The story of a little button…
Anyone having worked upon DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) such as FL Studio, Ableton Live, Cubase etc for the first time, must have been amazed by cool dashboards and step sequencers with cool knobs and buttons. And there are plenty VST’s out there with cool knobs and glowing buttons for the same reason. Many of us maybe have had the curiosity and we asked at some point ‘What This Button Do? ’
Today we’ll be talking about a knob which is most underestimated. Almost everyone who tried hands on FL Studio must have learnt about it but still “the poor knob does” not get mention in any music production tutorials or guides. The knob being talked about here is the OFFSET.
Here how it looks on FL studio instruments window:
The ‘OFS’ button in above image is ‘OFFSET’ knob (red marked). The reason we are talking about it is for those who are trying to make music at early stages of their career or someone who just want to try this knob to fill the spark missing in their mixes.
The major reason ‘OFS’ knob is underestimated is because of the cool and extremely simple ‘piano roll’. There are plenty of features such as ‘flam’, ‘randomize’ etc under piano roll menu that does similar offset work for midi notes.
The ‘OFS’ button can be used in many different ways and to have really amazing effects making your dull boring beat to something that is moving and flowing between your ears. The ‘OFS’ button allows offsetting an instrument by 1 to 12(full).
One of the prominent usefulness found is STEREO SEPARATION DELAY.
Try adding two snare instruments onto the step sequencer and just offset one of the snare instruments by less than 1. What it does is that it duplicates the “FLAM” function of the piano roll or any stereo separation plugin effect.
While making beats in any genre, use two hi-hats, one panned left and another right (50%). Offsetting one of the hi-hats will make the sound of hi-hats become more spacious and crispy.
With FL Studio 12 beta available and whole new set of plugins and features added, things might become easier for its users but then going back to the basics will enable you to make unique effects, beats and music. The offset function will not make your off-notes to sound perfect but certainly improve your mono midi sounds to sound fuller and better without need for applying memory consuming effects and plugins.
HINT: TRY applying heavy offsets to beats for some great buildups ;).