FL Studio Tutorial Series: Lesson 2 – Making a Simple Beat or Pattern

Welcome to lesson 2 of the FL studio’ tutorial series.

Today’s lesson concerns how to make a simple beater pattern using the step sequencer in the browser.

If you have any other windows open in FL Studio you may want to close them.
If you want to use the template I’m using go to file new from template minimal basic.
If you don’t already see the step sequencer you can view it by going to this toolbar and clicking the second button from the left,

or you can also just hit f6 to view the browser you can go to the fourth button on the same toolbar or just hit f8.

When the browser opens if your folders are open from previous use and it’s hard to navigate particularly if you have to scroll you can collapse all your folders in the browser by hitting this up arrow at the top of the browser this helps you see all your content folders more easily.

For now, let’s explore the step sequencer in its parts,

each of the rectangles in the rows to the right is caused steps they can be led and activated by left-clicking on me this enables the sample or instrument loaded in this row also called a channel.

To play at a certain time and in a certain sequence.
To remove an active lit step you can right-click on it.
To remove a group of steps holds right click and sweep to the left or right steps are grouped into sections of four called beats these beats are colored with the first being grey and the next section being pinkish

in this pattern we have four beats let’s add a few active steps to the kick channel by clicking on every fourth step and hit play or you could just use the spacebar on your keyboard.

Did you notice an orange light moving across your pattern horizontally? imagine that you’re seeing the bottom of an orange vertical bar moving behind your pattern that as it comes across your pattern triggers the channel content to play each time it encounters an active step.

Now let’s add steps to the clap channel by clicking every second step of the second and fourth beat. then we can just litter the steps of the hat now let’s hit play and listen to our beat,

the hat here seems loud to me so it may be a good time to talk about some of the controls of the step sequencer this knob to the left of the channel is for volume unlike the master volume here which controls the volume of all sound coming through FL Studio this allows the adjustment of each channels volume,

to turn the knob you will mouse over it left-click the while holding left click move your entire Mouse forward or backward to adjust the levels, the next button over to the left is for panning,

this button allows you to send some channels output to various regions in the stereo spectrum so that they don’t all occupy the same space,

I can move the clap a bit to the left and the Hat a bit to the right using this control, you can really hear this change more easily if you use headphones.

As I turn the knobs you may notice that they’re quite sensitive, if you require more fine-tuning you can hold control while changing the values or you can first left-click and hold then also hold down the right-click button and move your mouse for finer adjustments if you move from a default position and want to return easily to that position you can do so by clicking the knob while holding alt or you can just click on the knob with your scroll wheel or middle mouse button.

If you have one that clicks not all my support this the green button or light to the far left is for muting or soloing the channel, if it is in green the channel is muted you can solo a channel by right-clicking on it and choosing solo if there are sounds that I’m not using in my pattern I can delete them from the step sequencer by right-clicking on the channel name and choosing delete.

If I want to add or replace the audio samples that came with the template I can do so using the browser under the browser will be a folder called packs, inside this folder are several folders of content with some of them being audio samples, in clicking the dance folder I can see I have several audio samples, they’re easy to recognize as they will have an orange icon that has a small waveform image on it, to audition these samples I can just left-click on them.

You’ll notice as I audition samples a block appears to the left if I want to send a sample that I like to replace the sound and the active channel on my step sequencer which is indicated by a green light to the right of the channel name,
I can simply right-click that block or I can drag the sample name while holding the left click and drop the sample on top of my channel.

To add a sample to your step sequencer simply drag and drop in any empty spot near the bottom of the step sequencer, once I have the sounds I want to use my next interest may be in lengthening the pattern to add more variation an entire pattern is also called a bar in FL studio we currently see here a 4 beat per bar pattern as we have four beats.

To lengthen the pattern mouse over this box and using your mouse after you see a cursor that’s pointing both up and down hold left click and move your mouse up

or down to adjust the number here an 8 would give you an 8 beat per bar pattern doubling what pattern we had before

if you lengthen the pattern beyond the boundaries of the screen you will get a scroll bar just so you know.

After all these adjustments to our pattern you know we may also want to slow down or speed up the tempo of our pattern, mine currently sounds a little too high-energy so I’m going to mount slow it down by mousing over the tempo box and changing the beep beats per minute here the same way I changed my pattern links by holding left click and moving the mouse forward or backward you can also right-click on the tempo box to see some other options such as some presets and then tap feature that you use by clicking a spigot in time with the tempo you desire.

Now that our pattern is hopefully better suited to our tastes we can conclude this lesson on making a simple pattern or beat in FL Studio.

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