FL Studio Tutorial Series: Lesson 8 – Advanced Piano Roll Tricks and Techniques

Welcome to lesson 8 in the FL studio’ tutorial series.

In our previous lessons, we already explored some of the helpers and tools available when working with the piano roll.

In this lesson, we’re going to explore how to perform some more advanced tricks and techniques in the piano roll using the scores we may have already previously recorded.

For this lesson, you may want to already have a score programmed into a multi-note instrument in one of your channels of the step sequencer as well as one for a channel featuring a drum sample.

First, let’s go into the piano roll for the drum sample, we can now access some of the tools of the piano roll to alter our score in interesting ways, here we can go to the Select tool which will allow you to draw a box around all notes you wish to select,

if we then go back to the draw tool we can move all the selected notes at once in any direction,

to do this mouse over a note and look for the compass arrows pointing up down left and right to appear,

then left-click and drag to the desired location.

If we wanted to duplicate or clone these notes for use in extended versions of our pattern we can hold shift prior to moving the selected notes,

a new copy will be produced and can be placed after the original, to adjust the notes to better match our tempo or other content we can stretch the pattern

to make it longer or shorter by holding shift and dragging the corner of a note in a selected group of notes to the left or right.

With our drum score still visible let’s look at some of the buttons on the main piano roll toolbar we may have in previous lessons,

the playback button switches your mouse into a vertical line that when you click and drag plays any notes and encounters the zoom tool does just what it says and has some right-click presets.

The slice tool is nice for slicing up notes into smaller pieces, you could use the slice tool to make rolls or wrap it for our beats,

a better option however it is to use the chop feature, use the select tool to select a note to chop then go to the Tools menu and choose chop,

a pop-up will appear to adjust the time multiple cleaner knob for more or chops or you can click the pattern folder and choose a preset,

remember to adjust the velocity under the chop section so your levels vary as we did in lesson 5,

remember in addition to altering velocity we can also drop down here under target control and choose many other choices including painting and pitch.

Now let’s view the piano roll for the multi-note instrument to do so we can just go to this drop-down menu labeled target channel and choose any of our other instruments to view,

with our score for the melody of our synth instrument let’s go to the menu and under helpers put a check beside ghost channels,

this helps us see the score from our other channels in this case our drum sample and our guitar instrument so we can better work with them,

we can also make use of the flip tool under the same drop-down menu to flip our score either horizontally or vertically for further variations.

In our guitar instrument if we’re using chords we may want to use the strum feature on a chord structure to apply a strumming effect,

you can adjust the length of the strum in the direction of the strum by adjusting this knob, we can find more useful options in the main drop-down menu of the piano roll,

the file section allows us to save our scores for use and other projects open an existing score or import a MIDI data file,

the Edit section houses options for shifting and transposing our notes even an option to delete them all.

These are just some of the many tools helpers and techniques that will help you with your score in the piano roll.

Thus ends our lesson on advanced piano roll editing and tools.

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