How S-X makes beats with FLkey
Prolific Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer S-X showcases his FL Studio prowess.
When making music in FL Studio, staying in the creative flow is key. Rather than losing your vibe while you’re clicking around on the screen looking for instruments, FLkey helps you get to the tools you need quickly, so you can stay focused on fresh ideas, and strike while the inspirational iron is hot.
Renowned artist and producer S-X knows exactly what it’s like to keep creativity flowing through his song writing and production sessions. S-X, born Sam Andrew Gumbley, has spent years making a name for himself. Bringing his one-of-a-kind music making skills to many high-profile studio sessions, he has worked with the likes of Lil Wayne, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper and J. Cole, producing for iconic artists from London to Los Angeles.
S-X has already more than proved himself as an artist, leaving a strong impact on the industry, having written the monumental Grime instrumental ‘Woo Riddim’, and collaborated with Chipmunk, Wretch, Tinie Tempah and Skepta. However, in 2015– with all eyes and ears on him– S-X stepped away from music completely, despite his meteoric rise. “All I’d ever wanted to do as a producer was work with Lil Wayne,” reflects S-X today. “My life’s goal? I had achieved it. I needed time to work out what was next.”
Despite taking a brief hiatus from music in 2015, that connection with music never left him, and he unknowingly began to lay the groundwork for the progression of his musical career. “For the first time in years,” S-X says, “slowly, music once again became a project of passion. I was writing both beats and lyrics on my own terms.”
His unmoving passion for music is visible in the way he works, too. We’re able to see that in action as we join S-X in the studio, working his way around FL Studio with FLkey and showing us how he makes his statement sounds.
“For the first time in years,” S-X says, “slowly, music once again became a project of passion. I was writing both beats and lyrics on my own terms.”
Creativity and inspiration are tricky things to capture, but FLkey makes it easier for S-X. S-X has a producer’s ear, a pop-star’s voice, and a natural flair for originality in his song writing, and FLkey helps him to turn the inspirational spark in his mind into a beat in FL Studio in minutes. “As a writer, I love the fact that this is so quick and easy to make beats on,” says S-X. “For me, it’s straight hacking the system”.
S-X lays down drums in FL Studio’s Step Sequencer with ease straight from the keys. “I’m a drummer first,” he says, “so I like to play on the keys”. With the core rhythm down, he moves into pulling complex chords using FLkey’s Chord mode with the pads, “I can’t play chords,” he explains, “so it helps me out a lot. For me, I’m having a field day, I can just play my beat.” He records takes in an instant, adjusting his plugins and mix as he goes with the pots. “You can do everything from the keyboard, you don’t even need to use the mouse, really.”
“As a writer, I love the fact that this is so quick and easy to make beats on,” says S-X. “For me, it’s straight hacking the system”.
After his hiatus, he started to upload self-written and produced tracks again, which naturally garnered great attention. S-X soon returned to making music and working with big-hitters, rapidly building a prolific catalogue of work.
“I’m always busy in hotels or on the road travelling,” he says, “so the fact that I can have my keyboard and have something as simple as being able to press play from here, it allows the workflow to be quick.”
S-X’s song writing and production process is free-flowing. “There’s no right or wrong way to make a beat, which is what I love, especially with FL Studio,” he says. He is able to rekindle that initial spark he had for music making, the one that thrives off of quick thinking and experimentation. “FLkey makes me make beats that I wouldn’t usually make because I would usually use the pencil [on FL Studio].” With FLkey’s intuitive workflow, he’s able to reconnect with his music. “There’s something about being able to make the beat with your actual hands; it feels more personal,” he says.