FL Studio basics #3 Using Patterns

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So far you have learned to make beats, melodies and add other instruments, that's of course all good if you want to make something really short but to properly make a song you need to use patterns. Now don't worry, it's really easy and there are many advantages of using patterns. So let's just get started.

When starting up FL Studio, you're already editing first pattern. As you can see in the image below, the small box with number 1 is pattern you're currently viewing and everything in sequencer is what it contains.

We have got there 4 kick steps, it's simple and okay beat but let's say we don't want whole song to be just one repeative beat, we want to make a change here and there, so what we do is hold mouse left button on pattern number and slide mouse up until we see there number 2 instead of 1.

Now sequencer is empty, but don't worry, it's supposed to be, we're currently editing pattern 2. What you are supposed to do is fill 'kick' with steps again, but in different order than before. This is how:

Currently we got 2 patterns done, it's enough to show you how do they work, so hit F5 on your keyboard to open (or close) playlist.

It looks like this:

What I highlighted there is Paint brush, this is the tool you will need in playlist most of the time. Also I highlighted pattern number you can currently add to playlist. At the moment it's Pattern 2 but we go back to the small pattern selection box and change it back to 1.

Finally, let's get to editing the playlist! In the middle of it you're seeing another grid.

Just like in image above, using the paint tool I mentioned before, use your mouse to draw the pattern somewhere in top-left corner of the grid.

Now change your pattern number to 2 again.

Fill the grid with same tool as before somewhere right where ends what you filled just a moment ago.

It's done! But we have to hear it right? So be sure to check song playback mode (it's set to pattern mode by default) and hit [>] play button.

If you listened it all, you heard when pattern changed and how it affected everything. You should have some idea how patterns work now, so here's homework: create another pattern filled with snares and one with hats place them somewhere under the currently added patterns in playlist, like in image below.

You can do this with as many patterns or instruments as you like.

If you have a problem, leave a comment and I'll do my best to help you. Now you got enough knowledge to create a song in FL Studio, you may want to export it to mp3 or some other format File>Export>MP3 file or other format, a new window will pop-up, just leave everything as it is, press Start button and in a moment your song should be exported. In next tutorial I'll show you how to add various effects using FL Studio mixer.

Published at , Updated at 2013-03-06

next: FL Studio basics #4 Using Mixer prev: FL Studio Basics #2 Playing Instruments, Using Piano Roll