A few special cases exist around and within The Grid that are worth looking at.
Grid Devices and Thru Signals
Virtually every Bitwig device passes thru signals that are not its focus. For example, normal note effect and instrument devices pass thru audio signals that reach them, which helps facilitate workflows such as Bounce In Place (see The Bounce in Place Function and Hybrid Tracks). And instrument and audio effect devices send on the note signals they receive, as following audio devices or modulators may take advantage of them.
Grid devices are a bit unique here, as we expect you may use these devices in ways we do not expect. Accordingly, Note Grid, Poly Grid, and FX Grid all have Inspector parameters for whether received note signals (Note Thru) and non-note MIDI messages (Control Thru) should be passed on to the output, in addition with any signals that might be created by the device via Note Out and CC Out modules.
Note Grid has an additional option for Audio Thru as well, but it is slightly different since merging audio doesn't always end well. When enabled, audio reaching the device is simply passed thru — and any Audio Out modules used by the patch are suspended. When Audio Thru is disabled, audio routed thru or generated inside the Grid patch will be passed on, but audio reaching the Note Grid device is not automatically passed thru. (Poly Grid automatically passes audio thru, where as the audio effect-oriented FX Grid relies on its Mix parameter [and any manual configurations you may patch] to blend between dry and wet signals.)
All of these parameters are on by default, except for Note Grid which has Note Thru disabled (since the default preset of Note Grid is already passing all notes thru with any processing you may add). But defaults are meant to be broken, especially when a Grid patch takes you in a new direction.
Within Grid patches, there are some common connections that are made more often than not. Pre-cords provide wireless connections for some of the most common connections, generally taking the form of a toggle near an in port that connects to the same module buss. This both allows modules to be preconfigured with regular connections and saves the clutter of cords running from single I/O modules to various destinations across each patch.
For example, the default Poly Grid patch contains three pre-cords.
On the AR module, there is an icon in the bottom left corner representing a two-state logic signal. This is a pre-cord for bringing all note gate signals reaching the device to the envelope generator's gate in port. This toggle is enabled by default as envelope generators are most often gated by note input. Manually creating this connection would require the Gate In module.
On the Triangle module, there is an arrow icon to the right of the yellow retrigger in port. This is a pre-cord for bringing all note gate signals reaching the device to the oscillator's retrigger port (for restarting the oscillator's phase). This toggle is disabled by default. Manually creating this connection would also require the Gate In module.
On the Triangle module, there is an icon in the bottom left corner showing a piano keyboard with arrows in both directions, representing keyboard tracking. This is a pre-cord for bringing all note pitch signals reaching the device to the oscillator's pitch buss. This toggle is enabled by default as oscillators usually incorporate the pitch of incoming notes. Manually creating this connection would also require the Pitch In module — and to open the module's pitch in port attenuator all the way so that notes land in the proper place.
Multiple modules have pre-cords from note gate signals, with various icons to help illustrate the buss's behavior.
Several modules have pre-cords from note pitch signals. In the case of oscillators, these are toggles. For filters, the pre-cord takes the form of an attenuator.
And the data-sequencer modules have pre-cords from the device's phase signal (which is configured in the Inspector Panel for the device). These connections could be made manually from the Phase In module.
Some other modules (such as Sampler and Pitch Quantize) use pre-cords in ways specific only to those modules, which make their module-specific help views especially useful.
Making Feedback with "Long Delay"
Feedback loops are possible but prevented when made directly in The Grid.
For example, the patch below is attempting to create a looping envelope. (The logic is that the envelope should trigger both when a new note is played [via Gate In] OR if the envelope signal [second output of AD] is equal to zero AND the note is still being held down [via Gate In].) In the screenshot, I am adding a cable to complete the feedback loop, passing a signal coming out of the envelope generator and back to its gate input.
But once the mouse/touch is released, the cable disappears because this kind of direct feedback is not allowed.
To make a feedback connection: insert a Long Delay (Delay/FX) module into the feedback path.
Long Delay is specially configured to allow feedback and has a minimum delay time of one block size (see Audio Settings).
- 0. Welcome to Bitwig Studio
- 1. Bitwig Studio Concepts
- 2. Anatomy of the Bitwig Studio Window
- 3. The Arrange View and Tracks
- 4. Arranger Clips and the Browser Panel
- 5. The Clip Launcher
- 6. The Mix View
- 7. Introduction to Devices
- 8. Automation
- 9. Working with Audio Events
- 10. Working with Note Events
- 11. Operators, for Animating Musical Sequences
- 12. Going Between Notes and Audio
- 13. Working with Projects and Exporting
- 14. MIDI Controllers
- 15. Advanced Device Concepts
- 16. Welcome to The Grid
- Using the Grid Editor
- Special Connections
- On Grid Signals
- 17. Working on a Tablet Computer
- 18. Device Descriptions
- 19. Credits