How to turn Sample into Instrument in FL Studio


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Some plugins are very CPU hungry and it maybe enough to use a couple of them to make your computer overloaded as hell! In order to preserve CPU power and make FL Studio work faster it makes sense to sample an instrument and creat another one using FL Studio Sampler.

First, in this article, we will consider how to make a Loop from sample and then how to turn sample into an Instrument in FL Studio from a looped sample.

Choosing Sound and Sampling it!

To keep it simple I choose FL Studio Harmless. And I’m going to make a sample of Organ (preset name ‘Church Organ NUC’)).

!Notice the MIDI note I have selected in piano roll. It is C2. You may ask why I did so. Simply because if we use higher notes for creating sample and then play it at a lower pitch we’ll have a lack of higher harmonics or partials (kind of a low-pass filter effect with keytracking). Watch¬†the note lenght as well. I made it four bars long in order to create a smoother loop afterwards.

When you’ve done it, put FL Studio¬†Edison on master channel. I usually use a shortcut at the top panel (see image).

Making Loop from the Sample

Well, now it’s time to record it. Be sure you’ve selected ‘On play’ near the Record button. Now press¬†‚Źļ¬†Record button, then ‚Ė∂¬†Play¬†to start recording a sound.

Here is what I’ve recorded for the tutorial:

Before turning the sample into an instrument we have to edit the sample in FL studio. At this stage we have to trim it and delete all clippings and cracklings.

In this example I have one unwanted ‘leap’ near the end of the sample, consequently I’ll avoid it by selecting necessary area and trimmig it (Ctrl+Del). Try to do more precise selection by zooming (Ctrl + mouse wheel¬†or Alt + Left-Click and drag).

To make a loop from the sample in FL Studio you must click on circular arrows. In the opened window most important options for you are in Crossfade section. These are:¬†Length of a looped area; Tension of a crossfade “point”; and Snap,¬†that helps to minimize phase cancellation.

Blur is also a helpful tool that makes a sample smoother. Increasing Order parameter adds multiple ‘echoes‘ of the sound and smear them together. Scale controls the peak of the smear function. And Amp changes the volume of the loop.

How to set a loop? I think, setting ‘by ear’ is the best practice in this case (do your own experiments). The only advice from me is not to overdo the Tension. Since, chances are, you will end up with an ‘uneven’ loop.

creating loop from sample 4

Making Instrument from Looped Sample

As soon as your loop is ready add the Sampler to the channel rack. After that drag the loop into the Sampler using specific button (see image below).

It’s important to note that the¬†Sampler should be added manually, and only after the sample should be dragged into it. Because if you drop the sample straight into the channel rack, you won’t be able to use some features of this plugin.

Dragging into FL Studio Sampler

How to turn Sample into an Instrument in FL Studio 12

I see you’re ready to the last stage of this tutorial:¬†turning the sample into the an instrument.

In first place, set the root note of the sample (remind, I was recording MIDI note C2¬†therefore I’ll set the same note here).

Ok, move to the Envelopes and the LFOs window. You have to enable the Volume Envelope (checkbox). There are not only the basic parameters of the envelope: attack, decay, sustain, and release (ADSR), in addition to them there are: delay, hold, and curve tension knobs.

For you it would be better to experiment with different settings. Nevertheless, try to do something like I did.

Here is how it sounds with the applied volume Envelope.

By the way, to turn a sample into a really amazing instrument it might be worth to add some detuned effect¬†by modulating the pitch throug the¬†Low Frequency Oscillator¬†(I remembered some¬†Flume‘s tracks). Go to the Pitch¬†and in the LFO section try to set it (below are my settings for the LFO).

Tip: control the amount of the modulation. Excessive amount of that most likely would make it unmusical (atonal).

As you observed I have applied the very small amount of the pitch modulation with the longer delay and attack.


Cutoff Filter

I don’t use Cutoff Filter in this tutorial, nevertheless, hope you’ll try to set it as you wish. MOD X is a cutoff frequency and MOD Y is a resonance. Under the two there is a drop-down menu, through this you can choose a suitable filter type:

  • Fast LP – Light CPU load, Low Pass filter (frequencies above the ‘Cutoff’ band are cut).
  • LP – Low Pass filter.
  • BP – Band Pass filter (frequencies either side of the ‘Cutoff’ band are cut).
  • BS – Band Stop filter (opposite to ‘BP’ or just ‘Notch Filter’).
  • LPx2 – LP, steep cutoff.
  • SVF LPState Variable Filter Low Pass.
  • SVF LPx2State Variable Filter Low Pass, steep cutoff.

Having finished with this, it would be good to apply the envelopes and the LFOs to the filter (Mod X and Mod Y).

Another charming effect can be reached by modulating the Volume through the LFO, ’cause it adds some interesting rhytmic features to a musical part. Sounds really nice when applied to¬†Lush synthesizers¬†(this effect is frequently used in Future Bass).

Here it is:

The last step in ‘How to turn Sample into Instrument in FL Studio‘ will be adding Velocity/Key¬†tracking and¬†flanger (through the ‘Echo delay‘).

The idea of tracking is that it tracks the Vol (Velocity of a note) or the Key (Pitch of the note) or both, and then sends these values to target controls in order to modulate them. (Mid is the middle value where no offsets are generated.) Tracking actually gives you a lot of opportunity and spice up your instrument.

Echo delay / fat mode I’ve used to create some kind of a ‘flangy effect‘. At first, select the¬†Fat mode in¬†checkbox (lower right corner). After that set the number of Echoes to ‘2’ and then adjust the Feedback (Volume of the Echoes) and Pan (panning of the Echoes).

If you’re looking for a portamento manner of playing you can simply turn on the ‘Porta‘ button, subsequently controlling the ‘Slide‘ value.




So, this was how I turn a Sample into an Instrument in FL Studio 12! Hope you will experiment with the Sampler and come up with some fresh ideas!

I also would recommend you to try Kontakt from Native Instruments. This plugin has a lot of cool features and hence more opportunities. Highly likely that I’ll write about the awesome Kontakt in the measurable future ūüėČ.

Read also my previous article on Sidechain compression in FL studio.

I’ll be very grateful if you leave a comment and tell what do you think of this article or my blog (in total).

Here is the FL Studio project file: 
Download project file (.flp)

Marcel Deneuve.

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