FL Studio Groove
FL Studio Groove is a multi-channel drum sampler, multi-timbral hybrid synthesizer and sequencer in the 'Groove Box' style, inspired by hardware of this genre. Special attention has been
paid to live performance and multi-touch operation. FL Studio Groove gives you control of 10 drum/sampler channels and 5 synthesizer channels, with all the detail and complex knob-twiddling
you'd expect on full sized Digital Audio Workstation application. Most importantly, this thing is a heap of fun and bound to waste vast amounts of your time. Until you make a hit tune with it,
then not a waste, and will not only pay for itself but likely your house too. Why not buy the entire neighborhood and flatten it to make a go-kart track, or a runway to land your jet. Your
fleets of jets! But we are getting ahead of ourselves, we better find out how to use this thing first :)
FL Studio Groove includes a Piano roll with step-sequencer functionality (PIANO ROLL tab) driving 10 drum/sampler channels and 5 synthesizer channels. Each Channel
has a complete set of independent controls and effects. Come on, pay attention, we have hardly started the manual yet and your eyes are already glazing over.
The main functions in FL Studio Groove include:
- Keyboard & Drumpads - for playing drum and synthesizer parts. This swaps between drum-pad and keyboard view depending on what Channel is selected.
- Piano Roll - for entering and editing note data.
- Mixer Controls - that contains a mixer and effects section.
- Automation Editor - for editing the recorded movements of controls.
- MIDI Control - control FL Studio Groove with MIDI controllers.
Creating Complete Songs
There are two, complimentary, ways you can create a complete song:
- Switch tracks on and off - Build up a loop with all the synth and drum parts for the song playing together. From the Mixer deselect
instruments you don't want to play at the start (do this by tapping the numbers along the top of the tracks). Press Record then Play. While recording switch on and off the instrument tracks to
create the desired arrangement. Press stop and use the Automation Editor to tidy up any mistakes. Now render your song to audio from the Load/Save pop-up screen.
- Switch between loops - Create up to 8 Loops, using any or all drum and synth parts. Use the loops as song sections, for example - Intro [Loop 1 > Loop 2], Middle [Loop 3 > Loop 4],
End [Loop 5], Outro [Loop 6]. Chain the loops together into a complete song using the Mixer tab. Select Loop 1 and press Record then Play to start the first section.
Then, on the Mixer tab, press Loop 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 at the appropriate time. Loop triggering is recorded in the Automation Editor (where you can correct errors).
Finally, render your song to audio from the Load/Save pop-up screen.
NOTE: Combine both these methods, switching instrument tracks on/off and switching between loops to create more complex arrangements.
The following apply to most controls:
- Reset - Double tap control.
- Selectors - Tap to select from a pop-up menu. Swipe to step through options in a category.
Quick Getting Started Tutorial
Check the video Playlist Below for tutorials. Yes it's just like watching TV, except educational...
Example workflow. If you can count to 13, you can make a hit tune with this thing surely:
- Tap the lower-left fruit icon to open the File Options.
- Tap NEW GROOVE to open a blank project.
- Tap the top-left <empty> tab showing the drum kit icon to open the Drums Tab.
- Tap Pads where they say <empty> to select them. This area will show the name of the sound once loaded.
- Tap the top-right <empty> Channel Load button to open the sample browser and select sounds. You can left/right swipe on this area to cycle through sounds in the category.
- Tap the SCORE EDIT tab at the lower right of the page to open the Piano roll. We will manually enter a basic percussion loop.
- Tap the Snap (magnet icon) and set to 1/4 beat. This will make notes easier to place, in time, on the grid.
- Tap along the Piano roll to add notes where you want beats. If you misplace a note, tap and hold it then drag to the desired location.
- Tap the KEYBOARD tab on the lower-right.
- Tap the first synth Channel to select it.
- Tap the top-right <empty> Channel Load button and select a sound.
- Press the Record button then Play button and record a synth part over your percussion loop.
- Repeat the above until your loop is completed.
NOTE: The length of data in the Piano roll will determine the loop length. Loops are to the nearest whole bar.
Along the top of the KEYBOARD panel is the DRUM Channel (there's 10 inside that one tab) and 5 SYNTH Channels. The DRUM Channel can play up to 10 individual percussion tracks each containing
one sound comprised of 2 layered samples. Each synthesizer Channel is a polyphonic synthesizer (meaning it's able to play chords). Ok time to show us those finger-tapping skills!
Loading sounds for the Drum Pads and Synthesizers uses the same process:
- Drumpads - 1. Select the Drums tab, 2. select the pad then 3. load a sound from the upper-right corner from the samples pop-up menu.
- Synthesizers - 1. Select a Synth tab (5 available) and 2. select a sound from the upper-right corner from the presets pop-up menu.
NOTE: At this time is not possible to load custom samples. This is planned for a future (free) update.
Each Drumpad can hold 2 samples. The controls are located on the right hand side of the screen, some of these (GLITCH, LEVEL, FX, EQ and Sample) are also accessible from the MIXER tab.
- GLITCH, LEVEL, FX & EQ - Are described in the Mixer section below.
- SAMPLE - Load 1 or 2 samples per pad (tap the SAMPLE 1/2 boxes to open the pop-up menu). You can vertically swipe these selectors to step through samples. Adjust the BALANCE
between Sample 1 and Sample 2. TUNE 1 & 2 the pitch of each sample respectively and DELAY sample 1 or 2 start with the bi-directional slider. Move up to delay the Sample 1 and down
to delay Sample 2. Use the DELAY to create effects or to solve phase-cancellation issues with layered samples.
Each synthesizer is based on a 2-oscillator unit. The oscillators can act in Subtractive, FM (Frequency Modulation) & RM (Ring Modulation) modes. While it may look complex at first, it will
continue to look complex at second glance and then confuse you some more, so don't stare. Behind the complexity is the power to perform a wide range of synthesis techniques that will keep
FL Studio Groove sounding fresh into the future. A great way to learn how the Synthesizer works is to load the presets and pull them apart to see how they are made.
- GLITCH, LEVEL, FX & EQ - Are described in the Mixer section below.
- WAVE - Load 1 or 2 wave-shapes per Channel (tap the WAVE A/B boxes to open the pop-up menu). Swipe vertically on the selectors to step through waves. The waveform controls
- BALANCE - WAVE A/B balance. The slider is bi-polar so upward adds WAVE B to A and downward subtracts WAVE B from A (inverts WAVE B). 0% is 100% WAVE A. 50%/-50% is an equal mix of WAVE A
and WAVE B. 100%/-100% is 100% WAVE B.
- PITCH B - the pitch of WAVE B relative to WAVE A in semi-tone.
- FINE B - Pitch of wave B in Cents.
- PHASE B - Starting phase of WAVE B. This control allows for phase cancellation type effects and also Ring Modulation mode is very sensitive to phase.
- NOISE - Adds white noise to the oscillator mix.
- MOD - Oscillator A/B modulation options. It's important to note that all the modulation types depend heavily on the Amount slider being close to 100% to hear the
full effect. To ignore the sound of WAVE B make sure the BALANCE on the WAVE tab is set to 0% (default).
- RING MOD (Ring Modulation) - WAVE A is multiplied by WAVE B to produce a new sound. This adds complex harmonic overtones to the sound.
- FREQ MOD (Frequency Modulation) - The Frequency of WAVE A is multiplied by WAVE B to produce a new sound.
- HARDSYNC (Hard Oscillator Sync) - WAVE A cycle will be synchronized to WAVE B. This means that each time WAVE B completes a cycle wave A will be reset to start again, regardless of where
it was in its own cycle. This type of modulation responds dramatically to the Amount slider and also likes to be modulated by the LFO section (set DEST to OSC MOD).
- FILTER - WAVE B modulates WAVE A's filter frequency cutoff.
- ENV - Controls the shape, speed and target of the general purpose Envelope. The envelope can be used to modulate (control) a number of targets within the synthesizer.
- CONTOUR - Envelope ramp shape. Positive values are convex and negative values are concave.
- ADSR - ATTACK (note-on ramp up time), DECAY (envelope ramp down to Sustain level time), SUSTAIN (level to sustain while key is held), RELEASE
(ramp down time on note release).
- FILTER (switch) - Envelope controls filter amount.
- B->A OSC MOD (switch) - Envelope controls B to A Oscillator modulation. NOTE: When the MOD AMOUNT setting is above zero and RING, FREQ or HARD SYNC modulation is selected.
- FREQ (Switch) - Envelope controls the frequency (pitch) of the oscillator.
- LFO - Controls the shape, speed and target of the general purpose Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO). LFOs are used to modulate (control) a number of targets within the synthesizer, wherever
an LFO can be selected.
- CONTOUR - Positive values add a convex shape to the waveform (fatten), negative values a concave shape (thin).
- WAVEFORM - Select from Sine, Saw or Square waveform.
- DEST - Select from Filter, Oscillator Modulation, Frequency (pitch), Level (volume) or Panning.
- SYNC RATE - Lock the LFO frequency to the tempo. 1/4 (per beat) is fast. 32/1 (8 bars) is slow.
- VOICES - Synthesizer play behavior.
- TRANSPOSE - Pitch in semi-tones.
- SLIDE - Slide time from one note to the next.
- MONO LEAD - Monophonic mode. Only one note can play at a time for the selected channel.
- AUTO SLIDE - Notes must overlap to slide. Otherwise they play normally.
- CHOIR - Chorus detune amount. Chorus plays multiple voices/notes on each key to create a richer sound.
- CHOIR STR - Chorus stereo spread. A little detune (CHOIR) and a little stereo spread makes a cool wide sound.
- CHORD - Chorus type. SOLO to QUARTET - Choose between 1 and 4 voices to play. The following effects require DUET or more to
be set. UNISON - All voices are based on the same note. OCTAVE - Voices are spaced an octave apart. FIFTH - Voices are spaced 5 semitones apart.
Often called a Piano roll for obscure historical reasons, the note editor will let you fix those wrong notes you hit and cover your tracks. "Yeah, I 'played' all the instruments in this
Use the Piano Roll to edit recorded notes or to manually edit in notes.
To perform the following actions:
- Select notes - Tap and drag across a group of notes to select them. On selection the following pop-up edit options will be available:
- Copy, Paste, Duplicate, Quantize (align notes to grid), Delete and Cut.
- Delete note/s - Tap and hold note/selection and use the delete drop-down option.
- Set velocity - Tap and hold note/selection and drag vertically. Watch the note velocity shown as a lighter yellow bar within the note.
- Set length - Tap and hold note/selection and drag horizontally.
- Zoom vertically - Pinch-zoom the left side piano-keyboard.
- Scroll vertically - Drag vertically on the left-side piano-keyboard.
- Zoom horizontally - Pinch-zoom the lower beat-ruler.
- Scroll horizontally - Drag horizontally on the lower beat-ruler.
NOTE: The properties of the last-touched note are remembered so you can tap existing notes and then on a blank area to add new ones of the same duration and velocity.
OK time to look like a superstar DJ. You just know when people see you using all these knobs and sliders they're gonna think you have a PhD in 'COOL'!
The mixer shows the 10 sample pad Channels and the 5 synth Channels. The vertical strips show to the right side while on the other tabs (KEYBOARD, SCORE EDIT & AUTOMATION).
TIP: To access the real time X/Y modulation tap any Channel control icon (LEVEL to SAMPLE), hold and move horizontally and vertically. If you select the icon before tap-and-holding you will be
able to see the X/Y modulation parameters moving so you know what they are.
The following controls are common to all Channels:
- GLITCH - This is a repeat/stutter effect. Press the 1/4 (Alt 1/32), 3/8 (Alt reverse 3/8), 1/2 (Alt reverse 1/2), 3/4 (Alt reverse 3/4)
and 1/1(Alt reverse 1/1) to produce repeat effects. The 1/4 button functions as an ALT key and so holding this along with each of the other buttons provides the effect shown in brackets.
- LEVEL - Change the volume of the selected Channel. Volume & Panning - X - Pan. Y - Level.
- EQ - The Equalizer (EQ) includes 5 bands, one variable frequency. Parametric equalization. X - Center frequency. Y - Level.
- PEAK (Parametric EQ band) - has a +/- 12 dB boost/cut range. Peak Frequency - Sets the center range on which the peak band acts, this can be varied between
16 Hz to 16 kHz which covers the range of the fixed bands below. This is useful for selecting specific frequencies in the mix and removing them or automating and
sweeping through the Peak Frequency range to create interesting effects.
- LOW, MIDDLE, TREBLE and HIGH peaking Equalizers. Each band has a +/- 12 dB boost/cut range.
TIP: Generally it's best to use EQ to cut unwanted frequencies rather than boost wanted frequencies as this results in a clearer mix.
- FX - There are 3 configurable FX per Channel. Automation - Tap and hold on the selector and then drag vertical/horizontal to access the X/Y automation. Chose from:
- DIST - Distortion. X - Overdrive amount. Y - Decimation.
- FLANGER - Flanging. X - Time (flanger depth). Y - Feedback.
- PHASER - Phasing. X - Time (phaser depth). Y - Feedback.
- FLT LP/HP - High and Low pass filtering. X - Filter cutoff. Y - Resonance amount.
- DELAY - Delay/Echo. X - Feedback amount (echo strength) Y - Echo filtering.
- REVRB - Reverberation. X - Feedback (Reverb decay time). Y - Filter (damping).
- PANNER - Panning. X - Left/Right pan position. Y - Distance (Binaural effect).
- RING - X - Modulator frequency Y - Not used. Ring modulation multiplies the input (your music) with a sine wave oscillator (FM synthesis style).
- VOX - X - Vowel sound (A,E,I,O,U). Y - Throat size. Creates human vocal resonance sounds.
NOTE: All effects also have a LFO control that will modulate the depth of the effect. Choose LFO amount and Waveform.
- LOOP 1 - 8 - Tap these to trigger the desired loop. The shortest a loop can be is 1 bar, with no maximum length. Chain loops together by selecting record and triggering the loops at the
desired time. Loop triggering is recorded in the Automation tab and is displayed along the bottom of the page.
The Master effects include a Limiter, great for loudness maximization, and an 8 band graphic equalizer. These effects are applied to the output of FL Studio Groove and come AFTER the main
Output Gain (swipe horizontally to change) and accessed from the bottom Control Bar where FX is shown (as noted below).
The effect order is Limiter followed by Equalizer.
- Limiter - Limiting is a form of volume compression and is great for maximizing the loudness of your tracks. The effect limits the height of peaks in the audio wave, and so allow
the quieter sounds in the track to be turned up, using Post Gain, without the output distorting (digital clipping). Clipping distortion is particulary harsh and unpleasant and will ruin
the sound of rendered audio files. When used correctly, the limiter will add more bottom end punch/weight to kicks and other bass-heavy sounds. The effect of the Limiter will depend on the
overall level of your project and the level of the Output Gain that feeds into the Master FX section. NOTE: If you have experience with traditional Limiters, the controls here are a little different than
you may normally expect so read on.
- Limiter peak meter (left side) - Shows the input signal (in blue) and the portion of the input above threshold (in orange). If there isn't any signal above threshold then the
Limiter won't be acting.
- Thresh - The level at which the Limiter starts limiting audio peaks. As the threshold is lowered, Limiting increases and so the volume will fall. To make up for this, use the
Post Gain to increase the output level again. NOTE: The Output Gain on the Control Bar precedes the
Limiter and can also be used to drive the signal level above threshold, without causing a volume drop.
- Curve - This interacts with the release to control the 'dwell time' at higher limiting values. A straight line means that the limiting follows a 1:1 relationship to the input
peaks. A steep 'J' curve will cause the limiting value to increase suddenly and so sustain at high limiting values for longer. In this way the curve controls the strength/duration of the limiting
effect. Use this in conjunction with the release to control the 'pumping' or 'breathing' sound that can accompany the release phase of the limiting effect.
- Curve graphic display - Two parameters are shown: 1. The curve shape reflects the curve sustain setting. 2. The moving dot shows the limiter amount. Bottom left is
maximum limiting while top right is no volume limiting. The dot travels along the line (from top right to bottom left) when the input signal exceeds the Limiting threshold. Curved settings
will cause the dot to spend more time lower in the graph, and so limiting will 'dwell' at higher values. Fine tuning the curve is often necessary to make the limiting effect less intrusive
compared to the original input.
- Ref HP - Reference High-Pass filter. Use this to fine-tune the frequencies that trigger the limiter. For example, use this to adjust this setting so that the limiter is triggered by the attack
part of the Kick sound rather than the bass. Set by ear and by eye (on the moving dot). As you change the value the dot will move more or less as it is triggered
by different frequencies.
- Release - Time taken to return to a non-limiting state after triggering. When the Limiter is triggered it quickly lowers the output volume to compensate for
the passing peak, then returns to the original level if no subsequent peaks trigger the effect before the release is completed. Use the release control to avoid 'fluttering' when the limiter
is being triggered and released too often. Keep an eye on the dot, if it's fluttering up and down, increase the release to smooth the effect. Generally the dot should
pump (down) in time with the main beats, smoothly rising to the next beat and down again (not jiggling about between beats). Alternatively, try raising the Threshold or use a combination
of the two controls.
- Post Gain - Output volume from the limiter. After limiting the audio peaks should be lowered. Use the Post Gain to take up the available 'headroom' (distance between the peaks and the
0 dB maximum output level) and so maximize the volume of the track.
NOTE: Limiting can be a challenging effect to learn. Controls are often subtle, at anything other than extreme settings, and so can leave you wondering if the control is set 'just right'
or even if it's doing anything at all. If you have no previous experience using compressors or limiters we recommend using the default settings and changing the Threshold and then Post Gain levels. After becoming
comfortable with how these change the sound, move onto adjusting the Curve and Release settings. Finally, learn the REF HP control.
- Center Peak Meter - This meter shows the output of both the Mastering Effects. If it flashes red this means that the output was over 0 dB and digital clipping has occurred. This is a
form of distortion that will ruin any audio recordings you render from the application. If you see red flashes turn down the Post Gain level on the Limiter.
- Equalizer - The equalizer allows you to increase or decrease bands by 8 dB (0.4x to 2.5x). For reference +6 dB is twice as loud and -6 dB is half as loud for the selected frequency band
but you set these by ear, not based on the numbers. A good technique is to carefully listen and cut unwanted frequencies rather than boost the wanted ones. Then use the Post Gain on the Limiter
section to increase the overall loudness.
- 80 Hz - Sub bass (rumble)
- 160 Hz - 320 Hz - Bass (drums, bass)
- 640 Hz - 2.5 kHz - Mid range (vocals, instruments)
- 5.1 kHz - 10 kHz - Treble (cymbals, breathy sounds)
If your boss is coming flip up this screen and he will think you are doing some business model simulation and give you a raise.
Automation block data is not internally editable but can be copy/pasted/deleted and moved like notes.
Types of data:
- Switches - Automated switches show as ON/OFF blocks. These can be moved, copy, pasted and deleted.
- Knobs and sliders - Show as blocks containing lines which reveal the automation values. These blocks can be moved, copy, pasted, split, combined and deleted.
- Lower graph - Below the main edit window to the left are three Display Filter switches, use these to simplify the information displayed:
- Display Section - Automation associated with the Channel controls currently selected and shown on the right-side of the display (LEVEL, FX, EQ etc).
- Display Channel - Automation associated with the Selected Channel. That is, the Drum or Synth tab is selected along the top of the display.
- Display Master - Shows global controls such as GLITCH, Tempo, Master Gain etc.
- Loop - Shows what loop is triggered at each point.
- Horizontal lines - Activity in the 15 Channels (10 drum and 5 synth).
NOTE: MIDI functions are enabled only for computers running Windows 8.1
Update 1 on X64 CPUs (this excludes Windows RT/ARM/x86 until such time Microsoft makes the MIDI functionality available for these systems).
FL Studio Groove responds to MIDI input, it does not yet output MIDI. For all MIDI controllers start here:
- Connect the MIDI controller/s to your computer and wait for it to be detected, and install drivers if required. Tap the MIDI button.
- Select the MIDI Controller from the list.
- After selecting a MIDI controller link it to targets in FL Studio Groove as follows:
- Tap the Drum Pad you want to link to your controller.
- Tap the KBD TRK button to start the link process.
- Press the key/pad/button on your controller you want to link to the drumpad.
- Repeat for any pads you want to play.
Keyboards are automatically mapped to the Synthesizer keys.
- Move the target parameter (or activate the switch) on FL Studio Groove.
- Tap the LINK button to start the process.
- Move the knob/slider/wheel/button/key/pad etc, on your controller you want to link to the target.
- Repeat for any parameters you want to access.
Code: Maxx Claster
Presets: Toby Emerson, Arlo G (nucleon).
You: Superstar operator making Image-Line look good.