FL Studio tutorial explaining how to convert Edison samples to Piano Roll scores
In my search for useful features I came across one that is not so obvious. If you have a nice melody in your head (or perhaps you have a cool (vocal) sample) but do not quite know how to program it in the Piano Roll, let Edison do the job for you.
Now, I’ve written another tutorial on how to record audio, which also discusses the Edison tool. If you do not know how to record audio and/or have never heard of Edison, I suggest you skim through that tutorial first. You can find it here: How to record external audio sources in FL Studio
Using an existing (vocal) sample
Let’s try it out with one of the vocal samples that comes with FL Studio. First, start a new empty project and load Edison in the first FX slot of the Mixer. See below:
Choose Load sample in the File menu:
And navigate to the Vocals folder as shown below:
Select FLS_DontStopMeNow_02.wav and click Open. See below:
Before we convert this short sample to a score, open the Step Sequencer (F6) and add a channel to your liking. See below:
I added the Autogun plugin, but any other (non percussion) generator will do. Now, the trick is this. Go back to Edison and choose Convert to score and dump to Piano Roll in the Tools menu. See below:
After this, have a look at the Step Sequencer and the Piano Roll for the channel.
Play this pattern and you will notice that it resembles the pitch and pitch changes in the sample fairly good. And now that you have the melody in the Piano Roll, you can manipulate it the way you like! This is usually necessary as you may want to shift the note events in time and pitch, adjust the length of indivual note events, etc. But the point is that you now have the ‘raw material’ to work with.
Recording a sample
What applies to an existing sample, applies to a newly recorded sample as well. This means that you can actually ‘hum’ your melody into Edison after which you can convert it into a Piano Roll score. For those of us who walk around with melodies in their heads but find it hard to convert them into scores, this is surely an interesting feature. So let’s try it out!
First, we need to setup the Mixer for recording using Edison. See below:
Select the appropriate input source in the External mixer input drop down box (next to ‘IN’) and select the Edison tool in the first FX slot. As you can see I’ve done that for Insert track 1.
Now, make sure you have selected ‘On Input’ as your recording option and click the Record button. Edison will now start recording when it detects an input signal.
It is now time to hum or sing (or ‘ta’ or ‘la’) our melody and I suggest you do this slow and fairly loud (you may need to experiment a bit with this). When you are done, click the Stop button. Not that it matters, but for the purpose of this tutorial I did a simple do-re-mi backwards.
You can now playback your recording directly from Edison using the Play button. When you are happy, select Convert to score and dump to piano roll in the Tools menu – just like before. See below:
The sample will now be analyzed and coverted to a score.
I must admit that I have not used the desribed method extensively yet. I am sure it has its flaws and difficulties. For example, if you have a lot of noise in the input signal it is difficult to get a good result. But here a noise gate to eliminate noise during quiet sections of the input may offer some relief.
Regardless, it offers a nice alternative to getting your melody programmed, roughly that is :)
I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial and that it is another building block in your understanding of FL Studio and its richness in features. Happy composing!