Deep thoughts: FL Studio is a boring name. Fruity Loops was better. You don't want me as your trademark lawyer. FL Studio could show up on stage. Cereal straws are a crazy idea. America is a crazy place. Photo (CC-BY) Michelle Tribe.

Deep thoughts: FL Studio is a boring name. Fruity Loops was better. You don’t want me as your trademark lawyer. FL Studio could show up on stage. Cereal straws are a crazy idea. America is a crazy place. Photo (CC-BY) Michelle Tribe.

FL Studio 11 has arrived, hot on the heels of an impressive FL Studio Mobile release. The folks at Image Line have been intensely busy, but what strikes me is that you can now play FL Studio using almost anything, on almost any device. The Mobile version works on Android and touch Windows devices, not just iOS, when most folks target only Apple.

And the upgrade to FL Studio 11 is similarly flexible.

There’s a clip-triggering performance mode, which already supports a range of input methods: “mouse, touch screen, typing keyboard or MIDI controller. Supports APC20/40, Launchpad, Lemur, Block, Maschine/Mikro, padKONTROL, Traktor Kontrol (and more).”

Multi-touch support works in the UI. Microsoft’s gestures are supported.

Editing views have been tweaked all over the place, including lots of Playlist improvements.

And there are a number of new plug-ins, too, in typical Fruity Loops fashion:

  • BassDrum percussion synth with sample layering
  • GMS (Groove Machine Synth): “Multi-timbral hybrid synthesizer & FX channel lifted from Groove Machine.”
  • A “performance-oriented” Effector multi-effects unit: Distortion, Lo-Fi bit reduction, Flanging, Phasing, Filter (low/high pass), Delay, Reverb, Stereo panning & binaural effect, Gating, Granulizer, Vocal formant and Ring modulation effects.
  • Patcher is improved with voice effects and a new UI, for saving and recalling plug-in chains.
  • New key mapping works on live notes and Piano Roll editing to modify notes. (There’s a color mapper for the Piano Roll, too.

The Effector module has mappings to multi-touch and controllers, and the developers say it was designed to pair with Performance Mode. So that seems the big test: will musicians start to embrace Something That Isn’t Ableton, so we see a bit of FL action in live gigs? That’d be a pleasure. (It’s happened before, but it certainly isn’t commonplace. But I do know there are lots of FL users out in the world. Hope to see y’all play – let me know, won’t you?)

And there’s a lot more, like Ruby programming in Flowstone, a successor to Synthmaker, for hackers – and a formidable challenger to tools like Ableton’s Max for Live.

And then, also in this Newtone vocal editor, there are some really unusual means of editing vibrato – seriously:

“Most exciting are the new Vibrato and Warp editors. The Vibrato editor allows users to create vibrato effects from scratch with controls including start/end amount and frequency. The editor even detects existing vibrato and displays this value so users can match the singers natural tendency, if desired. The Warp editor is designed to work with mono or polyphonic material and is perfect for slicing and re-timing/quantizing drum-loops, vocal performances and is great for sounddesign experimentation. Importantly, Newtone 2 is a free update for existing customers.”

A better piano roll, more note editing, and loads of performance options you can access via controllers or multi-touch – plus the ability to code your own instruments and effects in Ruby, and powerful mobile companions on any OS. I’d say FL 11 is a contender. A demo version is available. Windows-only – but I have to say, just installed Windows 8 on my MacBook via Boot Camp, and the process is pretty terrific, Mac users. (Plus you can hop into that same Windows install from your Mac via Parallels – all using the same installation, seamlessly integrated with your Mac UI.)

Have a look:

  • GYRE

    Just got my hands on FL Studio Mobile after waiting so long on the android platform. These new fl studio 11 updates look awesome, i just wish they had come a little sooner (performance mode). Cannot wait to get my hands on it! – Good article too, thanks for sharing.

    • Shane Bundy

      Performance Mode came with the 10.5 beta released back in April last year.

  • vinayk

    while i cant use FL studio (being a mac person – though I did use fruity loops way back when) – i’m always impressed by how often they update, and the quality of the updates – leaves the other companies a little bit wanting!

  • ZooTooK

    While running FL Studio on a Mac works good for me on bootcamp but in Parallells it requires more than my 4 GB that I have run run smoothly. I does work but jumping to and from OXS/Windows requires diskswapping on my system…

  • heinrichz

    …so how will all this stack up against Bitwig, whenever that comes out ?

  • gLOW-x

    There are few DAWs i fell in love with : Reason and FL Studio.
    Fun factor was the key here.
    I dropped Reason (and will not look back).
    But i still love FL Studio and IL pro-active way of improving their products.
    It is so powerful…when you REALLY know how to use it 😉

    The only downside to me was GUI and some work flow choices, witch can make it less attractive at first sight. But nothing that can’t be solved with dual screen 😉
    And less troublesome than using Ableton in studio on dual screen, finally 😀

    Happy to see FL Studio still going in the right way with live support, scripts and more tools.

    PS : about FL Studio being a “boring” name compared to Fruity Loops, they changed the name BECAUSE some ppl considered it as a TOY due to the cereal name.
    You know, those ppl thinking Protools rules because there is “Pro” and “Tools” in the name…

    • Barry Euphorik

      Can’t wait to update.

      You would be surprised about the many times i have had to correct people who automatically assumed you could only use looped samples FL Studio because of its old name. I think this was another reason for the name change.

    • Guest

      Great post!

    • black ghöst

      Great post!

    • Lala Jan
  • nukage

    FL studio works great on a mac with Crossover and Jack!

  • Mr. Wonderful

    Does fruity loops mobile for ios have that performance mode?

  • Brian Foster

    Fruity Loops was by no means a better name. Please.

  • iOS Musician Blog

    it will be interesting to see how much physical gear, if any, will be duplicated/replaced by this whole touch screen PC movement…

  • iOS Musician Blog

    also: the logo for fl 11 looks more like some weird lizard creature with 1 really skinny leg than it does the fruit thingy.

    • black ghöst

      Lol. Not really…

  • Mario Bjm Bajardi

    FL 11 !! The best is incredible for composer.

  • sacredgeometry

    FL need a re-branding and to lose their gui styling other than that they look like they are doing an awesome job.

  • grindFIsh

    wow. Im an ableton user primarily but FL now has my attention, big time.

    • Matt Johnson

      Yeah, I just bought it after using ableton for years. I think I like being able to switch back and forth. But FL is arranged really awesomely. I think this is their masterpiece.

  • Sacco Svd
    • Guest

      Kick ass video!

    • black ghöst

      Kick-ass video!

  • zelda75

    Fruity Loops IS a better name. We actually call it Frutos in France

  • Zarah Khan
  • aziz ur rehman