Editing, Looping & Sampling

How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio [Quick Tip]

Written By : Andrew Siemon

One thing I appreciate about FL Studio is its seamless workflow. People who are familiar with Producer Society know I like GarageBand a lot and I’ve written countless tutorials for it, however, FL Studio has some big upsides to it too. Like any DAW, it takes some getting used to but that’s to be expected.

Using the Piano Roll and the main interface takes a day or two to fully understand. For instance, it took me a bit of searching to figure out how to repeat patterns. If you’re programmed a melody or a drum pattern, you’ll probably want to repeat it at some point. You may even want to extend it to the end of your project. Thankfully, it’s easy to do.

To repeat a pattern in FL Studio
1) Use the shortcut (F5) or (fn + F5 in macOS) to open the Playlist
2) Hold Command/Control and click on the pattern so it turns red
3) Then, use (Control/Command + B) to duplicate the pattern
4) Hold the (Control/Command + B) to duplicate the pattern repeatedly

The instructions above are for both Windows and macOS respectively, so you should have no issue using that command to repeat the pattern. This is going to be a short tutorial today, however, I’ll make sure to answer a few more questions about how to navigate FL Studio. Also, I’ve included a video and an illustrated tutorial below.

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How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio (Piano Roll, Playlist, and More)

In my view, the most important thing to know about FL Studio – which you can get here on Plugin Fox – is that the main interface is the Playlist. This is the area where you can actually organize the patterns you’ve created, whether they’re MIDI, audio recordings, or drum tracks.

FL Studio’s Playlist is the equivalent of the workspace in GarageBand. But rather than bringing up the Piano Roll in the Smart Controls underneath the workspace, FL Studio has it so you can have the Playlist as the main window.

Simply put, the Playlist is where you repeat, duplicate, delete, extend, and retract patterns. Here’s a brief video showing you how to do all of this if you prefer that:

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1) Use the Shortcut, (F5) or (fn + F5 in macOS) to Bring Up the Playlist

Playlist - How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio [Quick Tip]
This is what the Playlist looks like in FL Studio. You can edit, loop, delete, duplicate, and a whole lot more to your tracks.

The (fn + F5) command in FL Studio – macOS will toggle the Playlist. You could extend or change your Loop in the Piano Roll as well, but I find it’s more intuitive and easier to manipulate in the Playlist region.

2) Hold Command/Control and Click on the Pattern so it Turns Red

Command/Control + Click - How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio [Quick Tip]
Use (Command/Control + Click) to highlight the pattern you want to duplicate

You’ll know that your pattern is selected by the red color. If you’ve highlighted the wrong pattern by accident, you can click on another pattern without holding command.

When the pattern is red, this is also how you can copy and paste the region to different tracks. Highlight the track and then click anywhere else in the Playlist to paste the pattern to where you’ve clicked.

3) Use (Control/Command + B) to Duplicate the Pattern

Duplicate Once - How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio [Quick Tip]
It’s easy to duplicate your patterns in FL Studio using this command. The Playlist gives you complete control over the manipulation of the tracks.

Use (Command/Control + B) to duplicate the pattern. If you click it once, it’ll duplicate once.

4) Hold the (Control/Command + B) to Duplicate the Pattern Repeatedly

Duplicating Pattern - How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio [Quick Tip]
What the Playlist looks like after I’ve duplicated my pattern a bunch of times.

But if you hold (Command/Control + B), you’ll duplicate the pattern as many times as you need to. And this is essentially how you duplicate or copy patterns in FL Studio. As you can see, it’s not terribly challenging.

The GarageBand equivalent to (Command/Control + B) is to press the ‘L’ on your keyboard with the region selected. But what if you wanted to extend one Pattern, rather than duplicate it? This isn’t difficult either. Let’s get into that now.

How to Make Patterns Longer in FL Studio

1) Use the Shortcut, (F5) or (fn + F5 in macOS) to Bring Up the Playlist

Playlist - How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio [Quick Tip]
Again, this is how the Playlist looks in FL Studio.

You have to bring up the Playlist as you did before. Use the (F5) or (fn + F5) command – the former for Windows and the latter for macOS. Once you’re there, you can just grab on to it and drag the pattern as far as it needs to go.

2) With Your Pointer, Click on the End of the Pattern and Drag it Forward

Extend the Loop - How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio [Quick Tip]
This is the result. The pattern can be dragged as far as you need it to go.

But what if you want to delete your patterns? This is even easier. As a matter of fact, FL Studio probably has the greatest ‘delete’ function out of any DAW that I’ve tried thus far.

How to Remove A Loop Bar in FL Studio

1) Use the Shortcut, (F5) or (fn + F5 in macOS) to Bring Up the Playlist

Playlist - How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio [Quick Tip]
Here’s the Playlist again.

Do the same thing as before. Bring up the Playlist with (F5) so we can start eliminating patterns.

2) Right-Click on the Pattern You Want to Delete and It’ll Disappear

Delete Patterns - How to Repeat Patterns in FL Studio [Quick Tip]
Right-click the patterns to delete them in FL Studio

After you can see everything, you just have to right-click on the pattern and it’ll disappear instantaneously. The nice thing about FL Studio is this very same thing can be done in the Piano Roll as well.

For instance, if you have dozens of notes that you’ve decided to erase, you can just hold down the right-click and wipe the whole interface clean as if you’re using a brush on a chalkboard. The video at the start of the article has a short demonstration at the end.

Important Things to Note About Repeating Patterns in FL Studio

1) You Can Delete Patterns in the Piano Roll as Well

As I said earlier, you can get rid of your patterns, MIDI notes, and audio recordings in the piano roll as well. However, it’s much easier and more efficient to eliminate them in the Playlist.

You could probably delete sections in the Channel Rack too if you really wanted to. I talked about this in my other guide on adding drum kits, but if you want to delete a specific instrument in the track, you can right-click on the plugin slot and press “Delete..”

Gear Mentioned

1) FL Studio Fruity Edition (on Plugin Fox)

Andrew Siemon is the principal creator of ProducerSociety.com, a website dedicated to all things music, including music production, music theory, recording, and how to use the most popular DAWs. Starting out as a metal guitarist, Andrew has since moved into other areas of music production including hip-hop and fusion

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