The FL Studio Thread


I love the piano roll in fl studio, something that ableton, reason, and reaper made really frustrating to use. It needs more transformation tools though (like clone and replace rhythm on existing bars).

I find myself getting automation clip overload often in projects which makes it difficult to organize everything. Although I’ve since started opening multiple instances of fl and doing the detailed automation work in smaller projects and exporting that as audio. Simplifies the production process and makes looking at the whole project easier.


I think you can nest tracks now too. So you could nest all your automation for a given audio or midi instrument under said thing, and then collapse it when you’re not using it. For me 10+ automation clips would be a lot, so I don’t have a problem with it really.


How do you do anything glitchy without 10+ automation clips? I was working on a breakcore section and had automation for grain shape, wave shape, atk, flanger mix, flanger delay, love philter mix, dblu glitch mix, volume mix, and pan mix and that’s for 3 mixer channels.

If there’s a more efficient way of doing these things I’m open to trying it out.


Oh, unfortunately for you I make retro-styled house, so for me a few volume and filter moves is enough to do the job. For you… have you ever heard of a guy named SeamlessR? He does a lot of automation and has a method for it. He’s been using FL since like version 8 or something. Knows all the tricks. He’s on youtube.


Sorry for the necromancy but I’m giving this a go again – FL Studio is so cumbersome and clunky to use when coming over from other DAWs, but I feel like this time I might actually get it down, because I’ve become stubborn in my old age. And possibly more autistic :smiley:

Honestly I don’t know what the motivation is, but using it as a design tool seems pretty cool. Between patcher, granulizer, scripting, and some of the other built-in devices and functions, it seems like there might be a few gems to toss into the toolbag. Plus, a lot of you guys seem to make really good music with it, and that part can’t be ignored.

If anyone has any cool tips and tricks they’ve learned, especially in recent years, I’d love to hear about it. There seems to be more than what meets the eye with FL studio over all, with loads of weird stuff under the hood to discover, so I’m really intrigued.

I also think my scaler problem from the olden days could easily be solved with VM or Cardinal, which I kind of use a lot to quantize notes these days anyway. I can’t think of a good reason not to explore this one :smiley:


Damn, I’m noticing a trend here:

  • Mapping MIDI takes like 5 extra steps to get rolling (rather than just dropping in a note FX or something that mostly all other DAWs have). Also, some devices don’t even allow the ‘wrapper’ tools, like the granulizer. What in the actual fuck
  • Latching a note is seemingly impossible until you realize the step sequencer accidentally does it on autopilot (but is still capped by the max length of steps allowed). In most DAWs there’s a simple workaround for this instead, but again, even doing it externally via a MIDI device or something isn’t guaranteed to work because some internal plugins don’t have the MIDI wrapper
  • Mapping macro automations is a serious pain in the ass, as FL wants to override every control as a perceived ‘conflict’ (as if FL users don’t use macros?). Not only that, but having to work with mathematical formulas just to get a few parameters to move is a serious case of over-engineering

Not giving up, but I’m not sure why it has to be so intentionally clunky like this. This is definitely not a good DAW for sound design but I see so much potential in their weird shit.

On the plus side:

  • At least you can route MIDI some of the time, when it allows
  • Regular clip-painting and singular automation is pretty nice
  • The graph editor is super basic shit, but seems like a unique tool since the last time I used FL
  • Patcher seems awesome for stacking FX that would otherwise overload the FX slots
  • Patcher has some cool GUI tools, kind of reminiscent of Falcon or something

The battle continues


Oh yeah, I never use the step sequencer, so cannot help you there. When I want a step sequencer I just lock my notes to nearest line on the piano roll and zoom in until I have 16ths.

For MIDI, I think that’s a lot better than you’re thinking, it’s just not super obvious. I use the dedicated midi out plugin (it loads as an instrument) whenever I want to send midi not directly to one instrument. Make sure it has an output port set, even 0 will work. Then load up the plugin you want and go to the wrapper settings and look for the port #. It will default to none, but set that to the same number as the midi out and you’re in business. I don’t use it for very advanced stuff, just ghost kicks and the occasional tuned FX, but I’ve never had it not work.

I actually never learned patcher, if I’m using that many FX, you can route any mixer buss to any other mixer bus with the green wires at the bottom of the mixer channel. Just un-route it from the master and send it to another mixer channel. Protip, you can have unlimited send FX this way if you use the FX full wet and leave the other channel’s connection to the master alone. Just leave any subsequent channels at unity gain or it will mess up the levels you set in the mixer.

I think FL is very cautious about pointing multiple modulators/automations at a single destination. IDK why, I cannot recall it ever giving me a problem, but I just uncheck the “remove conflicts” box in the controller mapper and you’re set. And you should be fine with the default input=output formula most of the time. I use this all the time to point one automation clip at multiple filters for example - I bus my drums together, but send them to reverb individually, so I have to filter all the drum sounds individually or when I close the filter my drum reverbs come through at full range and it sounds weird. So I do one automation control for the frequency of the snare and put the same filter on all my other drum sounds and run them all off that one snare automation.


Im used to it because i like being able to manually automate everything possible…lol

I do use macros in fl and its super easy for me…i just left click and hit link to controller and select the automation i want…lol

But some macros are cpu intensive.


It definitely looks like this might be the easiest way to do multiband routing and possibly even macro configurations since it all just sits in one box. All hail the patcher, I’m not sure if I’d be doing any of this if it weren’t for the ability to encapsulate things a little bit

Also, multiband soundgoodizer is definitely going to be my new OTT replacement. Shit is awesome.

I should also mention that this is all just being qJacked back into Bitwig anyway, so there’s really no limit on static FX or anything I want modulated back there. The only downside is not being able to pipe an LFO or something back to home base with an additional Jack output, or at least I haven’t found a way to add one yet.

(if anyone knows of one, that would be cool as heck)


It’s definitely weird, but I’m getting used to the inversion operators and kind of gauging where I want things to be with offsets. It’s weird that they opted to make everything formulaic like this instead of just mapping a few dials visually, but it could definitely be worse. I like the ability of naming internal controllers and keeping those separated out as separate automation clips, though, so it’s not all bad


I feel dirty about this, but they offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse (because of owning mobile for a while now, I guess?) and I ended up with Fruity Edition for something like $62.

It’s crazy, because the granulizer, patcher, formula and piano roll scripting shit is all included in this edition so I won’t really need to upgrade any further. Probably the best deal of a lifetime (even though I still kind of hate FL Studio in a traditional sense), but for the money this is quite the powerhouse.

It looks like rewiring and VST support is all here, too, so the only thing you really don’t get is the traditional audio tools which are kind of the worst part about using FL to begin with. Kind of excited about this, NGL


Do you get FL studio as a VST for that price? If so, you can host it inside of other DAWs I think.


Yeah, I haven’t used that part just yet (as a legit citizen / outside of the demo) but apparently that’s what the documentation says. Honestly I don’t even think I expected that or stumbled upon that piece of information before buying, so that’s a major bonus. Especially with not being able to handle audio natively.

Also, am I delusional or did other DAWs have the ability in the past to tap into FL’s instruments and FX as VSTs themselves? I feel like that was a feature in a previous version in addition to the rewire, and I’m not sure if the FL VST replaced all of that or if something else happened. This could’ve also been when Rewire was the only option, which might explain a potential overhaul (weirdly, Rewire is still there, though!).

Outside of rewiring, I still have no idea how (if there’s even a way) to go about using their FX from another DAW, either. It would be great to bring multiband soundgoodizer over to audio tracks, but I’m going to have to do some research there.


I think if you’re on the basic edition, then you only get FL native versions, but if you go to the higher levels you do get VSTs, or if you buy something individually to add on to your account you automatically get that as a VST as well (to account for the 4 people who don’t use FL but do buy the Image Line synths).


Oh yeah, that makes sense. I saw one of them (Wave traveller or something? I’m still getting used to the hilarious names) that exclusively said it wasn’t available as a VST, so I’m guessing a lot of the other ones actually are. That could be a really good sign, even for people like me who have no intention of really stocking up. If something like Toxic Biohazard went on sale for $10 I’d probably grab it just for fun.

VST hosting seems a little iffy so far when it comes to using the host’s piano roll, but if you do all of the sequencing from within FL (kind of my intention anyway so it works out) everything seems to work. The best part is being able to bounce those ‘demo’ plugins that didn’t come with this edition in the host. I’m honestly kind of surprised they allow you to rewire and host it on this tier at all for that very reason.


Me too, I thought that was only the top two levels. Not something I use, so IDK. Glad it’s working out for you though.


Dumb / complicated question for FL hosters who might know:

Is there a way to trigger a specific FL pattern from my host DAW (Bitwig) remotely? What I want to do is stack up a whole bunch of drum patterns in FL and just let them rip like they’re native clips in BW without having to do additional bouncing all the time. I have the power of modular on my side to give it whatever signal it might need, but I’m pretty sure this function just doesn’t exist.

Basically I’m just trying to use FL like it’s Renoise Redux, triggering my preconceived phrases at will without having to open up multiple instances. The main mix would definitely involve patcher, so duplicating and trying to get levels right otherwise would basically be impossible without overly-complicated macros, if that part is even possible at all.

There’s so much potential right here but I feel like it’s just slightly out of reach


You need to use Rewire. You will add Rewire FL Studio vsti on a track in Bitwig, then it will opened FL Studio and then you got it. It will be something like this.

Also i googled fl studio rewire and it says that in new versions fl studio were depricated rewire technology.


That all works, but triggering a specific / dedicated pattern in FL with something like a MIDI note doesn’t seem to be an option (one of my favorite Redux features). You can play MIDI notes from either piano roll (in both DAWs), but a pattern-triggerer would be really cool.

There are also workarounds like bouncing each time, but then if you want to go back and change some parts of the mix you’re kind of stuck with it


You’re asking for too exotic features :grin: