How to make beats in FL Studio

Lately you’ve heard your friends talking very enthusiastically about FL Studio , one of the most popular music production software in recent times, especially when it comes to creating electronic music, patterns and beats.

I can only confirm the exceptional versatility of this program: it has countless features with which it is not difficult to get carried away: just a little practice, the right suggestions and, in a short time, it is possible to learn how to make beats with FL I study while also taking considerable satisfactions.

How do you say? Do you have a lot of creative ideas in the drawer and would you like to try your hand at recording your digital music with this DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)? Then all you have to do is make yourself comfortable, relax and dedicate a few minutes of your precious time to reading the next paragraphs: I’m sure it won’t take you long to get hooked! All I have to do is wish you good reading and have fun!

Preliminary information

fl studio general view

Let’s start with an introduction to the fundamentals of FL Studio , which is essential in order not to find yourself caught off guard with this Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) , which at first glance might appear a bit confusing due to its particularly rich interface of work areas , menus and buttons .

Unlike other music production software, FL Studio integrates a very advanced sequencer in which it is possible both to insert the single notes that make up the melody and to record the patterns , by connecting an external MIDI instrument or using the computer keyboard .

This feature greatly facilitates production , editing and mixing work , and for this reason it is considered one of the most suitable programs both for those approaching the world of home recording for the first time , and for professionals in the sector who are looking for a solid and versatile platform to work on: you need to know that creating beats, in addition to being a fun and exciting activity, can also be profitable!

If you have not yet downloaded FL Studio, in the tutorial that I have linked to you you will find all the useful information to proceed with the download and installation of the same. You will be pleased to know that you can obtain it in a free version , complete with all its functions but with some limitations in use : in particular, you will not be able to save projects, therefore to produce a beat you will necessarily have to complete it and export it without ever closing the work session .

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The paid versions, on the other hand, differ according to production needs. Let’s see in detail the packages provided.

  • Fruity (89 euros + VAT). This version lets you create just basic melodies and loops , and is definitely a great starting point for newbies.
  • Producer (189 euros + VAT). With this version you will be able to create complete songs and record audio from an external source .
  • Signature (289 euros + VAT). In addition to the functions of the previous version, you will also have a set of extra thick plugins available to enrich your music production with effects , compressors and VSTi .
  • All plugins Bundle (489 euros + VAT). It is, as its name suggests, the full version of FL Studio with all the plugins available.

Let’s now take a look at how the software works, to familiarize yourself with its work areas. Once you launch the program, you will be faced with an interface made up of several elements.

  • Toolbar . It is located at the top and contains all the operating elements of the software, such as the buttons for playback and recording, as well as those for easily calling up and configuring other features (such as Mixer, Piano roll or pattern, for example).
  • Browser panel . Similar to other DAWs, in the left section you will have a highly customizable area for recalling projects, plugins, libraries and presets.
  • Channel racks . This panel, essential for creating beats and patterns, allows you to organize the instruments and plug-ins inserted in a project and connect them to the mixer.
  • Mixers . Here you can manage the volumes and equalization of the individual instruments during the mixing phase.
  • Playlist area . In this section the arrangement is made, understood as the temporal and sequential organization of the events and tracks that make up the piece.
  • Piano Roll . This panel is also very important, as it allows you to manually enter notes or correct the recording of a digital instrument (keyboard or launchpad, for example) by acting on the various characteristics of the performance, such as velocity (intensity), duration and intonation.

We just have to go and see in detail how to make beats on FL Studio .

How to make beats in FL Studio

loading samples on channel rack

I guess you are eager to learn how to make beats in FL Studio . Well, let’s not get lost in any more chatter: start the program and let it guide you in creating your first pattern.

First locate the BPM in the toolbar to determine the speed you want to set for your beat. The indicator is located at the top, to the right of the command buttons for recording and reproducing: it is easily identifiable as it shows the number of beats per minute , which you can change by clicking on it and, holding down the left button, moving the cursor mouse up or down (to increase or decrease the value).

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Secondly, go to the Channel Rack : if you don’t see it right away, you can call it up by clicking on the relative button in the toolbar, top right. If you have any doubts about which one it is, hovering the mouse cursor over each button, its function is indicated at the top left (just below the menu): the one in question is characterized by the presence of three larger rectangles flanked by three smaller .

In the Channel Rack you will probably have more instruments already loaded: usually the Sampler is also present , essential for putting the MIDI controller in communication with the virtual instrument. If you don’t see it, press the [+] icon located at the bottom and, from the context menu that opens, click on the Sampler item located under the section of the same name.

Now, click the right mouse button on the Sampler button , then, from the menu that appears, press the Replace item and choose the plugin suitable for the genre you want to create. In this tutorial I used Sakura , one of the most popular native Virtual Instruments , but you can eventually install others by choosing from the best plugins for FL Studio according to your creative needs.

On the Sakura interface which, therefore, I have chosen for demonstration purposes, by clicking on the black box located at the top it is possible to access a menu where there are various virtual instruments: on the left there is a subdivision by category ( Bass , Pads , String , for example) and clicking on one of them the relative VSTi (virtual instruments) are shown in the right-hand area: press on one of these to load the sounds and presets .

You can already listen to them by playing the keyboard of your computer (generally from the keys of the central area of ​​the latter) or, if you have it and have connected it, via an external digital instrument connected via USB or MIDI to the computer, or to any audio interface.

Another note editing method is the manual one offered by the Piano Roll feature : to activate it, go back to the Channel Rack and press the right mouse button on the Sampler button , which however, as you will see, will be renamed with the title of the chosen plugin; then click on the first Piano Roll entry to load the aforementioned workspace.

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fl studio piano roll screen

The Piano Roll is very simple and intuitive: on the left you will find a keyboard developed vertically which serves to indicate the notes you are entering, while on the right you have a grid available where it is possible to draw the single notes , one at a time, and thus create the melody or the beat.

I advise you to set the display of this area correctly: click on the final part of the scroll bar at the top and, holding down the left mouse button, move the pointer to the right or left to narrow or enlarge the grid and view more or less jokes, according to your needs.

You can do the same thing with the notes , to increase or decrease their duration, if during editing you have noticed that they have not been drawn correctly. By clicking on the edges of a note you will see a double-headed arrow appear , indicating the directions in which you can move it.

It is also possible to delete them, using the right mouse button, or move them to any other part of the grid to change the tempo or intonation : in this case, the click will be performed in the center of the note and you will see the cursor as a four-pointed arrow tips . At the bottom, however, there is an area dedicated to defining the velocity , in order to make the execution more natural.

After making the first bars, you can easily copy and paste them like this: hold down the Ctrl key (or cmd on Mac) and click on a point in the grid at the beginning or end of the performance, then, simultaneously holding down the left mouse button, drag the latter to draw an area including all the notes, which will be contextually highlighted.

Now release everything and press Ctrl+B (or cmd+b on Mac) simultaneously, and they will be automatically pasted into the immediately following measures.

channel rack rhythm section

To add more sounds, go back to the Channel Rack and repeat the sequence of operations just illustrated. On the other hand, to compose the rhythm, once the drum sound has been loaded on the Channel Rack (for example from the Drum section of the menu), I advise you to act directly on the editor that appears next to the button, characterized by the presence of an alternating series of gray and red squares : each sequence of four corresponds to a beat. By pressing them, you will activate the chosen sound in correspondence with the beat; to remove them, however, just click on them with the right mouse button.

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area playlist split by channel

Once you’ve finished composing the beat, it’s time to move on to the arrangement phase . Click, therefore, on the Playlist button in the toolbar, which shows the image of a downward arrow and below a box with rectangles inside: in this screen you will have all the tracks grouped in a single pattern, visible on the panel of left. Right-click on it and select the split by channel menu item . This operation will create a single pattern for each instrument used.

Now all you have to do is move the various patterns created in the central area : by selecting each of them and holding down the left mouse button, you can drag them so that they correspond to the various Tracks (by default they are named Track1 , Track2 , etc. ) in the preferred order, taking as reference the numerical indicator of the measures present in the upper bar, in order to better organize them. You can optionally copy each pattern, by clicking on it, and always paste them in an empty area.

FL Studio song mode

To subsequently hear the entire beat created, it is important that Song mode is selected in the toolbar (it is located to the left of the control buttons), otherwise you will only be able to hear the selected pattern. Then click on the aforementioned button, then press the ▶︎ button to play the song.

The next phase is the mixing one , and it is extremely important to carry it out with particular attention. To assign each sample to a mixer insert, I suggest you go back to the Channel Rack and double-click on the small rectangle next to the name of the first sample: in this way all those present will be selected.

channel routing su mixer FL Studio

Now press the mixer button in the toolbar (shows the image of two volume controllers similar to those present in the mixer), to call up the related interface, then click on the arrow at the top left of the screen and select the items Channel routing menu > Route selected channels starting from this track , in order to sequentially assign each sample to the mixer inserts.

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From now on you can easily control the volumes of the various tracks and insert effects and compressors on the various channels. If you want to learn more about the subject, I strongly suggest you read my dedicated guide. Furthermore, in this phase I also suggest that you apply a particular technique, called sidechain , which is extremely functional if you have used two instruments whose frequencies conflict. This is a very common problem in electronic music, particularly in the interaction of bass and hi-hat sounds .

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How to export a beat to FL Studio

export FL Studio

You’ve finished composing, arranging and mixing your beat, and now you rightfully can’t wait to export it, so you can easily share it and perhaps publish it to SoundCloud , or edit the audio into a video to upload to YouTube. Well, you’ll be happy to know that this is the easiest part of the entire journey so far. So let’s see how to export a beat to FL Studio .

First, click on the File menu at the top left, then scroll to the Export item and, from the menu that appears, press on the file format you prefer, such as WAV or MP3 . In the window that opens, type the name of the beat and select the folder in which you want to save it, then press the Save button .

You will be presented with a further screen, where you can define some important characteristics: by clicking on the Mode option you can choose whether it is a pattern or a complete song ( full song ), while in the next field I advise you to keep the Leave reminder mode. which makes the export coincide with the exact end of the piece.

In the following section it is possible to better define the audio quality of the file, acting in particular on the Wav bit depth and Resampling parameters , always bearing in mind the fact that higher quality corresponds to the production of a larger file. At the end, press the Start button , leaving the remaining parameters unchanged (unless you have particular needs in this regard) and wait for the execution of the procedure, the progress of which will be shown to you by a special indicator.

If you want to learn more about the general functioning of this song production software, including the features offered by the mobile version, I suggest you read my guide on how to use FL Studio.


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Hey Guys this is Mohammed Asif Who has a passionate blogger, Student, and die-hard Lawyer fan of John Cena and loves to read various books and novels. I share guides on windows, tech, apps, ios, and other Categories.

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