Beat Breakdown: ‘Westside Story’ – The Game: Part 2 Melody
In a series of beat breakdowns and production tutorials, this article is the continuation of the breakdown/tutorial of producing “Westside Story” by The Game on FL Studio 12.
Part 1 of this two-part tutorial was how to compose the drumbeat of “Westside Story.” This, Part 2, is how to add the melody.
1. ADDING A MONOPHONIC “THING”
This is the monophonic instrument used to simulate a hi-hat made of sixteenth notes. To recreate that, go to ADD (on top of your FL Studio 12 window) and choose 3x Osc. In the window for that “instrument,” change the dials to what you see circled in red below.
For the FINE tune knobs, the top one should be set to “1 cent,” the middle should be “2 cent,” and the bottom should be “3 cent.”
Now click the icon to the left of the wrench icon (the “bendy-looking” thing).
Adjust the five circled knobs so their levels appear as they are in this picture.
Go to this instrument’s Piano Roll. When you are there, add 16 sixteenth notes in the space of one bar, on the E-flat 3 position. Make sure each note’s duration is half a sixteenth note. It’s shown below
See how the notes are shifted a little to the right? That’s because once you’re done adding your notes, you should select 1/6 step in the magnet tool (on the top of the Piano Roll window screen) and move your entire selection one “snap” to the right. (This adds a little delay.)
2. ADDING LOW PIANO
Go to ADD, on top of your FL Studio window, and select FL Keys. Once this is in your Channel Rack, open a new Pattern and go to Piano Roll to insert what is shown below.
Make sure the duration and position of the notes match up to this.
See the green “hooks” below your notes? They measure the volume of the notes when they’re hit. Decrease the last one a little below the volume of the first two.
Now copy what’s in your Piano Roll and paste it a little to the right of your original notes. Move your pasted material one octave higher, as shown below.
While that pasted material is still selected, decrease its volume (by moving its “hooks” down a tad lower than your original notes). Then move your selected material parallel to your original notes, still one octave higher, until it looks like this.
3. ADDING HIGH PIANO
To add a higher piano, go to ADD on your FL Studio window again… then select FL Keys again. Open a new Pattern and go to the Piano Roll again. Start by adding this to a two-bar loop.
Copy what you have (with exact duration) and paste it three more times to the three remaining half notes in your two-bar loop.
For the second bar in your loop, change the last two chord repetitions to what you see below.
Your whole loop should look like this so far.
To make this loop sound like it’s being played on an actual keyboard, do this to what’s in the first bar of your two-bar loop.
While 1/6 step is selected (or “none”), move the “delayed” notes to the right a little.
In the second bar, move these notes.
4. ADDING PATTERNS TO PLAYLIST
You should already have your drumbeat from my last article in your Playlist by now. If you do, this is what your project should look like. See below.
Pattern 1 is the drums. Pattern 2 is the “instrument.” Pattern 3 is the low piano. Pattern 4 is the high piano chords.
5. ADDING TRACKS TO MIXING BOARD
You should probably know by now how to add tracks in the Channel Rack to the Mixing Board. (If not, left-click each track in the Channel Rack, hover your mouse over the “track” option in your track’s window, and scroll up until any number appears. This is the number of the mixer track to which your Channel Rack piece is going.)
Once your instruments are in the Mixing Board, level them like this.
Here’s what your final track should sound like:
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