Different Methods To Stutter, Chop, and Glitch

Different Methods To Stutter, Chop, and Glitch

You spend your entire life trying not to stutter, and then you start making music…In FL Studio there are several methods to creating this popular effect, and I will be going over four of them.

Method 1: Piano roll

In this case I’ll be using a hihat sample to create a build up you hear a lot in electronic music.  You can do this same effect with a snare or kick drum.

First lay down some 8th notes in the piano roll on C5.  Open up the “chopper” (alt-u, or under piano roll tools) and chop the 8th notes to 16th notes.

Now that we have our 16th notes adjust the velocity of the notes to start very soft, and build evenly to the max velocity.  An easy way to do this is by right clicking and holding on the velocity of the first note where you want it, and then dragging all the way to the last notes velocity, giving you an even straight “line”.  This is basically all there is to this effect.

Another method technique with stuttering is to stutter only one or two notes in a measure.  Here I am using the same sample and I have my 8th notes across the piano roll.  All I need to do is select one note (hold ctrl on the keyboard and drag).  Once my note is selected, I then just open my chopper again (alt-u), and chop the note into 32nds (or whatever you want).

Now here is the part to make it sound right.  When ever you add notes, and they overlap (especially if they are the same) it will make everything louder.  So to compensate for this you want to stagger the velocity of the 32nd notes.

So as you can imagine there are a million different things you can do in the piano roll and with the chopper.

Method 2: Playlist

In this section I took a sample that I wanted to use and “painted” it into the playlist(this is a guitar sample from one of the songs that come with FLS).  Once it is painted you will see a little icon in the top left of the sample box.  When that is clicked the sample options will appear and under the Region section there is a Chop option.  This will display option specific to chopping!

The main options we are concerned with are obviously beat shuffle, Stutter 1, 2, and 3.  Beat shuffle with chop the sample into beats, (4 in this case) and then shuffle all the beats around to create a random sound kinda effect. The other 3 stutters are preset chop rhythms that I have done in the image above on the first 3 samples. This is really a very easy method to get the stutter effect you want.

If you want a more custom stutter though your going to have to break out the chop tool, and set the snap to NONE!

Method 3: Slicex

This method uses a VST called Slicex which is build into the FLS shell.  So when you are in the browser browsing samples, you can right click on the sample and select “open in new Slicex channel”.  This will create a new channel in the step sequencer with a piano roll.  Slicex has taken the sample and chopped it according to tempo and hits.  Where the stuttering comes in is when you select “dump score to piano roll” you have a option to stutter.  You can select which regions in Slicex you would like to apply this effect.

Another option you have in Slicex for stuttering is to create your own smaller regions within the sample, and assign the regions to specific notes, which can be controlled using midi input.

Method 4: Gross Beat

The last method I’m going to go over is Image Line’s Gross Beat (link above to demo).  This is a very awesome tool to do anything relating to time and patterns.  There is a stutter preset section that comes with Gross Beat (GB).  You will mainly be concerned with the top green section that controls the time.  

Experiment with all the different beats, while your loop is looping to hear each effectv.  Once you have something you like you will most likely want to automate this pattern.  Right click on the patterns and select “Create Automation Clip”.  This will create a automation clip/channel in the step sequencer which can be controlled in the playlist editor.  GB doesn’t react exactly the same way as other automations.  To help right click on one of the points in the automtion and select “hold”.  This will make the lines all 90 degree angles.  You will once again have to experiment to find the right % which correlates with the pattern in GB you want.

Secret Method 5: Beat It

If all this does not make any sense, or is a little over your head then you can always do the last resort to get your song to stutter…give your computer a good “whack” ‘; p (please dear God don’t really do it!)


About Author

TheSpanningTree (aka Mountain Lion), has been producing/experimenting/performing music for the past 12 years. Please check out www.TheSpanningTree.net for the author's music.


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