6. Exploring the Arranger Timeline and Clip Launcher areas
1 Unlike traditional ‘left-to-right’ music production environments, Bitwig Studio 2 8-Track offers a nifty means by which clips may be launched in a nonlinear fashion. Click Mix in the lower-left corner or punch your keyboard’s Tab key, and the main panel changes…
2 Here, we have vertically arranged tracks into which multiple clips may be loaded and played back in sync with the project tempo. Each horizontal row of clips is referred to as a Scene, and launched by clicking that Scene’s play button. Currently, only the default Audio 2 track and the Legend 909 track from our previous tutorial are visible.
3 Our original MIDI clip isn’t visible, because Bitwig differentiates between Launcher Clips and Arranger Tracks. Hit Play and you’ll still hear the MIDI clip – it’s just not visible in the Mix view. This might seem confusing, but Bitwig Studio has a neat trick up its sleeve. Hit Tab to go back to the Arranger Timeline.
4 Look at the buttons above the Legend 909 Normal track’s header. Click the leftmost Show Clip Launcher button (six squares). This reveals Bitwig’s Clip Launcher alongside the Arranger Timeline. Open the Tool menu (found just to the right of those two buttons) and choose the Knife tool.
5 Go to the MIDI clip on the timeline. Find where bar 2 begins and click on the line indicating bar 2, beat 1. You just have to get close – the cursor will snap to the correct position. Clicking there with the Knife tool slices the clip into two. The rightmost segment is selected – rightclick and choose Delete to ditch that bit.
6 After reselecting the Pointer tool, grab the remaining MIDI clip and drag it to the same track’s first slot in the Clip Launcher section. This creates a clip in the Clip Launcher area. Click the little play button on our newly created clip, and it will play/loop indefinitely, while causing the original to become ‘greyed out’.
7 You can switch the playback focus from the clip back to the track by clicking the button just between the Clip Launcher section and the timeline. We’ll leave ours as it is. Let’s add some audio loops to our project – go to the Browser and click the Samples button up top.
8 We don’t have a lot in there. Right-click on All Sample Locations and choose
Add Sound Content Location. Now we can add any folder from our computer’s directories. We’ll add the CM Loops folder, where we’ve made a few loops for you to use. It now appears in the Browser.
9 There are only a few, but you can always add more. To audition a given loop, select it and click Play. Down at the bottom of the browser, we see information about the file. If you toggle the selection arrow and speaker buttons, your files will be played automatically when selected.