How to Create Music?

20 April 2010

A short note on how to create any kind of music, from trance to classical, using FL Studio 9.

Alright, first of all we need this program called Fruity Loops, or FL Studio 9. It is a program you can use to create your own music, equipped with synthesizers, MIDIs and lots of different plug-ins / effects you can use. Most DJs that create house or trance music uses this.

You can get it here.

The Interface
Alright, I guess you won't know where to start if you opened it for the first time and you're lazy to read the manuals. So, notice the list of Tracks at the right side of the window. This is where you'll put in your audio files to mix in through different tracks. This is called the Playlist.

The Playlist

Then we have this part just beside it. By default it has Kick, Clap, Hat and Snare in it. This is your basic drum beats you can use for your music, but you can also use other plug-ins that comes together with FL Studio to do drum beats.

When you click on the squares beside Kick, Clap or others, they're lighted up. And when you click Play, you can hear how your sequence goes. This is called the Step Sequencer.

Step Sequencer

Lastly we have this menu right at the top of the program. The first two buttons are for the Playlist and Step Sequencer. The third button with the piano keys is called the Piano Roll.


In the Piano Roll, you can select the instrument/plug-in to play with at the top of its window, beside the "Piano Roll" text. As you can see in the image, I have selected Kick, which is not a good thing as you can't really play drum kicks with different keys through a piano.

Use the piano roll for your melody.

Piano Roll

The fourth one is the browser, which is self-explanatory. You can browse all the files and plug-ins in FL Studio.

The fifth one is the Mixer. You get to use it when you deal with effects such as Delay, Chorus, Phase and much more.

Creating a Melody
To create a melody, you need to think of something in mind. Think of a good tune which is from yourself. Create one! If you could not think of any, you can base your tune off of something else first, then slowly edit it.

Press Crtl + F8 to show all the available plug-ins you can use.

Plugin Picker

Big list of it. So lets sort it out by clicking Synthesizers. Look for Sytrus and double click it. You should see a new thing appearing on your Step Sequencer called Sytrus. There is also the plug-in menu with all the piano keys in it, it's purple in colour.


Based on the picture, the currently selected instrument/settings is the Rich String Ensemble. Press the piano keys to see how it sounds. You can then open the Piano Roll to start making your melody. Click anywhere in the piano roll area and drag the bars to the appropriate timeline and length. If you do not like this sound, right click on the Arrows just beside the Close (X) button and select the one you like.

Creating the Beat
You can create beats using the preset ones (Kick, Hat, Clap, Snare) or you can select the Drum synthesizers to make more realistic drum beats.

Thats really it. There is more in FL Studio, just discover the plugins in there. Experiment a bit and you could start making your own music. I just got this program so I really don't know how to make your own sounds, but just experiment! Here are some examples I made, although it doesn't sound good, but at least it's something you can do in FL Studio.