FL Studio Tutorial Series: Lesson 3 – Making Patterns with Different Instruments

Welcome to lesson 3 in the FL studio’ tutorial series.

In our last lesson we learned how to create a simple beat or pattern using audio samples in the step sequencer, this lesson concerns making patterns with the step sequencer that use multi-note instruments, as opposed to just using one-shot audio samples.

I’ll also cover how to use some of the fill and randomize tools with our instruments and audio samples.

I’m going to first create a pattern in the step sequencer using the basic template to create this pattern I’m going to use some fill shortcuts in programming my steps.

First, with the kick channel, I’m going to right-click on the channel name then here I see several choices for how I can easily fill in some steps using one of the three options fill every two steps fill every four steps or fill every eight steps.

By choosing these I can easily add some steps to my pattern, once added if I don’t like how they line up I can right-click again on the channel name choose edit then I see I can shift my steps left or right, every time you do this it will shift the steps one step in the direction you choose.

Now that my backing bead is assembled I can now add an instrument, if we want to add an instrument to a channel we can right-click on any channel name in our step sequencer and choose one of the following two options,

If we want to add a new channel we choose to insert or if we want to replace whatever channel we right-clicked on we would then choose replace,

once we choose a list of the available instruments that came with FL Studio appears, select an instrument and it will be added to your pattern,

if we program our instrument in the same way we programmed our audio samples to play we’ll just hear the same note being played in each active step.

We need to create a melody using different notes, to do this we can right-click on the keyboard editor on our step sequencer and we see a set of keys appear vertically under each step our active steps will be shown as bright orange keys on the keyboards below,

to change the notes of our keys just left-click on them and drag to the notes you want or you can go directly to it if you know the location and click the note, to change it.

If you want to add more steps to the pattern using the keyboard instead of the steps just click on any notes on any of the keyboards and that note will be assigned as an active step in our pattern,

Once we work out a melody we can also move the entire melody up or down the keyboards by holding ctrl then left-clicking and dragging one of the bright orange notes up or down.

Another option for creating a melody in our pattern is to randomize, which is the equivalent of taking a salt shaker full of notes and shaking it across our pattern, while your pattern is playing right-click on the channel name of your instrument,

choose edit and then randomize, a pop-up will appear that allows you to configure some aspects of the randomization if you adjust the population knob you can see it adds or removes steps to the melody,

you can also adjust the octave and range that the melody is allowed to travel over,

you can also choose a key as well as a scale or chord from which the melody is engineered.

The seed control arrows allow for you to browse the different interpretations of the melody the tool can create,

there are also some level controls at the bottom for more options, for now when you’re happy with the melody just click the checkmark.

Once the melody is inserted you can use the shift left and right tools to line up the melody to the beat as you like,

you should now have a simple way to use the step sequencer to incorporate multi-note instruments

into your patterns, there are other more advanced ways to do this that we will cover later but this should get you on the road to making more complete patterns.

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