Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category
Live Score/Note Recording
For help installing an external keyboard/pad controller see the MIDI Settings Wizard or MIDI Settings page. The Transport Panel Record Button has a recording filter (right-click) which can be selected to record Audio, Score or Automation data. Make sure the Score option is selected. You may want to turn off the Score recording if, for example, you want to play along with a project while you are recording automation data without retaining the score.
Recording note data
- Select an Instrument Channel: Click on the Channel button of the instrument you want to record with. The selected Instrument Channel will also receive the note data and the instrument will respond to the controller keyboard.
- Select the Pattern: The note data will be recorded into the selected Pattern. You can only record into one instrument/pattern at a time.
- Turn on the Score recording filter: Right-click the Record button and make sure ‘Score’ is selected as a recording type (all data types with a tick will be recorded).
- Arm for recording: Select the Record button in the Transport panel. It will turn red to show it is ready to record.
- Press the Play button. FL Studio will play the project and record any note events received from your controller keyboard. When recording it’s generally a good idea to turn on the Recording Countdown feature so that you have at least one bar lead-in metronome.
Where is my note data stored?
Generally note/score data is saved to a Piano roll. You may need to click on the channel and open the Piano roll to see your data. It is also possible to record the melody into the Step Sequencer (see the MIDI settings page, ‘Record to step sequencer’ option) associated with the instrument channel.
Note: If you are in song mode recorded patterns will automatically appear in the Playlist clip-tracks after pressing stop.
Always on: Never lose the perfect performance again. A three minute buffer records all note activity from external controllers and Typing Keyboard to Piano. This can be dumped to the Piano roll at any time with the Dump score log to selected pattern command on the Tools Menu. Perfect for retrieving those inspired improvised performances from the 4th dimension.
For recording mouse or external controller movements, see the section on Automation Recording.
Canceling a recording session
You can cancel a recording session (so it does not apply the recorded notes and automation events) in two ways. The first one is to choose Cancel Current Recording command from Help menu, but note that you should do this while recording, BEFORE pressing the Stop button. If you press it, you can still undo the whole recording session by choosing Undo from the Edit Menu. If you had recorded mixer tracks during the last session, you will be prompted if you agree that the files are erased (i.e. undone). Be careful, because once you undo audio recording, the files can not be restored and you will have to record them again if needed.
Click the MIDI tab in the System Settings window. This section contains a list of software and hardware MIDI devices on or connected to your system that can be used for MIDI Input/Output. For example, hardware and software synthesizers, controller keyboards and ‘loopback’ devices. The most common controllers used by PC based musicians today connect to your PC with a USB cable (rather than MIDI cable) and provide a piano-keyboard, pad or mixer-style interface.
|I don’t have any controllers to connect|
How do I connect my keyboard/controller/synth to my PC?
MIDI is not an audio connection – The connections discussed on this page do not transfer audio, MIDI connections transfer note data, knob movements and program changes so that your controller can play FL Studio instruments and or FL Studio can play sounds from connected MIDI hardware. To use sounds from an external synthesizer (while it is played by FL Studio) you will need to make MIDI connections (discussed below) AND audio connections to your soundcard inputs so that FL Studio can record the sound/s that it triggers from the external MIDI hardware using a MIDI Out plugin.
Cable issues – You will either have a USB based keyboard/controller or hardware with 5-pin DIN MIDI connectors. Click here to see these connector types compared.
- USB controller – If you have a USB based controller then it will connect directly to your PC with a standard USB cable. The PC and controller will have different ports on them to match the plugs on the USB cable (you can’t go wrong). Turn on the controller and wait for it to be detected by Windows (standard USB ‘connected’ sound and sights should greet you). Start FL Studio AFTER the controller has been detected and proceed as described below.
- MIDI hardware – If you have a device with 5-Pin DIN connectors you will probably need to purchase a USB to MIDI cable adapter as shown. 5-Pin DIN MIDI connectors are no longer found on PCs (off to the store!). Back already? Connect the 5-Pin DIN connectors to the MIDI IN and OUT ports on your MIDI hardware and turn it on. Next, connect your ‘USB to MIDI cable’ adapter to your PC, wait for it to be detected by Windows (standard USB ‘connected’ sound and sights should greet you). Start FL Studio AFTER the adapter has been detected and proceed as described below.
Note: Both cable types transmit the same MIDI data (notes, velocity, program changes etc), it’s just a change of cable and connection protocols. You can be sure that whatever replaces USB in a few years will obsolete all your USB connectors/controllers and this section in the manual will be telling you to go out and buy a ‘Ultra-USB’ to USB adapter…or something.
Setting input and output MIDI devices
You may want to select an Input (a controller that plays FL Studio instruments) or Output device (something that connects to your PC and receives note data from FL Studio). Most commonly only the Input device is required.
Selecting an output
Click on the device to be used. Once selected it will be highlighted. Only one Output device can be used at a time.
Selecting an input
The Input section contains a list of controller devices detected by your PC. Note: Your controller may not necessarily appear by its correct name, in the example above a ‘Keystation 88es’ appears as ‘USB Audio Device’, although it is actually a keyboard. This may happen if a generic USB driver is used to interface with the controller, it should not cause any problems. If you do not see any options here then you will need to install the drivers and or consult the manual for installing that device in Windows. To connect a controller:
- Select the device – Click on the device name in the list that you would like to use. It will be highlighted (as shown for the single ‘USB Audio Device’ above).
- Select the ‘Enable’ switch. This switch shows the setting for each device in the list as it is selected (in the previous step). You can selected/deselected each device separately.
Nothing appears in the Input box? Did you connect/start your controller AFTER opening FL Studio? It is necessary that your operating system has detected your controller BEFORE opening FL Studio. Close FL Studio, turn your controller off and on (unplug and reconnect the USB cable if it does not have a switch), wait for it to be detected by the PC (Windows makes a ‘bing’ sound when it successfully detects a USB device), then start FL Studio.
Items appear but don’t seem to be responding Click the Rescan MIDI devices button and then enable the device. If that does not work, close FL Studio, turn your controller off and on (unplug and reconnect the USB cable if it does not have a switch), wait for it to be detected by the PC (Windows makes a ‘bing’ sound when it successfully detects a USB device), then start FL Studio.
If you have set up your controller successfully the MIDI activity light on the Main Panel will blink each time controller data is received (when you play notes or move a knob).
Fruity LSD allows you to access the synthesizer built into your soundcard from within FL Studio and provides sixteen MIDI instruments with an option to import DLS level 1 banks. Since Fruity LSD is a software synthesizer, you can process its output with effects, just as you would with a normal generator. A combination of sixteen instruments (fifteen instrument channels and a drum channel /10/, as in a standard MIDI interface), Fruity LSD is a virtual software MIDI device that can also be attached as an effect in a mixer track.
With Fruity LSD, you can control the sixteen channels with MIDI Out generators added into the Step Sequencer, just as with a normal MIDI device. Set the same MIDI port in the LSD plugin and the MIDI Out channels you will use. You can set the patch name and bank number from the MIDI Out channels as well, but since this may be confusing when using custom DLS banks (the MIDI Out channels will display only standard MIDI instruments names), it is recommended that you set the patch from the Fruity LSD editor directly.
The Fruity LSD (effect) is loaded into an effect slot on the mixer channel/s of your choice. It feeds the audio from your soundcard directly to that location. To control the LSD plugin from within FL Studio (Piano roll & Stepsequencer) you will need to use it in conjunction with the MIDI Out (instrument) plugin. Load the MIDI Out into a channel and set it to the same Port number as the Fruity LSD, the default is Port 1.
Note: You can control each of the 16 instruments available on the Fruity LSD plugin from a single MIDI Out Piano roll by utilizing the note colour groups feature that transmits each color on a different MIDI channel, see below:
- Bank - Lets you set the DLS bank to be used for synthesis. Click the browse button to select a DLS file. By default, Fruity LSD uses the Roland GM/GS Sound Set (which is default for the DirectMusic synthesizer as well and is usually located in ‘windows directory/System32/GM.DLS’). The DLS file used is not included in the FLP file, but is stored as a path instead.
- Port – Sets the MIDI port number from where Fruity LSD will receive MIDI events (notes, volume changes etc.). You should set the same port in the MIDI Out channels that will be used to control the Fruity LSD. It is recommended that you avoid using port 0 with Fruity LSD, since this port is reserved for the main MIDI playing output in FL Studio (that one you set as ‘Playing output’ in the MIDI Settings page).
- Channels List – This is a list of the 16 channels of the LSD with the patch names. Click on a name to select a different instrument for the channel. Channel 10 holds the drum section.
- Main Volume – This wheel sets the main volume of the LSD output. This parameter is automatable.
- Device – Sets the DirectMusic compatible MIDI device to be used for synthesis. Hardware MIDI devices are filtered in Fruity LSD, since their output can’t be routed to FL Studio.
- Reverb - Turns on/off the global reverb effect.
- Chorus – Turns on/off the global chorus effect. Note that this effect is not supported in the built-in Microsoft Synthesizer. However, it is included for compatibility with third party DirectMusic engines that may be used with Fruity LSD.
Notes & Tips
- You will need DirectX 8 or later installed on your system for the Fruity LSD to function properly.
- Pan, filter cutoff & resonance per note (in the graph edit or the Piano roll) are not supported – the MIDI standard only supports velocity per note.
- At low volume, you may notice some noise in the Fruity LSD sound (you can hear it clearly on decaying notes if you put a compressor after it in the FX track). This is not caused by the Fruity LSD plugin itself, but by the DirectMusic synthesizer. You can partly fix this problem by using Fruity Filter or an equalizer to remove the very high frequencies of the output.
- There are several tools available for creating custom DLS banks. LSD supports samples per region, envelopes, LFOs etc. With tools such as Awave, you can also take advantage of hundreds of freeware SF2 (SoundFont) banks you can find on the Internet by converting them to DLS format.
- See DirectX for copyright notices about the Roland GM/GS Sound Set.
Plugin Credits: Didier Dambrin
Thanks To: Chris Moulios for the source code
| The MIDI Out plugin does not make any sound on its own. MIDI Out acts as a MIDI controller, sending standard MIDI messages to internal (plugins) or external MIDI hardware that is set to the same MIDI Port number, as shown in the top right corner of the MIDI Out plugin. Up to eight pages X nine controllers are freely assignable on the MIDI Out plugin to parameters on the target MIDI device.
As noted, to link the MIDI Out plugin to a target MIDI device, match the MIDI port numbers on the MIDI Out plugin and the target device. The ‘Channel’ setting allows independent (multitimbral) data to be transferred. For example, an external multitimbral instrument may be set to connect on port 2, play drum sounds on channel 10 (driven from the Piano roll) and strings on channel 2 (driven from another Piano roll channel). Controllers on the target plugin/hardware, such as mod wheels etc, have MIDI CC (control change) numbers assigned to them that act as ‘addresses’ for knobs/controls on the target plugin/hardware. You will need to consult the third party documentation to learn these CC numbers.
Fruity LSD is your friend: The MIDI out plugin is a great companion to the Fruity LSD (effect) plugin. Once MIDI Out has been set to the same Port number as the LSD plugin you can then select sounds from the MIDI Out Patch parameter and hear them played through the FL Studio mixer.
Using external synthesizers, drum machines & other MIDI devices
If you want to incorporate the sounds from external MIDI hardware, so it is exported along with the rest of your internal plugins in the final render, you will need to:
- 1. Make a MIDI connection to your external hardware.
- 2. Make audio connections from your external hardware to your soundcard inputs.
- 3. Load a MIDI Out channel and set it to the same port as your external MIDI hardware.
- 4. Enter or record your score data in the Piano roll or Stepsequencer associated with the MIDI Out channel controlling the external hardware.
- 5. Record the device back into FL Studio, as it is played by the MIDI Out channel.
- 6. Place the recorded audio clip in the Playlist and render the final track.
Note: MIDI is not an audio connection
- Port – This is the main connection between the MIDI out plugin and the target plugin or external device. 255 Ports are available. Matching port numbers on the MIDI Out plugin and the target instrument/plugin links them.
- Channel – The MIDI output channel number. Each port has 16 independent channels over which communications can occur. Generally channel #10 is used for drums channel.
- Bank – The patch bank number. 127 banks are available.
- Patch – The patch (instrument) number. 127 patches (per bank) are available. This parameter may be automated. The menu displays the name of the general MIDI instrument for the selected patch number. It may not match the current instrument if your device is not using a general MIDI mapping. For some devices, the patch number also selects the drum kit for drum channels. To hear these sounds: Load a Fruity LSD plugin into the mixer and set it to the same port number as the MIDI Out plugin.
- Reset – Sends a reset (CC #121) message to your MIDI device, then updates all enabled controls. This switch is handy when you have disabled a control and you want its assigned controller to be reset by the MIDI device.
- Page – The current controller page (right click to rename). Each page supports 9 freely assignable controllers (all automatable).
- Controller Wheel – Each knob represents a single controller. The unassigned knobs in each page are labelled with three dashes (—). Click the label to enable/disable the corresponding controller (all controllers are disabled by default). To link a control knob to a MIDI controller (internal or external), right-click a control and select ‘configure’, and then set the CC number, range etc. You will need to examine the documentation of the target plugin/hardware to learn the CC numbers (for example) associated with the controller you wish to link to.
MIDI Out & the Piano roll
You can independently control up to 16 instruments from a single MIDI Out Piano roll by utilizing the note colour groups feature that transmits each color on a different MIDI channel. In the screen-shot below the MIDI channel numbers have been added for clarity, to see the MIDI channel numbers in FL Studio hover the mouse over each color and look at the hint bar.
Notes & Tips
- Pan, filter cutoff & resonance per note (by the graph edit or the Piano roll) are not supported – the MIDI standard only supports velocity per note.
- As there is no standard rule for mapping velocity values (0..127) to dB, the level scale of MIDI channels may not fit the internal mixer levels.
The Piano roll in FL Studio is one of the most powerful available in any software studio. It contains a number of tools that allow complex score manipulations with ease. The Piano roll represents note pitch on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis (it’s the same concept as ye-olde paper ‘ Piano rolls’ used to automate mechanical pianos in the distant past). The resolution of the grid is user-selectable (zoomable,8) and allows the composition of songs with unlimited complexity. The Piano roll is also the place where ‘live’ MIDI playing is recorded for playback and post-editing.
- Piano roll Menu and Quick Tool Menu : Quick legato (Ctrl+L); Articulate (Alt+L); Quick quantize (Ctrl+Q); Quantize (Alt+Q); Quick chop (Ctrl+U); Chop (Alt+U); Glue (Ctrl+G); Arpeggiate (Alt+A); Strum (Alt+S); Flam (Alt+F); Limit (Alt+K); Flip (Alt+Y); Randomize (Alt+R); Scale levels (Alt+X), and LFO (Alt+O).
- Tools Menu: Draw (P); Paint (B); Erase (D); Cut (C); Select (E); Zoom to selection (Z); Playback (scrub) (Y); Snap Selector.
- Target Channel – Change channels without leaving the Piano roll.
- Target Control – Selects the data to be displayed in the integrated event editor (9). This can include parameters such as note properties (Panning, Velocity, etc) or automation events.
- Slide Toggle (S) – Select this and any note entered will be a slide event, until deselected.
- Display Mode (M): Keyboard; Mini Keyboard; Text (Drum Names, Slice names etc.).
- Preview Keyboard – Click on the keyboard to preview notes. This does not work when play is active.
- Horizontal Zoom – Zoom/Snap resolution may be increased by changing the PPQ settings (F11) in the General Project settings. However, it is usually unnecessary to adjust the PPQ as the default provides adequate resolution for most situations.
- Integrated Event Editor – Edit Note Velocity, Pan, Pitch etc and automation events. Select events to edit from the Target Control selector (4).
- Color Group Selector – Create note groups for easy independent editing of overlapping notes, color grouped MIDI channels etc.
- Slide Event – Create glissando effects. Note: that this feature only works with native FL Studio generators and not VST instruments.
- Note Events – Drag, stretch, paint, clone, copy etc (see ‘operating with notes’ below).
- Right-click here – As an alternative way to open the Target Control menu (4).
- Resize – Left-click and drag the divider to resize the upper and lower windows. Right-click to return to the original positions.
Notes in Piano roll are displayed as horizontal bars (12) and slides are shown as horizontal bars with a small triangle drawn in the left side (11). You can preview tones by left-clicking the Preview Keyboard keys (7). Pitch is mapped from bottom to top. Horizontal dimension represents time and each number in Piano roll’s ruler represents single bar.
The time segments the Piano roll is divided into are set by the window’s “snap” parameter (). Selecting “Main” will use the global snap value as defined in the Recording panel instead.
Click channel’s name in the title bar to select another channel to display in the Piano roll.
Operating with Notes
FL Studio has one of the most powerful Piano roll note editors available. Combined with the Piano roll menu you will find the possibilities are endless and (after practice) effortless. Please note: that most of the movement and draw commands are constrained by the snap setting . The snap setting determines how the notes will move relative to the grid on which the notes are placed. Note: Holding down the ( Alt) key will temporarily disable the snap setting.
- Adding Notes – draw mode () allows you to draw, edit and delete notes. The paint mode () is similar, but allows you to draw multiple notes at once while dragging horizontally in the Piano roll. In draw or paint mode, left-click in the Piano roll’s grid to draw a note.
- Selecting/Deselecting groups of notes – You can select several notes, so you can move and resize them all at once. Press and hold ( Ctrl key) and either click a note to select it, or drag a rectangle to select all notes in enclosed area. Hold ( Ctrl+Shift) together while selecting to add notes to the existing selection. Holding ( Ctrl) and left-clicking selects the one note and deselects all the others. ( Ctrl+Shift) deselects individual notes from the existing selection of notes. Deselect all notes – While holding ( Ctrl key), click empty space in Piano roll’s grid. Instead of holding ( Ctrl key), you can also switch Piano roll to select mode by clicking the select mode button ().
- Copy & Paste – Make a selection (see above), hold the ( Shift) button THEN drag selection with the left-mouse button OR ( Ctrl+C), scroll to the new position/pattern and ( Ctrl+V).
- Selecting time range or pitch range – ( Ctrl+Left-click) or double-click the time ruler (along the top of the Piano roll) and drag along it to select all notes in a specified time range, or ( Ctrl+Left-click) the Preview Keyboard (7) to select a range of notes with the same pitch.
- Moving notes Select the note/sequence, left-click on the note and drag vertically or horizontally. Note: The snap setting
- Bumping notes – This allows you to move the note/s by either ‘snap’ or ‘pixel’ based units. Snap units: Select the sequence/note and hold the ( Shift key) and use the arrow keys on your keyboard. The snap setting
- Change note length – Select the note/sequence, left-click on the right side and drag horizontally to change the note length. This can also be performed on a selection of notes. Note: The snap setting will affect the way in which the note changes length. If ( Caps Lock) is on and the note is selected by the left side, resizing notes will anchor the note end point, moving only the start position. If the note is selected by the right side the start point will be anchored.
- Retime note sequences – Select the sequence, hold ( Shift) and drag the right edge of a note in the selection. This changes both note length and sequence duration.
- Erase notes – Right-click a note to erase it (you may instead switch to erase mode to erase with left-clicks ()).
- Quick chords – Draw complete chords in one step. Right-click the draw mode button () and from the menu select a chord type. When you draw in the Piano roll, FL Studio will automatically create a chord. To draw single notes again, right-click the draw mode button and select None (Shift+N).
- Cut Tool – () allows you to split one or more notes in the manner you wish. To use the cut tool, make sure you’re in cut mode (the Cut button is pressed), left-click in the grid area and drag to define the “cut line” direction and length. Release the mouse button to split all notes at their intersection point with the cut line.
- Playback/Scrub tool – () enables you to preview the current sequence by dragging horizontally in the piano roll (thus enabling you to define the playback speed and order). Alternatively, hold ( Alt) + Right-Mouse button while in draw mode.
- Tools Menu – () is a shortcut to the Piano roll tools submenu (see the Piano roll menu page, ), containing various commands for operating on patterns in the playlist.
- Note properties – Note velocity, panning, filter-cutoff etc, are available from the Target control menu (4) and appear in the Integrated Event Editor (9). Note properties can be adjusted by mouse wheel ( Alt+Mouse Wheel) by holding the cursor over a target note in the ‘Note event window’.
will affect the movement. Alternatively, horizontal note positions can be adjusted by mouse wheel by holding the cursor over a target note in the ‘Note event window’.
will affect the bump size. Pixel units: Hold the ( Alt) key and use the arrow keys on your keyboard. In this case the zoom setting will affect the bump size.
Piano roll keyboard shotrcuts
|Piano roll action|
|Note:||Some keyboard modifiers apply only to Draw mode ().|
|Alt||Bypass snap (very useful when combined with other modifiers)|
|Alt+B||View note helpers|
|Alt+V||Switch ghost channels ON/OFF|
|Alt+C||Change color of selected note/s (to selected color group)|
|Ctrl+M||Import MIDI file|
|Ctrl+Shift+Left-click||Add to selection|
|Ctrl+Right-click||Zoom on selection/Drag to make zoom selection (zoom on release)|
|Double Left-click on note||Open note properties|
|Double Right-click (on Piano roll)||Popup menu|
|Left-shift+Left-click (on Piano roll)||Add and resize notes (move mouse L/R after click and hold to resize)|
|Middle mouse button||Pan view (hold and drag left/right)|
|Right-click||Delete Slected Note/s|
|Right-shift+Left-click||Slice notes (click above/below note and drag vertical)|
|Right-shift+Right-click||Slice notes & delete smallest part (click above/below note and drag vertical)|
|Shift+Left-click (on note)||Clone (drag while holding note)|
|Shift(any)+Left-click (on note)||Clone (drag while holding note)|
The following applies only to native FL Studio instruments. To slide a VST instrument you will need to automate the channel pitch knob.
In the Piano roll you can make group of notes slide gradually from one pitch to another. For this purpose, you draw special slide events, which describe for FL Studio how notes should be slid. Slides look exactly as note events, but they have a small white rectangle drawn in their left side (11). To draw slides, click the slide toggle button (5). Then you can click it again to draw note events. Note that slides do NOT produce a sound themselves (although they preview when created/moved). Instead they make existing notes slide. When you draw a slide event, FL Studio will start sliding existing notes towards pitch where the slide is positioned. If several notes are slid simultaneously, the topmost is taken as a reference for the pitch offset (see picture below). At the end of the slide event, all notes are slid, so the topmost note has the pitch of the slide event. After the slide event ends, notes still remain offset from their original pitch.
This image shows how pitch changes with the slide event.
Note that the slide events have all usual properties of a note – velocity (note volume), panning, cutoff and resonance, so during pitch sliding, it also “slides” all properties from those of the playing notes to those of the slide.
Color Groups (Slides, MIDI, Editing)
You can draw notes and slides in 16 color shades based on green, cyan, pink and yellow. To select the note/slide color, click the appropriate button on the color group selector (10).
The color does not affect sound, it is used for independent processing of notes in the Piano roll, these include:
- Sliding – Slides will apply only to notes of the same color as the slide event. For example, yellow slide will bend the pitch of yellow notes, but will ignore green notes. This way you can have up to 16 notes sliding simultaneously in different directions.
Slide color groups are also used with the Mono mode in the polyphony settings (see Miscellaneous Channel Settings). Mono mode applies to each color group separately. So using all four colors actually can result in a polyphony of up to 4 voices at once.
- MIDI Channels – Each color is locked to a particular MIDI channel. To see the relationships, hover the mouse over each color and look at the hint bar, the channel is displayed.
- Editing – By creating color groups you can choose to edit the properties of only notes of the selected color. This can be handy when there are overlapping notes in the same Piano roll that you wish to manipulate independently.
Integrated Event Editor
The Piano roll includes an integrated event editor (9), which lets you quickly edit channel’s volume, panning and pitch and recorded automation data. To change the data displayed use the Target control (4). When editing notes properties these behave similar to the normal events, and are displayed in the event editor as lines with a small square at the top. Using this extension you can edit a note’s velocity (local note volume), panning, cutoff and resonance – these are exactly the same properties you can edit using the Graph Editor if you were entering notes in the Step Sequencer. Since note properties are part of the actual note, you can not move, delete or interpolate any of them. When you move a note horizontally (changing its start position), its properties also move with it. To choose what property or event type to edit, click the property/event selector (4) and choose property/event type from the menu that appears. The integrated editor also holds automation associated with the pattern.
NOTE: When several notes start at the same time you can not set the properties of each individual note (they are all set at once). To solve this issue, first select the notes you want to modify – editing this way alters only the properties of the selected notes. Another solution is to use the Note Properties Box (explained below).
Everything else in this integrated event editor works as in normal Event Editor window.
Note Properties Box
The Note Properties pop-up is an alternative way to set notes properties. It’s particularly useful when you need to set different properties for notes that start simultaneously (so their properties appear as one in the integrated event editor). Double-click a note to display the properties pop-up box.
These controls allow changes to note – panning (PAN), note on velocity (VEL), release velocity (REL), channel filter cutoff (MODX) and channel filter resonance (MODY). The reset button next to ‘Levels’ title bar resets note properties to levels they had before launching the properties box.
Slide – Slide ON / Slide OFF. Determines if the note will respond to slide events.
Invert Porta – Inverts the portamento state for this note. If the global portamento (see Misc Channel Settings) for this channel is off, for this note it is on and vice versa.
Green box – Click on this to select the colour channel group the note is on. See (10).
NOTE: If the note you double-click is a part of a selection, then the properties you set apply to all notes in that selection. The Time section is not available in that case, because the selected notes might have different length or start point.
Change the Start Time (note position) and Duration (note length) for the selected note. For each setting the LCD adjusts bar:step:tick. From the example image above the note starts on bar 1, step 8 tick 000 (no ticks). It is 2 steps in duration.
Piano roll Menu
This menu provides many important functions for working with the Piano roll, such as copying and pasting notes, converting color groups etc. You can access Piano roll’s menu by clicking the Piano roll menu button (1).
|Plucked! is an example of a physical modelling synth, where mathematical formula are used to simulate real sound producing objects, like a plucked string, for example. Plucked implements a ‘Karplus-b’ plucked string model. The curious are invited to search for Karplus-b modelling on Google – however, be prepared for some Math|
- Decay knob – Changes the decay time of the plucked sound.
- Color knob – Changes the tone of the plucked sound from dark (left) to bright (right).
- Normalize – Tries to make the decay the same for all semitones. Otherwise higher notes have a shorter decay.
- Gate – Stops the voices abruptly when released. Otherwise the decay keeps going.
- Widen – Enriches the stereo panorama of the sound.
Notes & Tips
- Pitch bends are not supported for this generator.
- The Piano roll allows an offset on the decay & color per voice. While slides can be used to change the decay on the fly, the color works at trigger time only (i.e. they don’t change as the voice is running).
Plugin Credits: Didier Dambrin
Thanks To: Perry Cook for his work on physical synthesis
ReWired allows you to host any compatible ReWire device in FL Studio, including sample accurate streaming audio input, synchronized transport/playback controls and MIDI data receive/transmit.
For more information, please see the Rewire Host Mode pages.
Plugin Credits: Frederic Vanmol
FL Studio can function as a ReWire host for installed ReWire clients. The host functionality is implemented via the ReWired plugin. Each instance of the plugin lets you host one ReWire device (to use multiple devices, simply add multiple instances of the plugin to your project).
The ReWire client sends its audio output to the ReWired plugin. The client will also synchronize with the FL Studio transport controls (playback/stop, song position) and provides ability to transmit MIDI to and from the ReWire client.
- Client – Select the ReWire client to be hosted in FL Studio.
- Show Panel – After selecting a client, click here to launch the client application. Note that some ReWire clients may not launch from this button (ReBirth for example). In this case simply use their Start Menu shortcut. The ReWire client will detect the FL Studio host automatically at startup.
- Online Device Information (“?” button) – Click this button to open your default browser and see more information about the ReWire client currently set in the Client menu box. You need to be on-line to use this feature.
- Multi Outputs – Normally the complete audio from the ReWire client will be sent to the ReWired plugin. If the ReWire client has multiple audio outputs you can enable this option to send each ReWire output to an individual mixer track. For example, if ReWired was linked to track 10, output 1 will be sent to track 10, output 2 to track 11, output 3 to track 12 etc.
- MIDI Options – This button launches the MIDI output dialog where you can map ReWire MIDI busses (input and output) to standard FL Studio MIDI ports. For more information, see “MIDI Connectivity” below.
In most cases you need to follow these steps to connect a ReWire client to FL Studio:
- Add an instance of the ReWired plugin.
- Select a ReWire device from the Client combo box. If the device is not listed, ensure the ReWire client is registered/installed correctly.
- Click the Show Panel button to launch the ReWire client. This function may not work properly with some clients, in which case launch the application manually from the Start Menu shortcut (only after you have selected the client in the ReWired plugin).
- The client is now connected to FL Studio. The audio output will be streamed into the ReWired plugin and the playback and song position will be synchronized.
After you have completed this setup you can also access the MIDI connectivity features of ReWire (if the client supports it). See MIDI Connectivity below.
ReWire allows the host (FL Studio) to send and receive MIDI data from the client by mapping the ReWire input/output MIDI busses to regular FL Studio MIDI ports. To adjust the MIDI mapping settings, click the MIDI Options button in the ReWired plugin. For this functionality to work, the client needs to make use of the MIDI connectivity features of ReWire, otherwise the controls in this window will be empty/disabled.
- Mappings - Displays any existing mappings you have created for this ReWire client.
- Map - Lets you select Input or Output port to map. Input port sends MIDI data from FL Studio to the client, output port maps MIDI data coming from the client to FL Studio MIDI port.
- Port – Lets you select the FL Studio MIDI port to map.
- To – Lets you select the ReWire MIDI bus the port will be mapped to.
- Add/Change – Adds mapping defined in the Map/Port/To control to the Mappings list.
- Delete – Deletes the selected mapping from the Mappings list.
- Always send notes to bus – Notes and other MIDI events on the ReWired channel will be sent to the bus (showing ‘Reason’) and channel (showing ‘4’) of the currently loaded ReWire device.
- Channels – The list displays the synths/controls that are linked to each of the channels for the currently selected ReWire MIDI bus (selected by the “To” combo box). The list is informative, you can not edit the assignments.
You can perform several operations with the MIDI connectivity provided by ReWired:
Control the client via MIDI
To control the client and its synths from a MIDI Out channel, you can map an input port to a ReWire MIDI bus. To do this:
- Via the MIDI Options of the ReWired plugin, map an input port to a ReWire MIDI bus.
- In a MIDI Out channel, set the same port as an output port.
- In the MIDI Out channel, select the MIDI channel to use (refer to the Channels list in the Options window for channel assignments).
Control a VSTi/DXi plugin from a client
- Via the MIDI Options dialog of the ReWired plugin, map an output port to a ReWire MIDI bus.
- Make sure the client is set up properly to send MIDI data to the same ReWire MIDI bus.
- In a VSTi/DXi channel, set the same port as an input port.
You can use similar setups to control a ReWire client from another ReWire client or send MIDI data from a VSTi/DXi plugin to a ReWire client.
NOTE: Even if no mapping exists for a ReWired plugin, adding a sequence for it (events, notes etc.) automatically sends the generated MIDI data to the default ReWire bus. It is recommended to use MIDI Out channels for greater control over the MIDI data mapping.
The Channel Sampler uses a wave sample to generate its sound. It contains 4 real-time envelopes and 5 LFOs for controlling volume, panning, pitch, cutoff and resonance of the output. For more information, see Sampler Channel Settings and Instruments Channel Settings.
DEMO ONLY: SimSynth Live comes as a demo version in FL Studio and needs to be purchased separately separately so you can save projects containing SimSynth Live channels.
SimSynth Live is the FL Studio plugin version of the widely popular SimSynth standalone created by David Billen.
SimSynth Live is modelled after the classic analogue synthesizers of the 80’s and is capable of producing a wide range of instruments and effects: from strings and pads to deep bass lines.
The sound is created by three oscillators, filtered by a SVF section (State Variable Filter) and amplified by an ADSR envelope. The unit includes a programmable LFO section that can control some of the parameters in the oscillator and SVF sections. Finally you can filter the sound with a chorus effect to widen the stereo panorama of the patch.
Oscillators Section (OSC1, OSC2, OSC3)
- Oscillator ON/OFF switch – Each oscillator has a checkbox on its left that can be used to turn it on/off. An orange light indicates the oscillator is turned on.
- Oscillator Waveshape selector – The selector is located at the top of each oscillator. You can use it to select the wave shape used for synthesis: Pulse/Square – This produces a bright tone sounds. The pulse width can be adjusted using the PW knob (and can also achieve square oscillator shape); Saw – Produces bright tone sounds yet with different harmonics than Pulse/Square; Triangle – Produces dark tone sounds; Noise – Produces random white noise. The frequency range of the noise can be adjusted using the CRS knob where zero is white noise (full spectrum); Sine – This produces a very dark and pure tone. The sine can be varied from standard to the 4th power using the PW knob.
- Pulse Width wheel (PW) – Adjusts the pulse width of the Pulse wave shape. This varies the harmonic content of the oscillator (technically it varies it from odd harmonics to all harmonics). It also affects the Sine wave shape – from standard sine to 4th power of sine.
- Frequency wheel (CRS) – Offsets the frequency of the oscillator in semitones. Has a two octave range, from –12 to +12.
- Fine Frequency (FINE) – Offsets the frequency of the oscillator in cents, (1/100-th’s of a semitone). Has a two semitone range, from –100 to +100.
- Level wheel (LVL) – Sets the output level (volume) of the oscillator from 0 to 100%.
- LFO Modulation wheel (LFO) – Specifies the amount of frequency modulation from the LFO unit. Has a two octave range, from –100% to +100%. Note that in order for the LFO to modulate around a tuned frequency, the CRS and/or FINE knobs must be adjusted to compensate for the variation.
- Envelope Modulation wheel (ENV) – Specifies the amount of frequency modulation from the Amplitude Envelope. Has a two octave range, from –100% to +100%.
- Mix One Octave switch (1) – Mixes additional wave in the oscillator (one octave higher). Adds an octave to the oscillator. Best used with the sine and triangular wave shapes.
- Mix Two Octaves switch (2) – Mixes additional wave in the oscillator (two octaves higher). Best used with the sine wave shape.
- Warm Oscillator switch (WARM) – Softens the oscillator sound by mixing a second wave with slightly detuned frequency (without variation).
- Ring Modulation switch (Ring 1×2) – Ring modulates Oscillator 1 by Oscillator 2. This produces a “harsh” sound that was expensive with the older analogue synths.
Filter Section (SVF)
- Filter Envelope Attack wheel (ATT) – The amount of time required for the envelope to go from zero to full when a new note is played.
- Filter Envelope Decay wheel (DEC) – The amount of time required for the envelope to fall from full to the sustain level after the attack.
- Filter Envelope Sustain wheel (SUS) – The level at which the filter envelope will sustain as long as a note is held.
- Filter Envelope Release wheel (REL) – The amount of time required for the envelope to fall from the sustain level to zero after the note is released, or through being held.
- Envelope to Filter wheel (ENV) – The amount of modulation of the filter envelope over the filter cutoff value (negative or positive). This amount is added to the existing cutoff value.
- LFO Modulation wheel (LFO) – The amount of modulation of the LFO over the cutoff value (negative or positive). This amount is added to the existing cutoff value. Important: You must turn on the LFO unit first for this knob to have any affect.
- KB to Cutoff wheel (KB) – The amount of modulation of the notes pitch over the cutoff values.
- Track Amp switch (TRACK AMP) – This switch disables the filter envelope, and the Amplitude Envelope is used instead. The ENV wheel then controls the modulation of the Amplitude Envelope over the cutoff level. This makes editing easier when creating presets with identical filter and amp envelopes.
- Cut Off Frequency wheel (CUT) – The base cutoff frequency of the filter, from 0% to 100%.
- Filter Emphasis wheel (EMPH) – Also called resonance and Q. Emphasizes the frequencies near the cutoff. A little emphasis is useful for general purpose synthesis. A lot of emphasis sounds highly electronic and is useful for techno or special effects (together with cutoff frequency variations).
- High Pass Frequency wheel (HIGH) – Sets the high pass frequency of the filter. Note that this knob reduces low pass output as high pass output is increased. Set to 50% to produce a notch filter.
- Band Pass Frequency wheel (BAND) – Sets the band pass frequency of the filter. Note that this knob reduces low pass (or high pass as specified by the high knob), as band pass output is increased.
Amplitude Envelope (AMP)
- Amplitude Envelope Attack wheel (ATT) – The amount of time required for the envelope to go from zero to full when a new note is played.
- Amplitude Envelope Decay wheel (DEC) – The amount of time required for the envelope to fall from full to the sustain level after the attack.
- Amplitude Envelope Sustain wheel (SUS) – The level at which the filter envelope will sustain as long as a note is held.
- Amplitude Envelope Release wheel (REL) – The amount of time required for the envelope to fall from the sustain level to zero after the note is released, or through being held.
- Volume wheel (LVL) – The overall volume of the audio output of SimSynth.
Low Frequency Oscillator Section (LFO)
- LFO Waveshape selector - The selector is placed on the top of the LFO section. You can use it to select the shape used for oscillation: Square – Alternates between the max and min values; Saw – Falls gradually down to the min value then switches to max again; Triangle – Alternates gradually between the max and min values; Noise – Produces random values.
- LFO Rate wheel (RATE) – The LFO speed.
- LFO Delay wheel (DEL) – The amount of time required for the LFO to take affect after a note starts. It can be seen as fade in or attack time for the LFO.
- LFO retrigger switch (RETRIGGER) – When selected, the LFO starts at zero when a note is played. Also, the delay (see above) begins with each note. When not selected, the LFO cycles continually for all notes.
- Chorus switch (CHORUS) – When turned on, applies a chorus effect to sound. The chorus widens the stereo output by slightly delaying and modulating the frequency of the sound. It usually adds a nice, stereo touch to any preset – however, it can cause a side effect called “phase cancellation” which might not be desired.
- Phase cancellation might cause problems with bass sounds, especially if they get mixed to mono and played through a subwoofer at some point).
Plugin Credits: David Billen (engine), Frederic Vanmol (conversion), Didier Dambrin (interface)
DEMO ONLY: Sytrus comes as a demo version in FL Studio and needs to be purchased separately so you can save projects containing Sytrus channels.
Sytrus is a powerful and versatile synthesizer featuring six customizable operators for FM (Frequency Modulation) and RM (Ring Modulation) synthesis, plucked string synthesis, 3 filter modules, an effects module with chorus, three delay lines and unique programmable unison mode.
The rich implementation characteristics of Sytrus allow for an extremely wide range of sounds, including bass lines, bells, pads, drums, pianos, strings, organs and even entire drum and synth loops (in a single patch/note), made possible by the completely customizable envelopes supported by each module.
Along with this flexibility comes complexity. However, if you stick with Sytrus and study this help file (there’s a easy step-by-step tutorial here), we are sure you will find Sytrus to be one of the most rewarding plugins in the Image-Line library.
Want more sounds? – There are a large number of user created Sytrus patches available on-line in the dedicated Sytrus-patch Forum.
A video tutorial for Sytrus is also available on the FL Studio website.
The Main Module
The Operator Module
Working with the Harmonics Editor.
Working with Envelopes
The Filter Module
The Effects Module
Basics of FM Synthesis and the Modulation Matrix
Notes & Tips to Patch Creators
Options, Helpers and Tools
Below most envelopes is the Zoom Bar. This can be used to scroll and zoom envelopes.
- Scroll – Left-click in the middle of the bar and move the mouse left/right or left-click the arrows at the end of the bar.
- Zoom – 1. Left click the left or right edge of the bar when the double arrow appears (as shown above). 2. Hover over the center bar and scroll the mouse wheel.
- 2D Scroll Mode – Alt+Left-click in the middle of the bar or hold down the center mouse button (wheel), move vertically to zoom and left/right to scroll.
- Select Range – Right-click at the point where you want the selection to start/end and drag the mouse to select the range.
Sytrus Presets – Forum dedicated to sharing Sytrus patches and patch creation.
Plugin Credits -
Code / graphics: Didier Dambrin.
VSTi port: Frédéric Vanmol.
Many thanks to: Bram (oversampling), Jaha (for showing the wrong path :), Antti, Robert Bristow-Johnson (for making their filters public) , and all the ones who designed presets.
Reverb by: Ultrafunk.