Today, you will discover how to make a 3x Osc pluck sound in FL Studio very quickly and easily. Thereby, feel free to use a different synthesizer and just apply the strategies from this tutorial.
Make a pluck melody first
Now, to make a pluck, it’s a good idea to use the musical content you already have from your main melody. If you don’t have one, make one first.
Thereby, it helps to have some chords for your melody. These chords can be used while creating the pluck. Having the same chord-based structure makes sure your instruments melt together as a consistent musical piece.
Give the pluck melody a high tempo
To create the pluck melody, use the chords from your melody and make a quicker rhythm with them (e.g. 2 notes per beat).
Make a pluck sound
Most times, you can actually use the sound of your main melody (lead) and transform it into a pluck. That is, if it’s a supersaw type of lead suited for playing chords. If not, simply design one as I show in the Supersaw FL Studio instruction guide.
So, use a chords synth to build a quick rhythm with the chord notes of your main melody. Make the notes quite short and just base it on your own taste. Then, simply use the settings on the synthesizer to change the sound from a lead to a pluck. This is extremely easy to do…
How to make a pluck
In order to make a pluck from your supersaw lead, open the 3x Osc via the Channel Rack and click the gear icon. Then, select the envelope tab and open the “Mod X” tab. Now simply use the cutoff envelope settings to create that ticklish plucky feeling.
Modify the filter envelope settings
You can do that by closing all knobs (delay, attack, hold, sustain, release), but give the “Dec” (decay) a short time (e.g. 2 steps). Furthermore, open the “Amt” (amount) quite a bit. Base it on taste, but let’s start by fully opening the knob.
Close the filter cutoff
Lastly, close the filter cutoff (Mod X) knob. This allows the cutoff envelope to initiate the movement from its given value.
Play with the envelope settings
That’s it. You now have a great pluck sound, but you can modify it more if you want. For example, use the envelope’s tension settings to create a quicker sweep or slower sweep. Just play around to figure out what you like most.
Once you’re satisfied with your pluck, you could automate any of the settings to make movements in your song. Slow movement are crucial for nice riser effects or buildups. For example, you could slowly open the filter cutoff knob with an automation clip to produce a typical buildup effect.
As you can see, just applying a few envelope settings will immediately create a beautiful trancy pluck sound. But let’s explore one more option…
Pluck sound bonus tip
As a bonus tip, click on the wrench icon and go to the “Time” section, whereas the “Gate” function controls the length of the notes. Closing the Gate knob shortens the sound. It’s a handy little trick you can use to immediately shorten your sound, which thereby results in a pluck. Although you could do this manually on the Piano Roll, it is still an easy option.
Be aware though, if your sound has quite some volume release, the gate option doesn’t express itself that clearly. Thus, play around with these settings to find out if it works for you.
In summary, to create a nice pluck sound with the 3x Osc, experiment with the volume release, the filter cutoff envelope and the gate function. Of course, you can manipulate any other setting, but these form a solid foundation for your new plucks.
Obviously, you have to know what all these settings do and how they work. If you don’t, start now with the Sound Design for Beginners guide by clicking this link. It will take you step by step through all the essential synthesizer settings in full detail, which you need to achieve high quality sound design.