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In a series of beat breakdowns and tutorials, I will be teaching you, with this article, how to re-compose the drumbeat of Snoop Dogg’s “Serial Killa” with FL Studio 12.
There will be a melody tutorial following this one. For now, just focus on the drumbeat.
1 Silencing Fruity Limiter
Before composing anything with FL Studio 12, I recommend silencing Fruity Limiter, the default effect on the Master Channel in your Mixing Board.
Select that Master Channel. In its “Slot” menu, on the right of the Mixing Board, “Fruity Limiter” is there. Left-click the green dot to its right. This should turn it dark gray and mute its effect.
2 Change Tempo
On top of your FL Studio 12 screen, your default tempo will most likely read 130. Left-click and drag it down to 99 beats per minute.
3 Adding Hi-Hat
The hi-hat of your drumbeat can be found in “Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > HIP_Hat_5.” Look for it on the “left window” of your FL Studio 12 screen. Once you find that “HIP_Hat_5,” left-click and drag it to the Channel Rack.
Now insert this to the Channel Rack for “HIP_Hat_5.”
4 Adding Snare 1
For “Snare 1,” go to the “left window” and find “Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > HIP_Snare_4.” Drag that to the Channel Rack. Once it’s there, insert this… at the bottom, below “HIP_Hat_5.”
5 Adding Snare 2
For “Snare 2,” which is softer than “Snare 1,” go to the “left window” once again to find “Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > HIP_Snare_9.” Drag it to the Channel Rack. Now insert what you see below for “HIP_Snare_9,” pictured at the bottom.
Before doing anything else, we need to make some adjustments to “HIP_Snare_9.” Left-click on its “rectangle” in the Channel Rack. A window should open. Click the “tiny triangle” on the upper-left corner of that window and select “Piano Roll.”
Once you’re in this “Piano Roll,” move the placement of the second and fourth repetitions of “HIP_Snare_9” to where you see circled below.
6 Adding Kick
The kick drum can be found in “Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > HIP_Kick_9.” Drag it to the Channel Rack and insert what you see (on “HIP_Kick_9,” below the other three drums).
7 Adding Ride Cymbal
This song is heavy on its “ride cymbals.” I’m sure there’s a sample in the background being looped, but when you compose these “ride cymbals,” you’ll be sure to recreate the “filling effect” of that “sample.”
Find this “ride” in “Packs > Legacy > Drums > FPC > Cymbals > FPC_Ride_GLite_004.” Drag it to the Channel Rack and insert what you see below. Once again, it’s shown way at the bottom.
8 Adding Snare 3
I’ll have you use a third snare to fill in the lack of “loudness” those two snares have. It’s found in “Packs > Drums > Snares > FPC Snare 1.” Drag it to the Channel Rack and insert the two snares below.
Now your drumbeat is DONE!!! Let’s add it to the Playlist.
9 Adding Drumbeat to Playlist
This is too easy. To open the Playlist, left-click the first option to the right of the Pattern display. (It should say “Pattern 1,” or “Pattern 2,” or whatever Pattern you’re using.) Your paint brush tool should be selected. If it is, just left-click over the Playlist to add the Pattern. Let’s add it 16 times, stopping when the bar marker reaches 17.
Add each track to the Mixing Board. To do this, there are many ways, but my favorite way is this… Left-click on each “rectangle” in your Channel Rack to open its window. In that window, drag its “TRACK” option, on the upper-right corner, to any number. That’s the track to which your inserting your instrument in the Mixing Board.
Do that for all six of your “instruments.”
Once they’re in the Mixing Board, adjust the volumes like so. (Also, pan the “HIP_Hat_5” to what you see circled below.)
(Left to right: FPC_Ride_GLite_004, HIP_Kick_9, HIP_Snare_9, HIP_Snare_4, HIP_Hat_5, FPC Snare 1.)
In a series of beat breakdowns and tutorials, I will be teaching you, with this article, how to re-compose the DRUMBEAT of “Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugz-N-Harmony on FL Studio 12.
1 Disable Fruity Limiter
Left-click the green dot to the right of the “Fruity Limiter” display on the master channel in your Mixing Board.
2 Change Tempo
LEFT-CLICK and DRAG the tempo from the default 130 bpm to 144 bpm.
3 Add Drums to Channel Rack
You’ll find these drum sounds on the left of your FL Studio 12 screen. LEFT-CLICK and DRAG each one to the Channel Rack.
Tambourine: Packs > Legacy > Drums > RealDrumkits > RD_Tambhit
Open hi-hat: Packs > Drums > Hats > 808 OH
Closed hi-hat: Packs > Drums > Hats > 808 CH
Snare/Rimshot: Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > HIP_Snare_6
Kick: Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > HIP_Kick_2
Crash: Packs > Drums > Cymbals > Grv Crash 02
Tom: Packs > Drums > Toms > Titey Tom
4a Compose Drum Sounds
Once all your drum sounds are in the Channel Rack, compose what you see below.
(Top to bottom: RD_Tambhit, 808 OH, 808 CH, HIP_Snare_6, HIP_Kick_2, Grv Crash 02, Titey Tom)
4b Edit Tambourine Volume and Copy
Go to the Piano Roll of your tambourine track, “RD_Tambhit.” You should see only four tambourine sounds. Change their volume by LEFT-CLICKING and DRAGGING the velocity levels below.
The velocity levels should match what you see circled. Once that’s over, copy your tambourine cluster FOUR TIMES.
4c Change Pitch of Open Hi-Hat
Left-click the “rectangle” for your open hi-hat track, “808 OH.” You should see a new subwindow. In it, drag the “Pitch” level all the way up, only if the range reads “2,” which it should.
Now your open hi-hat will stop at the instance your closed hi-hat starts.
5a Add Pattern to Playlist
Add 16 repetitions of your Pattern to the Playlist, as seen below.
5b Make The Eight Repetition Unique
The two pattern repetitions circled above are the ones we wish to “make unique,” meaning to add variations to the loop.
For the pattern at the bar-line reading “15” (the eighth repetition out of 16), LEFT-CLICK its upper left corner and select “Make unique” on the drop-down menu.
You now have a new pattern with the same loop. Open it. Make the changes you see below.
Yup. Delete the snares (HIP_Snare_6) and add toms (Titey Tom).
Now change the pitch of the toms. Go to the Piano Roll of “Titey Tom” and make the alterations you see below.
Leave the first three notes as is. Only change the second-to-last note from C to B-flat, then change the last note from C to A-flat.
5c Make the 13th Repetition Unique
In the Playlist, make the Pattern repetition at bar-line “25” unique. (This is the 13th repetition out of the 16 you have.) All you need to add for this new Pattern is a crash, “Grv Crash 02.”
6a Mix Tracks
Sync each track in your Channel Rack to your Mixing Board. (‘Member how? Change the “track” number in each track’s window. That sends your Channel Rack “instrument” to the Mixing Board track you selected.) Once all your tracks are mixed, adjust their volumes as such.
(Left to right: RD_Tambhit, 808 OH, 808 CH, HIP_Snare_6, HIP_Kick_2, Grv Crash 02, Titey Tom)
6b Pan Some Tracks
Pan RD_Tambhit 35% to the left, and pan 808 OH and 808 CH 35% to the right. Do this by LEFT-CLICKING and DRAGGING the knobs below the track’s green dots.
7 Add Reverb To Toms
Click the “Titey Tom” track in the Mixing Board. Now left-click the “tiny triangle” on any empty slot the right of the Mixing Board and choose “Fruity Reeverb 2.” Don’t adjust any volume of this reverb.
8 Add Reverb to Snare
Do the same for the snare, “HIP_Snare_6.” Only this time, when you insert your “Fruity Reeverb 2,” change its preset to “Large Hall.”
And decrease the volume, as seen on the right of the below pic.
In a series of beat breakdowns and tutorials, I will teach you, with this article, how to compose the drumbeat of Dr. Dre’s, “Forgot About Dre,” on FL Studio 12.
To compose the MELODY of “Forgot About Dre” when you’re finished with the drums, click here to learn how.
1 Disable Fruity Limiter
Usually, when you first open FL Studio 12, the effect “Fruity Limiter” is enabled for your new project. Disable it for this tutorial.
To do this, click the green dot to the right of the “Fruity Limiter” slot on the master track of the Mixing Board. This silences that effect.
2 Change Tempo
The tempo of “Forgot About Dre” is approximately 134 beats per minute (67 if you count beats from the kick to the snare). Change the tempo from the default 130 to 134 by LEFT-CLICKING and DRAGGING it in the tempo window atop your FL Studio 12 screen.
3a Add Drums to the Channel Rack
You’ll find most of the drums you’ll need in the Browser (on the left of your main FL Studio 12 window). Find the below drums and left-click/drag them to the Channel Rack.
Packs > Drums > Snares > Linn Snare
Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > Hip_Snare_4
Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > Hip_Snare_2
Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > Hip_Kick_2
Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > HIP_Hat_5
Packs > Drums > Cymbals > 909 Crash
(Note: I’m having you use three snares to play at the same time. They do a great job capturing the “vinyl snare” heard in “Forgot About Dre” and most of Dre’s 2001 album.)
3b Add “Zip” Sound
In “Forgot About Dre,” there is a “zip-zip… zip-zip” sound near the end of every other bar. Most likely, a clone of that sound cannot be found in your FL Studio 12 software. You can find it in a downloadable sound kit or copy it from any other recording.
For this tutorial, I’ll use “Packs > No Windows – DJ Relly Rell > FX, Sweeps, Risers > Rell_Zip” as a clone of the “zip sound.” (It’s from DJ Relly Rell’s “No Windows” kit. I reviewed it and taught you how to download it.) If you have that sound, or something similar to it, drag it to your Channel Rack.
4a Composing Drums
Your drums consist of this two-bar loop. Add it to the Channel Rack.
(Top to bottom: Linn Snare, HIP_Snare_4, HIP_Snare_2, HIP_Kick_2, HIP_Hat_5, 909 Crash, Rell_Zip)
Don’t do anything with the 909 Crash yet. That’s your reverse cymbal. It belongs in another Pattern.
4b Adding Reverse Cymbal
Insert a new Pattern by LEFT-CLICKING and DRAGGING the number in your “Pattern ?” window to a different one. In this new Pattern (the number doesn’t matter), place the “909 Crash” sound where you see it in the picture below.
Now you need to REVERSE the crash sound that “909 Crash” makes.
Left-click the “rectangle” reading “909 Crash.” You’ll see a new window. In this window, there is a “Reverse” option. Left-click the button next to it in order to REVERSE the sound of this cymbal.
5 Adding Patterns to Playlist
Add your Pattern containing the main drums EIGHT TIMES, right after one another.
Add your reverse cymbal Pattern FOUR TIMES, but place their repetitions to where you see below the main drums.
(Top: Main Drums / Bottom: Reverse Cymbal)
6 Mixing Board
Add all tracks in your Channel Rack to the Mixing Board. Don’t worry about the channel’s numbers.
(The simplest way to add your sounds to the Mixing Board is to change the numbers in the “Track” option of each sound’s window.)
The levels of your Mixing Board should be set to what you see below.
(Left to right: Linn Snare, HIP_Snare_4, HIP_Snare_2, HIP_Kick_2, HIP_Hat_5, 909 Crash, Rell_Zip)
7 Add Stereo Shaper Effect to Zip Sound
Select the “Rell_Zip” channel in your Mixing Board. See the Slots on the right? Left-click the tiny triangle on the left of any “Slot” and select “Fruity Stereo Shaper.” For the “Fruity Stereo Shaper” window, change the levels to what you see circled below.
In a series of beat breakdowns and tutorials, I will teach you, with this article, how to compose the MELODY of Dr. Dre’s, “Forgot About Dre,” on FL Studio 12.
The DRUMS should have already been composed by now. Find that drum tutorial HERE.
Find the bass in your Browser. It’s located in “Packs > Instruments > Bass > Classic 80.” When you find that, drag it to the Channel Rack.
Add a new Pattern. (Drag the “Pattern ?” window to a different number, one that hasn’t been used yet.)
Once you’ve got a new Pattern, it’s time to add the bass line. Go to the Piano Roll of “Classic 80” and compose what you see below.
(Note range: G3 – A#4)
Make sure the duration and pitch match what you see.
2 String Chords
The strings you’ll need to compose chords with are located in “Packs > Legacy > Instruments > Orchestral > Strings > MIXO_F3(L)ogg.” Drag that sound to the Channel Rack and insert a new pattern.
Before composing anything, change the attack and decay of this “instrument.” How? Left-click the rectangle reading “MIXO_F3(L)ogg.” In the window that should open, left-click the “knobby thing” to the left of the “wrench.” Change the levels of “ATT” and “DEC” to what you see below. (“ATT” is only ALMOST empty.)
Now that’s over, go to the Piano Roll of “MIXO_F3(L)ogg” and compose this.
(Note range: A#3 – G4)
3 Muted Guitar
On Dre’s album, 2001, there is a “muted guitar” appearing here and there. It gives the album its signature vibe, and no doubt it loops throughout “Forgot About Dre.” Find your own muted guitar in “Packs > Instruments > Bass > Guitar > Picked Humb.” Drag that to the Channel Rack and, once again, insert a new Pattern.
Go to the Piano Roll of “Picked Humb” and compose what you see below.
(Note range: G4 – A#5)
The notes are delayed from the precise beat lines, as you can see. Make sure the duration and spacing of your notes match these.
4 Electric Guitar
An electric guitar plays briefly in the middle of Eminem’s verse. (It’s reminiscent of what you hear in No Doubt’s “The Climb.”) If you wish to compose it, here’s how.
Go to “Packs > Legacy > Instruments > Guitar > Guitar > Electric Guitar 01” and add it to the Channel Rack. Insert a new Pattern.
In the Piano Roll for “Electric Guitar 01,” add this.
(Note range: G2 – A#3)
5 Add Patterns To Playlist
You should have your loop from my last drum article already stored in your project. Underneath those drums, add your four new Patterns to the places you see below.
It’s difficult to tell what Pattern contains what instrument. Here is a guide.
Track 1 > Pattern 5: Drums
Track 2 > Pattern 6: Reverse Cymbals
Track 3 > Pattern 1: Muted Guitar (Picked Humb)
Track 4 > Pattern 3: Bass (Classic 80)
Track 5 > Pattern 4: String Chords
Track 6 > Pattern 7: Electric Guitar 01
6 Mixing Board
Connect each sound in your Channel Rack to the Mixing Board. Remember how? If you don’t, do this. Left-click each rectangle in the Channel Rack to open its window, and in each window for each sound, left-click/drag the “Track” number to whichever digit you choose. (Make sure you don’t select any numbers assigned to your drum tracks from my last article.)
Now that all of your tracks are in the Mixing Board adjust their volumes to what you see in the below window.
(Left to right: Linn Snare, HIP_Snare_4, HIP_Snare_2, HIP_Kick_2, HIP_Hat_5, 909 Crash, Rell_Zip, Electric Guitar 01, Picked Humb, MIXO_F3(L)ogg, Classic 80.)
7 Additional Notes
Unlike many of my other beat breakdowns, this one teaches you to re-compose every instrument used in the song. I’m not leaving anything out due to word limits or production complications. This is the blueprint for the entire beat of “Forgot About Dre.” For that reason, you are allowed to extend your loops to make an approximate clone of the 1999 hip-hop classic. And when you play this clone beat for your buddies, and they hear that electric guitar and go “chicka chicka chicka Slim Shady” at the end, you’re welcome!
If you’ve got FL Studio 12, and you wish to buy/download a drum kit from License Lounge, here is a step-by-step article on how to do it.
For the example of downloadable drum kits, we’ll use DJ Relly Rell’s “No Windows.” You can use any drum kit you want, but “No Windows” is the example chosen for you in this article.
1. Have License Lounge Open
You obviously have License Lounge open if you’re reading this article, haha.
Now that it’s on your computer screen, click “SOUNDKITS.” You’ll see it at the top right of your window.
2. The Sound Kits Window
This window offers you a list of drum kits or sound collections compatible with many beatmaking programs, like Protools, Reason, Logic, Ableton, FL Studios, and more.
Once again, for this article explaining downloads, we will use FL Studio 12 as a beatmaking software example and “No Windows” by DJ Relly Rell as a drum kit example.
Find “No Windows” on this page by either typing Ctrl+F and inserting “No Windows” into the search box… or just scrolling down until you see it.
3. The Drum Kit Window and Buying/Downloading
Once you are at the drum kit window, you are given a list of what sound files come with the drum kit, a link on how to buy it, and an occasional playback option to hear how it sounds.
To buy this drum kit, click “Add to Cart” and continue with the site’s prompts.
4. Extracting the ZIP File
Once you’ve finished your payment, a link containing the drum kit’s sounds will download to any folder it chooses. It is a .zip file, a compressed collection of all the necessary files you need for your drum kit.
The link for the downloaded file should be visible in your browser. (On the bottom if you are using Chrome.)
If you have trouble finding the .zip file you downloaded, search for it in the box in any explorer window. Type in “No Windows” or anything in its file name.
Once you find it, go to its folder by RIGHT-CLICKING the file and choosing “Open folder location.”
Now you should see the .zip file in the folder to which you downloaded it. RIGHT-CLICK it. A pop-up menu should appear. LEFT-CLICK “extract all.”
When the “Extract Compressed Folders” window appears, you have the option of renaming your folder. This is optional. You can call the folder whatever you want or leave its default name. After that, click “Extract All.”
Files from the .zip should be stored in the folder you chose.
5. Cutting and Pasting the Files to the “Packs” Folder
Once you’ve extracted all files, they will appear in your chosen folder. In that folder, you will see “_MACOSX” and “No Windows – DJ Relly Rell.” If you are using FL Studio 12, you have a PC. So PC users should cut the folder “No Windows” by selecting it and a) RIGHT-CLICKING the folder before choosing “Cut” on the drop-down menu or b) typing Ctrl+X.
Once that “No Windows” folder is cut and saved to your clipboard, you need to copy it to the folder that displays in your FL Studio window screen.
That folder should be “c: > Program Files (x86) > Image-Line > FL Studio 12 > Data > Patches > Packs.” That is the default place of sound storage and available file usage saved to your computer when you installed FL.
Go to that folder on your computer and simply PASTE the folder, “No Windows – DJ Relly Rell,” to this “Packs” folder. Paste by either RIGHT-CLICKING a white area in the folder and choosing “Paste” …or typing Ctrl+V.
6. Viewing the Drums/Sounds
The drums and sounds should appear on the left side of your FL Studio window. They should look like this.
Ironically, for a drum kit called “No Windows,” it works well on PCs.
Audacity is a musical composition program downloadable for free. There are limitations with this program, but they allow producers to “think outside the box.” One way we can “think about the box” is by composing a basic 6/8 drumbeat with Audacity.
Here’s a sample of the track we’ll be producing today:
Here is how to do it.
1. ADDING A CLICK TRACK
Audacity doesn’t come with an attached grid. We’ll create one.
Go to Generate > Rhythm track.
This adds a metronome to your entire track, in order to keep you on beat for additional add-ons.
In the below window, change Tempo to 180 beats per minute and change Beats per measure to 6.
Your click track will look like this.
Now go to Analyze > Beat Finder.
Once you’ve selected “Beat Finder,” you will see a “threshold” window. Don’t change it. This just tells you how sensitive it is.
The threshold window will give you markers reading “B.”
The clicks and the B’s are slightly “off,” meaning they don’t connect precisely. Let’s snap them together. First, zoom in by clicking the magnifying glass icon with a plus sign “+”.
Before you do anything else, make sure “snap to” on the bottom of your screen is selected, reading “Nearest.”
Select the Time Shift Tool, then click “rewind.” (Time Shift first, then rewind.)
Move your clicking sounds slightly right so they snap on a gold yellow line. This line will appear vertically from the B’s and lock the clicks and B’s together.
2. IMPORTING DRUM SOUNDS
Go to File > Import > Audio. (Or type Ctrl+Shift+I.)
Import a kick. Any one. (Here’s one I chose.)
In that folder, I found this, but you might need to source drum or soundkits to personalize your project. Check out the latest soundkits from our featured producer AraabMuzik if you’re interested.
(Once you’ve selected your kick, you’ll get an “FFmpeg not found” window. It doesn’t mean much. Just click OK.)
A kick should appear below the B’s.
Snap the kick in place by selecting Time Shift Tool then “rewind.” (Just like you did for the clicks.)
Loop this kick seven times at every two second mark (plus approximately 17 milliseconds to keep on beat with the metronome). Click the selection tool (shaped like an uppercase I) and highlight the kick from its beginning to the sixth clicking sound, as shown below.
To really make sure you’re selection is accurately two seconds apart, go down to the bottom of your screen and type your start and end markers exactly two seconds from each other.
Now go to Effect > Repeat.
Type “7” in the empty box to repeat your kick 8 times.
Go to File > Import > Audio. Import a closed hi-hat. Any one.
Once the hi-hat is in your project, snap it to the beginning clicking sound, like you did with the kick.
Use the select tool to highlight a selection between the beginning of your hi-hat and the next clicking sound. This should be one-third of a second apart.
To be accurate with the length of your selection, type this in “start and end of selection.”
Go to Effect > Repeat. Repeat it 5 times.
I asked you to repeat it only five times, because if you repeated that selection more, the hi-hats would drag off beat as your track plays.
To repeat these six hi-hats so they fit on beat, select the below range in your hi-hat track…
…go to Effect > Repeat. Then repeat that section 7 times.
In File > Import > Audio, pick any snare.
Snap the snare to the FOURTH clicking sound.
When selecting the loop containing the snare that you wish to repeat, make sure it’s two seconds apart, like the kick.
Select Effects > Repeat to repeat the snare 7 times.
Before you export this project, delete the track with the clicking and the track with the B’s. Click the X on each track to the left of “Audio Track.”
Now go to File > Export.
Use WAV this time. (MP3 exporting requires a plug-in I’m not sure comes with what you use.) Just save any random WAV file name to what’s below.
Add metadata (optional).
And you’re set! Feel free to download and use the track we provided at the beginning of our article and sound off in the comments if you wanted other popular drum beats broken down. If you’re looking for the hottest hip hop beats online look no further then License Lounge.
A drumbeat is essential for a song. It helps you keep a beat, dance, increase noise, and reduce blandness (depending on complexity of drums). You’ll find drum patterns in rock, hip-hop, EDM, jazz, anywhere. Here, we’ll discuss four basic types of drumbeats that you can use during the production of your next project.
The basic drums used in the examples below are a kick, a snare, and a closed hi-hat. They are the main sounds for providing a beat. Drummers are great at playing these sounds for music. Hip-hop producers are also great at it, tediously sampling drum sounds from old records—like a kick, snare, and hi-hat—to chop over looped melodies. (Think RZA on Wu-Tang’s Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers.) You can also program drums in a computer software like FL Studio. Whether you are using these beats for rap, rock, or EDM beats I hope these examples help you understand drum patterns Key: H (hi-hat) S (snare) B (bass/kick). Top line… h = closed hi hat Middle line… s = snare Bottom line… b = bass/kick drum
THE “TWO AND FOUR” DRUMBEAT
(It sounds like “BOOM-and-HIT-and-BOOM-and-HIT-and…”) Beginning drummers often start by playing this pattern. Hi-hats come in on every eighth note; a kick is heard on the one and three, and a snare is on the two and four. The most notable example of this “Two and Four” is Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” That’s not all. This style is in many rock beats since the beginning of rock and roll. Most songs from AC/DC use it. “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger is another example, as is “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones. You can vary the tempo of the “Two and Four” drumbeat, and it can sound great, but still too simple. In hip-hop, this pattern is used occasionally, mostly with hi-hat variations or additional precussion. One song I can pick out is a favorite of mine, “B**** Please II” by Eminem featuring tons of West Coast rappers.
FOUR ON THE FLOOR
This is a variation of the “Two and Four,” only the snare and the kick hit simultaneously on the two and the four. This pattern was popularized by disco in the ’70s, and you can hear it in modern EDM. Find most EDM or modern techno songs, and they’ll let you hear “Four on the Floor.”
(It sounds like BOOM-hit-BOOM-hit/BOOM-hit-BOOM-hit.) This “rock backbeat” sounds like doubling the speed of the “Two and Four” but deleting every other hi-hat. It has roots in soul and jazz, but it’s most associated with punk. A punk example can be heard in “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” by The Clash, whereas a “softer” example is in classic R&B like “You Can’t Hurry Love” by Diana Ross and the Supremes.
6/8 Jazz Beat
S:[— s–][— s–]
B:[b– —][b– —]
This pattern is called “6/8” because there are six notes per bar and an eighth note counts as one beat. People love a good groove, and the 6/8 style provides them with such a need. It’s commonly heard in doo-wop and jazz from the ’50s, like “Earth Angel” by the Penguins and “I Only Have Eyes For You” by The Flamingos. Hip-hop usually doesn’t use 6/8, but in the 21st century, artists like Kanye West, Eminem, and Nicki Minaj defied the traditional 4/4 rule of rap with “Spaceship,” “Untitled,” and “Right Thru Me,” respectively. Their songs use the 6/8 time signature, adding slight variations with the drums, outside of the pattern you see above.
In my last article, I showed you how to use some tools from FL Studio 12 to compose a simple beat. In this article (which is Part 1 of a two-parter), I will show you more tools to create a hip-hop drumbeat using the Browser, the Channel Rack, and the effects on the Mixer.
When you open up FL Studio 12, it should look like this.
We will compose a hip-hop drumbeat. Only this time, we will not use the drum sounds built into the Channel Rack. We will replace them with other sounds while adding a crash cymbal, too.
On the left side of this opening screen is the Browser. It should have a “Packs” folder containing a sub-folder called “Drums.” Inside “Drums” is “Cymbals.” When you left-click “Cymbals,” it should display a list of cymbals you can use for this new drumbeat. If “707 Crash” is programmed into FL Studio 12, find that.
(You can use any cymbal you want. 707 Crash is the one I used.)
When you find 707 Crash, left-click it, drag it, and drop it on the bottom of the Channel Rack. Do not place it over any of the existing drum sounds. Put it on the bottom. It should look like this.
Now we should replace the kick, hat, and snare sound files with other kick, hat, and snare files. You will find them on the Browser.
You should find “Kicks” in the “Drums” sub-folder. If you find the “Pow Kick,” use that.
Left-click this “Pow Kick” and drag it to the Channel Rack. Drop the “Pow Kick” on top of the existing “Kick” button, to replace it. It should look like this.
Now go back to the Browser and find “Bracke CH 1” under the “Hats” folder in “Drums.” Drag that sound to the Channel Rack like you did with the “Pow Kick” and replace the existing “hat” on the Channel Rack with “Bracke CH 1.”
Now find “Filtered Snare 1” under “Snares” and drag that to where the snare is on the Channel Rack and replace it. Your work should look like this.
We can now compose a drumbeat with these sounds we have generated.
When you play this pattern, it might sound pretty cool, but it’s pretty fast. When you see the tempo, you’ll see that it’s 130 beats per minute. Slow that down to 90.
Remember how to slow down the tempo? Find the tempo display to the right of the record button on the top of the screen. Click the number 130, not the decimal places reading “.000,”and scroll down until the tempo reads 90.
Now it’s time to link each track in the Channel Rack with tracks on the Mixer. Don’t remember how to do that? Start off with clicking the button reading “Pow Kick.” When a display board appears (which is info on the kick sound), left-click the upper left side of this display until a drop down menu appears. On that menu, click “Route to free Mixer track.” (Or just type Control+L.)
The kick should appear on the Mixer. Do the “Route to free Mixer track” thing for the “Bracke CH 1,” the “Filtered Snare 1,” and “707 Crash.”
When all four of those tracks appear on the mixing board, adjust each track’s volume until it appears like this.
Now click on the channel reading “Filtered Snare 1.” On the right of the mixing board, you should see “Slot 1,” “Slot 2,” and so on. Click “Slot 1” to add a “fruity reeverb” effect to that “Filtered Snare 1.”
Above is a large picture of the display for left-clicking “Slot 1” for the “Filtered Snare 1.”
Make sure you have that “Filtered Snare 1” selected or else adding this reverb won’t work.
When you click “Fruity Reeverb 2,” this display should show up.
This is the reverb you’ve added to the snare. Do not adjust any knobs on the “reeverb” display.
There will be a Part 3 of this beat-making tutorial coming next week. It should go over placing this pattern in the playlist and making it unique.
Creating a memorable drum pattern is the heart of any beat. In an ongoing series of tutorials we’ll be providing producers and artists with expert advice and tips on beat production, recording, mastering, and promotion. Today we’ll be covering the very basics of producing two different drum beats, and adding those beats to your track.
Step 1: Open FL Studio and Create a New Track
If you already have FL Studio installed, click on the icon that looks like this:
If you don’t have FL Studio, you can download a trial version here.
Once you clicked that small icon, you should see this:
This is the default screen of FL Studio. On this screen, you should see the FL Studio Pattern Sequencer:
In this sequencer, you have four basic sounds for drums: kick, clap, hat, and snare. The drum sounds in this sequencer were built in with FL Studio, but you can change them. We will not discuss that with this tutorial. We will experiment with adding drum sounds, so you understand how to compose a basic drumbeat.
You should see a pattern on this sequencer. It has four steps and four sub-steps. This is to stick to a 4/4 time signature. This could be changed, but like drum sounds, we won’t discuss that in this tutorial.
Step 2: Creating Your First Drum Pattern
You can compose your beat how you want, but the below picture shows you the beat I made:
If you want to hear how your beat sounds, go to the top toolbar. You should see play, stop, and record buttons that look like this:
Play back your sequence by pressing “Play” (or hitting the spacebar). Stop the sequence by pressing “Stop.”
You can also change the tempo by hovering your mouse over the “140” tempo displayer, holding down the left mouse button and scrolling up to speed your tempo and scrolling down to slow it.
To the left of the play button, you should see PAT and SONG. When you click PAT, you are playing the pattern you created, nothing else. Once you click SONG, you are playing the entire song, or project… which we will get to.
Step 3: Renaming Your Drum Pattern
To rename your drum pattern, hover your mouse over Pattern 1 and left-click. You should see this drop-down:
Once you click the “Rename” option, you can name your drum pattern whatever you want. In this case, we will actually be naming it “Whatever you want”:
Step 4: Making Your Second Drum Pattern
Now you have made the first drum beat pattern “Whatever you want”, it’s time to make the second pattern. Hover over the “PAT” display (it says “1”), left-click, and move your mouse up so the number changes from 1 to 2. (Just like changing the tempo.):
This gives you your second drum loop. Put whatever you want in that pattern, “Pattern 2.” Here’s what I put for mine:
Step 5: Adding Your Drums To The Playlist
You now have the patterns “Whatever you want” and “Pattern 2.” Now place them both into the “playlist.” Find the “view playlist” link right here:
(While you’re at it, why not click the other buttons displayed in the picture just to teach yourself about what else FL Studio does.)
Click the “view playlist” button to view the playlist. You should see this:
First, select “Whatever you want” by making sure the “PAT” display says “1.”
Beside the Play button, there is a choice to select “PAT” or “SONG.” Click “SONG.” (This allows you to play the whole song, not the pattern.)
On the “playlist,” click the brush tool:
This allows you to drop “Whatever you want” into Track 1 by clicking it. Click the beginning of Track 1. This should add “Whatever you want.” Do the same with “Pattern 2.” (To select “Pattern 2,” go to the “PAT” display and change the number from “1” to “2.”) Drag “Pattern 2” to “Track 1” of the “playlist.” Place it right after “Whatever you want.” It should appear like this:
(Note: I recommend adding “Pattern 2” to Track 2 of the “playlist,” then dragging “Pattern 2” to Track 1, right after “Whatever you want.” When I click Track 1 with “Pattern 2” selected, “Whatever you want” displays. Must be a glitch. Try what works for you.)
Now that you’ve gotten the a basic 4/4 drum beat down, stay tuned for additional articles and tips for producers from License Lounge. If you’re a rapper looking for the best place to buy beats online take a look at some of the beats we offer from top producers working with License Lounge.
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