The FL Studio Thread


Another nice trick with the slice tool is you can have the top and bottom of the slice be different places, and the slice will be the average of the two points. So if you ever need an extra half beat of hihat bleed or something it’s easy to do while still staying quantized.

Everyone talks about the piano roll being the highlight of FL studio, but for me it really is the mixer. I’ve tried other DAWs and giving up the ability to route any mixer track to any combination of other tracks is impossible for me at this point. I think that flexibility on full display in the mixer side is what makes it so complicated from the playlist side - which is where you will spend a lot of your time after you figure out the mostly intuitive piano roll but before you get to really play with the mixer.

The problem with the playlist is over the years it has tried to be all things to all people. It is the arrangment view where you stitch your patterns together into songs. Then they added live mode and it had to be able to function as a performance space similar to the grid system in ableton (but of course with greater flexibility, because you can put anything on any square, they aren’t pre organized into mixer tracks like ableton). Then they wanted to make it into a linear audio editor like Protools so they added the ability to turn each track into an audio track pre-routed to a mixer track with recording controls on every level. Oh, and also this is one of like 5 places you can work with automation data so it has to do that too.

I have found over the years that my biggest leaps in music have come from better and better understanding how to use the playlist. I’ll send you a screenshot of how I organize things later, but it takes up 2/3 of my screen pretty much all the time. Keep everything in there organized. I put one instrument to one track (say synth one in track one, synth 2 in track two, drums in track 3, etc). I then add automation directly below each instrument it affects (so drum automations, even if it takes 10 tracks, would be on the 10 tracks directly below drums) and if I have too many tracks to fit on my monitor, then I group the automations with the instrument/audio tracks and hide the automations that I’m not editing.

If you need a scratch area for audio editing and ideas, you can drop in a song marker that says “start” and give yourself a few bars of playlist to work with. The start marker is where your song will start rendering and where your play head resets to. Bonus, if you mark the various sections of your song (verses, bridges, tempo changes, etc) those markers will show up in the audio file when you import it into FL later, like leaving yourself helpful notes if you mix stems or master your work as a separate step. In a similar vein the fruity notebook plugin is great. I can leave myself notes of what I think the track needs at the end of a session so next time I jump back in (even if it’s months later) I can remember what I was going to do next.


So this is my default layout when I load in. I have the sample browser set so that it only shows up if I mouse over to the left. I let the playlist be that large and sit on top of everything and then if I need to see something else I click into it and bring that to the top. I can see enough of the other stuff to keep an eye on it, but I mostly want to keep track of the playlist. Whatever plugins I’m working with I keep it to one or two at a time and let them be on top while I’m working with them, but I close them when I’m done. In mastering that part at the bottom left is where I keep youlean loudness meter, and in general during production my plugins are kind of in that area.


Interestingly enough, the floating windows are one of the things I’ll really have to get used to over time, just because I’m so used to everything being docked and uniform. I had no idea that you could hide any of these until you mouse-over them, though, but I could see that definitely coming in handy!

I’m not sure if mine is just a slight variant from the default view, but the channel rack on the upper left, playlist on the upper right, and mixer pretty much spanning the bottom is how I have it. I’ve been playing with some of the other UI settings like having all of the plugin categories in tree form (I love this feature), and the compact modes on the mixer which also help a ton. I might actually try out your visualization settings though just to see if I like that way better, because I find myself maximizing the playlist quite a bit for editing and that might be slowing things down.

I’m starting to think there’s actually more good features than quirks with FL, so that’s a huge step in the right direction. I still can’t get over how convenient it is to have multiple playlist windows for extreme freedom with sound design techniques, independent of the track in progress. And oddly, keeping audio / instruments separate isn’t nearly as hard as I had originally thought!


Holy god damn, I found my solution for a multi-zone sampler that doesn’t require Falcon, Voltage Modular or Redux (although all 3 of these also work!). Nobody talks about using it for this purpose, so I will :smiley:

What you do is load everything into FPC just how you want it, and then right-click the track and select the 'Create DirectWave instrument" option. Give your samples a good length, expand the sampling range, and when it creates your instrument, save it somewhere. Then you have an auto-choke, multi-zone sampler like everything else.

This is pretty damn awesome too, because if you’re using something like Falcon, Redux or VM, you can go even crazier with your options before finally condensing it down to a directwave instrument. Redux allows you to create phrases (which is essentially just tracker-speak for SliceX, except you can switch instruments entirely and operate on them with both FX chains and track FX, as well as creating choke points with the ‘off note’ function, multitracking samples, etc), so one note can just be a gigantic arrangement of various samples sequenced and layered together in cool ways.

Holy hell. It’s a post-christmas workflow miracle.

I also like the idea of just saving a shitload of these and forgetting about them. It’s like having a whole palette of sounds you created for later use and almost no CPU required to run them. Absolute madness