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Beat Breakdown: Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble”: Part 2 – The Melody

April 24, 2018 - By 

In a series of beat breakdowns and tutorials, I will teach you—with this article—to produce the melody of Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” on FL Studio 12.

Before you begin composing this melody, make sure you followed my tutorial to the drumbeat of “HUMBLE.” and use this article to continue that composition.

1. PIANO ONE

To compose the lower part of the one-bar piano loop in “HUMBLE,” go to “Add” on top of your FL Studio screen, left-click it, and select “FL Keys” in the drop-down menu. “FL Keys” should appear in the Channel Rack.

Left-click the “FL Keys” rectangle in the Channel Rack to open up its sound options window.

Where it says “Grand Piano (3MB),” change it to “Piano (FL).”

Go to the Piano Roll of “FL Keys” and compose this.

2. PIANO TWO

To make a clone of “FL Keys,” right-click its rectangle in the Channel Rack. A drop-down menu should appear. When you see it, left-click “clone.”

In this clone of “FL Keys,” compose this in the Piano Roll.

(This is the same melody as the first “FL Keys,” only an octave higher.)

3. 3xOsc

In parts of “HUMBLE,” you’ll hear an upward pitching synth sound. Let’s compose that.

Go to “Add” in your FL Studio window. When the menu drops down, click “3xOsc” to add it to the Channel Rack. When it’s on the Channel Rack, left-click its rectangle to open sound options. Make these adjustments to what you see circled.

For the Piano Roll, simply insert this. (Keep track of pitch and bar-length.)

I know it’s only one note, but we’ll change the volume and pitch of this note by using a few new techniques.

Before we use them, let’s add each sound to the Mixing Board and Playlist.

 4. MIXING EACH SOUND

Add each sound to the Mixing Board. Remember how? (Left-click each Channel Rack “rectangle,” and adjust the “Track” number so it becomes linked to that track in the Mixing Board.)

Once you’ve done that, adjust the Mixing Board volumes to approximately what you see here.

5. THE PLAYLIST

Insert each track to the playlist, as shown here.

(Track 2 contains the drums. Track 3 has the lower piano. Track 4 has the higher piano. Track 5 has 3xOsc AKA “the synthy sound.”)

 6. CHANGING PITCH FOR 3xOsc

In “HUMBLE,” the synthy sound has an upward pitch and off and on silence.

We will use the “3xOsc” in Track 5, or wherever you put it, to recreate that synthy sound.

To change the pitch of 3xOsc, do this… Go to its sound options, by left-clicking its rectangle in the Channel Rack. Once you’re there, right-click its “PITCH” knob and select “Create automation clip” in its drop-down menu.

This automation clip will appear in the Playlist above the Pattern containing your 3xOsc sound.

For this automation clip, you can left-click to adjust volume anywhere you see a tiny “ball”… and right-click to add tiny “balls.”  Keep left-clicking and right-clicking until you get an automation clip that appears like this.

7. CHANGING VOLUME FOR 3xOsc

To adjust the volume of 3xOsc, do this… Once again, left-click the rectangle for “3xOsc” in the Channel Rack. Once you’re there, find the “Vol”  knob (meaning “volume”) and right-click it, until the drop-down menu appears, so you can select “Create automation clip.”

The automation clip should appear below your 3xOsc pattern, as your pitch automation clip is above it.

To adjust the volume, right-click to add points and left-click to change their levels.

Make this for the volume of your first half-bar.

Copy it and paste it to the next four half-bars.

For the volume adjustment of that last half-bar, right-click its upper left corner until a drop-down menu appears. Select “Make unique.” Erase all its volume adjustments by right-clicking each one and selecting “Delete.” Make a new volume adjustment by creating what you see circled below.

This is so the synthy sound fades out at the end.

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Beat Breakdown: Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble”: Part 1 – The Drumbeat

April 12, 2018 - By 

In a series of beat breakdowns and tutorials, I will teach you, with this article, how to compose the drumbeat of Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” on FL Studio 12.

(As of 2018, this song is only a year old, meaning its sound is true to the trends in music right now, in 2018. Learning how to re-produce it should help you compose what’s “in” right now, in contrast to my other breakdowns of older songs.)

1. SETTING THE TEMPO

Once you’ve silenced all effects from the “slots” to the right of the mixing board, change your project’s tempo to 75 beats per minute.

2. KICKS

To add a kick drum to the Channel Rack, go to the left side of your project and select “packs > legacy > drums > dance > dnc_kick_3.” Drag it to the Channel Rack and add this pattern to the first bar of your two-bar loop.

Add this for the second bar of your two-bar loop.

3. CLAP/SNARE

“HUMBLE.” has a hand clap for a snare. To add it, find “packs > legacy > drums > dance > dnc_clap_2” on the left of your project’s big window. Drag it to the Channel Rack. Add just two claps/snares on these points for the first bar.

And for the second?

4. CLOSED HI-HAT

Add “packs > drums > hats > 808 CH” to the Channel Rack. Insert the pattern in the row of “808 CH” to the first bar of your loop.

Insert this to the second bar of 808 CH.

Before you do anything else, go to the Piano Roll of 808 CH and you’ll see this.

We need to add a few extra hi-hats with this Piano Roll. Shorten the scroll bar up top so you can widen the window.

When you have “1/4 step” selected in the magnet tool up top, snap a tiny “green dot” to the space circled.

Now go to the bar marker #2 and do the same.

5. OPEN HI-HATS

There are two open hi-hats to add here. Find them at “packs > drums > hats > 808 OH” and “packs > drums > hats > 707 OH.” Drag them both to the Channel Rack. For bar one, insert the sounds here.

For the second bar…

6. LAYERED KICKS

There are two kicks in this loop that give the bass a heavier sound. Go to packs > drums > kicks > 808 kick and add it to the Channel Rack.

Once you’ve added it to the Channel Rack, right-click its rectangular box—reading “808 kick”—until a drop-down menu appears. On this menu, left-click “clone.” “808 kick #2” should appear below “808 kick.”

Before you add any repetitions of these kicks to the Channel Rack, change the pitch of their sounds. How? For “808 kick,” left-click its rectangular box on the Channel Rack. Its window should open. On this window, change the pitch range from “2” to “6” and turn its pitch all the way down, as you can see in the circled knobs below.

For “808 Kick #2,” open its window by left-clicking its rectangular box on the Channel Rack. In this window, don’t adjust the pitch range. Instead, turn its pitch all the way down.

Now that you’ve changed the pitches of both your 808 kicks, insert a new pattern. Add this to the first bar.

Add this to the second bar.

7. ADDING PATTERNS TO PLAYLIST

With only two patterns for this drum loop, go to the Playlist and add them as shown.

Each pattern is added twice so your whole project can be a four-bar loop. (You can really add as many loops as you want.)

8. MIXING

Link all “instruments” in the Channel Rack to the Mixing Board. (I hope you remember how.)

Once they’re in the Mixing Board, adjust their volume as such.

9. MY NEXT ARTICLE

My next article will show you how to compose the melody to “HUMBLE.”

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Beat Breakdown: Cypress Hill’s Rap Superstar – Part 2: The Melody

February 28, 2018 - By 

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.

  1. 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.

  1. INSERTING LOW STRING MELODY

Open a new Patternthen 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. MIXING

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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Beat Breakdown: Cypress Hill’s Rap Superstar – Part 1: Drums

February 21, 2018 - By 

In a series of beat breakdown and music tutorials, I will be teaching you, with this article, how to reproduce the drumbeat in Cypress Hill’s “Rap Superstar” with FL Studio 12.

This article only contains the tutorial for the drumbeat of “Rap Superstar.” I will show you how to compose the melody with the next article.

  1. SETTING TEMPO

To begin your project, open FL Studio 12 and set the tempo of your new project to 94 beats per minute.

  1. INSERTING DRUM SOUNDS

Now that your tempo is set, drag these five drum sounds from the sound inventory to the Channel Rack.

  1. Kick 1Packs > drums > kicks > 808 Kick
  2. Kick 2Packs > legacy > drums > HipHop > HIP_Kick_2
  3. SnarePacks > drums > snares > Linn Snare
  4. Hi-Hat 1Packs > legacy > drums > HipHop > HIP_Hat_5
  5. Hi-Hat 2Packs > legacy > drums > HipHop > HIP_Hat_6

 

  1. ENHANCING THE 808 KICK

Once those drums are in your Channel Rack, don’t start composing yet. You have to enhance the “808 Kick.” Left-click the tiny rectangle with “808 Kick” written inside it. When its window opens, go to where it said “Pitch / Range” on the upper right side, and drag the “range” number to 5 by left-clicking and dragging it up. When it reaches 5, crank the “pitch” knob to maximum, as shown.

Why should you do this? So the “808 Kick” plays a D to serve as a bass line for this song’s D-minor melody.

 

  1. ADDING A KICK

Once your “808 Kick” is enhanced, put this in its Channel Rack display.

Now go to the Piano Roll of “808 Kick.” Copy the already-composed material into the next three bars, in order to repeat it for four whole bars.

You need to add more kicks. Between the bar markers 2 and 3, add kicks at these points.

(Make sure you have “1/4 step” selected in the magnet tool for true accuracy.)

Between bar markers 3 and 4, insert this.

(Don’t mind the second circled kick. Oops.)

 

Between bar markers 4 and 5?

(This is the same as what should go between the 2-3 bar markers. I circled them wrong. Oops.)

Now copy what’s in this entire Piano Roll and paste it in the Piano Roll for the “HIP_Kick_2.”

  1. ADDING A SNARE

To add your snares, simply insert spots for “Linn Snare” on every even beat on each bar—all four bars. (Remember how the tiny scroll thing at the bottom lets you see the rest of the Channel Rack?)

  1. ADDING HI-HAT 1

This is extremely simple but can be done a unique way. How? RIGHT-CLICK the “HIP_Hat_5” box in your Channel Rack. The drop-down menu that appears should give you the option, “Fill each 2 steps.” Click that.

By doing this, your hi-hat will insert sounds on each eighth note.

  1. ADDING HI-HAT 2

To add your background hi-hats—layered within the first hat you inserted—simply LEFT-CLICK all 16 boxes in the line across “HIP_Hat_6” so each of them fills up. See?

Don’t forget to fill this up for ALL FOUR BARS!!

  1. ADDING PATTERN TO PLAYLIST

Easy. Open the Playlist and insert the Pattern, which contains all your drums. Insert this Pattern—which is a four-bar loop—as many times as you want. I recommend once or twice. You should have only one pattern for your drums. This should leave room for this song’s melody, which I’ll teach you how to make in my next article.

  1. MIXING

Link each track in the Channel Rack to the Mixing Board. Remember how? Left-click every rectangle at the left of your Channel Rack (containing the track’s name) and choose a Mixing Board track to which you can assign it… by left-clicking and dragging the number in the “track” menu in the upper right of your window to any numbered slot in the Mixing Board. The numbers don’t matter.

Once you have all tracks inserted to the Mixing Board, adjust them like so.

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Beat Breakdown: ‘Westside Story’ – The Game: Part 2 Melody

January 31, 2018 - By 

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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Beat Breakdown: ‘Westside Story’ – The Game: Part 1 Drums

January 25, 2018 - By 

In a series of beat breakdowns and production tutorials, I will use this article to teach you how to produce the drumbeat of “Westside Story” by The Game on FL Studio 12.  You can find the second part of this article and learn to produce the melody here.

The sounds I am using for this article don’t sound identical to the actual song, but they are close. When you follow this tutorial, you can use whatever sounds you want.

1. SETTING TEMPO AND SILENCING “FRUITY LIMITER”

When you open FL Studio 12, begin your beat by setting your tempo to 87 beats per minute.

(Don’t forget to silence the Fruity Limiter on your Master track by left-clicking the green dot next to the knob on the right of “Fruity Limiter.”)

2. ADDING DRUM SOUNDS

Once again, the drums I’m choosing for this tutorial are not the most accurate sounding to the original song, but for me, they are close.

2a. SNARE

To insert a snare, open the Channel Rack and drag-and-drop the snare sound, “packs > drums > snare > linn snare” to that Channel Rack.

2b. KICK

For a kick sound, add the sound which is “packs > legacy > drums > HIP_Kick_2” to the Channel Rack.

2c. HI-HAT

For the hi-hat, use “packs > drums > hats > Grv CH 01” to drag to the Channel Rack, too.

3. DRUM PATTERN

Make sure Pattern 1 is selected on the top of the screen. For this pattern, compose the following in the first bar.

You just composed one bar of what should be a two-bar loop. To add more to the second bar, drag the tiny horizontal bar on the bottom of the Channel Rack to the right until you see nothing but blank spots.

This is the second bar of your two-bar drum loop. Right after your work for the first bar, add this.

Now that you’re done your two-bar drum loop, you need to make new alterations with the kick. Open “HIP_Kick_2” in the Piano Roll. (Remember how to do it?) You should see this.

For the third, seventh, and eighth “green tiny rectangular objects” (sounds of the kick) in your Piano Roll, you need to move them slightly to the right. To do this, go to the magnet-looking tool on the upper left corner of the Piano Roll window and select “1/6 step” in the drop-down menu. Now that “1/6 step” is selected, move the third, seventh, and eighth “green objects” in your Piano Roll one snap to the right.

Those are the sounds you should have moved slightly to the right. This way, you delayed the sounds of those kicks a few milliseconds later than where they were before.

4. ADDING YOUR LOOP TO THE PLAYLIST

This part is easy. All you have to do is left-click the icon to the right of the display of “Pattern 1.” Once you do that, the playlist should be open and blank. In the left of this playlist, Pattern 1 is in a vertical-looking window. Drag it to the right of where it says, “Track 1.” The tracks on bottom should remain open for your melody, which I will show you how to compose in my next article.

5. MIXING

Your pattern is ready to add to the Mixing Board. Remember how to do this? Well, add all three tracks in the Channel Rack (“Linn Snare,” “HIP_Kick_2,” and “Grv CH 01”) to their own channels in the Mixing Board.

Adjust the volume on your tracks like this.

6. ADDING REVERB TO THE SNARE

Select “Linn Snare” on the Mixing Board, and in the area with “Slots” (on the right of the Mixing Board), left-click the tiny triangle to the left of “Slot 1,” and select “Fruity Reeverb 2” on the windows that open up. That reverb effect should be in “Slot 1.”

Turn down the knob to the right of “Fruity Reeverb 2” like this.

I will teach you how to compose part of the melody of this original song in my next article.

Here’s how your finished track should sound this far:

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Beat Breakdown: Eminem’s “Under The Influence” The Melody Pt.2

December 28, 2017 - By 

In a series of beat breakdowns and re-creations of songs, I will be teaching you, with this article, to compose the melody of Eminem’s “Under The Influence.” Make sure you composed the drumbeat of this song in Part 1 of this two-part tutorial, using FL Studio 12. Once the drumbeat is in your project, you can continue with the melody composition.

1. ADD INSTRUMENTS TO THE CHANNEL RACK

“Under The Influence” uses three simple loops over its drumbeat, low strings, a bass, and high strings. You get to compose them all in this brief melody tutorial.

1a. ADDING LOW STRINGS

To recreate the song’s low string track, go to the left of the FL Studio 12 screen and find “String patch 1” under packs > legacy > instruments > strings > String patch 1. Drag that to the Channel Rack.

1b. ADDING BASS

To add a bass, go to packs > legacy > instruments > bass > HIP_Bass and drag that to the Channel Rack, too.

1c. ADDING HIGH STRINGS

To recreate the quiet high strings heard in parts of the song, go to packs > instruments > Strings Section and drag that to the Channel Rack also.

2. COMPOSING THE NOTES FOR “String patch 1”

Before you open the Piano Roll and add notes to “String patch 1,” go to this track’s window (by left-clicking its little rectangle on the Channel Rack). Click the second option on top of the window, to show what you see below. With the five knobs circled in red, adjust their levels to what you see here.

It’s now time to compose your loop in the Piano Roll. This is a four-bar loop with a composition shown in pictures.

Put this in the first bar of the Piano Roll for “String patch 1.”

(The shorter notes are not full-length sixteenth notes. Please make them the same duration you see in the pic. Duration is length, by the way.)

Now, the second bar.

Third bar.

Now the fourth one.

Your whole four-bar loop should be finished now. Before you move on to composing the bass, select the entirety of what’s in the Piano Roll of “String patch 1” and move it slightly to the right, as shown below.

Moving this whole selection slightly to the right gives a delay to the notes in the loop. If you don’t move it to the left, when you play it over the drumbeat, it will sound like the strings are coming in too soon.

3. ADDING THE BASS

Compose a four-bar loop like you did the low strings. Open the Piano Roll for “HIP_Bass,” and put this in the first bar.

(Once again, make these notes the same duration as you see in the picture.)

Now, the second bar.

The third bar.

Fourth.

Just like you did with the strings, add a delay by selecting all notes and moving them slightly to the left, as shown below.

4. ADDING HIGH STRINGS

There is a quiet high-string loop in “Under The Influence.” To recreate it, go to the Piano Roll of “Strings Section” and add this two-bar loop (not a four-bar loop). It’s easy!

(You don’t need to make a delay with this one.)

5. ADD TO PLAYLIST

Now you’re ready to add all four patterns to the playlist.

In the below picture, Pattern 2 includes the drums (from Part 1 of this tutorial). Pattern 3 has the low strings. Pattern 4 has the bass, and Pattern 5 contains the high strings. Just make sure they fill up eight bars (or four, doesn’t matter).

6. ADDING TRACKS TO THE MIXING BOARD

Go to the Channel Rack and add each sound to the Mixing Board. (The drums from Part 1 of this tutorial should be in the Mixing Board, too.) Once that’s done, adjust the volume of each track in the Mixing Board so it appears as it looks in the below picture.

7. SING THE CHORUS OF THIS SONG TO YOUR PARENTS

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Beat Breakdown: Eminem’s “Under The Influence” The Drum Beat Pt.1

December 26, 2017 - By 

Today, in a series of beat breakdowns, I will show you how to re-compose the drumbeat of Eminem’s “Under The Influence,” a collaboration of Em and his group, D12, from his 2000 album, The Marshall Mathers LP.  For Part 2 which covers the melody you can find the follow up article here.

The drumbeat is in Part 1 of this tutorial. The melody is in Part 2.

Here’s the final version of the file we are making in this tutorial:

1 OPENING FL STUDIO / TWO THINGS TO DO

When you open FL Studio 12, do these two things first.

A. Open the mixing board. To the right, you should see “Fruity Limiter” in on one of the “slots.” This “Fruity Limiter” limits the volume of your whole project. Disable this effect. How? Two ways, either a or b.

B. Left-click the green dot to the right of the text “Fruity Limiter.” This silences the effect without deleting it.

C. Left-click the tiny triangle to the left of “Fruity Limiter,” and select “Replace” in the pop-up window, then “(none).” This erases “Fruity Limiter” completely.

 

(I recommend you delete “Fruity Limiter” every time you compose something with FL Studio 12. Just my $0.02.)

D. Set the tempo to 97 beats per minute.

2 ADDING THE DRUMS

 Go to the left of the screen and find a kick under packs > legacy > drums > hiphop > HIP_Kick. Drag that to the channel rack.

Next, for the hi-hat, go to legacy > drums > hiphop > HIP_Hat_2. Drag that to the Channel Rack.

Now, for the snare (which doesn’t sound identical to the snare in the song, although it’s the closest one I could find), go to packs > drums > snares > 707 Snare. Drag that baby in the Channel Rack, too.

Once all these sounds are in the Channel Rack, compose this simple two-bar drumbeat. The first bar is, as follows.

The second bar? It’s like this.

(Go to the second bar by dragging the tiny horizontal black line, below the Channel Rack, to the right until you see your first four blank beats.)

3 ADDING TRACKS TO MIXING BOARD / MIXING

 Once these tracks are composed, you don’t have to add this pattern to the Playlist yet. First, you need to add your tracks to the mixing board. Remember how? You can insert them to the board using the way

 

I’ve showed you before, or insert them to the board using a new way. What is the new way? Left-click on any rectangle reading “HIP_Kick,” “HIP_Hat_2,” or “707 Snare.” When the window opens for any track, you should see an empty space on the upper right corner.

Hover your mouse cursor over that box, left-click and drag it up until it reads the number of the mixer track to which you’d like to insert that sound.

When all three of your tracks are in the mixing board, adjust the volume for each track, as shown.

4. ADDING COMPRESSOR AND REVERB TO THE SNARE

 Compressor

Select the mixing board track for the snare. On the right of the mixing board, you should see empty “slots.” Go to “Slot 2,” (not “Slot 1,”) left-click it, and when the pop-up window opens, select “Fruity Compressor.”

Once that is selected, adjust the “Gain” on the Fruity Compressor window from “0.0” to “10.9.”

Reverb

 Remember when I told you not to select “Slot 1”? This was to save space for the overlapping reverb effect. Now go to “Slot 1,” left-click it, and when the window opens, select “Fruity Reeverb 2.”

In the “Fruity Reeverb 2” window, adjust the knobs in the circles so they look like this.

 

Now time to adjust this reverb to low volume. Go to the right side of your “Fruity Limiter 2” slot, find the volume knob, and turn it down so it looks like this.

 

5. ADDING PATTERN TO PLAYLIST

 This is a very easy step. Go to the Playlist. Add your pattern twice, as shown below.

The melody for “Under The Influence” is in Part 2 of this article.

If you’re looking for the best place to buy funk beats and backing tracks online look no further then License Lounge.


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Beat Breakdown: Eminem’s “No Apologies” – The Melody Pt. 2

December 21, 2017 - By 

This is part 2 of my tutorial on recreating the instrumental to Eminem’s “No Apologies.” For this part, I will show you how to produce the looped melody in the first few seconds of the song.

I highly recommend you follow part 1 and have that drumbeat ready before you continue with part 2.

Below you can find our finished FL Studio Track:

1. ADDING A BASS

To add a bass line to this track, start by going to the left of the FL Studio window and searching for packs > legacy > instruments > HIP_bass.

(Use the one with the gear-looking thing on its left, not the orange thing.)

Drag “HIP_Bass” to the Channel Rack.

Make a new pattern, different from the drumbeat.

Open the window for HIP_Bass by simply left-clicking its “HIP_Bass” box on the Channel Rack. You should see this.

To extend the notes’ duration, click the third icon on the top of this window (to the left of the wrench) and you should see the “Envelope / instrument settings” window. On that window, under “Envelope,” the fourth knob from the left says “DEC” (short for decay time). Extend this decay time by dragging the blue line out until it circles about five sixths (5/6) of the round knob for DEC.

Now go to the Piano Roll of this bass. Once you’re there, compose this.

2. ADDING A CHOIR AHH

There are a few brief “aah” sounds in the beat to “No Apologies.” To recreate that, start by going to the left of the FL Studio screen to find packs > instruments > orchestral > choir ahh. Add that to the Channel Rack. Create a new pattern.

Before composing anything in the Piano Roll, open its window like you did the bass. On its window, select “zone” (on the lower left corner). New options should appear below. You should see four dials in the middle of the bottom of this window (A, D, S, and R). Make sure A is all the way down, D is 1/3 of the way up, S is ALMOST to the top, and R is about ¾ of the way up… as shown below.

A closer look.

Now go to the Piano Roll of this channel and simply make this.

Make sure that small note has a volume slightly lower than the other two.

3. ADDING A PIANO

Left-click ADD on the top left of your FL Studio screen. When you see a drop down menu, left-click “FL Keys.”

Once you’ve clicked it, it’s in the Channel Rack. Make a new pattern for this.

First, before adding any notes, adjust the knobs in the track’s window, as shown below.

Adjust the knobs of DECAY, RELEASE, and STEREO so they point to the top. VEL should be in a 10:00 position. SENS at 11:00. MUFFLE at “2:30.” Also change that horizontal block dropdown from “Grand Piano” to “Piano (FL).”

Now it’s time to put this in the Piano Roll for this track.

4. ADDING TRACKS TO PLAYLIST

 It doesn’t matter what numbers the patterns are. All you need is a drum pattern (from part 1 of this tutorial), bass pattern, choir ahh pattern, and piano pattern. All four of them should look like this.

(In this window, Pattern 2 is the drums. Pattern 3 is the choir ahh. Pattern 4 is the bass. Pattern 5 is the piano.)

5. MIXING TRACKS ON MIXING BOARD

 Go to any Channel Rack and add all four tracks to the mixing board. (Remember how?) They should appear like this.

This is how you should adjust the volume.

Recommended approximate volume… Master: 20. HIP_Kick_2: 16. HIP_Hat_2: 33. RD_Snare_4: 13. Choir Ahh: 26. HIP_Bass: 20. FL Keys (the piano part): 17.

6. ADDING REVERB TO THE PIANO PART

If you would like to enhance the piano of this song, add a reverb to it. Go to its mixing board channel, left-click “Slot 1” (on the right of the mixing board), and select “Fruity Reeverb 2.” When the window for “Fruity Reeverb 2” appears, left-click the tiny triangle up top of the window, go to “Presets,” and select “Large Hall.”

Sounds cool, doesn’t it?  For the best place to buy pop beats online look no further then our collection of hand picked producers on License Lounge.

 


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Beat Breakdown: Eminem’s “No Apologies” – The Drum Beat Pt. 1

December 13, 2017 - By 

In a series of beat breakdowns and compositions, I will be showing you, with this article, how to re-compose the drumbeat of Eminem’s “No Apologies” with FL Studio 12. Next week, I will show you how to compose part of the melody of that song.

Here’s the finished track we created to use in your own projects.

 

1. DEACTIVATING FRUITY LIMITER / CHANGING TEMPO

When you open FL Studio 12, you’ve got a new project. Make sure to turn off the Fruity Limiter effect if it’s on default.

Left-click “Fruity Limiter.” When the drop-down menu appears, left-click “Replace” and then “(none).” This way, the sound of your whole project won’t be compressed.

Now change the tempo to 94 beats per minute.

2. INSERTING DRUM SOUNDS

Open a new pattern with the Channel Rack.

(Open the Channel Rack by clicking this at the top of the FL Studio 12 window.)

When you have the Channel Rack open, go to the left side of your FL Studio 12 window where you’ll find some sounds.

2a. Inserting A Kick

 The kick that is an almost-perfect match to the one in the actual Eminem song is under packs > legacy > drums > hiphop > HIP_Kick_2. Drag and drop that into the channel rack.

2b. Inserting A Hi-Hat

 There is a quiet hi-hat in the Eminem song. To insert a clone of that to your project, go to packs > legacy > drums > hiphop > HIP_Hat_2 and drag it to the Channel Rack.

2c. Inserting A Snare

 The built-in snare that I’m having you use doesn’t sound identical to the actual snare from the Eminem song. It still sounds cool, though. It is located at packs > legacy > drums > RealDrumkits > RD_Snare_4. Drag it to the Channel Rack.

3. COMPOSING THE DRUMBEAT

The drumbeat in this Eminem song is simple. It is a two-bar loop containing no additional percussion. Compose the first bar of this loop as shown.

This is only one bar out of the two-bar loop you’re composing. To compose sounds for the next bar, go down to the bottom of the Channel Rack window. You should see a small black dash-looking line. It’s a scroll bar, used to extend the length of your pattern.

Drag that dash-looking line to the right until the pattern above appears blank but has that gray-red-gray-red appearance you used to see. It should look like this.

The sounds you just composed were in the first four notes of your loop. You should now insert sounds for notes 5 through 8. Add this.

The hi-hat needs volume adjustment before you insert this pattern into the playlist. Go to the Piano Roll of “HIP_Hat_2” and do this.

Select the (circled) volume adjustments at the bottom and lower them until it looks like what you see… lower than the gray, unselected sounds from other tracks.

4. ADDING PATTERN TO PLAYLIST

Adding this pattern to the playlist is easy.

(If you haven’t been following my other beat breakdowns, do this. Select this item from the top of your window screen. It’s the playlist displaying icon.)

If the pattern containing your drumbeat isn’t selected, click the circled button here.

Now add this pattern twice to the playlist, as shown.

5. MIXING YOUR SOUNDS

You should have inserted three sounds into the Channel Rack, “HIP_Kick_2,” “HIP_Hat_2,” and “RD_Snare_4.” If they do not appear in the mixing board, make sure to go to the Channel Rack and add them to the mixing board by clicking “route to free mixer track” on each Channel Rack track’s pop-up window (as I discussed in earlier breakdowns).

Once all three drum sounds are in the mixing board, adjust their volume as such.

(“HIP_Kick_2” is approximately “16” on the volume scale on the left. “HIP_Hat_2” is about “33.” RD_Snare_4 is roughly between “14” and “13.” Make sure the master volume is at about “20.”)

I will be back next week with the tutorial on composing part of the melody of this Eminem song.

If you’re looking for some of the best places to buy R&B beats online look no further then our hand picked selection of producers here on License Lounge.


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Beat Breakdown: Jay Z’s “Young Forever” – Part 2 Melody

November 8, 2017 - By 

Continuing from my last article, this is a tutorial of an FL Studio 12 recreation of Jay-Z’s “Young Forever.” In “Part 1” of this tutorial, I showed you how to recompose the drumbeat of that song with FL Studio 12. Now, I will show you how to produce the melody on said program.

Check it out here:

I highly recommend you follow the steps in “Part 1” in order to have the drumbeat already programmed before recreating the melody from this “Part 2” portion.

Also, I recommend you use the instruments and sound bites I’m using in order to obtain the sounds most accurate to those in the Jay-Z song. It’s not completely accurate, but it’s close, and it will sound really cool if you use my following sounds.

1. ADDING A BASS LINE

Once you’ve produced the drumbeat, it’s time to add that bassline. Go to “Add” and select “3x Osc.” Add it to the Channel Rack.

When its window opens up, make sure the circled dials are set like this.

Those dials should be centered as shown, and nothing else should be changed. Once you’ve applied this, go to the Piano Roll of “3x Osc” and compose what’s down below… into Pattern 4. (Patterns 1-3 should contain the drumbeat.)

Once this bassline is in Pattern 4, reroute it to the Mixing Board (as you should with all Channel Rack tracks) and drop it below the patterns that already exist (from the drumbeat in “Part 1” of this tutorial).

2. ADDING SYNTH CHORDS

The synthy part in Jay-Z’s “Young Forever” is sampled from Alphaville’s 1984 hit “Forever Young.” We can compose it with FL Studio 12, starting with adding “Harmless” to the Channel Rack.

Once Harmless is in the Channel Rack, make sure you open “Pattern 5.” Before you compose anything into Harmless’s Pattern 5 Piano Roll, open the window of “Harmless.” Change its preset to “Obligatory Jump FG” by left-clicking the upper left of the window, going to “preset,” and finding “Obligatory Jump FG” in the large pop-up sub-window.

This should change the sound of the synth. Now that we’ve changed it, we need to adjust the knobs on this window, so they look like this. Only change the circled knobs to their approximate levels in the picture. Leave the rest as is.

Now you’re ready for the Piano Roll. Compose this.

Copy this to your clipboard by clicking Ctrl+C. Save that copied cluster of notes for a NEW “Harmless” to add to your Channel Rack in “Pattern 6.”

Once you’ve added a new “Harmless” to your Channel Rack in Pattern 6, change its preset to “String GOL.” No need to change the knobs on the window.

Once that’s changed, paste your selected clipboard material into the Piano Roll of “Harmless” “String GOL.” (Remember, in Pattern 6.)

Make sure to add each channel from the Rack into the Mixing Board.

3. MINIATURE SYNTH THING

There’s a sound repeating every four bars in this song that’s hard to describe but easy to compose, if you follow these directions. What I’m giving you won’t sound identical to that sound, but it’ll still sound cool.

Add “Harmless” again while “Pattern 7” is selected. Change this “Harmless” window’s preset to “Hohner D6 FG.” Once that’s done, add these three notes to the Piano Roll.

Once you’ve inserted this “Harmless” track to the Mixing Board, go to its tracks “effect” display, on the right of the Mixing Board, and add “Fruity delay 2” to Slot 1. On the “Fruity delay 2” screen, the knobs should be adjusted as such. Make sure to change “TIME” to exactly 2:00.

4. ADDING PATTERNS TO THE PLAYLIST

The patterns (all 7 of them) should be added to the playlist (only eight bars in length) as such.

5. ADJUSTING THE VOLUME IN THE MIXING BOARD

Make sure to add each channel in the Channel Rack to the mixing board, if you haven’t already.

Once you have done that, adjust each channel’s volume as such.

Do not change the panning. Just change the channel’s volumes to the approximate values you see in this screen.

Now that you’re recreation is complete, feel free to sing along and stay forever young.  If you are looking for the best place to download rock beats online don’t forget to check out our hand picked selection of producers on License Lounge.


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Beat Breakdown: Jay Z’s “Young Forever” – Part 1 Drum Pattern

November 2, 2017 - By 

Today, in a series of beat breakdowns and recreations, I will teach you how to recreate the drum pattern used in Jay-Z’s “Young Forever,” using FL Studio 12.  For an idea of how to produce the melody of this song check out Part 2.

This part of the breakdown will only show you how to remake the drum sounds, not the melody (which samples Alphaville’s “Forever Young”). The drums I will show you don’t sound identical to the Jay-Z song, but if you use the drums I recommend, they’ll sound pretty close.

1. BEGINNING

Start off by opening FL Studio 12 and slowing the tempo to 70 beats per minute.

2. ADDING A SHORT HI HAT

Add a short hi-hat to the Channel Rack. The hi-hat I selected for this beat recreation is packs > drums > hats > Grv CH 03. You can use whatever hat you want, but I highly recommend “Grv CH 03.”

We need to make 32nd notes with these hi-hats. To do this, go to the Piano Roll of “Grv CH 03.” (Left-click “Grv CH 03” so it’s window appears. On the upper left of its window, left-click the tiny triangle and select “Piano Roll.”) When you see the Piano Roll, left-click the magnet tool and select ½ step.

(This should allow you to place sounds accurately on each 32nd note position.)

Now when you compose sounds for this hi-hat track, they should look like this.

Adjust the volume of each sound at the bottom as shown in the above pic, and make sure the sounds are placed on C5 with small duration on each 32nd note.

Now copy what you see eight times.

3. ADDING LONG HI-HAT

There is a long hi-hat throughout the song, too. To imitate that sound, select packs > drums > hats > 808 CH and add it to the Channel Rack.

Place each repetition of the long hi-hat where you see it in the above picture.

4. ADDING SNARE

The snare I chose for this beat recreation is located in packs > drums (modeaudio) > snares > collido reverso snare 02. When you find that, add it to the Channel Rack, and place its “sounds” where you see them in the pic.

5. ADDING A KICK

The song has an “808” kick to it. To bring that sound to your Channel Rack, go to packs > drums > kicks > 808 kick. Add that sound, and put repetitions where you see on the Rack.

6. MIXING EACH SOUND

Remember how to add the Channel Rack tracks to the mixing board? Left-click each track, and when its window opens, left-click the tiny triangle on the upper left of the window, and when you see “Route to free mixer track,” select that. You should do that with all four tracks.

Before we adjust the volume, let’s add a little “punch” to the snare. To do this, select the “collido reverso snare 02” in the mixer, go to the right of the mixing board, and add a “fruity compressor” effect.


When the Fruity Compressor window appears, turn the gain up to 10.9 dB.

This should make your snare SUPER LOUD but also even out its volume from beginning to end. Adjust each track’s volume as such.

(Left-to-right: Grv CH 03 (short hi-hat), 808 OH (long hi-hat), Collider Reverso Snare 02 (snare), 808 Kick (kick).)

7. ADDING PATTERNS TO PLAYLIST

Repeat this pattern four times in the playlist, as you should see below.

The third and fourth repetitions should sound different, as they do in the song. The kicks are placed in other spots, unlike the first and second repetitions. To adjust them, left-click the third and fourth repetitions’ tiny icons (to the left of where it reads “Pattern 1”), and select “make unique.” For the FOURTH repetition (you can open by double-left-clicking “Pattern 3” on the left of the playlist), simply change the kicks to these positions.

Now for the THIRD repetition (opened by double-left-clicking “Pattern 2”), you need to be more tedious changing the kicks. On “808 Kick” in the Channel Rack, open its Piano Roll. When you see the Piano Roll, change the kick sounds to this.

I will be back to show you how to recreate the melody in this track next week.  Below is an MP3 example of the track I just created so you can give it a listen:

For the best place to buy reggae beats online don’t forget to check out our hand-picked list of producers on License Lounge.


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