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3 Tips to Create Powerful Drum Loops in FL Studio

3 Tips to Create Powerful Drum Loops in FL Studio Based on SAFE SPOTS (Drum Loop Training Book and Course)

Today we cover tips to create drum loops in FL Studio.

Remember, a good drum loop comes from two things:

How to Create Powerful Drum Loops in Beats
Try my SAFE SPOTS Drum Loop Book!

Note, Foundational Drum Loop Basics is still available, however my newest drum loop training is SAFE SPOTS (Book + Course).


How to Make Good Drum Loops in FL Studio

A good drum loop is NOT created with plugins.

I REPEAT.. A GOOD DRUM LOOP IS NOT CREATED WITH PLUGINS!

Good drum loops require knowledge to create, and it’s not THAT complicated once you understand SOUND PLACEMENT.

Drum Loops are not like melodies, where a plugin is required for different instruments like pianos, guitars, pads, etc. Professional drum kits are sold as one-shot drum samples which allow producers to create their own custom drum loop from scratch.

Everyone things buying a plugin can “fix” their problem.. but this is not true for drum loops.

Did you know.. simple drum loops are the most powerful?

Seriously! As soon as you learn the basics of what makes a “dope drum loop”, you can create beats non-stop!

You know a beat only consists of two things, right?

  • MELODIES
  • DRUM LOOPS

That’s it! Everything else just “enhances” your beat!

These enhancement include the mixing, mastering, and even the arrangement, is what takes a good beat into a professional beat.

But it all stems from MELODIES and DRUM LOOPS.

Now, the question is, do you have high-quality drum samples?

Because as soon as you KNOW that your drum kit sounds are banging, it’s just a matter of learning how to make a drum loop… but it’s actually hard finding good drum samples! (Trust me, I’ve wasted money on poor quality kits when starting!)

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The Drum Loop Secrets: It’s MIDI!

What if I told you that your DAW provides all the tools needed to make amazing drum loops? (FOR ANY GENRE!)

No, not plugins.

I mean the built-in MIDI TOOLS everyone overlooks!

I’ll cover these free MIDI Tools below, but first..

Here’s some secrets to make a good drum loop:

  • Wise Sound Selection
  • Wise Sound PLACEMENT
  • High Quality Drum Samples

The only one which costs money is high quality drum samples, and as I always say, you do not need millions of sounds.. but VARIETY and QUALITY (explained below).

Once you have VARIETY and QUALITY, you’re set as a producer.. You don’t need more!

Premium Drum Loop Training

If you’re new, try my book about making drum loops.

It’s called SAFE SPOTS, and teaches SOUND PLACEMENT, SOUND SELECTION, and these FREE MIDI TOOLS in your DAW to program drum loops with one-shot drum samples.

Keep reading if you want to learn how to make professional drum loops in FL Studio. (Then I’ll recap the video).

What Actually Makes a Drum Loop Good?

To become a well-rounded producer, who can make powerful drum loops, a BIG secret is learning different genres.

If you can learn hip-hop / rap / dance music, you know where you can place your sounds, and become incredibly versatile.

So SOUND PLACEMENT is definitely very important. It’s really what separates the good producer from the weak producer.

But ultimately, owning high-quality drum samples is what takes your drum loops to the next level. I can’t stress that enough. Not only do the sounds hit harder, and are easier to mix, they allow you to be so creative because most of your attempts just work!

Around here, we DO NOT use pre-made drum loops. We create our drum loops with one-shot drum samples from scratch, giving us as producers the most rewarding feeling.. knowing that WE MADE IT!

Golden Rules of Good Drum Loops:

You may like: How to Buy Drum Samples

When buying drum samples, we need VARIETY and QUALITY.

Don’t be tricked into thinking you need 1 MILLION SOUNDS..

That will only fill up your hard drive, make you unorganized, and make backups take forever.. you are backing up, right?

Drum Samples (also called Drum Kits, or Sound Packs) are known as one-shot drum samples.

These individually recorded sounds allow beatmakers to create drum loops from scratch. (There’s a lot of low-quality drum kits out there.. when you have high-quality drums, you immediately hear the difference.. they hit HARD!)

A good drum kit is organized into folders like:

  • Kicks
    • Short Kicks
    • Long Kicks
    • 808’s
  • Snares
  • Claps
  • Hi-Hats
    • Closed Hi-Hats
    • Open Hi-Hats

If you haven’t experienced a high-quality drum kit, I highly encourage you to view the drum samples to buy in my shop!

VARIETY vs. QUALITY Sound Packs

Remember I said it’s all about VARIETY and QUALITY as a music producer?

VARIETY in Drum Samples

When I say VARIETY, I mean you as the beatmaker have versatility in your secret stash of sounds.

If someone asks if you have a tambourine sound.. do you have one? What about a shaker sound?

You don’t need 1000 shakers.. but you need at least a few shakers!

This applies to all your drum samples like short-tailed and long-tailed drums, snares and claps, closed and open hi-hats, as well as tons of percussion-type sounds!

If you’re reading this and know your sounds are lacking, see what it’s like using some of the best drum kits to buy in the industry!

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5 Tips I Wish I Knew.. Before Using FL Studio

QUALITY in Drum Samples

When I say QUALITY, I mean industry-standard sounds with extremely high fidelity.

The drum samples don’t have unwanted background hiss or distortion, or they haven’t been stolen from another drum kit.

You are purchasing a professional sound designer’s skills, which allows you to make extremely high quality beats.

This also makes mixing much easier, if you can imagine!

You don’t need millions of sounds.. and as soon as you experience high-quality drum samples, you will see the difference in your beats.

What FREE MIDI Tools for Drum Loops?

If you’re looking for those FREE MIDI Tools to create powerful drum loops, then let me explain it here.

The first thing to know is I call these ORGANIC TOOLS.

Any reputable DAW contains these free MIDI tools, and when you read them, you’re going to think, “Those aren’t very useful, I’d rather use a plugin”.

But you see, if you’re struggling with drum loops, that’s your problem!

A drum loop is built off these ORGANIC TOOLS, which plugins then “enhance”.

But we have to lay down the foundation first, and we’ll cover these QUICK.

  • Sound Placement (Timing)
  • Velocity
  • Panning
  • Note Nudging
  • Layering
  • Sound Selection

Do you know how powerful this list is?

Do you know how many CHOICES you have in this list when it comes to programming a drum loop?

Did you know VELOCITY alone can give tremendous rhythm and bounce to your drum loop, WITHOUT USING A PLUGIN!?

If you combine VELOCITY with NOTE-NUDGING, and truly learn them, you will become an amazing producer.

Anyways, these are the free MIDI Tools (which I call ORGANIC TOOLS).

MIDI is the absolute secret to be a good producer, knowing how to control it.

It’s totally free, and people think it’s so boring because it’s not flashy.

But it costs NO MONEY (besides buying FL Studio), and often has more power than a VST effect can give you!

Golden Rules for Drum Kits Complete

So there you go!!

My website offers premium drum loop training (SAFE SPOTS), and high-quality drum kits:

SAFE SPOTS is a Book and Course for how to program powerful drum loops in FL Studio.

It’s very in-depth, which reveals so many of those FREE MIDI TOOLS, which I called ORGANIC TOOLS. Read my book on how to make drum loops!

Video Recap [Making Drum Loops]

Let me quickly recap from the video.

Velocity

I just talked to you about VELOCITY as being one of the ORGANIC TOOLS.

Velocity is very unique because most people think that Velocity is Volume, but that’s not true!

Velocity is a value of 0-127, and some plugins can actually trigger a unique sounds depending on the range that is played. For example, 0-63 could be Snare #1, 64-127 could be Snare #2!

An important thing to know is that Velocity is not how hard you press the MIDI Keyboard note, but how FAST you press it. (Try it out!)

Anyways, Velocity is what takes your drum loops to the next level. If all audio is the same volume, you it sounds way too digital!

Also, the beat from the video is called Thy Kingdom Come from BEAT TAPES By GratuiTous Vol. 5.

Multiple Drums

Using multiple drums has been such a powerful tool in my drum loops.

You can use a secondary drum as a filler, which is not as aggressive, but adds TONS of fullness to the drum loop.

One word of caution if layering drums: Phase Cancellation.

This means that if the drums play at the same time, they can be VERY WEAK (as they cancel). You can try to flip the phase of one drum to see if it hits harder one way than the other.

Reverse Stuff

Reversing stuff is incredibly powerful, but a bit tricky.

You’ll find yourself having to line-up the note by breaking free from the snap.

In FL Studio, you can click your “magnet” in the Playlist which gives you 1/4 step, 1/2 step, etc.

If you hold down ALT, you can break free from the snap, and easily line up the reversed sound to be in time.

Try using a reverse clap which is lined-up with your normal clap. It has so much fullness.

I used this reverse clap technique on Keys for Christ off BEAT TAPES By GratuiTous Vol. 7

Wrapping Up: Tips to Create Powerful Drum Loops

If you can’t tell, I really like talking about drum loops and using the ORGANIC TOOLS.

My SAFE SPOTS Book will teach you about SOUND PLACEMENT, and these ORGANIC TOOLS.

Then.. when you use plugins, you are simply “enhancing” your foundation.

I cannot tell you what a gamechanger this is in terms of organization, money-savings, and quality in your beats, as your skill level tremendously increases.

I’ll leave my drum loop training resources below:

Any questions about making drum loops in FL Studio?

Simply leave a comment below, or contact me directly.

For the best experience, you can also join my FL Studio membership.

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Recognized FL Studio Trainer - GratuiTous (Riley Weller)
GratuiTous
GratuiTous
GratuiTous (Riley Weller) is a Recognized FL Studio Trainer with over 30 Beatmaking Courses. He writes Beatmaking Books, hosts the Music Production Made Simple Podcast, and helps students with FL Studio Lessons. He also makes lots of his own music!

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