Image Line FL Studio Update Adds MIDI Scripting, New Video Tools & More

Image Line has released a free update to FL Studio.

FL Studio 20.7 introduces a new Visualizer, custom Piano roll note colors, controller support via MIDI Scripting and more.

Here’s what’s new in FL Studio 20.7:

  • Create music videos – The Visualizer allows users to select from a large menu of amazing YouTube, Instagram and Facebook ready video templates, click-and-drag to move text & other layers directly while in video preview. Integrated image and video content. Supports 16:9 (2, 4, 8K), 9:16 (vertical), 1:1 (square) and custom video aspect ratios. Further, VJs can trigger live video clips and control DMX devices including lights, lasers, smoke machines, strobes and more.
  • More MIDI Controllers – MIDI scripts allow you and hardware manufacturers to take deep control over FL Studio from any MIDI controller, or to remap any existing controller to suit your needs.
  • Note envelopes – VFX Envelope allows you to continuously modify note properties of native plugins inc. Velocity, Pitch and Pan, plus Mod X and Mod Y per note when plugins are hosted in Patcher.
  • Improved color management – Customizable Piano roll note colors including an improved Color Selector throughout FL Studio.
  • General MIDI files – You can now choose the FLEX General MIDI Library to open and play General MIDI files (GM).
  • Audio time-warping – The Newtime audio editor has new Edit Menu options, Transient and Tempo to select the beat detection method for faster time warping of audio.
  • Distortion – Distructor has new Mono and Wide modes added to the Chorus module.
  • FL Studio Mobile – Updated to include Cloud Backup for easier file sharing with your mobile devices.
  • Plugin Delay Compensation (PDC) – Now applies to Automation.
  • FLEX – Previous and next preset selection is possible via supported MIDI controllers that can switch between presets.
  • Advanced Fill Tool – Channels will automatically loop to fill the remaining space when the selected sequence length is shorter than the current pattern.
  • Default template – Changed to ‘Basic 808 with limiter’.
  • Reduced start time

See the Image Line site for details.

9 thoughts on “Image Line FL Studio Update Adds MIDI Scripting, New Video Tools & More

  1. I trialled FL Studio 20 recently, attracted by the piano roll, no. of features and free lifetime updates, and the support it has from users. The piano roll was/is a thing of beauty (adding colour options is good, I already do this in Reason) but I found that with scripts (produced by others) and Actions that I could mimic most of what I wanted from FL’s piano roll in Reaper (which I am also trialling).

    What eventually and with some reluctance made me decide to delete the demo and not buy FL Studio was partly the fatal crash that happened trying to load up one of its synths (never happened with Reason – or Reaper yet – and rare with Live). I also read (not sure how true) of some Mac issues and could see that not all devices had a Mac port yet. Crucial for me though was the absolute (in my opinion) counter-intuitive faff of recording audio. It took so long to record audio and output midi to my SE02 (via USB audio) that I lost the will. As someone used to Live and Reason it took too long and wasn’t in any sense fun. I even watched a video first but it was still a pain.
    The same test was much easier in Reaper and is p**s easy in Live and only marginally annoying in Reason 10 (prob. better in R11 with the Midi out device).

    I really wanted to like FLS and still do think it could be good for many users and even me with adjustments to how I work and I came very close to buying the midi-only version. In the end I suspect that instead I will opt to update Reason to 11 or to 11 Intro and use that in conjunction with Reaper. Price-wise that would be similar to buying FLS Producer edition (or FL Fruity vs Reason 11 Intro). Sound-wise I think that there was a lot of potential but if you compared FL Fruity to Reason 11 Intro in my view the latter wins though the former’s piano roll offers fantastic compositional potential.

    I would suggest to anyone thinking of this that they ignore reviews (including what I have said) and download the fully-functioning demo to see how they get on.
    The software looks great, loads instantly almost, has some great sounds (and some old-fashioned looking chaff, too, to be fair) but the browser for devices/sounds is bad enough that when I returned to Reason I found that good by comparison. If you do a lot of audio work then your choice may be to either invest the time to re-learn completely how to work with that in a DAW or to maybe to pass this over. Even typing this I am thinking ‘should I get the Fruity edition?’ and I wish Image-line would do a demo of that, too, so that can be judged without all the clutter of the devices you wouldn’t have if you bought the basic one. I might give it one last chance but with limited time, HD space and cash I don’t want multiple DAWs clogging up my computer needlessly.

  2. I can see why it is popular, it has great ideas, great midi editing and is great value.

    Personally I don’t like the way it works with recording audio and it it is very modular (as in not well integrated or intuitive)- the tools are all there (if you know where to look) and some of them are realy good, but I am just don’t like pop up windows for everything and having to learn a ton of new devices.

    Its a hard DAW to switch to IMHO if you have been using other DAWS for some time as it is a different paradigm. People who started on FL probably feel the same about other DAWS!

    1. I’m rather biased as an FL user since about 1998, but they are slowly improving the “modular” aspect of the DAW by letting you label what type of track you are creating in the Playlist. If you say “instrument” or “audio” track, it then links your instrument or audio channel to the channel rack instrument, playlist track and a mixer track automatically. Then the association is not so free and modular, and it records and behaves much more like a traditional DAW. To people like me, this isn’t so much an issue, but I get why people are utterly confused with Flstudio’s workflow with such freeform connections between windows.

      The playlist, and audio editing, is the area they need much more improvement on (cross-fade options are lacking for example), but they have to do it in a way that doesn’t screw over their base users by overriding the benefits you get by keeping that “modularity.” For instance the absolutely amazingly open flexibility of the mixer routing.

  3. I think you have hit it on the head Sean, the different elements don’t feel integrated, more stitched together. A bit like when Propellerhead (as was) had Reason and Record. Shame really though I feel that the midi only version might avoid a lot of that by having no audio devices.

  4. Yeah, thats pretty on the nail. I used it since FruityLoops 3 and 4. Then they updated the playlist editor to have audio tracks, i got excited and for the life of me couldnt get a recording to start in sync with the tempo and get a clean loop recorded so i gave up. Havent looked back since.

    I used to record everything into FL studio, chop it up, have folders full of slices then just arrange them in the sequencer. I used to even record from my cable box hoping to catch that nice sample from a prescription drug commercial. Was great. Then i bought external gear and it went out of the window.

  5. I started producing with FL, but when I bought more hardware synths, I switched to Ableton. FL is nice if you like working with VSTs in a box, and don’t have external gear. Built-in instruments are awesome, Piano roll and step sequencer are really easy to use. But audio recording is a mess. Also, when I was working with samples, I hated chopping them and saving them as unique files every time. Right now I am happy Ableton user with Push 2 on my table and never regret that I made this choice.

    1. I downloaded it again (I think the trial has been updated to version 20.7) to give it (yet) another go (it’s like an itch!).
      I do really like aspects of the piano roll (the appearance, the automatic looping length to the notes you have entered, the automatic changing of note entry size to reflect the last altered note: genius) as it has sooooo many options, but I would actually say that I can get something started sooner in Reason or Reaper. FL guessing your scale and greying out the notes to then choose is clever, but locking to scale would be good, too.

      I like the Riff Generator which I found quicker but less controllable than Reason’s Quad Note Generator.
      I have actions in Reaper as well as Reason’s Notes and Scales which actually make trying out chord progressions when I can’t be bothered to hook a keyboard up easier than with FL’s piano roll. Unless I am missing something you have to keep going back to the drop down list and selecting another chord type? Overall, last night’s play around was a mix of frustration and delight – my typical experience with the FL Studio trial thus far.

      As for the sounds I am torn on those. Overall the quality is less than what I currently have with Reason Intro 10 and would have with v11 of that or the Standard edition IMHO. I quite like Flex and one or two others but have stayed away from the synths that are only available in the Producer edition upwards as one decision I have definitely made is that I wouldn’t use FL Studio for audio – I can use Reason, Live or Reaper for that.
      Some of the sounds and devices are incredibly lame and it would be better if they had a clear out, just leaving those that are worthwhile (not the only DAW that needs to do this).
      Some devices do, unfortunately, play into that whole ‘FL is just for kids’ narrative that you sometimes read.
      DX10 and Boo bass are tow that I doubt I would ever use and they weren’t the only ones.
      The was one synth (Sim Synth?) which was in the trial but not anywhere in the list of included devices for any version. I did found a sound I liked with that and overall I think about 4 of the synths are good for my tastes.

      One thing I can’t find an answer to (from forums and as yet Image Line) is whether you have to have the whole bloated download if you only want the Fruity (non-audio) edition? It is beginning to look that way which would be really annoying. Not just for file size clogging up my HD but also the extremely naff browser. If I have to wade through tonnes of devices that I cannot access every time I want to do anything then that would be very annoying. To me that isn’t an Intro or Lite version, it is the full, everything included software with blocks put on it.

      My last gripe (for now :)) is that not all devices are available for Mac – some for now and some forever. So why the hell would they charge the same price as PC users if they then don’t get access to the same features? True cross-platform software limits such things to where they are physically unable and/or provides alternatives not where they can’t be arsed or haven’t caught up with a ‘must-do’ list.

      To end on a positive(ish) note. I did enjoy the piano roll and can see that with more time and knowledge it would be a great compositional tool. Exporting midi from a little melody I created went quite well (a bit easier to do on Reason and Reaper – just saying) and likewise exporting an MP3 of it. Then I tried to do it a second time and it didn’t work. If this is a limitation of the trial software it isn’t listed.

      I with that Image Line would do a genuine cut down, midi only version (basically piano roll with some decent synth and FX devices) for a fair price. The price isn’t horrendous for the Fruity Edition but for about £10 less Reason 11 Intro gives 16 tracks of audio with full editing and a more coherent collection of devices I feel. As both can be VST host/devices a R11 Intro FL Studio Fruity combo still appeals but god save me from the FL browser if it means the full version wth blocks!

  6. I’m using FLS since its v3.0…old times and this is why FL Studio is the best DAW for me, I know to use it best. Although I tried other software I remain with this one. Best DAW is that you know to use and this is a welcome update for all users.

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