After many months of thinking on this I finally understand it for myself. This may help you too.

There was one piece of information that no one seemed to ever talk about when trying to explain the LFO’s and it dawned on me that the Phase was the missing piece.

Phase is used as a way to offset the start position of the LFO but it also has to do with how the LFO is sliced up. There are 128 possible choices when it comes to Phase which means every LFO (except random because…random) is sliced into 128 little pieces. (This is super key in understanding).

The SPEED parameter is how many values the Phase increments **per bar**. You have to think about phase as the playhead moving along the LFO (anyone who uses Bitwig has come across Phase)

Taking 16 as the example (with a MULT of 1)

Bar 1 - Phase 0-15

Bar 2 - Phase 16-31

Bar 3 - Phase 32-47

Bar 4 - Phase 48 - 63

Bar 5 - Phase 64 - 79

Bar 6 - Phase 80 - 95

Bar 7 - Phase 96 - 111

Bar 8 - Phase 112 - 128

This is an easy one because each Trig = 1 jump of phase.

If you increase the speed to 32 it means each trig is a jump of 2 phase (which only takes 4 bars - double what 16 did).

It still needs some math if you want to figure out an exact length, but I think knowing that this is talking about the 128 Phase steps it makes it easier.

So say you wanted it to loop every 1/4 bar (4 trigs), that means each trig needs to be 32 phase steps long and since the speed indicates the phase steps per bar that’s 128 x 4 = 512 and since the speed cannot go past 64 (well 63.99), you need to use the multipliers to get to Speed 512 so that’s any combination you want really. 64x8, 32x16, etc.

**Formula**

(added for TLDR). If the Speed is a number that’s above 64 then you need to use the Mult.

128 (phase) / x (bars) = Speed

**edit**

Fixed math for bar steps.

**Edit 2 - The More Math Edition**

I did some more thinking last night and realized this works fine for even divisions of the bar but what if you wanted to have it loop say every 5 trigs (so Trig 1, Trig 6, Trig 11, Trig 16), how would you calculate this? Well it’s not simple but is doable. You will need a calculator though.

First take the length of the loop (in this example I’ll use 16 trigs). Then I want the LFO to loop every 5 trigs so take 16/5 = **3.2**. This is how many divisions a 16 trig long loop will be cut into (with me so far?). Now multiply this by 128 to get **409.6**. Why 128? If you recall, there are 128 “phase steps” to the LFO and this gives you the number of cycles the LFO will perform in this 16 trig loop (or in other words, 1 bar).

Great so the speed of the LFO must run at 409.6 but that’s not possible to dial in without using the multiplier. So just pick one (say 8) and divide by it. 409.6/8 = 51.2. So if you set the SPD to **51.2** and mult to **8**, it will cycle every 5 trigs (at 1x speed of pattern).

Something to be aware of though is that when you’re counting out the number of trigs you want it to take to cycle, remember that the number of trigs and the numbers on the trigs will be different. So the loop above (of 5 Trigs) will happen on Trig # 6, not Trig # 5.

Well that’s great for 1 bar, but what if I’m looping on 2 bars? No problem. Let’s pick a loop length of 28 over a total length of 32 steps (the total length of steps needs to be bigger than the loop length so just expand as you see fit). Alright this means a Trig on 1 of page 1 will cycle on Trig #12 of page 2. Wait I just counted and that’s 29 trigs! Yes if you include the trig on #12 of page 2 but we’re not going to that trig, we’re going to the small spot right before so we don’t include it in the counting. So **32/28 = 1.14**. Next we multiply by **64**. Hold up you say, why 64 now and not 128? Well The LFO has 128 phase steps right? But we’re not looping over 1 bar anymore, we’re looping over 2 bars. This means that 128 steps / 2 bars = 64. The LFO will complete half the cycle on bar 1 and the other half on bar 2. This gives us **73.14**. Again this isn’t possible without the multiplier so let’s pick 4. **73.14/4 = 18.28** (or .29 depending on your rounding choice). Now we have an LFO that takes 28 steps to cycle.

Hopefully this helps you to more easily lock in those LFO’s now!