You will learn how to make a drum loop in FL Studio for beginners in this tutorial 🙂
The first thing you need to know is that:
- High Quality Drum Samples are VERY IMPORTANT (View these drum samples)
- Using Pre-Made Drum Loops is NOT making a Drum Loop ❌
- Keep it Simple, then Add Fullness, THEN Variation ✅
What We Cover in this Article:
- How to Start Making a Drum Loop
- Add Fullness to a Drum Loop
- Add Variation to a Drum Loop
- Improving Your Beatmaking Workflow [FL Studio Template]
How to Start Making a Drum Loop
Before you start to make a drum loop, it’s very important you select TEMPO first!
In FL Studio, we start in the Channel rack (also called a Step Sequencer) to make a drum loop:
Best Way to Make a Drum Loop in FL Studio
As you can see from the image above, the Channel rack is blank with no sounds in it. This is how I personally like to start a drum loop, because you can add in your own drum samples!
The EASIEST way I’ve found to make drum loops in FL Studio is:
Put your DRUM (KICK) on BEAT 1.. and CLAP on BEAT 2 and BEAT 4..
Once you set up a basic drum loop like this, it makes it REALLY easy to start adding in fullness to the drum loop for your beats, which is our next step 🙂.
Adding Fullness to a Drum Loop:
Once you set up a basic drum loop with KICK 1 on BEAT 1, and the CLAP on BEAT 2 and BEAT 4.. to add fullness, I like to “sprinkle” KICK 1 around the CLAP.
It’s VERY RARE the KICK and CLAP play at the same time (unless it’s dance music).. not to say it cannot sound good!
You will also notice I added KICK 2 into the pattern. If I were to play KICK 1 too many times, it would start to sound REALLY repetitive.. and we don’t want that for our listeners!
For example, KICK 1 plays 6 times in the image above! If I didn’t have KICK 2 to add another drum hit, and used KICK 1 instead, KICK 1 would have played 8 times.. 🥱
Adding VARIATION to a Drum Loop
Now, there’s SO MANY WAYS to add variation to a drum loop. I’d highly recommending reading my SAFE SPOTS Book. (It’s all about creating drum loops in FL Studio.. it’s super in-depth!)
To add variation, we can do a whole bunch of things like..
- Add more sounds in
- Layer sounds
- Be creative on sound placement
- Note nudge to alter timing of sounds
- Make the pattern longer (the #1 tip for variation!)
- Use velocity so things don’t hit so consistent
- Use panning to give space and wideness
One thing I’d like you to try is to LAYER your sounds in your next drum loop. Not every sound needs to be layered, but if you layer certain sounds like a clap, you can really add tons of fullness and variation to your beat!
For example, in your VERSE, play a single CLAP, but in the CHORUS add in a SNARE over top of the CLAP.. you will notice a HUGE IMPACT!
Before closing out, let me quickly explain how to set up FL Studio for a fast workflow, which will improve your drum loop and beatmaking game tremendously.
Setting Up a Template for a FAST Workflow in FL Studio:
I like to start with a BLANK Channel rack for each new beat. This allows me to start from scratch, with full flexibility, for each new beat I make!
When you initially install FL Studio, it loads its default template, which includes stock sounds like “Kick, Clap, Snare, Hi-Hat” in the Channel rack.
This is fine when you’re just learning, but eventually you’ll want to use your own drum samples.. which means you’ll have to delete these default-loaded sounds EACH TIME..
You may think that’s not a big deal.. until you realize that EVERY SINGLE BEAT you have to do this.. and it’s all about a FAST workflow with beatmaking!
Simply go File -> New from template -> Empty to save yourself clicks each time 🙂.
However, this “Empty” template becomes a bit restrictive because it’s TOO empty, and actually makes you have to click even more to set up other things further down the production process..
You want to make sure your FL Studio Template IMPROVES your workflow!
Here’s valuable tips for how to create your own template in FL Studio:
- The Mindset Behind a GOOD TEMPLATE [Podcast]
- How to Create a Template in FL Studio [Tutorial]
- Ultimate Template Creation Guide in FL Studio [BOOK]
- My Premium FL Studio Template [Fast Workflow]
An Example of an FL Studio Template that WORKS!:
Below is an image of my my personal FL Studio Template:
The Channel rack still is “empty”, which is good, because I can easily add in my drum samples from the far left Browser, and start fresh each beat.
But now look at the Mixer.. notice the different colors.. the Green REVERB 1, Blue REVERB 2, etc?
I’ve set up my template so that I can start making a beat fresh, but when it comes to the mixing/mastering stage, I’ve set up various plugins to literally save myself hundreds of clicks each session!
But you have to be VERY CAREFUL.. because a template can become too big and bloated.. and actually work AGAINST YOU..
That’s why a template is so important when you start making a beat, because each project is STUCK with the template you started with at the beginning.
Conclusion.. Making a Drum Loop in FL Studio
There’s A LOT that goes into a drum loop if you want to make a GOOD drum loop.
It all starts with knowing the genre you want to create.. which determines what tempo your song will be.. which then gets into the producer’s own creativity of sound placement.
Now, the question you should be asking yourself is, do I start with a drum loop first, or the melodies first?
There’s so much drum loop training I have for you on my website, so view these links if you’d like me to teach you the in-depth secrets of creating powerful drum loops, no matter what genre you create 🙂