Glitched vocals are important part in modern electronic music. FL Studio provides a nice set of tools for glitching vocal samples (of course, these tools can be used for any audio material, not just vocal). One of such tools is FL’s native plugin called Slicex and in this tutorial I will show you how you can easily slice a vocal sample with Slicex and then start creating cool vocal sequences.
Here’s an audio example. First the original vocal phrase (taken from Loopmasters Iconical Vocal Acapellas Vol 1 sample package):[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Original-Vocals-For-Glitch-Example.mp3]
And a simple glitch sequence made with Slicex:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Glitched-Vocals-Example.mp3]
Ok. To re-create a similar sequence, first thing to do is to load the Slicex. You’ll find it under the Channels -> Add one. After the Slicex is loaded, turn off the ‘Auto-dump’ feature unless you don’t want the slices to be dumped automatically to Piano Roll:
Next, drop a vocal sample into Slicex. If you have vocal phrase samples, they work great for glitch processing and usually you’re able to create more diverse sequences than with short “one-shot” style vocal samples. For free vocal samples check out the rap acapellas I posted while ago.
Ok. When you have dropped the sample into Slicex, it will get sliced automatically based on Slicex advanced beat detection algorithms (you can see the slices in the Slicex Wave Editor):
Each slice will also get automatically assigned to a note and you can use either the Piano Roll or Step Sequencer to build sequences so open either of those and start placing the notes here and there:
I used the Step Sequencer and following set of notes to create that simple sequence you heard in the audio example:
That’s basically it.
However, there’s tons of options in Slicex to make your chopped stuff sound even more interesting. Here’s some of the basics you might want to try out:
First of all, in the Wave Editor, you can move the markers freely (with or without snapping to grid) to define the start- and end-point and length of each slice. You can do this on-the-fly while your sequence is playing to hear the results instantly. Just by changing the position of markers, you can make your sequence sound quite a lot different without touching to the actual sequence of notes:
Also, there’s various Auto-slicing methods which you may want to try as well. There’s three of them: Dull, Medium and Sharp. Wth Dull, you’ll get fewer slices, Medium (the default) gives a little more slices and with Sharp you’ll have tons of slices.
To apply one of the methods, first, select the whole sample in the Slicex Wave Editor (left-click and drag over the sample to “paint” it) and choose Delete under the Regions -menu button:
And after that select Auto-slice -> Dull, Medium or Sharp auto-slicing under the same menu button:
Check out the modulation options as well. There’s several modulation “targets” such as pan, volume, filter cutoff frequency and playback speed which you can control via ADSR envelope, LFO and Randomization to name a few.
For example, if you want to filter modulate the slices, first choose CUT (filter cutoff frequency) as the editor target (in the top row) and ENV as the source (bottom row). Next, activate the envelope by clicking on that little button next to the ADSR -knobs and start adding and dragging control points to the envelope editor grid. You can also make the envelope length to be relative to the project tempo by clicking on that Tempo -button next to ADSR -knobs. If you leave it off, the envelope length will be absolute in time instead. Also, if you enable Snapping, control points will align with the grid lines. Lastly, turn on the filter. You turn it on by choosing one of the filter slopes. You can choose from three different filter cutoff slopes: 1x (shallow), 2x (medium) & 3x (steep) and four different filter types LP (low pass), BP (band pass), BS (band stop – notch), HP (high pass). Start tweaking with the Cut -knob to make it sound the way you want:
You can also create scrathing effects with Slicex as well. Select SPEED as the modulator target (from the top row again) and ENV as the source (bottom row), activate the envelope and start adding/dragging those control points:
With the envelope shape shown in the pic above and the vocal sample I’m using, I’ll get the following:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Scratching-With-Slicex.mp3]
That’s it for now. Hopefully I’m able to create a more in-depth tutorial for Slicex in the near future. Anyway, its a great tool for all kinds of chopping, glitching and audio manipulation!
Check the video below: