Despite an intensely loyal following, FL Studio is very possibly the most underrated music creation package on the market. It’s the only major music software to offer customers unlimited lifetime upgrades, so you only have to buy it once. It has a freeform approach to workflow, routing, and playlists, and it’s what we call “mad interoperable.” (Okay, no one says that, but imagine VST/VSTi/VST2, DXi, DXi2, Buzz, ReWire, MIDI, MP3, WAV, OGG.)
And I know quite a few musicians going the MacBook route who will boot into Windows for this program alone. (It’s Windows-only, and since it’s built in Delphi, don’t ever expect that to change.) Last week at Macworld, my man Onyx of Backlit Lounge SF was doing crazy things with FL + Ableton. “Boot Camp from day one, baby,” is his plan when he goes Mac, just to get Windows and FL.
The other amazing thing about FL Studio is how much they’ve been able to squeeze into new releases. FL Studio 7 is officially available this week at NAMM, with store availability due next month. While we wait for our full version, the developers at ImageLine have released some of the features that are coming.
Better track-based sequencing: This has traditionally been FL’s weak point; pattern clips now store audio and automation sequence data. (I think I have to see this to understand exactly what that means. Maybe FL users can help.)
Edison: It’s never been clear exactly how to best integrate a wave editor with an audio program. FL has a novel solution: the new Edison builds in spectral analysis and convolution reverb into an integrated wave-editing “device.”
New filter + EQ: The Love Philter just looks like an intensely fun filtering toy, with 8 ganged filter units and FL’s traditional attention to performance and modulation (Ableton has nothing on this one), and a beautiful mastering parametric EQ that overlays spectral previews.
Multi-core Support: I told you you’d want to boot that MacBook into Windows. FL follows tools like Ableton Live with better multi-core support, perfect for live performance — though this remains a good choice on older machines, too.
Lots of goodies: From multi-undo in Sytrus to Apple Loops AIFF support. (Step 1: install Jam Packs. Step 2: boot MacBook to stripped-down Vista install. Step 3: Play.)
And the results are really quite lovely:
For more information: