Beat Breakdown: Cypress Hill’s Rap Superstar – Part 2: The Melody
In a series of beat breakdowns and music tutorials, I will teach you, with this article, how to reproduce the melody of Cypress Hill’s “Rap Superstar” with FL Studio 12.
For this tutorial, I recommend following the directions in my last article before you get started on this one. That way, you’ll have the drumbeat of “Rap Superstar” already in your FL Studio project.
ADDING / ENHANCING LOW STRINGS
Once your drumbeat is already composed, add a low string stab to start your melody. Do this by going to the inventory window on the left of your FL Studio 12 screen and finding “packs > legacy > instruments > orchestral > strings > MIXO_C1(L)ogg.” (Make sure it says “C1.”) Drag this to the Channel Rack.
Once “MIXO_C1(L)ogg” is in your Channel Rack, we need to enhance it. Left-click the rectangle containing the written text “MIXO_C1(L)ogg.” (It’s the string instrument you just added.) Once a window opens, left-click the knobby thing on top of that window (to the left of the wrench). Once you’ve clicked it, you should see new knobs. See the one reading “ATT”? Decrease it by left-clicking and dragging it until it’s almost zero, not completely zero. It should look like this.
INSERTING LOW STRING MELODY
Open a new Pattern… then open the Piano Roll for “MIXO_C1(L)ogg.” Add this between bar markers 1 and 3.
Copy this entire selection and paste it between bar markers 3-5. Move the top notes up one semi-tone, from A2 to A#2.
Now delete the notes at the end.
ADDING A HIGHER STRING
You’ll need a clone of “MIXO_C1(L)ogg” for this. RIGHT-CLICK its rectangle in the Channel Rack, and when you see a drop-down menu, select “Clone.” Your Channel Rack should create “MIXO_C1(L)ogg #2.” Open a new Pattern and go to the Piano Roll of “MIXO_C1(L)ogg #2.” Insert this.
This is between bar markers 2 and 3. To make sure the duration of your notes matches the above picture, have “1/4 step” selected.
Now copy what you have and insert it between bar markers 4 and 5, as shown below.
Yes. The circled notes should be moved from A3 to A#3.
Now copy all that you have in this Piano Roll and move it slightly to the right… with “none” selected in the magnet tool above.
This should give your higher strings a little delay.
ADDING A MALLET
“Rap Superstar” opens with a soft glockenspiel loop that continues throughout the song. Let’s add it to our project. Shall we?
Select “ADD” on top of your FL Studio 12 screen. Choose “Harmless” in the appearing drop-down menu to add it to your Channel Rack. When you left-click the Channel Rack’s “Harmless” rectangle, its window should appear. Left-click the tiny triangle on the upper-left corner of that window. You should see a drop-down menu with many options. On this menu, select “Mallets FG” (under “Percussion”). Once you have done that, adjust these knobs to what you see circled below.
Now go to the Piano Roll for “Mallets FG,” after adding a new Pattern, of course. Add what you see to this Piano Roll.
The duration of each note should be one full eighth note in length.
Now delay the sound of your composed material by moving your entire selection slightly to the right… as shown.
Oh, and trim the ending of your loop. Like this.
ADDING PATTERNS TO PLAYLIST
Your two string loops and mallet loop should be on three different Patterns. The drum loop should have been composed by following the instructions of my last article. Add all Patterns to the Playlist as such.
“Pattern 2” is the mallet. “Pattern 3” is the low strings. “Pattern 4” is the higher strings.” Pattern 5” is the drums. The numbers shouldn’t matter. This is what my Playlist says.
Add all tracks to the Mixing Board by left-clicking each rectangle in the Channel Rack and assigning a number to the “track” option in each window’s upper right corner. Your Mixing Board should look like this. Adjust as shown.
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