A Device & VST plugin module for The Grid

A Grid module that would load a Device or a VST plugin inside a patch. The features would be equivalent to the ones available when loading a VST as a device: its parameters could be modulated, and its audio signal could be processed by other modules, including Audio Out.

Some use cases:

  • Use a Device or VST plugin as a sound source that can then be mangled with other things - for example, a 3rd party synth patch that is triggered and controlled by The Grid then go through processing in The Grid again.
  • Use a Bitwig or 3rd party effect towards the end of the chain, like a reverb or a glitch processor.
  • Use a Bitwig or 3rd party effect within a voice or a small part of the chain, for example, a distortion, or some easy multi-band editing of a particular sound before it gets passed on.
  • Have interactions between different Bitwig and/or 3rd party effects that usually don’t interact, i.e. use one to modulate the other in unexpected ways.

This feature would make The Grid an open workspace as opposed to a closed one. Its implementation could be done with one module for all Devices and VSTs or two, one for instruments and one for effects.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Currently there is no direct connection between The Grid and Bitwig native devices and VST plugins. The Grid only has oscillators and the Sampler to create sound. Note data generated inside the Grid cannot be used by Devices and VST plugins with ease and good performance.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Bitwig pushes innovative workflows through open-ended architecture. This feature would make The Grid (a central piece of Bitwig) more open.

Is there already an alternative way to achieve this on Bitwig?

You can modulate device parameters with Grid signals if they are in the FX chain of the Grid instance. However, you lose Grid-specific possibilities like voice layering.

Could it be implemented using Bitwig components or APIs, without Bitwig team’s support?


Could it be provided by a VST or something else reasonably integrated with Bitwig?


Are there other products that offer this feature?

Max/MSP, VCV Rack

Here is an example of a VST plugin loaded in a VCV Rack patch.

Relevant links (optional)


Agreed, I can see how complex this might be with audio compensation, oversampling etc. But it would be pretty amazing if it happened!

1 Like

I am all for it, though there are workarounds with multiple Grid devices and instrument/fx layers. I guess the biggest hurdle would be to get it implemented in a consistent way…

1 Like

Would be sweeet

1 Like

21 posts were split to a new topic: [Draft discussion] A Device & VST plugin module for The Grid

If we get multiple outs from the grid, like I proposed in this thread
https://bitwish.top/t/output-to-new-chain-module-in-the-grid/ , then we would effectively have vst’s in the grid, because signals could be routed to and from vst’s, by putting them in a chain.

There is also currently a workaround that somebody posted a video for on that thread. The way it works is that you can send the signal you want to route out, or process by a vst, to a modultor. Then create a chain with a dc offset module, and modulate the dc offset from the modulator that the audio was routed to. If it is stereo signal, then you need to use a stereo split in the grid, and 2 dc offsets. Then that signal can be routed back into the Grid, from the “audio sidechain” module.
This is obviously a very inconvenient workaround though.

If we do get the “output to new chain” module, or some other implementation of multiple outs from The Grid, then we would definitely be able to use vst’s in our Grid patches, more that just putting them at the end of the patch, like we can now.

It would probably be convenient to also just have a vst module in The Grid, just to simplify things, and not have to route the signal back in from the vst.


I disagree that the output to new chain is functionally the same - you could only really output audio into the audio input of a vst, not use signals to drive the parameters - at least it would be very cumbersome. I think it would be really cool to have vsts in the grid (and all internal devices too ofc)

I disagree that the output to new chain is functionally the same - you could only really output audio into the audio input of a vst, not use signals to drive the parameters - at least it would be very cumbersome. I think it would be really cool to have vsts in the grid (and all internal devices too ofc)

I hear what you’re saying. You would still be able to control any vst parameter from the Grid. But, I suppose having a dedicated VST module in The Grid would be simpler, especially since you wouldn’t need to use an “Audio Sidechain” module to run the vst outputs back into The Grid.
Something like the way it is done in VCV rack could be cool:

1 Like

I’d really like this. VCV uses blocks for its Host module (because plugins don’t work at audio rate), I’m sure the Grid could find a similar solution. It would tremendously improve the capabilities of the Grid!

I do like using Host in VCV Rack and Voltage Modular, but having them hosted in the Grid directly would give me access to them in a properly tempo and transport synced environment, without any of the (albeit minor) shortcomings the others have.


I wonder whether the now implemented Note Grid and Note Out module for The Grid affect this request in any way.

it doesn’t since devices in any Grid’s chains are still not included in polyphony. plus people just really want to have device put as a module in Grid to route it more directly for intended porpuses


The grid really needs a VST / Claps module. They originally promised a fully modular system from the beginning, the promise if I remember right was eluding to vsts and mixer routing, anything.

FL Studio patcher is an example that it is possible. They also have a plugin module that can send signal out to your physical modular synth, so I think it is a decent comparison. Sure patcher doesn’t have the standard set of “synth” modules but still you could technically achieve that with vst equivalents.

Mux modular is better example of VSTs and regular (modular style) synth modules coexisting in an environment that is actually modular. This is more like what I would want the grid to be.

The grid is cool visually and fun but not close to what I and some other people expected from them. A bit of a let down when I first heard about it. It looks really good and does what it does well.

If Mu tools finally supports vst3 maybe I wouldn’t even care about having vsts in the grid anymore. But it would be really nice to have this be native.

Only 22 votes in almost two years. Is such a good feature really needed by few people?

This is a killer-feature for anybody who work in Reason Studio. Please vote!

As Biwig itself is modular, you could achieve that with multiple Grid devices and layers already now.
But it would be nice and easier. If you could incorporate any Bitwig device, you could also get another much demanded feature, which is encapsulation of Grid patches. That is the requirement for complex patches…

just device chain module, doesn’t matter if you place plugin or native device in it. but the caveat here is that it would likely add minimum latency of buffer size to Grid and more if some devices/plugins have some FFT stuff, like Spectral suite devices.

‘Just device chain module” I don’t get what you mean by that phrase. Yeah I get that ftt stuff adds latency I don’t see the issue because there is APDC which bitwig already has. FL studio patcher and Mutools don’t seem to care about the latency because it gets compensated. What users throw processing wise into bitwig already gets compensated. That should be up to the user if they want to make heavy patches.

There must be something fundamentally different about the demographic of people using the grid and the way I think maybe? I really want to know. I think I’m just used to FL which doesn’t have patch limitations.

Grid is not really comparable to Patcher. it’s a device maker instead of device patcher. But I actually do want to have a Grid that behaves like Patcher, and might as well have any Grid type to be able to do that.
having latency in device chain just makes some synthesis applications not feasible, but it’s nothing much to worry about other than increased input latency (so you’ll struggle playing such patch live without quantization)