Beat Breakdowns: How to Produce the Drumbeat of “Forgot About Dre” in FL Studio 12
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.
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