How To Create A House Chord Stab With 3xOsc

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How To Create A House Chord Stab With 3xOsc

In this tutorial I will show you how to program a house chord stab using FL Studio’s 3xOsc. You have probably heard this type of sound in many house tracks. Here’s an audio example:


[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio2/House-Chord-Stab-Example.mp3]

Ok. First, load 3xOsc and choose square wave as the oscillator shape for each three oscillator, set the Osc 1 coarse tune to -24 semitones, Osc 2 -17 semitones and Osc 3 -20 semitones. Set the Osc 1 stereo detune (SD) to -10 cents to spread the stereo image:

To analyze the settings a little, we just tuned the oscillators to form a major chord: oscillator 1 is tuned down by two octaves (12 semitones = 1 octave), oscillator 2 by 17 semitones and oscillator 3 by 20 semitones.. so now, if you press note C in your MIDI keyboard (or draw a C note to the Piano Roll), you’ll actually hear notes C (osc1), E (osc2) and G (osc3) which is a C major chord (triad). If you play D it is a D major chord, E is E major and so on..

Next, we need to utilize the volume envelope so go to the INS -tab and from there to VOL -tab and click on the ‘Use envelope’ -button to enable it and use ultra-short attack time by turning the Attack all the way to left. This is required for a sharp and stabby sound.

House Chord Stab Volume Envelope Settings

Now, to really make the sound stabby, we need to activate the filter cutoff envelope so open the CUT -tab and enable the envelope. As for settings, turn the Modulation Amount (AMT), Attack, Sustain, and Release controllers as follows:

Filter Cutoff Envelope Settings For House Chord

TheΒ Modulation Amount controls how the envelope is applied to the modulation target which is filter cutoff in this case. The filter cutoff value is set in the ‘Filter section’ (check below the envelope section) and the envelope act as an offset of that value. If you leave the Modulation Amount -knob to center position, the envelope doesn’t do anything – it will not be applied to this value. But if you turn it left, the envelope SUBTRACTS from the filter cutoff value and if you turn it right, the envelope ADDS to the value… So to put it simply – and assuming we leave the Filter section -settings as is – turning the modulation amount left kind of ‘closes’ the sound, and turning it right (near to the center point) ‘opens’ it.

As for the envelope controllers, shortening the Attack time sculpts the sound to sharp and stabby and turning the Sustain level and Release time all the way to right keeps the sound ‘closed’ in case you play long notes (of course whether it sounds ‘closed’ or ‘open’ depends on the modulation amount settings.

Next, head to the MISC -tab and under the ‘Polyphony’ enable the Portamento (sliding the pitch from note to note) and Monophonic mode (maximum one note played at a time) and tweak the Portamento time (Slide) to 1:03 (this’ll set the portamento slide length between notes to fairly slow. It is also used for overlapping notes as the monophonic mode is turned on):

Enable Portamento And Monophonic Mode

Now, assign the 3xOsc to a free Mixer track and load Fruity Blood Overdrive to it’s effect slot. It’s a distortion fx and we use it to add a fairly subtle distortion to the sound (to ‘edgify’ it a little). Set x100 mode on, PostGain toΒ to around -0.5 and PreAmp to around 0.11:

Fruity Blood Overdrive Settings

x100 mode increases the power of PreAmp a hundred times. PostGain is the final gain reducer which you need to use to compensate the output boosts created with PreAmp parameter (and to protect your ears!). PreAmp overdrives the audio in order to achieve distortion.

Next, drop Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to the 3xOsc effect slot, and use peaking filter to boost the 6.2kHz area by 6.7dB to add a bit of clarity:

Clarity Via EQ

And for some extra interest and atmosphere, add Fruity Reeverb to the effect slot, use short Decay time (1.1 seconds), use Pre Delay to create slap-back echo effect (try value of 250 ms), turn the Color to Warmer to add some warmth to the reverb signal and lastly, drop the Reverb level a tiny bit (to 17%):

Fruity Reeverb Settings For The Stab

That’s about it. Now go and make some house with this sound.. πŸ™‚

Oh and if you’re interested to know how I made the audio example you heard in the beginning, I just created a following sequence of notes to the 3xOsc Piano Roll:

Example Chord Stab Sequence

Then, I went to the Playlist, copy and pasted the sequence, opened the 3xOsc and under the INS and CUT -tab I created and automation clip for the Modulation Amount (AMT) -controller:

Modulation Amount Automation

In the Playlist, I edited the Modulation Amount automation envelope like this:

Modulation Amount Automation Envelope

Then I copy and pasted the whole sequence and dropped a drumloop I made earlier for this tutorial:

Adding Drumloop

The end πŸ˜€

Watch the video below and download the FL Studio 10 project file for this sound:

Download House Chord Stab FL Studio 10 Project File

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52 Comments

  1. Awesome!! but will it throw my song out of key? For example if I’m working with C minor, there is no F# but if I do this and put in a D, the major third of D is F#. Will that mess things up?

    • Hey Lance,

      I’m not that good with music theory, but you most likely will have an issue there yeah. That’s the problem with these ‘tuned to chord’ -sounds. You could try to tune the house chord to minor though?

    • Kopachris on

      Short answer: No. Long answer: it depends on how you use it. The trick here is that is *is* a major chord. When used as a chord, it will sound like any other major chord, so you’ll probably still have the ‘C’ part, but not the “minor” part. When used in a progression, however, it’s the progression itself that determines what key you’re in, not the individual notes. Emphasis on the third and the sixth (Eb and Ab in C minor) can be used to ensure you’re in the mode you want.

  2. very great tutorial, AGAIN,
    i just follow all your tutorials
    and what can i say, it’s just perfect and sound very good,
    Keep it up petri, you are very good in explaining,

    again, KEEP IT UP, and try to put more tutorials if you have time:-)

  3. Max Golovanov on

    Another big tutorial this time!

    Impressed by Petri’s idea to create chord!!! with 3xOsc – really smart! WOW!!!

    Special thanks for explaining all these details (ADSR of VOL & CUT, FX chains) of sound design – Petri’s step by step progress as teacher of sound design is unquestionable!

    P.S. BTW, Petri – what do you think about launching of official music contest in your site – I’m ready to take part in it with a track based on your tutorials! As far as I know Soundcloud.com has special proposals for music contest makers πŸ˜‰

  4. Hey Petri,

    Can you make the same tutorial on Ableton live? In Ableton Live There is no 3xosc. πŸ™

  5. Petri, you rock!

    I’m from the Dominican Republic and I have here in my farm a Mule I want to send you as a gift for all the knowledge you share with us. She’s a keeper! And a sweet-heart but eats all my carrots.

  6. Excellent. The only thing missing is…..the rest of the tune! I want to hear the rest of it! πŸ˜‰ Are you planning on developing it further? Sounds nice.

    On that note, do you tend to work on a track from beginning to end once something grabs you about it, or do you leave things and go back later? Just wondered. Anyway, thanks for another excellent tutorial.

  7. Bill Kucera on

    Hello Petri! My name is Bill. I’ve been playing guitar since the late 80’s (finally picking it up again back in 2010!). I tried recording during my 20’s but didn’t really get any where. I’ve had FL Studio for the past 6 weeks now and I wanted to thank you so much for your video tutorials. They have been some of the best out there! no bullshit cause the overwhelming majority of tutorials really are bad. like they shouldn’t be there at all. Just wasting space and confusing people. You do it right, thank God. Peace, Love and dubstep! πŸ™‚

  8. how to you get that little bar above everyything that tells you the percentages of what your turning up or down?

  9. Once again, it’s a quality tutorial you made.
    Thanks for the bunch of knowledge you’re freely sharing with everybody, even more that you’re an excellent teacher and the explanations are very clear.
    Keep up the excellent work !

  10. Probably the best sound I’ve heard with 3xosc. I’ve been fiddling around with fl studio for about 6 years, and after following along with this, I feel like I’m actually learning! FEELS GOOD! πŸ˜€ Thanks!!

  11. Thank You man… I’m just 16 and j’m trying to make some music, i got a lot from you. Thank you

  12. your tutorials are unique.
    All with good reasoning..
    I am not jinx-ing it though.. Lol
    Keep it up..
    And can you show (tutorial) how to remix a song.. πŸ™‚

  13. Wesley V on

    Hey Petri nice tut once again!

    I was wondering how you can modulate the cutoff/filter to close and open a chord that comes from a different plugin or sample. You got this sound to modulate because it’s build inside 3xOsc.

    The only extra tension I got to make is by using a LowPass filtered chord and increasing the resonance and removing the filter to build up the tension. I did like the result, but it’s not exactly what I’m trying to achieve.

    Hope you can help!

    Cheers,

    Wes

  14. Piero Casanova on

    Hey Petri, I’m a 17 year old house producer, now more focused on producing house, tech-house & deep. I was wondering if you could PLEASE, make a tutorial on how to create banging, sexy & groovy bass lines with the 3xosc. I have been looking all over the place but I simply can’t find tutorials that teach in a effective manner.

    Help a bro out!

    Thanks, Piero C.

  15. Alex Jevdokimov on

    Hey Petri, Keep those tut’s up because I swear I have surfed nearly all YouTube looking for good tut’s, and BAM you appeared out of the blue πŸ˜€ Thank you very very much, I absolutely love your tutorials. I was just wondering where can I find the tutorail for the drumloop you created? I have been using FL Studio for 2/3 years now but still can’t produce a good enough drum loop for house. Thanks in advance πŸ™‚ Good luck.,

  16. Hi, this is a fantastic drumloop at last. Would you make another tutorial where you can show me how to create such a great house-drumline? Regards from germany πŸ˜‰ (& thanks for your great tutorials πŸ™‚

  17. hi
    I m new at this and I want to create a nice electro house song but all my attempts proved to b a failure
    so I need ur help .
    is it possible to create house song without downloading any plugins

  18. Oskari 'Huovin3m' Huovinen on

    Hi!

    Great tutorial, first time I’m feeling that I learn something πŸ™‚

    But can I use this chrod for my song commercially?

    P.S Keep it up πŸ™‚

    -Huovin3m

  19. Just wanted to drop you aline of support. It’s much appreciated. I’ve been attempting to recreate sounds similiar to this in the type of music I’m interested in producing. This gives me a fantastic head start. Cheers to your career and you have my support big dog.

  20. Haha I’m ashamed of my question as I do know music theory I was just being super lazy haha. The minor chord is simply -24 -21 -7 semitones

    The unaltered note plays at a c6 so -24 semitones is down to a c4. If you want an inversion of a chord you can easily do the math with the knowledge. Thanks for the tutorial!

  21. Hello Petri! im using the fl studio12 and I cant find the 3X 0sc filter cutoff enveloppe to make the soud stabby like in this version of fl studio10. How can i make this stabby sound on fl studio12?

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