How To Create An Effective Rising Build Up

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How To Create An Effective Rising Build Up

There’s countless of ways to build up the tension towards the drop (in electronic dance music, drop is usually the point where the beat & bass kicks back in after a break and people start to dance like crazy in the dance floor) and this tutorial will showcase a one possible way to do it. I’m going to show you how you can combine a riser sound made with one of the FL Studios native synth plugins Wasp, traditional snare roll, basic white noise sweep  and couple of other elements and effects in to a effective rising build up.

Here’s an audio clip of what I’m talking about:

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And this is how you replicate it!

First thing to do is to create a new project in FL Studio, set the tempo to 128 bpm and add a Wasp synth to the project. Also, assign the Wasp to a free mixer track and drop the volume level to -11.8dB (this is because we need a headroom for other sounds as well).

We need a square wave type of sound with a little bit of noise so program the Wasp as follows:

Wasp Settings

This is how it sounds:

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Yea, nothing special yet I know, but just hold on… 🙂

Now, head to the Playlist, add a new pattern, open the Wasp Piano Roll -view and draw a 8 bars long C4 note (the build up is going to be 8 bars long).

Wasp Riser Note

Next, let’s make a pitch slide for the Wasp sound so open the Channel Settings -box of Wasp and set the Pitch Knob Range to 24 semitones (that’s two octaves), right click on the Channel Pitch Knob and select ‘Create automation clip’ from the menu (Channel Pitch automation clip will be created to the Playlist).

Wasp Channel Pitch

Make the Channel Pitch automation envelope to look like this:

Wasp Channel Pitch Envelope

This’ll make the pitch rise two octaves so we’ll get a pitch slide from C4 to C6.

Check the audio:

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We also need to a filter sweep to make the rise sound more effective so open the Wasp and right click on the Cutoff -knob and choose ‘Create automation clip’ from the menu.

Create Automation Clip For The Wasp Filter Cutoff

Edit the cutoff filter automation envelope like this:

Wasp Filter Cutoff Envelope

Check this:

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Sounds good, but maybe a bit too ‘dry’ so let’s add some space via delay and reverb effects.

Open the Mixer and drop a Fruity Delay 2 and Fruity Reeverb 2 to the Wasp mixer track effect slot and set them as follows:

Delay And Reverb Settings For Wasp

Listen to this:

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Alright, the riser is ready!

Next, we will create a basic snare roll and treat it with a rising pitch and filter effect as well.

Drop a snare sample (provided in the .zip pack you can download at the bottom of this tutorial) to a new Sampler channel (if you’re using the Browser, right click the sample and choose ‘Open in new sampler channel’) and assign it to a free mixer track (drop the volume level to -9.8dB).

Add Snare Sample To The Project

Go to the Playlist, add a new pattern and open the Piano Roll -view of the snare channel and lay down C5 notes like this…

Snare Roll

…change the Snap -settings for creating a more rapid roll for the last two bars:

Rapid Snare Roll

This is how the snare roll sounds as is:

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Now, let’s make the snare roll pitch slide: open the snare Sampler Channel Settings -dialog, set the Pitch Knob Range to 12 semitones and create automation clip for the Pitch -knob.

Snare Pitch

Edit the Pitch envelope to look like this:

Snare Roll Pitch Envelope

Check:

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Next, open the snare Sampler Channel Settings again and go to the INS -tab (Instrument properties). Sampler Channel has a basic filter so for filter sweeps and such you can use that instead of dropping a separate effect unit such as Free Filter or Fast LP to the effect slot.

Ok. Under the ‘Filter’ section there’s a Filter Cutoff Frequency & Filter Resonance -knobs (MODX & MODY). Create automation clips for both knobs. Leave the filter type as is (Fast LP = Low Pass).

Snare Sample Filtering

Edit the Filter Cutoff envelope and Filter Resonance envelopes like this:

Snare Roll Filter Cutoff And Resonance Envelopes

Check this:

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And this is how the snare roll sounds with the Wasp riser:

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Okay. The Wasp riser could work like this with the snare roll, but IMO it may sit even better if it ‘ducks’ a bit. And we make it duck via kick drum and sidechain compression.

So, drop a kick drum sample (provided in the .zip package as well) to a new Sampler Channel. Also, assign it to a free mixer track.

Now, the kick is here just to trigger the ‘pumping’ effect for the Wasp riser and we don’t wan’t the kick to be audible at all so we need to mute it’s output: open the Mixer, select the kick mixer track and click on the Send -switch on the Master track to mute the kick.

Mute The Kick

Also, while you’re on the kick track, sidechain it to the Wasp track (right click the Send -switch on the Wasp track and choose ‘Sidechain to this track’ from the menu):

Sidechain Kick To Wasp Riser

Drop a Fruity Limiter to the Wasp riser track and set it like this:

Compression Settings For The Wasp Riser

Ok. Head to the Playlist, add a new pattern, open the Step Sequencer and create a 4-to-the-floor beat sequence with the kick.

Kick Pattern For Sidechain Purposes

In the Playlist, copy/paste the kick pattern all the way to the bar 9.

Kick Pattern In Playlist

Now, listen to this:

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Sounds ok, but let’s make that ‘pumping’ sound a bit more interesting by slowly decreasing the ‘pump value’ towards the end of the build up. We do this by lowering the compression Ratio via automation. The aim is to create a sort of ‘loosing control’ -feel. This’ll make the build up sound even more efficient when the drop hits.

So, open the Mixer and open the Fruity Limiter that is on the Wasp riser track and create automation clip for the Ratio -knob:

Automating Ratio

Head to the Playlist and edit the Ratio -envelope like this:

Compression Ratio Envelope

Listen (pay attention to the end of the riser how the pumping releases):

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And this is how they all sound together so far:

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Okay. We need one more element to boost the rise: white noise sweep. And we are going to mix it more to the background than front.

Load 3xOsc to the project, choose noise for each three oscillators and assign the 3xOsc to a free mixer track and set the volume to -1.2dB.

3xOsc For White Noise Sweep

Go to the Playlist, add a new pattern, open the Piano Roll -view of the 3xOsc and draw 8 bars long C5 note.

3xOsc White Noise Note

Open the Mixer and drop Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to the white noise 3xOsc mixer track. Load a preset ’40Hz cut’, change the filter type as ‘Low Pass’ and right click on the Frequency -parameter and choose ‘Create automation clip’.

Preparing EQ For White Noise Sweep

Head to the Playlist, and make the Frequency -envelope look like this (this makes the EQ to sweep from 1kHz to 5.7kHz).

Frequency Envelope For White Noise Sweep

Listen:

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It could use a little reverb, so open the 3xOsc mixer track, drop Fruity Reeverb 2 to it’s effect slot and set it like this:

Reverb Settings For White Noise Sweep

Check:

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Now, the noise sweep sits better to the build up if we give it the same ‘ducking’ treatment as we did with the Wasp riser.

So, open the Mixer, select the kick drum mixer track and sidechain it to the 3xOsc mixer track (choose ‘Sidechain to this track’). Go to the 3xOsc mixer track and add Fruity Limiter to it’s effect slot and use the following compression settings:

White Noise Sweep Compression

Here’s the results:

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Also, we are going to use same ‘loose control’ method (making the white noise sweep to loose it’s pumpiness) as we did with the Wasp riser so open the Fruity Limiter from the 3xOsc mixer track and create automation clip for the Ratio -knob and edit the envelope like this:

Compression Ratio Envelope For The White Noise

Listen it now:

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And here’s how they all sound together:

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So far so good.

Now, let’s create a little ‘release’ section after the build up and before moving to drop.

Add a claps sample (provided in the .zip package as well) to the Playlist (it will appear there as a audio clip), move it to the beginning of bar 9 and assign it to a free mixer track (set the volume to -5.9dB)

Add Claps Sample

Let’s make the claps sound huge using reverb and long decay time with predelay so add Fruity Reeverb 2 to the claps effect slot and tweak it like this:

Reverb Settings For The Clap

Now listen the clap:

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The predalay adds more atmosphere to the signal. It controls the delay time between the input signal and the first reverb reflection. Nice little feature to make things sound kind of bigger.

Allright. Let’s add one more element: dropping sine wave.

Load another instance of 3xOsc to the project, select sine wave as oscillator shape for each three oscillators, set the coarse tune to -24 semitones for each, and for Osc 1 set the fine tune to -100 cents and Osc 2, +100 cents (also assign the 3xOsc to a free mixer track and drop the volume level to -7.7dB).

3xOsc For Sine Wave Drop

Head to the Playlist, add a new pattern to the beginning of bar 9 and open the Piano Roll -view of the 3xOsc #2 and draw a 1 bar long C5 note.

Sine Wave Drop Note

Open the 3xOsc Channel Settings -panel and set the Pitch Knob Range to 24 semitones and create automation clip for the Pitch -knob (before creating the automation clip, go to the Playlist and make a 1 bar long selection between bars 9 & 10. This will make the automation clip to be automatically a length of the selection).

Pitch Automation For The Sine Wave Drop

Edit the Pitch envelope like this:

Pitch Envelope For Sine Wave Drop

Listen:

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Okay. The build up is ready and this is how it sounds as in whole:

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That’s it. 🙂

Watch the video below:

Download The Rising Build Up FL Studio Project File And Samples

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About Author

Petri Suhonen is an electronic music hobbyist. He has been producing music with computers over a decade on such styles as trance, downtempo, ambient & experimental electronic using FL Studio.

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87 Comments on "How To Create An Effective Rising Build Up"

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El3ctronicPunk
El3ctronicPunk
4 years 10 months ago

Hey Petri this is an amazing tutorial 🙂 love it, going to use these ideas in build ups!! but i think im going to bug you until you make a remix of a house track or make song with some acappella, its really hard for me to pick out notes when trying to fit melodies to acappellas, i really wish you could help me and ofcourse others out, this will be a great tutorial, pleaseee 🙂

Andre
Andre
3 years 8 months ago

where can I get a school to learn electronic music ? or learning the software?

Simon
Simon
4 years 10 months ago

Hey,
thanks for your tutorials! They’re always woth a look.

I’m a (happy) Cubase user, so I’m not able to reproduce these step by step. Some things in Cubase are much more complicated, i.e. creating the bass drop. It would be incredibly awesome if you could upload the single steps as .mp3 or even .wav file. My sampler is always hungry… 🙂

Thanks again, keep up the good work!

Tony
Tony
4 years 10 months ago

I don’t make music, just happened to stumble on this, but had to say what a really nice tutorial that is, I bet even I could follow it!

Freshly Squeezed
Freshly Squeezed
4 years 10 months ago

Wicked tutorial, thanks man!

Max Golovanov
4 years 10 months ago

Can’t find words to express my THX for this awesome tutorial, Petri!

You’ve done it again in this really professional & highly detailed style!

P.S. Just thought it might be a good idea to replace a reverbed clap in the end with that ‘Boom Sound Effect’ in case if you want to add even more drama to this build-up 😉

Keep it up, man & cheers from Ukraine!

Charlee
Charlee
4 years 10 months ago

Thanks again for this tutorial Petri! you’re the best, I just finished it step by step with my own samples and it’s awesome!

manuel
manuel
4 years 10 months ago

my? snares dont want to snap to 1/2

michael
michael
4 years 10 months ago

great tutorial!! followed it step by step and my build up sounds great! I will definitely use these ideas for future songs!! Thanks!

Tyler
Tyler
4 years 10 months ago

Can you PLEASE make a full version of this song?

Leon
Leon
4 years 10 months ago

First I made my uplifters with a single 3x osc and some effects. this sounds very proffesional, do you have tracks online? if yes, do you want to share them with us?:D if no, you should realy make tracks.
thanks, sounds great!

Victor
Victor
4 years 10 months ago

Hello!

Gr8 tutorial, reallly good job!

I have one problem trying to do the same thing!
When i pitch the snare from your sample 0%-50% in the begining it sounds shit, like just sweep reverb sound, and no snare but the longer it goes towards 50% it starting to sound like it should.
And the pitch knob doesnt turn from 1-6th pattern but it goes from 0-50% from the 7-8th pattern

Can you help me? do you know what i have done wrong

Jeff
Jeff
4 years 10 months ago
Hey Petri, First off, you have the best tutorials on the internet for music productions :p. I’ve been producing for about 3 years on and off, and I’m so happy I found this website a couple months ago. It has exponentially increased my skill level for sure, because I didn’t have a set method beyond the hodge podge FL Studio tutorials on youtube for doing things. Anyways, do you have any guide at the moment for how you create that amazing heavy bass sound that comes in after the drop? In reminds me of a lot of stuff that Markus… Read more »
J
J
4 years 9 months ago

My brain just went sleepy.

James Rushton
James Rushton
4 years 8 months ago

Hi Petri, I’m probably the only one but when I got to the stage of giving the wasp the pulse of the kick without the sound of the kick I am very stuck, I have tried everything but it either plays nothing or both the kick and wasp sound together…help!

James
James
4 years 8 months ago

Hi Petri, first of all, what an excellent tutorial, same goes for the others I’ve read too!
I’ve managed to hit a snag with the pitch automation for the snares. I did exactly the same as the tutorial said aswell as the video but it doesn’t sound anything like yours 🙁 It’s all slower and more ‘thuddy’ haha, but please help!

Anthony
Anthony
4 years 8 months ago

Hi Petri, I’v got a little key config problem. When I right click, it would normally deleted the note, pattern, etc, but then I did something that changed this setting. Now it plays from where I click instead of deleting it. What do I do?

Leandro
Leandro
4 years 7 months ago

awesome tutorial!!

Conner
Conner
4 years 7 months ago

Hey Petri, really awesome tutorial, I’ve used it before and had a large amount of success with it. 🙂 However, I’ve decided to use it again and have unfortunately run into a big a problem; when I try and add the 3x osc and the white noise effect, every time I try to change the filter to a low pass, the white noise disappears, even before I add the automation clip. I’ve read and re-read the steps, but I just can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing wrong this time. Any ideas???

Again, awesome tutorial! 😀

jason
4 years 7 months ago

Thank you thank you thank you are a god!

Dada
Dada
4 years 6 months ago

Really nice tutorial , very helpful ;D
But how do you make the part after the build up ?

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