1. Music & Audio
  2. Audio Production

Master Pitch and Tempo in FL Studio

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In this tutorial we are going to cover how to use FL Studio's master pitch and tempo tools to create a massive slow down you'll hear at the end of some songs. This effect first came from records that would slow down as they came to an end and caused a drop in pitch and speed. Soon DJs would emulate this at a club as an effect. In the digital realm these is no record we can put our hands on, but we can automate a slider or two to get the same effect. If your using another DAW, check to see if you have a master pitch or tempo you can automate in your DAW. With all that in mind, let us begin!

Step 1: Pick Your Beat

Before we can start the slow down we will need something we can slow down first. To really show this effect off I am going to use an instance of Drumaxx and create beat by using a prebuilt pattern in the Drum n Bass genre. Drum n Bass usually floats around 170-190 BPM and is perfect for our purposes. After that I will drag my pattern out for 8 bars in a piano roll and set my tempo to 180. In addition, I am going to add a bass line to give it some context.

At this point you can use whatever you want for a sound source but I recommend something at a high BPM and not an audio loop. Audio loops that are slowed down act like records, this is meant to show you how do get the same effect with multiple tracks. Here is my beat...

Step 2: Automating the Tempo

Now that we have our beat laid out we are first going to slow down the tempo. If you go back to your tempo window and right click it you will see a menu pop up. Click "create automation clip" and you'll see a envelope appear in your playlist window below your pattern.

Now since we want to adjust the tempo at the very end, let's say the last 2 bars for a quick slow down, we need to add more control points. At the beginning of bar 7 add a control point and make sure it has the same value as the first point so the tempo won't for the first 6 bars (mine values were 17%). Assuming your last point is at the very end of your beat, drag it all the way to the bottom of the automation clip. If you hit playback you'll hear a massive slow down now at the end of your beat. You can also take your tension point and adjust the fall off curve of the tempo. Here is what mine looks and sounds like...

Step 3: Automate the Master Pitch

The Master Pitch fader is the only easy way to change the pitch of everything all at once. Unless you're trying to quickly change keys of a song, the slowdown is the only other obvious use for it. The Master Pitch fader can go a maximum of 1200cents lower than the standard pitch and we will use all off it. Again if you right click the fader you can create an automation clip for the pitch fader; it should appear under your playlist.

Again add your control points to your automation clip so that they about match your tempo automation. You probably will not want wildly different curves for these two since pitch and speed coincide with records and that is the effect we are trying to emulate. Here is my result...

Final Thoughts

You now have recreated the record slow down effect, but else can you do? You can always go the opposite and speed up! Now remember, if you're slowing down a full song that is not separated into tracks you should get pitch change inherently like a record. Also keep in mind, when you slow down a song this drastically, the last note will always ring much longer. Make sure you leave a little bit of room for the pitch to drop for the length of the last note so it doesn't become stagnant. Hope you liked the tutorial!

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