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I've seen begineers make their bases off of Pixitracker and Garageband. If you want to be more advanced with your Sparta Remixing content, I would highly recommend using FL Studio for many reasons. It can be downloaded for free, but only as a trial version.  A trial versions means that a program might be for free, but once you save a project, you can't open it back up. 

Once it's finished installing, open that bad boy up, sit back and relax while I give you a taste of tips and tricks on how to cook up your own Sparta Base! 

Getting to Know the Basics

First off, you're probably wondering how this program works. Well, let's see. You have two windows on the screen. 

The channel rack/sampler window (that has drum kits in four seperate boxes), and the pattern arrangment window. In one of the boxes that label the drum names, it shows the audio of the sample below and the file location folder icon (by the filename of the sample) which shows where the sample was selected from. In order to upload your own sample, go back to the Channel Rack, click the plus sign down below the window, and select "Sampler",  To import a sample, open up the new box that labels, "Sampler", click on the folder icon by the blank filename, import a sample and click "Import" or "OK". To create a new sample, go to the Channel Rack and click on the plus sign below the sample-labelled boxes. There are so many to choose from. We'll get into what the FL Studio samples are later.

The "Pattern 1" label is for how many times a measure of a song can be used from, such as pitch or percussion. Scrolling the "Pattern 1" label up goes back up to the first pattern, whereas scrolling down makes the label increase many patterns by one. If scrolled to an unneccessary choice of a pattern, then the rest of the others are not going to be listed in the Arrangement window. No more, no less. Only the one you scrolled down to. 

The 130.000 time-length you see (on the upper center of the main menu/status) is the BPM (beats per minute or tempo on how fast/or slow you want to make your Sparta Base). The small icons by the "Pattern 1" label show what windows you wish to pop up. Scroll up to have a slower tempo, and scroll down to have a much faster tempo. 

Samples

When you choose a new Sample from the Channel Rack's + button, you will see a whole bunch of homemade samples that are from FL Studio. There are four types of sample categories that I would recommend using samples from:

  • Drum
  • Synth classic
  • Synth special
  • Misc

The "Drum" category has different types of drum samples that you can easily put in your Sparta Base. You can make your own by adding a sample from the Channel Rack Sampler and select Packs, Instruments, then the Drums folder.

The "Synth classic" category has a pack of synths to choose from. FLEX pretty much has every single bass + regular synths that you can use! Some in the FLEX synthesizer have arp synths that make notes rise in a cool way (if you use more than one to make a major or minor chord). 

The "Synth special" category has other kinds of synths, such as "plucks" (that have more attack/stabbing sound of the note) and pads (they are also known as dream-like chords). In the "Sakura" synthesizer it pretty much has all of the pads and other instruments you want! 

Now that you already know how this works, let's click on the icon with the piano and the notes, and take a look at the Piano Roll, shall we? 

Piano Roll (Tips)

There are short tricks and how to make your Base whatever beat you want it to be. In a 1/3 beat? No problem! Go to the magnet icon (Snap to Grid). This helps sets the notes in the right timing. Then, set it to 1/3 beat, and the timeline will change the timing up for you! By the 130.000 (BPM ruler), click on the Metronome icon (the first one). What it does is that it clicks along the timeline. When it ticks loud once and gets soft on every beat, that means its on a next measure. 

A regular Sparta Base is 1/4 at this point. Most Sparta Bases have a tempo of 140 BPM while others are fast and more dance/club like, such as 150 BPM. Bases that are slow and more catchy have tempo of 125 or 130 BPM. 

There are two buttons on top of each other behind both of the "Play" arrow and "Stop" circle buttons. "Pat" means the piano roll plays a specific pattern, while "Song" means it plays the whole project instead. Use patterns instead of the whole song because it will be harder to use over time. Patterns are quick, and can be easily copied and/or changed along the way. Scrolling down the pattern makes it uneasy to follow because "Pattern 1" will lose track. To add a pattern into the Arrangement track, click on a Pattern you'd prefer, and put it into the first track. Rename the pattern and track to whatever you want, but as soon as we finish thinking about what the elements of a Sparta Base are, you have to restart the project. 

Making a Base

Before we start making a Sparta Base, we have to think of what the elements are of making one. Our goals are to have at least four instruments, right patterns, timing, and creativity. I know it might be as hard and complicated as you think, but take it from me! I'll show you how a base is done. 

Base Formula

The formula for an extended base is:

  • 2 measures of dundunden at the beginning
  • 4 measures of chorus
  • 6-8 measures of dundunden pitch
  • 8 measures of chorus
  • 4 measures of OMG TEH EPICNESS
  • 4 measures of chorus, 4 measures of teh awesomeness pitch
  • 8 measures of madness
  • 8 measures of chorus
  • 12 measures of epicness
  • 4 measures of teh second awesomeness pitch
  • 8 measures of chorus

The formula for an unextended base: (will italicize ones that're optional:)

  • 2 measures of dundunden at the beginning
  • 4 measures of chorus
  • 6-8 measures of dundunden pitch
  • 8 measures of chorus
  • 4 measures of OMG TEH EPICNESS
  • 4 measures of chorus, 4 measures of teh awesomeness pitch
  • 8 measures of madness [optional]
  • 8 measures of chorus [optional]

Getting Started (For Real this Time)

You might've seen some tutorials and the page, Pitch Patterns and how they are made in Vegas Pro, FL Studio and Reaper. To get started, select an FL Studio synth sample from the Channel Rack Sampler, and after you do so, name the track "Lead Pitch" and rename Pattern 1 as "Lead 1". 

Go to the third measure and add a D note, which is the start of the original "Extended Base" progression: D***D***D#***D#***C***C***D#***D#***. Before we get into that, here are some key notes that help you follow on adding pitch patterns to FL Studio. 

Key Notes

      • = 4th note
    • = 6th note
  • = 8th note
  1. = Pitch shift it # semitones higher
  • -# = Pitch shift it # semitones lower
  • 0 = 16th note
  • _ = 16th note space/rest
  • ' = 32nd note
  • / = 32nd note space/rest

Now let's get into some Chorus Patterns:

Chorus Patterns

0*** 0*** 1*** 1*** -2*** -2*** 1*** 1***

0*, 12* pattern Edit

0* 12* 0* 12* 1* 13* 1* 13* -2* 10* -2* 10* 1* 13* 1* 13*

0*, 7* pattern Edit

0* 7* 0* 7* 1* 8* 1* 8* -2* 5* -2* 5* 1* 8* 1* 8*

0*, 4* pattern Edit

0* 4* 0* 4* 1* 5* 1* 5* -2* 2* -2* 2* 1* 5* 1* 5*

0*, 3* pattern (minor) Edit

0* 3* 0* 3* 1* 5* 1* 5* -2* 1* -2* 1* 1* 5* 1* 5*

0, 7 pattern Edit

0 0 7 7 0 0 7 7 1 1 8 8 1 1 8 8 -2 -2 5 5 1 1 8 8 1 1 8 8

0, 12 pattern Edit

0 0 12 12 0 0 12 12 1 1 13 13 1 1 13 13 -2 -2 10 10 -2 -2 10 10 1 1 13 13 1 1 13 13

0, 3 pattern (minor) Edit

0 0 3 3 0 0 3 3 1 1 5 5 1 1 5 5 -2 -2 1 1 -2 -2 1 1 1 1 5 5 1 1 5 5

You can use any of them, but don't mix 0(4) into 0(3)'s minor chords. They make the progression sound confusing It's best to do 0(4)s, because the chords are so easy to add later on in this tutorial. As for the long dundunden part after the chorus, do a 3rd-6th measure of the first chorus pattern I provided above, then add whatever you want.

Epicness Patterns

Original Edit

0*__12*** 1*** 13*__10* 10_ 10*__13* 1* 13* 1*

The second original pattern on first Epicness Edit

0*__12*__1* 13* 1_1* -2__-2__10* 1* 13* 1* 13* 0* 12* 0* 12* 1* 13* 1* 13* -2 -2 10 10 -2 -2 10 10 1 1 13 13 1 1 13 13

These patterns can be used in order when you get to the OMG Teh Epicness part of the base. Then you do the four chorus pitches again, until you get to the sweet tricky part. The Awesomeness pitch!

Original Renditions of teh Awesomeness Pitches

Major 

Awesomeness 1Edit

0_4_12* 24* 1* 5 1 13*** -2_-2_10* 14* 8* 1* 13***0* 7* 12* 16* 17* 5* 1_5 1 -2* 2_29* 10* 1_5 1 20***

Awesomeness 2Edit

12* 0* 4* 7 4 13* 17* 20* 17* 10* -2* 2* 5* 13* 17* 13* 8* 0* 7* 0 7 12 19 1 8 13 20 13 8 1* -2* 10* 2* 5* 1* 17* 1 5 1 8

These are the pitches that fit in the "Awesomenss" parts of the base you'll be making! Now that you're getting into the hang of it, we'll go over to the bass, chords, and percussion samples in another time! Due to this post being too long, I'll be uploading Part 2 and Part 3 soon! I'll let you know when it's done, so I can give a link to them here. If you want to check my upcoming blog posts from my profile, well.. you can!

Enjoy making the first start of your Sparta Base! It won't be the last yet!

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