FL Studio Tutorial Series: Lesson 9 – Pattern Mode vs. Song Mode

Welcome to lesson 9 in the FL studio’ tutorial series.

In our previous lessons, we worked with creating and refining our patterns, now in this lesson we’re going to look at how to sequence those patterns together into a song.

For this lesson, you may want to already have a beat or pattern that you like loaded in the step sequencer,


you may have already gathered that there are really two different modes in FL Studio,

there’s pattern mode which we’ve been working with song mode which is relatively new to us,

first, before we make the leap to song mode let’s flesh out our pattern into multiple versions while in pattern mode.

First, we need to copy our pattern, to do this double-click on the green light to the right of the channel name,


This should light them all up which essentially selects the channels for copying, if we want to deselect one of the channels just right-click on it to toggle its light off or again to turn it back on, similarly,

you could have also held right-click in this area and then dragged up or down to select multiple channels,

with our channel selected let’s go to edit and then copy or you could also just use ctrl C on your keyboard,

then let’s switch to pattern 2 we can switch patterns by going to the pattern selector box here and changing the number to the desired pattern,

another option which I like better is to go to options-general settings and then on the pop-up look for a skins area change the skin to the skin named with pattern selector,

this gives us a phone dial like the display to use and changing our pattern in addition to our pattern selector but it’s limited in that it only gives us up to 9 patterns to choose from,

once you change the pattern too you can go to edit paste or you could use control V on your keyboard to paste your programming from pattern 1 into this new pattern.

Now we can add or take away from the original programming of pattern 1 to achieve a difference in our two patterns,

continuing this process we can accumulate a number of as I’ve already done here previously,

once we have all of our patterns ready we can switch to song mode upon switching if we hit play nothing happens,

this is because while we have a number of patterns programmed we’ve yet to sequence a song,

to do this we must view the playlist by going to the first button on this toolbar or by hitting f5,

the playlist will appear and has two sections one for clips and one for programming patterns.

For this lesson, we’ll use the bottom half in much the same way we program the step sequencer in every row that shares the name with a pattern you’ve created you can add blocks by painting them in starting at the far left,

the links of the blocks you paint in will correspond with the pattern length you can paint them in where only one plays at a time or you can paint them so that more than one pattern plays at

once your song is now developing and can be heard when you hit play.

Notice the vertical line comes across and plays the pattern of the blocks and encounters much like we envision happening with our step sequencer back in lesson two,

the length of the song will be dependent upon how many blocks you paint in from left to right,

if the blocks start to pile up horizontally you can zoom in or out using the zoom time tool just as we did in the piano roll.

Another much simpler and lesser-known method is to make a song from one pattern, to show you this I’m going to first close this project and open a previously created pattern

if you create a pattern that includes all programming that you want to use in your final song as I’ve done here,

you can easily deconstruct the patterns channels into their own patterns by going to the playlist and either going to the main drop-down menu and choosing patterns split by channel or right-clicking on pattern one in the playlist and choosing split by channel,

in doing this all of your channels will now have their own pattern labeled in the playlist for you to string together into a song.

To demonstrate this I’ll now open a version that has all the patterns sequenced into a song keep in mind all of these patterns were generated from individual channels from my original single pattern.

Now you should have a means for using your patterns to make a song of any length and variation.

Thus ends our lesson on using song mode and the differences between song mode and pattern mode.

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