In this tutorial I will show you how I made a wonky and glitchy lead sequence using 3xOsc and Gross Beat.
Here’s an audio example:
Okay. Source of this sound is – once again – 3xOsc so I just load an instance of it and start by choosing a square wave as the shape for each oscillator and setting the coarse tune to -24 semitones for each (Note that all the sounds and settings you are seeing me creating in this tutorial is made beforehand and basically I just replicate them here – that’s what I always do with my tutorials. It took quite a lot of experimentation and trial & error to make them sound as is. I’m just saying this if you’re wondering how I know the exact settings. I don’t know them before trying & testing various different combinations):
Next, I enable the volume envelope under the Instrument Properties tab, set the Attack time to zero, Sustain level to maximum and Release time to minimum (for now). Later on I will automate the Release for adding a little extra interest to the lead sequence.
I also raise the filter resonance level a bit (to 11 o’clock) and I’m using SVF LPx2 as the filter type.
Next, under the Miscellaneous Channel Settings, I enable the Portamento mode (enabling Portamento slides the pitch from note to note) and set the Portamento time (slide length between notes) to 0:09.
Ok. Next I head to the Piano Roll and make the sequence. I’m going to use slide notes to create pitch slides. (The Portamento mode which I enabled in the 3xOsc Miscellaneous settings tab also adds its own flavor to the slides.)
Here’s the sequence:
Next, the Gross Beat.
First I assign the 3xOsc to a free mixer track and drop the Gross Beat to it’s effect slot.
Now, Gross Beat is a real-time, audio-stream playback, pitch, position and volume manipulation effect. Gross Beat stores audio in a 2-bar rolling buffer controlled by 36 time and 36 volume mapping envelopes for easy beat-synced glitch, stutter, repeat, scratching and gating effects. (Quote from FL Studio manual).
The center of all the manipulations is the Envelope Mapping Panel and it can be controlled using the standard FL Studio envelope editing features. Either the time or volume can be manipulated.
So what I’m going to do next is I make things glitch using the time manipulation.
First I set the Snapping settings to 1/8 beat (default). Snap determines how the envelope points snap to the nearest time/volume grid division in the Envelope Mapping Panel.
Next, I choose a Time Slot. This sets the Envelope Mapping Panel to target a time based manipulations.
Envelope data stored in the Slots can be emptied by choosing ‘Reset’ under the Mapping Options. The first slot is empty, but rest are filled with factory presets.
(When you start the Gross Beat, it loads the ‘Patterns’ preset -scheme by default meaning all the Time and Volume slots are filled with factory presets. You can empty all the slots by choosing the preset ‘Default’ from the top right corner of the Gross Beat. I’m using the Patterns -scheme because there’s a nice ready made volume preset I’m going to use).
Now to the editing.
First, I create a couple of “jumps” in time (stutters) using the Hold curve envelope. You can change the curve by right clicking an envelope point and choosing the curve type from the menu. (Hold is good for creating steps and steps in time – forwards and / or backwards – are the key for stuttering effects).
Next, I select a second slot and create a bit of a scratching style effect (plus couple of more stutters). For the scratching effect, I’ll use the Single curve envelope and tweak the tension points.
For the third slot, I created a following manipulation:
For the fourth slot, I used the Stairs curve (and single curve for the rest). (TIP: Drag the tension point up for less stairs and down for more stairs.)
Here’s the fifth:
And the final (seventh):
Alright. Next, I pick a volume preset titled ‘1/4 Swing’ to add a swinging gate effect to the sequence. I also use the volume knobs to tweak the volume dynamics of the Volume mapping: I wan’t a sharp attack so I just set the Attack to 0ms and for a smoother Release I set it to around 70-80ms.
Next, I use automation clips for automating the slot selection. (There’s many ways to automate the slot selection. Refer to the FL Studio manual for alternative methods.) But first I go to the Playlist and extend the sequence:
Then I head back to the Gross Beat and create the automation clip by right clicking on the first time slot and choosing ‘Create automation clip’ from the menu:
I’m going to use separate automation clips for each slot selection automation so in the Playlist I use the copy / paste / make unique methods to create unique clips (copy is done by left clicking the automation clip in the Playlist, paste is done by right clicking and making unique by right clicking the top left corner of the clip and choosing ‘Make unique’ from the menu).
Now I open the Gross Beat again, copy a slot ‘value’…
…and paste the slot value to the automation clip envelope point(s).
I repeat the process for each slot so in the end I have automation clips for every slot selection:
Ok. Next I’m going to automate the Release controller of the 3xOsc volume envelope so I’ll open the 3xOsc, go to the Instrument Properties tab and Volume Envelope tab and create automation clip for the Release controller:
In the Playlist I edit the Release automation envelope as follows (This’ll extend the Release time. This is all just for adding a little nuance to the glitch sequence.)
Okay. As a final touch, I use compression to add more sharpness / snap and to tighten up the whole sequence (dynamically speaking). I’ll use Fruity Limiter for that so after dropping it to the 3xOsc effect slot I set it like this:
Slow Attack time is the key for snap and sharpness.
That’s about it. Now go and make some twisted, wonky and glitchy sequences! 😎
Watch the video version below:
Download The FL Studio Project File (Requires FL Studio 10.0.9 or later to open properly)
Download The Gross Beat Preset File (Includes the time manipulations I made for this project plus the factory presets for rest of of the slots)