In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to create a basic melody without the use of a MIDI keyboard in Fl Studio 12.
Fl studio piano roll is a great tool for creating melodies, if you do not have or you don’t want to use a MIDI keyboard, then the piano roll is the next choice for you, which I use and prefer.
Note that in our previous tutorial, we used the channel rack for programming our drum beats, we can only add a single note in the channel rack, and it is probably safe to say that in most cases, you will want to have more than a single tone playing in your pattern at a time, especially when using instruments.
How do we get it to play different notes? Well, one way is by editing the channel in the Piano Roll.
Let’s add our instrument or Vst we want to use, I will be using Fl Studio stock Vst which is Sytrus.
Click on the plus sign add a new instrument and let get started, to delete a Vst right-click on the instrument, and choose Delete, you’ll get a message telling you that you can’t undo this, which is okay when you added a wrong instrument.
Delete if you added a wrong instrument.
Open your Vst instrument and press F7 to quickly go to the piano roll or right-click the instrument and select piano roll.
Before we start creating melodies, we need to understand how the most important tools in the piano roll work;
Draw and paint tools – they are used for drawing notes and playing them back as if they were recorded.
Let’s me show you how the draw tool works, I’m going to add individual notes using the draw tool, which you can find by selecting and clicking on up here in the piano roll.
So to add individual notes, I just click the notes that I want to play on the keyboard displayed left in the piano roll.
The keyboard tells you where you are on the scale.
Also notice up here in the display, you can see what note you’re currently on when you move your mouse around the grid.
The piano roll is just a 4 beat pattern, subdivided into 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on.
I’m going to use a random scale in order to draw in some demo notes. First of all, click on this snap to grid button, and select step, depending on the kind of melody you are creating, you can select the different snap, for this tutorial we will be using “Step snap“.
Let’s create the melody, left click to choose the note you want to use for your basic pattern. I am using note G and A, this is how it sounds.
Sometimes your notes or melodies sounds unnatural, to overcome that, we need to edit the velocity, editing velocity is a great way of creating the perception of depth within a melody, it also makes the melody sounds natural.
The velocity can be edited in two ways in the piano roll, you can either double-click on the notes and then change the velocity slider or knob, or you can go down to this window, which is the event editor, and then click and drag in order to change the velocity of the particular note that you are editing.
This is how it sounds without the velocity edited:
You can now hear the changes we made with velocity edited, it makes it sounds more human and natural.
Another way to make your melody sounds good and professional is by lengthening or shortening the note.
Right-click to delete a note.
You just learned how to create a basic note pattern, we will be covering an advance one in the next part of this tutorial.