Now that we’ve chopped our sample up, it’s time to take it to the FPC!
This handy little tool works really well with any MIDI drum pad you may have, and today I’m going to walk you through the process with my own KORG padKONTROL.
As mentioned in part I, the padKONTROL does take a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be off to the races in no time.
Bring up the FPC and Fruity Slicer
Remember when we dragged the sample from Edison into the Fruity Slicer? We’ll need both here side by side, dragging slices from the slicer into the FPC.
Bring up your step sequencer and click on the FL Slicer and FPC. If they won’t both come up at the same time, exit FL Studio and open it back up. This is a weird quirk about the program that can be frustrating. At times, clicking one and then clicking the other results in one closing and one staying open.
In the padKONTROL, I’m going to hold the “Scene” button and then press the first pad. This means whatever samples I drag in are in the first soundbank (or grid). On mine, there are 16 unique scenes and 16 samples per scene for a total of 256 unique samples that can be added in!
I mostly only use 1 or 2, but the sky is truly the limit.
Now that we know where the sounds are going, it’s time to get them in there. Go back to your FPC and click on the 1st pad. Now have a gander at where it says “Midi Note” towards the top right.
It’s super important to understand that once you assign a note inside the FPC, the sample will always be ONE LESS on your pad. More on that in a sec. I use a simple system for mapping mine out on the padKONTROL:
The top row goes A3, A4, A5, A6.
The next row goes B3, B4, B5, B6,
and so on.
This ensures everything is organized.
To do this inside the FPC, click the note and you’ll see a huge rectangular box appear. Use this to find and select the notes you want to use. You can use any order or combination of sharps and non-sharps you want. It doesn’t matter.
On your padKONTROL, press the setting button. The note will start blinking and you can change it with the scroll wheel. If you don’t have a padKONTROL, just do the equivalent on whatever you have in order to find the note.
Now adjust the note so it’s one less than the note on the FPC. For instance, if it says “A4” on the FPC, it should be “A3” on the padKONTROL.
Dragging the sample
Now that everything’s ready to go, click the first pad on the FPC with your mouse and then physically press the same one on your drum pad.
Once that’s done, find a sample from the FL Slicer and drag it to the same pad you just hit. I like to assign them in order, but that’s because I have a bad case of OCD. You can do it however you want.
Go back to the FPC and click the “Midi Note” again. Go to the left and find where it says “Last hit” (A4).
(or whatever pad you just pressed with your finger). Press that button with your mouse.
Now physically press the pad and the sample should play!
On the padKONTROL, for whatever reason, the sample played is not actually A4. It’s A3! Always one less.
This is true for any one of them you assign.
So for instance, if you just assigned A#4 in the FPC, it will play on the padKONTROL under A#3. If you assigned it as A#7 in the FPC, it will be A#6 on the padKONTROL and so on. You get the idea.
Not knowing this can cause a lot of headaches as you’re wondering where the h*** all your samples are!
Saving the scene + the cut by feature
Now that your samples are all mapped out, it’s time to save.
To do this, hold the “SCENE” button and “PROG CHANGE” button at the same time.
Both the pad and the “SETTING” button will flash. Now just press the setting button to save.
You’re done! Now when you exit out of FL Studio and come back later, your scene should be saved. To confirm this, save your project, exit out and come back in. Click the FPC button on your step sequencer and the samples should be exactly as you left them.
By now you may be asking, “That’s great and everything, but everytime I mash a pad the sample plays over itself and won’t stop!”
This is one of the most frustrating aspects of the process, but fortunately there’s a very easy fix. It’s called the cut by feature inside of the FPC.
Just set both “Cut” and “Cut by” to 1 and you’re golden!
Now you can bang out the same sample many times over and it will cut each time you press the pad! Brilliant.
We’ve now chopped the samples, programmed them into the drum pad, and mapped everything out. Now comes the fun part.
Let’s dive in!