Learning the basics of the Fruity Loops FPC generator will be the focus of this FL Studio tutorial. I’ll show you how I use the FPC and set it up to create beats using input from your computer keyboard.
Start up Fruity Loops and load the FPC into a channel of the step sequencer. To do this press F6 to bring up the step sequencer, right click on a channel and select Insert then FPC. Now it will load up and you might notice that the FPC is based off the old MPC hardware sampler, drum machine.
Basically what you have is 16 pads on the right that can be loaded with a sample and triggered by clicking on each pad or routing it to a MIDI controller of some kind. And on the left there are 16 corresponding boxes of the pad note and cut group matrix. These set what MIDI note will play the sample you have in the same pad on the right side. For instance maybe you have Pad 1 in the lower right hand corner and the pad note/octave may be at C5 here C is the note and 5 represents the octave.
At the top it shows which pad you’re editing and the sample loaded in it. Also next to the Pad name you can set the volume and pan of each individual pad sample. If you want to load a different sample into a pad click the little folder icon in the lower right of the pad and browse for your sound.
Also at the top there is three tabs labeled Pads, Layer Properties, and Mixer. Pads is what we’re working with now. Layer Properties allows you to set up various layers and sounds based on velocity changes. This tab can be tricky to use and I’ll write a tutorial on using it in the future. And of course the Mixer allows you to boost and cut the volume of each pad as well as your usual mixing functions. However for now just focus on the Pads.
How I like to use the Fruity Loops FPC is by setting it up to be triggered by my computer keyboard. This way I can input beats live while recording then fix whatever needs adjusting in the Piano Roll editor. It gives a more human feel to the tracks when you’re actually playing the hits rather than laying everything out in the step sequencer.
First, I’ll find the Kick Drum, snare, and a hihat on the FPC pads. By default mine are on pad 2, 3, and 5. It might be the same for you or you may have to load up your sounds or use different pads. It doesn’t really matter what pad on the left side on FPC each sample is on, as the right side with the notes will determine which key will trigger that specific pad.
Make sure that you have the Typing keyboard to piano option is turned on. If not go to the top of FL Studio and select Options and make sure “Typing keyboard to piano” is checked.
Now you can use your computer keyboard as a MIDI input controller. Fruity Loops is set up at note/octave C4 starting at letter Z on your computer keyboard going up. For example letter Z = C4, X = C4, C = E4, and so on up the scale. The letters above these S,D,G,H,J, ect are your flat and sharp notes. Insert Fruity Keys into a channel after you’ve turned on Typing keyboard to piano and play around with it and you’ll figured out how each key is mapped to the keyboard. Here’s a useful little chart I made that shows each key and the NOTE/OCTAVE in red that it will trigger in FL. Print it out and use it as a quick reference for your Fruity Loops projects.
Here I set Pad 2 as Kick drum on the right and as note C4 (which is key Z on the computer keyboard) on the right side of FPC. Pad 3 is Closed Hat note G4 (key B). Pad 5 is Snare set to note E4 (key C). You could just as easily use whatever keys on your keyboard you like for each. I like to set mine at least two keys apart on the keyboard as sometimes when they are right next to each other on my laptop keyboard they false trigger each other for some reason. With this I can play my Hi-Hat pattern on the B key and lay out the Kick and Snare hits with Z and C.
Now you can set the tempo to your track hit record and play your beat or melody in real time. While not as responsive as a real MIDI controller it is great when laying down ideas and when you don’t have or want to hook up your other MIDI gear.
If you’re interested in using the Fruity Loops FPC with a real MIDI controller to lay down your tracks their are a few options out there that include 12 pads.