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FL Studio Beginners Guide

Lean how to tackle one of the best Digital Audio Workstations FL Studio. We’ll simplify the basics define Fl Studio Templates, Sample Packs, Mixing, Mastering and a lot more.


So I’m guessing you’ve sparked interest in the golden fruit of music production? The ultimate FL Studio 🙌 .

The digital audio workstation multiple grammy nominated music creators use. Well, you’re starting in the right place.

At first glance FL Studio can scare multiple people away. I mean look at all the knobs, buttons, and tabs!

But there’s no need to fear! This article will guide you through the most important functions of Fl Studio and how to use them. Also we’ll cover essential elements to improve your Fl Studio skills.

So let’s get after it.

THE CHANNEL RACK

FL-Studio, Fl studio

We’re going to start off with the good stuff. FL Studio’s channel rack. This bad boy is where it all starts and it’s more powerful than it looks. To keep it simple this is where you can start arranging drum & sound patterns. Go ahead..click on some blocks and make your first pattern!

Each color change from grey to red represents each beat in the time signature.  By default it highlights four beats. This is considered a 4/4 time signature. However, you can click on the dark arrow on the bottom right to extend the time signature.

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Check Point #1

You just learned the first part to fl studio’s power house of functions. We encourage you to take a minute to play around with the channel rack. See the different patterns you can arrange. After you’ve messed around a bit scroll down to the next section!

THE PLAYLIST

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So you’ve messed around with patterns but how do you arrange those patterns into a full production? Where do you layer patterns together? Well, that’s all done in the ‘Playlist’

As soon as you make a pattern if you simply click on any area in the playlist it will paste your pattern. This is pretty cool right?

You’ll be able to make multiple patterns and arrange them in the playlist. The playlist is where you’ll pull all your patterns together to create full productions. It’s basically your canvas and your channel rack patterns are your different brushes of color.

If you look closely at the playlist you’ll see light grey sections and dark grey sections. Every 4 bars is a different color. The bar numbers are also listed on the top bar of the playlist. This is to help you arrange your patterns by bar. For example you can use one pattern in the first 8 bars as your intro then switch to the hook in the next 8 bars.

Check Point #2

You just learned the second part to fl studio’s power house of functions. We encourage you to take a minute to play around with the playlist. Try to create 2 patterns in your channel rack and arrange them in your playlist. 

THE PIANO ROLL

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So you’ve created some drum patterns, arranged them in the playlist now you’re probably wondering. How do I create a melody?

Well, thats done in the good old piano roll. This is where you’ll write your melodies once you’ve imported an instrument. You can change keys and click in notes.

Check Point #3

Open the 808 from your channel rack into your piano roll and change some of the key notes. Try to create a groove with your 808 key notes.

THE MIXER

The mixer is…well you guessed it. It’s where you’ll mix all your sounds. The mixer is split into two sections. The large left section is where you’ll link all your sounds and adjust their volumes. The slimmer light gray right section is where you can import mixing plugins. However mixing plugins is a bit more advanced. We could do a guide on each plugin, but you get the point.

BROWSER BAR

In our eyes Fl Studio browser bar is one of the major keys. This is where you’ll be able select and drag in new sounds. Your sound packs and sample folders will be stored in this section. You can also browse through plugins and virtual instruments here.

FL STUDIO TEMPLATES

In conclusion to everything we just quickly went over. It’s sometimes easier to dissect full productions to learn more about fl studio. Lucky for you there is plenty of free FL Studio templates you can download and work with. You can check out ours under our templates tab in the menu. You can also download one here. Also, to speed up your workflow check out a list of fl studio shortcuts here. Finally, check out our sample packs and drum kits here.

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