Guide To Better FL Studio Quality! By MG

Discussion in 'Audio Producers Discussions' started by MgTheFuture, Oct 6, 2009.

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  1. MgTheFuture

    MgTheFuture Music is my life

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    What's Good RM Fam? I think it's about time for someone to drop these gems out there! I been using FL studio since it's been out, more seriously since 4.3, and always been one of those trying to stand up for it, although there's an apparent quality difference in comparison to reason/cubase/others.

    1) MY biggest complaint has always been the "bass" in FL. It never seems to emulate it correctly. Well due to what people have called "Masking" and "Pan Laws" i think this may be the fix, once and for all.

    By Default, FL has the option for "Circular Pan Laws" ON. Some people dig it and believe it should be left alone. I DONT. Turn that ish off ASAP.

    Options -> Project General Settings -> Audio -> Untick Pan Law.

    Now give you ears a few moments to adjust, and play some older beats you have made in FL, and see if you noticed any difference? Especially in master volume and bass expression.

    2) It also used to bother me that people would create a beat in FL studio, just to dump the tracks into another DAW and mix. Outside of that being a good learning experience, i believe it's a waste of time (in the big picture). When exporting your files in FL studio, make sure you are saving as .WAV and not MP3. For whatever unknown reason, the mp3 conversion process in FL studio is MEH @ best. So i convert to mp3 AFTER i use mastering/limiting plugins in another application, like Audition/Cool Edit/Wave Lab.

    It just sounds better that way. And if you're burning a CD of Beats to be mailed out, it's best to keep them as .wav as well. ALthough they are bigger file sizes. (32 bit wav).

    3) Peaking and Limiting. That's always a noob issue. Either your mix is too distorted or too low. Well you can make your beat with FL Limiter ON by default, which will help tame your levels. However, it doesn't give you a true impression of your leveling skills with it on from the beginning. So turn it off or disable it while creating the beat, until you feel like you got a solid mix.

    Or use the "Soft Clipper". It's a great tool to use to make sure your levels don't get into distortion. Since i limit/compress my master track outside of FL, I prefer Soft Clipper or something similar.

    And remember also, on the step grid, all default samples are set to 80% which maybe be too LOUD when mixing with FL's mixer. So try turning down all levels (volume) to 60% THEN send to FL mixer, and adjust mix there.

    Drums/Snares not hitting? Well if you're using the step sequencer...DUH, the velocity is at default about 70%. So you can click the "Graph Editor" button at the top right of the step sequencer, and adjust your velocity levels. Which is also good to tweak for humanization.

    Also, the FL EQ 2 has some mastering presets floating around online that are good for raising your mix up a level without distortion. *google*

    4) Stiff Drums. This seems to be the main culprit in a "FL BEAT". This gives us the noob brand. Alot of users (including me) prefer the step sequencer to program drum patterns or percussion. However, most do not know how to humanize their patterns.

    Swing - This affects the way your notes are hit on the sequencer. It's the sliding bar on the top of the grid. I typically set mine to 9% up to 25%...even more for west coast'ish beats. It's real basic. But it helps alot to get rid of that super quantized FL feel.

    Graph Editor - As i mentioned before, you can adjust your "velocities" to create humanization on hats and snares and kicks. I don't recommend this for instruments. But if you slide the bar at the bottom of this editor over to "Shift" you can also create delayed hits on certain elements. Like you can slide your snares over...your hats over...a crash over. This helps phase cancelation when layering sounds. And creates a funky groove as well. 9th wonder is known to use this on his productions. Shift is my best friend.

    Quantize - So let's say you created your drums in the step sequencer, but want the swing of a Sp1200 or MPC or ASR. You can! Google "Mpc groove templates" for fl studio, or any other drum machine..and download the .fsc files. Mis tris offers some.

    So let's say your hi hats need some swing. After you click it in, right click on the hi-hat channel and "send to piano roll". once that's done, you will see your steps dissapear to a green lane. Double click that, and it will show you your notes..you can manually slide your hats (with snap turned off), add extra hits or layered sounds, and quantize (alt+q). Once in Quantize mode, it will show you a folder where you can select a template..FL has some by default. Experiment. But if you downloaded the MPC ones, just browse to em (i.e. MPC swing 70%) and click on..then adjust the "Start Time" and "sensitivity" until you get something you like.

    There's a tutorial on youtube about it. And a few google articles! SEARCH is your best friend.

    5) EQ. This deserves it's own thread. But EQ kills alot of us FL users. We got our heavy kicks and bass lines interfering. Our master mix has too much low end, and not enough mid. I mean this really deserves a better person to explain. But i suggest searching around for (Groove 3, Linda, Ask, Groovebox) sponsored Videos on mixing and or mastering. Any video featuring waves plugins or sonnox, will help you get an understanding about EQ and how to use it to improve your mixes.

    Even youtube waves plugins or sonnox, and listen to the EQ parts. This knowledge can be applied to ALL plugins (generally).

    I hope this helps you guys.

    Side Note: Compression hurts more than it helps, stay away from it if you can. Best used to tame inconsistent dynamics in things like vocals. Not so much to get things "louder". See: "Perceived Loudness" via google. You can really damage your dynamics in a mix by compressing too much.
    test
  2. Rizzie

    Rizzie Member

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    props on this, goood read
    test
  3. OmegaBts

    OmegaBts New Member

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    ..........
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  4. MgTheFuture

    MgTheFuture Music is my life

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    Does the sample interpolation setting effect anything when rendering to WAV ? I was under the impression there was no difference. If so, this tip would be most useful...LOL

    As for compression, I compress "busses" and the "master".

    Do you mean track by track like compress the snare/hate/bass/lead all individually. Or do you mean your main mixe(s) altogether?

    If so you're right compression (especially api and ssl waves) are really good to bring out the bottom of the track especially tied in with an inflator or warmer tool.
    test
  5. MgTheFuture

    MgTheFuture Music is my life

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    test
  6. nwo504

    nwo504 Rawtunez

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    thx for the tips bro
    test
  7. OmegaBts

    OmegaBts New Member

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  8. MgTheFuture

    MgTheFuture Music is my life

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    Oh damn, yeah you're right. I do create in 6 point hermite...because my computer cant handle nexus in anything much higher LOL

    So with it export, you can bump it right back up? That's nuts.

    Ill try it on my next beat, thanks for pointing that out and making it clear.

    -MG
    test
  9. ral4ever1985

    ral4ever1985 CHETA

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    one thing i can add (one of my methods)

    on main mixer track

    first put a d82 sonic maximizer (boost the mid knob a little to make your track sound fuller)
    second load a waves l3 maximizer and put some threshold till you see some attention

    do it right and your sound will come out sounding like this (all processed in FL)

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=773143&songID=7686682
    test
  10. nwo504

    nwo504 Rawtunez

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    nice one ral
    test
  11. MgTheFuture

    MgTheFuture Music is my life

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    R-A-L is definitely one of the dudes that set the bar for FL quality.
    test
  12. ral4ever1985

    ral4ever1985 CHETA

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    thanks MG, i dropped the RAL name tho haha. just like you dropped the D skills, i just didnt wanna start a whole new name over so yeah. do i really have to change my main name to get the point across ?? :p
    test
  13. MgTheFuture

    MgTheFuture Music is my life

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    Yeah i know, but i said ral so people didnt get confused with usernames and what not (lurkers)
    test
  14. OmegaBts

    OmegaBts New Member

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  15. ral4ever1985

    ral4ever1985 CHETA

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    yo mg i actually tried that panning law stuff out and it really does make a big difference on the tracks where i got sounds all panned out and stuff. makes it sound protools daw like
    test
  16. MgTheFuture

    MgTheFuture Music is my life

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    Tell me more about the harmonic exciter?

    And did you know those dream/prince drums... Price didnt use flange but a harmonic distortion device...crazy huh
    test
  17. OmegaBts

    OmegaBts New Member

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    ..........
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  18. ~G.I~

    ~G.I~ Guest

    some good tips in here.

    Cheta definatly got some non-fruity quality beats lol

    good looks on the post MG
    test
  19. HYPNOTIK

    HYPNOTIK Fully Loaded

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    Great Advice MG.

    I don't use FL, but it's a hell of a program and more powerful than ppl think.

    :thumb:
    test
  20. WISE

    WISE cheaa

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    mg is dskillz?.... listens to beats....... well i'll be damned.. u stepped ur game up homie.. shit i jus need sounds so i can fuck some shit up. broke as hell cant afford no keyboards jus working wit a new laptop n fl studio... lol. n shit i find around.
    test
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