I hear it all the time – people want something that just plugs in and visualizes musical inputs. But then, on the other end of the spectrum is a crowd that wants that and powerful editing capabilities.

For both, this could be a compelling development.

Image-Line, the developer behind the Windows music tool FL Studio (popularly known as Fruity Loops) have quietly released a VST plug-in built around the powerful open source, OpenGL 3D tool ZGameEditor. ZGameEditor Visualizer takes that engine, and adds musical visualization and movie rendering, plus loads of presets. (See video.) A modest Windows PC (or Windows installation, Mac users) is all you need to run the results – it even works on XP.

The presets may or may not draw you in, but they can be edited to produce original results. You can create your own generated visuals via the open source ZGameEditor rapid development tool. Tiny scripts produce huge results – with distributable code below 64 kb, we’re back in demoscene territory. And coding and customization looks strikingly simple. You can begin with simple objects that you edit graphically, then add more scripted behaviors if desired. Choose parameters you wish to manipulate, and control them using sound.


The music-reactive side is no slouch, either. You can work with three forms of control:
1. Audio input, using frequency analysis.
2. Automation control. (Yes, automation control from the host – there are advantages to being a VST.)
3. MIDI input, via notes and control data.

Because it takes automation input, you could also chain another plug-in with more sophisticated analysis options – or other controls – into the visualization. (Image-Line of course recommends a couple of the built-in sound analysis tools in FL Studio.)

More information:
ZGameEditor Visualizer [Image-Line product page]
ZGameEditor Visualizer documentation

This will cost you money, even though the underlying tool is open source; the plug-in is around €150.

Thanks to Martin for the tip.

Tutorial for FL Studio 10:

Tom Solid (of the tutorial above) has also created a music video with the tool:


  • I believe it’s included in the FL installer for free, at least the beta of the plugin was – but this version is probably FL specific.

  • Samuele Cornell

    if its not in FL for free i wonder who will use this… aren’t out there better softwares for this stuff like resolume for example ?…this seems far more limited but also more simple to use anyway

    • Yeah, agreed – that’s a lot of money if you want to add it to Ableton, for instance, and comparable with upgrading Live 8 & going down a Max4Live route, which is a shame – I want something a bit more immedate in the £50 region but for £100+ I expect more bang-for-buck.

      • massta

        I wouldn’t get it confused with other packages like Resolume or Ableton. This is a content creator as well as a player. I see people using it as a video feed (that can do some cool sound reactive creations) to another vj software. The shader videos are great and make it worth looking into this software.

        • Hm, but for me at least the past that I found most interesting was that it will run as a VST *within* a host sequencer. If I need to pre-render I’m gonna use After-Effects or Vegas, if I need another machine I’ll use Arkaos. I was hoping for mire than just another content generator… :/

  • Jean-Marie Cannie


    The ZGameEditor Visualizer is included for free in FL Studio and allows you to render 1920×1080 & 60fps videos straight from FL Studio (even in de demo version).

    Here are a couple of video’s using it :

    Video triggering : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUw1Hr6ltxQ

    Video texturing : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLC4J6ErG_E

    Here’s a nice animated song : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zEWyEWKUfY

    FL Logo as 3D Model : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plX5p9lYlwY

    Shader1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVBp46gjXaQ

    Shader2 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2i6wCxYkiMµ

    Jean-Marie Cannie
    Image-Line Software

  • hamageddon

    according to the FL Site, the starter version has the ZgeViz plug included, that would be 49$. but does this plug really work as a vst *outside* of FL Studio?

  • Sina Mailer Daemon Djavadkhani

    Can i use this with ableton??