Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Examining the Playlist window, part of Up and Running with FL Studio.
In the previous chapter, we looked at how to create multiple patterns in the Channel window using the step sequencer and by playing the keyboard. One way of using patterns is to create individual sections of a larger project separately. The place where everything comes together is in the Playlist window. You can open it using its button in the toolbar or with the keyboard shortcut of F5. So here you can combine and loop the patterns you've created, as well as audio clips, and you can also add things like automation and combine everything together into a song or project. But before we get into the specifics, let's take a quick tour around the Playlist window.
I'm going to make this window a little bit bigger. All right, so at the top of the Playlist window is the toolbar, and this is where you'll find tools for editing and arranging your project. You might notice that these tools are very similar to the tools we saw in the Piano roll. You can see them right here. And they are nearly identical, with a few exceptions, but more on that later. Below the tools we have three tabs. These are the Focus tabs, and you use them to determine which elements are displayed here in the main portion of the window. The default is pattern clips, which you'll see when you're adding patterns that you created in the step sequencer.
Automation allows you to program or automate certain properties or behaviors of your song. For example, you can automate the volume levels of a track so it gets louder or quieter at specific points of the song. The other tab is Audio clips. This tab becomes selected when you manage your audio clips and live recordings. So again, these three tabs determine what you see and work with in the main section of the playlist window. So the main portion of the window is comprised with these tracks, and they are labeled Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, and so on, all the way up to Track 99.
So you can have up to 99 tracks in your playlist. Each track has a Mute button so you can quickly silence its contents. Now, the cool thing here is the Mute button works not just for sounds, but also for automation. So if you have automation data on a track and you want to hear what the playback sounds like without it, you can just click the Mute button to temporarily turn it off. The mute button also acts a solo button if you right-click it. That means all the other tracks except the one you click. I'll right-click it again to unsolo it. Now, in terms of viewing your project's pieces, you can scroll left or right, you can grab the handle at the end of the scrollbar to adjust the width of the divisions and zoom in or out of the display, and you can do the same thing vertically with this button here. All right! So that's a rundown of the Playlist window.
Next, we'll take a look at some ways to use it to combine our patterns into a song, or at least the start of one.
- Creating a new FL Studio project
- Using the Piano roll
- Creating a beat
- Recording and editing a MIDI track
- Combining patterns
- Editing audio clips
- Routing and recording with the Mixer
- Inserting plugins
- Adding compression, EQ, and delay