Didier Dambrin, FL Studio’s original creator, has a new synth entitled Harmor that looks like one to watch. There’s a beautiful crop of new synthesizers this season that could have you yearning for a winter spent with long nights somewhere deep in the Northern Hemisphere, producing new music – see also, to name just one, Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ 2. (Both Harmor and Z3TA+ 2 are Windows-only, so time to boot up the PC or, Mac users, update that Boot Camp partition.) VSTi and native FL Studio support; US$149 but on sale this month for $99.

For some reason, releasing any synth right now involves demonstrating that the kids can make their wobble bass and dubstep with it, but I trust synthesists out there to do other things, too.

Introducing Harmor

Okay, I kind of buried the lead, but I wanted to give the synth its due.

Don’t want to boot into Boot Camp to run FL Studio?

This beta might interest you:
FL Studio for Mac Beta-Testers Wanted [Image Line forum]

Yes, you see that right: it’s FL Studio, aka Fruity Loops, running on the Mac platform. Synthtopia wonders if Hell froze over, but not so fast. Image-Line said they’d never build a Mac version of FL Studio. And they haven’t. The magic here is possible through Codeweavers Crossover, a commercial proprietary technology built on the open source tool WINE. Codeweavers already offers a standalone product that lets you run a variety of Windows (and Linux) software on the Mac, based on the same tech that lets you run Windows software on Linux. Here, Image-Line reports that there’s some additional customization and testing and tweaking that lets this run without further intervention on your part. (WINE can work beautifully, but there are various compatibility wrinkles with specific software – Image-Line and Crossovers have evidently worked specifically on making FL Studio function properly.)

WINE, the underlying technology, is an emulator but not in the sense of a virtual machine, which is how most Windows compatibility tools are implemented. It’s actually a re-implementation of Windows APIs. See WINE myths for more. That means that, once fully tested, FL Studio can run as well on the Mac as on Windows. What you won’t get is Mac-native APIs, meaning the resulting software won’t behave terribly like a typical Mac program. But FL Studio, like much music software, tends to behave in its own way, anyway, so I don’t actually believe that’s a huge deal. Updated: I realize I should say that compatibility issues or unpredictable behavior can be a big deal; I’ll be interested to see if the Mac experience can replicate the Windows experience or you’ll want to still reboot.

If you want to give this a try – and help ensure the quality of the release – beta testers are wanted. See the forum link above.

  • http://eternalprototyper.com Darren Landrum

    Harmor is the first softsynth in a long time to get my attention (Alchemy would be the other), so I'm definitely going to play with the demo this weekend. No dubstep here, though. I just want something that can let me really play around with samples.

  • Peter Kirn

    Yeah, I'm burying the lead, *but* Harmor may be the cooler news here. ;)

  • drrn

    So Harmor is Harmless with bits of Sytrus and Sakura?

  • http://www.fluxforge.com/kvlt/ Leon

    Oh god, crossover/wine just doesn't work. Crashes, slow downs and usability problems.

    I guess it's the price you have to pay for developing in Delphi …

  • Peter Kirn

    @Leon: I think that's why they're working on a custom, thoroughly tested version. It can absolutely work with some added effort. But we'll have to see the result. And yes, it is the price you pay for developing in Delphi. (Nice environment; shame it didn't develop further!)

  • Mike O

    FYI, WINE is a recursive acronym: "Wine Is Not an Emulator"

  • Stij

    "Unique and modern synthesizer" = WUB WUB WUB WUB

    But seriously, this does look fairly interesting when you look at the features. Like NI's recent Razor synth, though, it suffers from a very cliche sounding demo.

    Still, this might be cool. Doesn't Image-Line already have a bunch of additive synths, though?

  • Khoparzi

    Isn't Delphi somehow connected to the history of Apple?

  • Metatron72

    Haha on the dubstep comment in the article. You'd almost think LFO's were just recently discovered.

  • Jim Aikin

    Thanks for the lead on this. I just put my name in as a possible beta-tester for FL/Mac. It will be real interesting to see whether they can actually get it (a) stable, (b) compatible with audio/MIDI hardware, and (c) compatible with Windows VSTi installers. If the answer to all three questions is "yes," I think we can anticipate that more than a few Mac musicians will be blown away. Not that there aren't other powerful DAWs out there, because there are, but really there's been nothing like FL Studio on the Mac, as far as I'm aware.

  • http://www.onesmallclue.com Shannon

    @Peter: Delphi is a nice environment and still alive. A new version has just been released with the ability to create native OSX apps. The jury is still out on how well everything works in practice. I imagine it would be a huge amount of work porting FL Studio to mac though.

  • http://www.humblesound.com humblesound

    Again with the dubstep Sound FX for product demos… why?

  • http://bubblescum.com Heba

    I wonder when the first Moog demo will have wobble bass :D

    Looking forward to test FL in Mac. I was FL user when it was just a "drum machine".

  • ALTZ

    As my usual thought, synthesizer should be an instrument which could generate 'everything'.

    This synth demo definitely remind me the Razor demo by NI. No doubt, the current music trend is dubstep and one have to make that sort of music demo in order to make his product sort of modern and cutting edge. Check out the Ultranova synth demo from novation again, it was dubstep as well. Even the new Korg Electribe ships with dubstep presets.

    For me, I do not like music products which suggest to make certain genres of music. One could  use a guitar to play not only rock and roll but more other genres.

    If it is the presets which define the synth, it is nonsense.

  • lulz

    it is trendy wendy now to bash dubstep. I miss the time when tarnce bashing was hip. wannabe smart-ass wanker-talk is what i read here. you'd rather have a demosong featuring folk-music??? get off my f'in lawn hippies.

  • mrthraz

    image line didn't do nothing.

    i was one of the first people i know running fl in Linux, years ago back in ver. 6.

    they did nothing, they just did not "stand in the way." 

    fl on the mac is brought to you by  PEOPLE who love fl, wine and unix.

  • http://www.figby.com/ Michael Moncur

    Man, that headline got me all excited!  Sadly, I read it wrong and missed the WINE part, which makes it into a cruel joke.

    There is a (sort of) FruityLoops for IOS, and I assumed maybe that lead to a true mac port.

    FruityLoops was my favorite music tool for a long time, and even stopped me from switching to mac for a year or two. I've missed it ever since I switched. But if I want a buggy emulation, I can run FL Studio just fine under VMWare.

    Plug-ins won't work right, Firewire audio devices won't work right, and all kinds of things will go wrong. I'll pass, thanks, and stick to companies (like Ableton) who actually support the mac…

  • http://noisepages.com/members/mrthraz/ Patrick W'iyr T

    @Michael Moncur.

    FL 10 is working on my machine just fine.

    and audio plugins tend to work better than anything else in wine.

    geist, guru,edison, sliceX newtone all working fine.

  • Andy

    "it is trendy wendy now to bash dubstep. I miss the time when tarnce bashing was hip. "

    That doesn't make me wonder. First and foremost, Dubstep is shit, but this is just my personal taste and that doesn't count. More important is the fact that you here those typical Dubstep wobble bass trash everywhere, no matter if it's a synth demo or a tutorial or whatever. This is boring and really makes a lot of people sick.

    It's like chocolate (bad comparison for me since I like chocolate but hate Dubstep): too much of them and you will puke.

  • http://noisepages.com/members/dmlandrum/ Darren Landrum

    You know, a lot of the other Harmor demo songs and videos have nothing to do with dubstep. Just keep watching and listening and something will grab your attention.

  • Peter Kirn

    I will *totally* make fun of silly use of trance in product demos, too, if it makes anyone feel better. (Newsflash: that hasn't actually stopped.)

    Yes, the synth looks great, and they've even done a nice job of the demos. We can poke and prod every now and then; it's really okay.

  • Jonah

    Using it as a closed (stable) reason style platform is more exciting to me. If it's easy to drag/route my audio out to other programs it'll be painless to integrate and easily worth the asking price (assuming it's the same as fruity now).

  • O

    Yeah, I don't care much about what emulated versions versions are available. I will start caring about image line when I can use fl studio as a rewire component on my Mac. It's interesting that I can run fl studio on a Mac, but fl studio does not talk to logic or ableton (Mac version), or any of my AU's. I stopped using fl studio several years back after discovering renoise, renoise has the best license IMO for users who use osx, Linux and windows together.

  • mrthraz

    @O

    wine is not an emulator.

    in wine, windows dll's run Natively .

    and if you want your  apps to talk to one-another try jack.

    everything will talk to everything then.

  • Peter Kirn

    Technically, WINE is an emulator in the broad sense (its acronym not withstanding), in that it emulates running on Windows. It's just not a virtual machine. 

  • MegaTonne

    they spent a year on this ? working with an emulator ?

    *SNOOZE* …. wake me up in a few of years

  • mrthraz

    @Peter Kirn

    as i said "in wine, windows dll’s run Natively ."

    which, broad or not, is not emulation.

    the windows dll's are fooled into thinking they are in windows and all of there calls are passed on to unix analog's.

    calling wine an emulator is a gross misunderstanding of what it does and shows why the acronym exists.

    @MegaTonne

    no they did not spend any time working on an "emulator" or wine for that matter.

    they just let "US" work on it long enough to

    then claim it works in osx

  • MegaTonne

    it 'fools' dlls into thinking they are in windows ?

    so, in otherwords, it emulates windows ?

    it can do more besides, I'm sure.

    You're being excessively pedantic mate.

    And I don't truck with excessive pedants. no sir.

    You can get what people are saying when they refer to it as an emulator. Technically it's a ''compatibility layer'' … emulator. compatibility layer. I've no interest in either.

    From the WINE FAQ:

    "Wine can be thought of as a Windows emulator"

    "Wine is not just an emulator"

    yadda yadda. Next person to take issue with the ''emulator'' term is a rotten egg.

  • Peter Kirn

    Reason is not a DAW.

    I am not a blogger.

  • Peter Kirn

    Ceci n'est pas une emulator.

  • Ste

    I bet soon there will be an iPhone app which creates "wobble" basses simply by shaking the device..

  • Daisy

    "I bet soon there will be an iPhone app which creates “wobble” basses simply by shaking the device.."

    Cool idea : )

  • Kornfreak410

    ive been running fl studio on my m ac for a while, but i have tey to get ni’s massive to work with my fl studio. has anyone? can anyone help me here?