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What are SAFE SPOTS? (How to Program Drum Loops)

What are SAFE SPOTS explained!

If you want to learn how to create drum loops, my SAFE SPOTS Drum Loop Book teaches all the secrets! I’ve spent hours practicing drum loop programming in FL Studio!

This free SAFE SPOTS video training reveals how easy SAFE SPOTS makes custom drum loop creation.

(In short, SAFE SPOTS is SOUND PLACEMENT in easy-to-follow terms.. it’s where we can place our drum samples to be in time and sound good!)

What are SAFE SPOTS: Create Amazing Drum Loops (FREE TRAINING!)
How to program drum loops in FL Studio (Get the Book!)

Mentioned Resources From Video:

This is updated text, but an older video. I’ve honored what I said in the video regarding the $10 membership, free Sylenth1 bank, etc:

Also, very soon I’ll be launching The Drum Corner.

You’ll be able to access free drum samples, a SAFE SPOTS .PDF about sound placement and the ORGANIC TOOLS, and exclusive videos only for those signed-up.

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What are SAFE SPOTS? (Sound Placement in Drum Loops)

Remember, around here, we’re all about creating drum loops from scratch with one-shot drum-samples. (No Pre-Made Drum Loops or MIDI Packs!)

Here’s my quick story to learning drum loops for beats.

The hardest part of creating a good drum loop was to figuring out where I was allowed to place my drum samples within my drum loop.

I always got stuck! I either felt my sound placement was horrible, or not in time! But after lots of practice, it finally clicked!

Here’s a picture of SAFE SPOTS (Sound Placement):

What are SAFE SPOTS explained!
What are SAFE SPOTS explained!
An image from my SAFE SPOTS Book!

SAFE SPOTS is super easy to understand.

When making a drum loop in FL Studio, the Channel rack has 16 steps which repeat.

You’ll see it goes 4 GREY STEPS, then 4 RED STEPS over and over!

4 STEPS is 1 BEAT!
4 BEATS is 1 BAR!

For music theory nerds, you care that these are 1/16th notes.. but in reality as a beatmaker, we just need to know where we can place our sounds.

When making beats, there’s two things we need to do every time:

We focus on time signature in this article about how to create a drum loop.

A time signature is just rules our notes follow to be in time.

Thankfully, beatmaking mostly uses 4/4 time, which is called common time. (You can try to using a different time signature.. but in reality, it just makes things harder on yourself.)

An example of common time signature (4/4 time) for making drum loops in FL Studio
Example of common time (4/4 time) for making drum loops in FL Studio
An image from my SAFE SPOTS Book!

4/4 time tells us that there are 4 BEATS in 1 BAR. (When we count 1, 2, 3, 4 to the tempo of the song).

BARS are what give a song structure, and are usually even numbers, like 4, 8, and 16. We can use 1 BAR or 2 BAR loops, but they’re often added to make a 4 BAR or 8 BAR loop.

An example of BARS in music production while creating drum loops.
An example of BARS in music production.

If you’re new, this is obviously overwhelming.. and that’s exactly why I created SAFE SPOTS because it makes music theory easy!

Here’s that SAFE SPOTS image from above again:

What are SAFE SPOTS explained!
THIS REPEATS EVERY BEAT!
STEP 1: ON BEAT
STEP 2: A [IN-BETWEENS]
STEP 3: OFF BEAT
STEP 4: B [IN-BETWEENS]

1 BEAT has 4 STEPS.
“STEP 1, STEP 2, STEP 3, STEP 4” repeats each BEAT!

In FL Studio’s Channel rack, 4 STEPS makes 1 BEAT, and it just repeats!

The first 4 GREY STEPS are BEAT 1, and the next 4 RED STEPS are BEAT 2. It then goes the next 4 GREY STEPS are BEAT 3, and the next 4 RED STEPS are BEAT 4.

After BEAT 4, it restarts back at BEAT 1 for our basic 1, 2, 3, 4, as we count over the TEMPO of the song.

However, inside 1 BEAT, there are 4 STEPS!

I call them:

  • STEP 1: ON BEAT
  • STEP 2: A [IN-BETWEENS]
  • STEP 3: OFF BEAT
  • STEP 4: B [IN-BETWEENS]
Each BEAT has 4 STEPS.  This image shows STEP 1 of each BEAT!
Each BEAT has 4 STEPS. This image shows STEP 1 of each BEAT!

1 BAR = 4 BEATS = 16 STEPS

Using SAFE SPOTS EFFECTIVELY:

Now that you know each BEAT has 4 STEPS, this is where we make a drum loop sound fuller.

Each STEP has unique traits to our drum loop.

For example, STEP 1 is common for a kick drum in dance music!

But what else can you put on STEP 1? That’s what SAFE SPOTS teaches about SOUND PLACEMENT and the effect each STEP has on us as listeners!

From my years of drum loop creation, I’ve realized STEP 1 (ON-BEAT) is easy to work with. It will ALWAYS be in time, but it may also make our music sound really rigid and boring!

What about STEP 2, STEP 3, and STEP 4?

Well, sign-up to The Drum Corner and get free training on SAFE SPOTS and learn more about these STEPS!!

But in short, once you discover how STEP 1, STEP 2, STEP 3, and STEP 4 work, then your drum loop creation skills quickly increase.

You know WHERE you’re allowed to place your sounds, what effect they have on a song, and have full control over your music.

Remember, a song is made up two things:

  • MELODIES
  • DRUM LOOPS

If a drum loop is one half of your song, you better get it right!

You can learn about melodies in my Piano Lessons for Producers course!

ORGANIC TOOLS (SAFE SPOTS BONUS)

SAFE SPOTS teaches much more than just sound placement. It reveals the FREE MIDI TOOLS, which I call ORGANIC TOOLS.

These ORGANIC TOOLS are FREE in your DAW!! (Yes 100% FREE!)

The sad thing is.. most people want fancy plugins that are expensive.. but the truth is, those types of producers will never become good because they lack the core basics of music production.

ORGANIC TOOLS (FREE MIDI TOOLS Explained):

Here’s a list of some ORGANIC TOOLS for you:

  • Velocity
  • Panning
  • Note-Nudging
  • Layering
  • Sound Selection
  • Sound Placement (SAFE SPOTS)
  • TEMPO
  • End-Loop Bring-Ins
  • Swing

Once you learn how to use these ORGANIC TOOLS, you will quickly see how powerful they are.

Then.. when we use plugins, we’re simply ENHANCING what we’ve already created.

The biggest secret is VELOCITY.

People would think to grab a compressor to fix audio that is too loud on certain notes.. but VELOCITY can fix this for you, without the negative effects of using audio compression!

Want to Make Better Drum Loops?

SAFE SPOTS Book: Create Amazing Drum Loops by GratuiTous (Riley Weller)
SAFE SPOTS: Create Amazing Drum Loops Book

My SAFE SPOTS training takes your drum loops to the next level.

You can also try my free drum loop training (Drum Corner).

You’ll learn about sound placement, these FREE MIDI Tools (ORGANIC TOOLS), and get an amazing learning experience with images, examples, and videos throughout the training.

The SAFE SPOTS Book also includes example projects at the back of the book, and comes with a BONUS VIDEO showing how to use the projects to practice and learn drum loops!

Leave a comment if you have questions, or email GratuiTous.

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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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