fl9_thumb

Click through for FL’s infamous Giant Screenshot of FL 9. See, it’ll look perfect on your 40″ flat screen. Update: Despite discussion in comments, Image-Line assures us this is an image of FL9. We’ll have more shots once we try out the software, of course!

“Fruity Loops” has long proven that not all music making apps have to look the same way. FL is quirky and different. Its editing interface is built as much around step sequencers and pattern sequencing as the conventional, mixer and audio-tape-derived views. But perhaps some of its real draw is that it packs, in its mid-level-and-higher packages, it’s packed with fascinating and unusual sonic toys. FL 9 looks to continue that tradition.

And because it’s FL, if you’ve ever bought FL, you get a free lifetime upgrade to this version. (Seriously, if you’re pirating FL, stop. You have absolutely no excuse.)

New toys in this version:

  • Autogun Derived from the excellent sounds of the Ogun synth, this instrument has “more than four billion presets.” (Wait… what?) I do agree with Image-Line’s description of “rich metallic and shimmering timbres” in Ogun; that’s exactly what it sounds like.
  • Vocodex vocoder, the “last word in Vocoders.” (I thought the last word was, “No one needs a vocoder,” but I could be wrong.) Automatic speech enhancement plus up to 100 “variable-width, multi-parameter” bands does give this some interesting twists.
  • Stereo Shaper.

I think that improved performance and editing may be bigger news, however:

  • Multi-core CPU support, multithreaded generator, and multithreaded effects processing. This is the one that I expect most excites you crazy, synth-and-effects-routing mad scientists who have been pegging your CPU.
  • Improved effects: sidechaining in the limiter, mid-side processing in the reverb, export and noise reduction in the awesome Edison and Slicex audio-editing instruments.
  • Improved Playlists with “Clip Track” features
  • A “Riff Machine” for automatically generating sequences in the Piano Roll
  • Multiple controller support for defining different instrument channels. (Okay, FL experts – did I miss something? That wasn’t present before?)

What comes in the box has been expanded, too. In all the editions, you get the new stereo shaper and Autogun. In “Fruity Edition” and higher, you get SimSynth Live, DrumSynth Live, the DX-10 FM synth, and cool-sounding WASP and WASP-XT. In Producer Edition, you get the Vocodex vocoder.

Unfortunately, Image-Line still continues some confusing a la carte options, and actually eliminates its XXL edition that gave you everything. So, there’s a new Gross Beat that manipulates pitch, position, and volume in real-time, but you only get the demo with FL 9. I can’t really complain about this because FL has so much in it, but it can all get a little hard to follow sometimes.

On the other hand, if you’re an FL fan, I think you could do some serious damage with the vocoder and new sequence generating features.

I’ve always wanted to do a better job of covering FL on this site, so FL users, get in touch!

FL Studio product page
Download the demo

  • lematt

    a mac version would be sooooo sweet !

  • http://www.professorwhimsey.com Dr. Apostrophe X

    I've pretty much used, at one point or another, every minor (and most major) Host/DAW application for Windows (and pre OSX Macs… remember Opcode Vision?): SONAR, Reaper, EnergyXT, Project 5, and others I can't even recall now. FLStudio was definitely the one I had the most fun with. It's not the easiest one to "get" (but then, neither is Reaper), but once you've got some basics down (it takes about an hour) it's definitely the one to have fun with and throw a track together quickly. The challenge of course is making your track sound unique… that and some issues I had with stability and flexibility of routing (believe it or not) have pretty much steered me in the direction first of SONAR and then (when I couldn't afford to pay the $240 upgrade tax every one to two years) of Reaper which I've been happily using for the past 2 years.

    Still, for fun factor, bang-for-the buck (gotta love those lifetime upgrades, which have served me well over the last 6 years), and neat-o pack-in instruments and effects (I still buy most IL synths and effects when they come out — JuicePack is a pretty good value), you cannot beat FLStudio.

  • http://www.professorwhimsey.com Dr. Apostrophe X

    Oh, and then there's that: No Mac version. Ever.

  • http://geradorzero.com Fabio FZero

    FL Studio is the only software that makes me want to use bootcamp on my mac. There's simply nothing better to create grooves. BTW, I think its effects don'te get the respect they deserve – specially Parametric EQ2.

  • http://www.professorwhimsey.com Dr. Apostrophe X

    I agree on FLStudio's built in effects. For the price (included) they are exceptional and really all anyone just starting out would need. The EQs are very good (EQUO is fun) and the new(ish) multiband compressor ain't no slouch either. I've been a longtime fan of the previous Vocoder packed in with FLStudio (and JuicePack) so I can't wait to try the new one out.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    There's not ever going to be a Mac version, but there *are* some of the nicer instruments on the Mac, so if you absolutely, positively can't be bothered to Boot Camp into Windows, you can still get some of the sound goodness.

    I have to say, though, once you're deep into a piece of software – provided it runs well, which FL certainly does – do you really notice which OS you're on? FL runs beautifully on Windows.

  • Adrian Anders

    The main reason I bought Live was because FLStudio wasn't cutting it for "Live" applications (i.e. it was glitching out while loading plug and plug presets in the middle of a set)… that being said its still the best deal in audio applications bar none. I recommend getting the "Signature Bundle" for folks new to electronic music who don't already have a FM/VA/Hybrid Synth, Multi-Sampler, Mastering suite, and guitar effects (if one so desires). Everyone else: best bet is Producer. I got mine for $150 (now its $200) and true to their word, every version since then has been a free update (which considering where FL was when I purchased it… thank goodness). Highly recommended!

  • poorsod

    "A “Riff Machine” for automatically generating sequences in the Piano Roll"

    i like this, it takes Garage Band loop-based laziness to a whole new level

  • http://AaronUrbanski.com urbster1

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think FL previously had the ability to support multiple controllers each assigned to only one instrument (or a group of instruments). If for example I had 2 MIDI keyboard controllers connected, they would both control the selected instrument channel(s). If they have added support to link each controller to certain instruments or groups of instruments, that would be a great improvement. I would test it now but it's still downloading!

  • usedtobe

    what is the appeal of fruity loops over live? just the price? (no 'tude there, honest question)

  • http://rekkerd.org ronnie

    @usedtobe to me the main appeal is the way I can get things done faster than with Live. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that I've been using FL Studio for many years more than Live but I just love FL's workflow.

    In case people are interested in buying FL Studio, make sure to get it with 10% discount (Peter, you forgot again ;-)

  • Blob

    @usedtobe

    "what is the appeal of fruity loops over live? just the price?"

    I don't think it's the price at all, I would say it's definetely a workflow issue. It's so easy and fun to build a decent track in FL Studio that it's almost criminal ;-)

    The plugins are great and it's quite stable (or at least it was under Windows XP when I gave it a try – ahem – several years ago, version 5 – maybe there are Vista issues with this new version?)

    I'm currently a Live user because I believe it's currently the best tool for e-music performance – the interface has been designed with that in mind and I love it. But, hey, that's just my opinion, in the end, it all comes down to what you need and how you adjust to the program's interface.

    depending on our setup, you could also use FL in a live situation, and it's as good a bet as Live when it comes to composing and producing.

  • louis

    that's not FL Studio 9 in the screenshot. i believe that's FL Studio 8, with the file renamed fl9giant.

    image-line still haven't updated their site with an fl9 screenshot

  • Polite

    urbster1 – you are correct. I hope that's what they are doing. It's definitely been annoying that you didn't have much external control of instruments in fruityloops.

    Sadly, kind of looking forward to the sidechaining as well. I just love that sound, even if it has been overused.

    FL has been the DAW i just keep coming back to. Much heart to it and the team behind it.

  • http://myspace.com/fallsastar Foosnark

    MIDI controllers have always been kind of wonky in FLStudio. Hopefully that is improved a bit along with the new stuff.

    Either way, count me as one of those mad scientists gleeful about the multicore stuff. :D

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    That is indeed what they're promising – multiple controllers. So this could finally make controllers a little more manageable.

    @Louis: I agree, looking closer, I don't see any of the new features. It appears to be an FL8 screenshot which was released to the press today in the FL9 artwork section.

    Then again, if you squint *really* hard, maybe you can see the multicore performance improvements. ;)

  • http://www.proemland.com proem

    the one thing i have noticed

    is how fast the damned thing starts and shuts down. but that could be the fancy multithreaded thing mentioned above… which in turn means its a bit more responsive. or something. 9 feels like a hotrod. but then each version feels that way at first

  • http://www.myspace.com/ricardosalce bigricmusic

    fl studio is the best program to make music!

  • http://mynameisvince.com vince

    I love FL Studio so much. I just wish it was much easier to use with live instruments and such. I do have so much fun when I fire it up.

    But since I try to use many live instruments I use Live. I love Live, but I don't like the step-sequencing in it.

  • leslie

    Meantime… Propellerhead Software today released Record, its new recording app for both Mac and Windows.

  • gnc

    i used this about 5 years ago, no offense but i think this is the most useless DAW out there. what's the point in patterns… it's a loop creation tool after all "Fruity Loops!"

  • http://www.electroconductor.com nucleon

    To clarify the new multiple controller support, FL has always supported multiple knob and fader controllers at the same time. But not multiple keyboard controller input, to different instruments at the same time, without a layer and keyboard split workaround, or running it as a VST.

    In FL 9, if you select multiple instruments, MIDI keyboard input channels 1 to 16 will seperatly control different instruments at the same time, in top to bottom order of whatever you have selected.

    Also, often overlooked is the 'Override Generic Links' method of linking controls, which saves mappings per window focus, since FL 8 in fact.

    Btw, great work on this blog Peter, always an interesting and usefull read.

  • andrew zero

    I'll make another attemt at it. I have always had issues with midi devices in fl.

  • http://www.image-line.com Jean-Marie Cannie

    Thx for the warm reception of our product(s).

    The screenshot was updated a little (new FPC) UI for the earlier beta's but here's the latest screenshot that features the new playlist and some of the FL9 changes :

    http://flstudio.image-line.com/extimages/GiantFL9

    Enjoy,

    Jean-Marie Cannie,

    Image-Line

  • leslie

    @Jean-Marie

    … so when is the Mac version of FL coming out…? ;)

    only kidding, nice little toy though…

  • Sonics

    Its just a vastly underrated program.

    The free updates are a brilliant idea

    You pay almost the same to buy FLStudio as you do for just a Live update.

  • Midas

    When I told a friend that I used Fruity Loops, he said "I heard that program was good in it's day, but it's kind of old school, isn't it?" He had never tried it, so I let him try it, and he loved it! Now he uses it as much as he uses Pro Tools because it was so quick and easy to get the idea out. If course, that was Fruity 5 – I hope they don't push this program into the realm of some of the more complicated and tiresome programs out there – you know, the ones that kill your inspiration through fiddly interfaces and "cool" looking virtual gadgets that try to be "different" rather than just being effective and intuitive.

  • http://soundsandgear.com SoundsAndGear

    They continue to evolve, it's weird to see them no longer have the xxl edition. I wonder what previous customers of that edition get? Do they get all the add on plugins?

    It's good to see fl moving into the direction of supporting more processing power efficiently.

    I still like to break out flstudio from time to time, even though it's not my favorite system. The step sequencer is very quick for sketching out some nice loops.

    lifetime updates is something other companies should adopt! lol. I do love that, makes the investment worth it.

  • Vehical Driver

    I bought Fruity Loops expecting to get lifetime updates. Of course, later Fruity decided to split the product into 3 versions, and all us early adopters got stuck with the budget version without all the new features.

    That kind of shady unethical business really turned me off on Fruitloops. Getting free lifetime updates to all the new features was one of the selling points that made me decide to take a chance on Fruityloops back when it was new.

    The whole deal with the confusing ala-cart options is just another sneaky way to make more money… Sure, you get "free" lifetime updates, but to get all the new cool stuff you are going to continuously have to pay for upgrades. Paying for upgrades wouldn't be a bad thing in itself, what is bad is the dishonest marketing of "lifetime updates".

    If you are thinking about using Fruity Loops, consider using something like Renoise instead.

  • Adrian Anders

    @Vehical Driver

    Don't know man. I can see your point with the early (pre-studio) adopters getting less with the switch… but I'm happy with FL's free upgrades with the basic features/compatibility for newer systems. Compared to other more popular programs where you HAVE to pay for the upgrade just to be able to get the bug fixes and have it work on newer systems. At least with FL I know that no matter what I'll always have a DAW that will work on the latest system without having to spend one red cent extra.

  • http://www.citrussoulent.com G-MO

    I tried messing around with FL 8 and it was just too complicated for me. After getting frastrated I opened up Live and knocked out a beat. I'll give FL another try.

  • Sensible Man

    @ Vehicle driver. You have received 6, count them 6! updates to FL Studio Fruity edition haven't you for FREE? I don't see they have diddled you in any way. Fruity 9 is far more capable than Fruity 3 ever was.

    And how much did they originally ask you to upgrade from Life Time Free updates to Fruity Edition and Producer edition? $49?

    Image-Line have delivered all they promised and more, you have an attitude problem.

  • Vehical Driver

    To Sensible Man (aka Image-Line representative):

    It is bad manners to accuse your paying customers of attitude problems. What you guys did was shady! Don't compound it by being belligerent.

    I have paid a lot more for other software, it isn't the money I am complaining about. It is the dishonesty. You guys know damn well that splitting Fruity Loops into 3 different products was nothing more than a money grab at your existing customers! You know damn well that when we paid for the lifetime upgrades that you promised, no one expected to get upgrades for a lesser version of the product.

    Do you think you are going to impress potential customers who might be thinking about purchasing Fruity Loops by insulting the people you cheated?

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Vehical Driver: Actually, I can read Sensible Man's IP address, and it's not someone from Image-Line. ;)

    Look, fine — there's a difference of opinion. I want people to be frank about their perspective. Let's try not to attack other people over it, though, okay?

    These debates happen over all commercial software (and, heck, *free* and open source software, too). It's good to know what people think about pricing and policy, so I'm not saying hold back. On the other hand, you'll get other users who are passionate about being pleased as others are about being disgruntled. Keep it civil.

  • http://www.image-line.com Jean-Marie Cannie

    Hm,

    'Sensible Man' is not a representative … although he should be :)

    Anyway : We have always stated that Lifetime Free Updates means that you'll get the functionality you paid for (and A LOT more) for as long as we develop it as we feel you shouldn't pay for bugfixes :

    http://flstudio.image-line.com/documents/lifetime

    @Vehicle driver: When exactly did you buy what ?

  • Peter Dines

    A nice surprise for me was that I received a free upgrade from the now-eliminated XXL edition to the signature bundle – so now I have the Hardcore amp sim and the Maximus multiband limiter. (not just FL versions of those, but the VST versions as well for use in other DAWs)

    FL continues to deliver absolutely insane value for money.

  • http://fuck KFoooooo

    This Software it powerfull, but not yet for MAc plataform, well cool but I think in Mac it would run better than in Windows.

    Realese the Mac Version.

  • nonstatic

    @vehical driver the only shady practice here is YOU trying to accuse a company of ripping you off after giving you years of free updates and additional functionality!

    they promised lifetime updates, and that's exactly what you got.

  • ian

    this looks awesome! as someone that's used FL since version 3.4 it's been interesting to see all the new incarnations of FL – almost always getting better with each new version. there's pretty much 2 reasons i still love and use FL – first is it's a great VST host/sequencer, but second it has the best midi assignment short of max/msp or puredata (EXCEPT for the one controller to an instrument bit, which is the ONE big qualm i've had with FL recently – seeing this addressed makes my day!). i was always able to map multiple effects to one knob at a time and a single knob control various ranges on different FX parameters – so for my 8 knob oxygen 8 it was a godsend, i would map 3-5 effects to each knob, usually the same effect or instrument.

    anyways good to see the new version's on its way – too bad imageline will never make a mac release because i think that's the only thing preventing them from more market influence.

  • zbdeus

    Been using FL since version 2 or so and just keeps getting better. However there's something that makes number 9 special.

    There's FINALLY a tool (explorer context menu) to remove all those crappy samples, unused project files, obsolete song versions and all kinds of clutter that you'd have to delete 'manually'!

    Multi-core support, new plugins, bug fixes.. bleh, big hooray for delete!

  • Max Ugly

    I bought FL when it was still called Fruity Loops (maybe 4 or 5, I forget). It was always my favorite. The only problem (and it is a big one for me) is the lack multiproccessor support. I lost my registration info a long time ago and have since tried the demos of each version. None of them could even come close to handling the number of VST's as Cubase. Does anyone have any feedback on the new multiprocessor support (someone that has used FL Studio 9)? I will buy another liscense in a heartbeat if it is truly multithreaded and scales up well.

    @Jean-Marie

    Some benchmarks of FL 8 vs FL 9 (maybe even vs some other DAW's), specifically VST's, would probably be a very good marketing strategy. FL has performed pretty well(in my exeperiences, back in the day) vs other software from a MHz standpoint. It's all about multithreaded stuff these days though. Cubase is a pain compared to FL, it really slows you down and its piano roll cant even be compared to FL, but it is very effeciently multithreaded. I can run as many effects as I need. This has not been true with FL. I would love to go back but I need something that can handle my giant projects on my budget hardware.

    I guess I am just saying that I would like to see more proof than just

    "Multi-core CPU (Hyperthreading) – Improved multithreaded generator & added multithreaded effects processing."

    I want numbers! :)

    Either way FL is great. Keep up the good work.

  • http://affiliate.image-line.com/DFEHBEC481 Zack

    FL Studio is by far the most economically priced program on the market. It not only offers state of the art programming but LIFETIME free upgrades. Yes it’s true. So if you buy FL Studio 9 now then you will in turn get FL Studio 10,11,12…etc. when they are released. If you use this link http://affiliate.image-line.com/DFEHBEC481 New customers will receive a 10% discount on any purchase over $90 dollars. So why not take advantage of this opportunity and save some money while purchasing one of the greatest music programs on the market.

  • ZAGG

    FL studio is the only thing I miss about using a PC. We definitely would love to see a version for mac.

  • Krieg

    Max Ugly, and to anyone else interested. I did some very limited tests of FL9 vs FL8, performancewise. In each I opened a blank template, then set the buffer length to the same amount. Then I opened Sytrus, and left it on the default patch. I held down two notes (the same each time). All the quality settings were maxed and it's a bit of a cpu heavy patch. The results were as follows;

    FL8: AVG 8% CPU Usage.

    FL9: AVG 10% CPU Usage.

    This caused a bit of headscratching as I'm sure you can imagine. So I opened the audio settings for each again and checked. FL9 has an extra box for added optimizations like multithreading and such. All the options were on. So, just for the sake of it.. I turned OFF "Multithreaded Generator Processing" and "Multithreaded Mixer Processing". Upon retesting..

    FL8: 8% CPU

    FL9: 8% CPU

    Which is amusing to say the least. On first glance the optimizations appear to do the opposite of what's intended. However, I get the idea that the 2% extra CPU usage is in splitting the thread processes.. So it may be more efficient with many things going on than FL8, which I'll check right now with 5 Sytrus' running the same patch and Reverb 2 on the Cathedral preset;

    FL8: Tops out at 67% CPU, Bottoms at 21%

    FL9 With Optimizations: Tops at 52%, Bottoms at 17%.

    FL9 Without: Tops at 70%(!), Bottoms at 24.

    So, all in all, it's actually a fair bit of difference in a bit project, saving you up to nearly 20% CPU. Though amusingly, FL9 base with the optimizations off is actually less optimized than FL8. Either way, these tests weren't incredibly scientific, so take it all how you want to. :P