Since its first release in 1998 Fruity Loops has done much more than changing its name to FL Studio. From a good midi pattern sequencer it has evolved into a powerful music editing studio for your PC. We’ve therefore decided to cover the features in this latest release.
Let’s first take a look at the interface. Users familiar with FL Studio will instantly recognize the dark green tone and rounded windows of past versions. However, the structure of the program can be difficult for a first-time user to grasp. The browser window on the left is your resource for any file you will need, from presets to projects and scores. Clicking on an item will open up a drop down selection of specific elements. This library can be filled with more of your own loops and samples and carries an impressive amount of plug-ins like DirectWave, EQUO or Fruity Squeeze. FLStudio has a smart search function to quickly find any track, tool or effect.
To edit your tracks you can use the original pattern window, which contains all the instruments you have selected. You will have to create the pattern desired for each instrument. You can also use the playlist window, divided into patterns at the top and audio tracks at the bottom. The playlist view features a handy paintbrush tool to color in your pattern. You can also decide to edit your tracks with the piano roll view, quite handy if you have a midi keyboard plugged in.
FL Studio can be tricky to manoeuvre at first; however those of you familiar with sequencers should have no trouble with it. All instruments and samplers are stereo so to have multiple outputs you will have to create the desired number of instances. Anyone interested in connecting real instruments will appreciate that FL Studio also handles multiple midi-ins and features foot pedal sustain support. The FL Studio mixer features a good number of presets and you can fine tune your track with a high degree of precision.
FL Studio is a very good sequencer for anyone looking to create beats. The handy browser view and multiple editing windows like playlist, piano roll or pattern let you work how you feel best. A finely-tuned mixer and a large library of plugins also make this a very exciting audio editing application.