Drum Machine as mapper and per-note effects processor

A few closely-related things I’d like to be able to do with Bitwig’s Drum Machine:

1. Drum Machine as a per-note effects processor.

I’d really like to be able to use a Drum Machine as a per-note note/audio effect processor, especially in combination with a drum VST plugin.

For example, in this video I’m trying wrap a single instance of IK Multimedia’s Modo Drum VST with a Drum Machine, so that I can (a) take advantage of named labels in the drum editor panel as described in below, and (b) add individual note effect chains to each pad/key.

A little bit more flexibility in Bitwig’s Drum Machine device could open up a lot of creative and workflow possibilities. Whether it’s as simple as allowing for instruments to be added to the Drum Machine’s “FX” chain, something a little bit more complex like replacing the “FX” chain with a “Pre” and “Post” chain, or something else entirely, it could be really fun and cool.

2. Drum Machine for mapping to external plugins.

One thing that’s great about working with Bitwig’s built-in Drum Machine is the ability to work with labelled notes in the “drum editor” mode of the edit panel. It’s super convenient to be able to configure and see the names of each pad while editing. It’s possible to to pop a Drum Machine in front of another instrument as a quick hack to get labels working, but it’s not ideal.

I’d love to see that functionality taken further, whether it’s by making it easier to wrap other plugins/devices in a Drum Machine as mentioned above, or by allowing the user to simply add their own labels to individual keys in the note/drum editor.

This would make it much better to work with external drum VST plugins as well as making it much more convenient to work with key-switching orchestral VSTs.

What is this feature about?

Essentially, both of these features are about improving the interaction between Bitwig’s internal Drum Machine device and external VST plugins.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

As things are right now, users have the choice of using individual instruments within each Drum Machine pad/note, or a separate instrument (such as a note-mapped sampler or external VST). If you want to take a hybrid approach, where things like the new Note FX from 4.1 are applied per-note before being routed to a single external drum instrument, it’s not simple to set up.

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

Possibly, with some combination of routing notes between channels and devices, but if it exists it’s neither as simple or intuitive as it could be.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

As a user of this proprietary software, it’s not really my business to say how it fits Bitwig “as a product”.

Anyway, it certainly seems to fit within the design intentions of Bitwig as a DAW in the sense that it would allow various small bits and pieces to be combined and interact in a flexible and modular way.

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

Not that I know of.

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

Not that I know of.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Not that I know of.

Relevant links (optional)


1 Like

@emmetpdx Thank you for proposing this feature, and for producing the short video.

I am struggling understanding the nuances of this request. If I do, maybe other users will, too. I think a first good step would be to submit two separate requests. Apart from the use of the Drum Machine, they have little in common, correct?

Also note that you can vote your own requests, and in fact you are expected to do so. :slight_smile:

@emmetpdx Are you still interested in requesting these features? I can help splitting them in separate requests. Also happy to help with the descriptions.

Also, I still recommend you use your 10 votes! A request with one vote is in a better place than a request with zero votes. :slightly_smiling_face:

After re-reading this request, I wonder why using the Drum Machine to extrac various effects from a VST instrument instead of the modulators and remote controls.