FL Studio Coming Natively To OS X

fl-studio-os-xImage-Line has officially announced that it is working on a native version of FL Studio for OS X.

The company had previously tested the waters with a ‘wrapped’ version of OS X – basically the Windows version running in a crossover wrapper that allows it to run on Mac. Now they are moving forward with building a native version.

Here’s what they have to say about FL Studio for OS X:

We started by testing a FL Studio Mac OS X BETA (Crossover Wrapped) version with direct installation on Mac OS X. But this is still a Windows program, running on OS X. The interest in the wrapped beta, and the problems we faced supporting 3rd party VST plugins in it, lead the team to start work on native OS X VST versions of Edison, Gross Beat, Harmless, Harmor, Maximus, Ogun, Slicex, Sytrus, Vocodex. See how to get these plugins here.

The VST plugin testing, was in fact, the start of the FL Studio native OS X compatibility development. The VST plugins use the same code-base as FL Studio itself and if we could get these working to spec on OS X, then FL Studio would likely follow soon after.

Well, the plugin testing is progressing nicely, and so the team has turned their attention to FL Studio 12 itself. It’s a long and slow process and we can’t make any promises, since we may come across unexpected and or unsolvable technical problems. But work is indeed under way. Below are some of the issues we face porting FL Studio to native Mac OS X and explains why this is taking ‘so long’:


FL Studio is written in Delphi with in-line assembly for much of the DSP. This is one reason why FL Studio and its graphics are so fluid.

Delphi only recently got the ability to compile to OS X. So while this is great, it’s a 1st-generation OS X compiler, it’s cranky and sometimes causes problems of its own. But, before this came along, we needed to port well over 1 million lines of code to another language. We never thought that was a good idea, and it’s why we never did it before. But, things have changed, so let’s call this progress.

Windows API:

FL Studio is tightly bound to the Windows API that takes care of moving, minimizing, maximizing windows, detecting cursor position, drag & drop, opening windows dialogs, clipboard functions, decoding MP3s, … so a port requires all operating system dependent calls to be isolated & replaced by bi-platform dependent functions. That’s a major part of what the team are doing now.

FYI, just getting all this system dependent code from Deckadance (which was created more or less with porting in mind) and replacing it with bi-platform versions took almost 6 months. FL Studio is many times the size of Deckadance, so please be patient.

Will this impact on the development of FL Studio for Windows?

No, the team working on the conversion to OS X is completely separate from the Windows development team. They talk, but don’t share any bodies that we know of, so it’s business as usual on the Microsoft side of things. Bill Gates sends his regards BTW.

The FL studio Support Team

So, bottom line – Image-Line is bringing FL Studio natively to OS X, but it’s too early in the development stage for them to make an announcement regarding a release date.

21 thoughts on “FL Studio Coming Natively To OS X

  1. I looked at FL because I had come across a number of people who used it and thought it would be useful to have it. but the fact they only support Windows put me off being a Mac guy. While I could have run it in some winblows emulator, I just thought “If they can’t bother, why should I?” Maybe I’ll eventually change my mind.

  2. FL Studio has been growing in some impressive ways, but the idea of *seriously* running anything on a Mac but Logic as your main (if not only) DAW seems almost laughable. No outside DAW is likely to have such outstanding hand-in-glove system integration to offer. If you are that committed to FL Studio, then I won’t fault you for going there, but a DAW is where everything else lives. Give me stability over novelty any day. I got stuff to DO! 😀

    1. While I agree Ableton is pretty stable on osx, as stable as it will ever be on any platform, I find it to be incredibly inefficient at utilising the computer’s capabilities when compared to logic. I have a brand new, top of the line MacBook pro retina 15″, and I consistently find that plugins run about 20% hotter in Ableton than they do in logic. I also found t that logic can handle about 30% more tracks than Ableton while utilising the same amount of cpu Power with the same set of plugins and sends. I also found Ableton to crash a fair amount always. I have been using it since five and I have never had a time where Ableton does not crash two or three times in a week, I’ve just grown accustomed to it at this point because it has such good project recovery on crashes and I’ve never had it crash on me playing live *knock on wood* logic very rarely crashes but when it does I always lose data. I hear x improved upon this but I haven’t had a crash since upgrading.

      Anyway my point is that people saying that logic runs better than other programs aren’t just talking out their behinds, it’s just true because deep system optimization is a luxury you can afford when you own both software sets (osx and logic). This is definitely one of the best reasons to go logic and mac because no other hardware and software combo will perform like logic does on a high end mac running 10.9. All that being said I do all my writing in Ableton because it’s my favorite software and I mix and master in logic. I love Ableton but the whole time using im painfully aware of how much worse it performs than logic.

      1. They have vastly improved recovering data when Logic crashes. I use Logic Pro X as my main DAW and while it doesn’t crash too often it still has a tendency to do so out of the blue. It autosaves in the background all the time so when it does crash you can recover your data to near enough the last changes you made in your project which is very useful.

    1. Newer versions of fl usually open old projects (depends on a gap between versions, how old do you say), legacy features removed from the program are ‘simulated’ by newer features (like old pattern sequencer gets ‘printed’ in a new clip seq). The only problem is file management, lost sounds and plugins

    1. relax. probaly its not FL Studio and it is a piece of software from someone else they will remake to look like FL studio.. Like they did with FL Studio mobile

  3. It’s always great to see new software coming to OS X, whether I’m personally interested or not. But it doesn’t bode well if the two development teams are completely separated! That means one version is always behind the other, and is always a “port”, which means it never really gets to optimize, take advantage of native OS features, or otherwise shine like the lead platform version does.

  4. Really happy that they’re doing a native port, wonder if they will keep the menu from windows flstudio or use the menu bar in osx and wether it will be able to load as an au, not used flstudio in a while, so don’t know if you can still load it as a vst into other daws.

  5. Honestly the thing im excited the most is the VSTs running on mac, I used to use fl stuio for years then moved completely to ableton and am much happier with it but definitely missed the great Plug ins that image line had to offer! can’t wait for harmor on mac!

  6. I wonder, how far this “native” will go. OS X these days is far more advanced in terms of sound subsystem with kernel integration (CoreAudio) than Windows, which has no integrated low level sound transport at all.

    I’m tired of these simple code conversions from Windows, without utilizing of any OS X advanced features.

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