This article explores how we can alter the tempo/BPM of an FL Studio session without changing its pitch. You can do this faster than you may imagine. There are two methods to do so, which we will talk about in detail in this article and also discuss how we can change the BPM of individual samples.
We will see how we can fit external samples or audio loops to our project’s BPM/tempo. Further, we will discuss how we can use Macros in FL Studio to change the Tempo of the entire session while keeping the same pitch or key, without disturbing the timings of the arrangement, in just two steps.
We will also discuss how to do tempo automation in FL Studio. Many new music producers aren’t aware that audio clips simultaneously could be changed to stretch mode together in a single step. Let’s dive right in to talk about how we can do this.
How to Change Tempo/BPM Without Changing Pitch in FL Studio?
To change the BPM/Tempo of an FL Studio session without affecting its pitch and timings, go to Tools > Macros > Switch all clips to > Realtime stretching. That will change the stretch mode of all the audio clips (loops & samples) in FL Studio to the real-time stretch algorithm.
After that, enable the stretch button on the “Clip focus” (waveform icon in the left upper corner of the Playlist Window) in the Playlist window. Once the stretch button is enabled, go to Tempo, right-click on it, select “type in value…” under “Value,” and type the desired BPM you want to set.
That will change the BPM/tempo of your session without changing its pitch and disturbing the arrangement’s timings.
Alternatively, you can also go to every audio clip and select their stretch mode algorithms individually. You want to do this because if you follow the instructions mentioned above, you can change the stretch mode algorithm of all clips to real-time stretch, which you may not want.
For example, for percussion or drums samples and loops, you’d want to select the “Slice stretch” algorithm under stretch modes if you want to increase the BPM of the session. And if you want to decrease the BPM for the session, you’d want to select the “Slice map” algorithm for drums or percussion samples or loops.
Slice algorithms are better suited for impulse sounds with transients, like kicks, snares, percussions, drums, or percussion loops. You can select slice algorithms by going to the sampler where the sound is loaded, then clicking on “Mode,” and selecting Slice stretch or Slice Map from the open drop-down menu.
Once you have selected the right algorithms for all the audio clips in the session, you can enable stretch mode on the Playlist window and change or automate the tempo. Ensure that the stretch mode is set to either stretch, slice, or Elastique and not Resample for all the audio clips.
How to do Tempo automation without changing the pitch in FL Studio?
In some cases, you may need to automate the session’s tempo. For that as well, you have to go to Tools > Macros > Switch all clips to > Realtime stretching. After that, you’ll have to right-click on the tempo and click on: Create automation clip to create automate the tempo of the project.
We will create an automation clip of the tempo in the timeline, which we could edit to do tempo-automation. You must set the correct tempo values to the changing points in the automation clip, as automation values lie between 0 and 1.
To do that, change the session’s tempo and set it to the value you want to automate and copy its value. For example, if you want to change the BPM from 112 to 114, change the tempo to 114 BPM and right-click on it, and click on “Copy value…”. Now click on the tempo automation clip on that time-stamp where you want the tempo to change. Right-click on that point and past the value.
Similarly, you’ll have to set the tempo values at different points in the timeline according to how you want the tempo to change. Then, by clicking on SLIDE or STEP modes under the automation clip (line icon on the left top corner of playlist window, next to the waveform icon) in the playlist window, you can further edit the tempo automation clip as per your preference.
Keep in mind that for tempo automation in which the tempo changes in real-time, only Real-time stretch modes, that is, Stretch and Resampling, can be selected. So for tempo automation, we cannot select the Elastique or Slice algorithm, and we have to stick to only the Real-time stretch algorithm as the stretch mode.
How do you change a sample BPM without changing its pitch?
To change the tempo or BPM of a sample without affecting its pitch, the first step is to change the stretch mode of the Sample to stretch (if it’s melodic) or slice (if it’s percussive). We can change the stretch mode by opening the drop-down menu under “Mode” in the sampler in which the Sample is loaded.
After that, right-click on the Sample, and go to Sample> Fit to tempo. After you click on Fit to tempo, the Tempo detection window will open up in which you can type in the BPM to which you want to stretch or map the Sample by clicking on “Type in (BPM)”. You will typically type the project BPM in this.
The instruction mentioned above, if followed, will change the tempo of your sample to the desired tempo. Alternatively, you can enable the stretch button on the playlist window and manually stretch the audio clip or sample by clicking on it and dragging it across the timeline. You can drag this audio freely across the timeline if you click on “alt” while dragging it with the mouse.
Does changing tempo change pitch?
Changing tempo will change the pitch of the samples/audio clips because, by default, the stretch mode algorithm in FL Studio is set to Resampling. Therefore, to not change the pitch with tempo, you’ll have to change the stretch mode algorithm of all the samples to real-time stretch, elastique, or slice.
FL Studio is an extremely user-friendly DAW and gives easy solutions to changing the BPM/tempo of a session or a project without altering its pitch. Furthermore, the Macro Tools in FL Studio are convenient for making changes to the entire session in a few seconds and in fewer steps.
We have seen how tempo or BPM can be transformed for the entire session, either by manually altering the stretch modes of each clip or by doing that together by using Macros. We have also seen how tempo can be automated without altering its pitch. We have seen different stretch modes of the Sampler in FL Studio can be applied in different scenarios. Hope this article was helpful in providing you with detailed information on the topic.
Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.