In this lesson, you will discover how to easily make a riser effect in FL Studio. In this case, a 3x Osc white noise riser for your buildup.
If you want a variety of different riser samples without having to go through the process of making them, download a high-quality free hardstyle sample pack by clicking this link.
Create a riser effect with the 3xOsc
To make a riser effect yourself, start with a synthesizer. Therefore, click “Add” in the FL Studio menu and select “3x Osc” for example. Of course, you can use any other synthesizer for that matter.
On the 3x Osc, set all oscillators to a white noise wave shape. Then, click the gear icon, go to the Envelope tab and select the Volume tab. Thereby, fully close all parameters, except the “Hold” function. Open the hold function completely. This ensures the exact length of a note will be played without any volume movements.
Listen to your riser effect
To be able to hear your current sound, go to the Channel Rack (click “View” in the FL Studio menu and select “Channel rack”), right-click on the 3x Osc channel and select “Piano Roll“. Then, draw a long (~32-beats) note on any key. This ensures the full length of the riser will be played.
After that, just press the “Play” button in FL Studio. As for now, you can only hear white noise. But stay tuned to learn all the tricks to transform it into a riser.
White noise riser
White noise forms the foundation for this type of riser effect. It consists of all frequencies in the spectrum, yet occurring in a random fashion. This allows you to tweak the sound in any way imaginable without having to worry about musical interference or coherency.
How to use filter envelope to create a riser effect
Next, go to the “Mod X” envelope on the 3x Osc by clicking the gear icon and the “Envelope / instrument settings” icon. Then, select the Mod X tab. Mod X controls the filter cutoff parameter.
Now it’s time to set the envelope. First, fully opening the “Amt” knob. Then, right-click on the “Att”, select “Set” and select a fairly high step number (e.g. 64). A higher number of steps produces a slower rise effect.
This way, also give the “Dec” a relatively high step number to gradually fade out the rise effect. As far as all the other envelope knobs go, make sure to close them completely.
Make your riser effect unique
Please note: you can change all the settings and base them on your own taste. However, if you don’t know exactly how all these synthesizer settings work, just start with the Sound Design for Beginners guide by clicking this link.
Don’t forget to use the filter cutoff
Once you’ve set the cutoff envelope (with a positive “Amt” value), fully close the filter “Mod X” knob. This way, the filter will slowly sweep open, starting from the lower frequencies to the higher frequencies and back.
How to use resonance to change a riser effect
To make the riser more interesting, go to the “Mod Y” (envelope) tab to add a filter resonance movement. Similarly to the Mod X envelope, set the “Att” of Mod Y to a high number of steps (e.g. 64). Do the same for the “Dec” knob and close all other parameters.
But this time, give the “Amt” a negative value. For example, fully turn the knob to the left. Accordingly, fully open the “Mod Y” filter knob. This means that when the cutoff is low, the resonance is high. When the cutoff is high, the resonance is low. They complement each other.
Change the speed of the filter envelopes
Optionally, you can curve the cutoff and resonance lines with the “Tension” knobs. The tension controls the amount of acceleration or deceleration of the movement. By letting the movement go from slow to fast, the riser has an accentuated final stage. This builds more drama as it escalates progressively towards the end.
Again, all these options will be explained in full detail in the Sound Design for Beginners guide.
How to use filter type to change the riser effect
To get a more aggressive riser, you can also use different filter types. For example, set the 3x Osc filter to the “SVF LP” type. If you want to get an even more aggressive effect, change the filter type to “SVF LPx2”. Additionally, if you want the filter sweep to be more present for longer, open the “Mod X” parameter a little bit. This gives it more staying power.
This way, you can modify all these active parameters and shape the riser until it fits correctly in your song.
You don’t have to use a resonance envelope
You could also even disable the resonance movement and only use the “Mod Y” parameter to add some resonance. This keeps the resonance peak consistent throughout the whole cutoff movement. Thereby, you have to keep using your ears to ensure the sound remains balanced. If it starts to sound bad, just lessen the effect being applied.
How to use mixer effects to create a riser effect
Now, if you really want to create extra character, send the riser to the Mixer and add effects. Therefore, set the “Target mixer track” box of the 3x Osc to a number (e.g. 1). This will route the synthesizer to that particular Insert Track on the Mixer.
Next, click “View” in the menu and select “Mixer”. On the Mixer, select the correct Insert Track (e.g. Insert 1.), click on an empty slot and add your desired effects. For example, you could give your riser some reverb. This will add depth and a sense of space to it.
You can add any effects to get a certain outcome. So, think about your sound design and be creative. Such a creative approach would be using a flanger. A flanger can add movement and depth to the riser. By smartly using these different types of effects, your sound will get unique in no time.
Instantly shortcut your sound design journey
Again, a lot of the work has already been done for you. Riser effects are included in the free hardstyle sample pack which you can download now by clicking that link.
To build your own, always keep it simple at first. Just start with a noise waveform and tweak the cutoff and/or resonance envelopes until you have a basic riser. From there, tweak all the filter and envelope parameters to your liking and consider adding effects. Be creative and experiment.
Of course, you cannot expect to create impressive sounds if you don’t really know what you’re doing. That’s why you can start now with the Sound Design for Beginners guide by clicking this link. It will take you step by step through all the essential settings on a synthesizer, so that you know exactly what they do, how they work and why you should use them. Go ahead, click the link and let’s gain that crucial information.
(Music producer, author & creator of Screech House)