I have been experimenting with a FL Studio plug-in called Wave Traveller that is pretty cool, but then again I love a well timed scratch in a track or live set. Having started out DJing with my 1200s and a ton of old pop, disco and hip hop records that I had collected growing up in the 80s, I always loved the turntable tricks and admired those DJs that weren’t just matching beats, but could really rock the decks with a ton of turntable skills. Wave Traveller lets you drag in a sample and then apply separate time and volume envelopes similar to Gross Beat, but with the waveform visible so that you really know where to line up the time envelope. The end result is that you can emulate a lot of turntable tricks pretty well with this handy and simple plug-in. Then if you really want to go bananas with some time and volume effects drop Gross Beat into the Effects of the Mixer channel Wave Traveller is assigned to.
This tutorial is going to demonstrate the power of Wave Traveller and then show you how to add some additional time effects with Gross Beat to make some wild glitched scratch sounds.
Open Wave Traveller and Choose a Sample to Manipulate
The Wave Traveller GUI looks like this when you load it. You can assign a sample, time pattern, and volume pattern for each key on the keyboard on the lower left. Assign the sample by dragging and dropping it onto the GUI. The sample will display horizontally above the keyboard on the left, and vertically on the right-most side of the GUI.
Create the Time Envelope
You can then manipulate the time envelope like this to create a scratch effect:
The vertical position in the grid represents the position on the wave that is being played (you’ll notice in the example above, the highest peak corresponds to right before the second large transient on the vertically orientated sample and also in the representation on the horizontally orientated sample). The horizontal position in the grid represents the time position which you can set, but the default is one bar (i.e., 4 beats). The line style indicates the playback speed. For instance, a line represents a even playback speed while curved slopes will give those slow down and speed up effects that emulate the turntables well. Think of the red line as your hand moving around the vinyl to create the sound effect, while the volume envelope is the fader.
Create the Volume Envelope (Optional)
The volume envelope (purple) can be manipulated to create those gating effects that make the scratch more interesting:
The volume envelope is a nice feature, because it is built into the preset, but there are several methods to control the volume to create those fader effects (although you do lose the nice reference to the time envelope in Wave Traveller):
a) if you are using a bar or less of time, you can use Gross Beat’s volume envelope to control the volume which has a bigger and more precise interface;
b) You can create an automation envelope for the volume for the Wave Traveller Channel;
c) You can assign a MIDI controller (e.g., APC40’s cross fader) to control the volume for the Wave Traveller Channel.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m not going to add any volume envelope within Wave Traveller, because I’m going to use Gross Beat to glitch up the sound and I can add use the volume slots to create those fader affects to have a more smoother and more natural sounding gate.
Live Record or Plot Out Notes on the Piano Roll to Have Wave Traveller Play the Selected Patch
In order to get Wave Traveller’s sound to play, you should either record the note(s) of the patch you want to play live or plot out the desired patch (which is assigned a Note Value) on the Piano Roll. You can switch between several patches in succession to get various patterns to play. The great thing is that they can start anywhere and don’t have to be triggered at the beginning of the bar.
When recording the Wave Traveller patches, I like to have a drum pattern playing for timing.
Adding Gross Beat to Your Sound
Once you get a sound that sounds like you want it, you can do some Glitch tricks with Gross Beat to make it even more interesting. Gross Beat is similar to Wave Traveller, but it is applied to whatever you want and not just samples so you can feed your Wave Traveller sound right into Gross Beat and make that original sample into something that is a great transition sound or a really interesting sound riding through the track.
The Time Slots add the Glitch sound to the turntable sounding effects of Wave Traveller, and the Volume Slots applied to everything provides a nice crossfader gating effect to the sound.
Launchpad Hardware Script for Controlling the Glitched Out Madness
Here is a script that I created for 2 octaves (c5 to B6) to play Wave Traveller patches, 20 Gross Beat Time Slots, and 16 Gross Beat Volume Slots, and a Manual Vol On/Off to cut the volume manually:
You can use this template to play and/or record your desired patch while in either song or pattern mode (make sure that you have Wave Traveller as the active channel to play the notes). You can then play and/or record the Gross Beat patterns you want or the manual volume on/off.
Here is a download that includes:
- the Hardware Script for the Launchpad
- a Gross Beat preset
- a Wave Traveller preset (including the sample),
- the Apache FPC kit, and
- a project file (flp) that has Wave Traveller and Gross Beat already mapped to work with the Hardware Script.