The Ultimate List of FL Studio Tips
FL Studio is amazing production software and my personal favorite for hip hop and electronic music production. Although FL Studio is very popular a lot of its powerful features are left undiscovered. This list should serve as the ultimate list of FL Studio tips that will be updated weekly with more and more information.
FL Studio tips – rendering down audio
Rendering a cd quality file
For those of you using FL studio as a complete audio production software package you may have the need to render out high quality or CD-quality files. FL Studio has many different rendering options for the various types of files and quality that you want the output to be. If you want to render to CD quality in the renders settings window you want to set the type to WAV and you also want to make sure that you render it at 16bit. The image below shows you the settings for a CD quality render. For more check out How to render a song with high quality in FL Studio.
Rendering a high quality mp3
mp3 has become a standard audio file in today’s music industry. mp3 files are popular because of their small size yet decent audio quality. Knowing how to render your music to mp3 is an essential part of the audio production process every producer should know. FL Studio allows you to render directly to mp3. To get the highest quality when rendering to mp3 there are a few settings that you must take into account. The most important one is the kbps setting. Setting this to the highest setting will achieve the highest quality mp3 file. The highest setting for available is 320 kbps.
Mixer FL Studio Tips
Moving tracks on the mixer
An important part of mixing is staying organized. To stay organized on your mixer you need to have the ability to move tracks and arrange them in an order that works best for you. You also need to be able to move them to group tracks as well as create subgroups. To move a track on the mixer hold down the alt key on your keyboard and use the left or right arrow keys to move the track left or right. In the video below we show you how to move items on the mixer in FL Studio. In this tutorial we show you how to move tracks on the mixer.
Assigning Tracks To The Mixer
Assigning tracks to the mixer is a very important part of FL Studio for multiple reasons. The most important reason is to be able to assign tracks to the mixer for further processing using effects such as reverb, delay, compression, and more. There are multiple ways you can assign tracks to the mixer and there is also different ways of doing it. In some instances you may only want to send one track to the mixer. Other times you might want to send multiple tracks to the mixer at the same time. Assigning tracks to the mixer can be done in the channel settings window or from the mixer itself. In the assigning tracks to the mixer tutorial we will show you how to do it both ways. In this tutorial we show you how to assign tracks to the FL Studio mixer.
Step Sequencer FL Studio Tips
Moving tracks on the step sequencer
When composing a beat I find it best to keep all similar elements near each other in the step sequencer. I find that keeping related elements near each other optimizes my workflow as I compose the beat. It also makes it easier when I assign the tracks to the mixer for mixing because all the elements related to one another will be next to each other on the mixer. This way I will not have to move items when I get to the the mixing stage. To move an item on the step sequencer you hold the alt key on the keyboard and use the up and down arrow keys on the keyboard to move an item up or down. Learning how to move items on the step sequencer is an important part of staying organized when composing. In this tutorial we show you how to move items on the step sequencer in FL Studio.
Piano roll FL Studio Tips
Ghost helper is a tool within the FL Studio piano roll that allows you to see other melodies and chord progressions you have created as you compose. To use the function from within the piano roll navigate to file, helpers, ghost channels. It is important to note that this functionality only works when you are in the same pattern as the original melody or chord progression.
The waveform helper in FL Studio is another useful tool similar to the Ghost helper. This tool allows you to view a waveform in the piano roll to manually align notes to it. To use this tool you can drag a waveform from the waveform preview and drop it onto the FL Studio piano roll.
The chord tool
The chord tool within the FL Studio piano roll is a very powerful tool for beginners without a lot of music theory knowledge. There are two important things that you need to know about this tool. First, you need to know which type of chord you want to create. This could be minor, major, minor third, etc. Once you have chosen the type of chord you will then need to select the root note for your chord. This may be A, C, F, etc. Once you have selected a chord type and root note you can then paint the chord in the FL Studio piano roll.
Quantizing is an automated function that involves correcting recorded performances, matching them to the grid, and placing them on time. The process of quantizing makes this an automated function opposed to manually editing recorded performances. The quantize function should be used in the FL Studio piano roll. Once you have recorded a midi performance it will be displayed in the piano roll. Use the quantize tool to correct timing issues and match the performance to the grid. To quantize use Alt + Q.
The quick chop functionality in FL studio can be used to chop up notes into smaller segments. I primarily use this functionality when chopping up drum samples such as snares. When I am making a snare roll for a beat I will often chop up the snares into different sized notes. Using the quick chop tool from the FL Studio piano roll I can quickly change the size of each individual note.
Piano Roll Zooming
If you’re like me you do a lot of your work in the piano roll NFL studio. As this is the place you can create melodies in court progressions for correct notes that were played with your midi keyboard for pads. If you’re like me and spend a lot of time there you need to know your way around and ways to optimize your workflow. One feature that I use a lot is the soon feature which allows me to quickly zoom in and out on the score in the piano roll. Sometimes when I’m editing I would like to see the entire picture in view all the notes that wants where other times I need to zoom into a specific region or no to make sure it is correct. That is where this feature is really handy and all you have to do is use a few shortcut keys. To do this use the page up and page down keys on your keyboard.
Channel settings FL Studio Tips
Reversing a sample
Reversing samples can be a great way to create transition and unique effects in FL Studio. There are a number of different ways that you can reverse a sample in FL studio but the easiest way is using the channel settings window. In the channel settings window you can enable the reverse sample button and it will instantly reverse your sample. You can even review it by clicking on the waveform in the area at the bottom of the channel settings window. I find this feature most useful for reversing things such as cymbals and sound effects to be used as transition effects between parts of my tracks. In this tutorial we show you how to reverse samples and cymbals in FL Studio.
Playlist FL Studio Tips
When you have an audio clip in the FL Studio playlist you can use a tool within FL studio to detect the tempo automatically. This functionality is great for a number of different things such as remixing a song. To remix a song you will need to know the original tempo. There are a number of different reasons why you may need this feature so how do you do it? In the playlist find the audio clip you want to detect the tempo on. Left click the drop down area on the top left of the audio clip then choose sample, detect tempo. Then select a range you think the sample is close to. After doing that FL Studio will detect the tempo.
Volume automation is an important part of mixing in FL Studio. Volume automation is essentially an envelope that allows you to adjust the volume of a specific track or clip. With an envelope you can add notes that you can then set to gradually increase or decrease volume or even completely drop or raise the volume. There are a number of ways in FL studio that you can add automation clips. One way that I like to use is clicking the drop down area of clip in the playlist. This allows you to specifically add automation to that area or audio clip.
Panning is a great tool for adding width to your music as well as separating music. It can also be good for adding a little bit of flare on transition effects. When making transition effects I like to use panning to sweep the sound from one side of the stereo spectrum to the other. This gives the listener a dramatic sounding effect. To do this I use planning automation in the FL Studio playlist. Once you have an audio clip in the playlist you can left click the drop-down box on the left side of the audio clip. From there you want to choose automation and then panning. Once the automation clip is created the bottom for the left side and all the way to the top is the right. So for example if you wanted to sweep something from left to right you put your first node on the left side and your second node all the way to the right side. Then, move the second one all the way up and the first node all the way down. Now that audio clip will sweep the stereo spectrum from left to right. I really like using this effect when trying to build a dramatic transition from one part to the other.
Miscellanious fl studio tips
When working in FL Studio sometimes I will need to detect the tempo of a beat, song, a cappella, possibly a sample. However, sometimes the automatic way in FL Studio doesn’t properly detect the tempo. Another great feature of FL Studio is the tap feature which allows you to tap on a button by using your mouse and FL Studio will detect the tempo from the tap. So basically you will listen to the sample or song you were trying to tempo map and while it’s playing you will use the tap feature to tap along to the beat and FL Studio will detect the tempo based on your tapping. Essentially you will be playing the metronome by hand. This feature can be found by the beat per minute area of FL Studio. Right click on beat bpm and on the right select tap. Then you will be able to left click on the icon to match the tempo.
Using FL Studio browser
FL Studio browser is great for adding samples to your projects when working NFL studio. Using the browser is the best way to get samples in because it is billed directly NFL studio and all you have to do is drag-and-drop. Other methods consist of using Windows Explorer opening multiple folders to get to a sample. See you want to make sure that you use your browser NFL studio to optimize your workflow into easily find the samples you need. To add additional force in the NFL studio browser you just want to go to your NFL studio settings in the browser options. From there you can navigate to the Ford or that you want to add to NFL studio to be visible in the browser. For best results be as organized as possible when naming your fours and samples to make them easy to find later.
We also have audio versions of this list from the FL Beat Makers Podcast. These can be found here:
For a preview of each one check out the following videos.
FL Beat Makers Podcast 4 preview on YouTube.
FL Beat makers Podcast 5 Preview on YouTube
If you want us to add a specific FL Studio Tip leave a comment below!