Performing a tape stop effect in FL Studio is a great way to add an exciting element to your track. Luckily it can easily be achieved by using the native FL Studio plugin, ‘Gross Beat,’ and modulating the time parameter.
The Tape Stop Effect
The tape stop effect is a commonly used trick in many modern-day music productions, even if only subtly. It can help add interest and variation to your tracks, and it is also great at subtle building up to a switch-up in a song.
Luckily, FL Studio can achieve this effect, thanks mainly to the native VST plugin ‘Gross Beat,’ which is perfect for emulating this effect style.
This FL Studio tutorial will look at how you can easily use Gross Beat to achieve this effect within your productions.
Step 1 – Opening Gross Beat
First, make sure that the audio you want to apply the effect to is on track within the mixer. You can do this by opening the desired audio track selector and putting it onto a mixer track that you want it to be on.
I am using audio for the clip above, but this technique will work the same for any audio source.
Step 2 – Making The Tape Stop Effect
Once you have placed the audio on a mixer track, you will want to open an instance of Gross Beat on the effect rack for this track.
With Gross Beat open, you can leave it on the default patch, then make a slopping curve within the time modulation section, so the lowest point is at the end of the parameter.
To get a smooth curve, you can right-click on a point and select ‘single curve.’
You can right-click to create more points, allowing you to achieve greater control over the effect.
Step 3 – Creating Automation
Now that you have created the tape stop effect, you will want to create an automation that allows you to control when to use it in the track.
To do this, right-click on the mix knob to the right of the Gross Beat effect in the mixer channels effect rack. In this drop-down, you can then select the option to create an automation clip of that parameter.
Once selected, the automation clip will appear in the next free playlist track, from where you can adjust it only to be enabled when you want it to.
You can do this by right-clicking to create points within the automation.
To enable the effect, make sure that the automation is 100% on. As seen in the example above, when you want the effect disabled, ensure that the automation is at 0%.
What is the tape stop effect?
The tape stop effect emulates the sound you get when stopping the magnetic tape on a tape deck. When this happens, the audio slowly decreases in pitch and then stops, which you achieve when doing this effect within your DAW.
Can you achieve the tape stop effect without Gross Beat?
The most important thing you have to complete when trying to achieve this effect is reducing the pitch over time.
So this can be achieved in a wide range of methods, such as automating the pitch or using a plugin with a pitch-altering function.
Why is tape stop so popular?
Tape stop is a great way to make it sound as if your track is played through a cassette in a tape machine, which goes well with analog-sounding tracks in particular.
It can also be a great way to add some sonic interest to a track and transition to different song sections.
Can you get Gross Beat for Ableton Live?
Unfortunately, there is no way to get Gross Beat for Ableton, as it is a native FL Studio plugin. That being said, there are some excellent alternatives to it.
Some alternatives include MrRythmizer by Melda and Time Shaper 2 by Cabelguys, which offer various interesting effects for your music production.
Can you apply a tape stop effect to your whole song?
You can easily add the tape stop effect to your entire production simply by applying the Gross Beat effect to your master channel instead of the individual mixer track. If you are not using Gross Beat and can instead automate the global pitch of your project.
How do you undo the tape stop effect?
To undo your tape stop effect, you need to delete the instance of Gross Beat on the mixer track and then delete the automation clip. You can do the same if you have made an automation pitch clip by simply deleting it.
Do all versions of FL Studio have Gross beat?
Unfortunately, only the Signature and All Plugin Edition versions of FL Studio feature a fully unlocked version of Gross Beat.
However, you can still use Gross Beat with the other versions, although you may find that it will remove itself when you try to open up the project again.
Are there any alternatives to Gross Beat?
There are some great effect plugins alternatives to Gross Beat, allowing you to achieve pitch, volume, and filter modulations overtime on different audio sources.
Some of the most popular alternatives include MrRythmizer by Melda and Time Shaper 2 by Cabelguys. Both offer very similar capabilities to that of Gross Beat.
You should now know how to create a simple tape stop effect within FL Studio using the native Gross Beat plugin.
Tape stops are a great trick for any producer to have in their arsenal and one that is deceptively easy to achieve once you know how it’s done.
about the author
Hi, I’m Max, a passionate UK-based electronic music producer, and audio engineer.
I have now been making music for around 6 years.
Over this time, I have developed a deep passion and understanding of various musical styles and genres, along with the different production techniques that separate them from one another.
In addition, I have also recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in electronic music production from dBs Sound & Music Institute.