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FL Studio Tutorial - Fattening your beats/making your own samples

Blckbxxx | 1:49 PM | 5 kommentarer

Fl Studio 9 tutorial explaining how to create fatter beats

image Numerous times I have received the constructive criticism that my beats are a bit weak and that I need to make them fatter and punchier (same goes for my basses). When I started investigating how this could be done I got a few advices. The one that really stands out is that you should get some good samples. If you want a fat beat, then get samples of fat beats and start from there. It really makes things a lot easier. While it is definitely true that you can combine less than perfect samples into better sounds, having a good set of quality samples in your library allows you to focus more on the actual composing and arranging. Point taken. Get yourself samples, samples, samples. You are doing yourself a favor ;)

Then again, knowing how to enhance/fatten your beats and basses is actually very useful knowledge in my opinion. If not for making the sound fatter, then for simply making new sounds alltogether (maybe you are bored with using the same sounds over and over again, maybe you do not have that many samples in the first place).

In this tutorial I will illustrate a few techniques for fattening beats and how to sample them off for your own library, so you do not have to go through the same process each time.

Compression

Using compression is one of the most common suggestions when it comes to fattening beats/giving them more punch. This is understandable. What compression can do is compress volumes above a certain threshold while preserving (or rather bringing out) the lower volumes and frequencies that give the kick its thump. I discussed compression in another tutorial by the way. See: Compression explained - part I

But compression needs to be used with care as you risk affecting too much of the dynamics, resulting in a duller sound.

Layering

A very useful technique is referred to as layering where you for example mix the original (dry) sound with the same (but processed) sound. This will often results in a better, distinct sound. See the illustration below where the original sound is mixed with a compressed version:

 

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Doing this will allow you to preserve the original dynamics while also giving the beat more thump. You know what, let’s put it to the test and try to make our beat fatter using this technique.

As the basic kick I use FLS_Kick_07, which you can find in the Browser under Packs | Drum Kit 07. Maybe not the best sample, but I merely use it for illustration purpose. See below:

 

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Note that I added it twice. This is already a decent kick, but let’s try to fatten it up a bit. As you can see in the screenshot, I’ve muted the first channel with FLS_Kick_07. This is the original sound that I will not compress. The second I route to Mixer insert channel 1. See below (the FX box is set to ‘1’):

 

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Now, in the Mixer I add the Fruity Compressor to Insert channel 1. I play the sound and tweak the compressor controls until I am happy. This is quite an individual thing, but what you want to emphasize is the thump of the kick. As a starting point you can copy my settings. See below:

 

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Next, I listen to both kicks combined. See below:

 

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Note that I’ve adjusted the volumes for both channels a bit. I suggest you play around with this a bit. Listen two both channels individually and combined (also disable/enable the compressor to understand its effect). Notice the (somewhat subtle) fattening of the sound when you play both kicks at the same time.

To be honest, I did not really like the combined sound (to my defence, the goal of this tutorial is not to produce the best beat, but to show you techniques). Anyway, I continued to work a bit on it.

First thing that came to mind was using a noise gate on the original kick to remove some of the trailing noise I think I was hearing. I routed it to another Mixer Insert track and added the Fruity Limiter. This plugin has a straightforward noise gate function (a noise gate closes when the input signal falls below a threshold value). I chose my threshold and release settings (on the right side of the plugin) until I liked the kick a bit better. See below:

 

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The effect of the above is already quite remarkable. Simply doubling my kick, one original (ok, I did add a noise gate) and the other compressed, gave me a better, fatter kick.

Adding a delay

I continued to layer my kick, this time adding one with a (very small) delay. See below:

 

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And again, the sound has been altered. It has more punch, is fatter and fuller than the original sound I started off with. Now, what this (combined) beat could use is a bit of EQ’ing (using an equalizer to affect the frequencies of the sound). It’s a bit too bassy to my liking, but that’s a bit beside the point.

This is the layering technique in a nutshell. The sky is the limit here because you can layer as much as you want, using the effects that you want. However, it is probably wise to start off with compression, small delays and tiny reverbs and see where this leads to.

Making new samples

Once you have made a good, fat beat you would like to save it for later use, right? I use Edison for this purpose. If you do not know what it is you can learn a bit about it in this tutorial: How to record external audio sources in FL Studio

First, add Edison to a free Insert track in the Mixer. In the screenshot below you see I’ve added it to channel 15.

 

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Make sure the ‘On input’ recording option has been selected (recording starts when an audio signal is received). Next, click the Recording button. That’s the rightmost button in the row with black buttons (upper left corner).

 

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The next thing we will do is make sure that our sounds that form the layered beat are routed to this Insert channel. In my example I routed the 3 channels in the Step sequencer to Insert channels 1, 2 and 3. So it is Insert channel 1, 2 and 3 I will need to route to Insert channel 15. The way to do this is by selecting the Insert channel you want to route (1 in the screenshot below) and subsequently right clicking the Send track enable switch. That’s that little arrow above the FX (Enable FX slots) button on the track (15 in the screenshot below).

 

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Do this for all the Insert tracks to which you have routed your layered sounds.

Insert track 1,2 and 3 (in my example) are now routed to Insert track 15 (and not to the Master). The output of Insert track 15 is routed to the Master track. You may wonder why we don’t put Edison in the Master track instead. Then we wouldn’t have to reroute our insert tracks. Of course, this is possible. However, in that case we must make sure to mute all other sounds (if we have them) and make sure only our layered sounds reach the master track. A second reason is that once you have routed the Insert tracks with your layered sounds to one and the same Insert track, you can apply common processing to the combined sound (e.g. EQ).

Anyway, let’s continue. We already set Edison to record on input, so the next thing to do is simply play to song. Edison in Insert track 15 will detect the sound and start recording. After a number of beats stop the recording in Edison by clicking stop (in Edison – The button next to the Record button). See below:

 

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I’ve now recorded my new beat. By clicking in the red area I can select exactly one beat. By using the Play button I can listen to the area that I have selected. See below:

 

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Once you are happy, select Trim in the Edit menu (button with the pair of scissors). See below:

 

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Trim deletes the regions outside the selection, which implies we now have a single beat in Edison:

 

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Once you are happy with it you can save the recording as a WAV file using Save sample as… option in the File menu. See below:

 

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Give the sample a name, click Save and voila we have a sample of our new beat! No need to repeat the layering again.

 

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If you want to use it, simply drop an Audio clip channel in your Step sequencer and load this file!

Layering sounds to create richer, deeper, fuller, fatter sounds and the option to record and save them as new samples gives you endless possibilities. Even if you already have a good set of high quality samples you can still use layering to create entire new sounds and build a library with your own personal samples.

That’s it for now. I hope you found this tutorial useful. Feel free to drop a comment. It’s your feedback that keeps me going ;) Happy composing!

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FL Studio Tutorials - All fl studio tutorials are written by Marc Demar

5 kommentarer

  1. Anonymous says:

    thx will try it @ home... now i hava a long weekend to check the tut´s ;)

    thank u 4 your tutorials, i understand your way to explain very well!!

    have a nice weekend


    ~*145 bpm*~
    greets and all the best from austria

  2. Anonymous says:

    wow wow wow, real co0o0o0ol tutorial.
    You have a very good style in teaching stuff.
    thank you

  3. Blckbxxx says:

    I'm glad you like it :)
    Cheers,Marc

  4. Anonymous says:

    awesome stuff. now if I can follow along the music theory tutorial as easily, I'll be in business. Thanks for taking the time to explain this stuff to us Newbs.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks very much, this blog is a great resource.