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FL Studio slide notes. Not just for pitch bends!

FL Studio slide notes. Not just for pitch bends!

One of FL Studio’s powerful features is the ability to use slide notes in it’s piano-roll. (For their native plugins only, it doesn’t apply to 3rd party VST plugins, standard MIDI automation needs to be used with those.)

In FL Studio, slide notes morph most note properties from one to the other. From one note’s pitch to another in the piano-roll is the obvious and most used one, however there is many other possibilities. Slide notes don’t make their own noise by playing a note, there must already be a regular note playing for them to effect.

Some interesting uses of slide notes:
X to X – Frequency Cutoff or whatever X is linked to in a synth.
Y to Y – Res(Q) or whatever the Y is linked to in a synth.
Pitch – Apart from just more obvious sliding one note for another, it’s great for subtle bends, especially on strings. Also, you can easily add vibrato with slide notes pitching up and down rapidly around the original note up and down in succession.
Pan – Panning notes anywhere you like in the stereo field from hard left to hard right.
Velocity – Fade note velocities in and out anywhere from maximum level to silent.

So how it works is you choose your starting note and it’s properties. (Such as pitch,pan,velocity etc.) Draw it in as a normal note, of the length you want the whole note to play for. (Including any later bends.) Now change the piano-roll mode to slide notes. Draw your slide note in at any point from the beginning of the first note or later. (Not before.) It’s length defines how long it will take for the first note to slide, or morph properties into the slide note’s properties.

FL Studio Slide-Notes Disabled, regular note example.
A regular note in FL Studio. Slide note setting can be seen disabled in the circle.
FL Studio Slide-note example, slide notes enabled.
A slide note shown, with slide notes now enabled in the piano-roll.

You can use all of the 16 different colors in the piano-roll, to have up to 16 different simultaneously sliding notes that won’t affect each other color group. In the demonstration project I use up to 3 separate colors as an example.

Pan a note left to right and back.

Fade in and out from silence.

Bend those strings!

Change the Cutoff on a saw to make a pluck.

Make some vibrato.

You can download the project file used to make these mp3 examples here: IC_SlideNotesInFLStudio_Tutorial

The official manual is here, scroll down to the heading ‘Understanding slides and Portamento’ for more info:

Filtered noise sweep tutorial – FLStudio, 3xOsc

Filtered noise sweep tutorial.

In this tutorial we are going to make a ‘sweep’ or that wooshing sweeping noise you sometimes hear for a transition or FX in a track. We will use the FLStudio plugin 3xOsc for the noise generator (oscillators set to generate white noise only.) Also we will automate the frequency of a bandpass filter inside 3xOsc.

Here is an audio example rendered straight from the included project file to an .mp3

Okay, here we go… First, open a new project in FL Studio and add a 3xOsc.

Set the oscillators on 3xOsc to noiseNow we’ll send it to it’s own insert on the mixer.

This step is not actually necessary for this simple tutorial but it’s advised to do so so that you can add further control FX to the sound later. (eg, a delay plugin is a good one to use on this sound, in FLStudio try adding FL Delay2.) And now you can use the mixer fader to individually adjust the level of your sweep in your mix.

Assign the channel to a mixer insert. We’ll need to play a long note which will sustain for the length of the entire transition.

Add a note to be played on the step sequencer. (Or skip this and just draw one into the PianoRoll, similar to the next step which, extending our note length)

Add_Note_To_PlayRight Click and send it to the PianoRoll.

Send StepSequencer note to PianorollSet your note length. The example one is eight bars long.Set your note duration or length to play.Now we will choose the filter settings. On your 3xOsc click the INS tab. In the filter section, choose BP (BandPass) and adjust the knob positions like in the picture. The MODX knob sets the frequency of the filter, and MODY sets the width of the filter. (Q)

Set_Filter_Type_And_SettingNow to create the motion we will link the MODX (Filter frequency) knob to an automation clip. Right click on the MODX knob and choose ‘Create Automation Clip’

Right Click MODX and choose 'Create Automation Clip'.You can see that we’ve added the Automation clip here, on the Step sequencer window:

Automation_Clip_VisibleAnd we can also see the automation clip has been added to the playlist:3xOscEnvelope_Filter_CutoffCurrently it’s only bar long as we don’t have any patterns on the playlist. First, add pattern one to the playlist. Now that you can see it and it’s length, grab the right hand point on the automation clip, dragging it to the right until it’s length matches the length of our sustained note we drew earlier.

Add pattern one and change Automation Clip length.That’s it for this tutorial, press play and listen to your results or maybe render it to an audio file for future use.

Download the example project file here: IC_3xOsc_FLStudio_Sweep_Tutorial

You can use this concept in most any other DAW with automation of course. The basic idea is the same no matter what you use: Automate a filter’s settings to move over time to create a ‘moving’ sound. Try experimenting with different types of filters, (LP BP etc.) and also you can obviously sweep up, down, or any more complex automations you like the sound of.

Purity – Chilled electronic music project + .FLP download.


I named it this because there is some nice pure sounds and tones in this track, and also because it’s entirely (purely) made in Image-Line’s FLStudio DAW using IL software only.

the .flp project file is available to download below.

Here’s the .flp project download for it, in a zip file: IC_FLStudioDemo_Purity


Creative Commons Licence
Purity by It’s Clipping is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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