I am currently editing this post from years ago and converting it into a step-by-step guide with updated FL Studio 21 screenshots. If you happen to stumble across this page, don’t fret. The producer series is getting a complete makeover!
In Part 2, we discussed Edison and the FL Slicer.
For this article, we’ll go over mapping samples with Edison and the FPC and also go over a few tips and tricks that will save you lots of headaches.
After that, we’ll touch on Slicex and some of its features as well.
The FPC is a handy little tool that works really well with any MIDI drum pad you may have, and today I’m going to walk you through the process.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll continue using it with the Novation FL Key.
The FL Key is by far the best option with FL Studio as it auto-maps everything for you.
Furthermore, it’s super intuitive and the button system is fun and easy to navigate.
Seriously, just get one. You won’t be sorry.
Once you’ve chopped your sample in Edison, navigate toward the top left and click Add > FPC.
Now go to the top right of the FPC and you’ll see 2 arrows pointing away from each other.
Right-click one of them and hit “empty.”
Alternatively, you can click on each pad and press “delete” to dump the sound, but who wants to waste time doing that?
In any event, now we can put our own sounds in.
Before doing so, press F6 to bring up your channel rack, and note where it says “Empty.”
Right-click the button and hit “Rename, color and icon.”
Rename it to “FPC.”
On the very left where it shows the pad numbers, there’s an arrow pointing down.
Click that, and then hit “Map notes for entire bank.”
Now physically press each pad on your device, from left to right starting at the bottom left corner.
If you have a device with only 8 pads, simply switch to Bank B to continue the process.
Now go back to Edison and on the very bottom left corner there’s an arrow.
Click it, scroll down to snap > snap to regions.
Now highlight the entire first slice in Edison with your mouse and drag it onto the first pad using the “Drag / copy sample / selection arrow that we used in Part 2 on the top right of Edison.
Do the same for the rest of the chops!
When you’re finished, the pads should look something like this:
Upon hitting one of the pads, you may notice the sample plays over itself and results in a terrible mess.
To fix this, use the Cut By feature (shown with the arrow above).
Near the top right of the FPC, you’ll notice it says “Midi Note” “Cut” “Cut by” and “Output.”
Both the cut and cut by are set to 0. Using your mouse, raise them each to 1 and repeat for all of the samples.
Now when you play a sample and hit it more than once in succession, it won’t overlap.
As you can see, the FPC method is pretty cool, but simply having the FL Key makes the process a whole heck of a lot simpler.
Speaking of simple and effective, what about the Slicex?
Slicex is fairly similar to Edison.
Let’s take a look.
Go to Add > Slicex, and load your sample by clicking that same floppy disk icon from Edison.
As always, turn off auto-dump to prevent the slices from being copied to the piano roll. It’s near the top right.
Next, highlight the portion of the sample you want to use and hit control + delete. This will get rid of what you aren’t using.
Alternatively, if you want to simply delete a portion, just highlight it and press delete.
As with Edison, there’s an auto-slicing function that works in the same way.
Just right-click and choose from the same options:
Dull, Medium, Sharp, Small Grid, Medium Grid, or Large Grid.
To delete a chop, just right-click one of the yellow flag-looking things (seen below) and press delete.
If you want to delete multiple chops, highlight the ones you want and then press Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Delete.
Below is what it should look like when you’re banging out a chop on your drum pad.
Bear in mind I don’t really use auto-slicing, but your mileage may vary.
Again, the amazing thing about the FL Key is that as soon as you chop the sample, it auto-maps all the slices to the pads, in order!
There’s no fiddling around with the FPC and dragging chops around.
To start playing with the samples, hold Shift and then hit “Instrument” (second pad from the top left) on your FL Key and every pad that contains a sample will light up.
With that, you’re ready to lay down a sequence!
Before we dive in, let’s go over some other useful functions of the Slicex tool.
To adjust the pitch of the sample, head to the top left of Slicex and move the fader up or down to raise or lower it.
You can also Automate Pitch In FL Studio using Slicex which is my preferred method.
For that, you’d right-click the pitch fader and hit “Create automation clip.”
We’re not going to delve too deep into that, so if you’re interested, click the link above!
Keep in mind that when you alter the pitch this way (simply moving the fader up or down) it also stretches the sample.
This is something you may or may not want.
If not, there’s a different way to adjust the pitch.
First, highlight the portion of the sample you want to change.
Now press Alt + T to bring up the Time Stretcher / Pitch Shifter.
Now you can use the pitch coarser to only change the pitch of the sample without altering the time/length.
One of the most frustrating things about hitting the pads after they’ve been mapped is that they’re velocity-sensitive.
This means if you hit it hard, it will play super loud. If you happen to hit it more gently, it plays softer, and so forth.
Fortunately for us, there is a fix.
Head to the drop-down menu to the left of the auto dump button and uncheck “Link Velocity To Volume.”
Now when you’re in the middle of a heated session – or recording a loop – you won’t have to worry about those volume discrepancies.
This is a huge deal!
This becomes super useful when you have a sample that either A) Doesn’t play long enough, or B) you want to shorten.
Other times, you may just have a ton of trouble getting your chops to form a cohesive, fluid pattern and time stretching can really help iron out these kinks.
First, head to the Piano Roll (F7) and highlight a chop you want to lengthen by pressing Cntrl/Cmd + Left Click and Drag until it’s red.
Then place your cursor at the end of the bar (or wherever you want the sample to play).
Next, go to Slicex and make sure to again “Snap To Regions” as we discussed earlier to make it easier for you.
Now highlight the appropriate chop for adjustment.
From here, hit Alt + T to bring up the Time Stretcher / Pitch Shifter as we did in an earlier technique. If it’s not coming up, make sure to click the Slicex window first.
If it’s in BARS, right-click the stopwatch at the top of the FL Studio main window and set it to Minute/Second/Centisecond.
Have a look at the length of the sample and note how many milliseconds it is.
Then look where you placed your cursor and note the time.
You basically want to match the length of the sample with the time (where your cursor is) only it will be in milliseconds.
So in my case, the length of the sample is 593ms and I want it to stretch to 0:01:57. Here I would simply type in 1570 which is in milliseconds (multiplier of 1000).
Now hit “Accept” and you should notice the chop gets longer.
I will likely be adding more tips and tricks into this post as I continue to mess around in FL Studio, but for now, let’s lay down a pattern.