Dua Lipa's "Love Again" was an instant mainstream success thanks to its blend of vintage and nostalgic samples with modern music production techniques.
All it took was for Stephen “Koz” Kozmeniuk to meticulously adjust the pitch of the "My Woman" sample in "Love Again," to ensure a harmonious blend.
If you use FL Studio and want to try a similar sound, this guide is for you. Learn how to do this with just sampling, some basic music production skills and the help of the Sample Focus library.
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1. Setting the Stage
- BPM: To capture the essence of "Love Again," set your project's BPM to around 120.
- Kick Sample: Begin with the Flame Kick. This foundational sample can be dragged and dropped into the playlist. Utilize the Channel Rack to sequence your beat, laying the groundwork for your track.
- Ensure your kick has a punchy mid-range (around 100Hz) and a tight low end (around 60Hz) to give your track a solid foundation.
2. Dive into Sampling with Fruity Slicer
- Purpose: Fruity Slicer is your go-to tool for chopping and rearranging samples, a crucial technique when emulating the "Dua Lipa Love Again sample" style.
- Execution: Drag a melodic sample, like the Powerful Bright Guitar - Clean Loop, into Fruity Slicer. To ensure a smooth playback, adjust the attack and decay parameters. The piano roll becomes your playground to sequence and rearrange slices, giving your track its unique melody.
- This sample in G Major can emulate the 1970s-styled disco strings. Use EQ to boost the higher frequencies (around 5kHz-7kHz) to give it a bright, shimmering tone. Add a touch of reverb for depth.
3. Bass Dynamics Using Sytrus
- Reference Sample: The Trap Drill Drums - Hard Loop can guide your bassline creation.
- Technique: Open Sytrus and opt for a deep bass preset. The piano roll will help you craft a compelling bassline. For added richness, modulate the cutoff frequency using an LFO.
- Emphasize frequencies around 40Hz-80Hz for a deep bass presence. Use sidechain compression linked to your kick to allow the bass to breathe and avoid frequency clashes.
4. Crafting Vintage Synth Vibes with Harmor
- Inspiration Sample: The Wet Synth Keys - Ambient Loop can set the mood.
- Method: Load Harmor and choose a vintage synth preset. To achieve a fuller sound, tweak the unison settings. The piano roll will again be instrumental in shaping your melody.
- This one is F# major synth key it can add a melancholic touch, but first make sure you are transpose and match all your samples keys.
- Use a low-pass filter, cutting off frequencies above 10kHz, to give it a vintage feel. Modulate with an LFO for a dynamic touch.
5. Precision EQ and Mixing with Fruity Parametric EQ 2
- Kick: Elevate the punchiness by boosting around 100Hz and reduce muddiness with a cut around 250Hz.
- Synths: Implement a high-pass filter to eliminate redundant lows and accentuate brightness with a boost around 5kHz.
- Bass: Enhance the depth with a boost around 60Hz and carve space for your kick with a precise cut.
6. Achieving Spatial Depth with Fruity Reeverb 2
- Technique: Route your synths and guitars to a mixer track equipped with Fruity Reeverb 2. Modulate the wet level, decay time, and low cut to achieve a spacious yet defined reverb.
7. Mastering Sampling Techniques in FL Studio
- Time Stretching: Manipulate the time knob located at the top-left of your sample within the playlist to achieve the desired stretch or compression.
- Pitch Shifting: Navigate to the Channel Settings window and modify the pitch knob. This is how Stephen “Koz” Kozmeniuk matched the "My Woman" sample in "Love Again," ensuring a harmonious blend.
8. Final Touch: Mastering with Maximus
On your master track, initiate Maximus. Employ the low, mid, and high bands to compress and harmonize your track. Modulate the post-gain for each band to maintain a balanced mix. Strive for a consistent loudness, avoiding excessive compression.