FL Studio

From Academic Kids

Missing image
A screenshot of FL Studio 5

FL Studio (formerly Fruityloops) is a music production software package created by Image-Line Software. FL Studio is a pattern based music sequencer and software synthesizer. Music is made by recording and mixing audio and MIDI data together to create a WAV or mp3 file.

FL Studio is a pattern based sequencer, which means you create your songs in pieces (patterns) using the Step Sequencer and the Piano Roll view and then weld those pieces together using the Playlist window. Then you can add a wide range of effects, then automate them for dynamic sweeps, rolling bass lines and texture changes.

The original name "Fruityloops" was a take-off on a commercial brand of breakfast cereal, Froot Loops. This was abandoned in favor of "FL Studio" in order to promote a more professional image and to remove the possibility of a trademark infringement lawsuit from Kellogg's.


User Interface

The FL Studio user interface is comprised of 4 main screens:

  • Step Sequencer - enables quick assembly of drum patterns and short melodic parts.
  • PianoRoll - used for more complex patterns.
  • PlayList - where you can arrange sets of patterns to assemble a complete song.
  • FX window (aka the Mixer) - used for balancing audio levels and adding effects processing.


FL Studio has become widely used by both amateur musicians and professionals alike, because of its easy-to-use step sequencer and piano roll, its good monetary value, its wide support of industry standards, its extensive automation abilities, and its quality effects. One progressive feature of FL Studio (of the online version) is that all upgrades are free.

As of version 5.00, FL Studio supports integrated time stretching and pitch shifting utilizing the 'Elastique' set of algorithms. Shifted audio is pre-rendered and then dynamically managed, being restretched only when necessary (for example, after a song's tempo has been changed).

Instrumental effects include reverb, chorus, flanger and the like. It uses internal 32 bit floating point audio mixing, at 44 or 48 KHz stereo sampling frequency.

The demonstration version of FL Studio includes quite a number of generators (software synthesizers). Some of these must be purchased separately. Generally, these additional plugins are inexpensive. The "Producer Edition" includes a mixer and multi-track audio recording capabilities for sound hardware with ASIO drivers. The "FL Studio XXL" offer includes all optional components witha 40% price reduction. FL Studio uses its own plugin API but it can use VST, Buzz, ReWire and DirectX plugins via adapter plugins, allowing it to work with a gigantic amount of synthesizers and effects processors.

Included generators

  • 3x OSC - a flexible 3 oscillator virtual analog synth with custom wave-shapes, a tempo-synced DAHDSR envelope and LFO for Volume, Filter, Resonance, and Pitch, an LFO for panning, a pitched MIDI delay for unison effects
  • BeepMap - generates unusual sounds based on an image
  • BooBass - a realistic bass guitar simulation
  • Buzz Generator Adapter - used to run most Buzz plugins
  • Dashboard - customizable interface for controlling external MIDI hardware
  • FL Slayer - an electric guitar simulator
  • FL Keys - a multi-sampled synth for various piano sounds
  • Keyboard controller - internal controller for patterned based filter applications, trance-gates, etc.
  • Fruit Kick - for generating synthesized kick-drum sounds
  • Fruity Granulizer - for applying granular synthesis effects to a sample
  • Fruity Slicer
  • WaveTraveller - spline-based playback of samples, useful for record-scratch effects
  • MIDI Out - provides MIDI control of external hardware
  • Plucked - a Karplus-Strong plucked string generator
  • Sampler - a simple but flexible sampler than has the same envelopes, LFOs, and MIDI delay as the 3x OSC described above

Optional generators (require additional purchase)

  • Sytrus - a powerful and versatile FM synthesizer featuring 6 customizable operators for FM and RM synthesis, plucked strings synthesis, 3 SVF (filter) & distortion modules, a unique programmable unison mode, and an effects module with chorus and 3 delay lines.
  • Slayer II - an improved guitar simulation
  • SimSynth Live - 3 oscillator MiniMoog simulation combined with Oberheim style SVF filters
  • Wasp - a broad analog emulation synth with an aggressive distortion effect
  • DX10 - FM sound with a simpler, more intuitive interface
  • Soundfont Player - gives the ability to load, play and render soundfonts (.sf2 files)
  • DrumSynth Live - a complex drum synthesizer
  • BeatSlicer - easily 'slice' any wav file (not only loops) into its specific parts and edit those slices
  • EZ-Editor - An audio editing program (not needed if you have Producer Edition)
  • SimSynth Standalone - a free-standing program that is used to generate synth sounds in wav format

FL Studio supported standards

Driver support

External links


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