Arpeggios are a beatmaker’s secret tool, especially if you make dance music!
An arpeggio is a type of broken chord, which means instead of playing a block chord, where you press all three notes at once, a broken chord simply plays each note one by one, and can be played in any order!
Very skilled piano players practice arpeggios for HOURS to nail timing.. but thankfully, there’s a built-in FL Studio arpeggiator 🙂
FL Studio Arpeggio Locations
FL Studio has two main areas for arpeggios:
- Channel Sampler (any sound can be arpeggiated)
- Piano Roll (most flexibility)
We’ll cover arpeggio basics like how to get arpeggio timing right, and how the arpeggiator works in FL Studio.
Want to learn the piano? View Piano Lessons for Producers.
FL Studio Channel Sampler – Arpeggiator
The FL Studio Channel Sampler Arpeggiator has always been my favorite.
It’s easy and quick to use.. and as pro-tip.. you can arpeggiate ANYTHING in FL Studio..
I mean.. you can arpeggiate a kick drum.. claps.. but realistically, it’s most powerful for instruments (like pianos, guitars, etc).
In order to get the Channel Sampler Arpeggiator working, click the Cog, then the Wrench, then in the Arpeggiator section, CLICK AN ARROW.
I repeat.. you must click an arrow for the arpeggiator to work! And.. you must press two or more notes for the FL Studio arpeggio to work!
Most commonly I’ll use the ▲ (UP ARROW), but there’s lots of options to choose from, like down, up-down, and even random!
Watch the video for how to use the FL Studio arpeggiator, but quickly:
- TIME: This is how you get your FL Studio arpeggio timing right. A pro-tip is to RIGHT-CLICK the knob, and hover Set to assign a step.
- GATE: Adjusts the tail of the note.. (makes it tight or fast sounding). Very useful to automate during a song structure build-up!
- RANGE: Sets how many octaves you want the arpeggio to reach. It goes up to the next octave if you hold down a chord.
- REPEAT: Will repeat an octave before going to the next octave (works with RANGE).
- SLIDE: Extremely powerful to pitch bend between arpeggio notes.. doesn’t work with “slide” knob of Polyphony section.
- CHORD: Use this to get advanced.. I leave it on Auto (sustain)
FL Studio Piano Roll Arpeggiator (Riff Machine)
For clarity, it’s located in the Piano Roll menu under Tools -> Arpeggiate..
However, when you open the Piano Roll, ALT + A is the keyboard shortcut to open the arpeggiator 🙂!
One main difference you’ll notice is that there’s no REPEAT option like the Channel Sampler FL Studio Arpeggiator gives us.
The main benefit the FL Studio Piano Roll Arpeggiator has is it hard-codes notes into the Piano Roll to manually edit later (if you don’t have Group notes enabled).
I was not able to figure out how to use “Levels” for FL Studio Arpeggiator.. if you know how to use it, leave a comment below and I’ll update the article!!
Conclusion: How to Make FL Studio Arpeggios
This FL Studio tutorial about arpeggios can be applied to both stock plugins and third-party plugins like Nexus.
We covered the FL Studio Channel Sampler Arpeggiator, and the FL Studio Piano Roll Arpeggiator to create arpeggios in FL Studio!
If you’d like to learn music theory and chords for music production, I have two options to help:
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And I’d definitely view my M-Audio Oxygen Pro MIDI Keyboard review for an amazing FL Studio experience.