Day 1: Getting Familiar with FL Studio Interface

Today is Day 1 of my Beat Generals challenge where I spend 30 days as a beginner going through the FL Studio tutorials to see just how good I can become at making beats.

Beat Generals Tutorials

I started with the beginner tutorials and watched the first 3 videos which are all about familiarizing yourself with FL Studio.

This is great because there are a lot of buttons within FL Studio that could make you overwhelmed just looking at them. After going through the first 3 videos, I felt less overwhelmed with the software and learned a tonne, some I knew already and some I didn’t.

Two important parts of FL Studio were covered – the step sequencer and the mixer.

Some of the stuff covered were:

  • loading drums into the step sequencer – I knew how to do this before from this thread at Whosampled.
  • loading VSTs or instruments into the step sequencer
  • adding bars and how to use the swing setting
  • using the volume, panning and mute settings in the step sequencer
  • using the graph and keyboard editors
  • assigning individual tracks to the mixer
  • loading effects into the mixer
  • using the basic EQ in the mixer

One of the most interesting things I learned was tracking out a beat.  This reminded me of how Havoc had lost the tracks for The Game’s “Don’t Need Your Love” on The Documentary.

“I hate to say that I’m unorganized [or that] I’m so used to having an engineer do things for me. Around that time, I had got rid of all the engineers that I was working with because I wanted to become more self-sufficient on my own. It [used to be that I just worried] about making the beat and they would track it. I said, ‘Damn what am I doing depending on someone to track something and it’s just that simple? I can cut out the middle man.’ I came from an era where I’m always in the studio doing beats and in the transition of putting a studio in my crib and knowing how to work it on my own; beats got lost in the shuffle. A lot of stuff got misplaced. ”  Havoc

Dr. Dre had to listen to the beat and remake the whole thing from scratch.

So at least I know what they’re talking about now. I know now how to assign tracks to the mixer and how to split them up. I’m sure there’s more to tracking out a beat but that’s probably for another lesson.

Day 1 – nothing practical to do. Just an introduction to the important aspects of  FL Studio. I’m looking forward to learning some other interesting stuff on Day 2.

If you want to join me in this challenge, fire up your FL Studio and grab a membership at Beat Generals. Comments, questions, hating all welcomed in the discussion section below.

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