Beat Breakdowns: How to Produce the Melody of “Forgot About Dre” on FL Studio 12
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!
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