FL Slicing and Named Regions

If you have a wav editor that creates named regions (is there one that doesn’t?) and FL Studio with the Beat Slicer plug-in then you may not realize just what a powerful, customizable beat-slicer you have at your disposal.

If you start with a beat (or voice track) or anything that has easily isolated snippets of sounds, you can mark them off in your wav editor, name them something meaningful to you and load them in FL Studio’s Beat Slicer to assign those names to MIDI keys.

Let say you have Sound Forge or Cool Edit (lately called Audition). Do yourself a favor and turn on the option that snaps selects to “zero crossings.”

In Sound Forge the option is on the “Options” menu

In Cool Edit (and I think Audition) it’s under “Edit”

Doing this first guarantees that you won’t have those nasty ‘clicks’ at the beginning and end of your slices.

Now, in your editor of choice, select an isolated part of the wave and make a region (in Sound Forge just hit the ‘R’ key) then name it. The regions don’t have to be concurrent or touching and it doesn’t matter how many there are. (Although the wav file should be no more than a few beats and the shorter the regions, the more control you will have.)

If you do have big gaps between the regions you might as well do a “Save As…” under a different name and delete the gaps between the regions. (In Sound Forge you do this by double clicking between the regions and hitting the ‘Delete’ key.)

Now close the editor and and open up FL Studio. Select the wav you just created by right clicking on it. Select ‘Open in New Slicer Channel’:

That creates a Beat Slicer channel with your wav file pre-loaded. In the current pattern it also creates a pattern using every slice end to end. Click on the drawing of the pattern to open the Piano Roll.

Now check out how the region names show up in the piano roll as the named ‘keys’:

Pretty damn cool and completely takes the guess work out of the slicing and performing process. (I still end up with a strip of masking tape over my MIDI keyboard with laundry marker scibbles but at least I can copy the names from here with 100% degree of confidence I’ve got the mapping correct.)

Region Sliced

[ listen ]
[ download ]

I’ve uploaded a sample FL project file (right-click ‘Save Target/Link’ — you don’t need to unzip it, just load it directly into FL Studio). This demonstrates what I just talked about and you can click on Vincent to hear the results. The first two bars is the ‘raw’ beat I used, then a couple of bars of my slicing/mangling. I’m hardly a great beat-maker but the tools do make it easy. Maybe easier than you even realized!