The Global Groove

The musical idea of shuffle is to take a balanced (or "straight") rhythmic pattern and make every second note of the pattern a little late (or "swung"). The groove function in Bitwig Studio allows you to apply this idea so that notes which were programmed straight can be swung by a variable amount on playback. This function is nondestructive and can be adjusted or disabled at any time.

While each clip has local Shuffle and Accent settings (see Shuffle Section), the groove settings themselves are set at the project level.

The global Groove controls are found in the Play menu.

When the Enable Groove button is toggled on, the Global Groove settings will be applied to any clip requesting them.

The Shuffle category has two settings:

  • Rate determines whether groove will be applied at the 1/8 note or 1/16 note level.

  • The Shuffle control itself sets the amount. More specifically, this is the distance (from 0.00% to 100%) that even-numbered beats are delayed to the next lower beat division. So if the Rate is set to 1/16 notes, the Shuffle setting determines how far each second 1/16 note is pushed toward the following 1/32 note.

    In the above example, the source track is completely straight 1/16 notes (the E-Hat track). The three bottom audio tracks represent that source track printed with various amounts of 1/16 note groove applied.

    The Detail Editor Panel focuses on the 50%Shuffle example. Here, you can clearly see that each second 1/16 note is shifted halfway to the following 1/32 note.

The Accent category has three settings:

  • The Rate determines whether a slight emphasis is applied to every 1/4 note, 1/8 note, or 1/16 note.

  • The Accent itself sets the relative emphasis applied at the set interval. This is set between 0.00% and 100%.

  • Phase sets an offset amount that the accent interval is shifted by. This is set between -50.0% and 50.0%.


All of these groove parameters can be automated in your project's master track under the Transport category. You can also automate the project's tempo from here.

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