The following bolded paragraph is the best way to slow down or speed up the tempo of an audio clip while maintaining the original pitch of the audio, but there are other ways of doing it too.
To slow down audio in FL Studio
1) Drag & drop your audio file into the Playlist
2) Double-click the Audio Clip
3) Choose “Mode”
4) Select “Stretch Pro” under the “Time Stretching” section
5) Use the resize arrow to resize the audio file
How to Slow Down Audio in FL Studio [3 Simple Ways]
Another way is to change the BPM (beats per minute) in the center of the console, fit the audio to tempo, or you can slow down the audio as an effect using stock or 3rd party plugins such as GrossBeat, SlowMo, or Halftime.
One reason you might want to slow down an audio sample will be when trying to sync the tempo of a loop or sample with the project’s tempo. This can be done by time stretching the sample, or fitting the sample’s BPM to the project. Let’s start with Time-Stretch and Fit-To-Tempo first.
1) Using Time-Stretch and Fit-To-Tempo
There are two(2) ways to do this in FL studio (one is demonstrated here in this video). They can be useful in slowing down a loop that is faster than the project or speeding up a loop that is slower than the project.
A) Using Time-Stretch
i) Import Your Audio File
You can drag the file in similar to how importation works in almost any other service. You could also do it with the File > Import option which I outlined in my guide on how to import/export in FL Studio. The manual probably has some other methods.
ii) Double-click the Audio Clip to Bring Up The Sampler Window
iii) Select the “Mode” Button And Then Choose “Stretch Pro”
Under the Mode section, select Stretch Pro. This ensures that the sample’s pitch remains unchanged when the speed of the sample is changed.
iv) Drag to Resize
v) Check With the Metronome to Ensure (Play The Song by Pressing “Song” and then the Play Button)
Now play the project with the metronome on to ensure the sample is now on the beat.
Note that this method has its own limitations because not every sample has clearly defined transients that you can visually use to ensure your audio is synced while clicking and dragging.
Alternatively, you can use FL studio’s “Fit to tempo”‘ function.
i) Open the Clip Menu
The clip menu can be accessed by left-clicking the small icon on the top left of the audio clip. You can also find it from the sampler window (which you’ll access by double-clicking the audio clip), by right-clicking on the audio waveform.
Notice “fit to tempo”, and “detect tempo”. These two options both have similar ways of operating.
The difference is that Detect tempo finds the audio’s tempo and asks you to change the tempo of the entire project; while fit to tempo finds the tempo of the audio and adjusts (stretches) it to the project’s tempo.
In both of these options, ensure that the stretch mode is set to stretch (if you want to keep the pitch).
ii) Select “Fit to Tempo”
If the BPM of the audio is known, select “type in BPM”, type the value, and accept the prompt to change the audio’s BPM. If the BPM is unknown, select a range where you think the audio will be in.
Most audio lies between 100 – 200 BPM, so I think that’s a safe range to pick. Select that and accept the prompt. By doing this, you have successfully synced your audio and project BPM.
2) How to Slow Down Audio in the Middle Of A Song With Tempo Automation
You can automate virtually every single parameter in FL Studio, including both stock and 3rd party plugins. Let’s look at it step by step.
A) Create BPM Automation
Right-click the BPM icon on the toolbar. Then select Create automation clip. This will create an automation clip where you can edit the tempo along the playlist.
B) Change the Tempo of the Project to Your Desired Tempo
Changing tempo is very easy. It’s done by clicking the BPM icon and dragging up to increase the tempo, or down to decrease the tempo. You can also choose to type in the BPM value by right-clicking on the BPM icon and selecting “Type in value”
C) Create a Node (Dot) in the Automation Clip
At the point in the playlist where you want a tempo change, right-click on the automation line, This will create a node (a point of change). Then on that node, right-click and you will find a drop-down menu.
[Pro Tip: If you want the tempo change to be abrupt, select Hold. This will make sure the change happens immediately].
D) Copy the Value of the BPM
Right-click on the BPM icon and select copy value. This makes pasting it onto the automation node much easier and more efficient.
E) Paste Value
Right-click on the node you’ve created and select “paste value”. After doing that, if you’re going to be ending the project on that song, then you must also make sure you paste the value of the BPM on the node at the end of the automation clip. This will prevent the tempo from gradually rising.
If you’ll restore the tempo at a later time in the song, or even change the tempo again, all you have to do is to create another node at the point where the tempo changes, then right-click and select hold. This treats that section as a whole.
3) How to Use Plugins Like GrossBeat, SlowMo, and HalfTime to Change Tempo
Slowing down audio can be used as an effect in different ways. Let’s take a look at some of the plugins I just mentioned.
A) Using GrossBeat
Gross beat is a time stretching, pitch shifting, and volume manipulating plugin in FL Studio that helps you tweak the time and volume of samples. It has a variety of presets you can experiment with, try out and learn later on.
It can also be used as a slow-down effect and that is what we’ll be looking at for this section of the article. You can slow down audio using Gross Beat with the below steps
i) Route Your Audio to a Mixer Track
Route your audio sample you intend to slow down to a mixer track so you can add effects to it. This is done by clicking and dragging on the track button in the sampler window. It can also be done by pressing Ctrl + L for Windows, and CMD + L for Mac.
ii) Insert Gross Beat
Insert gross beat by clicking one of the slots on the right side of the mixer view and selecting gross beat from the various effects.
iii) Slow Down Audio Using the Time Module
As stated earlier, you can experiment, play around and find something that you like. By default, the time module is what is displayed, and the ’empty’ preset is selected, but we can edit the presets any way we desire.
To slow down audio, you have to create a slope effect as you see in the picture above. Firstly, right-click on the node on the right and change the mode from HOLD to SMOOTH. This enables you to treat it as a slope. Then, drag down that node and playback the audio till you are satisfied.
B) Using SlowMo
SlowMo by Initial Audio (a cool demo in this YT video) is a plugin for slowing down audio in your project. By using it, you can immediately play back any audio in your project at half speed.
It preserves your audio quality using its built-in oversampling. This plugin was designed to be simple in its performance and operation. Let’s discuss how to use this plugin in simple steps.
i) Install SlowMo
You’ll have to get this plugin from Plugin Boutique.
ii) Route Your Audio to a Mixer Track
Route your audio sample to a mixer track so that you can add effects to it. This is done by clicking and dragging on the track button in the sampler window. It can also be done by pressing Ctrl + L for Windows, and CMD + L for Mac.
iii) Load up/Insert SlowMo
Insert SlowMo by clicking one of the slots on the right side of the mixer view and selecting SlowMo from the plugin options.
iv) Select the Time Option of Your Choice
In the plugin, the time buttons are located on the top. They change the loop points, to give you different forms in the effect.
v) Tweak the Dry/Wet Knob
Adjusting this knob mixes the original audio with the affected audio. The dry/wet knob is that circular knob that is around the on or off button, surrounded by red light. You can adjust this button to your liking and create different effects.
C) Using Half-Time
i) Installing HalfTime by Cableguys
The first step to using Cableguys Halftime is to install the plugin. You can purchase Halftime from Cableguys’ website, download the plug-in, and install it on your computer. Once installed, you can launch the plugin from FL Studio
ii) Route Audio to the Mixer
Route the audio sample to a mixer track so that effects can be added. This is done by clicking and dragging on the track button in the sampler window. It can also be done by pressing Ctrl + L for Windows, and CMD + L for Mac.
iii) Insert HalfTime
Insert Halftime by clicking one of the slots on the right side of the mixer view and selecting Halftime from the plugin options.
iv) Select a Preset
Open Halftime and select a preset; Halftime comes with a set of presets that can be used to create various half-speed effects. You can select a preset from the dropdown menu in the plugin UI. There are different categories of presets, so choose the one that works best for your project.
v) Tweak Settings
After choosing a preset, you can fine-tune the effect by adjusting the plugin settings. The plugin window allows you to adjust mix, timing, and filter settings. You can also create your half-speed effect by adjusting the bass, resonance, and frequency settings.
With the above article, we’ve been able to cover and discuss extensively how to Slow down the speed of your audio samples using FL studio and some third-party plugins. These tips are very useful and important in the professional mixing of tracks in the production process.
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