FL Studio 12 Tutorial #3: The Melody

FL Studio 12

Melodies are what keeps you wake at night. Humming them or singing can be excruciatingly catchy, but how to get to the melody in FL Studio 12, first you must know how to put it into a digital form. This tutorial will show exactly how to do that.

In Medias Res – open up your ‘’Channel Rack’’ and right click on any of the rectangles that says Kick, Clap or something else. Menu will pop-up with a setting that says ‘’Insert’’.

Put a cursor over it to expand it. You will see a list of different names for instruments and effects that are called VST’s. Default FL Studio VST is one called FL Keys. It is a basic piano sounding instrument that is good for a starter.

This particular instrument is equipped with many knobs and settings to get your sound just as you like it, so try and turn the knobs around just to see what kind of a sound it will produce. You can even change the general sound by clicking the arrow below ‘’Sampleset’’ and clicking on Rhodes or something other.

FL Keys
FL Keys

After you have opened the virtual instrument it is time to start making a melody. Don’t forget to switch the pattern/channel (create new one), so it doesn’t overlap with the one that holds the drums.

Open up a ‘’Piano Roll’’.

As already mentioned, that is where you paint your picture. Click on any field to add a note and, same that was with the percussion, you can edit each and even add some setting as sliding (double click a note, select slide – it is crucial to have a note under or over it to slide from one note to another). Don’t forget you can change the setting for snapping anytime you want. Some start with chords, some with melody, it really doesn’t matter because the end result should be the same. An important thing is just to follow a quantization i.e. snapping the notes within the grid.

After creating it in a piano roll, add it to a ‘’Playlist’’ below the drum and percussion track to have a full beat. Don’t forget to add chords and some variations to make it more complex and packed, but everything depends on the genre you’re aiming.

FL Studio Piano Roll
There are simple melodies such as this one on the photo, but there are also
extra complex ones.

And there – you have created your first beat. It’s not much for now, but exploring this program, following our tutorials and revealing little tricks will help you get a sound you want. In the next tutorial you will learn how to add more instruments to a beat and make a wish reality.

While making a melody, don’t think about what would be the best for other, but trust your guts on creating music. Music is not just a form of entertainment, but it is a media from your soul to the listener ear. Create what you love and what you like.