In last week’s blog, I mentioned using the “Length” and “Out” knob in the channel sample settings to adjust the overall groove of your drum patterns. Well, there are a few more options that can help you with adding even more groove inside of the channel settings.
If you switch over to the “Envelope Settings” tab in the channel settings, you’ll see a blue volume envelope shown by default.
Click the button next to where it says “Envelope” to turn this option on. You now have even more control of the volume shape in addition to the settings in the sample settings. Increasing the “Delay” knob will play the sample later in the waveform. The “Att” increases the volume fade into the sample. “Hold” is how long the sound will stay at full volume. “Dec” is how fast the sound decreases in volume. “Sus” adjust how long it takes before the sound starts to fade out. “Rel” is how fast the sound fades out. Under those options, you’ll see 3 “tension” knobs which will adjust the volume curve of the beginning, middle, and end of the sound.
Overall, this offers more fine-tuned control over the volume of a sound, which can change the groove of a drum pattern. Click the “Tempo” option to have the envelope settings react to the BPM of the project.
By clicking the “wrench” icon in the main toolbar, you’ll arrive at the “miscellaneous” functions of the channel settings. Under the “Time” settings you’ll see 3 knobs.
The first knob, “Gate,” is a noise gate that will cut off any sound that is within a sound that is lower in volume than the threshold you set. To keep it simple, just use your ears as you adjust and you’ll notice less sound coming through as you turn the knob to the left. If you increase the middle knob labeled “Shift” will move the sound later in time, creating a delay before you hear it play.
This delay will completely change the feel of the pattern with the overall groove. Use your ears and go with what makes you move both physically and emotionally to these changes. The knob to the right labeled “Swing” will only work if you have the swing knob level increased at the top of the channel rack.
The swing will adjust the groove of the pattern by shifting notes closer or further from each quarter, eighth or sixteenth note in the pattern. You can adjust the swing levels for multiple channels at one in FL Studio 20.1 if you go to the dropdown menu at the top right of the channel rack and choose “Set Swing Mix For Selected.” That way you can change the overall groove of just your drums and leave you instruments in place or just add swing to certain percussive elements. Let your ears be your guide and go with the groove that affects you best.
Let us know in the comments about your experience with adding groove to your projects.