Fl studio basic tutorials

Fl studio basic tutorials DEFAULT
What is FL Studio?

FL Studio (formerly Fruity Loops) is an incredibly powerful, versatile DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that remains one of the most popular, innovative music production programs on the market.

If you&#;re just starting out with music production, or you&#;re an advanced producer looking to experiment with a new DAW, FL Studio can seem quite intimidating. The interface has a very dark, almost ominous appearance, with numerous knobs, sliders and overlapping windows, which leads many beginners to the question: &#;where do I even start?&#;

FL Studio Tutorial

I have been using FL Studio for over 15 years, and it has served as my primary DAW of choice for the entire duration of my music production journey, however I remember the first time I opened the program and how complicated and daunting everything looked.

In this guide I will break down how to use FL Studio from a beginners perspective, and simplify the process of learning and understanding the basics of this incredible program.

So let&#;s get started&#;


The video version&#;

The video below is the video version of this article. You can either watch this video, or keep scrolling to read more!


Article sections:

1. The Top Bar

2. Overview of the 5 Main Sections of FL Studio

3. The Browser

4. The Channel Rack

5. The Piano Roll

6. The Playlist

7. The Mixer

8. To Conclude


1. The Top Bar

Upon opening a blank project file in FL Studio, the interface may seem a little confusing, but this should all become a lot clearer over the course of this guide.

The Menu Bar

Up in the top left, you&#;ll notice a menu bar with File, Edit, Options etc.

In the File section, you&#;ll find your options to open new files, save your projects, and export your files to MP3 and WAV form.

In the Options sections, you can play around with your MIDI settings, Audio settings and General settings. This is where you would connect and configure your sound card, audio interfaces, MIDI keyboards/controllers and other external devices. We can worry about this later however, for now we are just looking at understanding the programs interface.


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Master and Transport Controls

On the left, you&#;ll see the master volume (above) and master pitch (below). For beginners to music production, it&#;s best to leave these as they are.

Moving along the top bar, you&#;ll see the Pattern/Song switch button, allowing you to switch between editing a loop or pattern, and editing the track as a whole (I&#;ll be explaining this in more detail below).

You&#;ll notice you then have your play, pause and record buttons. Next to those is the tempo selector, which you can change by simply left click and dragging, or simply right click and choose type in value to manually input your chosen tempo.

The horizontal slider below shows the point at which your pattern is currently being played.


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Recording and Editing Buttons

These buttons are additional features and options that are very useful when recording and editing sounds, such as Metronome On/Off and Countdown before recording, but to find out what each button does simply hover over a button and a short guided message will pop up in the space below the menu bar describing the function.

These buttons will begin to make sense the more you play around with the FL Studio interface.


how to use fl studio
Pattern Selector

The basic concept of FL Studio is to edit and create individual patterns and then arrange them into full tracks. This selector is an important part of the program that allows you to choose the pattern you&#;d like to individually select and edit.


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Window Buttons

The last feature of the menu bar you need to know about at this point is these first five buttons that control which windows we see inside the FL Studio interface.

The windows option we have are: Playlist, Channel Rack, Piano Roll, Browser and Mixer.

These are, simply put, the 5 main sections you will use to create your tracks, right up to the final mix. These 5 sections are your bread and butter, and I will break them down and simplify each one in the next section.

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Loopmasters Premium Sounds

2. Overview of the 5 Main Sections of FL Studio

Here I will highlight the 5 sections of FL Studio you will need to know about to fully understand the program. I won&#;t be going into much detail here and will just identify each section, but I will go into more detail on each section later in the guide.

As I said, each of these sections can be shown/hidden by clicking the corresponding button in the top bar.

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Browser

Down the left side of the interface, you have your browser. This is the section where your sounds, samples and instruments are stored in a folder view for you to browse and choose the elements you&#;d like to add to your projects.

This folder layout mirrors the actual files in your documents, so when saving sounds on your computer, save them in the folder you want to see them categorised under in the Browser view.


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Channel Rack

This is the section of FL Studio where your sounds, samples and instruments you have specifically chosen for your track are stored and utilised. This is where you will create patterns or loops, and most of the editing process will happen here.


how use fl studio
Piano Roll

Within the piano roll you can compose and edit MIDI patterns and melodies. The piano roll feature in FL Studio is incredibly intuitive, and so, so easy to learn if you are a beginner. Within this view you can also edit the velocity, pan and length of each individual note in your pattern.


how use fl studio
Playlist

This section is where you take your edited patterns, and arrange, slice and sequence them to create a song. This is where you will flesh out and structure your track.


how to use fl studio
Mixer

This is where all your audio and MIDI information is sent to be mixed, and each audio file can be assigned to a mixer track. Within the mixer interface, you can tweak the volume, pan and other parameters, as well as add effects, filters and VST plugins to your sounds such as reverb, delay and compression.

Now you have a very basic grasp of what each section is and how to find them, let&#;s dive into each section in more depth, how they are used and how they interact with each other.


3. The Browser

Within the browser section, take a moment to browse the default folders full of drum and instrumental sounds and samples. Under &#;Packs&#; you&#;ll find many native sounds that come with the FL Studio software.

fl studio guide

For beginners who haven&#;t collected any samples just yet, this is a great resource to find sounds to play around with. You can also use the &#;Search&#; feature to look for sounds in the browser by clicking the top magnifying glass.

How do I input my own sounds into the browser?

If you&#;ve already begun collecting samples or have purchased a couple of sample packs, you&#;re likely wondering how to browse and access your own folders within the browser interface, and it&#;s incredibly simple.

Go to Options in the top menu, then to File Settings, then under Browse Extra Search Function, click a folder down the left hand side to add a folder to the browser.

fl studio guide

Once you&#;ve chosen a folder, click OK, and if you want, you can rename the folder with FL Studio by clicking the name in the Browser Name column on the right. You should now see your chosen folder within the browser panel.

Note: Sometimes the folder won&#;t automatically rename itself within the browser. To fix this simply click re-read (the arrow next to the magnifying glass at the top of the browser, and your folder name should update.

How do I get sounds from the browser into my track?

To import your sounds into the project, simply left click on the desired sound file, and drag it into the channel rack. The best thing to do is drag and drop the files just below the bottom sound in the channel rack, as dropping it onto another file within the rack will replace it.

You&#;ll now see the sound has been added to your project, and it now exists within the project and can be chopped, sliced, edited and mixed to your heart&#;s desire.

That&#;s all that really needs to be said about the browser when you&#;re first finding your feet with FL Studio. Take a moment to import some sounds into your project and make sure you understand how this works before moving on.


4. The Channel Rack

The channel rack is one of the main elements you&#;ll use in FL Studio when creating a track. The reason it&#;s called a channel rack is because it&#;s where all your channels are stored, including samples, VST instruments and automation clips.

fl studio guide

By clicking on any one of the channel names within the channel rack, it brings up the wrapper, where you can edit and fine-tune each sample, including pitch, pan and reversing the sound, although I won&#;t touch on this too much for now.

I&#;ve covered how to add sounds to the channel rack above, but to delete any channel from this section, simply right click on it and press delete.


Mute, pan and volume knobs

At the left of each channels row, you have a lit-up green button, pressing this will mute the channel.

Moving along, we have two knobs. The first is for controlling the pan of the channel, and the second is for controlling the volume. These controls are also available within the wrapper, but are linked and literally control the exact same thing.


Mixer channel

The next box along determines which mixer channel the sound or instrument will be sent to. I&#;ll be covering the mixer later, but for now this is how you would add individual effects to your chosen channel.

To choose the mixer channel, left click inside the box and drag up or down.


Step sequencer

This is where the fun begins. FL Studio&#;s iconic step sequencer is one of the easiest ways to create a drum pattern in any DAW. Hands down. To add a step or &#;hit&#;, left click on any of the step buttons and they will light up, and to delete steps, just right click your highlighted step. You can also drag left or right click to select multiple steps within a channel at once.

Go ahead a create this pattern on your step sequencer, then experiment with adding extra snare hits or changing the kick pattern. Even to someone with no knowledge of music production or beat making, this incredibly intuitive sequencer is a lot of fun.

Your options really open up when you start to add your own sounds to the channel rack (as highlighted in the browser section), and begin to sequence your own sounds and samples. This drives a lot of creative freedom using a simple process with an incredibly small learning curve.

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Loopmasters Premium Sounds

Channel parameter editor

If you want to change the key, pan or volume of a single step or note within your sequence without impacting the entire channel, click the graph icon in the top right of the channel rack which will bring up a parameter editor.

Along the bottom of this small window you&#;ll see the options Note, Vel, Rel, Fine etc. These options are for editing levels for individual notes or steps.

For example, by clicking on Vel you can customise the levels of velocity or &#;hardness&#; of each step in your sequence by dragging the corresponding level up or down.


Add VST Instrument

The final feature of the channel rack I want to highlight is the plus button at the bottom which, when clicked, will bring up a list of default and user added VST instruments. Simply select one and it will be added to your channel rack. If you&#;re unsure about how to install and add your own plugins to FL Studio, here is our quick, easy guide.

Or, want to find out more about the best VST Instruments for beginners? Click here.

Now, before we move on to arranging and layering these patterns to form a song, I want to touch on the piano roll feature.


5. The Piano Roll

The piano roll is where you compose, slice and edit the MIDI notes of a selected channel with much more precision and detail. It is incredibly helpful for example, to tweak a MIDI keyboard performance or lengthen certain notes within a sequence.

To open to piano roll for a chosen channel, right click on the channel name and select Piano Roll.

Using the piano roll for percussion

The piano roll will mainly be used for editing melodies of VST instruments or tonal hits, but occasionally you will use this feature for percussion.

It is particularly helpful when editing quick, successive percussive hits such as hi-hat rolls, which wouldn&#;t be possible within the limits of the basic step sequencer, or off-timing where steps don&#;t land on the exact beat.

Similar to the step sequencer, left clicking will create new notes, and right clicking will delete them.

Using the piano roll for instruments

Like I said, most of your work within the piano roll will be editing melodies and chord progressions. To see how this is done, add a VST Instrument to the channel rack, right click on the name, and select piano roll.


Editing icons

Along the top bar of the piano roll window, you&#;ll notice several icons. These are your editing tools, and can be used to precisely edit, slice, lengthen and select your notes.

I won&#;t go into too much detail on each icon here, as they are fairly self explanatory, but hovering over each one will tell you about the function of the button. Have a play around with creating some basic chords or melodies within the piano roll, and experiment with these tools to manipulate your sequences.

Pencil tool: This let&#;s you individually draw notes in the piano roll.

Paintbrush tool: Using this tool, you can left click and drag notes along the piano roll.

Delete tool: Using this tool, you can left click and drag to delete notes, although honestly it&#;s way easier to just right click and drag within the pencil or paintbrush function to delete notes.

Mute tool: Using this tool allows you to mute selected notes.

Slip tool: This tool allows you to lengthen notes by dragging them from the edges.

Slice tool: This tool can be used to chop or &#;slice&#; notes.

Select tool: Using this tool, you can left click and drag to select multiple notes.

Zoom tool: This tool can be used to zoom into a section of the piano roll.

Playback tool: Using this tool, you can select exactly where you want to play the sequence from.

Now that you&#;ve arranged and created an original pattern, it&#;s time to arrange it into a pattern, which brings us to the playlist section.

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Loopmasters Premium Sounds

6. The Playlist Section

To begin arranging your patterns, open the playlist view by selecting the playlist button in the top menu bar. Here you will arrange your patterns and layer them to create your full track.


Pattern/Song Switch Button

I glossed over this button at the beginning of this tutorial, but using this button you can switch between what is being played back to you; the individual looped pattern, or the full song within the playlist section.


Adding a pattern to your track

To add your pattern to your track, simply left click within the playlist section, and your pattern will appear.

Unlike almost all other DAWs, you can place any pattern anywhere within the playlist, and each pattern is not limited to it&#;s own track row. The only downside of this is, if you&#;re not careful, playlists can get very unorganised and confusing, so it&#;s always best to rename the pattern and tracks to reflect what pattern its playing.

To do this, right click on the track name, and select rename, color and icon&#; It&#;s always easier to produce full, complex tracks when sounds are kept within their corresponding tracks.


Editing icons

The editing icons at the top of of the playlist window are very similar to the ones in the piano roll. Here&#;s a brief overview of their functions:

Pencil tool: This let&#;s you individually draw in your selected pattern.

Paintbrush tool: Using this tool, you can left click and drag your selected pattern along the track.

Delete tool: Using this tool, you can left click and drag to delete patterns, although honestly it&#;s way easier to just right click and drag within the pencil or paintbrush function to delete patterns.

Mute tool: Using this tool allows you to mute selected patterns.

Slip tool: This tool allows you to lengthen a pattern by dragging it from the edges.

Slice tool: This tool can be used to chop or &#;slice&#; the patterns.

Select tool: Using this tool, you can left click and drag to select multiple patterns on multiple tracks.

Zoom tool: This tool can be used to zoom into a section of the playlist.

Playback tool: Using this tool, you can select exactly where you want to play the track from.


Adding multiple, different patterns to the playlist view

Adding a separate, completely different pattern to your track is an essential step to start building and layering your track. To do this, navigate to the pattern selector in the top menu and select the plus button to create a new pattern. This creates a blank channel rack within which you can create a new pattern, and add it to the playlist in the same way as above.

This is also the function you&#;d use to switch between patterns you&#;d like to edit. The arrow to the left of the selected pattern name will show a list of all your created patterns, allowing you to choose the pattern displayed in the channel rack.


To summarise what we&#;ve learnt so far&#;

At this point, we&#;ve covered a lot of information, and now would be a good time to try out everything we&#;ve got through so far. So experiment with these steps, referring back to the information above:

  1. Open a new project
  2. Drag some chosen sounds from the browser into the channel rack.
  3. Create a drum pattern
  4. Add the drum pattern to your playlist for 4, 8, or 16 bars
  5. Create a new pattern, add a VST instrument and create a basic chord or melody loop.
  6. Add this instrument pattern to your playlist over the drums, maybe starting at the 4th or 8th bar.

You&#;re screen should look something like this:

The final section of FL Studio is where your sounds will be sent to be mixed, and where you can add effects to your sounds, so let&#;s move on to talk about the mixer.


7. The Mixer

The mixer is the final section of FL Studio you&#;ll be using, and for complete beginners to music production, it&#;s best to focus on the rest of the process for now, and only move onto the mixer when you&#;ve full grasped these stages.

To open the mixer, click the mixer button in the top menu bar, or press F9.

This section is where you&#;ll mix your tracks, focusing more on sound design, effect processing and fine-tuning your tracks. You can add effects such as reverb, delay, compression and many, many other audio effects to your mixer channels, and using this mixer effectively can completely transform your songs into professional-sounding masterpieces.


Sending sounds or instruments to mixer channels

To send a specific sound to a specific mixer channel, left click and drag the numerical value to the left of the sounds name within the channel rack to your chosen value. This will send your sound or instrument to the corresponding mixer channel, in which you can now add effects or change certain parameters.


Mixer channel levels

You&#;ll notice the far left mixer channel is your master channel, which is where you can edit the overall pan, volume or other functions of the entire song.

Focusing on one individual mixer channel along the mixer window, you&#;ll see multiple buttons and a large fader control for each mixer channel. For any given mixer channel, let&#;s focus on the basic controls and how to fine-tune a mixer channel.


Pan control and mute

Using this control, you can change the pan of the mixer channel from left to right. Just to above this, you can use the lit up green button to mute the mixer channel.


Volume fader

Using this control, you can change the overall volume of your mixer channel, including the volume of any sounds sent to this track, and any added effects within the mixer channel.


Additional controls

Beside the sliders, there are some options for polarity, switching the left or right channels, and other additional controls. There is also a stereo separation control to make the mixer channel sound more spacious or thinner/more central.


Adding effects to a mixer channel

On the right hand side of the mixer channel, you&#;ll see 10 effect slots. By selecting one of these slots, and choosing an effect, it will add the selected effect to your mixer channel.

At this point, depending on the effect you&#;ve added, you can begin to process various effects to enhance and manipulate your sounds. I won&#;t go any further into this, as there are so many effects you could add, but hopefully you understand the basics of adding an effect to your mixer tracks.

Like I said, if it&#;s your very first time using FL Studio, don&#;t focus too heavily on the mixer, just know where it is found and what it is used for.


To conclude&#;

And there you have it, you should now have a grasp of the basic concepts and functionalities of FL Studio, and can now experiment with creating full, layered songs.

From here, your best course of action would be to take your time, and spend however long it takes to become comfortable with these basics, learning extra tips and tricks along the way from more online guides or Youtube videos.

It&#;s very likely you&#;re feeling somewhat overwhelmed at this point, but in time the pieces will start to fit together, and by practising and making mistakes you&#;ll learn way faster, trust me.

Good luck!



Sours: https://www.producersphere.com/fl-studio-tutorial/

The Complete Guide to FL Studio for Beginners

So if you&#;re here, you&#;re probably a beginner to FL Studio, or to music production in general, right?

Maybe you&#;ve loaded up the FL Studio interface and have thought to yourself:

&#;How the hell am I gonna learn all this?&#;

Let me tell you a sobering fact. Most &#;producers&#; quit at this point, not wanting to put in the work to learn their DAW. They make excuses like this:

But you&#;re here, wanting to learn this thing. So in this guide, we are going to break down the main features of FL Studio to get you making music in the least time possible.

But first, if you&#;re a new producer, learning your DAW is only the first step. You need a comprehensive guide for learning electronic music.

That&#;s why we created our FREE eBook &#; How To Make Electronic Music. You can download it below.

Note: We will be using the FL Studio 20 Producer Edition for this guide.

Table of Contents

  1. General
  2. Browser
  3. Channel Rack
  4. Piano Roll
  5. Arrangement
  6. Mixer
  7. Settings + Other Features

Introduction/General

For most of you, FL Studio will look something like this when you first load it up.

FL Studio Interface

The first thing to know about FL Studio is that all the windows can be moved around. That&#;s the beauty of this DAW &#; it&#;s infinitely customizable, especially in comparison to its arch-nemesis, Ableton Live.

Nothing is fixed, besides the toolbar across the top of the screen, which is what we will look at first. Here you will find the File, Edit, Options and much more up the top left.

A lot of them are straightforward, or just itemized versions of the various buttons and knobs that lay across the interface already, so don&#;t get hung up on these.

Transport

FL Studio Transport Section

In the centre, you&#;ll find your transport section: play, stop and record buttons for playback. Those should be pretty self-explanatory.

In this section, you&#;ll see two options: Pat and Song. This allows you to switch between playing what&#;s in the Channel Rack and what&#;s in the Arrangement. Switching between them allows you to move between sketching out ideas to making a full track, pretty seamlessly.

You&#;ll see a variety of buttons and also a time counter alongside a few visual effects. This helps you to visualise and time your music, as well as telling you the current load on your computer&#;s CPU.

Snap

Underneath, you have a universal snap control (where it says &#;Line&#; on the above image), which determines the snapping of the grids across the piano roll and arrangement.

If that&#;s not making sense, it keeps everything quantized in time (to a specific interval) across your music. The snap control can be specified at those levels individually too (piano roll etc.), which is something we will get into a bit later.

FL Studio Toolbar

Towards the right, you&#;ll see more buttons. These are important, as they bring up the main views which we will discuss next.

From left to right: Arrangement, Piano Roll, Channel Rack, Mixer and Browser. Let&#;s start with the Browser.

Browser

FL Studio Browser

FL Studio&#;s Browser is where all your material comes from, whether its samples, presets or instruments.

Imagine you&#;re a craftsman: you have raw materials like leather, metal and wood to work with. You&#;ve also got your toolbox, all the tools you use to make things.

This is what the browser is for music producers in FL Studio.

By default, there are quite a few different folders. Let&#;s not worry about most of them, let&#;s instead look at the main ones.

Packs

The Packs folder includes all of FL Studio&#;s default sounds. They&#;re actually not bad when you know how to use them.

You&#;ll find drum sounds, loops, FX, you name it. We&#;ll get into how to use these in the Channel Rack section.

Current Project

Either by navigating to this folder, or clicking on the paper icon at the top, you&#;ll arrive at the Current Project folder. This will show you all sounds, automation clips, actions, anything done in the current project.

This is useful for finding material you&#;ve got without having to sift through different windows.

Plugin Database

Similar to how Current Project works, you can the Plugin Database window in the main view, or by clicking on the &#;plug&#; icon at the top right of the Browser window.

This will show you all effect and generator (a fancy way of saying instrument) plugins. Any third-party VSTs or plugins you add will show up here too.

Add Your Own

FL Studio Adding Plugins

Let&#;s be honest, most people are going to want to add their own samples to the browser. So to do that, the best thing to do is to go to Options > File Settings by following the above GIF.

Once there, click on one of the spare folder slots to bring up a window allowing you to choose a folder. Choose where your samples are located and then your samples will appear in the &#;Browser&#; window.

Channel Rack

FL Studio Channel Rack

If the Browser is your toolbox and materials, then the Channel Rack is your workbench. Here is where you can make patterns and bring ideas to life.

Arguably, this is the most important part of FL Studio, and it&#;s a large part of what sets it apart from other DAWs on the market.

Basics

By default, it&#;s loaded up with 4 stock sounds. Now you&#;re welcome to use these (please don&#;t), but feel free to use your browser knowledge to find some good sounds.

You can drag them over the top of the existing sounds, or into a new slot underneath, which will automatically create a new Sampler.

In the top left, you&#;ll find the menu with quite a few options. We aren&#;t going to go through all of them, but know that they are there and feel free to play around &#; a lot of them are self-explanatory.

You have a loop mode button next to that, which by default loops the entire pattern.

Under the menu (where it says &#;All&#;) you can select different groups of channels.

Down the bottom, you can add in new channels

Step Sequencer

FL Studio Step Sequencer

The key part of the channel rack is the step sequencer, and this allows you to quickly sketch out ideas.

To add astep, left click on the box. You can also drag across to add multiple. To delete a step, right click on a box (also with the option of also dragging).

Just left of the sequencer, you&#;ll find the title of each individual channel in a box, with a thin LED next to each.

When the LED is left-clicked on and/or lit up, the current channel is selected. Clicking on the box with the name also selects that channel.

When a channel is selected, you can use some of the applicable menu settings we discovered earlier by revealing the dropdown menu options.

Other Controls

If you bring your attention to the left side, you&#;ll notice a few knobs and buttons. The green LED determines whether the channel is on or not. Left-click to turn them on and off. You can right-click to solo a channel.

The two knobs next to the LED are for panning and volume control, respectively. This is great for mixing on the go without having to bring up the mixer and is very intuitive for when you are in a flow state.

The number next to those knobs determines the mixer routing, which is something we will explore further in the Mixer section of this guide.

Up in the top right, there are a couple of buttons. Clicking the mini step sequencer buttons swaps all steps to notes on the piano roll, which we will get into the next section.

Clicking on the bars brings up the graph editor, allowing you to finetune the velocity, pitch and other parameters of each step/note.

FL Studio Step Sequencer Velocity Editor

The number to the left of that control determines the length of the pattern (in 1/16th notes), which is 16 by default.

The knob next to that determines the swing amount, which is a sort of timing effect that alters the notes to sound more human and groovy-sounding.

Now of course if you have even the slightest bit of music theory knowledge, you&#;ll be seeing the limitations of the step sequencer already.

Don&#;t worry, that&#;s where the next section comes in: the Piano Roll.

Piano Roll

FL Studio Piano Roll

Forming part of the Channel Rack is the super-powerful Piano Roll. If the step sequencer isn&#;t enough for you, then the piano roll will help you write melodies, chords and more complex rhythms and patterns.

FL Studio is famed for its incredible piano roll, and the smooth functionality it has to offer. Seriously, just try putting in a couple of notes and you&#;ll be in love.

As a long-time user of Ableton, it&#;s one thing I really miss.

Basics

The same way you draw steps on the step sequencer is the same in the piano roll, but you have the option of clicking and dragging up, down, left and right to change timing and pitch.

You can also hover your mouse at the end of a note to drag its duration shorter or longer.

Down the bottom, you have the velocity for each note. You can left-click and drag to adjust these values, as well as select an option from the Control dropdown menu to change what is being altered.

Tools

Beyond that, the Piano Roll nearly has enough functionality to be its own program.

We won&#;t go into heaps of depth here, but we will unpack a few of the key features to get you out chord progressions in no time. Firstly, the main tools on the toolbar:

FL Studio Piano Roll Tools
  • Draw: draw in notes and move them around
  • Paint: paint in notes and repeat them (by dragging)
  • Paint (Sequencer): paint in steps and repeat them (by dragging)
  • Delete: remove notes by clicking on them
  • Mute: deactivate certain notes by clicking on them
  • Slice: break notes into multiple parts by clicking and dragging a line
  • Select: click and hold to select a group of notes
  • Zoom: click to zoom in on all notes, click and drag to zoom into a specific area
  • Playback: one of my favourite features, allows you to hear what notes are playing at a given time by clicking
FL Studio Adding Notes to Piano Roll

On the top left, you&#;ve got a few advanced MIDI editing options which can switch the snapping of the notes to a specific grid (beats or bars), completely change the notes you&#;ve got in there (the Tools section), and add completely new chords and rhythms (the Stamp section), but we won&#;t delve into that this time.

If you don&#;t know much about notes and music theory, this guide won&#;t answer any questions in relation to that.

A good place to start with music theory is our Songwriting for Producers course or Music Theory: The TL;DR Version eBook.

Apart from that, let&#;s move onto the Arrangement ction.

Arrangement

FL Studio Arrangement

So you&#;ve made some patterns in the Channel Rack and want to make them into a full track? The arrangement view is designed to do just that.

On the left in the Picker, any patterns you create in the Channel Rack will be able to be selected and dragged in.

You can place these in any track, which is the beauty of FL Studio. There isn&#;t a particular way you have to structure patterns.

FL Studio Adding Patterns

But the arrangement is where you can use more than just patterns. A lot more.

You can drag in audio samples directly into the arrangement and structure them however you want, without having to load them into a sampler and play them with notes first.

Additionally, any automation clips you create will appear here, which is something we will get into in the last section.

Similar to the channel rack, there are a variety of tracks you can drag clips onto. The height of these tracks can be resized, and you can turn them on and off by left-clicking on them and soloing certain tracks by right-clicking.

Once again, the menu is in the top left, but we won&#;t get into all of those functions. Feel free to give &#;em a look if you&#;re into that.

Tools

You also have a variety of tools similar to the piano roll, with two differences.

  • No Paint (Sequencer) control (not applicable)
  • Slip: Move the content of each clip without affecting the start and end times (really useful for adding interesting rhythms and timing)

Mixer

FL Studio Mixer

Once you have your sounds arranged how you want, the mixer is where all the magic happens with processing.

Personally, the mixer is one of my favourite tools for creative sound design, because of the processing and routing capabilities. So, let&#;s start with the main features.

Each channel will be assigned to a mixer track from the Channel Rack, as per the number we discussed earlier. If not, you can select a number to route it to.

On the main interface, you can see all the mixer channels, and the master channel on the far left.

The meter on the far left indicates the level of your entire track, whereas the small meters along the track indicate the level of each track.

FL Studio Mixer Meter

For each track, you have a mute switch, a volume fader, pan controls (for moving a sound left and right), stereo imager (for making things sound more stereo or mono) and other switches that are more advanced.

These are your main tools for mixing. Most of the mix work will be on the volume faders, balancing the individual levels of sounds to make them blend nicely together.

You&#;ll also see a bunch of green lines down the bottom. This indicates the routing of each channel, which by default is straight to the master channel (the big one on the left).

Inserts

FL Studio Mixer Inserts

This is where the real fun begins.

So the inserts on the right are where all FX are added to process each mixer track. Down the bottom, you have a basic EQ to mess around with, but the slots above are where you can add some of FL&#;s built-in effect plugins, or third-party ones.

Simply left-click on the slot to open up a menu to select from the variety of plugins. There are many here to use, but some of the main and more practical ones are:

Each of these requires a lesson on how the various FX types works, so click the above links to see some great resources on those.

Settings and Other Features

Now those are the 5 main sections of FL Studio, but there are some key features beyond this that will help you to start creating music.

Plugins

If you want to add plugins (and be wary of this if you are a new producer), then follow the next steps to begin adding your Serums and your Ozones.

Firstly, you&#;ll want to head to the Options > File Settings again and click on Manage plugins. This will bring up a new window with a variety of options.

FL Studio Plugin Manager

FL Studio knows how to find plugins pretty well, so click on the Find plugins button in the top left.

Wait a bit while it scans through your computer (you might want to make yourself a coffee if you have a lot of plugins).

Once you&#;re done, it will list out all plugins you&#;ve got installed. If you&#;re super indie and need to add a custom folder to scan, click on the plus folder icon in the top right of the Plugin search paths area. Simply navigate and choose a folder.

Once you&#;re done, leave the Plugin Manager and go to the Browser > Plugin database and they will all be there. When you load it up, if you want it to appear alongside the list of FL Studio plugins, simply click on the menu in the top left and select Add to plugin database.

When you go to add effects in the mixer or generators in the Channel Rack, they&#;ll all be there!

Automation

Automation on Kick in FL Studio

One of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of the modern electronic music producer &#; automation.

This allows you to add movement to sounds, influence the energy and tension, and fix up any mix issues throughout the duration of your track, along with everything else.

If you find yourself playing around with any control in FL Studio and/or any of the native plugins, simply right click on it and select &#;Create Automation Clip&#;.

In the arrangement, a new clip will appear with a line, describing the control that you just automated.

Right-click on the line anywhere to add an automation point, and left click to move it around. Notice it will snap to the current grid, which is neat.

If you right-click on a specific automation point, you can change the curve type, which is super fun to play around with.

Edison

Edison Chopping Up Drum Beats

Now if you are used to using another DAW, then you might be asking where the bouncing and audio processing functionality is at.

If you&#;re not, that last sentence made you very confused.

Either way, let&#;s take a look at Edison and what it does.

Edison is FL Studio&#;s audio recorder, processor, manipulator, whatever you want to call it. You can load it up on a slot in the insert FX area of the mixer.

Note: Normally it&#;s best to put it on the master channel so it doesn&#;t get lost, as by itself it&#;s not a typical &#;effect&#; and functions more as a way to record audio for the purpose of resampling it back into your track. That being said, if you want to put it on an individual track, go ahead.

Try dragging in a sample from the browser into the large sample area at the bottom, or clicking record and recording something from the track.

There is a myriad of processing functions in Edison. We won&#;t get into them in this guide, and we probably will get around to doing a full Edison tutorial at one point, but just know it&#;s there and feel free to experiment.

You can&#;t really break anything anyway.

Export

Now the last thing you&#;re probably wanting to know &#; how to actually export your track once you&#;re done.

Because finishing music is the aim, right?

Well, let&#;s take a look. Navigate to the top toolbar and click the save icon with the wave underneath it, as pictured adjacent. After choosing where to export, the following window will come up.

FL Studio Export Window

There&#;s a lot to take in here, but let&#;s talk over the key things to remember.

  • Make sure Mode is set to Full song to export the entire arrangement
  • Select the desired format in the second section. MP3 exporting will give you extra options like bitrate etc.
  • Make sure all the other settings are set like above for a standard export
  • You may want to enable dithering if you know all about that
  • Also, saving tempo information will write the BPM to the file tags

After that, hit start and watch your masterpiece export like a b

Apart from that, you should now have the basic set of knowledge to begin using FL Studio.

How About Actually Making Music?

You might be wondering how to use all these techniques to actually start making music.

In fact, when I started producing, I didn&#;t have the faintest idea of how to make good music, even as I learned how the tools worked.

In that case, you&#;re probably going to need someone to guide you through the process of making a song, maybe even multiple songs.

That&#;s where EDM Foundations comes in.

Now even though we&#;ve had + students do this course in the past, we&#;ve never released an FL Studio version.

Until now.

You&#;ll learn the fundamentals by creating 4 tracks in different styles, all inside FL Studio.

Check it out.

Find Out More

Wrapping Up

So, that&#;s quite a lot of information. If there&#;s anything that could be explained better or something that we left out, drop me a line at [email&#;protected].

Sours: https://www.edmprod.com/fl-studio-for-beginners/
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If you are new to FL Studio by Image-Line, here is an FL Studio beginners guide packed with FL Studio tutorials to get started with making music.

FL Studio is one of the most popular music software programs out because it’s easy to use, powerful, and cheaper than other apps.

1 Week Free – Learn Music Production Online


FL Studio Tutorials

FL Studio Tutorials - The Beginner's Guide to FL Studio!

1. Installing FL Studio

Here are the steps to install and set up your audio settings for FL Studio.

Download the FL Studio Trial

or

Buy FL Studio
FL Studio comes in three versions.
1. Fruity Edition
2. Producer Edition
3. Signature Bundle


2. FL Studio Overview

Here is a broad overview of the FL Studio interface and the basics of using the software.

Interface Overview

FL Studio Interface

3. Step Sequencer

The FL Studio Step Sequencer is where you create multiple drum patterns and melodies.

The patterns you make in the Step Sequencer are then added to the Playlist to be turned into a full song.

More info: Channel Rack & Step Sequencer


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4. Piano Roll

The Piano Roll is where you create and edit melodies for your beat.

Learn about:

  • Notes
  • Pitch
  • Velocity
  • Panning

More details: Piano Roll


5. FL Studio Browser

The FL Studio Browser is where projects, samples, presets, and VST plugins are stored.

More info: FL Studio Browser


6. How to Use the Playlist

The playlist is where you arrange your patterns into a full song.

More info: The Playlist

Related: How to Arrange Beats ( Video )

Related: How to Set Up Your Midi Keyboard


7. FL Studio Mixer

The FL Studio mixer is where you can edit the volume, pan audio, add effects, and more.

More info: The Mixer


8. Exporting Songs

Here is a simple guide to export your final beat.


9. FL Studio Effects

Here is an FL Studio tutorial on how to add effects using the audio mixer.


How to Make a Hip Hop Beat in FL Studio

Learn how to make a Hip Hop beat in FL Studio using a sample.


How to Make a Trap in FL Studio

Here is a tutorial on how to make a Trap beat in FL Studio.


FL Studio Helpful Links

Image Line Links


Free FL Studio Downloads


Advanced FL Studio Tutorials


How to Make Beats in FL Studio


So those are the basics how to use FL Studio.

If you have any tips or suggestions on making music with FL Studio, or links to other FL Studio tutorials, please share below.

Sours: https://hiphopmakers.com/fl-studio-beginners-guide-fl-studio-video-tutorials
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