As with any digital audio workstation, FL Studio provides an immensely powerful means of creating and producing your music. It’s incredibly fun simply to mess around in. When used effectively, however, you can get some great sounds that might even be radio-worthy. The following list will help you take your production to the next level!
1 – Learn The Basics Of Mixing
Early on, you’re likely going to be incredibly bored of tweaking knobs randomly or even filtering through different plugins and sounds. It’s understandable that you might want to load up any old drum and synth sounds and get right to work. You need to embrace the basics of mixing to make your music sound more palatable for other listeners, however.
A few quick shortcuts are to cut the bass frequencies of everything but your actual bass and save your highest frequencies for the brightest parts of the song like the hi hats. Ideally, every element of a song needs its space in the EQ. You should make sure that you do the same for where everything sits from left to right. An entire song where everything sits right down the middle is pretty boring. Panning individual elements to the left or right – even just a little at times – can add a lot of life!
Finally, make sure to tweak the volume as well. Avoid having the overall volume dip into red levels at all costs. If you want to know a little bit more, just look up the “loudness war.” Louder isn’t always better! If you’re not sure of what levels need to be changed at first, try turning your volume way down. Anything that’s way too loud in the mix will be readily apparent.
2 – Sometimes Less Is More
It might sound amazing to wash out every single synth sound you load up with tons of reverb. When you’re doing that to everything, however, you’re going to be left with something of a mess. You need to dial everything way back, with only just enough of any given effect. Remember, your final sound should be something unified and easy to listen to. If individual elements are hard to make out because they’ve been completely drowned in effects, the impact will be entirely gone.
3 – Experiment
Simply messing around in the program is sometimes the best way to come up with cool sounds, drum patterns, melodies, and so on. Just load anything at random and start playing around in it. If you’re programming with a USB keyboard, try hitting keys in strange rhythms you might not usually use. You might even want just to throw notes into the piano roll haphazardly. When combined with a bit of knob tweaking and effects, even the most thoughtless melody or rhythm might end up being something you can use. If you don’t get great results at first, you might be able to hear what it “should be” and adjust from there. Just like that, you’ll be left with a new song idea that you may have never gotten otherwise.
Again, those are just the basics. What you get from your time using FL Studio is based on what you’re willing to put into it. If you’re just mucking around in the program for fun, that’s totally valid. Creating music from nothing is one of the most rewarding creative experiences imaginable. That said, if you’re willing to put the time into actually learning the program and then combining some solid facets of music production, you may end up with some fantastic material that could launch you into a legitimate music career.
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