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lunes, 14 de abril de 2008

How to use the piano roll in fruity loops?


The Piano Roll

The Piano Roll allows you to compose complex tracks for your songs, that would be hard or impossible to do with the Step Sequencer. From within the Piano roll you can create melodies and chords. You can also edit the volume, pitch, filters and panning of both notes and channels, as well as display and edit note properties. Notes can also be slid and quantised. All parameters can be controlled on a note by note basis, and by using slides you can make your notes slide from the one to the other.

The keyboard can also be set to bigger, smaller and literal. Literal will show names of different notes in drum kits or when you have named cues in sliced loop.

MIDI users can input notes directly from their keyboard or other MIDI controller. You can also import MIDI files or use the PC keyboard to compose the notes.

Sending a Channel to the Piano Roll

To send a channel to the piano roll simply right click on the channel you wish to send and select 'Piano roll' from the top of the list.

Cutting Samples in the Piano Roll

To cut a sample off at the end of the note you've drawn in the piano roll, use the amp envelopes which are found in the sampler channel. Set attack to zero, sustain at the maximum amount, zero hold and zero release.

Sliding Notes in the Piano Roll

To slide notes you must first click the slide toggle button located in the top left of the piano roll. Slides look the same as notes except they have a small white rectangle drawn in their left side. FL Studio will start sliding existing notes towards the pitch where the slide is positioned. The slide in pitch begins at the start of the slide note that's drawn in and ends at the finishing position of the slide note. So if you want a quick short slide you'll need to make the slide short. On the other hand if you want a gradual slide (see below), you'll need to have a long slide drawn in.

Sliding Colour Groups in the Piano Roll

If you want different slides to be applied to different notes you must choose a corresponding colour group for that slide(s). Either green, cyan, pink or yellow. Slides will only apply to notes that have their colour. For example if you want to slide a pink note you must choose pink as the colour group for that slide by toggling it on and then drawing in the pink slide. In the picture below the pink notes are slid up to the higher pitch while the green notes maintain their original pitch throughout the bar.

Seeing as there are 4 colour groups, up to 4 sets of notes can be slid at the same time.

Using the Strum Feature

The Strum feature is available in FL Studio 4 and above. The Piano Strum Tool is designed to allow you to easily and quickly add variation to the strumming of chords. It imitates the affect of strumming a guitar.

As you can see below, when the settings allow you to change both the timing and the velocity of the notes in the chord. The start and ending time for the notes can also be either kept as they were originally or adjusted to your liking. Toggling on "Alternate direction" allows the chord to be strummed in the opposite direction, which is from the highest pitched note down to lowest.

Other Piano Roll Features

The Piano Roll includes an integrated event editor which lets you quickly edit a channel's volume, panning and pitch from inside the Piano Roll. You can draw in the automation for these functions in the bottom section of the piano roll.

The integrated event editor works the same way and has the same functions as the normal event editor. If you want to automate in some detail I'd suggest turning the snap setting to "(none)". This allows you to draw more fluently. Don't forget to change it back when you are finished.

Double clicking a note displays it's properties box. From here you can change panning, volume, cut-off, resonance and also pitch. The bottom of the box also contains a time section from where you can change the note's start position and length. You will notice there is 3 small boxes in each. The first box is measured in bars, the second in steps, and the third in tick format.

When several notes start at the same time use the Note Properties Box.

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