Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

FL Studio

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Original author(s)
Didier Dambrin

Written in

Image-Line Software (International)

Initial release
December 18, 1997; 19 years ago (1997-12-18) (as FruityLoops)

Stable release
12.4 / November 2, 2016; 4 months ago (2016-11-02)

Development status
Active, stable and beta version

FL Studio (formerly known as FruityLoops) is a digital audio workstation (DAW) developed by the Belgian company Image-Line. FL Studio features a graphical user interface based on a pattern-based music sequencer. The program is available in three different editions for Microsoft Windows, including Fruity Edition, Producer Edition, and the Signature Bundle. Image-Line offers lifetime free updates to the program, which means customers receive all future updates of the software for free. Image-Line also develops FL Studio Mobile for iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.


FL Studio can also be used as a VST instrument in other audio workstation programs and also functions as a ReWire client. Image-Line also offers other VST instruments and audio applications. FL Studio is used by hip hop and electronic musicians and DJs such as Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Avicii, Boi-1da, Seven Lions, 9th Wonder, Metro Boomin Alan Walker, and Southside, as well as Dyro, Madeon, Slushii and Porter Robinson.


The first version of FruityLoops (1.0.0) was developed by Didier Dambrin for Image-Line and was partially released in December 1997. Its official launch was in early 1998, when it was still a four-channel MIDI drum machine. Dambrin became Chief Software Architect for the program, and it quickly underwent a series of large upgrades that made it into a popular and complex digital audio workstation. FL Studio has undergone twelve major updates since its inception. As of June 2015, a Mac OS compatible version of FL Studio was released in its alpha stage. It is currently only available to registered FL Studio users.


  • FL Studio Express (discontinued after version 10) – This version allows for step sequencer-only editing and is chiefly suited for 64-step loop creation. Each pattern can consist of an unlimited number of instruments—either samples, native, or VST instruments. Instruments in the pattern can be routed to the Mixer tool for effects processing, and effects as of version 10.0 include Delay, Delay Bank, Equo, Flangus, Love Philter, Vocoder, Parametric EQ & EQ2, Multiband Compressor, Spectroman, Stereo Enhancer, Wave Candy, Wave Shaper, and Soundgoodizer. There is no piano roll, playlist ability, automation, audio recording, or VST/ReWire client.
  • Fruity Edition – The Fruity Edition allows users to access the playlist, piano roll, and event automation features, which allow for complex and lengthy arranging and sequencing. There is also VST/ReWire support so that FL Studio can be used as an instrument in other hosts such as Cubase, Sonic Solutions, Logic, and other software. As of version 10.0 this edition includes the Simsynth Live synthesizer instrument, the DrumSynth live percussion synthesizer, the DX10FM synthesizer, and the Wasp/Wasp XT synthesizers. There is no audio recording feature. In FL Studio 12, this was given (spline-based) automation.
  • Producer Edition – The Producer Edition includes all of the features of the Fruity Edition, as well as full recording for internal and external audio and post-production tools. It allows for hand-drawing point and curve based splines (referred to as "Automation Clips"). Plugins include Edison, Slicex (loop slicer and re-arranger), Sytrus, Maximus, Vocodex and Synthmaker. It also allows for waveform viewing of audio clips and the ability to add cue points.
  • Signature Bundle – This edition includes the Producer Edition as well as a series of plugins such as the Fruity Video player, DirectWave Sampler, Harmless, NewTone, Pitcher, Gross Beat and the Hardcore Guitar Effects Suite.
  • Free Demo – The free demo version includes all of the program's features and most plugins and allows users to render project audio to WAV, MIDI, MP3, and OGG. However, there are several drawbacks to this limitation as projects saved in demo mode will only open fully once FL Studio and plugins have been registered. Also, instrument presets cannot be saved and the audio output of some instruments will cut out momentarily every few minutes until the programme and its plugins have been registered.
  • Mobile – On June 21, 2011, Image-Line released FL Studio Mobile for iOS and in April 2013 for Android. Both support the ability to create multi-track projects on mobile devices including iPod Touches, iPhones, iPads., Android 2.3.3 and higher Smart Phones and Tablets.
  • Groove – On September 2, 2013, A new standalone app for Windows 8 was released. It is a Groovebox style application optimised for touch-based music creation.
  • System requirements

    FL Studio 12 works on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10 (32-bit or 64-bit versions) or on Intel Macs with Boot Camp. Image-Line is working on a native Mac version of the software which is currently in early testing stages. FL Studio requires a 2GHz AMD or Intel Pentium 3 CPU with full SSE1 support. It requires 1 GB of free disk space and at least 1 GB of RAM is recommended.

    FL Studio processes audio using an internal 32-bit floating point engine. It supports sampling rates up to 192 kHz using either WDM or ASIO enabled drivers.

    Program features

    Version 12 is the newest version of FL Studio. It added a new UI design, updated plugins, multi-touch support, redesigned mixer, improved 32 & 64 bit plugin support and improved file management.

    Version 11, Introduced in April 2013, included multi-touch support, improved tempo automation, new plugins such as BassDrum, GMS, Effector, Patcher, and new piano roll features (VFX Key Mapper, VFX Color Mapper).

    Version 10, introduced on March 29, 2011, included a new project browser, fixed some bugs, and smoothed envelope points. It also introduced a patcher.

    Version 9 introduced support for multi-core effects processing and improved support for multi-core instrument processing.

    The mixer interface allows for any number of channel configurations. This allows mixing in 2.1, 5.1, or 7.1 surround sound, as long as the output hardware interface has an equivalent number of outputs. The mixer also supports audio-in, enabling FL Studio to record multitrack audio.

    FL Studio supports time stretching/pitch shifting, beat slicing, chopping, and editing of audio, and as of version 8 it can record up to 64 simultaneous audio tracks. Other key features include a digital piano roll. Audio can be imported or exported as WAV, MP3, OGG, MIDI, ZIP, or the native project format with an .FLP filename extension.

    The demo is very functional, even allowing users to save their compositions for opening in the registered version, and mix their tracks to any of the popular formats.


    FL Studio comes with a variety of plugins and generators (software synthesizers) written in the program’s own native plugin architecture. FL Studio also has support for third-party VST and DirectX plugins. The API has a built in wrapper for full VST, VST2, VST3, DX, and ReWire compatibility. Many of the plugins also function independently as standalone programs.

  • Dashboard – An included plugin which allows the creation of full automation-enabled interfaces for hardware MIDI devices. This allows FL Studio to control hardware from within the program. As of version 9.0 it also supports multiple controllers for different generators and effects.
  • Edison – Edison is a wave-form editor and recording tool in VST format, though Image-Line also produces a stand-alone version that does not require FL Studio to run. It is included in the Producer Edition and allows spectral analysis, convolution reverb, loop-recording, and loop-construction, as well as support for cue points.
  • Fruity Video Player – Included in the Bundle Edition, it allows the composition and synchronization of audio and video.
  • Deckadance (often referred to as DD) – a standalone DJ console and mixing program which can also be used in conjunction with FL Studio as a VST plugin. Initially released in May 2007, it was made available starting with the release of FL Studio 7 as an optional part of the download package. Acquired in 2015 by Gibson (Stanton/Cakewalk).
  • Maximus – Maximus is a multi-band audio limiter and compressor for mastering projects or tracks. It also serves as a noise gate, expander, ducker, and de-esser, and is included in the Bundle edition.
  • Riff Machine – Self-generates melodies in the piano roll using a randomly selected instrument, with parameter controls for shaping melodies. Introduced in version 9.
  • Fruity StereoShaper – Stereo processor with a mixer for left and right channels and their inverted equivalents and controls for channel delay and phase offset. Introduced in version 9.
  • Virtual effects

    FL Studio is bundled with a variety of sound processing effects, including common audio effects such as chorus, compression, delay, flanger, phaser, reverb, equalization, vocoding, maximization, and limiting.

  • GrossBeat – A time, pitch, volume, and sidechain manipulation effect.
  • Hardcore Guitar Effects Suite – A multi-effects suite of plugins designed to resemble guitarists' stompboxes, which works for any instrument.
  • Juice Pack – A collection of proprietary plugins ported to VST format for use in other music hosts. The contents of this pack has changed since its release; at the time of this writing it includes the Delay, Delay Bank, EQUO, Flangus, LovePhilter, Multiband Compressor, Notebook, Parametric EQ, Parametric EQ 2, Spectroman, Stereo Enhancer, Vocoder, Wave Candy, and Wave Shaper plugins.
  • FruityVocoder – A real-time vocoder effect.
  • Vocodex – An advanced vocoder included in the Producer Edition of version 10.
  • NewTone – A pitch correction and time manipulation editor that allows for slicing, correcting, and editing vocals, instrumentals, and other recordings. Introduced as a demo with version 10.
  • Pitcher – Serves as a real-time pitch correction, manipulation, and harmonization tool for creating or correcting 4 voice harmonies under MIDI control from a keyboard or the piano roll. Introduced as a demo with version 10.
  • Patcher – Free plugin for chain effects that can then be quickly uploaded in new projects.
  • ZGameEditor Visualizer – Free visualization effect plugin based on the open source ZGameEditor, with movie rendering capability.
  • Samplers

  • DirectWave Sampler – A software sampler that provides sample recording, waveform editing, and DSP effects (works for both VST and live instruments).
  • SliceX – A beat-slicing sampler for processing and re-arranging recorded drumloops, included in the Producer Edition.
  • Synthesizers

    FL Studio is bundled with 32 generator plugins (October 2011). Some are demos. The list includes;

  • 3XOsc – A generator with three programmable oscillators that subtractively produce bright sound with low memory use.
  • Autogunner – A synthesizer with no controls and over 4 billion patches accessible by numbers only. The free version of Ogun.
  • Boo Bass – A monophonic bass guitar emulator.
  • Buzz Generator Adaptor – A wrapper for a large number of generators from Buzzmachines.com
  • Drumaxx – A physical modeling synthesizer designed to emulate and create the sound of percussion instruments.
  • DrumSynth Live – Allows for percussion synthesis. Included in all Editions.
  • DX10FM – Recreates a classic FM. Included in Fruity Edition and higher.
  • FL Slayer – FL Slayer is an electric guitar simulator originally developed by reFX which is equipped with a high quality amp and effects tools to allow for the realistic recreation of hundreds of guitar sounds and effects boxes. It is a VSTi plugin and is included in every version of FL Studio.
  • Groove Machine – a virtual drum machine
  • Harmless – Performs subtractive synthesis using an additive synthesis engine. Demo.
  • Harmor – Additive / subtractive synth with ability to encode pictures into music and resynthesis. Demo.
  • Morphine – An additive synthesizer that allows voices to be mixed and morphed under user control. Demo.
  • Ogun – An advanced programmable additive synthesizer chiefly for creating metallic timbres from 32000 harmonic choices. Demo.
  • PoiZone – A subtractive synthesizer with non-essential control removed for easy navigation.
  • Sakura – Sakura is a physical modeling synthesizer which is designed to emulate string instruments.
  • Sawer – A vintage modeling synthesizer which attempts to emulate Soviet Union era subtractive synthesizers.
  • SimSynth Live – Modeled after the classic analog synthesizers of the 1980s with three oscillators, with a programmable LFO section. Created by David Billen, Frederic Vanmol, and Didier Dambrin.
  • SynthMaker – FL Studio 8 Producer Edition introduced a version of SynthMaker, a popular graphical programming environment for synthesizers. It allows for the creation and sharing of new instruments without the need to understand programming code.
  • Sytrus – A software synthesizer. The first version was released with FL Studio version 4.5.1. The second version of Sytrus (introduced with FL Studio 6) comes with an array of presets covering many types of sounds. Sytrus uses a combination of subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, FM synthesis, and ring modulation, allowing the production of sounds ranging from drum sets to organs. Sytrus provides a large number of adjustments and controls, including shape shifting, harmonics editing, EQ, a modulator, filters, reverb, delay, unison, and detune.
  • Toxic Biohazard – A virtual FM synthesizer similar to Sytrus, using FM and subtractive synthesis.
  • TS-404 - a 2-oscillator subtractive synthesizer designed to mimic the Roland TB-303 transistor bass module. Removed in FL Studio 12.
  • WASP/WASP XT – A 3 oscillator synthesizer created by Richard Hoffman.
  • FL Soundfont Player - An FL Studio add-on that gives power to load, play and render soundfonts (.sf2 files) in FL Studio.
  • Furthermore, for more Synthesizers, please refer to VST Warehouse for an ample selection of Instruments, Effects, and Labels.

    Moreover, all the tools available are free and FL Studio tested. ;)


    Support for the software is provided through extensive HTML help documents. Users may also register for the official Image-Line forums, which are commonly recognized as a focal point for the FL Studio community. After initially buying the software, all future updates are free for life.


    FL Studio Wikipedia

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