Meer Power
Boring synth stuff

Recording into Separate Channels in FL 9

Past versions of FL Studio allowed the use of multiple midi controllers at the same time, like a keyboard and a pad controller, but it was pretty much useless because all of them controlled the same channel. If you wanted to play a synth on the keyboard and a sampler with the pads, you couldn’t unless you jumped through some huge hoops. In FL Studio 9,  it’s pretty easy to control different things with different controller. With some finagling, some pretty neat stuff is possible, like recording multiple channels to the step sequencer.

In the step sequencer window, when a bunch of channels are selected (the little green light FL_selectednext to the channel’s name) the top selected channel will respond to midi data from midi channel 1, the second from midi channel 2, and so on.  If you set the keyboard to send notes on midi channel 1, and the pad controller to send notes on midi channel 2, you could control any instrument and drums at the same time, as long as the drum channel is below the instrument channel. This is perfect for jamming with a buddy, if you can find someone who will be your buddy.

I have a Korg PadKontrol, and one of its neat little quirks is that each pad can be set to send note or CC data on any midi channel you wish. Most of the time, every pad is pre-set to channel 10 because Korg figured I would use it for drums, and in ye olde midi days, channel 10 was for drums, always. Combined with FL 9’s ability to send different midi channels to different instruments, this opens up some unique possibilities. One of the first that I tried out was using the PadKontrol to control multiple individual sampler channels and record straight to the step sequencer. Back in the day, when I didn’t have a PadKontrol, I would just drag drum samples to the step sequencer and program my hot beats right there. I’m pretty this is what most people do, unless they need to layer things with the FPC or whatever else. Anyways, if I drag a bunch of drum samples straight into ye olde sampler channels, select all the channels I want to control, modify the midi channels of each pad on the PadKontrol to correlate with the sampler channel I want to control with that pad, go into the midi options window and select ‘record to step sequencer’, I can hit record, and whatever I play will pop up right on the step sequencer!

Maybe that isn’t very useful at all, but it’s pretty neat. FL Studio’s ‘live mode’ probably never gets used, but with the PadKontrol, specific pads can be set to trigger whichever pattern, while some pads could be used for playing drums or something. In FL Studio’s midi options, there’s a little scrolly thing to select a midi channel that will trigger patterns in the playlist, each pattern is triggered by a specific note from that channel. On the PadKontrol, each pad can be set to send any note on any channel, so it’s completely customizable.  

But if I actually wanted to do live music, I’d use Ableton Live.


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