Today, you will find out the top 5 best FL Studio tips for beginners. At the end of this quick read, you will know 5 of the most powerful workflow shortcuts that I wish I knew when I just started. They will make your life easier in a heartbeat. So, don’t miss these and stay with me until the end.
It sucks to be an FL Studio beginner
When you’re new to FL Studio, or even when you’re longer in the game, there’s a lot coming at you. It is as if you are navigating through a complex maze, trying to find your way out so that you can finally do what you actually want: just making your own damn songs.
Top 5 FL Studio tips for beginners
That’s why, to make your life easier today, and take away some of that complexity, let me give you my top 5 FL Studio tips I wish I knew as a beginner. Starting with number 5 on this list, we will count down to the best FL Studio workflow tip on the number 1 spot.
By the way, if you’re new to FL Studio and you immediately want to shortcut your way through it, you can now start with the FL Studio Beginner’s Guide. Many people have successfully followed it and it’s also a great way to support my work. I really think you are going to like it, so check it out by clicking the link.
Now, let’s begin with today’s list of the best FL Studio beginner tips. Most tips already have their own topic on my channel. So, if you want to learn more, just visit my YouTube channel or browse this website and you will most likely find the answer you’re looking for.
FL Studio tips for beginners #5: Clone a full pattern in one click
The absolute starting point in FL Studio is the Channel Rack. The Channel Rack is the place to build your rhythms and melodies on different Patterns. Thereby, each Pattern is basically a fresh sheet to work in.
But the problem starts when you add more and more instruments, all playing interesting melodies and rhythms, that you also (completely or partly) want to use in a different Pattern. This requires a lot of copying and pasting when you have to do this channel by channel.
But luckily, there’s a better way. You can actually duplicate an entire Pattern with one simple click. This will immediately copy all the melodies and rhythms you have to a new Pattern, which saves you a lot of time and annoyance.
How to copy a pattern in FL Studio
So, how do you do that? First, select the Pattern you wish to duplicate in the Pattern Selector. For example, Pattern 1. Then, right-click in the Pattern Selector and select “Clone”. And that’s it. Your chosen Pattern has now been copied to the next one. In this example, to Pattern 2. It’s really that simple.
Still, 4 more effective tips coming your way, so don’t miss these.
FL Studio tips for beginners #4: Snap sounds perfectly to the beat
Any song basically always consists of melodies and rhythms, or notes and beats if you will. So, as a music producer it is your job to create those and make them feel logical, so that people enjoy listening to them.
However, once you start using the Piano Roll in FL Studio, you know the place to build melodies or rhythms, you may have a hard time to get it right. You may experience the timing being off and having problems getting your notes stick to the beat.
This has to do with the so-called “Snap” function in FL Studio. When it is set to “None” or any of the smaller intervals, it’s almost impossible to make a good-timed melody. And this can be really frustrating, especially if you need to realign all your notes one by one afterwards.
How to use the snap function in FL Studio
So, to prevent this, make sure you are indeed using one of the snap options. Therefore, go to the Snap Panel in one of the FL Studio menu bars, click it, and select “Line” for example. This will automatically force your notes to follow the grid on the Piano Roll. This grid is just a visualization of a logical musical interval, such as 4 steps per beat.
So, by simply doing this, it’s almost impossible to make timing mistakes and therefore much easier to create a song people actually want to listen to. Besides, it saves you a headache as well.
By the way, the Snap function in FL Studio also works for the Playlist. That’s why, if you have a hard time fitting your loops together nicely, you now know what to do.
FL Studio tips for beginners #3: Quickly create automation clips for non-FL Studio plugins
Once you start building your song, you’re going to use the Playlist. The Playlist is the place to piece all your melodies and rhythms together. But to make that more interesting, some creative sound movements may come into play.
This is where automation clips come in. Automation clips can make about any knob move while your song is playing. As you can imagine, moving a knob can create special effects, such as slow rising effects or crazy kick-drum tweaks.
How to create an automation clip in FL Studio
Luckily, creating automation clips in FL Studio is super simple. Just right-click on any parameter and select “Create automation clip”. And that’s that. The automation clip will appear on the Playlist ready for your input.
But the problem starts with third-party plugins. Third-party plugins are instruments or effects that are not created by FL Studio, but can be added as so-called VST plugins. However, because of this, a simple right-click on any of the parameters won’t work. You see, that’s an FL Studio option, not a third-party option. So, how the heck can you make an automation clip for any third-party tool?
How to create an automation clip in FL Studio for third-party plugins
Here’s a neat little trick for you. When you have a plugin in front of you, no matter if it’s third-party software or not, just manually move the knob you wish to automate. Just click it and wiggle it a bit. Then, click “Tools” in the FL Studio menu, select “Last tweaked” and click “Create automation clip”. This will immediately drop the automation clip on the Playlist, again ready for your input. This way, nothing will hold you back making awesome automation effects.
We are now entering the top 2, which can make your life 10 times easier in FL Studio. So, stay with me for a few more minutes and let’s take a look at number 2.
FL Studio tips for beginners #2: Make melodies easier with the scale helper
What if I told you there’s an amazing shortcut to create better melodies much faster? Would you consider using it? Well, I would. In fact, I’ve already dedicated multiple videos explaining this topic, so be sure to check them out.
Anyhow, as an inexperienced producer you may have an incredibly hard time to create great melodies. I know I did. Having no musical talent or clue about music theory, making melodies can feel as an impossible task.
Now, there’s no time in this post to help you make awesome melodies or give you the essential music theory. Heck, a 10-minute read won’t cut it. But if you want to acquire that skill-set, just grab The Ultimate Melody Guide. This is the best place to start if you don’t have musical talent, like it was for me. Just click the link and check it out.
How to use the scale helper in FL Studio
But still, there’s one trick in FL Studio that can work for you as a personal assistant. To activate your personal assistant, open the Piano Roll and click the tiny arrow in the top-left corner. Then, select “Helpers” and click “Note grid highlights”.
This enables the scale helper. The scale helper will keep predicting which musical scale you are playing, such as major or minor. It will show you which notes you CAN use in light-grey, and which notes you CANNOT use in dark-grey. So, by simply only using the notes you CAN use, it is much easier to create a good melody quickly. And thanks to this strategy I had one of my major breakthroughs. It may do the same for you as well.
Again, for more details, I highly recommend watching my latest melody videos or get The Ultimate Melody Guide while it’s still available. It’s all there, so we can keep moving here and go to the number 1 pick of the best FL Studio tips for beginners.
FL Studio tips for beginners #1: Use ZIP files to share, open and backup your projects anywhere
Well, that’s an interesting one, isn’t it? Maybe you were already rooting for a secret magic trick that instantly solves all your problems. But, no. We’re talking ZIP files. How is that the number 1 pick?
You see, all your FL Studio projects are personal creations that can suck up hours and hours of your time. If you don’t save them correctly or if you lose your best work, how would that make you feel? I bet it may hit your panic button. Not to be confused with your belly button.
You’re making a big mistake if you don’t save your FL Studio projects correctly
So, my absolute best tip is to save your work regularly, but also correctly. If you don’t save your work correctly a few things will go horribly wrong, such as:
- You may not be able to open your projects in the future. FL Studio can’t find your samples or presets if they have changed. Let alone, do you still remember where they are after a few years?
- Other people cannot fully open your projects. This sucks if you want to collaborate or share your work. Your friends don’t have all the sounds and settings you have. They need to have them.
- Sooner or later your computer is going to crash. Do you have a good backup? Because if you don’t, you will see your life’s work go up in smoke right before your eyes.
Now, can you imagine how much time and effort goes to waste if one of these things happen? And we’re not even talking about how it will make you feel. Think along the lines of a devastating trauma.
How to save your FL Studio project
So, why risking a trauma in the first place? All you have to do is save your projects correctly and you don’t have to worry about anything. To save it correctly, click “File” in the FL Studio menu and select “Save as…” A new window will appear where you can give your file a name and location.
Of course, do that, but what you want to focus on is the type. Click the “Save as type” drop-down box and select “Zipped song file”. This automatically includes all the samples you have used in your project to a convenient ZIP file. So, the ZIP file is your project package that you can now store on your hard drive, send to your friends or backup to the cloud. And please, DO make your backups as it can absolutely save years of your life.
Those were the 5 best FL Studio tips for beginners, and I highly encourage you to give them a try. But before you go, make sure you are indeed subscribed to Screech House and don’t forget to grab the FL Studio Beginner’s Guide and The Ultimate Melody Guide. They have already helped thousands of people, so they can do the same for you as well.