In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a Dubstep beat in FL Studio (or how I created one). Now, to be honest, I’m not an expert in this genre. In fact, the example beat you’re about to hear is my first ever Dubstep beat. I managed to put it together by listening some commercial Dubstep tracks on Beatport and made notes what are some of the most essential elements in this genre and based on that created my own.
Here’s the beat:
Ok. For a Dubstep beat, you’ll need to create a syncopated drum rhythm using punchy kick, punchy snare with a touch of reverb (big snare is important in good Dubstep beat!), plus some hihats and a modulating (wobble) bassline with wall shaking sub bass tones.
Also, I didn’t create my own drum samples. Instead, I used a commercial sample pack for that (Deadmau5 XFER).
Alright, let’s get this thing rollin’!
Choosing The Drum Samples
I’ll start a new FL Studio project and set the project tempo to 140bpm (in Dubstep, tempo is usually around 140bpm).
Next, I’ll pick the drum samples. First, the kick: Ive found that a kick drum with a power and punch in around the 100-120Hz area and not too long sub tail works well in Dubstep. I mean, those 808 -style low hip hop boom kicks doesn’t seem to work very well (and there’s most likely going to be some mixing issues as the 50Hz and below area will just get too crowded as the bassline is going to be ruling that frequency range). The kick really needs to be punchy, short, sharp and hard-hitting…. these kind of kicks can be found in many of those free house or trance sample packs available in the net. Punch is the key.
I could’ve also create my own kick drum by using layering (check out my tutorial on how to layer a kick drum or search more on Youtube), but I’m happy with the samples I found in that Deadmau5 sample collection.
Ok. After finding a nice kick sample, I drop it to an empty Sampler Channel and rename it to ‘kick’ and also I’m gonna use colors to keep things organized (that is done by right clicking on the Channel in the Step Sequencer and selecting ‘Rename / color…’ from the menu):
Next, the snare. Right kind of snare is very important for a hard hitting Dubstep beat. It needs to be punchy – mostly in the 180-200Hz area. A hip hop hand claps (and I mean those sloppy ones) or short and too dry snares wont work as good. 909 style basic snare samples, with a bit longer tail seems to work pretty well.
I found a nice snare from the Deadmau5 XFER pack.
I could’ve used layering with the snare as well: layering two or three snare samples together (and mixing in some claps too) and boosting slightly the 180-200Hz area a bit with a peaking filter with narrow bandwidth would’ve most likely given me a punchy snare sample I’m after for.
I’ll drop my chosen snare sample to an empty Sampler Channel, rename it to ‘snare’ and use the same color as with the ‘kick’.
Next, I need a closed hihat sample. A standard short closed hihat will do fine. I picked mine from the BHK Essentials Vol 3 sample pack (btw, that is an awesome sample pack for Drum & Bass as well).
And finally, the open hihat (ride cymbal works well too). I’m relying on the Deadmau5 XFER sample collection again and dropping the sample to an empty Sampler Channel and renaming/coloring it.
Few words about choosing the drum samples: Usually, when I start building a beat, I firstly throw in a basic set of samples, build a basic, rough drum sequence and press play. Then, while the beat is playing, I start replacing the samples I’m not happy with – on-the-fly. Sometimes I end up replacing all the samples I originally choosed for. The thing is, there needs to be a some kind of drum sequence playing to be able to hear whether the samples work together or not. Of course, any sample can be made to work together via proper tweaking (tuning, EQ’ing, compression, etc), but I’ve found it’s much much easier and faster to have a rather large collection of samples, cycle through them and use replacing to find a working combination. (Or I’m just lazy). Anyway, this was the method I used to find the samples I’m using in this tutorial.
Now, I assign each sample to a free mixer track. Here’s a tip how you can assign them all at once: in the Step Sequencer, right click on each Channel Selector so that it’s green. Open the Mixer and right click on a Insert Track and choose Link Selected Channels -> Starting From This Track (or press SHIFT+CTRL+L) and the Sampler Channels will be automatically assigned to Mixer Tracks starting from your chosen track.
Now I’ll start building the drum beat!
Creating A Syncopated Drum Beat
I’ll add a new pattern to the Playlist, rename it to ‘drums’ and open the Step Sequencer, place a kick on steps 1 & 7, snare to step 9, closed hihats to steps 1-5, 7-12, 15 & 16, open hihat to steps 5 & 13. I think this is one of the most basic drum patterns in Dubstep:
Now, the volume levels between the sounds aren’t in balance so a little tweaking needs to be done:
- Kick will be left to 0.0dB. That is what I usually do with a kick. Then I mix everything else so that they support the kick and not compete with it.
- Snare volume needs to be dropped slightly, to -0.7dB to be specific, and boost the 8kHz range by 2.8dB (using the channel EQ) to add some sparkle.
- Closed hihats will be set to -6.8dB (I also panned it 16% to left).
- Open hihat works with -10.3dB volume settings (I panned it to 12% right).
Ok. This is how the beat sounds:
Now, while the snare sounds ok, it could be better so I’ll drop Rough Rider to it’s effect slot for some quite extreme compression. Here’s the settings I used:
- Ratio to 50:1
- Attack to 1.0
- Release to 2.3
- Sensitivity to -40dB
- Makeup to 29dB.
This kind of compression shapes the character of the snare quite a lot. It boosts the volume of the quieter release part (the tail) a lot making it sound fuller, bigger and sort of like ‘pressurized’ if you know what I mean.
Compare the difference. First the snare without compression:
And with compression:
I’m also going to use reverb to make it sound even bigger. So, I drop Fruity Reeverb 2 to the snare Mixer track effect slot – and move it up so that it comes BEFORE the compression in the effect chain as I wan’t the compression to affect to the reverb signal as well.
Here’s the settings I used in Fruity Reeverb 2:
- Decay: 0.9 sec
- Damping: OFF
- Size: 88
- Diffusion: 100
- High cut: 16.2kHz
- Low cut: 910Hz
- Stereo separation: -27%
- Early reflection level: 0
- Wet level: 10%
Listen the results:
And here’s the whole beat:
Next, I will add a little variation to the drum beat so I go to the Playlist and copy / paste the drum pattern few times over making it 4 bar ‘loop’ and make each copied drum pattern clips unique (right click on the top left corner of the clip and select ‘Make unique’):
Then I modify the drum sequences on each copied pattern:
Sweet, but I want more variation.
I copy this 4 bar loop and paste it. Now I have an 8 bar loop. I’ll add some variation to the last two patterns of the beat (bars 7 & 8 – first, making them unique of course)
This is how the whole beat sounds:
Okay, now it’s time for the wobble bass!
The Modulated Bass (Wobble Bass)
For the wobble bass sound, I’ll use 3xOsc so I’ll just load one to the project, rename the Channel to ‘wobble bass’ and assign it to a free Mixer track and program it as follows:
- Choosing saw wave as the shape for each three oscillators.
- Set the Coarse Tune to -24 semitones for each.
- Set the Osc 1 Fine Tune to -18 cents, Osc 2 Fine Tune to +16 cents and Osc 1 Stereo Detune to -13 cents.
With settings like this, I’ll have a basic detuned saw lead:
Next, I’ll ‘destroy’ the sound a bit by adding Poulin Le456 to it’s effect slot. Le456 is a free pre-amp simulation plugin and usable effect for making a Dubstep bass to growl.
Before I’ll start to mess around with the Le456, I’ll drop the ‘wobble bass’ Mixer track volume level to around -15dB as I don’t want to have a hearing damage!
In the Le456, I’m using following settings:
This’ll make it sound dirty enough. Also, If you check it with a spectrum analyzer (EQUO is good for this, it’s one of the FL Studio native plugins, check the video at the bottom of this tutorial to see how it works) or you have a subwoofer, there’s quite a lot life in sub frequency area (around 50Hz and below area) when played with low octave notes which is important in Dubstep bass, so basically, I should have enough of those wall shaking tones just with this sound. However, there’s a possibility to mix in a separate sub bass, and I’m going to cover that later in this tutorial.
Okay. Next, I’ll head to the Playlist and add an empty pattern there (renaming it to ‘wobble bass’), open the Piano Roll -view of the 3xOsc and create a simple, repetitive 8 bars long bassline with a slight variation in the end:
It won’t wobble yet so I’m going to make it wobble. There’s various ways to do it, and I’ll use Fruity Fast LP for that so I’ll open the Mixer and drop an unit of Fast LP to the ‘wobble bass’ Mixer track effect slot.
Now, the idea is simple: Fast LP is a low pass filter and by automating the cutoff frequency controller movements, the sound can be made to wobble.
But first, I’ll go to the Playlist and add a new pattern there. This pattern will be dedicated only for the Fast LP cutoff frequency automation data. I’ll rename it to ‘wobble bass filter envelope’.
Next, I’ll bring up the Fast LP, raise the Resonance level a bit and right click on the Cutoff -knob and choose ‘Edit Events’ from the menu to bring up the Event Editor:
I’m going to create an 8 bars long ‘wobbling automation sequence’ and for that I’ll be using LFO tool (LFO tool allows you to draw LFO shapes in the Event Editor). To begin, I select the first three beats of the first bar (making a selection determines in what time range the LFO shapes will be drawn) and open the LFO tool under the ‘Tools’ -menu (or press ALT+O):
I start by resetting the LFO tool settings (clicking Reset). Sine is fine as the shape of the LFO (set by default). Next, I set the modulation speed: by right clicking on the Speed -knob (under the ‘Start’ -section) it’ll bring up a menu where I can choose the speed from a ready made tempo-based presets. ‘2 steps’ is fine for starters. I also increase the Range (range between the lowest and highest points) to make the wobbling effect sound more dramatic. After that, I’ll click Accept:
This is how it sounds so far:
Ok, now I’ll go wild with the LFO tool and here’s how the whole wobble automation sequence looks and sounds:
Ok. To make it sit with the drums, I’ll drop the ‘wobble bass’ volume level to -20dB and surprisingly I don’t need to tweak with the EQ as it seems to work as is.
This is how the whole drums sound with the wobble bass:
Neat, but the bass could still use a bit of something extra…
Glitching The Wobble Bass
To make the wobble bass sound even more interesting, I’ll use dBlue Glitch (dBlue Glitch is a tool to add some really interesting glitchy effects to your audio). For more detailed info, head to the Illformed website, read the document and watch the videos).
First, I’ll go to the Mixer and instead of dropping an unit of Glitch straight to the ‘wobble bass’ -Mixer track, I’ll select an empty track and drop it there (and rename the track to ‘wobble glitch’). Why I do this? This track will act as a submix track where I will route the ‘wobble bass’ track and three other tracks as well. The routed audio signals will pass to the Master channel through this track and this way, the same Glitch effect will be applied to all of these sounds at once.
And now, I’ll just route the ‘wobble bass’ -track to the ‘wobble glitch’ -track by selecting the ‘wobble bass’ -track and right clicking that little Send switch on the ‘wobble glitch’ -track and choosing ‘Route to this track only’ from the menu:
Ok. Moving on to the Glitch.
dBlue Glitch has a 64 step tempo synced effect sequencer so by counting the steps, it’s easy to specify where you want a desired effect to trigger.
First thing I do in Glitch I empty all the steps and I do that by clicking on that blank box under the ‘Chosen effect’ -section and left click & drag on all the steps:
Next, I’ll select the effect number 4 (green) which is Shuffler -effect and insert it to four steps starting from step 9 (use left click to insert). If you compare the play position in the FL Studio Playlist, it’s 1:03 (which means first bar and third beat, 1 bar = 4 beats by the way) where the Shuffler effect will hit.
Then, I hold right click and drag on each of those painted four separate steps to make the Shuffler effect act as one, four steps long effect, triggered only once instead of four different times (it sounds a bit different – you’ll understand what I mean when you play around with the Glitch a bit).
I also tweak the Shuffler -settings like this:
- Minimum: 1/28 step.
- Maximum: 1/2 step.
- Repeat: 50,00 %.
- Gain: 65,00%
These kind of Shuffler -settings will make the audio stutter in really small steps creating an interesting effect (refer to the Glitch manual for more in-depth explanation):
Next, I’ll insert an Gater -effect to four steps starting from step 29 and again using the right click to make it as a one-time triggering effect.
And as for more detailed Gater -settings I’ll use these adjustments:
- Length: 36%.
- Gain: 85%.
For the last 16 steps, I’ll insert TapeStop -effect. This time, I’ll paint the steps so that there’s two 8 steps long triggers, and as for the TapeStop -settings, I’ll use these:
- SlowDown: 1%.
- SpeedUp: 3%.
- Filter Frequency: 56%.
- Bandwidth (Q): 10%.
- Gain: 57%.
This’ll create a nice and slow tape stop -effect.
Check the audio:
And here it is with the beat:
Next, I’ll open the Mixer view, head to the ‘wobble glitch’ -track and create an automation clip for the Glitch Mix Level -controller and in the Playlist, add a steep drop to the automation curve starting at bar 5. This’ll mute the glitch effect for the last 4 bars of the whole beat sequence. This is because I don’t need the the glitch effect for the last 4 bars as I have other plans for that section:
Okay. The wobble bass sounds quite good, but maybe a bit ‘weak’ in the upper mid-range area so what I’m going to do next is I layer another sound on top of it.
Upper Mid-Range Wobble Sound
This is going to be a sound which brings energy to the upper mid-range area – a certain type of ‘angst’ if you know what I mean. This sound aint going to have much of low frequencies.
So, I add another unit of 3xOsc to the project, rename it to ‘wobbling mids’ and program it as follows:
- Square wave as the shape for each three oscillators.
- Osc 1 Coarse Tune to -12 semitones and Fine Tune to +12 cents and Stereo Detune to +15 cents.
- Osc 2 Coarse Tune to -24 semitones and Fine Tune to -15 cents.
- Osc 3 Coarse Tune to 0.
Next, I assign the ‘wobbling mids’ to a free mixer track and drop Le456 to it’s effect slot and tweak it a little for more edgy sound (first dropping the volume level to -18.6dB).
I also add a reverb to the sound. I’ll use Fruity Reeverb 2 and after dropping it to the ‘wobbling mids’ -Mixer track effect slot, I’ll adjust it as follows:
- Decay: 0.4 seconds.
- Damping: OFF
- Size: 100
- Predelay (first activating the Tempo-based predelay feature): 1:00
- High cut: 11kHz
- Wet Level: 80%
- Early reflection level: 100%
- Stereo separation: 100%
What this does it’ll add a large room -type of reverb -effect to the sound and even though it wont be greatly audible after the sound gets modulated, it DOES add a little more atmosphere to the mix.
Ok. Next, I’ll add a new pattern to the Playlist, rename it to ‘wobbling mids’, open the Piano Roll -view and draw exactly same bassline melody as in ‘wobble bass’ – only one octave higher:
It wont wobble yet, so I’ll add a new pattern to the Playlist and rename it to ‘wobbling mids filter envelope’ (a pattern dedicated for the wobbling automation). Then, I’ll open the Mixer again and drop a Fast LP to ‘wobbling mids’ -Mixer track effect slot.
Now, I’m going to use exactly same automation data as I did in the ‘wobble bass’ Event Editor so in the Playlist I’ll just double click the ‘wobble bass filter envelope’ -pattern in the Playlist and in it’s Even Editor, select that 8 bars section that contains all the automation data and copy it (CTRL+C).
Then I go back to Mixer, bring up the Fruity Fast LP (in the ‘wobbling mids’ track), raise the Resonance level a bit, and by right clicking on Cutoff -knob choose ‘Edit events’ from the menu to open the Event Editor. Then I just paste the automation data I copied from the ‘wobble bass’ Event Editor (CTRL+V):
Okay, I want this sound to have a same dBlue Glitch treatment as the ‘wobble bass’ so what I do in the Mixer, I’ll route it to ‘wobble glitch’ -track:
And here’s how it sounds:
Sounds good, but to add a bit of interest to the beat, I’ll automate the Pan control of the ‘wobbling mids’ to make it pan from left to right at certain position: I open the Mixer and right click on the Panning -controller in the ‘wobbling mids’ -track and choose ‘Create automation clip’, and edit the envelope like this:
This’ll pan the ‘wobbling mids’ -audio signal, first to left (starting at bar 2), then quickly dropping back to center and from there to right and then back to center.
This is how it sounds:
And here’s with the beat:
Next, I’ll create that ‘yoi bass’ (or ‘yai bass’, talking bass, Skrillex bass or whatever it’s called) which is kinda characteristic for Dubstep!
The Yoi Bass
Actually, this isn’t going to be a bass at all. It’s more like a mid or high-range sound so I just call it a ‘yoi sound’ instead.
Again, 3xOsc will be the sound source here so I’ll add in a third instance of 3xOsc to the mix, rename the Channel to ‘yoi sound’ and program it as follows:
- Sine wave as the shape for each three oscillators.
I also set the root key one octave higher. This will make a given key to sound lower in pitch. This is a handy feature if you have eg. a mini-MIDI keyboard with only two or three octaves and you want to play low octave notes.
Now, the secret tool to make it go ‘yai yai’ or ‘yoi yoi’ is the CMT Bitcrusher which is an easy to use free distortion / bit crusher / downsampler plugin.
So first, I’ll just assign the ‘yoi sound’ to a free Mixer track and drop an unit of CMT Bitcrusher to it’s effect slot and set it like this (before that, I’ll drop the track volume level to -22dB):
- Distortion Type: the one that is the rightmost (I don’t know what it’s called).
- Drive: 22.8dB.
- Bit-Depth: 24 bits.
- Downsampling: 19x.
Next, I’ll add a new pattern to the Playlist, open the Piano Roll -view of the ‘yoi sound’ and compose a following melody:
Yeah, doesn’t sound yoi yoi or yaa yaa yet, but just hold on.
To make it ‘talk’, the trick is to play with the ‘yoi sound’ Channel Volume controller and automate it’s movements. So, I’ll add a new pattern to the Playlist, rename it to ‘yoi sound channel volume envelope’ (as you may have guessed already, this pattern is dedicated for the yoi sound Channel Volume automation data), open up the ‘yoi sound’ Channel Settings, right click on the ‘Channel Volume’ -controller and choose ‘Edit Events’ from the menu.
I’ll create a slightly different automation envelope as with ‘wobble bass’ and ‘wobbling mids':
I also add a Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to the ‘yoi sound’ -Mixer track and boost the 9.1kHz area by 7.3dB (yes, pretty extreme boost) using Peaking Filter with a Bandwidth of 64% to “open up” the sound a bit. I also use high pass filter with a steep 4 curve and bandwidth of 55% to cut the sub frequencies (90Hz and below) just to make sure it wont mess with the lows.
This is how it sounds:
Cool, but I’m not satisfied yet: it needs some variation and for that I’ll automate the Bitcrusher Downsampling -parameter movements.
So, I’ll just open the Mixer and bring up the Bitcrusher in the ‘yoi sound’ -Mixer track and move a little that Downsampling -controller (AND after moving, setting it back to 19x), go to the Tool -> Last Tweaked and click on ‘Create automation clip’.
Now, in the Playlist, I’ll modify the downsampling automation envelope like this (I recommend using Hold as the curve type when you create sharp drops and increases like these and you do that by right clicking on a envelope point and choosing Hold from the menu):
I also want the ‘yoi sound’ to be Glitched just as the ‘wobble bass’ and ‘wobbling mids’ so I’ll head to the Mixer and route the ‘yoi sound’ -Mixer track to the ‘wobble glitch’ -track and this is how it sounds now:
Okay, this is how the mix sounds all together so far:
Pretty cool, and as you could hear I didn’t mix the ‘yoi sound’ too much ‘in yer face’ just to avoid it being too dominant and overused in the mix (as it is a kind of harsh sound), but I do want the slow yoi yoi at position 3:03 (bar 3, beat 3) to be more prominent so what I do is I mute the output of ‘wobbling mids’ temporarily on that position. This’ll leave some room for the ‘yoi sound’ to shine for a moment.
So, I’ll open the Mixer and drop a Fruity Mute 2 to the ‘wobbling mids’ -track, create an automation clip for the Mute -controller and create a following dip to the envelope at position 3:03:
Also, I create an automation clip for the ‘yoi sound’ Mixer track volume level controller and create a little lift at that position and I want to emphasize the yoi in the last bar (bar 8 ) as well so I’ll just add a following boost there:
Check it now:
Okay. Drum & bass section seems to be pretty strong now… However, I’m going to show a way to add a separate sub bass to the mix.
When starting to play with sub frequencies, it will help a lot to have a subwoofer to properly hear what’s happening there, and/or load a spectrum analyzer like EQUO to the Master track .
A Sub Bass
For the sub bass I’ll be using 3xOsc, so I’ll just add a new instance to the project, rename the Channel to ‘sub bass’, assign it to a free Mixer track and program it as follows:
- Sine wave as a shape for each oscillators.
- Coarse tune to -24 on each three oscillators.
And under the INS -tab and VOL -subtab I’ll enable the volume envelope and edit it like this:
By using a volume envelope like this (softening the Attack and leaving a bit of Release there as well), I make sure I don’t hear those nasty snaps or cracks which easily happens with sine waves when quickly moving from one note to another.
Next, I’ll drop the volume level to -3.5dB (also, I don’t wan’t the sub bass to be Glitched so I wont route it to ‘wobble glitch’ -track). Then I’ll head back to the Playlist, add a new pattern, open the Piano Roll -view of ‘sub bass’ and create a bassline melody using the same notes as I did with ‘wobble bass':
Now, to make it wobble, I’ll add an empty pattern to the Playlist, rename it to ‘sub bass filter envelope’, open the Mixer, add a Fruity Fast LP to ‘sub bass’ effect slot, making sure the Resonance is set to zero and right click on the Cutoff -filter and choose ‘Edit events’ to open the Event Editor:
Again, using the LFO Tool and Draw -tool, I’ll create a following set of shapes:
Listen to this:
Now, if I want to successfully use this bass in my current Dubstep example beat, I need to cut some of the lower frequencies from the ‘wobble bass’ -sound as it is already peaking quite strongly in the sub frequency area (checking with EQUO – check the video at the bottom of this tutorial to see how it works). If I don’t do that, I’ll end up messing the lows.
So. I’ll open the Mixer, drop a Fruity Parametric EQ2 to the ‘wobble bass’ -tracks effect slot, choose a preset ’40Hz cut’, set the frequency to 70-90Hz and filter slope to 2 and leave bandwidth as is (55%). This’ll damp the sub frequencies.
Ok. Here’s how the ‘sub bass’ works with the ‘wobble bass’ now:
Sounds alright, though I can’t be 100% sure how it’ll sound on those club PA systems…
Anyway, beat is almost done, except I’m going to add one extra element to it.
Just to add an element of surprise to the beat, I’m going to break it in somewhat odd place and create something that differs from the rest of the material. Why? For the sake of interest How? I’m going to route the drums and all the wobbles to an empty Mixer track, use the Fruity Mute 2 to mute the track output for a short period of time (1 bar) and create an interesting build-up to that spot.
So, first thing I do is I open the Mixer, select an empty Mixer track, rename it to ‘drums & wobble submix’ and drop a Fruity Mute 2 to it’s effect slot. Next, I’ll route each drum track to ‘drums & wobbles submix’ -track, as well as ‘wobble glitch’ -track (‘wobble bass’, ‘wobbling mids’ and ‘yoi sound’ are already routed ‘wobble glitch’ -track) and ‘sub bass’ -track.
Next, I bring up the Fruity Mute 2 and right click on the Mute -knob and select ‘Create automation clip’ and edit the envelope like this:
This’ll mute the beat at position 5:03 for a 1 bar period of time.
Now, I’ll load a new instance of 3xOsc (yes, again), rename it as ‘rising wobble’, assign it to a free mixer track and program it as follows:
- Saw wave as the shape for each three oscillators.
- Coarse tune to -24 semitones for each oscillator.
- Oscillator 1 Stereo detune to +12 cents.
I open the Mixer, set the volume level of ‘rising wobble’ to -2.8dB and add a Fruity Fast Dist and Fruity Flanger to the fx slot and set them like this (also tweak a bit with the channel EQ to drop the 1.6kHz area a bit and boost the low frequencies and finally, set the Stereo separation to 60%):
Okay. Now I’ll head to the Playlist, add a new pattern, rename it to ‘rising wobble’, open the the Piano Roll -view and add following set of notes:
Next, I’ll make it wobble, so I’ll add a new pattern to Playlist, rename it to ‘rising wobble filter’ (for the automation data yeah), open the Channel Settings of ‘rising wobble’ and go to the INS -tab and right click the MODX -knob (filter cutoff frequency) and choose ‘Edit events’ from the menu:
In the Event Editor, I’ll select the first bar, open the LFO tool and create a following wobbly shape:
Now, I’ll head to the Playlist, make a 1 bar long selection (from 5:03 to 6:03), open the Channel Settings of ‘rising wobble’, set the Pitch Knob Range to 24 semitones and right click on the Pitch -knob and choose ‘Create automation clip’ from the menu (because of the selection I made, the automation clip will be automatically 1 bar long) and edit the Pitch envelope to look like this:
Alright. Next I’ll pick a snare sample from my sample collection and drop it to a new Sampler Channel. I also assign the channel to a free Mixer track and drop Fruity Reeverb 2 and Fruity WaveShaper to it’s effect slot and set them like this (and after that, drop the track volume level to -6.9dB):
Now I’ll just add a new pattern to the Playlist, open the Step Sequencer and place the snare sample to a step 1.
This is how the snare sounds:
This is how the break sound so far:
Okay. Next, I’ll browse into the Deadmau5 XFER sample collection again, and pick a hall kick from there, drop it to the Playlist, cut off the extra tail , assign the sample to a free Mixer track, drop the volume level to -7.7dB and boost a little the low frequencies using the channel EQ:
Two more elements and we are done.
First, I load yet one more instance of 3xOsc (gonna use it to create a ‘bleph’ sound):
So, I’ll program it like this:
- Square wave as the shape for each three oscillators.
- Osc 2 Coarse Tune to -12 semitones.
- Osc 3 Coarse Tune to -24 semitones.
I go and assign the ‘bleph’ to a free Mixer track, drop a Bitcrusher & Fruity Reeverb 2 to the effet slot and set them like this (also dropping the volume level to -10.6dB):
Then, I head to the Playlist, add a new pattern there and move it to position 6:03 (that’s where the beat & bass kicks back in), open the Piano Roll -view of ‘bleph’ and add following notes:
I also wan’t to damp the Reverb -tail of that ‘bleph’ -sound so what I do is I’ll open the Mixer and right click on the Mix level controller (in the ‘bleph’ Mixer track), and choose ‘Create automation clip’ and edit the envelope like this:
Ok. One final element: distorted vocal sample.
I’ll browse into the Best Service Voice Spectral 2 -sample collection, pick a nice and short female vocal sample there, drop it to the Playlist to position 6:03, assign it to a free Mixer track, add Le456 and Fruity Delay 2 to it’s effect slot and set them like this (and drop the track volume level to -13.5dB):
Also, the vocal sample needs be pitch shifted a little to make it fit to the rest of the material so I’ll just double click the sample to open the Channel Settings and tweak with the Pitch Shift knob:
And this is what I get:
Oh and one more thing: I’ll drop the hall kick to the beginning of bar 8 to give some weight to the last bar of this beat:
And this is how the whole beat sounds:
Check the video below:
I’m also sharing the FL Studio 10 project file. However, I’m not allowed to share the samples I used in this as they are from commercial sample packs so I’m sharing just the .flp file. NOTE: when you open the project file, FL Studio will say that there’s missing samples, but you should still be able to open the project file and then you can replace the samples with your own. Remember also, that you need to have Glitch by Illformed, CMT Bitrcusher, Rough Rider by Audio Damage and Le456 by LePou installed.
I hope this tutorial and material gave you some ideas how to use FL Studio to build Dubstep beats!