Thursday, April 24, 2008

03/04 - Fruity Loops Tutorial | Want to be a composer ?

Fruity loops is a highly underrated program when it comes to music production software. I find the layout and usability of FL Studio top very ingenious. Songs are structured with on the basis of compiling various patterns and layering various elements of these patterns. Automation is used with effects and instruments to achieve various results and make the songs interesting. But today i would like to compile a fruity loops 6 tutorial, on how to make a techno track. We will start from loading up drum samples, then mastering these samples, then making a pattern structure, then implementing a melody with a softsynth provided and then finally doing some automation and exporting. Firstly a note, this tutorial will be showing true techno music, not some scooter or paul van dyk, they aren’t techno! First things first! You need to have a Fruity Loops version 6 installed and working. When that is done open it up.
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The previous tutorial taught you mastering principles, adding and manipulating samples, including effects and effects layering techniques, using virtual soft synthesizers (VSTs), using the piano roll and arranging a pattern. This arrangement of patterns is where this tutorial will pick up from. Patterns are the platform from which an entire song is made up from. Patterns are merely an arrangement of various hits, events, automation etc that can be placed on what is called the “playlist editor” in FL Studio 6. Each horizontal line on the playlist editor hosts a new playlist, meaning, you can have a different drum arrangement on the Pattern 1 track and another on the Pattern 2 track, and then, when you play through your song the various patterns will play out, and you will have “a song” ad not just a pattern looping for 5mins. If all of this isn’t making much sense at the moment, don’t worry, all will be covered now. So lets get started!
  1. First of all open your song track in fruity loops. A nice shortcut i use to open the previous track i was working on is to press “alt + 1″. If you are new to fruity loops and don’t have a song, or lost the song you were making. Please follow the previous part of this tutorial series. You can close all of the VST windows that load up, I.E close down the multiband compressor window etc. to make it easier to work.
  2. Next make sure both the step sequencer and the playlist editor are open by pressing “F5″ for the playlist editor and “F6″ for the step sequencer. Both windows should now be open. Now on the step sequencer we want to cut the melody from the sytrus VST and move it to another pattern. I like to separate my melody patterns and drum patterns so i can have more control over variations on my drum patterns, which you will see later on. So on the step sequencer, right click on the purple rectangle, orthesytrus VST with the tutorial preset and select “Edit > Cut”.
    Next go to the playlist editor, and click on the text “Pattern 2″.
    f22.jpgThis selects a different pattern from the song, where you can input new arrangements and so back on the step sequencer. When you click it you will notice that all the inputted beats and hits on the step sequencer are gone. Don’t stress they aren’t gone, we just haven’t inputted any for Pattern 2 yet. Back on the step sequencer, right click again on the sytrus VST, where it says tutorial. Go “Edit > Paste”. Bam, our melody is back in our song, but on the pattern 2. Now this is where the song building begins.
  3. On the playlist editor, making sure you have the paintbrush tool selected, and snap to line selected: f23.jpg paint 4 pink boxes on the pattern one horizontal line, and one big line on pattern 2 track. Your playlist window should now look like this: f24.jpgSorry for all the images popping up now, just a picture says a thousand words, and i don’t want you to be pasting boxes on the step sequencer, that was what the last tutorial was about. Next, we want to see what our efforts have done, so we will go ahead and play the song. Make sure you have song mode enabled and not pattern, if you have pattern mode enabled you will just hear the selected pattern on the playlist editor, nothing more. So click song mode: f25.jpg.
  4. Great, now lets add some variations to this beat. Right click on the last box of pattern one to remove it. Making sure the pattern 1 line is selected press “CTRL + SHIFT + C” to clone the selected pattern. A blank pattern will appear below it. Paste a box on the 4 bar (Under where we right clicked on the other box) on the new Pattern 2. Your playlist editor should now look like this: f26.jpg Now make sure this new pattern is selected in the playlist editor and go back to the step sequencer so we can edit the beats. For the two top samples (The two kick drums) add a beat to the 3rd beat of the last bar. I.e: f27.jpgIf you just want to hear this pattern loop over and over, make sure you are in pattern mode. Otherwise let’s keep going in song mode and presss pacebar to hear our creation.
  5. Too much rides! So on pattern 1 and 2, in the step sequencer right click all of the highlighted beats on the ride cymbal, i.e EB-trance_ride_2. We will add it in again later. For now lets keep making some different arrangements by pasting the first pattern and cloning it then editing it. I will make 3 more variations and post my final playlist and the variations i made in the step sequencer.

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