What’s better than a New Year’s greeting card from a music developer? This. It controls their software, it produces custom layouts, it runs on Android as well as iOS, and it’s free.

The folks at Image-Line, they of the tool once known as Fruity Loops, do have a way with software. They don’t go half-way: somehow, there’s always loads of stuff packed into their tools.

And even as other tools capture the headlines and the “best of the year” mentions, for a lot of people, I imagine details like the arrival of IL Remote will be a Godsend. For starters, FL continues to serve a community of rabid producers who have gotten somewhat absurdly quick with it. If you don’t hear people talking about that, maybe that’s because they’re too deep inside the machine. And IL Remote, since it runs on Android as well as iOS, could mean a very affordable setup. The excellent second-generation Nexus 7 runs US$200; a decent PC laptop capable of running FL can be had for about $400 – new.

What’s impressive is that they’ve attacked a lot of controller functions at once. iOS users could assemble this themselves with other tools, but Android users’ options have been more limited.

Out of the box, you get integrated FL controls:

  • Transport
  • MIDI Keyboard
  • FPC (the sampler/groove machine)
  • Performance Mode / Clip Launcher
  • Gross Beat effects
  • Mixer
Performance modes mean the sort of live rigs generally associated with Ableton Live - but firmly in the FL Studio paradigm and workflow. Brightly-colored screens can be mapped to a number of built-in functions, or custom control layouts of your own choosing.

Performance modes mean the sort of live rigs generally associated with Ableton Live – but firmly in the FL Studio paradigm and workflow. Brightly-colored screens can be mapped to a number of built-in functions, or custom control layouts of your own choosing.

It’s set up for Deckadance, too, though I haven’t yet found the layouts for that.

And then you can add custom control tabs for whatever you want, inside FL or for plug-ins:

  • Pads
  • Faders
  • Knobs (which actually include nice visual feedback, not quite like what you’ve seen in other apps)
  • Jog wheels (which they’ve set to control channels in the demo video)
  • Mixer
  • Clip launcher
  • X/Y controls
  • Piano keyboard
  • “Always-in-tune” harmonic grid

These can be added to tabs and containers, a bit like the ones introduced on Lemur. There’s nothing terribly original here – this seems a mash-up of things you’ve seen before. But that’s what’s nice about: it’s a mash-up of a bunch of things you’ve seen before, it runs on Android as well as iOS (with modest OS version requirements – 3.0 for Android, 5.0 for iOS), it works with FL easily, and it allows custom layouts easy.

And, oh yeah, it’s … free.

Setup via Wifi:

IL Remote for FL Studio

Thanks to everyone who sent this in. And if you do set up a live rig, we’d love to see it.

IL's own GrossBeat gets an extensive performance layout.

IL’s own GrossBeat gets an extensive performance layout.

Various dedicated apps provide harmonic grids, but here you get one in an app already tailored to FL.

Various dedicated apps provide harmonic grids, but here you get one in an app already tailored to FL.

Custom layouts let you map your own controls.

Custom layouts let you map your own controls.

A live performance keyboard, as seen in the video.

A live performance keyboard, as seen in the video.

For more mobile goodness from Image-Line, it’s worth noting that in December their all-in-one FL Mobile added a MiniSynth. iOS is available now; Android should follow suit soon. And this means a solution that can be entirely mobile, in case you want to leave the laptop at home.

FL Mobile MiniSynth

  • mercury

    This looks damn good. I shifted over to Ableton so much in the past few years, I forgot about good ole FL…and part of it definitely was related to hardware interfaces (APC40 and Push for example). I can’t wait to try this out!

  • Arthur

    Not compatible with my Samsung Galaxy player :sadface:

  • Rich

    This is a great idea but I have found a few minor issues. I have an HP Touchpad running Cyanogenmod Android. It works perfect although it does not have as many screen choices omiting screens like FPC, Slicex, grossbeat and mix that my Note 3 has. It is also missing buttons and circular controls on the Main page. There is not way to edit settings even though there appears to be an edit button at the top right hand corner, it does not work on any of my devices. The other device I have is a Samsung Galaxy note 3. The main page has more buttons and stuff but I cannot read the text because it is too small, there is no setting button that works to change that. I works well but if the phone goes to sleep, the screen turns black if the phone sleeps or you turn off the screen to conserve battery. This is a great start for this app It would be perfect if it fixed being able to change text size and the black screen problem on the note 3 (which the touch pad does not have this problem). I also have an HTC Rezound which is an older 4g phone. It works but the main screen, FPC, and Slicex are unusable because the buttons are way too big the other screens work fine. The main screen has 2 buttons on it and the rest run off screen and I am unable to scroll or pinch to get to them. But I believe this has to do with each one of these devices have different screen sizes and resolutions which a device like an Ipad does not have to deal with. The rezound also suffers from the black screen and you have to restart the app if the phone goes to sleep. I also noticed on the Rezound and on the Note 3 that the mixer (that does not appear on the touchpad) is very small and hard to use because of size. It only takes up 1/4 of the screen and could be larger for people with big fingers like mine..

    I think that IL will probably resolve these issues in newer releases. I think this is a amazing app and it is free which is also amazing. I think it will only get better as the kinks are ironed out.

  • fierywater

    Any chance of a Windows 8/RT version? I figured I’d mention it since IL put out FL Studio Groove for it.

    • Scott Fisher

      There is always a chance. It’s on the ‘to do’.