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jueves, 12 de junio de 2008

Channel Window & Step Sequencer tutorials fl studio tips & tricks


Channel Window & Step Sequencer

The Channel Window is an important tool in the composition process. It contains a button for each instrument in the project. Instruments are loaded into Channels that can then send audio to any Mixer Track. As Channels are loaded or deleted from the project the height of the Channel window will dynamically change. The Channel buttons can also be used to access Channel Settings or the Piano roll. The Channel window also contains the Step Sequencer, ( Video Here) a pattern-based grid sequencer, ideal for creating drum loops and simple melodies. Click here for a video tutorial. Generally, however, the Piano roll ( Video Here) is better suited for complex compositions - simply right-click on a Channel button and select Piano roll.

The note data contained in the stack of Channels is known as a 'pattern'. Any single pattern can include both Piano roll and Stepsequencer data. Switch between patterns with the Transport Panel 'PAT' selector. When you do this, the note data visible in the curent Pattern will change to reflect the selected pattern. Patterns are used in the Playlist as either pattern blocks or pattern clips.


    1. Pattern Length (Number of Beats) - Sets the number of beats for the current pattern. If this is left undefined: '--', the pattern is set to the global value of the project. You can change the global value and the beat length in the Project General Settings window. Note: There is a maximum of 64 steps in the Step Sequencer.
    2. Repeat Step Sequencer - When selected, causes the step sequencer to repeat throughout any Piano roll sequences or automation data that extend beyond the basic step sequence length (1). For example: a 4 bar percussion step sequence will repeat while an 16 bar Piano roll sequence plays. If this setting is off then the percussion would stop after 4 bars and the Piano roll sequence would continue unaccompanied.
    3. Swing - Slide to the right to add 'swing' to within the Step Sequencer.
    4. Graph Editor (G) - Shows/hides the Graph Editor.
    5. Keyboard Editor (K) - Shows/hides the Keyboard Editor.
    6. Channels Area - Contains the channels and pattern grid.
    7. Channel Display Filter ( Page Down for next group; Page Up for previous group) - Allows you to set the group of channels to show in the Step Sequencer (see the Channel Filter Groups section below for more information)
    8. Playing Step LEDs - These LEDs indicate the step in the pattern that is currently playing.
    9. Channel Panning - Use to set the channel panning.
    10. Channel Volume - Use to set the channel volume.
    11. Channel Settings - Displays the channel name and shows/hides the Channel Settings window, from which you can access channel settings and, if applicable, channel wrapper options and plugin interface. Left and right-clicking provides important functionality as shown below:
      • Left-click, Channel Settings - Opens the Channel Settings window, including the plugin interface (if applicable).
      • Right-click, Channel Operations Menu - Displays the following options:
        • Piano roll/Send to piano roll - Can be used to open a Piano roll for a channel, or if step sequence data is present, send it to a Piano roll.
        • Rename - Renames the channel.
        • Load Sample - If the channel accepts samples this will allow you to load from a file browser menu.
        • Cut itself - Cuts the sound of previous notes in the channel when new one starts.
        • Edit - Allows you to cut/copy/paste/randomize any note data present.
        • Fill each (2,4,8) steps - Fills step sequence steps according to the setting.
        • Insert - Insert a new channel before the selected one.
        • Replace - Replaces the current generator with a new one from the list that appears.
        • Clone - Makes a copy of the current channel including settings and generator type.
        • Delete - Deletes the selected channel.
    12. Channel Selector - When this LED is turned on, the channel is considered selected (used in cut, copy etc. operations - see Edit menu).
    13. Sequence Steps - Each step represents a 16th note in the pattern. Turn the steps on or off to create the desired loop.
    14. Mute ( 0-9 to mute/unmute; Ctrl+0-9 to solo/unmute all) - Turning this LED off will mute the channel. Clicking it again will unmute it. You can also quickly solo a channel by right-clicking the LED and, from the popup menu, select Solo. Repeat this action to unsolo the channel (unmute all). Note: Live MIDI input to the channel will continue to play regardless of the switch mode as muting/solo only applies Stepsequencer and Piano roll playback.
    15. Piano roll Preview- If you don't have active steps in the current pattern but you do have notes in the Piano roll, the steps will be replaced by a preview of the Piano roll. With the preview available you will see how your pattern looks without opening the Piano roll view. However, you cannot edit notes in that preview. Click it once to show/hide the real Piano roll window. The lighter and darker blocks in the preview indicate the number of bars contained in the Piano roll sequence (each block is a bar).

Using The Step Sequencer

Each line in the Step Sequencer represents a single channel with its pattern grid.

Each button (step) in the grid represents a 16th note.

The default pattern length is 16 steps. Change the default number of steps from the Project General Settings window. To set a custom length for each individual pattern, use the Pattern Length control (1).

Activating steps - Left-clicking a step button activates that step; right-clicking turns it off. Note that if you have turned off the Use Both Mouse Keys option in the General Settings page, left-clicking will turn the buttons both on and off.

Pitch - To set a the pitch of a step use the Keyboard Editor view. Each note has some additional properties (panning, volume etc.) that may be set using the Graph Editor tool.

Stopping or cutting notes - Step Sequencer steps do not have a 'note off' feature. You can stop a note either by activating a step after the offending note with zero velocity or, preferably, by using the Piano roll. This is ideal for working on more complex melodies.

Advanced features - Right-clicking the Channel Button (11) opens a menu of commands for managing channels (see Channel Menu). This menu also provides access to the Piano roll.

Note: The main Edit menu also contains commands for working with Step Sequencer.

Channel Filter Groups

As projects grow in size and the number of channels increases, finding the right channel can become a tedious process. To optimize workflow, combine several channels in a group and set the Step Sequencer to display only that specific group of channels (for example percussion group or lead synth group). Use the Channel Display Filter control (7) to choose which channels should be visible. Left-click to open the channel filter menu. Selecting ‘All’ will show all channels at once, regardless of whether they are part of a group or are unassigned. Selecting ‘Unsorted’ displays only the unassigned channels. If you have made any channel groups, you can select them for display from this menu.

Other channel filter group actions include:

  • Add an empty group - Right-click Channel Display Filter (7) and select Add Filter Group.
  • Rename/Delete group - Select a group and right-click Channel Display Filter (7) to display commands for renaming and deleting groups (Note: Deleting a group sets included channels as unassigned and does not delete the channels).
  • Add selected channels to a new group - Use the Group Selected command from the Channels menu.
  • Add a single channel to an existing group - Select the desired group and add a new channel to the channel window. All new channels will be inserted into the currently selected group.
  • Move a channel to a different group - Select the channel(s) and use the Group Selected command from the Channels Menu, and enter the name of an existing group.

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