ImageLine recently released a new version of FL Studio, and we have now added a new training course for FL Studio as well as updating our DAW Shootout. This new version has a few new plug-ins and major features as well as a long list of minor enhancements and bug fixes. We cover the major new functions in-depth in the new tutorials, but I’ll go over the highlights here.
Side Chaining – Catching Up
Side chaining has been a fairly recent addition to many Digital Audio Workstations, but practically all of the DAW’s that we cover have incorporated it. And now you can add FL Studio to the list. In general side chaining allows you to route the output of one channel to a second input on another channel which is typically used to control the actions of a plug-in. The most common use is probably ducking. A simple case of ducking is lowering the volume of the music when someone is speaking. We have created a YouTube video showing how to use side chaining in FL Studio 9 to lower the volume of a guitar when the vocalist is singing. Side chaining is also commonly used to create a pumping effect in dance mixes which we demonstrate in our Mixing & Mastering course.
Vocodex – New & Improved Voice Mangler
The folks at ImageLine obviously like vocoders. FL Studio already had the Fruity Vocoder, and now it includes Vocodex, which is a more deluxe vocoder. Vocoders typically extract the intelligible content from a voice (the Modulator) and combine it with another sound source, such as music (the Carrier), to produce a robotic-sounding voice. They are fairly common in pop music and have been used by everybody from Pink Floyd to Madonna. Vocodex adds a number of new and interesting functions for voice mangling as well as a built-in synthesizer and keyboard to generate chords as a carrier. We have a more complete discussion of vocoders in our Digital Producer course.
Vocodex – A Second Vocoder
Fruity Stereo Shaper – Swiss Army Knife for Stereo Imaging
The Fruity Stereo Shaper is a new mid-side processor. Once again FL Studio already included the Fruity Stereo Enhancer which performs a more limited subset of the same functions. Any stereo signal can be separated into Mid and Side components and recombined. There is a recording technique based on this principle, and it is also the basis for creating wider stereo images or moving the sound around spatially in mastering. It is is also the underlying technology in the products that claim to extract or remove vocals from a mix. The controls on the Stereo Shaper are deceptively simple, and in fact you can perform a large variety of Mid-Side processing tasks. However, frankly I’m not sure what the average user would do with it other than the same kind of stereo widening that is typically done in mastering. We have a more complete discussion of Mid-Side processing in our Mixing & Mastering course.
Fruity Stereo Shaper – Mid-Side Audio Processor
Riff Machine – Instant Composing
Need a new riff, but not up to composing one right now? Not to worry. Just fire up the new Riff Machine in the Piano Roll Editor and tweak a few parameters to create a MIDI riff. There are quite a few options to play with: Note Progressions, Chords, Arpeggiation, Mirroring, Levels (Humanizing), Articulations, Grooves, Fit Chords/Scales. Several of these have factory pattern libraries.
Riff Machine – Automated Riff Generator
Autogun – 4 Million Presets and Counting
So now that you’ve used the Riff machine to automatically create a new riff, you need to find a unique sound for it without manipulating a lot of synth parameters. Just use Autogun, the new synthesizer which boasts four million presets. Autogun is derived from two other plug-ins that ImageLine sells separately: the Ogun synthesizer and the Maximus mastering processor. (Actually, the effects processing is based the Soundgoodizer which in turn is based on Maximus.) With that many choices, you’re bound to find a sound you like.
Autogun – Mini-Ogun + Mini-Maximus
The Laundry List
For the record here’s a summary of the new features listed by ImageLine. We have also updated the DAW Shootout for FL Studio 9. The addition of side chaining slightly improved the score. However, the new plug-ins had no effect since FL Studio already had the bases covered by similar plug-ins. ImageLine has a long-standing policy of providing all upgrades to FL Studio free, and thus Version 9 is free to existing customers.