How to Use Varied Time Signatures in Fruity Loops (Fl Studio)

Опубликовал Admin
13-01-2021, 21:00
This article explains how to use varied time signatures in Fruity Loops (FL Studio.) FL Studio is a powerful all-round audio software application that encompasses practically all elements of electronic music production. Arguably the most noticeable limitation is the inability to formally create a song with changes in time signature during the song. In simple terms, each bar (or 'line' of a pop song) is commonly set to four beats. Although this value can easily be altered in FL Studio general settings, the number of beats per bar remains fixed to the general settings. This article presents a workaround that, for a well-organized user, will provide a means to compose and edit music that has frequent time signature changes. It is assumed that the reader is already familiar with the general controls of FL Studio.


  1. Set your pattern grid to accommodate varied time signatures.
    • Open up the pattern window.
    • Left-click on the grid menu (Button with a small 3x3 grid icon, next to the word 'Playlist').
    • Click on 'Line', then 'Beat'.This step allows the user to place bars of music anywhere on the pattern grid beat-by-beat, rather than being confined to a predetermined bar-by-bar grid. From this point on, simply ignore the bar count along the top of the pattern and piano roll windows; or just use them for general reference; They no longer refer to your varied time signatures.
  2. Label your patterns.It is good practice to name your patterns according to their content. In the case of varied time signatures, the content of each pattern includes the number of beats in the bar. #*Right-click a pattern name to rename it.An effective method of neatness is to name your patterns in the following format:[beats].[instrument].[part].[sub-part]For example: 4.bass.chorus.buildup, 5.drums.verse1.crescendo, 3.bgd.break1.wizz
  3. Under this system, each pattern line should be strictly one specific time signature. It is expected that each non-identical part and "sub-part" of music would have a separate pattern; therefore this should naturally apply to parts with differing time signatures.Furthermore, each pattern should strictly use the relative instrument and part names at all times. This is good practice to avoid mixing up patterns or doubling-up on channels (see warnings, below.)
  4. Set each pattern to its associated time signature.In simple terms this means setting the number of beats per bar. Do so prior to composition to avoid confusing pattern-length problems.
    • Open up the step sequencer.
    • In the top left corner, a small digital dial should be visible (similar to this: [--] )
    • Left-click and drag upwards to set the number of beats per bar for this pattern. Remember that this should be equal to the number of beats specified in the pattern name.


  • The pattern window can be set to 'step' in the grid menu to allow finer time-control of the placement of patterns. This is not recommended for disorganized or inexperienced users.
  • For more complicated time signatures, for example 12-8 (commonly referred to as a ballad), adjusting FL general settings of beats per bar and steps per beat could allow for a more complicated time signature changes. This is for experienced users only.


  • Avoid mixing up patterns or doubling-up on channels
  • No audio software is perfect. Playing two notes on the same channel from different patterns should in theory be trouble-free, but careless use or abuse of this could cause channel conflicts, software and hardware-related.
  • Careful use of pattern-cloning and copy-paste features should give the user easy access to such compositional techniques.
  • Where possible, simply create a fresh pattern line for new mixtures of content.
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