Sequential voice stacking for FXs

In some uses cases, it is frequent to apply several times in a row a certain effect in a chain. For instance:

  • you have a really annoying frequency and the max -30dB of the EQ is not enough to filter it out and you need a second EQ after
  • you want to stack delays, grid FX etc on top of another (like for complicated delays, glitch generators etc)

Usually, what you do is copy the device several times. But then if you decide to change a parameter in one instance (or a part of your duplicated grid patch), you need to alter manually every instance, or remove duplicates and re-clone them.

There are two ways of conceptualizing this:

  1. physically creating several instances of a device as if they were placed sequentially by hand
  2. having only one instance of the device running inside a feedback loop

Though both would not be equivalent, and I believe it’s already possible to hack around and obtain 2. in bitwig. So to clarify the approach I’m talking about here is really option 1.

So when you think about it, that use case is quite similar to voice stacking used in the context of audio FX, except that voice stacks replicate the effect of a device/grid patch in parallel. The idea would be to be able to do the same sequentially (each FX voice altering the output of the previous one instead of adding to it).

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

This would simplify the aforementioned use cases, and also open some creative avenues. When you think about it it’s really just a quite natural completion of the notion of voice stacking for FXs.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

This could either be a new option of the voice stacking system (like in the side panel), or take the shape of a container with a few controls:

  • the device/chain to duplicate
  • the number of iterations

And ideally, just like with regular voice stacking, we would have a modulator which would allow to vary slightly the parameters on each iteration.

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

The alternative is manually duplicating a preset and tweaking each instance. It’s perfectly possible to do that, but just like it would be perfectly possible to layer several instances of the same FX if Bitwig didn’t support regular voice stacking.

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

I don’t think.

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

Nope

Are there other products that offer this feature?

I don’t think so.

Relevant links (optional)

I think it would be great if we had both parallel and sequential stacking option for any device, including plugins, which would create duplicates of said device (or chain) and voice stack modulator would be used to differentiate between instances. it might make no sense to do sequential mode for instrument devices, but who cares, maybe there are some cases even for that.

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