If you’re looking to up your FL Studio game, then you’ve come to the right place.
Great music producers are always looking for ways to expand their knowledge to make the production process faster and craft more exciting music.
Come dive in with us as we explore some tricks and tips for optimizing your workflow and expanding your creativity.
#1 Change the Layout of the Typing Keyboard
If you’re someone who uses your computer keyboard to play instruments and make drum patterns, then you’ll love this first trick!
Simply right-click the ‘Typing Keyboard to Piano Keyboard’ button in your recording panel. By default, it will be set to “Layout Piano.” This will give you a chromatic scale up and down the keyboard, which can be a bit difficult to play with.
However, FL Studio also gives you tons of options for different scales, effectively changing the layout of your keyboard and making it easier to play melodies and chords.
For example, let’s say you choose “Melodic Minor.” Now, everything that you play on your keyboard will be within the melodic minor scale! This trick makes staying in key SO much easier. You’ll never have to worry about hitting wrong notes again!
The different scales, going from low to high, start at ‘Z,’ ‘A,’ ‘Q,’ and ‘1” on your keyboard.
We highly recommend messing around with different scales to create some unique melodies.
If you want to learn more about writing incredible chords without any theory, make sure to check out this video!
#2 Drop Drum Loops Into the Piano Roll
If you accidentally dropped a sample into your piano roll, then you may have already discovered this next trick!
Of course, you can get rid of the sample by pressing alt + N, though it can be very useful in many ways!
Start by opening the FPC view and get a view of your favorite drums. Next, drag a drum loop into the piano roll. In doing so, you’ll get a look at all of the samples in that drum roll. Lastly, using your own favorite samples, you can arrange MIDI rhythms atop the greyed-out drum loop to replicate it and make it your own.
This is a super quick way to make professional-sounding drum loops without completely ripping something from another producer.
#3 Load Plugins Like a Pro
Trying to look for plugins in the traditional window can be a MAJOR pain.
Yes, you could potentially make your life easier by clicking on a certain letter, such as ‘C,’ and getting FL Studio to show you all of the plugins that start with ‘C,’ though if you want an easier solution to finding plugins, right click on your track and type in the plugin you’re after.
Let’s say you want to use Maximus. You can simply type “Maximus” into the box and hit Enter, which will load the plugin up in an instant.
This little tip can be extremely useful for workflow, especially if you find yourself using the same plugins all the time.
Of course, if you’re very used to using the traditional plugin search menu, you can go to Plugin Database > Effects > ‘Open Folder’ in your browser to sort plugins manually.
For example, if you find yourself using Maximus a lot, you can move it to the top of your list.
In the case that you’re ULTRA lazy and want the fastest workflow possible, go to your ‘Effects Database’ and rename your most-used plugins with symbols such as ‘.’ or letters like ‘1’ so that it moves to the top of the list.
You can do the same thing with VST instruments as well!
#4 Infinite 808s
So, let’s say that you have an 808 that is very short, though you want to elongate it to fill out your track and make slides.
Simply hit Ctrl + E (Cmd + E on Mac) to open your 808 up in Edison, and hit ‘4’ on your keyboard (or he Magnet icon at the top of edison) and hit ‘Snap to Zero-Crossing.’
Now, you can zoom into your 808 sample and mark a single, full waveform. Next, hit Ctrl + L (Cmd + L on Mac) and make sure all of the faders are turned off. If you don’t hear any clipping, you’re good to go, and you can hit ‘Accept.’
Once finished, you can zoom back out and mark everything with Ctrl + A (Cmd + A) and drag and drop the 808 to your sampler.
Just like that, you have an infinite 808!
NOTE: It is extremely important that you mark the entire waveform as cleanly as possible for this trick to work. If you don’t, you will likely hear clipping sounds in your 808 sample.
#5 Humanize Your MIDI Parts
With this easy trick, you’ll be able to add the feel of a human to your otherwise sterile MIDI part, which is extremely important in the world of electronic music.
For example, let’s say you have a keyboard part where all of your chords are snapped to the grid. Play it and it will likely sound very robotic.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, listeners know that a human would never be able to play that perfectly, which is why MIDI parts that are too perfect can often sound bad. Now, of course, we don’t want it to be so off that it sounds like a slow strum, but having a bit of timing variation can sound nice.
While you could hit Ctrl + A and get slight timing variation, a better method is to hit Shift + R a few times, then, whild holding Alt, drag some to the left and change the velocity. While continuing to hold Alt, scroll down to change the length of those notes.
You can repeat this method a few times, moving velocity up and down and shifting notes to the right or left. In doing so, you’ll get more randomization with your parts.
PRO TIP: If you find that the “human” difference is not enough for you, you can hit Alt + X and ‘Multiply’ the velocity that you have to get more variation.
#6 Sidechain Like a Pro
With this next trick, you’ll never go about sidechaining the same way.
Everyone knows the classic sidechaining technique where you simply sidechain the kick to your sidechain bus to affect all of your instruments. However, when using the traditional method, you don’t have total control over the length that your sidechain works.
One way to get more control over your sidechain time is by applying Fruity Balance and cheating an automation lane with it. With this new automation, you can design your sidechain in any way that best fits your track.
More aggressive with a fast attack?
Subtle with a fast release?
Once you find the setting that you like, you can copy the MIDI from your kick channel and paste it into your automation channel to trigger the automation clip.
#7 Use Delay 3 for Vinyl FX
If you’ve checked out any of our online courses, then you’ve probably seen us use the Humanizer, which works like a tape machine, giving your instruments a unique wobbly effect.
However, if you’re looking for a cool alternative, we recommend checking out Delay 3.
Open up Delay 3 and take the Feedback, Modulation, and Dry knobs all the way down. Now, unmark ‘Tempo Sync’ in the Delay Time section and trigger the Time knob while everything is playing to get a unique warbly sound that you can control.
To use this effect in your mix, you can create an automation track with the Time knob!
#8 808 To Kick Drum In SECONDS
So, let’s say you have an 808 MIDI track and you want to recreate the exact same rhythm with your kick drum. You can hit Ctrl + A and copy your 808, go to your kick layer like we did earlier when discussing sidechain automation, and paste the 808 to make MIDI for your kick.
The MIDI notes will be all over the place at this point, so you’ll have to hit Ctrl + K and move them all to Middle C on your piano roll.
#9 Make An Instrument Out Of Any Sample
This is easily one of our favorite tricks!
You can start by dragging any kick sample to your channel rack, increase the crossfade, and play with the sample start and length to get a smooth waveform.
Next, go to ‘Precomputed Effects,’ mark ‘Clip,’ and turn the Boost knob to the right. By this point, you should have a square-like synth tone. You can then go to Pitch and play with the settings to make your own instrument.
Congrats, it only took five seconds to create your very own synth!
#10 Create Awesome Vocal Uplifters
We all love vocals, and time and time again, it’s been proven that there is nothing better to keep listeners engaged with a track than with vocals.
If you’re working with an instrumental track, however, one unique way to keep listeners engaged is by using some cool vocal uplifter effects.
Start by taking a random vocal sample and open it in Edison using the Ctrl + E (Cmd + E on Mac) shortcut. Now, hit Ctrl + B, turn the Amount to 100%, and hit Accpet.
Next, mark everything and hit Ctrl + L to loop it. Drag it into your channel rack and draw in a long MIDI note.
You can then open Frequency Shifter, set it to 20kHz, and create and Automation lane with the Frequency setting. 9
With automation open, you can create an upwards line to make a unique vocal riser, perfect for transitions!
Is FL Studio Good For Beginners?
FL Studio is great for beginners, as the interface is extremely user-friendly, allowing users to navigate through the world of music production with ease. The beauty of FL Studio is that they offer free trials to anyone who wants to try before they buy!
Can I Mix In FL Studio?
Yes, you can mix in FL Studio. FL Studio is a full-fledged digital audio workstation, just like Pro Tools, Ableton, Logic, or any other professional production and mixing software. Plus, FL Studio provides access to all of the necessary tools for mixing, including EQ, compression, reverb, delay, and more!
We hope that these FL Studio Tricks have inspired your production in some way or another. We recommend trying to implement as many of these as you can in your next session to see how they work for you!
Of course, there’s plenty more where these came from!
If you’d like to learn more about FL Studio and all it has to offer, make sure to check out some of our renowned online courses!