynomial equation. The way to pass a signal into the module for processing is by modulating the x= parameter with any other modulator(s).

Each of the four additional parameters represent a term of the cubic function used. x 0 represents the offset applied to the function. x 1 represents the function's slope (or rotation). x 2 represents the parabolic curve applied to the function, and x 3 represents a cubic curve (like an S-curve). The graphical interface helpfully visualizes the transfer function being used, and the processor will clip the output signal to stay within range.

Quantize

A processor for reducing the resolution of an incoming modulation signal, often used to transform a fairly continuous signal into one that is more discrete. The way to pass a signal into the module for processing is by modulating the Input parameter with any other modulator(s).

The Quantize factor sets the resolution of the output signal. A low setting restricts the output to be more like a pulse signal, and a high setting preserves the more continuous elements of the original signal. Additionally, four shape options ( Linear, Log, Exp, and Sinh) adjust the spacing of the resolution grid used by the device.

Sample and Hold

A processor that sustains (or holds) an incoming signal's value at the moment of each clock event. The way to pass a signal into the module for processing is by modulating the Input parameter with any other modulator(s). The Smooth parameter represents the transition time between successive samples.

The sampling clock can be set to various metronomic values (such as 4th for quarter notes, 1/8. for dotted eighth notes, bar for one measure at the project's current tempo, etc.), to free time values (either hertz [ Hz] or kilohertz [kHz]), to the Pitch of the latest received note message, or to Hold, which keeps the output signal from changing. This base clock rate can then be scaled by the adjacent modulation knob, which at center is 1.00 (100% or no change), at far left is 0.02 (2%), and at far right is 50.00 (5,000% or 50x).

At bottom, this device offers three modes of operation. Free allows the sampling clock to run independently, Gate restarts the clock whenever a new note message is received, and Sync restarts the clock whenever the transport is started.

Note-driven Category

Devices triggered by notes or MIDI.

Expressions

A module to extract incoming VEL(ocity), REL(ease velocity), TIMB(re), and PRES(sure) messages. Right-clicking the modulator's title or selecting the modulator itself and viewing the Inspector Panel shows parameters for enabling smoothing on all expressions and making the timbre expression relative at the time of each new note. All expressions are polyphonic when applicable.

Keytrack

A five-point piecewise function for transforming incoming note messages.

MIDI

A module to extract either continuous controller (CC), PRESSURE, or pitch BEND messages arriving at the device's input.

Note Counter

A module whose modulation output is incremented with each new note message received. The number of Steps counted and the value Increment-ed at each step can be set, as well as the OUTPUT SCALING method to be used for the modulation signal.

Pitch-12

Twelve control sources, one for each pitch class (C, D, E, etc.) received. With global Amount and Lag controls.

Voice Stack

For instruments using Bitwig's Voice Stacking. Like the built-in Voice Stack Spread ± option (see Voice Stacking), this modulator offers three additional modes of distributed voice control:

  • 0 to 1 spreads the modulations in a unipolar fashion, from 0% of the set modulation level to 100%.

  • -1 to 1 spreads the modulations in a bipolar fashion, from -100% of the set modulation level to 100% (just as Voice Stack Spread ± works).

  • Value spreads modulations from 0% in successive increments of 100% for each additional voice, making it easier to set amounts in some cases and to work with enumerated list parameters.

  • Manual allows you to manually create the distribution of values across voices with on screen faders (which can even be modulated themselves).

Additionally, inserting Voice Stack into a device automatically expands the modulator paths to include per-voice targets (named Stack Voice 1 thru Stack Voice 5).

Sequence Category

Providing step-/segment-based modulations.

4-Stage

A looping four-stage envelope generator, with definable times (optionally tempo-synced) and levels (optionally bipolar).

ParSeq-8

A special parameter sequencer, with the same global parameters as Steps (see Steps). Each step is its own modulation source so assigned parameters are modulated and then reset when advancing to the next step.

Each step starts with its step number, which can also be clicked to temporarily disable that step's modulations from taking effect. Next is a button with a musical fermata icon, which holds any previous modulations when this step begins (instead of resetting them to zero). Finally each step has a bipolar fader for scaling the depth of all modulations on that step.

Steps

A tempo-syncable, bipolar step sequencer. Parameters include step count, direction (forward, backward, and/or ping-pong mode that switches direction on each loop), and phase ( ø) for manual control of the play position. Trigger modes determine when the step sequencer advances:

  • Transport - Links to the global transport for play–stop status, tempo, and beat position

  • with Groove - Links to the global transport for play–stop status, tempo, and beat position with groove

  • Free running - Plays at the set rate, independent of the transport and incoming notes

  • Note / Restart - Plays at the set rate, with new notes restarting the pattern

  • Note / Random - Plays at the set rate, with new notes randomizing the position

  • Note / Advance - Holds the playhead in place, advancing only on incoming new note

Right-clicking on the pattern interface also provides options to copy and paste the pattern, as well as to Generate a preset pattern to replace the current one, or to Transform the current pattern .

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