Image Line FL Studio
FL Studio (formerly Fruityloops) is Image-Line's all in one software production suite for PC. 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 (the Playlist also supports full-featured audio tracks with hard-drive streaming). Then you can add a wide range of effects to your instruments (reverb, phaser, flanger etc.) and route the resulting mixer tracks in any way you like to create complex mixing chains with ease. The resulting song or loop can be exported to a WAV/MP3 file and all MIDI events can be exported to a standard MIDI file.
Here is a brief review of the history of FL Studio (formerly Fruityloops):
FL Studio (formerly FruityLoops) for the PC has been called the ReBirth killer, and with good reason. At first glance it looks like a software-based Drum Machine, but look a little closer. It functions like a drum machine because it is a pattern based sequencer, just like Rebirth. However, more than just drum sounds can be assigned to each 'channel'. Loops, bass, synth sounds, effect sounds and samples can all be assigned to an unlimited number of 'channels'. Creating patterns is as simple as in ReBirth or any drum machine in which you set a tempo, start the loop and punch in your sounds.
The reason one might consider FL Studio a ReBirth killer is that it offers plenty more edit-ability of individual sounds and is more programmable than the latter. In addition to panning, volume, pitch and mix controls you'll find effects, envelope, resonance, cutoff, cut, reverse and more! FL Studio also sports the new TS-404 synth section to rival that ReBirth 303 sound. It also supports plug-ins, skins, external MIDI control and up to 64 notes per pattern.
Some additional features include an integrated BeatSlicer, live wheel recording of all wheels, unlimited number of channels (not just 8), support for 8 (VST&DX) FX tracks, integrated sample browser, cool effects to alter the samples, playlist allowing to mix several patterns, it can now act as master clock for sync, sends start / stop / clock / SPP. If you loved ReBirth, you'll certainly be interested in FL Studio. With it you can make ultimately more unique and different sounding music, rather than something that sounds like it was made on a ReBirth! FL Studio is being used by Mike Oldfield, Hellfish, Dan Hekate, Somatic Responses, Heretik, and Sonic Belligeranza.
Version 2.7 of FruityLoops offers: Integrated Beatslicer editor; Updated MP3 encoder for better quality; A couple of new great instrument presets; Alternate B-splines interpolator in event editor; Added the use of presets (to envelope time wheels).
The next big version, 3.3 offers: ASIO support, BUZZ Machine & BUZZ Effects support, New Fruity Plugins (Parametric Equalizer, Delay 2 Fruity, Stereo Enhancer, Granulizer Fruity, Spectroman), Internal Controller, New Integrated BeatSlicer, Portamento, Velocity & Keyboard tracking to all channels, Multichannel MIDI file import, Multiple MIDI devices can now be controlled at once, and more!
FruityLoops version 3.4 adds SoundFont support and the Fruity DX-10 FM Synth add-on. Additional new features include Layer Channeling, Channel Filtering, Project Bones Export, and many more refinements. The upgrade from version 3.3 to 3.4 is free and downloadable for owners of the on-line version. However, the SoundFont and Fruity DX-10 FM Synth add-ons will cost $35 and $19, respectively.
New features in version 3.5 include: VST-compatability, multiple ASIO outputs, DrumSynth Live Generator ($19 add-on), batch export of FX tracks, step recording, copy / paste of automation data and more. The update from 3.4 to 3.5 is free!
In 2003, they released FL Studio v4, which replaced the Fruityloops software range. It added many new features including a new advanced 64 channel mixer, new audio tracks with waveform preview & support for cue points, direct-to-disk recording, integrated Wave Editor, 64 FX tracks, and a new "Piano Roll" style playlist. FL Studio version v4.1.2 includes a new virtual E-Guitar plugin called FL Slayer based on reFX's Slayer VSTi plugin technology. FL Slayer emulates three different pick-up types, four AMP models and four cabinets which are and freely adjustable. It even has 16 well liked effects, "Wah Wah", Tremolo, Phaser, Chorus and many more.
The new & improved FL Studio 5 adds Time-Stretching in Audio Tracks, Slicer and Sampler, Automation Clips & Improved Audio Clips to allow multipoint spline-based and LFO based automation, Tempo Tapping and support for slice markers and MP3 loading. New Plugins include FPC: a new self-contained drum machine plugin; WaveShaper: Graph based distortion with super sampling; VideoPlayer: Synchronized playback of video & flash content inside FL Studio. Improved Plugins include Sytrus: adds global envelopes, new curve types and more. Fruity Slicer: is improved to support our new slicing engine, .rex files & time stretching capabilities. Granulizer: is vastly improved (supports transients, new key-to modes). DrumSynth Live: now supports up to 120 patches at once.
FL Studio comes in four packages: Express, Fruityloops, Producer and XXL. FL Studio XXL is a package containing FL Studio Producer edition and all of its plugins including: SimSynth (FL, VSTi and DXi version included), WASP (FL, VSTi and DXi version included), DX-10 (FL, VSTi and DXi version included), Soundfont Player, DrumSynth Live, BeatSlicer and DreamStation. Visit www.flstudio.com for complete details.
Demos & Media
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Images from www.flstudio.com.