Tag Archives: slide

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: