Subwoofer Magic in FL Studio

  January 15, 2016

Subwoofers are a respectable medium of creativity. Urbanites might respectfully disagree, but we maintain that the subwoofer is a unique creative medium for the most inventive of Hip Hop production. If you appreciate sound design, this tip article is for you. Let’s give you an idea of what we’re talking about. The introduction to “Bring me to Life” by Evanescence is a perfect example of sub-bass creativity. Since it’s invisible to standard stereo speakers, it gave car stereo aficionados a chance to show off the superiority of their system. One way to generate dramatic bass effects is to time stretch.

At it’s extreme, time stretching mangles sound. Fruity Loops music software, aka FL Studio, offers a broad range of time stretching effects in its slice editor. Simply stretching a bass sample using various algorithms can turn your subs into lethal weapons. All it takes is wise manipulation of simple parameters.

Follow These Four Steps:

1) In FL Studio 8, the step sequencer is the first thing you see. Double clicking on “kick” in the step sequencer opens up the menu shown in this illustration: the sampler channel panel.

2) Select a bass sample from the FL library or select it from your own sources by clicking on the file browser (located at the top of the diagram).

3) After selecting a suitably bad-ass kick sample, open the stretching algorithm menu by clicking on the algorithm name. At left, the algorithm is pro transient.

4) Stretch the kick by moving the time knob. Experiment by switching the algorithm, the pitch, the amount of stretching and also the pre-computed effects within Fruity Loops. Like all low bass production, monitoring with a sub is tantamount to a good finished product. Any program that allows time-stretching can produce exceptional and unique subwoofer effects. All you have to do is experiment - and enjoy!

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40 Responses to “Subwoofer Magic in FL Studio”

  1. Madhuchandra on November 11th, 2008 1:00 am

    Good Morning Sir.

    I would like to ask [about] some other aspects of [music production] here. Even though we composed music and recorded and mixed, the final result of [our] tracks has a huge difference when compared to an album created by professional music director. I spent lot of hours for mixing. But not satisfied with final result. What is the secret behind it?

    Now, I come to another question… Nowadays, there is a heavy bass effect we can hear in professional composing. How does they make it? Especially for a Guitar track, there is a very heavy bass and also with nice melody. How they do it?

    Also; can you suggest me from where I can download Free Indian Instruments VSTi plugins?

  2. Hit Talk Staff on November 11th, 2008 8:26 pm

    Hello Madhuchandra,

    With regard to your first question, practice, research, refine, your technique. Don’t expect instant gratification. Production is just like learning Tabla, you begin with very simple rudiments and theory; mastery comes much later. Don’t be too hard on your early attempts at music production. There’s dozens of secrets. That’s why we wrote Hit Theory.

    There’s dozens of ways to produce quality Bass Timbres. If you’re shy on the budget, try downloading Audjoo Helix (free synth, fantastic Bass timbres.) Finally, MOTU Ethno Instrument is a VSTi with expressive reproductions of some Indian Instruments, but there are also countless sound libraries, most of it costs money. Keep at it, and some day you could be rollin’ like A.R. Rahman.
    Best of luck!

    - Hit Talk Staff

  3. Quick on January 3rd, 2009 10:25 am

    I’m having a Young buck moment here, “I’m a lil confuse on what exactly you are saying are you saying for us to get a bass and a bassdrum or just a bass drum

  4. Hit Talk Staff on January 3rd, 2009 4:57 pm

    Hi Quick,

    Yes, we mean just a kick drum. Your confusion was understandable. Normally we substitute “kick” for “bass drum” for that specific reason.

  5. olutayo on January 7th, 2009 4:47 am

    How can I produce a standard consistent rap track?

  6. B.r.o on January 7th, 2009 8:25 am

    I’m trying to get my on label started, and bring new artists out so any tip is needed.

  7. Hit Talk Staff on January 7th, 2009 7:39 pm

    Hi olutayo,

    A standard, consistent rap track? Well, you can start by checking out the What You Know Hit Report (2nd from the bottom):

    You may also want to sign up for the email tips which will give you even more than what we offer online:

    If you have a look over the rest of the site’s content and you have more specific questions, let us know!

  8. Hit Talk Staff on January 7th, 2009 7:44 pm

    Heya B.r.o.,

    If you’re willing to put the work in to your own label, and you’re confident in your production ability, a Broadjam membership can really help boost your promotional power and exposure. You can get a free $100 Broadjam membership when you purchase a qualifying product from ModernBeats:

  9. 2pe kool on January 19th, 2009 12:36 am

    Hi there,
    I’ve got one problem. When I make beats on my computer using fruity loops they sound really great, but when I burn them on disk and play in my car they don’t sound the same and the sound quality is less. I don’t know if my subwoofer could be the cause of this or what else. can u help?

  10. Hit Talk Staff on January 19th, 2009 1:11 am

    Yo 2pe Kool,

    It depends on what you’re using to monitor your mix with. Your subwoofer is not the cause (otherwise you’d notice the same thing with pro mixes) Since you mention your subwoofer though, the problem might be that you’re mixing the bass too loud. Are you using small headphones or speakers? If so, you might be overcompensating while monitoring your mix. To mix accurately (to make the mix sound good in a car stereo), it’s best to invest in a quality monitoring system. Using a pair of quality studio monitors (like the M-Audio BX8 for example), on proper stands in the proper configuration, is essential. Some amateur producers can get away with using high quality monitoring headphones, but there’s really no replacing a good set of studio monitors.

  11. Quick on January 19th, 2009 7:34 pm

    I have some BX5a monitors and some ath-m30 audio-technica headphones are these adequate enough for some basic mixing and honest sound output, if not what else do you recommend and are subwoofers necessary to get a true representation of some booming bass.

  12. admin on January 19th, 2009 8:04 pm

    Yea Quick, a sub is definitely necessary to hear low frequencies in detail. Definitely worth the investment.

  13. Quick on January 23rd, 2009 4:57 am

    I was also wondering how do you use an 808 As A Bassline

  14. Magic on February 22nd, 2009 6:03 pm

    i jus got mah sub installed, its a 12″ type r hooked to a alpine mono amp and it hits low basses like a champ but muffles out with high basses, whats my problem and how do i fix it??

  15. Hit Talk Staff on February 22nd, 2009 6:12 pm

    Hey Magic,

    a 12″ type r? The bass frequencies from your subs might be overlapping with the low mid/bass frequencies causing cancellation. You could fix it by installing a crossover. Is this your car stereo?

  16. Ben on June 18th, 2009 1:38 pm


    I am fairly new to FL Studio 8. One of the main problems I am having is a pounding hard hitting, sub rattling bass line. I am creating house/techno music. WIll streching do the trick? I just came across this and am excited to give it a try when I get off work. I am looking for something that makes your bones chill when you hear it, kinda like this.

    bass comes in around 1:00 mark. Heard this played live and went nuts. If I could create bass similar, at least in terms of that punch that you feel throughout your body, I would be making much better music.

  17. Ben on June 18th, 2009 2:20 pm

    Sorry, didn’t mean to share a live version of that song×2MroNN_uw

  18. Hit Talk Staff on June 24th, 2009 1:08 pm

    Hi Ben,
    Yeah, that’s a great bass tone. That’s that deep resonant bass sound that a lot of the old TB machines had. There’s a few ways to create it. If you look through any kick sample library, usually you’ll find something with a kick like that. Slightly softer attack, nice resonant decay. A big part of creating tracks that have large bass presence is managing those frequencies and making sure they don’t interact destructively to cancel eachother out. Check out our 10 email tips, and you’ll find out lots about managing bass.

  19. Ben on June 24th, 2009 3:05 pm

    Hey thanks for the response! I found a pretty cool free plugin, simple and basic, pretty good for achieving that style of bass (Link below). Got the email tips as well..Great website, Def just bookmarked it!


  20. andre thomas on June 26th, 2009 9:02 pm


  21. karibo on November 18th, 2009 2:47 pm

    hi am a producer in nigeria i have been using other softwares like reason and so on but i thing i am beginning to like fl pls how do i balance my kick and bass

  22. Hit Talk Staff on November 19th, 2009 3:24 pm

    Karibo, check out our most recent production tip.
    also try signing up for the email tips

  23. russ on December 4th, 2009 3:28 am

    how do i get an 808 bassline to sound clean with mixing i mean i have the right idea but after mixing its does sound the same in my car system..

  24. Nkonkisto on January 8th, 2010 3:28 pm

    I am interested in knowing how to cut and merge my projects using fl studio playlist. I also like to know how to use samples in fl sampler. I am a fl 8 new user.

  25. Hit Talk Staff on January 8th, 2010 11:01 pm

    You’re best to consult the image-line homepage. We can deal with some program-specific troubleshooting, but not all.

  26. DENREAL on June 18th, 2010 4:58 pm

    what effects can i use to master hip hop vocals in fl studio 9?.i want to have a surrounding in as if it were in a real studio that the vocals are crystal clear.Please help me.

  27. Alex on August 12th, 2010 5:15 am

    that evanescence song is such a bad example of bass
    and from people who claim to be hip-hop fans
    tut tut

  28. Hit Talk Staff on August 12th, 2010 12:46 pm

    Lol! It’s just an example! Point is that there’s a bunch of stuff you can’t hear without a subwoofer. Not everyone at Hit Talk is a die-hard hip hop fan, but if we didn’t enjoy it, we wouldn’t comment on it. (I don’t think ANYONE here is a fan of “Bring me to Life”, but ppl at least know the song) Sorry if we got it stuck in your head.

  29. Hit Talk Staff on August 12th, 2010 12:49 pm

    @Denreal: looks like your comment has gone unanswered. Best advice to you is to check out the Lady Gaga and What You Know reports. It’s not all about effect plugins (although a good stereo chorus might bring you closer to what you’re looking for.)

  30. Tumelo on September 17th, 2010 3:24 pm

    Ey bro…i am using a home computer and want to record in my bed room.i want to buy a a normal performing mic good for da job?

  31. Hit Talk Staff on September 21st, 2010 8:48 pm

    You’ve gotta consider microphone AND interface. Performing mics can work okay, but usually you’ll want to buy a condenser mic. If you don’t have anything yet, a USB Condenser can work great.

  32. PK on December 19th, 2010 11:27 pm

    When is Modernbeats coming out with a library sole dedicated to kicks; just like the library you developed for claps (klub klaps) and snares (supreme snarez), both of which by the way are phenomenal. After purchasing Supreme Snarez i wondered if that was something you guys are developing of thinking about developing

  33. Hit Talk Staff on January 11th, 2011 11:32 pm

    @PK You might try vintage machinez 1 & 2. And keep your ear to the ground. You may just get your wish.

  34. waltermc on June 15th, 2011 8:46 am

    Hey, i appreciate your help and advice with fruity loops, all has been useful. But one question i have concerns the production and exportation of my finished song. The exported songs bass is extremely loud an distorted, while in fruity loops, the bass sounded just fine.
    - why does the bass not come out as clean on itunes as it does in fruity loops?

  35. Djabriil on July 3rd, 2011 2:05 pm

    I’ve got a mix going in FL Studio 9, with a fairly intricate subbass line in it. The problem I’m coming up against is that, while it’s pretty limited and compressed, as well as turned fairly low in the overall mix, when it kicks in, I’m getting, for lack of a better term, “blanking out” of everything else in the mix (where the volume of other instruments is noticeably lower than the bassline whenever it kicks in on the track). I don’t have a copressor on the Master channel, and I’m not limiting the rest of the track (at the moment), so I’m wondering how to lessen the effect the bass has on everything else as much as possible.

  36. SLYDELIC on October 11th, 2011 2:24 am

    To make ya sound come out better you have to teak it by using an equalizer,reverb and compresion.I also use my stereo speaker hooked up to my laptop using fruity
    Loops to mix and master or tunning my hats,kicks,bass and claps and thers different ways to mix and master ya tracks to make ya sound come. out better and also I use a

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  39. jay on April 11th, 2012 3:26 pm

    which bass instrument is the best when composing a hip hop beat

  40. Hit Talk Staff on July 15th, 2012 6:01 pm

    @jay: Any synth bass or electric bass guitar will suffice. The main trick is applying a low pass filter over the bass instrument to achieve a nice sub sonic bass feel popular in hip-hop. Having said that, a sine wave synth can act as a great hip-hop bass instrument without any further low pass filtering applied.

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