We asked some of our 'Power Users'
how they got involved in music and how they use FL Studio.



 

UK based producer David Morris started producing music with an Amiga computer using 8-Bit samples, and so, the alias Boy 8-Bit. These days he's working under the names Roy Apron, Shako. We caught up with him to learn more about how FL Studio fits into his workflow...

 

 

Tell us about how you got into music ?

 

My name is David Morris and I live in London, though I am originally from Cornwall in the South West of the UK. I'm probably most known for my work as Boy 8-Bit where I have released on Labels such as Mad Decent, K7, Turbo, Blood Music, Trouble and Bass and more. I am lucky enough to have received essential new tune from Pete Tong's Radio One Essential Selection, for my track 'Baltic Pine' and I have also recorded several mixes for the station, including an Essential Mix, which was an incredible opportunity. I have around 40 or so official remixes as Boy 8-Bit (I've lost count) from La Roux and Florence and the Machine to Eric Prydz and Armand Van Helden.

My introduction to music was via my parents music collection. The first act I really remember enjoying was Queen, who my mum would regularly listen to on car journeys. This was my first introduction to rock music and from there I got more into Hard Rock and Metal, bands like Guns and Roses, Metallica, Megadeth and the like. When I was 11 my parents bought me my first guitar - a cheap Marlin Sidewinder with a awe inspiring "floating tremelo". From there I started having lessons and learned some music theory and got into more instrumental guitar acts like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. I also played in a few bands with school friends.

 

 

My first steps into electronic music came when I discovered a copy of The Prodigy's Experience album on the flip side of a tape copy of Slayer's 'Divine Intervention' album. I ended up listening to the Prodigy side more (wracked with guilt as my metal friends didn't approve) and I became really curious as to how this kind of music was made. At that time I had an Amiga computer with a copy of Octamed 4, which has some demo songs included, so I loaded it up and started learning to re-sequence the included samples into something new. That was the start of it, from there it lead on to trying my hand at making electronic music, mainly Jungle and Big Beat, which I got into in a big way. My parents bought me a £30 parallel port 'Megalosound' sampler for my birthday and after that there were no more boundaries (4 Channels of 8-Bit samples aside)

 

We hear you aren't working as Boy 8-Bit any more?

Yes, after ten years of releasing music under that name I decided to call it a day. I want to move on and try different things and I don't think they will all fit under the Boy 8-Bit banner. I have done a lot as Boy 8-Bit and I'm really happy with What I have achieved. But its over for now.

So whats next?

I am doing production work for other people, I have recently completed a four track EP for an artist called Barbarossa who is signed to a label called Memphis Industries. Its a nice mix of organic and electronic elements. Production for other people is something I really want to do more of, ultimately. I'm also continuing to put music out under my Roy Apron and Shako aliases. One more UK Bass influenced, the latter more uptempo acid techno. I'm working on a whole bunch of stuff. The ultimate aim is to get a label up and running to use it as an umbrella for all these projects. Thats something I am in discussions about now.

 

What are your favourite productions you have made as Boy 8-Bit?

 


I'm really happy with the Florence and the Machine and La Roux remixes. They were great to work with and had some incredible parts to make use of. As for original tracks,'Baltic Pine' and 'Chapel Of Ghouls' from the Baltic Pine EP, the latter was one of a bunch of tracks Thom Yorke has featured in his Radiohead Office Charts. Of my newer stuff, my two "B-Sides" 'Just Before Dawn' and 'Rival Turf'. Both very different. But I'm proud of everything I have put out to be honest, some of it may not have aged well, or the production may not be great as I was learning on the job, but at least I got them finished and out there.  

 

 

How did you start using FL Studio & what does it mean to your productions?

I initially started using a demo of Fruity Loops alongside a copy of Cubasis VST which I got packaged with my SoundBlaster Live! soundcard on my new shiny new post Amiga PC. I would program my drums in FL and then bounce out into Cubase. Coming from a tracker background I was frustrated by the longwinded nature of programming drums in audio, especially back then with something as basic as Cubasis. FL allowed me to easily get a beat going with a bit of swing. It was even less painful losing your work each time in FL than trying to do it in Cubasis! It eventually clicked that FL Studio would be all I needed to make music and along with the lifelong updates it was a no brainer to buy a license. I also picked up the beatslicer, which was a godsend.

 



I find FL Studio far more immediate for getting ideas down. The piano roll is miles ahead of any other DAWs out there. The Slicer and Slice X are also great. I still use a mixture of both, as even though SliceX is far more powerful, I like the simple timestretching options in Fruity Slicer. I also enjoy using the internal controllers, a bunch of my remixes have had vocals sliced up and then their pitch altered to match a melody via the use of the Keyboard controller mapped to the pitch knob. I have also done similar things with Directwave, but using the looping and time stretching functions to give it a different effect. The Edison editor is also an amazingly simple but great tool, especially for resampling elements of a track and working them into something else. 

 

Tell us about your production environment & toys?

 

 

I have been using the same PC for a while now, its a 3ghz Intel with 2gig ram and two 500gb HDs one System and one for Audio. I still run Windows XP as with my Audio computer I have a "if it aint broke" mentality. I have an EMU 1820m Soundcard which I have used for about 10 years. It can be a bit temperamental, but it sounds great. It is discontinued now I think, so part of the reason I am tied to Windows XP! I use FL versions 8 - 11. Mainly so I can load up old ideas and then export them out as zips and load them into FL 11. I finally took the plunge to get away from blocks and I am completely sold on pattern clips. Once you know the F4 key and force yourself to name a pattern it becomes so much more easier.

Plugins wise, I use a lot of stock FL generators and Effects. I like more retro synths so have a bunch of the Gmedia products, Oddity, impocar and the Mellotron.. I also use UAD plugins, the Roland Space Echo, The EMT plate and the precision series tools being my favourite. I also have some of the Slate Digitial plugins such as virtual console and the FX-G Maximizer plugin which is great for getting loud demo masters to play out.

For monitoring I use a Mackie Big Knob Conroller and a set of Genelec 1029a monitors.

I actually work in our office space, which is split via a partition from our sons bedroom. I used to have a studio, but it was probably a bit excessive.

Toys wise, a few synths. A Yamaha DX 100, A Yamaha CS01, A Roland TB303 a friend has kindly lent me. A TR 505 Drum machine that I got for £5 from a carboot sale. I also have an EMU E6400 sampler that used to belong to DJ Zinc of 'Super Sharp Shooter' fame. Its an absolute beast of a machine but due to child induced working time restraints I really don't get to use it as much as I would like. I have an old Zoom FX pedal I like to use for grungy Fx too. Almost all my out board has been acquired for free, lent or bought for cheap. Aside from the cheap 505, I got the CS01 for £3 in a junk shop. I've been pretty lucky!

 

 

Do you have any links you would like to share?


I recently did a FACT magazine 'Against The Clock' feature, where I had ten minutes to make a "beat". That should give a good overview of what I use and the basic way in which I lay down ideas in FL Studio:

Here is a link to the project after a couple of hours arranging and tidying. Its not perfect, but it could hopefully give people some ideas:

Click here to get the project

Here is my Boy 8-Bit Soundcloud which has most of the stuff under that alias:

https://soundcloud.com/boy8bit/

Here is a link to some of the early Amiga music, a bit of Gabber and Jungle:

https://soundcloud.com/boy8bit/sets/amiga-music
 

David.

  

 






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POWER USER LIST


K-391 (Kenneth Nilsen)
"I released a song called 'Electro House 2012' which passed 500k in just some weeks"

Rich Kidd (Ritchie)
"makes the work flow quicker"

Aryay (Mickey Karbal)
"FL means everything for my productions"

Polar Youth (Elisabeth)
"FL Studio means everything to my creativity"

Hellberg
"I've tried other DAWs, but none have suited me like FL Studio, it's something about it"

Heatbeat (Matias & Agustin)
"...we work 100% on FL Studio, we don't even need another software to master the track..."

Arno Cost (Vadim Constantin)
"With FL studio, everything is simple, intuitive but you can also push your mixing, your mastering, your editing very far."

Julian Jordan
"All my tracks are made in FL Studio and I still learn a lot from it"

Mightyfools (Jelle & Andy)
"As both of us know all the ins and outs of the program, a basic beat, sketch, melody or idea is done in minutes"

Billain (Adis Kutkut)
"FL Studio studio is my main operating system for music composition, it is where literally everything happens"

PIXL
"What I loved the most how intuitive the UI on FL Studio was and the ease of using the Piano roll..."

Tucandeo (Daniel & Kevin)
"FL Studio's slick, easy to use interface was most comfortable for us"

Zardonic (Federico Agreda)
"FL Studio means EVERYTHING to me"

David Morris (Boy 8-Bit, R ...
"The piano roll is miles ahead of any other DAWs out there"

WondaGurl (Ebony Oshunrinde)
"FL means everything to my productions."

SeamlessR (Stephen O'Leary)
"FL Studio is the center of everything I do."

Martin Garrix
"If I have an idea I want to be able to work it out really fast..."

Adam Szabo
"FL Studio popped up. After trying it out, my mind was blown..."

Aura Qualic
"I don't know how you folks at Image-Line made it so good..."

Sarom Soundz
"So you can say right now that FL Studio is my life and the main tool to my livelihood."

Ummet Ozcan
"I don't do any additional processing it's all FL Studio even my mastering."

eoslinz (Lindsay Hawkins)
"The interface made perfect sense to me immediately and allowed me to create music within a matter of hours"

Walden
"...once i started getting used to the program, well lets just say that I've never looked back!"

Louis La Roche (Brett Ewels)
"FL Studio: I found my workflow a lot quicker and so I stuck with it

Camo & Krooked (Reinhard & ...
"FL Studio...we have been hooked on it. It’s the only DAW we are using"

Cazzette (Alex & Sebastian)
"The workflow in FL is incredible"

Bare (Sean Rodela)
"There might as well be no BARE if there is no FL"

AaronicStuff (Aaron V)
"[FL Studio] really shows how flexible the software can be"

Savant (Aleksander Vinter)
"I work FAST, FL Studio is the only DAW that can keep up with me."

Maor Levi
"I could never have inspiration that quick if it wasn't for the amazing engine of FL Studio"

BT (Brian Transeau)
"FL is such a fresh approach to composition. It literally blows me away every time I work in it."

Project 46 (Thomas & Ryan)
"It is the cornerstone of our productions and without it we would not be able to make the music we do."

Dot Rotten (Joseph Ellis)
"It pushes me as a producer, it never fails me, its also a program that helps create success over the years."

Sacco (Matias Monteagudo)
"I have yet to find a software that is as cool and has such a fast workflow as in FL, and believe me I tried everything."

Ronald Jenkees
"...I don't really endorse anything, but spreading the word of FL Studio has been a no-brainer because it's given me so much"

Tritonal
"FL Studio has been the powerhouse behind many of our productions as Tritonal and remains a go-to production tool"

SoundTakt
"FL Studio helped us realize our creative potential and hone our skills"

Tom Swoon
"It's so addictive! There's too many awesome features to list"

Marcus D
"A fellow Seattle producer introduced me to FL Studio ... I grew up on the cusp of the digital production age and didn't have the money to buy hardware, so naturally software was my go-to move"

Synthetic Orchestra (Blake ...
"Not only did the patterns in the playlist feel just right, but the piano roll was more powerful than anything I had used before"

Seven Lions
"It has the best work flow and out of any DAW I have used"

Tristam
"The pattern/clip set up is amazing, I mean 'make unique' is just bliss!"

Phoenix (The Sound Killers)
"It's simple at the end of the day. Everything they [other DAWs] can Do FL can do better"

Naden (Daniel Taranger)
"Ever since i tried fl studio, the program and I just clicked"

Amirhossein Zolghadri‏
"FL Studio has a great environment and makes it so easy to be in touch with the tools"

Indivision
"we haven't met any other sequencer which would help us to lay down our ideas so quickly and simply"

Protafield (Jayce Lewis)
"[FL Studio] really has become a big part of what I am as an artist"

Dexplicit
"FL Studio is without a doubt the most important tool in my inventory"

Mick Gordon
"I use it [FL Studio] for scoring, sequencing, designing sounds, and musical sound design. It's just so easy to work with, and work with quickly"

Madeon
"...with the incredible depth of the software, I never feel like something isn't achievable"

Mehran (Mehran Abbasi)
"My dreams came true when I was introduced to FL Studio. This software has formed a big part of my life & I am so glad because of it I am enjoying my music."

Richy Pena
"Before you know it I was playing the keyboard, recording melodies on to FL Studio and creating songs"

Ephixa (James Leusink)
"I have never left FL because of my love for the piano roll"

Varien (Nick Pittsinger)
"I tried other DAWs like Live and Reason, but nothing got my ideas out faster and better than FL Studio"

Boi-1da (Matthew Samuels)
"A friend had told me about FL Studio, I ended up going out and getting a copy of it and using it ever since "

Danyella
"I loved the user-friendly layout. Just a few months later my tracks were already signed away to labels "

audiopeel (Kieron Gore)
"The fruit however struck a chord. It's interface and workflow, everything seemed logical."

Rodney Anonymous (Dead Mil ...
"I still consider Fruity Loops the most addictive substance I've ever been exposed to"

Cyriak Harris (animator)
"Most of my videos start months before I even realise it. That's when I make the music that will eventually inspire the visuals of the video"

Ajurika (Akitaka Tohyama)
"I am instantly able to achieve the desired result and also to create the sound I am looking for."

Veela
"I quickly came to realize how complex and beautiful the program really was"

Andrew Aversa (Zircon)
"Trying to use any other piano roll after working in FL was like having my mouse dipped in molasses"

Hitfinders (Andrew, Luca & ...
"We noticed it [FL Studio] while reading a producers forum, and were instantly hooked"

Pete Marriott
"When I realized how I could use it as a sound design and production tool I became hooked instantly"

The Flashbulb (Benn Jordan)
"Nuendo and Pro Tools wasted a lot of my time, and I started noticing that FL Studio was blossoming"

MdL (Mason Levy)
"FL Studio is the fastest and most inspiring piece of software in my workflow."

Afrojack (Nick van de Wall)
"Don't let people tell you that Logic or other programs are 'superior' "

Feed Me / Spor (Jon Gooch)
"Despite working on other platforms occasionally I still find FL the fastest and most powerful way to get my ideas down."

Porter Robinson
"At first, FL stood out to me just because it was vastly more intuitive and usable...there's way too many awesome FL Studio features to list"

Avicii (Tim Berg)
"It's so easy and quick to use ... I literally couldn't shut the program down."

Anurag Dixit
"I’ve used every damn thing that can make music, but nothing comes close to FL."

Alex Medina
"I was first drawn to FL Studio's when a friend introduced me to it and taught me how to make hip hop beats. To this day I have used FL Studio..we are one :)"

Matthew Dear
On FL Studio: "It came highly recommended through various artists I'd meet on the road. I finally gave it a shot, and it immediately enhanced my production techniques..."

Infinity
"It means Everything, without FL i wouldn't be producing."

Ripley+Jenson
"When I took a look at a FL demo version in order to understand it, I discovered that it was the software I always had been looking for."

Nely (Arma Secreta)
"For me FL studio is the easiest way to project your ideas and anybody can lay out any musical ideas."

Big Giant Circles (Jimmy H ...
"FL has always been centric to my studio. It's the cornerstone of my creative process"

Jay Frog (ex-Scooter)
"The fact to compose songs and quickly notate ideas on the road within FL Studio was a real innovation for me."

Secret Cinema
"I bumped into Fruityloops at version 3 and Immediately loved it!"

AudioJack
"We are known for having an individual sound to our music and FL Studio has been a key part to shaping that"

Tom Ellard
"It was the Fruity Scratcher that finally convinced me to use FL Studio... It feels like I'm using the hardware but I can save the whole patching system to hard drive."

Jeff Samuel
"Once Fruityloops started to use audio and sampler channels, I switched and never looked back! It was tremendously powerful just with those features but no one really realized it until years later."

Meg Hentges
"FL Studio (plus a wave editor) is the only software I ever use ...and since FL added audio recording, my rack mounted hard disk recorder rarely gets switched on."

Franchize Boyz
"Franchize Boyz and Fruity Loops"

Seismic Crew
"I used the demo of FL a lot back before I was making any real money with my music. I had been using the old software drum machine Hammerhead, but FL offered endlessly more flexibility and power."

Toby Emerson
"I found the demo while searching on the internet for a program that I could create drumloops with. I ended up finding FL studio and have been hooked ever since. It is more addictive than crack (not that I have tried that)."

Peter Presta
"A friend of mine introduced me to FL Studio and I instantly fell in love with the sounds you could create as they ALL sounded so BIG. I was Totally Hooked on FL Studio from there!"

Doug Lazy
"... stumbled across FL while surfing. I tried it and immediately Loved it. I was still into hardware at the time but slowly over the last few years have transferred my work to PC exclusively with FLS."

Mark Tinley
On Fl Studio: "It means I can create multi-track drum loops, music loops or even entire songs and dump them straight into Pro Tools for further mixing."

Steve Duda
"FL means a whole lot, if I were restricted to one item of music software on my PC, it would certainly be FL."

Justin Lassen
"Probably around '98, a friend showed me FruityLoops. I just thought it was the coolest piece of software."

Basshunter
"A friend of mine showed me Fruityloops when I visited his place for a LAN party, and I got hooked right away."

DeadMau5 (Joel Zimmerman)
"It’s ease of use and fast results are what get the ideas down as fast as they come to my head, and that’s really important for me"

9th Wonder
"The programs we use are Cool Edit Pro and FL Studio. Those are the two programs that we use, and that's what we did the whole album on."

Mike Oldfield
"It is very good to see a product like FL Studio which is available to all and doesn't cost $10000000000 of dollars"



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