FL Studio, beloved to its users by its original name “Fruity Loops,” has long had a Playlist mode that could be used to assemble simple live performances by jumping to sections of your music.

But a new alpha mode takes this mode far further. It’s still based on the Playlist, but can add clips dynamically – including Audio, Automation, and Pattern. While still in early testing, developer Image-Line has released some information about how triggering works, as well as the video above. And oddly enough, just like the video we saw earlier this week in Renoise, it employs a Novation Launchpad controller. (The impact of the monome on the market is really hard to overstate.)

More details from the developers:


Keyboards – There are 12 Clips assignable to each Playlist Track (one octave of a MIDI controller per track)

Launchpad & Mouse – Unlimited Clips assignable to each Playlist track.

Other Pad based Controllers – Limited only by the number of MIDI note assignable pads

At the moment there is basic scripting to define extra pages on the launchpad, you’re able to define actions for buttons, among transport ones, notes & controls.

The CPU load is similar to the project as it would play normally.

Performance Mode [Image Line forums]

It’s not quite an Ableton killer – not yet, anyway, especially as it lacks Ableton’s unique Session View paradigm for working in this way. It’s even a bit short of some of the hacks we’ve seen for Renoise. On the other hand, if you’re an FL fan you should be able to make your performance plenty sophisticated – and since just trigger clips isn’t everything, you might also want to play along with an instrument or sing. And I could see this catching on. It’d be great to see something other than Ableton in live laptop performances. Variety is the spice of life.

Rating: very, very promising.

Previously (this week, no less): More Renoise Step Sequence Goodness: Launchpad + Lauflicht (Other Controllers, Too)

Thanks to Dario Lupo for the tip!