In this article, we will cover how to use Gross Beat in FL Studio.
Image-Line, the makers of FL Studio, are also the developers behind Gross Beat.
They have made Gross Beat a cross-platform plugin, allowing you to use it in DAWs like Ableton, Cubase, Pro Tools, Bitwig, etc. (As long as your DAW can use VST2 plugins, which all DAWs can, you’re good to go!)
So here’s how Image-Line’s help manual describes the plugin:
Gross beat is a time and volume manipulation effect designed for repetition, scratching, and gating effects.
In other words, instead of you having to manually click and create effects with automation and various other complex techniques to apply these stutters, glitches, and reverse-type effects, Gross Beat is a plugin that saves you time in your productions.
In addition to Gross Beat, there are also other time-manipulation plugins like:
Gross Beat is a real power horse.
It consists of two main sections: Time Manipulation and Volume Manipulation.
The plugin also allows for live performance, if linked to a MIDI Controller. But for my uses, I just like to use automation clips.
Hold Feature in Automation Clips
Gross Beat can be a confusing plugin in regards to how it works.
If you click on a slot, your track will start to be manipulated, but you can’t figure out how to make it stop, or change to another slot quickly.
So in this tutorial, we’ll go over some powerful tips to take control of Gross Beat.
First, play around with different slots to see what manipulations / volume effects suite your track.
Once you have a general idea, it’s time to create an automation clip.
Highlight the area on your playlist where you want to create an automation clip.
Now, head over to Gross Beat.
Left click on the slot you want, now right click on it, and select Create Automation Clip.
You should now have an automation clip created in your playlist!
Now’s time where I create points, and copy + paste values for precision.
To copy and paste your automation clips for precision, left click the slot you want to play, right click and select Copy Value. This copies the exact spot of where the slot is in regards to percentage in your automation clip.
Inside your automation clip, you have from 0 to 100% – In between 100%, it will choose different slots. So by copying the value of a slot, you get the precise plot for an easy workflow.
A powerful tip to use Gross Beat with precision is the hold option with automation clips.
Right click to create a point on your automation clip. Then right click again on the point, and it will give you different types of points. Just simply choose Hold!
Note – You’ll want to change the end point at the very end of the automation clips to hold as well to avoid the downwards slope, as if it were on Single curve. If it’s on Single curve it works its way down each slot, doing manipulations that you don’t want at that time.
Gross Beat Gets Trapped and Won’t Change Slots
In the video tutorial above, I talk about how Gross Beat gets Trapped. It kind of like locks in the manipulation until the 4 beats are over.
So how do you prevent this? – It’s to do with Trig Sync and Pos Sync.
In the bottom right of Gross Beat, you will see a few options:
- TRIG SYNC
- POS SYNC
I find if I select TRIG SYNC and POS SYNC as OFF, it frees up that slot in Gross Beat, allowing for quick changes and manipulation. It gives me way more control on changing slots, and making my loop sound how I want!
Points to Consider
If you’ve noticed in FL Studio, if you create an automation clip for a sound, it permanently sets it in place.
So if your automation clip slowly rises upward, it will stay upward until the end of the song. But if you start the song from the beginning, the sound plays at the original place you created the automation clip.
A work around is to create the automation clip at zero, or how ever you want the track to sound when it’s not being effected. This keep your loop uneffected before the automation clip, and won’t lock it in place.
And once your automation clip is done, be sure to add a point at the end and copy + paste the value of the beginning into the end point. This will keep your track sounding exactly how you want, without fighting the picture FL Studio takes when creating an automation clip.
More Selection in Gross Beat
After creating this tutorial, I watched a few tutorials on Gross Beat for my own knowledge, and I found out a powerful tip!
Gross Beat has more preset options than what I showed! (Which isn’t the easiest to find!)
In the top left arrow of Gross Beat, hover over Presets. Select any of the following!:
It just opens more doors for creativity!
Hope you enjoyed the Gross Beat tutorial!