11. Trying out Sampler’s new features
1 Recently, Bitwig have turbocharged their already powerful Sampler device, adding wavetable and granular synthesis. In fact, it’s hard to think of it as a sampler at all – it’s more like a sampledriven super-synth! Let’s drag an instance into our project.
2 For now, let’s just treat it as an oldfashioned sampler. Drag a sample into it. We’ll be using the DigitalVox_C3.aif sample we’ve provided in Tutorial Files. We drag that onto the big empty area above Sampler’s controls. Play MIDI notes to trigger the sample.
3 Playback is abrupt – not appropriate for the vocal pad we want. Go to the AHDSR envelope in the lower-right and increase Attack to 125ms and Decay to 285ms. We’ll leave Sustain at full and set Release to around 1 second. Our sample’s more relaxed dynamics suit the floaty pad effect we’re going for.
4 If we hold our notes long enough, the sample plays to the end and then stops dead, despite the fact that our amplitude sustain level is at max. To remedy this, head to Sampler’s Loop section and toggle the single-direction looping button (the double arrow).
5 Look to the lower-left of Sampler’s GUI and you’ll see three vertical buttons. Click the top one (a square) to expand Sampler’s display to full screen. Our looped area is highlighted green. Set the loop’s start and end points by dragging the handles in the bottom of the looped area. Aim for a fairly seamless loop.
6 There’s a square handle in the middle of the loop end marker. Dragging that to the left will crossfade our loop points for a smoother loop. Once we have something suitable, we can move over to the Filter, found in the bottom-centre of Sampler’s display. Activate the third button from the left, which is the Lowpass 4-pole filter mode.
7 Reduce the filter Frequency to around 400Hz, then leave the Resonance knob at 50%. Our sound is a lot more muffled, so let’s modulate this filter. We need to click the Show Modulators button in the lower-left. Now we can click on a + to add an ADSR envelope generator.
8 Click the arrow beneath the envelope graphic to assign it, then click and drag on the filter’s Frequency knob until the mod amount is around +40. Click the envelope graphic to open its editor, where we’ll crank both Attack, Decay, and Release to nearly full. Our filter now slowly opens, then settles to a muted, steady position.
9 Let’s finish our patch by thickening it up with some chorusing. Add Bitwig Studio 2 8-Track’s built-in Chorus device by clicking the FX bin in the Sampler’s upper-right corner. Click the blue + and then go to the Bitwig category and locate the Chorus device. We click OK and tweak parameters to taste.