In this lesson, you will learn how to make automation clips in FL Studio with third-party plugins, like Sylenth1, Serum or Massive.
If you’re a beginner, it’s essential to understand the FL Studio basics first. Just start with the FL Studio Beginner’s Guide by clicking this link.
What is a third-party plugin?
A “third-party plugin” is an instrument or effect from an outside source (not part of FL Studio). A “stock plugin” is an instrument or effect inside the source (part of FL Studio).
If you don’t know how to install third-party plugins, there’s a lesson here on Screech House that shows you exactly that.
Before you make an automation clip
Before you can make an automation clip, you first need to have a sound. Without a sound, there’s no purpose of making automations.
In the video, we’ve made a simple sound with Sylenth1. It only serves as an example. In reality, you have your own sounds and settings. The example sound has an enabled filter, because it’s very common for sounds to have filter automations in a song.
Any sound consists of many settings that can all be automated. However, the way of creating automation clips will be in the same fashion.
The problem with automation clips
Typically, you want your automation clips starting at the exact same value as the setting on your synthesizer. If you don’t, the starting position of your automation clip will immediately change the setting to a different value. This usually creates a different sound or unwanted effect.
For exmaple, imagine your sound has a filter cutoff at a certain value. The value happens to be 35%. The knob is 35% “open”. If we want to create an automation clip for this setting (the filter cutoff), we want it to have this exact same value. After all, this value is important for it to sound this way. If we give it a different value, the sound will be different.
How to create an automation clip
Now, to create the automation clip, click and wiggle your desired setting (knob) a little bit. Then, click “Tools” in the FL Studio menu, select “Last tweaked” and click “Create automation clip”. The automation clip will now appear on the FL Studio playlist.
If you do this, you can see that the automation clip copies the exact value from the concerning setting. In our example, that’s the filter cutoff setting. It keeps the sound how we initially designed it.
Of course, you could also set the value of the automation clip manually. However, it’s less convenient. It’s quite a hassle to carefully tweak the the automation clip to the exact same value of your automated parameter. (A parameter just means the concerning knob, slider or setting.)
Make automated movements
When you have the right value in the automation clip, you can now make movements from this value. Consider it your baseline value. Of course, you also need to play some notes with your sound. Else, the automation clip can’t affect the sound.
So, go ahead. Make some epic sound movements. You now know how to do that with third-party plugins and starting with the correct baseline values.
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