BEAT BREAKDOWN: CREATING DR. DRE’S “STILL D.R.E.” IN FL STUDIO – PART 2 – THE MELODY
In a series of beat breakdowns and tutorials, I will be teaching you, with this article, how to re-produce the melody of Dr. Dre’s classic, “Still D.R.E,” with FL Studio 12.
Before beginning with the steps in this article, make sure you followed my instructions on producing the drumbeat for this song.
1 ADD PIANO CHORDS
“Still D.R.E” contains a two-bar loop of piano chords stretched throughout the whole song.
Add “FL Keys” to your Channel Rack. You’ll find it when you go to the top of your screen, select “ADD,” and the drop down menu appears. Select “FL Keys” on that menu so it snaps to the Channel Rack.
When FL Keys is in your Channel Rack, add a new pattern, go to the Piano Roll of “FL Keys,” and compose this.
Make sure the top notes in your chords are slightly delayed past the middle notes, and the middle notes are also further out than the bottoms, like so.
This gives the illusion of playing actual piano chords.
2 ADDING HIGH STRINGS
There are two string tracks in “Still D.R.E.” One is higher pitched than the other.
For this higher pitched string sound, we’ll need to select “packs > instrumentals > orchestral > string solo” and drag it from the left menu to the Channel Rack.
Once it’s there, add a new pattern and compose this in the Piano Roll of “String Solo.”
3 ADDING LOW STRINGS
There are low strings in “Still D.R.E,” playing the same notes as the bass (which we’ll later get into).
You must add another “String Solo” track for this instrument, even though you already have one. Clone “String Solo” by right-clicking its rectangle in the Channel Rack and selecting “Clone” on its menu.
You’ve got yourself a “String Solo #2.” Add a new pattern and compose what you see below in the Piano Roll of “String Solo #2.”
Make sure you copy what you see below. This way, you save it to your clipboard in order to add it to the bass.
4 ADDING A BASS LINE
There is a bass line to “Still D.R.E.” It’s synched with the “cello” sound (String Solo #2), meaning it plays the same notes.
Go to “packs > instrumentals > bass > classic 80” and drag it to the Channel Rack.
Did you copy the notes in “String Solo #2”? (The picture above.) If so, once you add a new pattern, paste your copied material into the Piano Roll of “classic 80.”
5 ADDING “BUZZCLAV NUC”
In “Still D.R.E,” you’ll hear this cool sound in the hook. It’s hard to explain what instrument that is, but it’s easy to compose if you follow these next mini-steps.
Click “ADD” on top of your screen. When the menu drops down, select “Harmless.” This adds it to your Channel Rack.
Open its window by left-clicking its rectangle in the Channel Rack. On that window, left-click the upper left “tiny triangle,” and when a large menu appears, find “BuzzClav NUC” on its bottom left and select it.
Now that your instrument is selected, add a new pattern and insert this into the “BuzzClav NUC” Piano Roll.
6 ADDING YOUR PATTERNS TO THE PLAYLIST
If your drumbeat from my last article is in this file of yours, add your “instruments” to it by placing them in the “Playlist” as shown.
Track 3: Piano. (FL Keys) / Track 4: Low Strings (String Solo #2) / Track 5: High Strings (String Solo) / Track 6: Bass (Classic 80) / Track 7: Thing (BuzzClav NUC)
Add all your instruments to the Mixing Board. Mix them as shown.
8 ADDING EFFECTS TO BUZZCLAV NUC
To add these cool effects to that “sound from the hook,” select BuzzClav NUC on the Mixing Board, go to its “Slot” window on the right, left-click any slot, and select “Fruity delay 2.” With that “Fruity delay 2” window, change the options as shown below.
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