Posted In:Download Digital Audio Beats and Soundkits Online - License Lounge
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.
Want to send your original music to Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Amazon, Google Play, and other streaming platforms?
1 USE CD BABY
CD Baby now allows you to sync your music to the above streaming outlets, including CD Baby itself.
2 GO TO CDBABY.COM
When you see the CD Baby page, click “Enter Artist Site.”
New to this page? Click “Get Started Now” if you DON’T have a CD Baby page. If you do, click “LOG IN.”
2a GET STARTED
In the “Get Started” page, fill out the self-explanatory information, and make sure you read the contract below before you agree to making your account.
3 ARTIST’S PAGE
Once you’re in your artist’s page, click “Add New Title.”
4 ALBUM OR SINGLE
The screen will ask you if you want to release an album or single.
You are given three options when releasing an album or single:
1 “Worldwide Distribution & Publishing Royalty Collection” ($69 for albums, $35 for singles)
This allows you to sell your music on cdbaby.com, Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Apple Music, and so on, plus performing rights affiliation, song registration in 100+ countries, publishing royalty collection, and mechanical royalty collection.
2 “Worldwide Distribution” ($35 for albums, $10 for singles)
This is for streaming distributions only.
This is for releasing your music to CD Baby only (store.cdbaby.com) without the streaming distributions.
Choose Option 2.
(Note: I recommend this portion of the article for artists releasing singles.)
5a BASIC SINGLE INFORMATION
For this, follow the self-explanatory prompts. If you don’t have a barcode, just click for one, and your single will be $5 extra, to add to the $9 you paid.
5b TERMS OF SERVICE
This is a contract. Make sure you read it before signing it.
5c TRACK INFORMATION
This, like most of the following steps, is self-explanatory.
5d TRACK PREVIEW OPTION
This allows either a clip or full song to be played on your CD Baby page.
5e SHORT SONG DESCRIPTION
For this REQUIRED field, describe your song. Do not type in ALL CAPS and abbreviations like “u” for “you” or “2” for “two.” Also, don’t list URLs.
5f SINGLE NOTES
Tell us ALL YOU WANT about your single, including outside reviews or whatever will interest new listeners.
This field requires you to select genres, sub-genres, and the mood of your track. The “artist you sound like” is optional.
5h DIGITAL TRACK PRICE ON CD BABY
This asks you how much you want to get paid through CD Baby.
An ISRC is a identifying code for your song. If you need one, select, “I need you to assign an ISRC.” If you have one, select, “I have my own ISRC.”
5j DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION OPTIONS
Check the boxes on the right of this screen if you want to send your music to those partners.
5k PARTNER ARTIST IDs
If you already have a partner ID, click the top option. If you don’t, click the bottom one.
5l TERRITORY RESTRICTIONS
Select the left option to give your music to all territories and countries. Select the right for specific territories.
5m YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, AND SYNC LICENSING
Where would you like your music to earn additional money?
5n SUBMIT ARTWORK
Add album art. The page will tell you requirements for your picture.
5o SUBMIT AUDIO
Files must be stereo, 44.1 kHz sample rate, and 16 bit.
5p TITLE OVERVIEW
Double-check that you did everything right before clicking “Add to Cart.”
After clicking Add to Cart, you’ll be asked about download cards. Choose either “no thanks proceed to cart” or “add to cart.”
Then comes the Order Overview. Is this what you paid for? Then Checkout.
After you place your order, CD Baby will send you a receipt in an email.
It might take a while for your songs to appear on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and such. The most time is a month, while the least time is about four days. Keep checking to see your progress.
Do you ever hear echos, reverbs, stereo, or chorus effects, say, from a guitar pedal or a vocal track in a song? On FL Studio 12, you can use similar effects. They are plug-ins that affect the way you hear sound in output.
You can find these effects/plug-ins listed in the browser panel (on the left of your FL Studio screen) under Plugin Presents, and then Effects.
You can add these effects to your Mixer window, on any pattern, including the Master channel.
1. ADDING ANY SOUND TO A MIXER TRACK
For the effects to work, the sounds in your Channel Rack need to be linked to mixer tracks first. Select any sound from the Channel Rack, then select any mixer track, right-click the mixer track, left-click “Channel routing > Route selected channel to this track.”
2. ADDING EFFECTS
Effects are added to the Slots on the right of the Mixer board.
To add an effect to your Mixer channel, choose any slot (the one on top is the leading effect for all), left-click the tiny arrow to the left of “Slot ?,” and select any effect from the large pop-up.
(If you add these effects to your Master channel, your whole entire sound output will have that effect.)
2a. SILENCING EFFECTS / INCREASING VOLUME
To enable/disable an effect, you can turn on/off the green light to its far right. To the left of that green light is a mix level knob, which measures the volume of your effect. Turn that knob down, you lower the volume of that effect. Turn it up, it’s louder.
2b. CHANGING EFFECTS
To change the effect, go to the tiny white arrow to the left of your effect and click “Replace.” Then choose a new plug-in. Choose “none” if you wish to delete your effect.
3. EFFECTS I RECOMMEND
There are so many effects on FL Studio 12 that they are in groups. I will only tell you about the groups containing the effects I like to use.
3a. DELAY REVERB
This group of effects contains what’s listed above, echo or reverb sounds. I recommend Fruity Delay 2 and Fruity Reeverb 2.
Fruity Delay 2 adds echos to your channel…
…while Fruity Reeverb 2 adds an effect you find in empty rooms. This is great to apply to kicks and snares. I used it for snares, not kicks… and also for vocals.
The effect I use from this “Gain” group is Fruity Stereo Shaper. This add a stereo enhancement to your channel.
With Fruity Stereo Shaper, you can move the delay or phase knobs to the left or right to give your channel a stereo effect.
The fourth group down on the list of plug-ins are “Dynamics.” This contains tools to compress or limit the channel interested, in order to improve its sound and avoid distortion and saturation.
My favorites to use are Fruity Compressor and Fruity Limiter. Crank the gain up on the compression options of these effects to even out low and high volumes, but not too much.
The fifth group down lists the Filters. They enhance the frequency components of your channel. I recommend Fruity Parametric EQ 2. It shows sound frequencies from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The intensity of each frequency is highlighted from red (low) to yellow (high). You can adjust the seven levels on the left anywhere you like. The seven levels on the right only go up and down.
On the bottom right of this window, you can also edit the frequency and bandwith of any of these seven levels.
These effects edit your waveform without distorting it too much.
The Chorus effect is used to make your channel sound like it’s being played in unison with clones of itself.
The Flange is similar to the Chorus. It sounds like the sound is overlapping itself with one or more identical waveforms, yet it blends nicer. This is also done by the Fruity Flanger, the Fruity Flangus, and the Fruity Phaser.
Audacity is one of the top free DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) available on the market and is one of the few to remain completely open-source. While some DAWs like FL Studio have a free version, you generally need to pay the full fee in order to get all of the software features. This isn’t the case with Audacity.
Audacity is available for a free download here, and maintains updated versions for Windows, MacOS, as well as Linux.
After running your installer take note of the location of your installation folder as you’ll need this to manually install some plugins and filters. Generally the default address is C:\Program Files\(x86)\Audacity\Plug-Ins.
When download new plugins you’ll need to drop them into that folder in order to access them via the software’s main dashboard.
Finding and Installing Effects and Filters
As Audacity is open source, there’s a huge amount of open source plugins, effects, and filters you can take advantage of that might normally be a paid add-on for standard DAWS.
Once installed to your file location, you can reach the list of installed plugins and activate or deactivate them by navigating to the Plugin Manager within Audacity.
You can reach this three ways:
Generate > Add / Remove Plugins
Effect > Add / Remove Plugins
Analyze > Add / Remove Plugins
Once selected you’ll be presented with this screen:
From here you can view the installed plugins and activate new ones you may have just added.
Nyquist Based Plugins
Nyquist is a programming language focusing on sound synthesis and analysis and provides the backbone for a number of Audacity’s plugin libraries.
Audacity’s team maintain a full curated list of plugins available in this language and you need to download these, and drop those into the C:\Program Files\(x86)\Audacity\Plug-Ins folder in order to activate them.
What are LADSPA Based Plugins
LADSPA is a common plugin language used across multiple DAWs that stands for “Linux Audio Developers Simple Plug-in API”. You’ll need to install this directly into the plugin folder within your existing Audacity install in order to access the library of LADSPA plugins.
Once installed you follow the same instructions as Nyquist based plugins in order to install these effects and features.
LADSPA (despite having “Linux” in the name) can be used across all operating systems – the Linux in the name just refers to the language the plugin was originally built in. This plugin opens up a number of effects and filters that are to be used alongside the main LADSPA plugin. Linux-sound.com maintains a curated list of effects, filters, as well as a number of scripts for plugin developers to use.
The LADSPA homepage also maintains a running list of various LADSPA based plugins.
Moving Forward With Audacity
As one of the larger free open-source DAWs, we’re going to continue to publish tutorials and tips for producers using this type of software.
While it’s commonly known there is a bit of a learning curve to open-source software (compared to more common tools like FL Studio and ProTools) Audacity still remains as a powerful piece of software that has the almost unlimited ability to be customized to fit the needs of your studio.
Sound files on your computer come in many formats. The formats most commonly used are WAV and MP3. What is the difference between WAV and MP3? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? How do you convert a WAV file to an MP3 file and vice-versa?
What is a WAV file?
A WAV file is a Waveform Audio File Format. It is the standard file type used for uncompressed audio on PCs. WAV’s are lossless and raw, containing a sound akin to CDs, not vinyls, tapes, or highly compressed MP3’s. (That is, if the WAV file’s bitrate is 16 bit / 44.1 bkps.)
What are the the advantages of WAV files?
WAV files have a “crisp,” uncompressed sound quality, when 16 bit / 44.1 kbps bitrate is used. (With much lower bitrate, WAV’s sound “dirty.”) Also, WAV files “loop” smoother in beatmaking programs.
What are the disadvantages of WAV files?
When containing the optimum sound quality, WAV files are high in disk space. A WAV file of one four-minute song can be about 35 MB.
What is an MP3 file?
An MP3 is the sound portion of an MPEG file. The audio is compressed to approximately one-tenth of its original size (the size of a file with its equal length in WAV format). If compressed tight enough (to a low enough bitrate), you can hear a decrease in the sound quality.
What are the advantages of MP3 files?
MP3’s contain lower file size. You can use them for emailing, embedding, web pages, and web videos.
What are the disadvantages of MP3 files?
You don’t get the “perfect” uncompressed quality audio from WAV files. However, if you want an MP3 with “crisp” sound and minimal disk space, use 128 kbps as a bitrate.
Also, MP3’s are bad for “looping,” if you are trying to “loop” a sound with a beatmaking program.
How do I convert MP3’s to WAV’s and vice-versa?
If you’ve been following my tutorials, you most likely own FL Studio. Let’s use that to convert. Shall we? (I recommend PC users do this.)
If you are converting an MP3 file to a WAV file, or the other way around, begin by searching for that file on your hard drive. Most likely, if you open FL Studio, you will be unable to see that file’s name on the display at the left of the opening screen. This is because FL Studio only displays files from this destination.
“Program Files (x86) > image-line > fl studio 12 > data > patches > packs.”
Once you locate your file, copy or move it to the directory above. I recommend copying or moving that file to its own folder, under “packs.” Give it a name like “NEW STUFF.”
Once your file is in that directory, you should find it on the FL Studio display area. When you find it, drag it to the playlist. After your file ends up in the playlist, route it to a mixer track, but don’t change the volume.
To silence the “fruity limiter” in the mixing board’s “master” channel, left-click the tiny green “dot” to the right of the slot reading “fruity limiter.”
Now once your file is on the playlist, go to File (on the top left of the screen) and choose Export.
This will give you a choice of exporting to WAV file or MP3 file. With the option you select, choose the default quality for the best sound.
Another note on the difference from MP3’s and WAV’s…
Remember when downloading songs was first permissible? Back in the late ’90s to early 2000s, file sharing sites started allowing computer users to download songs for free. These were MP3’s, not WAV’s. If they were WAV’s, they’d sound uncompressed and “crisp,” but they’d take FOREVER TO DOWNLOAD!!! Considering the limitations of Internet connection speed and computer disk space at the turn of the century, I see why.
Only now, we can use WAV or MP3’s with that 128 bitrate I mentioned, and you’ll hardly know the difference.
For the best place to buy West Coast beats online look no further then our catalog of hand picked artists on License Lounge.
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