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Sound Design with FL Studio’s IN and Out Knobs + Using a Sounds Natural Reverb

I don’t do sound design very often, but when I do, I use FL Studio’s IN and OUT knobs.

FL Studio - Channel Settings - IN and OUT

Haha.. Just kidding, that’s from that Dos Equis beer commercial.

Seriously though, I don’t do sound design very often, as it takes a lot of time to learn, and it’s kind of a different part of audio production.

So, since I don’t know tons about sound design, I like to have quick access to change up my sound with ease, but still have quite a lot of flexibility over my sound. FL Studio’s IN and OUT knobs do this for me wonderfully.

The IN and OUT knobs are located on the channel settings of the individual sound. But to get started sound designing how I like to sound design, there’s a few things that are important to get the best sound out of those IN and OUT knobs.

  1. Normalize — This is very important for this tutorial. Normalizing puts the audio to 0dB. In other words, it maximizes your audio to the loudest it can go without clipping.
  2. Trim Knob — By dialling the trim knob full, it cuts off the audio when adjusting the IN and OUT knobs, allowing you to fine-tune the sound exactly how you want.
  3. IN and OUT Knobs — Finally, after the other two, tweak the IN and OUT knobs to taste. You can really tweak the sound exactly how you want, or at least give yourself a good starting point.

What Would I Use This For?

Well, I use the IN and OUT a lot for claps that have a sound at the end of them which just comes in too late. I feel this makes the drum loop sound out of sync. So after normalizing, adjusting the trim knob, I will then try to cut off that late sound in the clap with the OUT knob.

This is also great if your clap isn’t hitting at the proper time because of a space at the beginning. The trim knob should do it by itself, but you may need to adjust the IN to get it exactly how you want.

If the sound has a bunch of dead space.. The IN/OUT knobs don’t work as well as you’d like.. However, if you’d really like to tweak the sound with full control, you can load the sound into Edison, chop off the dead space, and load it back in.

You may find this blog post about saving your sound-designed sounds, also adjusting them to work well with the IN and OUT knobs.

Fine Tuning Your Drums

I use the IN and OUT knobs a lot for drums as well, especially when layering.

Let’s say I have two drum samples. One punchy, which is doing the hard cut through, and one rumbly on the low-end.. But maybe the rumbly kick is a bit too long in tail length. The OUT knob would be a great tool to use here. It’s quick, easy, and no need to load up a plugin :). (Also keep in mind to get clean, hard-hitting drums, you will probably want to cut them. Watch that tutorial.)

Natural Reverb + Creative Layers,

Now I do know with sound design, layers are essential to creating the sound you want; reverb adds a lot as well. By using the IN and OUT knobs, you are also able to quickly get a natural reverb out of any sound!

The trick is to dial up the IN and OUT knobs until it amplifies the body. This will bring up background noise, and give you a unique reverb sound you can layer over top of other sounds, such as your kicks and claps. Once you’ve found that spot of natural reverb, dial the OUT to taste so you can get just the right length of decay out of the sound.

Who Would of Thought? — IN and OUT Knobs!

You probably look at those knobs everyday, and maybe never touch them, while I’ve been using them almost every day! 🙂

This is a real unique approach to my daily beatmaking workflow, which you have now been included in. Hope it helps!



GratuiTous is an artist and producer for the name of Jesus. He has many FL Studio Courses, and many BEAT TAPES and ALBUMS! In 2020 he became a Recognized FL Studio Trainer, and was previously an electrician for 10 years in Canada! Learn more..

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